Crushing Blow was a powerful modifier in Diablo 2, but was not found in Diablo 3 vanilla. It appeared briefly during the Reaper of Souls beta test, but was soon deemed too powerful and removed. The Crushing Blow mechanic — reducing monster hit points by a % of their total — lived in in a few places, most notably on the Monk’s Exploding Palm, as well as via legendary affixes on Rimeheart and The Furnace weapons.
Wyatt Cheng said all three were on the chopping block back in early July, and the Monk’s Exploding Palm got switched from monster hit point percentage-based damage in a patch just a few days later. The latest PTR patch brought a similar fate to the two offending weapons, and Blizzard is now asking for focused fan feedback on the new changes to The Furnace and Rimeheart. Crushing Blow Mechanic Finally Removed from Diablo 3:
As some of you are aware, we made a changes to a few items so that their damage no longer scales with monster health. The most recent changes in line with this philosophy were made to the Legendary items Rimeheart and the Furnace:
As noted above, the primary goal of these changes was to remove their Crushing Blow mechanics. From there, our secondary goal was to rebalance both items so that they would remain compelling choices for players, but not necessarily be best in slot.
In the case of The Furnace, the redesign is aimed to keep the item in line with one of its primary uses on live to kill bosses. In the case of Rimeheart, the chance on hitting a Frozen enemy with a lot of Cold damage was kept, and the additional tuning is intended to allow Rimeheart to remain competitive with the current best Legendary 1-Handers in the game. With that goal in mind, we do agree Rimeheart’s current damage on the PTR is a little low and are looking to increase its damage in the next PTR patch.
If you’ve got one or both items to test out on the PTR, you can submit your feedback to Blizzard in the original thread. I do not have them so I can not comment, but I’m not surprised by this change. Greater Rifts and the nearly-infinite monster hit point increases seen on higher levels just put too sharp a focus on any skills or items that deal percentage-based damage.
While the changes obviously reduce the power of these weapons against monsters with a billion hit points, I wonder where the power curve line can be drawn? Rimeheart is obviously worse since no amount of weapon damage can beat “instantly shatter” to a target. But like Exploding Palm before it, The Furnace could actually do better work now, on lower difficulty levels. Not that anyone wanted that, but I’m just saying…