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A new blog series, discussing popular topics within the Diablo III community!
Wyatt Cheng discusses the Wrath of the Wastes Barbarian set in this new, semi-regular blog series.
The Diablo team wants to communicate more with players and thus the Developer Chronicles were born. The first topic is the Wrath of the Wastes set: while Whirlwind is an iconic Barbarian ability, the set is underpowered.
Wyatt explains that Whirlwind can cause performance issues and that the team is happy with the fact that Wrath of the Wastes is used for speedfarming, while other sets are better for high Greater Rifts. However, they do want to slightly buff Whirlwind and the set in general.
Hey everybody, Wyatt Cheng here. Communication is key to a great community, and we’re aiming to improve the ways in which we deliver important information to our players. What you’re reading now is our next communication experiment: a semi-regular blog where we tackle the most commonly discussed questions and feedback from the community. Welcome to Developer Chronicles!
Today's Topic: Wrath of the Wastes
For our first topic, we wanted to address a common question from the Barbarian community. For the last few patches, we’ve seen a lot of requests to buff up or redesign the Wrath of the Wastes set. Whirlwind is a very iconic Diablo ability, steeped in the history of the series, so it’s natural for it to be a fan favorite.
There’s a lot going on here. Before we get started, the most important takeaway is that we want to make sure a Whirlwind-based playstyle has a place in Diablo III. Therefore, providing ways to make Wrath of the Wastes a reasonable choice as compared to other Barbarian sets is definitely on our list.
The last few patch cycles haven’t seen a lot of changes for Wrath of the Wastes for two reasons:
We are trying to cut down on the number of changes we make to live items. It’s been a longstanding policy that we avoid making changes to Legendary items. Set items tend to be the exception. Our typical approach would be to buff Wrath of the Wastes and Whirlwind by adding new Legendary effects to the game. However, there are a lot of interactions that happen between Wrath of the Wastes and the other Barbarian class sets, particularly Raekor and Immortal King’s. Many of these sets get combined, so in order to prop up Wastes specifically, we have to do so in a way that doesn’t necessarily further buff the other class sets. Otherwise, the gap doesn’t really change. We have some other ideas on this front that we are also exploring. Straight talk: Whirlwind causes performance issues. Many of you may remember performance issues during Patch 2.1.0 and 2.2.0. We have been (and will continue to be) making performance optimizations with each patch. However, our initial investigations identified Whirlwind as one of the skills that caused heavy strain on our servers. The more people using Whirlwind, the more it exacerbates the issue. This means we don’t necessarily want everyone using Whirlwind—at least, not until more server optimizations have been made. Aside from this, it’s unrealistic to expect that all 24 class sets (plus Legacy of Nightmare and its boundless combinations) are going to be balanced 100% equally across the board. There is often a “best” build for each purpose, whether that’s for Nephalem Rifts, group play, or solo Greater Rift pushing. Generally, the goal is to get a variety of builds close enough that playstyle preferences or gearing differences allow some choice and variety.
In the case of the Barbarian, it makes sense that Wrath of the Wastes will always be a favorite when it comes to chilling out and farming Rifts. But it may not be the best choice for pushing your solo Greater Rift. We’re okay with some sets serving specific purposes and the Whirlwind playstyle has a special place in our collective Barbarian hearts, so we hope to see some changes to support the playstyle in a future patch.
The official Diablo Twitter account has sent out a tweet that could hint at some form of Diablo-related news being released at Blizzcon!
This latest development comes amidst disappointment over a lack of Diablo news at Gamescom. Many players were expecting either another expansion pack, Diablo 4 or a Diablo 2 re-make to be announced, but there was nothing.
One user tweeted out to the official Diablo Twitter, saying that they were hoping for a big announcement at Blizzcon for Diablo. They got this response:
Placeholder for tweet 766684090695356417 Before we get too excited, let's just remember that this could mean a few things. Here are the possibilities, realistically:
Diablo 4 announcement. A new expansion pack for Diablo 3. Diablo 2 re-mastered. A big update for Season 8 in Diablo 3, including new sets for classes and a complete rebalancing of the game. Some form of Diablo presence in another game, such as another Diablo event for Heroes of the Storm. Any of these would be welcome, since we've been lacking in major Diablo news for a while now, but personally I'm inclined to think that Diablo 4 is the most likely, followed closely by the updates for Season 8. If you're wondering why I'm going with D4, it's worth checking out this theory from Rhykker concerning the Blizzcon dice!
In a surprise hotfix, right before the start of the new Season, the damage bonus from Ring of Emptiness will no longer affect pets.
This is a bad day for anyone planning to roll a Witch Doctor for the newly started Season 7. The hotfix to Ring of Emptiness has rendered the Helltooth Gargantuan build (and its Zunimassa variation) useless. This was the best DPS build for Witch Doctors and, as it was apparent in the PTR, it dominated in the end-game meta both solo and in groups. People reported that the Jade Harvester build is also affected, but this is most probably a false alarm. As a result, more and more disappointed potential WD players are saying that they will be picking up another class for Season 7.
Nevalistis explained that the aim of this nerf was to promote Witch Doctor build diversity:
Now, I think blizz intended to make jade and maybe arachyr more competitive with gargs by boosting roe.
This was certainly the intention.
I forgot to add a suggestion to this ring. The ring should apply the 300% dmg only to you and not your pets.
And this is a great suggestion - one we've seen from a lot of great Witch Doctors who gave feedback, and it lines up with the change we have in store. The Helltooth/Gargantuan build surfaced during a time on PTR in which we were already submitting our final builds to the production line. This means changes we could make were limited for the actual deployment build, so an adjustment didn't make the patch launch.
The good news is we've been working on a hotfix instead. Ring of Emptiness now only works on damage dealt directly by your Witch Doctor and not your pets. This hotfix should hit servers momentarily, well before the launch of Season 7.
I do want to thank the community for your discussions and testing. Your passion, dedication, and pursuit of fair play are a valuable contributor in making Diablo III the best it can be!
The main aim of Patch 2.4.2 was to promote build diversity and to "kill" the end-game group meta. However, as many people pointed out after this hotfix, the facts show the opposite. The PTR and the Non-Seasonal leaderboards after the end of Season 6 are proof that the 3-support, 1-DPS setup in 4-player is far from dead. The only change was that now some 4-man groups take 2 DPS, but 3 supports are still an option.
This hotfix will just result in another season of 2 or 3 supports helping 1 or 2 Wizards do all the damage. It is true that without the hotfix the only difference would be that Witch Doctors would have replaced Wizards. However, Ring of Emptiness promoted a more active playstyle for Helltooth (as opposed to just letting the Gargantuans do all the work). Moreover, Wizards have gotten away with Energy Twisters for two Seasons and the notorious Firebug in Season 6, while the Witch Doctor problem was dealt with just before the beginning of Season 7. At this point, players are exasperated of Wizards dominating the DPS field since the start of 2016.
It looks like Jade Harvester is going to be the best build for Witch Doctors after the nerf.
Here are some interesting Reddit discussions you might want to follow:
Ring of Emptiness no longer buffs pets Patch 2.4.2 Hotfixes - Updated 8/4 - Forums So now with no RoE, who replaces WD for the dps spot in the meta? In r/diablo 3:
RIP WD meta...
The latest Diablo season has just gone live! We've made sure to update all of our guides for the latest season, check them out!
For EU players, the new season is now live and ready to be played. For the US players, you'll have to wait until 17:00 PDT. In the meantime, you can always take a look at our newly updated guides.
We're trying out a completely new format, which should give you a lot more information before you actually click on a guide.
As you can see above, there are now specific pieces of information that let you know how far a build can truly go. There are recommendations for the greater rift levels that these builds can reach, as well as whether or not they need to be played in a group.
The green timer lets you know that there is a specific variation of the build that allows you to speed farm lower rifts. The golden potion means that there is a Death's Breath farming variation as well.
It's also worth noting that we also have leveling and fresh 70 guides for every class that can be used at the start of the season.
All of the builds that you see now available on the site are completely updated for Season 7, so feel free to choose exactly what you want and enjoy it!
If you're trying to decide which build to play first, these are the starter sets for Season 7:
Barbarian: Wrath of the Wastes Crusader: Roland’s Legacy Demon Hunter: Unhallowed Essence Monk: Raiment of a Thousand Storms Witch Doctor: Helltooth Harness Wizard: Tal Rasha’s Elements We've updated all of our guides for Season 7!