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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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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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Jay Wilson Answers Items Questions

Posted 12 May 2012 by

Fans have been peppering Jay Wilson’s twitter with questions (complaints) about the legendary items revealed by those photos of the official strategy guide. When the pictures were first revealed, some fans refused to believe that they were accurate or complete, since those fans had come to expect hundreds and hundreds of legendary items in Diablo III, and there were *only* 226 listed in the strategy guide.

Jay’s responded by saying they have about as many legendaries as there were uniques in D2 + D2X. To which fans have replied that D3 has far more types of items which means there are a lot fewer legendaries of each type, and there are fewer Item Sets in D3, and there aren’t Runewords in D3, which were essentially DIY uniques in D2X. To that Jay has replied… well, just read his tweets as quoted below, with one added in from @Bashiok that bears on the issue.

226 Legendary in total, includin all armor and all weapon. Does that number sounds right or off by a huge margin? –FrankRenos
Over 200 legendaries sounds right. This is more than D2 had at ship, and not much lower than D2 has after 10 years.

To Renos’ point, there are only 2 Mighty Weapons (1h and 2h) that are level 60 in the game? :( — murphydandan
Again, this does not differ greatly from Diablo II. Also, rares and crafted are end-game competitive. Our goal was to balance, not dominate with legendaries –Jay Wilson

Then Bashiok was lying… He said there were a lot more items in the game than in the guide. These have all been seen before.
Do not be so quick to call people liars. –Jay Wilson

You said there are “far more” items in the game than the website shows but the strat guide suggests there are only a couple more? –@firatb84
Because items in Diablo are random. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4887629121#3 –Bashiok

How about that being much less than D2 lod and Titan quest (without the expansion pack) –FrankRenos
How about both the examples you just used were a game + expansion. :) –Jay Wilson

Can you confirm there are only 226 legendary items in the final game as the strategy guide suggests? –firatb84
I have not cross-compared the strat guide with the game. Items were one of the last things, so there could be differences. –Jay Wilson

I have to side with Jay’s logic on this one, though I don’t think he or Bashok have done very well explaining or defending it. As they say, there were a comparable number of uniques in D2, and they’re clearly leaving room in D3 to expand and deepen and improve things in the expansions (just as Blizzard North did with D2X, when they added charms, jewels, runes, runewords, elite items, tons more uniques, elite Item Sets, etc). That’s why the D3 devs removed several item features during development (DiabloWikiCharms, the DiabloWikiTalisman, the DiabloWikiMystic‘s item enchants, only 4 types of DiabloWikigems with bland bonuses when socketed, etc) all of which we’ll likely see in improved and polished form in D3X.

Also note that while D3 has a lot fewer uniques of each item type (since there are so many more types of items in D3) the uniques are clustered at the high range, with 1 or 2 lvl 60s in every type, and others in the mid or high 50s. Also every single item in all 13 found and 3 of the 9 crafted item sets are lvl 60, which adds 16 item sets made up of 61 set items, all at level 60.

Plus, Item Sets and Legendaries are much more variable in their stats than they were in D2, and they’re not balanced to be way better than rares, which means that found and (especially) crafted lvl 60 rares will be as good or better than legendaries and sets, in many cases.

I’m sure we’ll find balance issues and other problems with DiabloWikiend game play in Diablo III, but I don’t think lack of item diversity at level 60 will be a major problem.