Vote: The Mortick’s Brace Debacle

Barbs are up in arms.

Barbs are up in arms.

Mortick’s Brace, the “All the WotB!” bracers for the Barbarian, was available all during the PTR testing of Patch 2.2, but the developers decided to cut the item shortly before the patch went live. It was a late change, so late that no public announcement was made and the item was listed in the initial patch notes. Of course Barb players were eager to get their paws on it and everyone set to furiously and futilely gambling Bracers, until hours after the patch went live when John Yang officially crushed their dreams.

PSA: Mortick’s Brace was removed from Patch 2.2 and will not drop. — JohnYang

well its kinda reasonable. As an idea maybe give Morticks Bracers only one random effect of Wrath of the Berserker. –Akyrotv

This was the preferred alternative to cutting the item completely, but it was too late in the patch cycle to make string changes. –JohnYang

John’s follow up came late Tuesday night, and just deepens my confusion as to why they were in such a rush to end S2 and launch v2.2, immediately after a 5 month S1 and before a 4 month S3. And no, amusing numerology is not an explanation.

morticks-bracers-ptrv220aThe more immediate issue is the removal of Mortick’s Brace, and while you never know how much real troll flavor you’re tasting in any forum post, there are plenty to sample from:

Thank you Blizzard for making Barbs useless, at least now we know what class not to play.

R.I.P. Barbs
Vaneras: This smells like hyperbole to me, but please know that we will be keeping eye on how well (or poorly) Barbarians will perform as a result of not having access to these bracers. Constructive feedback from people that will be playing Barbarians after patch 2.2, especially in Greater Rifts, will be very helpful in this regard.

We’ll see how it plays out.

I am not saying barb gonna be useless, but nowhere near good enough.

Will Barbarian be in a good spot in party play? I have many doubts
Vaneras: The developers will certainly keep an eye on the leaderboards, and as mentioned in my previous post, we will also be very interested in getting feedback from Barbarians who will be playing in Greater Rift after patch 2.2.

The best part is that Mortick’s was briefly available in the console v2.2, until it was hotfixed to stop dropping. So a few early adapters have it, and no one else. (Except of course it’s offline, so people will just hack/dupe it.)

So, what do you guys think? Was the item too OP and it had to go? Are the Barbs just being whiny? Was the real issue Blizzard removing it so last minute? Or are you just enjoying the QQ show and laughing until next time when it happens to your fave class?

Vote: The Mortick’s Brace Debacle. You can select multiple options in the poll, so pick all that you agree with.

Your opinion on the Mortick's Brace removal. (Pick all that you agree with.)

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Click through for slanderous photos and added info about Mortick’s Brace.

wyatt cheng mortick's brace
When you search google images for Mortick’s Brace you’ll find this masterpiece featuring Wyatt Cheng at Blizzcon, as the second result. Why blame Wyatt? Dunno. The quote isn’t even from him. Maybe they couldn’t find a good Jay Wilson pic?

I’m all for blaming Jay, BTW. We’ve been happily blaming him for all the problems from the first year of Diablo 3, Josh included, and the biggest imbalance in vanilla was the OP spin2win Barb. Mortick’s Brace is an issue with OP DiabloWikispin2win Barbs, hence it’s Jay’s fault. Sure, he left the D3 team more than 2 years ago, but this is the Internet. We never let facts get in the way of a good scapegoating.

Update #2: Leviathan/Katniss points us to a short but informative article about Mortick’s Brace he authored a few weeks ago.


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  1. forget going gr45+ in 4 player party, no way u can be that tank without the bracers, ihave full ancient ik set, tons of resistance and recovery, yet a gr 40 is already a challenge so i cant imagine this build without the bracers be anything special 🙁

  2. The D3 team, after the debacle of the initial launch, has yet to fully win back trust from the player community. They've made some huge steps towards winning us back, but it's still a very volatile "relationship". They HAVE to know this after monitoring their own forums and various fan sites.

    I think people would have been annoyed, but mentally ready with Mortrick's Brace being removed, if it happened during the PTR and with ample time to test the performance of Barbs without it.

    The fact that it happened at the last second, without any time for the community to the adjust to the change, really felt like a bait-and-switch. And whatever goodwill Blizzard had built up with 2.2 (the new legs, the new sets, adding new legendary powers to the formerly-powerless legs, the quality of life changes)…all of that was lost with Mortrick's removal.

    It's just a very frustrating way for this to go down.

    • Please stop pretending that you're speaking for the whole community, none of us does. Personally I'd say overall they won back my trust. 2.2 is still the best patch we got by far for the QoL changes alone. I don't even care that much about the new items, although they rock. Mortick's or no Mortick's I'm damn excited to try Barbs again.

      Also, bait and switch? Really? It's called the test realm for a reason. The devs aren't obligated to move every item from it to live. In fact, they stated it multiple times that people shouldn't have any expectations at all based on the PTR, it's there for them to try things. By doing otherwise people are setting themselves up for a disappointment. Nothing on the PTR exists until it gets to live.

      • They lost me when they cut trading and ah. I played a lot since then, but it is not longer Diablo. Just a glorified Gauntlet Legends (which is a game I do enjoy). This crap that is taking years to come to some kind of agreement on how a class is to be played isn't helping.

        • Pretty much right up there with TopHatCat, though I don't agree that they've made huge steps. I don't think they've really made any steps yet. The game still has the same level of suckage, it's just a different flavor of suck.

          • Games are a subjective art form, meaning that each and every one of them is just a different flavor of suck. It all depends on your personal preferences. After all these years it should have become clear that D3 is not for you.

          • HardRock is wrong, there is objectivity. Diablo 3 has never beend a finished game. Go craft some legendaries without any kind of exclusive power, that objectively is unfinished as some legendaries are completely the same as rares, just with bigger numbers. And it objectively sucks if you have IQ to feel the suckage.

          • You want objectivity? Rares are Magics, just with higher numbers. It's called item progression. It's not a very interesting one, I give you that, but that's what it is. Sure, it's not ideal that not all Legendaries have a unique affix, but the devs are working on that. Meanwhile affixless Legendaries still have a role in the item progression, they sit between Rares and Legendaries with affixes.

            It's not like D3 is the only game that's being improved after it's release. Does that mean that it's an unfinished game? That's one way of putting it. What's finished and released to the public is a judgment call. Objectively no game is truly finished until the developers stop working on it (even then there's modding). By the latter definition D2 wasn't finished for about 10 years, so give D3 a little more time.

        • Yes, because how a class was played never changed in D2 with the patches…

          I can understand the frustration over the almost complete loss of trading, although I still think shutting down the AH was one of the best decision they ever made. A less restricted form of direct player-to-player trading would have been more preferable though.

          • please can you moderate yourself a little bit? You are spamming all over the place, I want to see other people opinions too. thx.

          • How does my posts prevent you from seeing the opinions of the people I replied to? This threaded comment system is hardly ideal for discussions like this, but that's not my problem and it won't prevent me from using the reply button when I have something to say. 🙂

    • You're talking about "trust" from the perspective of a public test realm? Did Blizzard sign an agreement saying that anything/everything from the PTR as it is will be on live servers?

      The fanboyism is strong with these people. It's incredibly entitled to think that Blizzard "owes" you certain things. It's nice enough to be given notice and some communication. Also, Wyatt Cheng apologized in an interview with ZiggyD about how this was handled. Yes, it was frustrating that it happened late. I don't think anybody was doing that on purpose.

      • there is a level of trust between a developer and its fans

        Blizzard has broken that trust many times over

        still waiting for the "improved" PvP system they said was coming LOL

        the only fanboys are the ones who continue to make excuses for Blizzard

        • speak for yourself. as far as i am concerned blizzard continues to earn my trust by releasing these big patches for us. this game has changed so much since launch and continues to get better. them removing 1 obviously over powered item does not mean they broke their word or damaged my trust in them. people need to be happy that they are willing to continue making improvements on the game so we can keep getting more and more enjoyment out of our initial purchase.

        • I'm being realistic.

          They already said multiple times, PvP is not happening, at least not in the forseeable future.

  3. Of course the bracers where OP. That's why we were so eager to get our paws on them. It stands to reason they wanted to change them, but to outright remove them at the last moment and refrain from mentioning it is pretty amateurish.

    So Blizzard, if you want 'constructive feedback'; don't tempt your players with amazing items only to snatch them away at the last second. That's like wiggling a juicy sausage in a puppy's face and then not giving it to him. This results in a sad puppy and nobody likes to see puppies sad.

    Think of the puppies, Blizzard.

    • So… remove the PTR then?

      • Better multiple PTR-Shards at different stages of contents being fixed. Best, if incorporationg parallel sidearms of developement, to get constructive feedback of different solutions to tackle problems at the same time, with the contents pinned down for release merged together into a PTR like the one we got now.

    • Arguing that Blizzard should impede their own testing process because a few people can't fathom the role of a Public Test Realm would only hurt the game. This is one case where catering to the lowest common denominator would be a really bad idea.

      • It's not even about the testing process. It's about proper communications. During PTR, all expectations raised are essentially void from the beginning. That's just the logic behind PTR. But solidifying expectations and then pulling the rug away underneath, does not make for good baselines in communications.

  4. No. Use the PTR to test and tweak things. Not to test things and then disregard all the data en feedback you got and delete it without letting anyone know.

    • Where do you think they got the data based on which they temporarily removed it?

        • Reading John Yang's posts I think it's quite obvious that Mortick's will be back in some form.

          • I hope so! And I know you're right about them removing the item. It's just that I love playing barb but I don't like Furious Charge, so I've been through a bit of a dry spell. The sudden removal of the bracers is a slap in the face and a stern reminder: 'You Barbs had your fun on release. Now you must charge or be little weaklings!'

          • We'll see how competitive Barbs will be, although personally I don't care too much about inter-class balance. If you think about it, whether or not the item was OP, it most definitely diverted attention away from other builds, because it was such an obvious choice for many, which is why I think people may find other ways to push for the top of the leaderboards, beside going Raekor again.

          • "in some form" ha ha ha ha

            then its not temporary

          • What if it's the same form, with bug fixes to Arreat's Wail, unlikely as that may be? Also, what if it's changed to something else, but becomes even better for Wrath-based builds? The role of the item (support Wrath) could remain the same, in which case it would still be the same item in my opinion. Items aren't defined by their exact affixes, rather how useful they are to specific builds.

  5. I didn't even know the items existed until hours after the patch dropped, as I tend not to follow the PTR that much. So much good stuff was added that I don't see this as the end of the world, and I can't honestly say I care about the couple dozen on the top of the leaderboards having a few less numbers in the ones column.


    The last-minute switch is pretty crap on such a core item, doubly so without warning. Either someone dropped the ball on PTR testing in a pretty big way or in this case the PTR's purpose wasn't fulfilled and it needs to be reworked mechanically.

  6. I made a quick research (as in "grabs pop corn") and it looks like one of the major perks of the bracers was the survivability boost. Maybe if it has the/one of survivability runes…

    It looked like a obvious case of nerf, not removal.

    The fact that it will be working on console is amusing, to say the least. That poor item will be so duped…

  7. Hey look, Blizz fans complaining.

    If the item made the game people would complain that Blizz is only make uber items for Barbs, and forcing people to play Barbs.

    Blizz made a decision, people cried. That was the only possible outcome.

    • I don't know enough about this item to really comment on it, but this seems like the most likely outcome.

  8. It should've never been added into the live patch but as far as the decision to remove them, that's totally fine with me. It's a PTR, you shouldn't expect anything from it to go live. The bracers do seem absurdly OP so just be patient and wait for them to make something more healthy for the game later. A lot of people don't seem to understand what the PTR is for. It's not for making strategies, plans or having fun. It's for testing.

  9. so many people are just upset that they wont be able to steamroll the game as a barb now. this item was clearly over powered but all the arm chair devs who clearly know more than the people at blizzard.

    the only issue i see is how they removed it, like it was an after thought. a better explanation of why they needed to remove it would of also helped. people acting like the barb is junk now is just funny.

  10. "Thank you Blizzard for making Barbs useless, at least now we know what class not to play.

    R.I.P. Barbs"
    Oh, my God! This IS a tragedy. I can not fathom how the barbs survived this long without those braces. It's a miracle any of them finished any GRift at all.
    Grow up and quit whining. Or rage-quit the game – all the better for the community.

    • Imo, the community thouroughly needs more old players being reactivated. If they'd "rage-quited" or not. Else all hopes for a successor to D2-LoD that comes near to the original expectations of all the player types hooked on Sanktuario, will never happen. So, no: Not all the better for the community. Just less stressfull for Fanbois and Blusies.

      • Yeah, OK, sorry. I was tired and my troll resistance was way down.
        Still, those complains doesn't scream "old player" to me. More like teen angst. It depends, of course, on the definition of "old player". Is it someone who was born before Diablo 1 shipped or someone who was old enough to play it then?

  11. Am i wrong to draw conclusion that the dev WILL DO SOMETHING to barb ONLY AFTER Patch 2.2 ? So now their job is done, S3 n barbs are set, just play n shut up ? Seems very much like that to me.

  12. Separate from the rage over this one particular decision I think the comment from blue about "too late to change strings" is very revealing. They commonly say that they want all types of feedback during a PTR but clearly most feedback cannot be acted upon.

    Speaking as a developer I'm guessing their process is something like:
    — design items and sets internally
    — have things like content, strings, graphics, internationalization pretty much locked down
    — release build to PTR to see if a particular number should be 100, 500 or 1000

    I commented on the PTR forums that (I think) none of the new sets / modified sets changed in form or function once they were released to the PTR. The only thing that changed is numbers.

    It's an important realization for me not to waste my energy trying to give feedback about design. The design is locked, they aren't going to change things. All you can give feedback on is "too strong" or "too weak". As an example, tons of people gave feedback on Tal's 6-piece set bonus. I believe now all of it was a pointless exercise. They couldn't change the behavior even if they wanted to.

    • The IK and Wrath of the Wastes set received major overhauls over the course of the PTR (one could argue that the Natalyas set was reworked too).

      There are certainly limitations to what they can change but assuming that they only change numbers seems to be a stretch. Especially since we do not know what pieces they have available from pre PTR testing.

    • I disagree and am sad to see you say that having seen how much effort you put in.

      As a gaming company, they can take fan input only to a certain extent. They're not exactly fishing for advisors, are they? Feedback does matter though and they pay attention to forums, even if they don't always respond or take it into account. If enough people talk about something or see in longer term that a design change is bad, it will change. Realm of Trials is a good example (and yes, it's not changed YET, but Blizzard understands this needs a change and it should come in the future).

      They can only spend so much time with one set like Tal Rasha… they did listen to feedback and made some adjustments. But they have many other sets, rings, items, leg affixes they need to think about. That's just the reality. They are making 3 new class sets next, for instance.

  13. Lol, they cut item that was not even in the game and Barbs are useless now. Sorry, sarcasm high, but I just can't help myself. I still did not get anything great to help my Seismic Slam barb, yet it's still my favorite way to play the game. I don't know, maybe having fun while playing is something that players no longer pursuit?

    • Seismic Slam is actually quite decent with the IK set and since it is ranged the removal of the bracers is actually not that big of deal since you can still use insanity or slaughter to boost your dps.

    • “I don’t know, maybe having fun while playing is something that players no longer pursuit?”

      Clearly there’s a sizeable minority of players for whom competing is fun.

  14. What bothers me more than anything about this debacle is that the new sets were balanced with the assumption that Mortick’s Brace would be used. If Mortick’s Brace needs pulled or nerfed because its OP, that’s fine, but only if the sets are then rebalanced to compensate. There’s no point in releasing two new sets if neither can touch Raekor’s.

    • Hoople sums up the most credible reasoning for why this change was made poorly. The biggest mystery is why they pushed the schedule for the PTR so tight that they could not implement a minimal coding iteration (changing the enabled runes and description string) on an item that effects the viability of one new and one revamped set. By denying themselves time to implement changes, they negatively effect a large % of playerbase for up to 4 months, and compromise large amount development effort to make these new sets “stars of the show”.

      Its poor scheduling and therefore poor project management at the end of the day.

  15. give us back ik 500% damage for compensate

  16. It's as I keep saying, PTR > the actual game. Between the drop buff that crudely counters all the levels of RNG ****ery between you and a usable item (and still doesn't do THAT good a job) and these new sets that got overblown for months as OMFG FINALLY VARIETY… and then they get nerfed so hard everyone is still using their One True Set they've had since the beginning the only time you had any sort of decision making was in the PTR before all these new options got nerfed and became non options.

    It's not even a Barb thing, it's an everyone thing. Except DHs, they might actually be better off because they obviously needed a buff right?

  17. My trust was blown and gone for good when they changed the marauder set , they said " we will not change the marauder set , we will however bring other sets in line with this awesome set " their words .

    I haven't played DH since and that was mostly played apart from my WD .

    I don't care if people say it's better , it's principle . The company are a bunch of liars , they are now and always will be .

    Oh and onto the bracers , didn't the sets get nerfed on PTR because of these bracers . They removed the bracers , did the sets get unnerfed ?

    • Where's that quote from? AFAIK they only said that they won't nerf Marauder, which they didn't. Of course when people first saw the changes they cried foul instantly, yet today Marauder is still the gold standard of set power. Clearly, the majority of people are extremely bad at predicting how the game will play after taking a mere glance at item changes. Let's see how Barbs will do after theorycrafters had time to play with them in the stable environment of the live servers.

      • No need to wait. Here's what one of those very Barb theorycrafters, Pri, had this to say today on the barb forum:

        "Currently WoW6/IK4 is doing well from 50-55. I'm sure IK6/WW w/ BK will be somewhere in the low 50's as well. My gear is terrible and I did a 45 last night with plenty of time to spare."

    • Not necessarily. They removed the bracers because barbarians were ahead of the curve on the PTR. They have internal builds that they check, and when they removed the bracers, the internal builds showed the other two sets to be in line with the other classes. Since they were still deciding on whether to change the item slot and the item power to keep it balanced, they couldn’t make the changes in time for 2.2.

      We won’t know if they were right in that IK/WotW are balanced with other classes for some time, maybe another week or two as Raekor’s allows barbarians to fish for pylons very effectively and balloon the max GR of that spec more so than IK/WotW. Will take sometime before strategies are created that allow IK/WotW to compete at 50+ GR.

      The real issue is if they are wrong (which we don’t know yet!), then they’ve basically left those two sets out of contention for top GR for the entire season. Lets hope they’re not.

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