Diablo 3 Patch 2.4.2 is set to release soon, and according to reports, the patch aims to make the game much more challenging.
Lazygamer reports, “Patch 2.4.2 is on the way, and it’s going to dial up the difficulty to 11. Wait sorry… XIII?”
The “XIII” is referring to the fact that Blizzard is adding three new Torment difficulty levels, making the maximum difficulty setting Torment XIII. The Inquisitr covered these new settings and a few other changes in a previous article.
This article will breakdown changes that are coming to the individual character classes that will make the game harder than ever. The new Torment settings are the least of a player’s worries.
Analysis of the Diablo 3 Patch 2.4.2 notes reveal that all players will be affected by this update. Even those that do not play on the harder difficulty levels will find adventuring significantly more challenging. In fact, many would say that Blizzard is about to nerf the entire game, although some characters classes will be affected more than others.
For readers pondering the meaning of the word nerf, the quickest definition is a change to a game that makes the players less effective. The opposite of a nerf is a buff.
Although all Diablo 3 classes will see changes in their damage output with this patch, characters that rely heavily on damage per second (DPS) are going to feel the effects more than others. The Monk and the Demon Hunter both have weak defenses and rely heavily on inflicting as much damage as possible before getting hit. Conversely, the Barbarian and the Crusader are sturdy tanks that can take a beating. They get by with dealing slow massive blows while being hit, so DPS output to them is of less concern.
Here is the breakdown of the changes coming to the character classes in the Diablo 3 Patch 2.4.2. Each class has a section so you can find your favorite quickly to see if it is being nerfed.
For example, an enemy that is currently under an effect that causes it to receive 50 percent more damage, begins receiving 75 percent once Falter is cast. The effects are cumulative. That will no longer happen.
In the example, the enemy would continue to take 50 percent, until that effect wore off. If the effect wore off in less than six seconds, then the enemy would take 25 percent damage for the remainder of Falter. This change also means that Falter will cancel any other similar effects where the percentage is less than 25.
This change is a fairly minor. Diablo 3 players who prefer the Barbarian have little to worry about since this is only one of many skills at their disposal.
Verdict: Not nerfed.
Players that use Consecration, Judgement with the Resolved rune, and Laws of Valor with the Critical rune will see a loss in effectiveness when the patch takes effect.
Of these three skills, Consecration is arguably the most important as it provides the Crusader and his or her allies a healing circle. Currently, it is possible for two Crusaders in a group to stack Consecration for a 10-second healing circle that heals for double the amount. That will no longer happen after the patch. However, for the single player, this change is nothing to worry about since the cooldown for Consecration is 30 seconds, so the skill is impossible to stack on while playing solo.
More significantly, Resolved, which increases the chance for a critical hit, is taking a 60 percent cut in effectiveness. Currently, it increases crit chance by 20 percent. After the update, it will only be eight.
Similarly, the Critical rune for Laws of Valor, which increases damage for critical hits, is getting cut from 100 down to a 50 percent damage bonus.
These changes are significant for the Crusader, but not insurmountable. Players may want to change their skill loadout if they use the Resolved/Critical combination. Less frequent criticals that do half the damage do not seem too appealing.
Verdict: Baby nerf.
The Big Bad Voodoo skill gets a 25 percent reduction in its attack speed bonus. Additionally, when using the Slam Dance rune with this power, allies will receive a damage bonus of only 15 percent rather than the current 30.
When using the rune Poisoned Spirit on the Haunt skill, players’ allies will no longer receive a damage bonus. Instead, the rune will give the damage bonus to the player and his or her pet.
The Hex skill will no long increase the damage taken by enemies. Also, when using this skill with the Jinx and Toad of Hugeness runes, bonus damage to the target will be reduced to 15 percent for both, down from 30 and 25 percent respectively.
The Paranoia rune of the Mass Confusion skill will no longer stack. Another ability losing stacking is Piranhas.
Spirit Barrage’s skill rune Phantasm will get a small increase in damage. Currently, damage dealt by the power is 675 percent weapon damage for five seconds. This bonus will increase to 750 percent for five seconds.
Finally, Zombie Dogs when used with the Chilled to the Bone rune will no longer add 15 percent to the damage dealt to targets.
Verdict: Fairly nerfed.
Twisters generated by the skill Energy Twister will disappear if they stop moving, but this only affects the PC and Mac versions of the game. Consoles will be unchanged where this ability is concerned.
However, when using the Arcane Orb/Spark rune combination, the damage bonus of the next lightning spell cast will be capped at 30 percent.
The Diablo 3 patch will also change a couple of the Wizard’s passive skills.
Elemental Exposure currently gives the player and allies a damage bonus. After the patch, only the player will receive this buff.
The Power Hungry passive has also been completely redesigned. Once implemented, the skill will deal an additional 30 percent damage to enemies that are 30 yards away or more.
Verdict: Not nerfed.
The final two characters, Demon Hunter and Monk, are the two DPS classes in Diablo 3, and they are going to feel the most pain. These characters, who rely on less powerful but very swift blows, are receiving the most changes and the majority are quite significant.
In what seems to be an effort to balance this damage cut, Blizzard is giving the Spike Trap skill a host of new buffs. The ability has been completely redesigned, and the damage bonuses of most of the skill runes have been doubled or tripled. Apparently, developers think that players do not use Spike Trap enough.
Unfortunately, Demon Hunters are supposed to deal DPS to protect their weak defenses. Setting traps does not help with DPS. Even though Blizzard has eliminated the arming time for traps, the skill still has a 10-second cooldown. This delay makes it utterly useless for DPS and only useful for defensive countermeasures.
The changes to Spike trap are so extensive that all of them cannot possibly be covered in this article. To see the increases for a favorite rune in this skill, check out the Diablo 3 Patch 2.4.2 PTR Patch Notes.
Since the affected skills can be swapped out for others, only those who are truly attached to those skills are going to be upset.
Verdict: Somewhat nerfed.
Using Blinding Flash with the Crippling Light rune applies a 40 percent damage bonus to blinded foes currently. This buff will drop to 25 percent.
With Mantra of Conviction, the effects of Fists of Fury will no longer stack according to attack speed and will be capped at 15 stacks.
The Exploding Palm skill and Mantra of Conviction’s Overawe rune will lose 25 percent of their damage bonuses. Additionally, damage dealt by Mantra’s active and passive properties will be reduced by 20 percent.
The Forbidden Palace rune for Inner Sanctuary will no longer give a damage bonus against enemies who stand within the circle of effect.
Arguably the biggest blow to the Monk class is the reduction of the effectiveness of Epiphany’s Soothing Mist rune. This skill is probably one of the most important in keeping the Monk alive in massive hordes. It is a healing ability that currently provides 40,232 health to the Monk and all allies within 30 yards. It also gives a 10 percent bonus to health globes collected. This skill is being reduced by 60 percent to 16,093 with only a 4 percent globe bonus.
This particular change seems to have come from hardcore players who have been voicing on the Blizzard forums that Soothing Mist is over-powered.
“Everyone is focusing on Inner Fire. But in high torment level, Soothing Mist is OP in team play. Basically you do not need any form of healing in gears or paragon. Just pick this skill and you get all the sustain you need.”
While this may be true for team play where the player has a few other people helping out with the fighting, it is certainly not true for individual play. Playing solo, Soothing Mist can keep the player alive in many cases. Losing over half of its effectiveness will make Soothing Mist almost entirely useless for solo play, except when playing on easier difficulty settings.
When coupled with the rest of the reductions in power that the Monk is getting, most players are going to be left feeling frustrated.
Verdict: Totally nerfed.
For hardcore Diablo 3 players that prefer the multiplayer aspect of the game, these changes are probably not going to bother them. However, for casual players who prefer to play Diablo 3 alone, these changes are going to ruin their day. The 2.4.2 patch will go into effect soon, so casual players better enjoy the game while they can because it seems Diablo is going hardcore.
[Image via Blizzard Entertainment]