Patch 2.4 PTR Blizzard Comments



The new patch is live on the PTR and this development spurred a flurry of questions and comments and answers from Blizzard on the forums. A selection of the more useful action:

First up, a long post on the Barb forums bemoaning some changes (nerfs) to Whirlwind got a topic-changing reply. According to testers, the main problem is that WW doesn't proc enough now, which results in not enough resource to keep rolling.

Fury management is already an issue for many Barb builds. Now it's borderline impossible for WW. Even with BK swords, Hexing Pants, Unforgiving and Weapon Master passives, and max RCR via Paragon, anything less than GG density results in complete depletion of Fury in moments.


Based on the above, it should be clear that the recent changes to WW cripple currently viable WW builds. The builds and skills were working fine. If anything, the two piece bonus on the Waste set could be altered to solve Fury issues and BK swords could offer a different (or stacking Fury bonus) benefit.

Nevalistis: Let's start with clearing some basics up:

The changes made to Whirlwind (and Strafe) were not made because of concerns with balance. The changes to Whirlwind and Strafe were made to improve server performance. Our server logs indicate that Whirlwind was a significant factor in server performance issues experienced by all players (even if there isn’t a Barbarian in your game). The intention is to improve server performance without affecting the power of Whirlwind.

We're currently discussing how we can get server performance gains without affecting the power level of Barbarians. This might mean reverting our optimizations, or it might mean providing alternative complementary options for Barbarians to compensate for the change. While we haven't made a decision yet, it's possible you'll see a couple iterations or different approaches throughout the PTR.[source][/source]

Click through for lots more Blue replies on topics including Action Combat in Rifts (nope), Set Dungeons, the return of Stonesinger, and more.

Action combat, not in rifts?

I noticed that the new action combat system for kills is not working in rifts/grifts but it is working when doing bounties. Is this intended?

Nevalistis: Just to confirm, it is intended that Action Combat does not apply to Nephalem or Greater Rifts. I'm here a bit early today, so I'll try to get some more clear clarification on exactly what aspects of Action Combat apply to which portions of the game once there are more folks in the office.[source][/source]

Is Stonesinger back in the game?
Nevalistis: Stonesinger is listed as live in the 2.4.0 Patch notes. There is a known issue where the 2.3.0 PTR patch notes are still displaying in the launcher - we're looking into this.

Here's what it says in the 2.4.0 notes, though:
  • Stonesinger
    • No longer spawns clones
    • Now summons stone turrets that fire mortars and can be destroyed
    • Now has a charge attack
    • Now has a knockback

  • Lots going on, with a ton of player feedback on new issues like the Set Dungeons. Separate thread for that one, though.
Continue reading the Original Blog Post.


Diabloii.Net Member
This is going to be entertaining to watch - from what I've gathered about the "State of Lag" it's not the size of the numbers, the change to K/M/B was just for readability, but the number of numbers. There's been hints of this in the past with WD Fetishes being brought down in number but having their damage buffed to compensate. Which means it's down to the number of procs being triggered on each server. That does make a lot of sense because floating point calculations don't really care about the size of the numbers being used but it's the sheer volume of calculations being queued and fighting for CPU time along with all of the other stuff that needs to be done (movement, buff timers, mob spawns, boss spawns and timers, etc.).

The entertainment will come from how they explain this when they don't talk about the numbers behind the numbers.


Diabloii.Net Member
That's hilarious. In order to solve this purely technical problem, we've nerfed these skillls. What a mess.


Diabloii.Net Member
i was upset at first on the ww change...but I accept the idea that they need to reduce the number of calculations being performed. They just need to balance the power of ww and the resource cost so that it is equal to what it was while causing fewer calculations.

My larger fear is that they have painted themselves into a corner. I don't think it's just WW barb causing the issues. As we've gotten more sets, gems and the cube, we have gotten more abilities going off all the time that requires the server to perform additional calculations

Like a seven sided strike monk. The skill was originally designed to be used occasionally. now it can be cast a lot more frequently as we've gotten things like paragon points into CDR and things like in-geom.

Sure, WW might be a "worst" offender, but I suspect it's being scapegoated a bit.

Mage Slayer

Diabloii.Net Member
They made it so attack speed increases the damage/resource cost of Whirlwind at a fixed attack rate, instead of increasing the attacks per second. That means less cd reduction from ObZod, less healing from the heal on crit rune etc.

John Yang said on twitter that they're working on it. I'd guess they'll buff the healing rune, increase Fury regen on the BK set and add cd reduction in somewhere.


Diabloii.Net Member
I think you're exactly right about the volume of new things. It's not very "gamey" to talk about it but the more things that have the potential to proc (they don't even need to proc, just to have a chance which causes an RNG calculation) is causing server stress. The number of players that rolled barbs this season has just pushed it into the limelight. One of the big problems with the barb and WW is that the barb is always moving while using the ability. With a 7 sided strike monk you "phase out" while you're casting which means that you take away a lot of the calculations (damage to the player, resistances, movement, etc) even while the frequency and number of targets has risen. Hard work is hard to balance it seems.