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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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Diablo 3 Strategy: Gearing Up for the New and Poor

One day soon, you will be penniless.

One day soon, you will be penniless.

A forum question from VeeSe spurred an interesting forum discussion; what’s the best way to gear up for a new player in Reaper of Souls? It’s largely a hypothetical question for most of us now, but that’ll change when Patch 2.1 goes live and and Ladder Seasons begin. If you create a seasonal character you start with nothing; no gold, no materials, no gems, no gear, paragon points, no leveled up artisans… you’ll even be scrounging for gold to buy your stash tabs!

Here’s the question from VeSee in our Diablo 3 community forum. Diablo 3 Strategy: Gearing Up for the New and Poor?

I was just wondering what the best way to build wealth was for someone who was new and didn’t have great items yet. I read a lot of these threads and guides and the recommended items are just so far out of reach, like I don’t have any of them pretty much. I have one character up to 70 but he’s not strong enough to really do anything besides Normal bounties and rifts.

Is the best way of building wealth just to keep grinding bounties and the occasional rifting in Normal? I’m at the point now where if I try to enchant a legendary I have, I better get it in 2-3 tries because I don’t have the materials to keep going after that and I have to grind for awhile to get enough to try again a couple times, and that doesn’t seem too productive. I’m still expecting the answer to be just to keep grinding bounties since they are the most rewards per time spent and at some point it will exponentially get better once I am able to get to do Torment rifts or something.

So what’s the best way to go about it? Where are the fastest places to level, what are the best ways to find gear, and where can you earn the most gold?

RoS =/= D3v

Considering the question made me to realize how much different the answer is in the current version of the game, whether Reaper of Souls or D3v2. Back in D3v the best way to gear up was via the Auction House (though that would have been different if we’d had seasons then). I spent my first couple months of D3 playing softcore, and when I switched over to Hardcore the best way to gear up was… to grind Act One Inferno on MP0 and collect gems and Tomes of Secret, which sold for very large amounts of gold in the Auction House. I could play a dozen hours like that and find 1 or 2 good items, while earning enough gold to buy good items for all my other inventory slots. (Which is why going DiabloWikiIronborn in D3v was such a bold commitment.)

That economic model is entirely gone in the game today. Not only is the Auction House gone, but everything you find that might be worth selling is BoA. Hell, even the gold itself is BoA. On the other hand, you find good gear about 50x as often as we did in D3v, which was the whole point in Blizzard making those changes. Because it’s more fun to farm your own gear and use only what you find yourself, than it is (was) to find gear and sell it for the gear you really wanted. (At least that’s the theory.)

Reaper of Souls Gear-Up Tips

So for the OP’s question… there’s no simple, obvious answer, but it’s interesting to consider. The overall key to gearing up in RoS is difficulty level. In D3v players needed a lot of DiabloWikiMagic Find to start finding a decent amount of legendary items, and characters could boost their MF by raising the difficulty level, and/or via Paragon Levels + gear. In the current game, MF is pretty much irrelevant, and almost all increased gear benefits come from higher difficulty level. Thus the question, “how do I gear up past level 70?” is really asking, “how do I survive on higher difficulty levels past level 70?”

Some question suggestions:

Stick to one Character
Smart Loot means that most of the gear you find will be themed for your class. That means regular upgrades, and also more Souls, since you’ll be salvaging redundant gear, rather than spreading legendaries around to multiple different characters. Plus with all the game rewards tied to difficulty level, you can get one character up in Torment and build wealth quickly… then your alts can gear up very quickly with plenty of Souls and Shards at their disposal.

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How Many Diablo 3 Hours of Play is Enough?

Posted 11 Jan 2013 by

How many Diablo 3 hours played have you accumulated? How much did you enjoy those hours? Can an entertainment product really be measured by time spent using it? A fan brought up that question and got a Blue reply:

If you’ve played more than 10 hours, there is no reason to complain.

Most games today are over 50$ and offer about 10 hours of gameplay or less. I’ve racked over 400 hours of gameplay. That’s about 15 cents an hour of entertainment, you cannot find this anywhere else (ie: movies)
Grimiku: I would like to chime in, and both agree and disagree at the same time. Playing a game for a certain number of hours might make it worth the money spent on it, but spending a lot of time in a game shows a deeper investment. When a design decision that you don’t agree with is made, it would be easier to dismiss it if the game only had its monetary value for you. However, if you disagree with a change and it’s a game that you’ve sunk a lot of hours into then it can feel like worlds colliding.

Either way a complaint is feedback and it all counts. As long as people are addressing the issue and not the individuals surrounding it (i.e. players or developers) then we are happy to read it and pass it along.

This issue has come up lately in regards to fmulder’s end of the year hours played survey, and (see also the main page commentary) it’s instructive to view the figures. That forum vote is still running, but here are the current results:

How many hours of D3 have you played in 2012?

  • 0-50 hours — 3.89%
  • 50-200 hours — 15.00%
  • 200-500 hours — 32.22%
  • 500-1000 hours — 37.78%
  • 1000+ hours — 11.11%
  • Obviously there’s a self selection issue with people voting in a fansite forum, but 96% having played over 50 hours, and 81% over 200 hours, would *seem* to point to a very good, popular game. As we all know from the comments though, that’s far from an unanimous view. Video games are odd that way; no one watches a movie or TV show or reads a book 10 or 20x over if they don’t love it, and yet the most vocal haters of games often come from the ranks of those who have played the most hours. In one way that’s logical; you’ve got to play a lot of a game like Diablo 3 in order to get deep enough to see some of the problems with itemization or other systems, but it is odd that video games can be played so long and so deeply by people who wind up vowing that they disliked the experience.*

    One truism I’ve heard spoken is that, “No bad movie is too short and no great movie is too long.” That’s kind of a koan, in that it’s self-proving (if the movie is too long it becomes less good, and vice versa) and yet it’s basically true about movies… but not about video games. Perhaps since the more you like a game the more you play it, until eventually your hours spent begin to lower the perceived quality of the experience, as you grow jaded and are bored by things that delighted you 50 or 100 or 500 hours ago.

    Best ARPG item system EVAH!

    Best ARPG item system EVAH!

    * Philosophical footnote: Another related field is the issue of perceived enjoyment at the time vs. remembered enjoyment afterwards. We’ve all lived experiences that we really liked at the time but that left us with no lasting memories. And we’ve all lived experiences we disliked at the time but that lingered and improved in our memories. Lots of the “it’s for your own good” type experiences fall into this category.

    No one much enjoys say, cleaning their house or washing their car or giving birth, but you’re usually glad you did it afterwards, and in your memory you tend to retain and elevate the positive result memory over the “it was tedious/awful” moment-by-moment memory from when you were actually doing X.

    This basically correlates to the “nothing’s as good as it used to be” mentality most humans fall into. We remember only the high points of past things and compare those to the actuality of whatever we’re doing today. Thus is a vague memory of D2 perpetually held above the current experience of D3 (in the minds of some) while we all grow a sort of amnesia about how boring we found it doing hundreds of repetitious, unchallenging cow runs or meph runs or pindle runs, and how annoying it was finding yet another green breastplate, etc.


    Tagged As: | Categories: Blue Posts, Controversy, Grimiku