A fan criticized the inefficient recasting-required method of the Monk’s Auras DiabloWikiMantras, and got an unexpectedly-enlightening reply from Bashiok.

    We’re toying around with making mantras more of an active ability currently. Right now it’s just a really short duration buff, which isn’t very cool, as stated. What we think will be cool, is that when hitting the button to cast a mantra you get a super-mega buff (or effect) for a short time, and then the buff would lower to its normal levels after. You can see that design currently on a couple skill descriptions on the site, they’re just not reflected in-game.

    Mantra of Conviction.
    Recite a Mantra that causes all enemies within 20 yards of you to take 20% additional damage. Lasts 120 seconds. Additional damage is doubled in the first 3 seconds.

    Mantra of Healing.
    Recite a Mantra that causes you and all allies within 40 yards to gain increased Life regeneration by 106.4 Life per second. Lasts 120 seconds. Life regeneration is doubled in the first 3 seconds.

    Keep in mind it’s still all of course in testing.

    This gives mantras a more ‘use oriented’ flavor. So while it’s a short duration that’s OK because you want to hit the mantra button more than once every two minutes, it becomes an active skill. So far we think it’s working pretty well. What we don’t want is to have long duration buffs or toggles, because then it may as well be a passive. We want our active skills to be active, and so hopefully this change achieves that.

    I added the skill tool tips into Bashiok’s quote there for easier comparison. As you can see, both Mantras give double bonus effect for 3 seconds, have 120 second durations, but just 30 second DiabloWikicooldowns. This means you can recast them any time after 30 seconds, refreshing the full timer for 120 more seconds, and getting that special 3 second double bonus. That’s going to create some interesting strategies, with the 30s cooldown; will you want to cast or recast your Mantras during big boss fights, for a short burst of extra something? Say you’re using DiabloWikiMantra of Healing most of the time, but switching to DiabloWikiMantra of Conviction for the damage boost, every now and then.

    Other skills work like this as well in Diablo 3, though not with the double bonus. The Wizard’s DiabloWikiIce Armor, for instance, also has a 120 second duration, but can be recast at any time, resetting the duration. Clearly the point of these changes is to remind players to recast their buffs, even to the point of giving us extra short term bonuses for doing so.

    You guys like this approach? Or do you just want to cast your buffs and not have to think about them for a while? Recasting can be a nuisance — in D2 I always enjoyed getting my Barbarian’s Battle Orders up in level since it improved the effect, but also since it granted a longer duration, so I didn’t have to recast the damn thing after every single battle. Of course there wasn’t a special extra bonus for the first few seconds of it, back in them days…

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