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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


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.


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.
  • 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.
  • 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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Ongoing D2 Support Questions?

Posted 25 May 2009 by

While trading some IMs with DiabloWikiBashiok last week, I brought up the issue of Blizzard’s plans to support (or not) Diablo II from here on out. Everyone knows that the bulk of Blizzard’s employees are working on WoW, SC2, D3, the other secret projects, cinematics, customer support, etc. There are still some employees focusing on Diablo II though, as various recent announcements about the upcoming v1.13 patch coming soon to a test realm (with a bigger stash) demonstrate.  What will those guy(s) be doing after v1.13, though? Will we ever see another D2 patch? Will D2 continue to receive support and hosting once D3’s released?

I had a lot of questions I’ve seen asked by the still-thriving D2 community. Bashiok couldn’t answer them off the top of his head, but when I asked if I could compile a list and get some official responses, he said to go for it. So here’s your chance to ask Blizzard. What do you want to know about the future of D2? Add your questions here, I’ll select 10 or 15, relay them to Bashiok, and he’ll see about getting them answered officially by someone in the know.

Look forward and think big; I don’t think this is the best place for questions about specific features of v1.13 (which we’ll find out about soon enough anyway). It’s more about long term plans, ongoing support, major vs. minor future changes, etc.

Update: This thread is closed since the questions have been sent off to Bashiok. Click through to see the full list, and thanks to everyone who threw in their two cents.

D2 Patch Issues:

Who?s working on D2 now? Who did v1.11 and v1.12? Same guy(s) working on the game now? Is there just one guy carrying on with D2, ala Peter Hu?s Herculean v1.10 effort? 

Can you share any info on the work methods, team composition, timeline, daily schedule, etc?

Can we get more frequent updates on D2 patch progress? (Or fewer; realm players tend to stop and wait when a ladder reset is announced with no ETA, and that stasis stretches on for months.)

Can we get an update on v1.13: ETA, patch objectives, test realm plans, etc?

D2 Content Issues:

Are we going to see sweeping game changes in future patches, ala v1.10? Such as, rolling back synergies, rebalancing end game play, etc. Or just minor tweaks, some added items, bug fixes, etc?

Many SP players request that all items be made findable/usable in single player? Instead of continuing with the realm/ladder-only runewords and uniques.

Many SP players request that all quests be made accessible. Could Uber Diablo and the Pandemonium Event be enabled for single player?

Many SP players request tweaks to the drop ratios.  So many high end items have been added in past patches (uniques, runewords with the rarest runes, etc) that it?s essentially impossible to find/use them solo/without trading.

Could a patch add some early/mid-game content, instead of just highest-level stuff, elite items, etc?

Skill synergies: very limiting of play and builds. Any thought of returning to how skills worked in earlier versions? (They?re not in D3, so clearly the team?s judgment was that they weren?t a great feature.)

There was a fair amount of semi-incoherent rage that D2 isn?t maintained as regularly as WoW. Address as you see fit.

D2 Issues:

Are there plans to continue D2 support after D3?s launch and/or on 2.0?

Will D2 remain free to play over, when/if fees are added for newer games?

Countless players request more ongoing support technical (non-content) support and fixes. Run more Rust Storms, fix hacks and dupes, fix the TP/PK exploit that has ruined public Hardcore games, ban 3rd party programs, make speedier fixes to critical bugs, etc. Can these be addressed in a more regular, timely fashion?

Most players request regular ladder resets: seasonally, or at least bi-yearly, whether or not patch support continues. Can has? 2.0 features in D2? Game joining/chat/etc changing? achievements tied to D2?

Ways to access D2 characters out of the game through 2.0?

Support for software and hardware changes? New versions of Windows, etc?

D2Classic fans would like ladder support for v1.06b, the last pre-D2X patch, which many feel was the best version of D2C.

D2 Technical Issues:

D2 runs very poorly on high end machines these days. Could some improvements be made?

Have you considered (someday) going (at least partially) open source on D1 or D2, or for game hosting? Many players like older patch versions, or prefer various mods that have progressed far beyond the basic game. Players could play whichever version they liked best, while still using and viewing Blizzard?s ads. Revenue source!

The 800×600 resolution is tiny on newer monitors. Some mods display much larger resolutions (by showing more of the screen). Possible implementation into D2?

Diablo I

Will D1 remain playable over future

Will there ever be another D1 patch or technical update?  (It?s impossible to play Diablo I in Mac OS X, or to play multiplayer characters in Vista.)

Will there be any D1 achievements tied to the new accounts?

Any chance the D1 Expansion: Hellfire could be sold? Streaming download from Blizzard store? It?s not in the Diablo BattleChest, isn?t sold by Sierra anymore, and is impossible to find other than high priced used copies on Ebay.

Tagged As: | Categories: Bashiok, Diablo 2, Other Games