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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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On the Drawing Board #24: Shared Paragon Levels

Posted 22 Jul 2013 by

Achieve 40 for a decent profile pic.

Achieve 40 for a decent profile pic.

Several times recently the devs have mentioned the possibility of implementing some form of shared DiabloWikiParagon (I dub thee “Sharagon”) level bonuses in the future of Diablo 3. I had a question about that (and about Paragon level customization) on the short list for my recent interview, but didn’t get to it. Happily, since another recent interview did ask that, and the coverage would have been redundant.

Travis Day: We’ve definitely talked about things like taking Paragon and decoupling it from your character specifically and making it something that is more account-over working. So that any time you invest in the game is rewarded and you don’t feel like we’re taking anything away from you if you want to try new characters or try out different play styles within the game. That’s something we’ve looked into a lot.

Also, maybe potentially adding some sort of customization within the paragon system. Sort of in the vein of a throwback at a Diablo II start location. We’ve looked at things like that. We definitely have plans to flesh it our more in time. We don’t need to design it from the ground up. What it does, it does well, and we just need to make it more encompassing.

So how would shared Paragon levels work? Would the MF/GF bonus share to all characters on your account? How about the stat bonuses you gain with Paragon Levels? And how would player behavior be changed by Paragon Level bonuses going account wide; less focus on playing your main character since your alts would get a big MF bonus as well? Click through for some more details and speculation, and add your own thoughts on how the system should work in comments.

First off, I want to nominate “Sharagon” (it works much better verbally than in print) for the official name for shared paragon level bonuses. Yes, I love neologisms and I delight in coining portmanteaux, (like “freespecs”), and when this term leapt into my head last night while we were discussing it on the podcast (two parter this week, coming soon) I was delighted. If anyone else thought of it first, I don’t care. Now it’s mine.

As for the actual bonuses, Blizzard hasn’t given us any details about how they might work, but we gave it some thought while recording the podcast, and a few things seem inevitable:

 

If Paragon Levels go to the account, the shared bonuses would only be MF/GF. Not stats.

This seems obvious once you think about it. A brand new Paragon level one character getting a big bonus to Magic Find and Gold Find is (arguably) okay, but that character suddenly getting 300 to their mainstat and 200 Vit would be hella janky. (Yes, janky.) You’ll share in the MF/GF bonuses, but have to earn stat bonuses by leveling up each character in turn.

 

Hardcore shared bonuses would remain if a character dies?

Remains to be seen, but it seems likely. I can’t imagine that Sharagon bonuses will be some weird “add up all your paragon levels and divide by the number of characters.” Instead there will be some sort of new account leveling system where you level up your individual characters for their Paragon levels (and the stat bonuses) while at the same time you level up your Account Paragon. (Accountagon?) That bonus will share to all the characters on your account, presumably whether they’re alive or not.

That makes little difference for Softcore, but for Hardcore it could be a huge difference. To take myself as the example, a couple of months ago my first Paragon HC character died at level 61. I had no other high level characters and with my main dead I was basically back to square one. I had a fair amount of saved up gear and gold, but my next character (also a Monk) had junky MF until Paragon 40ish, and not until he was back to 50ish did I get my MF maxed out again and start to see considerable riches in my item drops.

If there’d been some sort of Sharagon system in place, would my new Monk have inherited 150% MF/GF bonus as soon as he reached Paragon 1? Unknown, but if we do get a Sharagon system that grants each new level 60 with a huge MF/GF bonus, that will make a big difference, and a really big diff in Hardcore play.

Even for softcore though, sharing some/all of your MF bonuses should do great things to encourage playing of alts. No more would it seem mandatory to level one character to P60 or P70 in order to really cash in on Magic Find, and/or would playing an Alt with 14% MF feel like a waste of time. (At least that was our podcast conversation speculation…?)

 

Shared bonuses + individual bonuses?

This also came up during the podcast chat, when we tried to think how to make the shared bonuses less cheesy. Obviously opinions differ, but personally I think the whole Paragon system is at least a little bit cheesy, as it grants the full MF bonus to characters who make zero equipment sacrifices to achieve it. I loved MF in D2, and I loved that the system required you to make (some) sacrifices to achieve it.

On the other hand, I had really well-geared characters in D2 that I hardly ever played, since they were all in survival gear and had minimal Magic Find. They could kick ass, but it felt sort of pointless to just grind EXP when they never found any great gear.

Thus during the course of the podcast I talked myself into supporting a Sharagon system since it would do so much to enable alts and variety in character play.

That said, I hope the bonus isn’t just instant 300% MF/GF if you’ve got your account to Paragon 100. I like the idea of a Sharagon bonus to your account, but also for individual characters to earn bonuses. So my quick idea was 2% per level from Sharagon, and 2% from your character’s level up. Thus you could theoretically achieve 400% Magic Find if you had a maxed Sharagon account + 200% on your character (from Paragon and gear).

We’ve got no idea if Blizzard is thinking something similar, but it seems like a reasonable compromise. You get some Paragon bonus from your account (which would have to level up more slowly than each character, say maybe 2-5x more exp required for the account level up than each char?) but others must be earned by each individual character. That gives a bigger bonus for players who really seek it out, and avoids the cheese of a brand new Paragon 1 getting max MF/GF.

You guys may hold different opinions, of course. And that’s what the comments are for. Any pro/com on these ideas? Or got your own? Let’s get some dialogue going and flesh this out. I’d like to run a vote, but the options are too undefined at this point, so hopefully we can narrow them down a bit and get enough consensus to really start arguing?