Demon Hunter Preparation/Punishment — Skill Remodel in Patch 2.1


Along with the big change to the Monk’s OWE, a popular Demon Hunter skill rune is getting totally reworked in DiabloWikiPatch 2.1. Say goodbye to Preparation/Punishment’s instant Hatred refills.

Currently this skill rune provides:

  • Restore 75 Hatred for 25 Discipline. Preparation has no cooldown.

    After the patch it will do:

  • Restore 75 Hatred: 20 second cooldown.

    Here’s Blizzard’s explanation:

    With Patch 2.1 around the corner, many classes are receiving some substantial revisions to core functionalities. These changes have equally substantial philosophy behind them, so we want to prepare you in advance for the kinds of adjustments you should expect.

    news-dh-punishmentDiabloWikiPreparation(DiabloWikiPunishment) was creating less than ideal gameplay by encouraging the conversion of DiabloWikiDiscipline to direct DiabloWikiDPS. The byproduct of this was Demon Hunters frequently finding themselves without their defensive or utility skills, often resulting in more frequent character death. To address this, we are reworking this rune to no longer cost Discipline, but have a 20 second DiabloWikicooldown.

    While this change may initially seem severe, it has several major benefits we hope players will take the opportunity to explore and experiment with:

    * All Discipline is now reserved for defensive and utility skills, encouraging Demon Hunters to take greater advantage of these skills.
    * DiabloWikiNightstalker will feel less mandatory in conjunction with Punishment, freeing up a Passive slot in many builds.
    * If you choose to keep Preparation (Punishment) in your build, the cooldown corresponds with roughly how long it would take to regenerate the appropriate amount of Discipline (unless you had a large amount of Resource Cost Reduction).
    * Cooldown Reduction is now a more attractive stat, and this may open up new CDR-focused builds.

    We know this changes builds and the gameplay pattern for some Demon Hunters. We’re also working hard to adjust other skills as well as introduce Legendary items both in this patch and constantly in the future in order to continue opening up new and exciting ways to play.

    This change will soon be available on the PTR, and we hope that you will take the opportunity to try it out and let us know how it feels. We’re eager to hear your feedback on this and other changes coming in Patch 2.1.

    The main users of this skill were Demon Hunters with DiabloWikiCLUSTER BEAR where Hatred was instantly turned into huge damage output. I think Blizzard’s explanation is a little weak, as it stresses “for your own good getting your dumb self killed without Discipline.” That’s true of course, which is why this skill rune is much less popular in Hardcore, and I guess Bliz wanted to avoid the word “nerf!” The point about it incentivizing DiabloWikiCDR buids is a good one, though.

    Currently there’s little reason for any DH build to care about cooldown reduction, and while this change alone isn’t enough to make that matter, perhaps another unpopular skill or two could get a rune effect that was very powerful and limited by cooldown, to create a viable suite of DH abilities that worked best with something other than +fire skill damage?

  • Comments

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    1. Them basically telling you "take CDR gear and like it" is making every single Witch Doctor sweat and cough as they grab tightly to Grave Injustice.

    2. Boo!!! This is the second (third?) time they've nerfed this skill and I think Blizz is missing the point. I've never found Preparation/Punishment (in tandem with Night Stalker) made me feel more vulnerable to damage…rather I found my DH was more powerful because I could unload multiple salvos of my Hatred spender of choice (used to be Cluster Arrow but I've been using Multishot for a while now) and things would die, removing most/all threats on the screen. Provided you've got sufficient CC, Night Stalker is working the whole time to refresh your Discipline. If you're using Night Stalker as a passive, it's kind of a waste if you're not constantly using your Discipline. If you pay attention, it's not hard to balance your Hatred/Discipline spending.

      I don't know about other DH users, but ever since ROS (or maybe even the 2.0 change) I've only had one skill (Vault) that directly used Discipline. The game is not like D3V where you'd need 2 or 3 defensive skills in your bar just to stay alive (let alone be able to kill efficiently). Since they reworked Awareness, DH has a lot more survivability so the value of other defensive skills is not as high.

      I didn't like it when this skill/rune got nerfed before and I'm not really fond of this change. The more powerful Hatred spenders are (still!) expensive and this skill/rune was the key to be able to reliably use them effectively. This also further diminishes the value of +Discipline on gear. Eh…it'll be interesting to see what other changes they make to this class.

    3. I never used Prep: Punishment for the same reason you mentioned in the article: Hardcore so this actually has 100% 0 effect on me.

      To those it does affect though, I almost see this as another way blizzard is countering the constant complaint of "My Demon Hunter is too squishy and dies to everything" while they sit and pump all of their discipline into dps with no regard to defensives. It could be looked at as blizzard trying to save players from themselves, but it does two things to builds utilizing Prep: Punishment

      1) Makes CDR a thing which could be good or bad depending on your view. Seeing something with CDR might not make you cry when it has a second useless stat to your build.

      2) Makes it so that you might decide "well this skill slot is better used for this and this passive slot is better used for this now" because some people decide that its better spent in other ways now (whether that be utility or defensives).

      I'm thinking that the intent of Prep: Punishment was to extend your front loaded burst (which Demon Hunters can put forth incredible amounts of)but if they ever buffed hatred generation I feel like the downtime of building hatred (and/or disc w/ night stalker) would shrink even further and possibly cause Demon Hunters to do too much damage with very little set up of any sort. Maybe this is a prelude to a buff to hatred generation? At the very least people might have to actually use discipline for defensives/utility skills (which is what that resource was for anyway) and/or potentially switch a skill and passive slot in for something else.

    4. I use a lightning damage DH which works off sentries, Kridershot and Wyrdward to stun enemies to a great degree, so never really cared much for it. I can see this Preparation issue being a problem for all the DH's running a fire elemental build, which is most.

      To this effect, I hope there can be a boost in other skills (Spike Trap, I'm looking at you) or Caltrops which can help. Also I want to see maybe a cold Cluster Arrow, something strong that can help the Cold/Cull the Weak build and pack some punch as a spender.

    5. /huge facepalm

      They still have the skill balancing wrong. By nerfing the Discipline to DPS skill, they still won't make Demon Hunters use the discipline based skill. Because they are crap and weak comapared to hatred ones.

    6. Effectively they're acknowledging that Discipline has low value to DH's, who would convert it to hatred ASAP and then use a passive specifically to generate more discipline so they could convert it to hatred again.

      Maybe they should just make discipline more useful?

    7. What I will never understand is how a game designed for Bashiok's grandma can have a class with two resources. This sounds to complex to me. Maybe it is time we go all hatred. (Sarcasm)

    8. Awful change. And their reasons for doing it? More awful.

    9. Their excuse is kinda stupid really XD I thought this skill was being used for the WW DH(strafer) w/c is more than just a fun-build than a viable one. Altho i've seen DHs spamming their cluster with prep, so yeah it "could" be OP, altho there are still other sources of hatred restoration like Blood Vengeance and Reapers bracers, and resource reduction like Cindercoat.

    10. Perhaps they could do something to give it offensive value if they wanted to basically ditch full out that discipline is what you use to fuel utility and damage skills (since that's the intent of that resource…). Perhaps it was a mistake to ever give it the ability to be converted in some way to dps but this

      Maybe they should just make discipline more useful?

      Is so far from the truth its actually funny that you'd even say that. A lot of the issue stems from people in softcore caring so little about their defense (if you can survive one or two hits you don't need anymore) that any possible way of throwing more offense at things (even at the detriment of your utility and defensive skills) is looked at as viable. As soon as survival becomes a concern because death has significant value (read as hardcore play)the ability loses its value and that secondary resource you were forsaking gains value.

      Trying to say it has a lot of value or no value depends on your build and what game mode and difficulty you play on. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've burned through my entire disc bar (about 70 disc iirc) and almost still lost my character due to multiple elites/longer fights.

    11. Perhaps they could do something to give it offensive value if they wanted to basically ditch full out that discipline is what you use to fuel utility and damage skills (since that's the intent of that resource…).

      discipline fuels utility and defensive skills (I typoed and can't find an edit button ~_~).

    12. Makes me wonder what skill to use now. The only one I ever used in the past, that consumes discipline, was vault. Instead of doing this, they could have increased the cost from 20 to 30, or something. Looks like my discipline will stay at 100% all the time now.

    13. In terms of making Discipline more useful/necessary, maybe it goes back to death penalties, and Diablo 3's lack of them. People in HC don't care about this Punished change since trading all discipline for Hatred wasn't a long term viable plan.

      I can't see Bliz suddenly bringing meaningful death penalties to softcore at this point, but imagine if they'd never removed them. Was removing that sort of tool from their dev arsenal (no way to make players care about dying w/o it) a fundamental flaw that they've spent so many other changes trying to fix?

    14. Now just a dadgum minute. I play an HC demon hunter and Prep/Punishment has been on my bar for months. So, yeah, I hate this change-in isolation. We'll see if they get enough other balancing correct to make up for it, but I'm not optimistic. I laughed when I read some of their notes last time about how LpH isn't doing enough so health globes now need to be nerfed. So, Blizzard, you made LpH a primary stat, but after all that testing players did on the PTR for months you didn't notice that it was crap? And it's the first thing every class automatically re-rolls to something better? I'm not sure they do any end-game testing at all.

      But I digress. Maybe Prep/Punishment would not be long-term viable in HC, but what does that mean? I can play effectively in T3 now; while I was leaning towards switching to something else for T4 and higher, I don't really appreciate being forced into it, and Blizzard being condescending in saying why they're making the change.

      I've switched back and forth between monk and DH throughout RoS, and it's mostly because of poor game design. I was a monk, and then other players pointed out how terrible the monk Torment-only sets were. So I switched to playing mostly DH to build up one of those sets…so now I should switch back to monk for the changed sets? Oh…but all that OWE gear is now useless; so happy I poured in 100 million gold to craft/enchant all of that gear. Blizzard has been talking about changing OWE for what…2 years? They couldn't have re-worked it before releasing the EXPANSION?! *rage*

      Wow, what a de-motivating way to start off my week.

    15. What defensive DH skills? The ones they have slowly but surely nerfed to be nearly useless?
      Without major buffs, most discipline spenders will remain unused, my guess is most people will switch to "Marked for Death" to convert discipline back into DPS.

      • [quote]What defensive DH skills? The ones they have slowly but surely nerfed to be nearly useless?[/quote]

        Umm Vault and Smoke Screen have saved my character countless times from very bad situations. I wouldn’t call it exactly useless. Of course in softcore and low difficulties your priority is “not get one shot > damage > what’s left?” then yeah disc will be somewhat useless. As flux mentioned earlier, a lot of it has to do with the lack of any actual death penalty outside of HC.

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