Crushing Blow is OP in Reaper of Souls: Nerf Coming


The early stand out strategy/overpowered property in Reaper of Souls is the Crushing Blow modifier. Yes, it’s returned from Diablo 2 and it works much the same, cutting 25% of the current health off of normal enemies and 12.5% off of bosses. It’s not a big deal on lower difficulty levels where you can take out enemies in just a few hits, but when you get to higher difficulty levels, Crushing Blow becomes enormously powerful.

Big enemies on Torment IV have “billions” of hit points, enough to make even those 800k and 1000k and 1200k DPS figures feel flaccid. But when you’ve got 40% Crushing Blow and a fast attack, any monster’s hit points will simply melt away. (Providing you can survive long enough to turn up the heat.) Blizzard is aware of this and has a tweak planned for the next beta patch, as EU Blue Vaneras shared:

We are in a super early beta testing phase right now, and there are still lots of things that need tuning and also bugs that need fixing.

The developers’ intentions with Crushing Blow is for it to be competitive with stats like Increased Attack Speed, Critical Hit Chance, or Critical Hit Damage, but obviously it will need some tuning if it clearly trumps all of those other stats.

We are of course interested in reading more of your thoughts on Crushing Blow, so please keep posting your feedback on it πŸ™‚

Currently, a Crushing Blow hits for 25% health against normal monsters, for 12.5% health against elites, and it will hit for 5% health against bosses after the next beta patch has launched.

Keeping in mind that Crushing Blow is subject to changes and tuning since it has to compete with other stats (Increased Attack Speed, Critical Hit Chance, and Critical Hit Damage), what are your thoughts on these percentages?

To give you guys some insight into this, and bear in mind that number are a lot higher in RoS than in D3V. In Reaper of Souls, with good gear and offensive skills/passives, it isn’t hard to get 1,000,000+ DPS. Which sounds great, and dominates the lower difficulty levels, but that DPS means nothing on higher levels of Torment where bosses have literally billions of hit points.

CB because... Crushing!

CB because… Crushing!

CB spawns in the 5-8% range on gloves, shoulders, rings, amulets, and weapons. (And probably some legendaries in other slots, though I’ve not seen them yet.) It’s super effective, especially on higher difficulty levels, but it requires and rewards specialization. Since going the Crushing Blow route, my DH has loaded up on hit points and resistance and especially on life regen (Brooding is 1.5 in RoS, but it stacks to 3x if you remain motionless.), exchanged DiabloWikiCritical hit Chance and flat DPS for more Crushing, shifted all of her DiabloWikiOffensive Tab Paragon Points into DiabloWikiAttack Speed for more proc chances, etc. She’s now dealing 200k lower DPS than a couple of days ago and is *less* effective on lower difficulty levels, but much better at higher difficulty levels where the big Crushing Blow % chance chews chunks off of the huge monsters in ways that DPS alone could not.

Is this cheesy? You could argue so, but I don’t really think so since it’s working as designed. Crushing Blow isn’t some one-stat-dominates-all play options the way some things (Barbarians) are now in the live game, Like I said, my Demon Hunter is actually worse at lower difficulties now, in exchange for being able to chew hps off of the giant enemies. And the focus on CB and higher diffs changes how I play; no longer am I about mobility and evasion; now I’m built as a tank to deal the most hits possible in a short time and isn’t that what the game is all about? Different skills and affixes working together to support new builds or play styles?

The question then becomes what can you do better with the traditional DiabloWikitrifecta stats than with CB, and aside from dominating lower difficulty levels (where there’s FAR less danger of death) I’m not sure what the answer is. Maybe if CB came with slower attack speed, or was only found on certainly legendaries so it was a real trade off?

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  1. I don’t know what would be a good solution, but making CB Legendary exclusive definitely wouldn’t be one. It would severely limit the number of viable items for T6, because as things are right now CB is a must. I think either of these options would be preferable:

    1) Reduce the HP scaling of enemies on higher Torment levels.

    2) Reduce the damage of CB even further.

    3) Change CB so that it can only proc once per enemy and rebalance its damage as needed.

    4) Cap the proc chance of CB. This wouldn’t be a very effective solution though, because with high attack speed it could be very powerful even with a 10% cap.

    • I would prefer solution 3) with 100% of HP (with possibly 75 for elite and 50 for bosses (and 0 for malthael?)).

    • They could design CB around so many factors, but they make it complicated for themselves because they don’t want to make it complicated for the casuals.

      Imagine that CB would have variable procrates and diminishing returns per monster hit in a certain timeframe and status of the monster’s HP (i.e. CB doesn’t proc on monsters under 50% health).

      You can add as many parameters to that as you want, until it’s balanced.
      But try to explain this stat in a “10-words-or-less” tooltip like Blizzard likes to do it.

      • “But try to explain this stat in a β€œ10-words-or-less” tooltip like Blizzard likes to do it.”

        Er, how about, “try to explain this in any way other than just providing the exact formula”. What your describing *is* very complicated, and I think you’re unfairly picking on Blizzard.

    • You could try to make it scale with your gear.

      Crushing Blow – y% to do up to do 25x damage up to z% of enemy current life. This damage cannot occur simultaneously with a regular crit.

      The actual numbers obv subject to balance. Basically, keep the flavor of a secondary damage stat that scales with how tough enemies are, but make it massively easier to balance while allowing it to remain meaningful.

    • reducing the effectiveness of CB will do nothing but put the focus back on trifecta, rather than diversifying the affix paths that players take.

    • I think a hard cap is the most obvious solution. But it’s also unsatisfying, since if the cap is low, say 10 or 20%, then everyone with decent gear would reach it, and then you might as well not have the stat in the game at all, on the “If everyone’s super, then no one is.” logic of equipment and character variety.

      Thinking back to D2, CB was less powerful per proc, was harder to come by on gear (just found on some special legendaries), only worked as a physical attack (when monsters had different elemental resistances and immunities) and since difficulty and monster hps didn’t scale up so high, CB didn’t seem mandatory. RoS is a very different game state.

    • The solution would have been to hire designers/devs that actually played diablo 2. Crushing blow was ridiculous back in that one too, only, gear overpowered everything so much that it didn’t show. Even as a 12-something year old I realized that my zealer with 100% crushing blow ended up dealing just as much damage as anyone else. So why they brought back such a mechanic is beyond my comprehension. As is everything else they do.

  2. They could start out by normalizing CB, so attack speed does not factor into it (think they should do the same for life on hit)
    Reduce the % hp daamge of CB to something that is closer to what you get from other stats.

    But really, this shows the folly of combating trifecta by adding even more trifecta.
    We need stats to be less universal. CB does not fit that criteria.

  3. @shadout: normalizing CB would reduce build options.. By making it not-dps-based but simply attack speed based you can now build for -say- full attack speed and ignore dps as main thing. Instead of once again falling into dps.

    If crushing blow would be normalized for speed it would just be another dps stat: calculate the average monster health and that would give you the dps boost of a % crushing blow. – INDEPENDENT on the settings you run. While with non normalized approach the dps is NOT independent, meaning you can match equipment to perform “combos”.

    The solution is like everything: tackle the source. THe source is, is that %dmg is simply the only dominant factor when monster life goes to infinity. The solution can be done in two ways: either don’t let the life go “out of bounds” – make all life around equal to different difficulty levels (but instead apply a damage reduction over the damage you deal); or don’t use % dmg.

  4. The solution is simple. Make it only work on single target physical skills. I remember it working somewhat like that in D2. It will still be OP against strong single targets, but that’s the point of it. You won’t be able to use it against groups all that well. Besides that, if it’s itemized properly, going for CB should cause a lot of sacrifice in other stats, making you a bit squishier, but more effective and risky against bosses. I think would enjoy trying to find that right balance.

    Of course I have no illusion that Blizzard of today is even remotely capable of getting it somewhat right.

    • So when we talk about billions and billions of hit points, your solution is to restrict everyone to three classes and maybe one/two builds each class that can use CB effectively? That’s your solution? To kick three classes out of the higher difficulties altogether?

      • Oh yea, as if having CB being a must have for all classes on all items is desirable. I can see how well that has worked out so far with, say the trifecta stats… The fact that all classes need all the same list of stats, minus the primary stat, to be good in this game is the pinnacle of bad itemization. Adding CB to that list isn’t going to improve anything…

        So yea restrict it to specific skills. Not only with CB, but with more of these interesting stats. Tweak them (maybe buff some if needed) and restrict them to specific skills and/or runes at the same time. Build in some synergies and it will make the stat system better then what it now is. I have to give blizz credit for trying it with pick up radius for the WD, but that could have been done so much better… along with the rest of the game…

        • But CB is mathematically far superior when monster health ratchets up this high. That’s the problem. None of those “other interesting stats” are all that interesting if they can’t kill the monsters like CB can. CB is just too damn powerful to ignore, period. All that fancy stuff melts in the face of awful, overwhelming imbalance. You know, like Peram-Wrath/Perma-Archon/life steal.

    • Nice one which could make single target skills an option.

  5. So with CB, you made a tank DH. I would really like to see new ranged builds and not meleeing all classes.
    Anyway, pure range build are difficult to make because elites are really fast runners. Even with all possible +speed stuff (25% from gears, hot pursuite and tactical advantage passives, and firing smoke screen with rune displacement (which means +25+15+35+60=+135% speed), I am overrun by many elite. And the build is no so fun, having to flee often because of the weakness of hatred generators (I think they are buffed in RoS).

  6. I don’t understand Blizzard’s approach to these kinds of things. Stop putting unintuitive caps on stuff. They talk endlessly about how they want the game to be simple to learn, but difficult to master, but having to remember how A does B in situations X vs. Y vs. Z is not simple to learn, but rather easy to master.

    In addition to just limiting how powerful a given modifier can be on any given item slot, here’s a simple solution:

    If a modifier has a universal effect (e.g. hurts all enemies or protects against all enemies), then make it primary and limit what slots you can find that modifier on. If universal protection modifiers are limited to pants, belt, chest, and shield and if universal damage to shoulders, arms, and hands and weapons, then you are going to choose between modifiers that fall into that type. That means trade-offs. You can’t just stock up on crit chance, crit, main stat, crushing blow on every item in your inventory because they are limited to the shoulder, arm, hand and weapon slots. And if you’re lucky and you get all four of these primary stats on each of these slots, then whoopty do: they’re still limited to, say, 5% per slot, making you the slightly more powerful outlier around whom a game should not be balanced.

    And if a modifier has a limited effect (e.g. hurts a type of enemies or protects against a type of damage or enemy), then make it secondary and able to be found on any item.

  7. QUOTE

    @shadout: normalizing CB would reduce build options.. By making it not-dps-based but simply attack speed based you can now build for -say- full attack speed and ignore dps as main thing. Instead of once again falling into dps.

    But uh, attack speed IS DPS.

  8. Might as well add in deadly strike, iron maiden etc. too.
    Btw, where is the lvl 71-73 items? we have 61-63 lvl items now?

    • They already have Deadly Strike, they’re called Critical Strikes. And I think I’ve killed myself more on Reflects Damage than Iron Maiden, b/c I really only ran Sorcs, Trap-sins and Necros most of my D2 career.

    • lvl 61-63 items are only a result of their aborted Inferno system where Inferno was so ridiculously difficult they imagined people would have fun playing Hell difficulty over and over. So Hell has items up to ilvl 60 and Inferno has 61-63.

      • And since monsters went up one level per act in Inferno, so you had lvl 60 in A1, 61 in A2, etc, up to 63. Patches changed that to make all monsters 63 in Inferno on MP1+, so item drops followed that level system.

        The highest level monsters in the game now are 70, and every monster can be that level due to the scaling difficulty. If/when they add more content in a patch they’ll probably make some lvl 71 higher tier enemies that can drop better stuff.

        (Currently that’s kind of enabled by playing on Torment, where special legs and recipes can drop that won’t be found in lower difficulty levels.)

  9. Add other bonuses that can spawn on ALL items:

    hit rating mechanic

    +solo elemental damage or dual elemental damage

    +undead damage

    +N to elemental damage of type skill ( fire/cold/poison, etc)

    +X% damage/duration/AoEradius/ to specific skills (based on sub-tier
    ex: Barb either 1-Primary/2-secondary/3-defensive/4-might/5-tactics/6-rage) [ 1 to 6 names changes with class]

    -> want a wrath of the berserker build? fine!!! stack items that give more duration to 6-Rage skills!

    hit causes monsters to flee
    hit blinds monsters
    hit freezes monster
    ^this type of things should spawn on more items! more frequently! take a magic affix slot! and with viable proc chances! some can even proc more for one hander dual wield, others shield+one hand and others 2hander to make diversity when compared to current status.

    -make fire leave dot or crit
    -cold slow with chance to freeze
    -etc like d2

  10. @shadout: crushing blow should be seen as something like an “on hit effect” (similar to life on hit) – not as a main dps increase (dps in the literal sense, it can of course be a build’s main source of damage). When keeping it tied to each attack this would enable “building to on-hit effects”, vs building for main damage. When building for on hit effects you would stack attack speed, loh, crushing blow and other (more should be added) on hit effects, you ignore “crit dmg/chance, main weapon dmg & lifesteal”. When building for hard dmg you work the other way around: lifesteal, crit dmg/chance & main weapon dmg becomes the important factors, ignoring CB, life on hit.

    What is best should not become clear-cut, and should depend on your character & build. (Ie: the standard monk ties well with on-hit builds as that provides also res regeneration & he likes dual wield – the crussader/wizard would love the standard more dps approach better as they can improve their dmg more from that and have little that applies to on hit effects).

    This would drive diversity.

  11. CB is only overpowered because enemies have so much HP.

    How hard is it to go ahead and lower HP but add mitigation on the mobs already, then make them actually dangerous rather than time consuming?

    For example, the much dreaded Butcher? 110 HP. That’s it. He couldn’t open doors but that’s another problem.

  12. QUOTE

    @shadout: crushing blow should be seen as something like an "on hit effect" (similar to life on hit) - not as a main dps increase (dps in the literal sense, it can of course be a build's main source of damage). When keeping it tied to each attack this would enable "building to on-hit effects", vs building for main damage. When building for on hit effects you would stack attack speed, loh, crushing blow and other (more should be added) on hit effects, you ignore "crit dmg/chance, main weapon dmg & lifesteal". When building for hard dmg you work the other way around: lifesteal, crit dmg/chance & main weapon dmg becomes the important factors, ignoring CB, life on hit.
    
    What is best should not become clear-cut, and should depend on your character & build. (Ie: the standard monk ties well with on-hit builds as that provides also res regeneration & he likes dual wield - the crussader/wizard would love the standard more dps approach better as they can improve their dmg more from that and have little that applies to on hit effects).
    
    This would drive diversity.

    There is no life steal, so a “dps” build would not go for that. Why would a dps build not go for attack speed though?

    I have a hard time not seeing CB as DPS though, it reduces enemy HP by some amount per second, that is DPS in my head πŸ™‚ Sure, it is variable, but it hardly changes what it is.
    All the diversity you mention seem to be focused on classes? That is no diversity imo. Well, not more than the terrible str, dex, int thing is.

  13. Crushing blow wasn’t overpowered for the most of Diablo 2 simply because getting a really high damage weapon were almost universally better. A solid high-damage weapon would allow you to do far more damage then crushing blow stacking could except for against act- and uberbosses. Since every enemy in Diablo 3 have insane effective HP at high difficulty levels crushing blow will either have to be overpowered, useless or scaled down as difficulty goes up. I can’t see any other way to do it.

  14. “”and it will hit for 5% health against bosses after the next beta patch has launched.””

    just viable for fast attack dual wield then?

  15. I really like the idea I read in the official thread about adding crushing blow DAMAGE as a property as well, just like how critical hits work. Adding another primary damage stat to the pool will only help to increase the choices we have to make when looking for items. That way there will be an actual trade-off for stacking crushing blow chance AND damage.

  16. QUOTE

    I really like the idea I read in the official thread about adding crushing blow DAMAGE as a property as well, just like how critical hits work.  Adding another primary damage stat to the pool will only help to increase the choices we have to make when looking for items.  That way there will be an actual trade-off for stacking crushing blow chance AND damage.

    Well, in Diablo 2 at least the idea was just stack crushing blow with high attack speed. If you make that stack crushing blow chance+crushing blow damage+ attack speed it doesn’t really change much. If they want crushing blow to be useful but not overpowered they need to either make it not scale with difficulty levels so that it does damage as if you were playing the easiest difficulty always (which is how it worked in Diablo 2, and I think this is what they will go with) or make it a useful stat for cheesing higher difficulty levels before you get really awesome gear but it will be useless on lower difficulties.

  17. Perhaps it could be like static field. Capped at 50% monster hp on hard/expert and 25% on torment.

    • Your average Torment 6 boss has over 20 billion HP. Anything that lops off that first 5 billion almost instantly is huge. They need to tone down the damn monsters. Billions and billions of points is mangling everything.

  18. Hah hah, really, BILLIONS of HPs? What a joke. I know I used to roll my eyes whenever I read that monsters in Inferno difficulty would have millions of HPs, Billions is just ridiculous. Once something has more than 1,000,000 HPs in an RPG, it just becomes a novelty. Like an optional boss. That they’ll have Fallen running around with a billion HP says alot about the thought proccesses (or lack thereof) of the design time. Less is more when it comes to basic systems like HPs. Once you start using these ridiculously high figures (and no commas, LOL) the numbers lose all meaning.

  19. Maybe just fix BOTH CB and trifecta.

  20. Why not make CB only usable if a weapon rolls “Crushing Blow” as its +Damage stat(instead of + elemental or black damage).

    This would dramatically reduce DPS(paper) and make it a REAL trade-off.

  21. QUOTE

    Maybe just fix BOTH CB and trifecta.

    The fix is monsters…. Not all items, giving monsters a damage mitigation stat is the way to keep balance…

  22. QUOTE

    The fix is monsters.... Not all items, giving monsters a damage mitigation stat is the way to keep balance...

    How would mitigation fix trifecta?

    Im positive about mitigation (especially if it comes with elemental/physical resistances…), but a general damage mitigation hardly changes that universal stats are universal.

  23. What ELSE is there than trifecta? I don’t see how you can say something is OP when you can’t compare..

    Trifecta is OP compared to what? To stacking defense? – Well that can’t be changed at all unless the game is made harder -which then would mean that it becomes impossible if not having best gear.

    Really trifecta = dmg, as there is only 1 source of dmg and in the end dmg will always be the speed limiting factor stating it is op requires more than simply stating everyone has it.

  24. Well, I didnt say trifecta is OP, I say it is broken. Not the same
    But it is OP too, compared to all other stats.

    Trifecta is not (just) broken because it is OP however, it is broken because it is universal.
    There is no reason you would not want trifecta stats, pretty much regardless of build.
    That is the issue.

    Different builds should want wildly different stats. There would be no trifecta.

    The game should surely also make you desire defensive stats more, but that is a different topic tbh.

  25. Remove current %chance of Crushing Blow mod

    New properties –
    Critical Hit chance is converted into Crushing Blow chance
    Your attacks no longer critically strike

    This makes crushing blow an entirely different build path. In particular, you’d have to give up any mods, skills and runes that are tied to critical strikes. The property itself could even be changed so that only a percentage of CC would be changed into CB so that you’d still have to stack the property on multiple items.

    As an aside, I’m pretty disappointed to see that RoS is inflating stats to such a ridiculous degree. It’s especially silly when you consider how many of the D3 team’s design choices were informed by WoW, a game that is currently hamstrung by absurdly over-inflated numbers. How has it not occurred to them that this would maybe be a bad idea?

  26. Is Blizzard intending to put crushing blow on spell damage? Damage delivered by pets etc.?

  27. This number inflation is getting ridiculous. They need to lob off 2, 3, 4 zeros from these number. Whats the point of getting a crit of 1243958345893459. This is a major problem!!! Slow it the F down!!! You need to gain power as you get gear but seriously reduce the increase!!!

  28. Why not do CB like they did in D2 where it does not scale with increased monster health from players. Do the same here so that it does a %age of a base monsters health (I.E. the health of that monster prior to the increased health from torment difficulty). That way CB scales exactly the same way that every other damage skill does.

  29. Increase physical resistances of monsters in higher difficulty. Testimony to how well D2 was thought thru.

  30. Here’s what I think the big difference is between D3 and D2 with CB: CB was a rare mod, and one of the most used weapons with CB on it was good old Crushflange. It basically did no damage at anything above Normal, but had a ton of CB on it, so it was used to whittle down bosses and then, when the diminishing return of CB kicked in, you’d swap weapons out for your DPS weapon. The whole swapping out thing doesn’t exist in D3, so one of the ways CB was utilized in D2 is right the Hell out the window.

    There were probably a small handful of other weapons with CB on them that actually did OK DPS, but I can’t remember them offhand. Crushflange was my buddy, though. It and Tarnhelm are probably the two pieces of equipment I used the most on all my melee classes at some point.

  31. Make a cap.

    Crushing blow on elites must NOT be taken off if they are at less than 25% life left and bosses to have less than 50% life left to be unaffected by crushing blow just like Sorceress’s Static Field in Diablo 2.

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