Patch 2.4.1.

    Patch 2.4.1.

    Blizzard has posted a quick preview of some of the gameplay changes coming up in the next patch. These changes will NOT go live during the current season, but will be up for testing on the PTR and will define the gameplay in the next big patch/season. There are several big gameplay changes, including a complete upheaval to the most powerful Greater Rift builds via nerfing the best DPS class (Wizard with Energy Twister) and the best CC/support class (Barbs with Ignore Pain).

    Blizzard Previews Diablo 3 Patch 2.4.1 Changes:

    We’ve been hard at work on our next patch, which is going to bump us up to version 2.4.1. We’ll have our official PTR patch notes available soon, but we’d like to call out a few specific changes and talk about the philosophy that went into making them.

    First, we’ve been looking at the prevalence of Barbarians in group play beyond Greater Rift 80 and how they’re being used. While many classes bring party-based buffs, the damage reduction of Ignore Pain – Mob Rule combined with Pride of Cassius is currently a clear outlier. As a result, we’re reducing the party benefit of Ignore Pain – Mob Rule from 50% to 25%. To ensure this doesn’t harm the overall viability of group play, we’re also reducing the damage of monsters at high Greater Rifts. This allows not only groups with Barbarians to remain near the same levels in terms of incoming damage, but it affords alternative group compositions greater survivability.

    Next up, Wyatt recently posted a bit about Taeguk. We are making some significant changes to Taeguk, as well as some other Legendary Gems.

    First up, for Taeguk:

  • Taeguk will now only work for channeled powers
  • Taeguk will now stack more quickly, but also drop off more quickly. The maximum is now ten stacks, and you’ll now lose the stack after 1.5 seconds instead of 3 seconds
  • The Armor % component of Taeguk has been changed to 2% per stack
  • The idea here is that Taeguk will complement those moments when you’re channeling and need an extra boost. You probably won’t have Taeguk up all the time, but it won’t hurt as much when your stacks fall off as you’ll build them up much more quickly. And while the Armor % reduction will affect survivability, the reduced monster damage at higher Greater Rifts will help to balance this out. We’ll have much more to share soon on changes to other gems, which will help to make as many gems as possible work as reasonable substitutes for Taeguk.

    Finally, we are changing both Twisted Sword and Solanium. What we’ve seen from group compositions is a playstyle based around Wizards spamming Energy Twister, while the group spams Health Globe generation. We’ve received a ton of feedback on these, and we agree completely that manipulation of the generation of health globes is not good for the game. Here’s what we’re changing:

  • Solanium is getting an internal cooldown (ICD) of 8 seconds
  • Twisted Sword is getting a cap at 5 Energy Twisters
  • This means a couple of things for users of these items. For Solanium users, you’ll still be able to generate additional health globes, but this removes any possibility of the current health globe spamming mechanics moving forward. For Twisted Sword users, Wizards who use the skill in the course of their normal playstyle shouldn’t see much of a change. However, the exponential scaling made possible by Energy Twister spamming won’t be possible anymore.

    In short, you should be able to play support builds, and your Wizard should feel powerful. What we found with both of the above cases, though, is a negative effect on group dynamics and class playstyle. We’ll be taking all of your feedback during PTR to ensure we’ve hit our goals here. And, of course, thanks for all of your feedback on Patch 2.4.0.

    With minor balancing changes like this will we need to pick up new versions of legendary items // gems to have the changed effects or will they take effect retroactively on the 2.4 versions?
    Kazua: The changes to Taeguk, Twisted Sword, and Solanium will be retroactive.

    is this patch going to be live in season 5 later or its targeted for next season?
    Kazua: We won’t be dropping the live 2.4.1 patch mid-season. The PTR patch will most likely be happening while Season 5 is still active, but that of course won’t affect any of your Season 5 heroes.

    So what’s going to happen to the non-channeling builds that currently use Taeguk? Will you add new legendary gems in 2.4.1?
    Kazua: We’re taking a look at some of the other Legendary gems as well to open up as many viable alternatives as we can. More on that soon!

    Obviously we’ll need players to try things out on the PTR, but in theory I can’t complain about some shakeup to the high end party status, with every single group on the high end of the Leaderboard currently comprised of the exact same characters and builds. It’ll also be interesting to see the changes to other Legendary Gems, since the changes listed above mean that every non-channeling build now using Taeguk will be seeking another option. Please don’t send us back to Bane of the Powerful for lack of anything better/more interesting!

    Also note that we spent a good half hour debating LGem changes and theorycrafting fixes/improvements to others in last weeks’ podcast, if you want a lot more thoughts on that issue.

    What do you guys think of these proposed changes? Excite for the PTR, and news about other changes in the patch?

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