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We're taking a close look at defensive skills vs. incoming monster damage in 1.0.5. We’re going to be changing a few defensive skills for each class, including some direct nerfs to skills like wizard Energy Armor and barbarian War Cry - Impunity. However, we're also reducing incoming damage in Inferno, so players will actually come out ahead. In short the plan is:
Why are we doing this? The reason is not complicated. High incoming monster damage combined with extremely powerful defensive skills make those skills and runes feel mandatory. Our goal is that by simultaneously nerfing defensive skills and reducing incoming damage, players who choose to continue using these defensive skills will take less damage overall, and players who choose to forego these "mandatory" skills will find themselves more survivable than what you would currently experience on live. Overall, these changes result in a huge buff in the player’s favor.
Just how mandatory are these skills?As it is now, Energy Armor is used by 83% of level 60 wizards. Also, take a look at the distribution of the War Cry skill on level 60 barbarians:
In developing Diablo III, defensive skills were made potent because we wanted to ensure they would be attractive. In some regards, we were too successful. Many players feel compelled to grab every defensive skill available to them, which can take away from some flexibility in using different build options.
This also creates problems for a class that may have less defensive skills. When one class has massive defensive buffs, abilities like Mortar, Arcane Enchanted, and Plagued can feel pretty modest, and at the same time feel overly punishing to a class without them. We’re all in favor of people being able to build their character for survivability, but there needs to be a balance.
So the stated goal is to make sure the combination of the defensive skill nerf combined with the reduced damage from monsters still results in an overall buff to players. Let's bust out some math! As previously mentioned, Energy Armor is one of the skills being impacted. The exact change is the base armor provided by Energy Armor is being reduced from 65% to 35%, and the resistance increase provided by Prismatic Armor is being reduced from 40% to 25%.
The benefit of these skills is greater at higher levels of Armor and Resistance, so let’s assume very high numbers of each. Suppose a wizard has 6000 Armor and 800 Resist before Prismatic Armor. Assuming a level 63 enemy:
Based on this it’s clear that in order to ensure 1.0.5 is a net buff for all wizards we’d have to reduce incoming monster damage by at least 21%. Prismatic Armor still provides a significant boost to survivability, but it should no longer feel mandatory, opening up other options such as a more offensively minded Storm Armor (which is getting buffed in 1.0.5).
Let’s do another example with the barbarian. War Cry Impunity is being reduced from 50% resistances to 20%.
As it happens, we’re going to reduce all damage in Inferno by at least 25%. Players who want to be the toughest damage mitigators in the game can continue to use defensive skills and get a sizable bonus for doing so. Players who want to use other skills can do so without sacrificing such a massive amount of survivability. Class builds that don't currently use heavy mitigation skills such as Smoke Screen-focused demon hunters or Gargantuan-tanking witch doctors will find their survivability has gone up considerably due to reduced incoming monster damage.
Here's a quick rundown of what's changing in terms of defensive skills in 1.0.5.
Alright, so let's recap. Defensive skills are taking a hit in 1.0.5, but incoming damage from monsters is also being reduced. Taken together, the changes mean Inferno is going to be easier. For some of you this is totally cool; you welcome an easier Inferno because it’s about efficiency and not difficulty. For others, you may be skeptical but you're at least intrigued at the possibility that you'll be able to drop some defensive skills and discover some new builds. However, for others, Inferno is currently already too easy. Maybe you don't use any defensive skills; maybe your gear is so good you dropped War Cry - Impunity weeks ago. For this last group you may be wondering "Another Inferno nerf? But I crave more of a challenge, not less!"
For people in this last group, 1.0.5 is bringing the "Monster Power" system. The details of this system will be outlined as we get closer to 1.0.5, but in short this is a callback to the Diablo II ”players X” option, allowing you to increase the level of challenge for increased rewards. Our hope is that we can make Inferno easier while simultaneously providing new ways for top-end players to gauge their increasing power in tangible ways.
We’re going to lock comments here, and ask that you instead head to this forum thread to let us know what you think.
Wyatt Cheng is a Senior Technical Game Designer for Diablo III, and he’s annoyingly excited about Netrunner being re-released as a Living Card Game. It’s really starting to get on everyone’s nerves.
We'll have articles in the coming days providing all the details on the upcoming patch, but we wanted to give you a sneak peek at some major features currently in development:
In our eternal quest to promote build diversity, we'll be making changes to defensive skills across the board while simultaneously reducing incoming damage from mosters. The net result is a survivability buff for playersand an increase in build options as defensive abilities become less "mandatory."
The Infernal Machine is a device that will allow level-60 players to battle "uber" versions of some of Sanctuary's most nefarious bosses. While the rewards for defeating these bosses will be great, some assembly is required.
Similar to the "Players 8" command in Diablo II, the Monster Power system is designed to give players more control over how challenging enemies are in each difficulty.
This and more is coming in Patch 1.0.5! Stay tuned for all the gory details.
Source - game.zol.com.cn