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A Guide to Diablo: IncGamers site changes – Here’s what we’ve done

Regular readers will have noticed quite a few changes on Diablo: IncGamers since the launch of Reaper of Souls which was the motivation for us to make some of the changes we had been thinking about for a while.

When RoS launched we pushed the first stage of front page layout changes live. We know everyone likes to read their content in different ways so the site was changed to a similar layout to the main IncGamers site. Of course not every one will love that format so in the past week we set to work on the second phase which was giving you the option to read the content in the old format if you so desired.

In case you hadn’t spotted it, there are a couple of buttons above the news that allow you to switch to your preferred format.

change view

Probably the toughest job we had to undertake was the forums. We have used the same forum system for around a decade and there were millions of posts to port over. It was important to us to make sure that threads from the old forum were not lost, we’d have hell to pay from you guys if they went missing :) Remember the great forum crash of 2003? That was not pretty.

So why the change? There were numerous reasons, the next version of the same forum was bloated with features that were useless to the community here. Spammers were also a consideration and the previous software was starting to struggle with the rise in spammers over the last couple of years. We needed a system that could pro- actively catch them and then make life easier for IncGamers moderators to deal with anything that managed to slip through.

The end results once we switched were good. The forums are now easier to use, faster and more robust. It’s taken some time to iron out issues with posts moved over from the old system but I would say we are 95% there with most things now. The forum is now easier to use and has more features to track new content additions.

One of the main issues we had during the change was with your logins. We have a custom login system that ties your forum account to the main site. When we moved forums that obviously broke down and had to be recreated. One of the issues we came up against was the inability for guests to post in the news and members who were logged in seeing a captcha. This was not acceptable so it took a few days for me to sort out but thankfully it now all works.

Regarding commenting on news, originally we had the news post into the community forum but as things move quite quickly here as far as content is concerned, we thought it best to create a separate forum for the news discussions. This reorganisation prevents any community forum discussion being lost in a pile of news. Your discussions are important after all.

hardrock

Trophies

Regarding accounts. Some of you have been registered here for over a decade and we have been helping members who have had login issues since the switch because they no longer have access to the email they originally registered with. If there are any of you still caught in that trap then we can sort it for you. Send an email here and we will deal with it.

With the new forums came new features, and something we’ve wanted to do for some time is highlight pro-active members and also award trophies for actions by the community. Elly sat down over a few days to come up with the points and reward system. You may have spotted the icons on threads but so you know how it works I have posted all of the trophies below for reference.

There are still a few things to do but the core updates are now in place. Your feedback on anything we do is much appreciated and a special thanks to the PALS who have helped make all the changes possible with their contributions.

Threads

Thread StarterThread Starter -Points: 15 -You have started 5 Threads
Topic RaiserTopic Raiser – Points: 45 -You have started 20 Threads
Town CryerTown Cryer – Points: 90 -You have started 50 Threads
ConfabulatorConfabulator – Points: 91 -You have started 80 Threads

Setting the Agenda Setting the Agenda – Points: 120 -You have started 120 Threads

Likes

Primary Source Primary Source – Points: 1 – Somebody out there liked one of your posts.

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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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Infernal Machine 2.0: Illustrated Gameplay Report + Video

Posted 19 Jan 2014 by

The Patch Notes said it was enabled with the new recipes added and the Key and Organ drop rates set to 100%, and Blizzard’s asking for specific feedback on it… yes, it’s Infernal Machine 2.0, now with four keys, a new Realm and Uber, and upgraded quality Hellfire Rings. I teamed up with a friend to power through some key runs and Uber battles, and here’s a report on what’s new.

Hellfire Ring Requirements

Buy the new design from Squirt.

Buy the new Jeweler plan from Squirt.

There are some changes, but the whole system works much as it does in the live game today. The same 4 Keywardens are still the source of keys, and the KWs are still randomly located on their same levels. See the wiki DiabloWikiInfernal Machine article for all the details on where they are. You still have to scour their whole levels to find them, and though that’s not any harder than it once was, it feels harder since 1) none of those levels are super EXP farming areas anymore that you’d be doing anyway, and 2) RoS has trained us like dolphins at Sea World to seek out the blinking yellow sonar circle on the map when racing for Bounties. KWs are never bounties, and thus it *feels* long and wandering to hunt for them.

Yes, I’m basically saying that finding KWs is hard now because RoS has made me stupid and lazy. Read that last sentence in the voice of Confession Bear if you want it to be funnier.

Currently it’s very worth finding each KW since this patch has set them to 100% drop rates, on any difficulty, for testing purposes. In fact, they’re actually over 100% since I’ve found 2 keys per KW maybe 1/3 of my kills so far. It seems like they’re dropping 1 key guaranteed and when I get a 2nd key it’s the random drop key I would have gotten normally. The 2 keys from the same drop are not always the same type either.

Four new Demonic Organs.

Four new Demonic Organs.

So, 4 KWs and 4 keys. You need one of each key to make each new of the 4 new Infernal Machine recipes, and each of those opens one new portal. There are now 4 portals, one new level with a new Uber(s), and each of the Portals can provide you with 1 new Demonic Organ. (Those are also dropping at 100% for now.) The Hellfire Rings are also new. They grant +45% EXP now, roll with bigger Loot 2.0-sized stats, and the special proc effect is a sort of fire nova explosion that’s actually pretty useful, especially for a melee character.

Click through for lots of screens of the new stuff, including some completed rings, the new Portal and Uber level, and other related stuff. There’s even a video showing the whole process.


Keys and Machines

The key farming process is much as it was in D3, and it’s much easier doing it in a party. It’s faster to find the KW if you split up, you have more chances for someone to get a key, it’s quicker to kill the KW in a group, etc. Especially now that you need 4 keys per Infernal Machine, and you have to make 4 different machines to do them all in the same game. A bit of communication is necessary there, so you don’t make multiple of the same machine, and come up one short of running all four in that game.

Ubers drop only rares and Organs, currently.

Each Ubers now drops 3-4 rares+ the Organ.

On the bright side you no longer need to stack up your Nephalem Valor before you run the Ubers, and you don’t have to do all of them in the same game, since you can open whichever specific portal you wish. That should be very handy once the drop rates aren’t 100%; I don’t know about you guys but I always had terrible luck getting the portal and organ I needed in D3. I’d wind up with 5/4/0 Organs, farm up enough keys for 3 more Infernal Machines, hope to get just the Portal I needed in one try… and never get it. I’d have to burn all 3 Infernal Machines to get the one I needed, and then that would be the only one that didn’t drop an Organ. So then I was 6/5/0 after the game and out of keys.

That won’t be a problem in Reaper of Souls, since you can just make whichever portal you want. If you’ve got 4/4/3/0 Organs you can choose to make only the one Infernal Machine that opens that 4th portal, and do that one without any randomization about it. And if you don’t get an Organ you can just create a new game and try again, immediately, without any stacking NV or any other delays.

That convenience and specificity of targeting more than offsets the issue of added inventory space, with potentially 4 different keys and 4 different IMs in your stash in RoS.


The New Portal and Uber

ros-infernal-hermits-shack1We didn’t actually try to activate the Infernal Machines to open the portals in any particular order. I made the 3rd and 4th machines while Wolfpaq made the 1st and 2nd, and then I opened my two first. Thus it was just luck of the draw that our first three were the same three portals you see in the game today.

Luck, but cool, since we’d done the 3 known ones and were wondering where the 4th portal would appear and what we’d find going through it. You see their arrangement in the screen to the right, but I think that might be temp, since it’s kind of crowded now. It would make more sense to retain the semi-circle layout and just move the top center one to the side to make room for two at the top of the room, in my opinion.

Given that the NPCs have been shuffled all over the place in the Act Five town, changing locations multiple times since the beta started, I won’t be at all surprised if the Portals get the same treatment.

So what’s through the new portal? What’s the 4th Uber encounter? I’m not going to say here, just in case someone wants to avoid the spoiler and find out for themselves. There are pics of it below, but I’m leaving them in gallery form so you only see the thumbnails. Click at your own risk.

To briefly describe the battle without giving it away, you only get one Uber to start, but near the end of the battle it summons other Ubers to join the fight. In the only trial I’ve done so far we got a Siegebreaker and Zoltan Kulle added in, who both died a moment later when the main guy went down.

It wasn’t a problem since we were playing on kust Hard difficulty (MP1 equivalent) and were pretty overgeared for that low diff level, so the battle ended quickly. Playing on a higher difficulty level (to up your odds of an Organ, once they’re not 100% for beta test) that should be a pretty lively fight. Not sure I look forward to doing it in Hardcore, when it actually matters. Three Ubers at once could be pretty crazy. It was certainly vision-blocking, as I was in there tanking away with my Monk and couldn’t see a damn thing once Siegebreaker appeared almost between me and the camera.


The New Hellfire Ring

You see my ring below, plus the options available via enchanting that socket into something possibly better. I got a pretty good roll; big Dex and Vit, plus a nice roll on Critical hit Damage. If I could turn that ChC into Crit change it would be a really nice ring, but you can see how many options there are in the enchant menu, and at one Forgotten Soul per roll, those are long odds at a high cost.

hellfire-ring-ros-compare1 hellfire-ring-ros-enchant1

Note that there’s only one Hellfire Ring design now. No more can you choose STR/DEX/INT/VIT on the roll. With 6 random mods and Loot 2.0′s smart drop system you’ll (almost?) always get a big roll to the attribute that’s your class’ mainstat, so if you do the Ubers with your Crusader and you want a HR for your Witch Doctor, be sure you stash the organs and actually make the ring with your WD, or you’ll get the wrong attribute.

The new design costs 5 million gold.

One new design.

Note also that the ring is BoA (of course) but also has a lvl 70 requirement. The D3 version of the HR is account bound, but has no level requirement so it’s ideal as a twink. No more, so save any rings you have from D3 for twinking and Follower equipment in RoS.

The fireball of current HR is gone entirely. Now you get a “Fire Ring” effect that triggers every few seconds when you attack. What’s it do? A pretty cool explosion, actually. It’s nothing amazing; 200% weapon damage, but the fire goes out quite a distance and each part of the flame deals full damage and passes through all monsters in a path. On a really crowded screen you’ll hit dozens of enemies, almost everything within say 30 yards and then a lot more outside of that all the way to the edge of the screen, and if you’re a melee char in the middle of the horde that can be a pretty nice bonus.

Beware; the fire goes quite a distance and only stops for walls. While clearing a rift to test out the ring’s proc effect one of the fire fields activated a Treasure Goblin who was well off the screen and who I hadn’t seen yet. Only the text notification clued me in, and then I had to run around wildly to try to pick up the gold trail before he got away. The devs might actually need to reduce the distance the Fire travels, since it was going off the edge of the screen every time.

Proc from the Monk.

Proc from the Monk.

Proc from Eirena.

Proc from Eirena.

The timing of the proc doesn’t seem real tied to your attack rate or behavior. I used the ring on my Monk who was in melee combat, hitting constantly at about 2 APS, and saw one proc every 3-4 seconds. And I tried the ring on the Enchantress who was doing her tag along behind thing and hurling her purple missiles in every now and then… and saw one proc about every 3-4 seconds. The procs did much less damage from her, since she was not surrounded by a ton of enemies when they went off, and of course as in D3, she only gave me 1/5 of the EXP bonus when using the ring.


Video Demonstration

Here’s a video I shot of the game with Wolfpaq’s DH and my Monk. Apologies for the image quality not being real high; I need to fiddle with the settings on my capture and encoding software, I guess.

The only real drama comes during the ZK + Siegebreaker Uber battle due to SB’s Reflects Damage property getting what felt like a huge boost. Wolfpaq’s DH got embalmed right at the start thanks to his big DPS and Fanaticism attack, and then I had to spend the rest of the fight running around waiting for my Serenity to cooldown so I could activate it again and get in a few hits, without killing myself, before it was time to run around again. Load up on the LoH and Regen before you head into that battle, me hearties.