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    Blizzard are applying a hotfix to the Monk’s Boon of protection and posted a few notes on what is going to happen with the skill and some comments on the current state of the Monk and Barbarian. Hopefully later today we should know more about Blizzard’s skill balance plans.

    We’re in the process of removing the on-use benefits of the Mantra of Healing rune, Boon of Protection. The hotfix change is:

    Amount of damage absorbed is now capped at the amount of healing provided by Mantra of Healing in the first 3 seconds after activation

    We recommend discontinuing its use until the rune is replaced with a new rune and mechanic in a future patch.

    The Boon of Protection rune was approximately ten times over its budget on the benefits it provided, and it was quite simply a mistake on our part to let the rune ship as it was. We don’t intend to take these quick and drastic measures often, but considering the severity of the issue, we felt it important to correct it swiftly.

    We’re shooting to post a full list of recent hotfixes tomorrow, and will be looking to answer questions once that’s live.

    Wait, so you’re going to take it out entirely?

    It’s essentially being nerfed to the point of obsolescence until we can implement a new rune in its place in a future patch.

    All great and dandy but now the Monk class is dead late game until some unknown time… Now what?

    We’ve made a number of class changes (again, intend to post about all of them tomorrow) and we want to monitor how those shake out before we attack any content difficulty changes. Our intent is to get classes a bit more aligned, verify no new issues crop up from these hotfixes, and then considering all the factors we’ll look at content. It’s not a preferred method of operating, I’d say, but just because the game is so new we don’t think quick decisions on overall balance is the right approach when the metagame is still shifting.

    Let me follow up by saying that in general class balance is an ongoing investigation, and by no means do we believe the game is now perfect, but we’re also seeing evidence that supports (with a few nerfs to wizard and demon hunter) the monk and barbarian are not as bad off as they seem.

    A large part of the monk and barbarian designs are based on survival models that mimic the concept of the class itself. The idea of a monk is that he survives through being agile and difficult to hit, and his healing and survival scales particularly well by focusing on mitigation stats like dodge, resists, and armor. The concept of the barb is that he survives through a huge health pool, and healing himself through damage (%life on hit stats), which is potentially a bit obvious with all the life return skills but can’t be overstated.

    The game is young, there were some skills that threw things out of whack, and we expect the landscape to settle out a bit more evenly. Or at least change again so we can continue to monitor the impact. Maybe we’re wrong, maybe there’s no current chance for monk or barbarian to compete with ranged, but our current suspicion is that’s incorrect and until we know for sure we’re not going to turn any dials.

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