Trail of Cinders 1.0.5 Damage Changes and Buggy “Black Weapons”

A nugget of v1.0.5 information for you this evening as Blizzard reveals changes to the Demon Hunter’s Trail of Cinders damage. It turns into a lengthy debate so read on for the full list of comments.

In patch 1.0.5, we will be fixing a bug with Trail of Cinders that is causing the rune to deal five times more damage than intended. As a result of this fix, the amount of damage done by Trail of Cinders will be reduced from its current value (1500% weapon damage over 3 seconds) to 300% weapon damage over 3 seconds. While this bug was discovered very quickly after 1.0.4 released and is capable of being hotfixed, we didn’t want to move forward with the fix without giving players proper notice. We also know that players are having fun using Trail of Cinders in their builds, so — although this is an important issue we want to address — we’re opting to wait for the next client patch to make any adjustments.

We recognize that some builds which currently use Trail of Cinders will no longer be viable once this bug is fixed. Ultimately, we want to continue to provide players with more build options and ways to feel creative with their skill/gear selections, but not at the expense of going against our design goals or creating situations which can encourage players to limit themselves defensively.

Discipline-based skills were never intended to trump Hatred-based skills when it comes to dealing damage. Instead, Discipline should be something you build up and save to use defensively, or to provide utility in addition to dealing damage. Allowing Trail of Cinders to remain in its current form goes against this philosophy, and in addition creates risky scenarios for players (after all, if you’re incentivized to spend all your Discipline doing damage, it won’t be available when you need it to keep yourself alive with skills like Smoke Screen or Shadow Power).

We don’t yet have a date for when 1.0.5 will be released, but we’ll provide more information as the development process continues. We’ll also update this thread with a reminder once we’re close to releasing the patch.

I don’t get their logic on not hotfixing this out. They’re leaving it because people are having so much fun with it yet at the same time it’s so imbalanced that it can not remain that way. I think they may be apprehensive about going ahead with this change. Perhaps the recent mood within the community is taking its toll on their confidence.

Agree not a bug a bug is something that is doing something not as intended. It is dealing 1500% damage it is working as it was designed.
The fire on the ground deals damage 5 times a second, and we set a value for how much damage we wanted Trail of Cinders to do in that period of time. Unfortunately, that value was incorrectly added to the individual ticks. So, the amount of damage currently done by each of those 5 ticks is actually the total amount of damage it’s supposed to do over the entire second. That part is a bug.

We didn’t catch this during testing, which is absolutely our fault. There are still very good reasons for fixing this issue, and they’re outlined in the main post.

My understanding is, you wanted it to do 1500% weapon damage over 3 secs, but actually it was doing 5 times that = 7500% over 3 seconds? So if the initial goal was 1500%, why in the hell you guys throwing out numbers like 300%?

We originally wanted Trail of Cinders to deal 300% weapon damage over 3 seconds (or approximately 100% weapon damage each second). What ended up happening, is that — instead of the rune doing only 100% weapon damage each second — it now does 100% weapon damage each tick. The fire damage ticks 5 times each second, so 15 ticks for the entire duration of the spell. That’s 1500% weapon damage, or 5 times more damage than originally designed.

I know its early days for this game, but I hope that you will allow for some evolution in the characters you guys have made. I mean, why not allow for a switch in playstyle for those that choose it. Since the patch, I have been using TOC as an offensive and putting my char in danger as a result, but its way more fun than keeping my distance.

Please don’t set all your ideas in stone yet, there may be much better way to go about it… or at least give us the freedom to choose.

This is definitely feedback I will be relaying back to the developers. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

So the bug is that it’s doing more damage per second that as intended? Why don’t you jut fix it and leave it at 1500% over 3 seconds? What’s the point of bringing it down to 300%?

It was never intended to deal 1500% weapon damage over 3 seconds (that’s the bug). The actual value we designed for Trail of Cinders in 1.0.4 was 300% weapon damage over 3 seconds.

whoa, whoa, whoa! you mean the patch notes you released were a lie?

this clearly states 1500%. that means if you didnt intend for it to be 1500% then it was completely untested AND no one checked the patch notes either.

do you have no quality control division? no testers? why the heck are you lieing to us?
The note was written based on incorrect information, yes (which due to the fact that we missed this issue during testing). We’ve already identified why we missed this issue originally and have improved our processes so that the same issue won’t happen again — both for in terms of testing changes and confirming information put into the patch notes.

Is it a bug that the toottip says 1500% as well?
The tooltip pulls from the actual game data. Since the rune is currently dealing 1500% weapon damage, the tooltip value reflects this.

There are still tooltips in game now that don’t accurately reflect the skill they are describing. So, your theory doesn’t work. And blizzard has said that there will be safeguards before. But they continue to fail with this beta product. And on top of that they pretty much tell us we’re all stupid by proclaiming it to be a bug instead of having a bit of integrity and telling the truth.
It actually depends on how the tooltip is set up, and from where its pulling its data. In the case of Trail of Cinders, the tooltip is displaying 1500% weapon damage over 3 seconds because that’s how much damage the rune is currently doing; the values in the tooltip are pulling that information directly from the game (i.e we didn’t manually update the tooltip in 1.0.4).

Regardless, if we just wanted to nerf Trail of Cinders, we’d just say that we were nerfing it. We’ve made similar announcements in the past. This particular change is the result of a bug fix, however; if we called it something other than a bug fix, then we’d be lying.

Since it is basically doing 100% damage per tick over 15 ticks… how about decreasing the damage by 5% every tick. This essentially would end up doing 975% (100 + 95 + 90, etc.) all the way down to 35% damage for the final tick.

Still too over-powered? Decrease it by 10% each time and you’ll end up with 550% over 2 seconds.

Just something to consider… a way to keep the skill from going back to unviable. People obviously love the new ToC, based on the outcry from the players here. Hopefully we can reach a middle-ground, somewhere between 300% and 1500%.

Thanks for sharing this suggestion. I’ll make sure it gets passed on. 🙂

In other Blue posts, there’s some clarification of sorts on the +x% Elemental Damage mechanic.

So it turns out that any item that says that it “adds +x% to elemental damage” actually works by multiplying your non-elemental (“black”) weapon damage by 1.0X (so if you have +6% to poision, and you have a weapon with average 950 regular damage, you will get 106% times 950 = (950 regular + 57 poison) damage as your base weapon damage. Basically, if your weapon is all nonelemental damage, you will receive a +6% damage increase as poison damage.

MANY players are very curious as to whether this is how the modification is actuallly supposed to work. Because it is in fact, counter-intuitive for it to function in this way when its wording suggests that it should increase the amount of base poison damage by 6%, instead of adding a flat percent increase to your non-existant poison damage.

I want to know if this is going to be changed or if it is going to continue to function like this indefinitely, because if it is supposed to be this way, things like zunimassa’s boots and triumvirate (otherwise mediocre items) are the absolute best-in-slot items for certain classes.

Blue please enlighten us!!
The “+x% Elemental Damage” affix works by adding “x%” of your physical damage to your attack, in the form of the damage type listed.

So, really basic example:

Your physical damage is 100, and the item adds +3% Fire damage.
You gain 3 extra damage to your attacks as Fire damage.

Things this takes into account:

Rings, mojos, orbs (etc) that have an “X-Y” damage affix (e.g. “1-2 Damage”)
The base damage range of your weapon, before any elemental damage is added from the affix
+Min or +Max affixes on weapons

(Note: It doesn’t benefit from “+X-Y Elemental Damage” affixes on weapons.)

We realize the current wording for this affix can be confusing, and it’s something we’d like to make more clear in the future. If you have any suggestions for how this affix could be better worded, we’re definitely interested in your suggestions. Just keep in mind that space is limited in item tooltips, and that whatever we use would need to be translated into all of our supported languages.

Can you please explain why it is coded to add 2 * (x%) min damage instead of x% min + x% max?

Note: I have personally done the math and I can tell you, without doubt, that it currently adds 2 * (x%) min and ignores the max damage on your wep.

I’ve reached out to our developers, programmers, and QA about the current functionality. Once I have more information, I’ll respond back to the thread.

Thank you for pointing this out!

Related to this article
  • Diablo 3 – Itemization – “Ask the Devs” Answers (Part 2)
  • Vote: v1.0.5 Approval?
  • Blizzard Answers v1.0.5 Questions

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    54 thoughts on “Trail of Cinders 1.0.5 Damage Changes and Buggy “Black Weapons”

    1. A spammable skill that does more damage than some 120-second cooldowns? I’m shocked and taken aback, aghast, flabbered, floored, astounded, and stupefied that it’s being changed in the slightest. This is an outrage, and I demand action!

      • “Hey, kids, here’s a nice, big toy car for you. Do you like it ?
        Good, now here’s two wheels for you to play with.”

        • I can’t wait for the PvP patch. It’s gonna be things like this, from every class, for weeks. I could start making popcorn now, and still not have enough.

          • You know what will be even more popcorn-worthy ? The fact that Blizzard will still not have found a 14 year-old to proofread their 3 page patch notes. (Obviously, provided that this was an overlook, as they state.)

    2. I’m not a fan of this x% over y seconds format. Every time I read it I instantly feel the need to divide x by y so I can know what I really want to know: the damage per second.

      I guess the format is more standard between different explanations of damage over time versus damage per second for y seconds, but I still ultimately want to know what the damage per second is so I can compare.

      Is there something I’m missing with this format?

      • Dividing by x seconds does not give an accurate reflection of how strong the skill is. Generally, applying a damage-over-time uses only one attack action, regardless of how long the duration is; attack actions are normally the real economy you’re gaming, not time per se.

        Example: Witch Doctor w/ Splinters, 1.54 attacks per second; comparing Resentful Spirit vs Searing Locusts

        Resentful Spirit: 287/2 = 143.5% damage per second
        Searing Locusts: 468/8 = 58.5% damage per second
        Resentful Spirit seems much stronger

        3 attacks with Splinters = 540% weapon damage
        1 attack with Resentful Spirit = 287% weapon damage
        827% weapon damage over 4 attacks (2.6 seconds) = 206.8% weapon damage per attack, 318.4% DPS

        12 attacks with Spinters = 2160% weapon damage
        1 attack with Searing Locusts = 468% weapon damage
        2628% weapon damage over 13 attacks (8.44 seconds) = 202.2% weapon damage per attack, 311.3% DPS

        Resentful Spirit is still stronger, but only by 2.3%, while 31.6% more mana-intensive.

    3. (sorry, too late to edit) Just thought: I guess it does make it easier to calculate the resource cost per total damage with that format.

    4. I found this article confusing, always been under the impression blue text = blizzard’s reply.

      I skimmed this article and see things in blue text like “I want to know if this is going to be changed or if it is going to continue to function like this indefinitely”. Is this a copy/paste of someone’s question and it accidentally got posted in blue text? Is this blizzard quoting someone in a reply and it somehow got converted to a blue text?

      After reading this a second time, I can’t make sense of what will be happening to +% elemental damage. I’m lost and would love someone to summarize what will be happening to +elemental damage in 1.05. Is it getting nerfed? Is it just being reworded? Should I be selling any +elemental damage gear I now wear now before this patch because +% elemental damage damage won’t be as effective after 1.05?

      Did I simply fail to read this post correctly because I’ve had quite a few beers tonight?

      • That is the standard format. These particular excerpts are quite messed up, though. The white formatting ends at a paragraph break and reverts to blue, when it shouldn’t. There are several cases above where it’s clearly the questioner talking but the text is in blue when it should be white.

    5. “We didn’t catch this during testing, which is absolutely our fault”.

      lulz..fugetaboutit, blizz. this why you hired $60 beta testers.

    6. Wait, so does no one actually read the patch notes except us???

      I was expecting it to be nerfed even if it was a bug, but frankly 300% seems extreme. It’s not that spammable unless you have one of the original Nat’s sets — it uses too much Discipline otherwise — and it’s either unreliable (if you rely on the monsters walking over it of their own accord) or dangerous (if you rely on vaulting over the monsters, due to the fact that DHs die so easily).

      So while I agree 1500% is extreme, except for the monsters who cooperatively walk after you in a straight line, you’re not usually getting the full 3 seconds of damage out of it. At 300% I’m not sure it’s going to be enough to be worth using instead of Tumble.

      • Damn, I got rid of caltrops for trail of cinders, now this will get nerfed into oblivion I will get rid of it. Can we get skills and their runes that are worthy usIng in Inferno pleeeeeeaaase?!

        What are you gonna use instead of it if vault is not your thing?

    7. I’m not going to lie. “Fixing” ToC will be “fixing” one of their most fun mistakes.

      It’s decisions like this that really make me feel that Blizzard is truly out of touch with what is and isn’t fun about Diablo. I really enjoy the gameplay, but I didn’t start having a blast until they changed ToC.

      • I wouldn’t say they’re out of touch, they practically wrote an essay just to say “this is OP so we’re nerfing it, sorry”. They know how much people like these things.

      • This is pretty much the primary downside of skill point loss, actually. Inability to redistribute power within your skill selection mandates that every skill/rune needs to be within a certain range of power in line with the skill’s design.

        Their problem is pretty obviously not “this skill does too much damage.” Their problem is “this is a defensive skill that simultaneously outdamages everything else in the DH arsenal without appropriate cost to it.” If you had to, for example, equip a sword with “+% damage to ToC” to do this specific build, they would probably be perfectly fine with this percentage.

        I am amused at this, that when they first culled skill points, one of the upsides I expected was an improvement of Blizzard’s ability to control skill balance to explicitly avoid these situations (i.e. no need to worry about balance of one point wonders, damage vs utility point investment returns etc.). When they never properly replaced the skill point mechanic of being able to min-max parts of your build at expense of others, they basically jumped to the other extreme of every skill “has to be an equally strong one point wonder,” which is just as bad for their ability to balance the skills as the skill tree/point thing.

        TLDR – Blizzard, plz start putting effort into bringing back the good aspects of skill points. Fix itemization, bring back enchants, bring back talisman, hell even just flat out bring back modified version of skill points at level 60 or something.

      • Dammit! It WAS fun!

        After a lot of experimenting, I’m not convinced there are six usable skills for the DH.

        The huge damage increase to RoV still underwhelms.

        ToC was awesome for vortex-enchanted bosses.

    8. i bet that was the same guy who slipped the Natalya 2 disc-reg-“bug” into the game.

      who would have thought cinders was not supposed to deal more damage than the 2 minute cd skill earthquake …

    9. To all QQ’s: the above blue is why Blizzard is on top for 2 decades now.

      They will tweak and polish this game until it is pure gold.

      To all those Blizzard haters: no use to even try to counter this in any way.

      Just look at the RMAH: after 3 months it is functioning like a slick moving train.

      While other companies just launch, fire and forget, the secret of all Blizzard games is that they polish their products to extreme perfection.

      That’s why you play Blizzard games for 5 years or longer, while the rest of he bunch is ditched after 3 months.

      LOL i had yesterday 1300 public games forming to 4 players, that was actually up 20% than a few weeks ago.

      Grtz to all those still wanting to fight this Juggernaut 🙂

      • “That’s why you play Blizzard games for 5 years or longer, while the rest of he bunch is ditched after 3 months.”

        Speak for yourself. I shelved D3 after two months.

        • I played until mid of June, and see no point in coming back yet. I follow the news somewhat, but that’s it. The preteens can yell hater all they want, I just don’t find it any fun to play. Unlike D2..

    10. Hey look, the patch that was supposed to promote build diversity actually created a build that plays different from the others. NERF IT!

    11. I thought they buffed the damage so much so that barbs would have some competition in the paragon race. 🙂

    12. So, now all the high heels lovers want their win button back, what a surprise?
      I’ve seen videos of that skill in action, it’s ridiculous.

    13. Yeah… There definitely needs to be a way to show that Blizzard is quoting people in this article, otherwise I’d just change the quote to white (isn’t that what they normally do?) To be perfectly honest, when I first started reading it, I thought the “Blue” was mocking players by “having a conversation with herself,” by pretending to ask questions that were similar to responses they got and then answering them.

    14. How can they even say “fixed a bug”? The ability was definitely originally intended to do 1500% damage, that’s why they had a testing phase before releasing this patch.

      Oh right, this game is still in beta.

    15. I guess people had too much fun for Blizz standards. Oh, and sentences like that piss me really off: “Allowing Trail of Cinders to remain in its current form goes against this philosophy, and in addition creates risky scenarios for players (…).” FUCK YOU for deciding for me what’s risky and not for my character. It’s MY CHARACTER, it’s MY DECISION, not yours, you cocky fu***ers!

    16. What if a skill deals physical damage, does the +3% fire damage still apply even if the weapon does elemental damage?
      Or would that make too much sense for Blizzard?

    17. Fork were meant to be used to grab food, not to stab/kill ppl. By bli$$ards logic, forks will be nerf to a stick (not a sharp one).

      Well, we can’t complain much also. This is what you get when you employ cheap labour

    18. At least they are giving us warning of nerfs now. People get upset if they buy some gear for a specific build, only to have it nerfed the next day.

      ToC is a fun skill and it takes some skill to keep the mobs in the trail and not vault into a heap of demons. It is very op with the old nats set, but what about us little guys? Don’t we get to have some fun?

    19. Great. Give us back Jagged Spikes in some form or another then?

      And the +% elemental damage is another dumb oversight which in its current state makes a physical damage only weapon much, much better than an added damage elemental weapon.

    20. while yes i do think 1500% is too much, i think 300% is too low
      it should be nerfed to 800% and then EVERY SINGLE OTHER USELESS SKILL FROM ALL CLASSES should be BUFFED

    21. “I don’t get their logic on not hotfixing this out. They’re leaving it because people are having so much fun with it yet at the same time it’s so imbalanced that it can not remain that way.”

      Seriously? D3 is fubar. There is no rhyme or reason to anything. I agree that ToC should not remain as is, but at the same time why not let it remain when the asinine Energy Twister/Critical Mass and WW/RLTW/Battle Rage/WotB combos exist?

    22. Frankly, I’m appalled that this skill is remaining in the game for MONTHS before being fixed. How are other classes supposed to feel about this? ‘Gosh, those DHs are farming radically faster than any other class and will be for months. Well, I’m glad THEY are having fun….’

      I assume the DHs would all be crying the same big tears if Seven Sided Strike were doing 5600% weapon damage?

    23. The generic elemental damage is what happens when your project is way over schedule / budget and you need to start chopping things out to finish it. I know the whole Blizz North -> Blizz South thing caused some disruption, but it is pretty laughable that a key concept in D2 was discarded due to ‘lack of time’ in a project that was under development for *10 years*!

      Regarding the TOC change, seems pretty straightforward. They want all skills in a group (defensive, spender, etc.) to deal similar damage or have similar utility. It was overpowered due to a bug. Not sure what all the fuss is about.

    24. The wording should simply be “Adds X% Element Damage”. The “to”-part is not logical in any way. It suggests that our damage is comprised of all elements, with a default multiplier of 1.

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