Blizzard on Enraged Phantoms/Ghosts

Lately, my play time has been pretty heavy. I’ve been fortunate and free enough to put in enough time to push me into gr 60+ seasonal so far, and I’ve finally hit what I like to call the seatbelt. There have always been seatbelts on us when grifting. They are mechanics placed in the game as limiters. Something that practice can’t overcome. In previous seasons it was the elite affix thunderstorm or jailer. Instant, unavoidable damage. Regardless of player skill, this was your gear check. It has always been the limiting factor when topping out on the high end. Sure monster damage and health scaling also control our destiny at the higher difficulty level, but most damage is avoidable if you can dodge it. These were our seatbelts.

With the changes in 2.3 to thunderstorm and jailer, a new limiter has reared its head. Read a player complaint that has creeped into the community lately, and the Blue Post that follows:

Palerider: Honestly I think these should count towards a lot more bar progression in Greater Rifts than they currently do, given their utter annoyance and damage. Ideally, killing an elite mob of any of these types should count at almost 2x the progression a regular elite (yellow/blue) mob does. These things separate constantly, either by flying through a wall, or by teleporting right behind you.

Only Xeph ammy helps with Exorcists, but running an immunity amulet takes away from the damage of your top-end amulet (be it Hellfire or whatever). Sure, you could cube it, but I’d say 99% of people have RoRG or CoE as their cubed rings they run, with them being entirely necessary.

Posted by Tyvalir – 3 hours ago (September 23, 2015, 12:30 am)

Thanks for the constructive feedback on this, folks!

We’re planning a few adjustments to ghost-type enemies (particularly their Soul Siphon power) in an upcoming patch. They’ll need to be closer to attack, will deal less damage overall, and their channeled attack damage will be spread out over a longer duration.

This is fantastic news in my opinion. Nothing like losing your Archon stacks in a gr 60 because an elite Enraged Phantom busted through the wall and one shot you from across the map. Should save some hardcore lives as well. Ranged builds will benefit by possibly being able to range check the ghosts. Melee builds will benefit from a shorter range on the phantoms attack by shortening the gap to their target. Of course a new seatbelt might show its head, but we’ll cross that path when we get there!

Enraged Phantoms

I’ve always been for removing seatbelt type mechanics. There is nothing fun about them. They limit what you can do by forcing you into gearing toward that bare minimum expected damage. Player skill cannot combat it, and I’m against that in a competitive format. However, you do have to decide where to draw the line. GR 70 needs to be extensively more challenging than GR 30, but I can do without the insta-kill unavoidable damage death.

Are you excited for ghost-type enemy tuning? Or is this another step toward making the game too EZ mode?


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  1. Good article, nerdwards!
    And i don’t know why player’s protective skills didn’t affect life drain (why “slow time” didn’t make it more… slow, as example).

    • Thank you sir! And yeah, neither does Mortar “some” of the time. It will just fall right through your blackhole and you’re like wait, what?

  2. I don’t like these mechanics either but what’s the end game solution? Top players all on GR100 fishing for the best rift to get the fastest time? Not much of a solution.

    Like it or not D3 is well established in the wow model of new patch = new tier of difficulty and power. It does it in a less, but ultimately still binary way (set power and damage seatbelts vs finite content and items).

    With no pvp and limited game mode alternatives this is about the best we can hope for until an expansion (still better than classic!)

    • Totally true, this just helps smooth out the RNG a bit. In 65+, ghosts determine whether I even try to finish it. A few at a time and I can usually manage and take the hits but its a scary scenario. It’s just super cheesy that it can happen off the map, through a wall, or on a platform adjacent to my character that I canT walk to. I’m glad it’s being adressed!

      Ideally top players would be able to clear higher and higher by manually dodging damage and playing their character. Mechanics like this are absolutely necessary. But at the high end, fishing is already a thing. It’s 100% the meta for GR’s in the top spots currently. This just means we might actually be able to run the ghost rifts now! Hooray!

  3. I’d prefere character development decisions deciding, which mobs are easy and tough to handly. Thus the players choices would decide, which mobs would be limiters in the end. Bonus points, if that would include the choicse of tactical options, allowing to compensate for the weaknesses against some of the tough to handle mobs bought by lower overall performance or shifting additional mobs into being tough to handle. (-> More mobs overall that are tough to handle, thus more demanding rather early on, but no distinctive stopgap mobs and reaching higher difficulties thus more dependend on playing skillfully.)

    • I mean: Having no stopgaps at all is as boring, as stopgaps that can’t be circumvented by [more or less] careful planning, preperation and flawless execution are a buzzkill.

  4. The fact that they are listening to our feedback as closely as this is very satisfying. I have found myself suffering from these “seat-belt” monsters as well and I too find it very frustrating. Good article.

  5. Anyone notice the comment was actually about exorcists? Another problem enemy, but at least they telegraph their attacks. Except when they warp Kamehameha you without warning.

    Now how long until a blue posts in a thread about Winged Assassins & Lacuni Huntress? Personally I think these are worse than the ghosts! The ghosts just don’t have the density most times that these things do.

  6. i call BS on the blue’s comments.

    there will always have some sort of unavoidable one shot type of damage in this game. they are not going to “fix” this because if they were serious about it, it will not always rare its ugly head in EVERY SINGLE PATCH.

    • Yeah, due to the multiplicative base design of the damage formula, the … let’s call it amplitudal outliers … are to high. So there’s always a mob, whose basic values are turning it to an ugly, fundampening beast, when reaching the edge of the current level of power creep. Going into the next round of power creep, brings the curves more close to each other both in the then lesser rift levels, as it reduces the number of outliers on the new power creep level. It can’t decimate them completely, though. A doom loop by design, so to speak…

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