Patch 1.0.4 Preview: Wizard
While patch 1.0.4 has very few nerfs, one of them does affect the wizard. Rather than waiting for players to discover this change in the patch notes or while playing, I wanted to call it out here because it affects a build that I find to be quite cool and enjoy a lot.
Energy Twister is having its proc coefficient reduced from 0.25 to 0.125. For players who may not know what proc coefficients are: they affect how effectively a skill triggers procs (or effects that have a small chance to activate). Many skills (like Magic Missile) have a proc coefficient of 1. Skills that hit multiple targets or pulse multiple times have lower proc coefficients.
In the case of Energy Twister, specifically Wicked Wind, the 0.25 proc coefficient causes the skill to generate more procs in a given time period than any other skill. Currently, this is used in combination with Critical Mass to lower the cooldown on skills like Frost Nova and Diamond Skin. By reducing the proc coefficient from 0.25 to 0.125, the build still works and remains fairly strong, but it won’t be quite as good as it is now. (For those with extremely high Crit rates, you may not even notice much difference, but I wanted to call it out anyway. )
Originally, we weren’t going to make this change, but 1.0.4 also brings with it a number of new Legendary items, and many of them have phenomenal new proc effects. If we left high proc coefficients as they were, then a handful of skills with higher coefficients would become the de facto choice to use with these sexy new items. We were faced with a choice: we could either reduce the proc coefficient, or we could make it so these skills could not trigger the procs on Legendary items at all. We opted for the former because it seemed like getting a Legendary with a proc effect but never seeing it trigger would be very disappointing. Regardless, having well-balanced proc coefficients on all skills is not only better for Legendaries, but also for the game in the long term.
Looks like the cookie cutter CM build will be hit fairly hard, though like W.C. says it may remain feasible with higher critical hit chance and arcane power. Or with the Meteor buff and possibly a Spectral Blades buff, perhaps there will be a mass exodus to Deep Cuts + Star Pact or some other undiscovered build. Or who knows, legendaries might close the gap for the cc CM build in some way.
Nothing else in this post looks revolutionary. Like with the Barbs, I wish I were seeing information about more 'meaty' buffs - buffs to more than just raw damage of skills.