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.
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.
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.
Thread Starter -Points: 15 -You have started 5 Threads
Topic Raiser – Points: 45 -You have started 20 Threads
Town Cryer – Points: 90 -You have started 50 Threads
Confabulator – Points: 91 -You have started 80 Threads
Primary Source – Points: 1 – Somebody out there liked one of your posts.
It’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:
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!
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.
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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Reaper of Souls “Super Shrines”: Blizzcon 2013 Hands-On GuidePosted 12 Nov 2013 by
One of the cool new Reaper of Souls features to debut at Blizzcon is a new class of shrines. All the current six shrine types remain in the game with unchanged functions, but now about every third or fourth shrine you find as you explore the world is dark red in coloration, wreathed in flames, and offers a new, very powerful, short term buff. We don’t know how many such shrines there are in the game and they’re obviously still a work in progress, but I saw five of them in my play time.All of these shrines give a very large boost that lasts for 30 seconds, compared to the current shrines that give a less-large boost that lasts for 120 seconds. I don’t know if Blizard has a special name as a new class of shrines, “Super Shrines” seems obvious enough, though it’s not the official name. Humorously, I had a chance to ask Wyatt Cheng about these new shrines when I caught him holding court at the “Meet the Blues” booth late on Saturday night, and not only didn’t he throw out the official name, but he wasn’t actually sure how many different types were available in the demo. (Since he’s been doing things more important than counting shrines in the Blizzcon demo.) Yes, RoS development continues at a fast and furious pace, with new features in and out all the time.
So I’m calling them Super Shrines until someone says different, and please Blizzard, don’t call them “Nephalem Shrines.” It’s already getting confusing with every other damn feature in Reaper of Souls called “Nephalem Trials/Rifts/etc.”
The following are the exact names of the shrines, plus a description of what they do. I didn’t have a chance to copy down the actual tooltip for each, but they were all short and literal.
The Speed Shrine boosts your character to “your maximum run speed” for 30 seconds. That made a huge difference to the RoS demo characters who did not have faster run equipment, but it’s hard to say how much diff it would make for a high level character who already had 24% MS. The effect did *not* display in my character stats when I opened the Inventory and viewed the Details pane, so I’m not sure exactly how much speed it was adding. (I think that’s just a display bug since it’s a brand new feature.)
It was a considerably larger boost than I got from the current Fleeting Shrine, but it’s hard to say just how fast I was going when playing in a solo game with a lvl 33 character without any Movement Speed gear on.
Click through for full details on the other four new shrine types: Consecrated, Power, Conduit, and Shield.
The Consecrated Shrine removed all Cooldowns for 30 seconds. I got it in a game with a Crusader using the Tempest Horse skill (properly known as Steed Charge), and promptly broke into the Fiery Gallop effect until my resource was dry. (Which didn’t take long at lvl 33.)
Removing cooldowns wasn’t that big a boost for my char, but for a high level char with huge skills limited by their cooldowns, this would be an amazing effect.
The Power Shrine boosted my character’s damage by 400% for 30 seconds. It did show up in the Inventory numbers; the first game I got it I checked before and after clicking and my Monk’s displayed damage went from 402.3 DPS to 1609.1 DPS.
This made little difference in the demo since things are pretty easy on Normal difficulty at lvl 33 in a solo game (the PC demo machines were all single player only, alas) but it could be pretty cool with a big character if you timed it right. Most characters in Diablo 3 are happy with a 25 or 30% damage boost from one of their skills, and that usually lasts about 5-10 seconds at most. Thirty seconds of 400% gross damage is insane. That would take your 200k dps char up to 800k dps and would simply melt enemies. Just got to figure a way to get a boss nearby when you pop it.
The Conduit Shrine was the most fun single thing I saw in the entire demo. (Nephalem Rifts and Adventure Mode are both awesome, but I can’t fairly compare a whole new game system to one small shrine effect.)
This shrine turns your character into a moving lighting generator, just like those glass lightning globes that used to be amazing conversation pieces and now sell for like $20 from Amazon.com. They’re round balls of glass with a Tesla-style electric thing in the middle which sends out beams of lightning to your fingers when you touch the side.
And then you die.
Okay no, they’re not usually fatal. But in the Diablo 3 version your character becomes the central lightning generator and the monsters become the touching fingers… and they die. All of them! In crispy charred agony, before they can even touch your pearly flesh.
For thirty seconds you run and electrocute anything you move near. And “near” isn’t that near; the range for first strike seemed to be about 30 yards, so every enemy I met died in one or at most two lightning strikes before they were in range of my Crusader. It’s simply awesome to behold, and I laughed for the entire thirty seconds. Unfortunately I wasn’t in an area with a really dense spawn, and I didn’t encounter a boss either, the one time I had this shrine.
How much damage does it do? Not sure. The damage display numbers weren’t turned on in the RoS demo (and the options menu wasn’t accessible) so I couldn’t compare the damage of the Conduit bolts to my own damage. There’s nothing in the shrine tooltip that hints at damage being higher or lower than your weapon damage either. However, I can say that Conduit was a one or occasionally two shot kill on every trash mob, and those enemies were taking me 2-5 hits to kill with my my basic Wrath-generating skill. (Punish or Justice were the options to select from in the demo.)
The Shield Shrine was the last of the five that I saw personally, and it does what you’re probably thinking it does. Full invulnerability for 30 seconds. Your character gets a shield bubble around them, just like the effect we used to see on Invulnerable Minions before they were patched out of D3V, and you fight without risk of injury. I didn’t get to test it in just thirty seconds, but I’d assume this provides full immunity to debuff and rooting effects as well, so you can run right through Jailer, ignore Vortex and Frozen, etc.
There’s no telling if these are the final forms of these shrines, or if they will all remain in the game upon release, or if we might see some more added. (Imagine a Super Fortune shrine, or Super Experience shrine, and what sort of benefit it might convey for 30 seconds?)
They were all very fun and powerful enough to be instantly game-changing, it only for half a minute. Clever players will probably figure out ways to utilize them more perfectly — save the Power Shrine until you’re about to leave one area and head to another with a boss right by the entrance? But even if you just grab them when you find them and then rush onwards into battle, it’s a great half minute of variety and murder.