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The State of the Monk: Additional follower or future OP class?

state of the monk in diablo 3It’s no surprise that the Monk class has been in need of some love pre 2.1. However with the second iteration of the patch on the PTR that need has not yet been abided. People are still clamoring for more sweeping changes(pun intended).

I was a heavy Monk user pre ROS and took a break with the xpac to delve into my first love(WD) and my new fling(crusader). I returned to the Monk only a few weeks ago and what I found was a shell of what I had left. After suffering for a long time as a WD it was nice when they finally rose to prominence. After a while on the top I wanted a new challenge and set my sights back on my monk, however even this challenge seems to daunting then all that time as a struggling WD. Diablo Forum MVP Druin put together an eloquent look at the myriad issues facing the class:


Hello everyone!

I am back from vacation and I am looking to write up a concise review of where we stand in 2.1.

My plan is to give a quick overview of our major issues then discuss the 2.1 changes and how they affect the various facets of our class.

I will be using this thread to fine-tune what we want to communicate to the devs and then I will make a major “state of monks in 2.1″ thread on the PTR forums to attempt to get some help for our lovely class! :D

1. Current Monk Issues

Damage

This is really at the forefront of the monk issues.

Since the release of RoS, monks have been having a tough time with DPS. We have a very limited range of options mostly centering around the skill Exploding Palm. (Un)fortunately EP is being changed as it breaks greater rifts (along with Rimeheart and Furnace) so our only source of widely competitive damage is going away. This leaves monks in a pretty bad spot.

Our spenders do very little damage (I mean VERY little) relative to their cost and our generators are used more as proc-vehicles for Odyn Son, Thunderfury, Shard of Hate and Rime/Furnace more than as sources of damage themselves. This leaves us with our 6pc Raiment of 1000 Storms which makes DS proc a 3000% weapon damage attack on cast. 3000% damage is a lot and it scales with lightning damage gear but DS has a flat-immutable 6 second cooldown. This can be mitigated to some extent by using Jawbreaker to give “free” dashing strike charges but that interaction is quite clunky.

Basically, monks will be forced into a clunky, hard-to-use situationally terrible Storm-breaker set in order to compete with other classes in damage. If they don’t want to use this mechanic, they will do very poor damage.

Durability

Next on the list is our ability to survive. This is a more controversial topic with some finding survival to be quite easy and many others finding it to be quite hard. In 2.1 with the change from dex giving dodge to dex giving armor and the change from OWE to Harmony, many monks who had minor synergy with OWE will see a minor tankiness boost. (my Raiment set for example)
On the other hand, monk who are deeply invested into OWE will see a major tankiness loss. (my Shatter-palm set). In either case, both types of monks probably have a lot of trouble living in T6 without 2x Unity or the constant dashing from Storm-breaker. Why is this? Because monks have to face-tank so much stuff.

Our primary source of resource generation comes from skills that require you to be up-close and personal with mobs which means a lot of damage can’t be avoided. To compensate for this, end-game monks are forced to take defensive passives (Harmony) defensive skills (Epiphany-shroud / Serenity / Inner Sanc / Blinding Flash) and CDR in basically every single spec. This is extremely limiting to the monk playstyle though arguably less of a problem than the DPS as the defensive skill/CDR solution does exist.

Additionally, sustain is nearly non-existent. LoH requires primary affixes which takes away from our already terrible DPS, LPS is the same, LPSS both takes primary affixes AND is extremely poor and Globes took a pretty big hit in 2.1. Monks actually have access to healing skills but, for some reason, they are tuned to be SO weak that they are essentially non-existent.

Resource Management

This is a more fundamental problem than the other two issues. Mere number tweaks would likely not result in this issue being resolved.

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Guide: Legendary Gems

legendary gems guideLegendary Gems were first officially revealed in the Patch 2.1 preview blog back in June of this year.   They will be added to Reaper of Souls in Patch 2.1, and are currently undergoing testing on the PTR.

The gems add special bonuses when socketed in rings and amulets (only on Characters and not on Followers), and can be upgraded in power via DiabloWikiUrshi, the NPC who appears after Greater Rifts are cleared.

While the developers are calling them “legendary gems” these socketables have nothing in common with regular DiabloWikigems in stats or appearance, and are more analogous to the Rainbow Facet unique jewels of Diablo 2. The main difference in Diablo 3 is that these gems can only be socketed in jewelry, and the way the gems can be upgraded to improve their functions over time.

Legendary Gems Listing

While the Legendary Gems are still undergoing development on the DiabloWikiPTR, their stats and bonuses are changing constantly. A major revision was created on July 15, 2014 with new or upgraded stats for almost every gem. The following are the most current details about Legendary Gems.

 

DiabloWikiBane of the Powerful
bane of the powerful
  • Gain 30% increased damage for 20 seconds after killing an elite pack.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1 second buff duration.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain 20% bonus damage to elites.
DiabloWikiBane of the Trapped
bane of the trapped
  • Increase damage against enemies under control-impairing effects by 20%.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +0.5% damage.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain an aura that reduces the movement speed of enemies within 15 yards by 30%.
DiabloWikiBoon of the Hoarder
  • 30% chance on killing an enemy to cause an explosion of gold.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1% chance on kill.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain 30% increased movement speed for 3 seconds after picking up gold.
 DiabloWikiEnforcer
 enforcer
  • Increase the Critical Hit Chance of your pets by 20%.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +0.4% Critical Hit Chance. Max +20% upgrade (+40% total).
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Your pets are unkillable.
Bliz Note: As was discussed in another thread, allowing this this gem to rank up to +100% pet Crit would likely cause undesired gearing issues and probably be a little out of line.
DiabloWikiGem of Efficacious Toxin
gem of efficacious toxin
  • Poison all enemies hit for 1000% weapon damage over 10 seconds.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +20% weapon damage over 10 seconds.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: All enemies you poison take 10% increased damage from all sources.
DiabloWikiGogok of Swiftness
 gogok of swiftness
  • 50% chance on hit to gain Swiftness, increasing your Attack Speed by 2% for 3 seconds. This effect stacks up to 10 times.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1% chance.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain 2% Cooldown Reduction per stack of Swiftness.
 DiabloWikiInvigorating Gemstone
 invigorating gemstone
  • While under any control-impairing effects, reduce all damage taken by 30%.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1%. Maximum +50% upgrade (80% total).
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Heal for 20% of maximum life when hit by control-impairing effect.
 DiabloWikiMirinae, Teardrop of Starweaver
 Mirinae, Teardrop of Starweaver
  • 15% chance on hit to smite a nearby enemy for 1000% weapon damage as Holy.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +20% weapon damage.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Smite a nearby enemy every 5 seconds.
 DiabloWikiMoratorium
 Moratorium
  • 30% of all damage taken is instead staggered and dealt to you over 3 seconds.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +0.1 second to the stagger duration.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: 10% chance on kill to clear all staggered damage.
 DiabloWikiPain Enhancer
 Pain Enhancer
  • Critical hits cause the enemy to bleed for 500% weapon damage as Physical over 3 seconds.
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Elemental Damage: How Does it Work?

Posted 2 Sep 2012 by

One of the non-intuitive functions in Diablo III is how elemental damage works. During development we saw stats for Arcane, Cold, Poison, Fire, Lightning and other types of damage, and most fans thought the game would function much as Diablo II did, where weapons and skills were generally physical damage, unless specifically stated as elemental damage, which usually tacked onto your physical. Plus D3 promised that critical hits from different elemental damage types would do cool things, such as fire inflicting a DoT burn, Lightning granting a stun, Arcane “Silencing” monsters, etc.

Diablo III had those features during development, but shortly before release the system was much simplified in function. So now we still see all those different colors, and different elements turn monster corpses a nifty smoky green or shattered blue or blackened crisp, and the damage types matter in terms of enemy resistances, but there’s no difference in how the elemental damages are calculated. All work as physical damage did in D2, where they’re modified by stats and skills, and there’s no default DoT effect from poison for instance. Jay Wilson explained this in some tweets shortly before release.

That change isn’t too confusing once you start thinking of all the elemental damages as different colored versions of physical damage. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t some odd bug-like issues remaining:

So it turns out that any item that says that it “adds +x% to elemental damage” actually works by multiplying your non-elemental (“black”) weapon damage by 1.0X (so if you have +6% to poision, and you have a weapon with average 950 regular damage, you will get 106% times 950 = (950 regular + 57 poison) damage as your base weapon damage. Basically, if your weapon is all non-elemental damage, you will receive a +6% damage increase as poison damage.

MANY players are very curious as to whether this is how the modification is actually supposed to work. Because it is in fact, counter-intuitive for it to function in this way when its wording suggests that it should increase the amount of base poison damage by 6%, instead of adding a flat percent increase to your non-existent poison damage.

I want to know if this is going to be changed or if it is going to continue to function like this indefinitely, because if it is supposed to be this way, things like Zunimassa’s Boots (db) and Triumvirate (db) (otherwise mediocre items) are the absolute best-in-slot items for certain classes.

Lylirra: The “+x% Elemental Damage” affix works by adding “x%” of your physical damage to your attack, in the form of the damage type listed.

So, really basic example:

* Your physical damage is 100, and the item adds +3% Fire damage.
* You gain 3 extra damage to your attacks as Fire damage.

Things this takes into account:
* Rings, mojos, orbs (etc) that have an “X-Y” damage affix (e.g. “1-2 Damage”)
* The base damage range of your weapon, before any elemental damage is added from the affix
* +Min or +Max affixes on weapons

(Note: It doesn’t benefit from “+X-Y Elemental Damage” affixes on weapons.)

We realize the current wording for this affix can be confusing, and it’s something we’d like to make more clear in the future. If you have any suggestions for how this affix could be better worded, we’re definitely interested in your suggestions. Just keep in mind that space is limited in item tooltips, and that whatever we use would need to be translated into all of our supported languages.

Can you please explain why it is coded to add 2 * (x%) min damage instead of x% min + x% max?

Note: I have personally done the math and I can tell you, without doubt, that it currently adds 2 * (x%) min and ignores the max damage on your weapon.

Lylirra: I’ve reached out to our developers, programmers, and QA about the current functionality. Once I have more information, I’ll respond back to the thread.

Thank you for pointing this out!

Have you guys been exploring this “bug?” And more generally, are you satisfied with the “six colors of elemental damage” system we see in Diablo III? Personally, I hope they add some D2-style complexity to it, perhaps in an expansion. I’d like to see different types of damage matter again, from monster resistances to varying damage types. Give players some reason to care about the damage type of their skills and weapons, make monsters more interesting with immunities or at least very high resistances to particular elements, make specific resistances matter (rather than the current system where any armor that lacks Res All is junk), etc.

Obviously, it would be a challenge to integrate that into the current D3 system, due to features like the lack of a weapon switch hotkey, the lack of elemental damage from gems, and the general necessity of 4 defensive skills to survive in Inferno (leaving no flexibility to use multiple different attacks of different elemental types), but hey, I can dream…