Stan

Developer Chronicles: Patch 2.6.1 Balance Goals

Sign in to follow this  

9 posts in this topic

S5E0C5LJEJH11505328735106.jpg

In the latest installment of developer chronicles, Don Vu (Game Designer on Diablo III) talks about main goals of Patch 2.6.1 and changes that the team plans to incorporate on PTR.

Blizzard released a new Patch 2.6.1 PTR build today (Patch Notes). Patch 2.6.1 marks the arrival of Season 12 and you can learn more about rewards or Haedrig's Gift sets here.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

Hey everyone—Don Vu here, Game Designer on the Diablo III team. We’ve really appreciated your honest, detailed, and consistent feedback through the Patch 2.6.1 PTR. Many of you have been asking great questions, and one of the biggest and most frequent was, “What are the goals of this PTR/patch?” We felt this question deserved a detailed response, so let’s get into it!

Main Goals

There were two main goals for this patch. First, we wanted each class to have multiple builds with different styles that can play in similar difficulties. We agree it’s important that there is a lot of variety in the end-game experience and, because we have so many difficulties, we want as many players as possible to reach similar goals regardless of their preferred class set or play style. While we might not get every build, we’re making sure there is a lot of variation among competitive options.

Secondly, we want to smooth out the overall endgame experience. This means making sure each build plays well in high density situations and group play. While this has always been an ongoing effort for our team, some of the changes we’ve made in this patch specifically targeted this goal.

Steps to the Goal

With those goals in mind, what have we done so far? Some changes should be more immediately apparent than others. A lot of older fan favorites, like Whirlwind, Frozen Orb, or Exploding Palm were ideal candidates for changes. These were  long-requested builds that felt like obvious targets for buffs.

LG7M3JBBTU0P1505328832152.gif

While we may not have raised every build in the game to the top bar, we think that’s okay; some builds can just be fun and own their place in lower difficulties as stepping stones or for farming. Those types of builds are important too, and not all builds can fulfill every role.

We’ve also been keeping our ear close to the ground, visiting different class forums, watching videos and streams, analyzing our own internal data, and running playtests to identify places where further tweaks make sense. This is an ongoing process. Between our efforts and the feedback received from players or through our community team, there’s always something new for us to look at, discuss, and try out if we feel it’s a healthy direction for the game.

Lastly, we iterate and repeat. Game development requires trial and error, experimentation, and reworks. Sometimes, these experiments don’t make it to the PTR because we’ve identified a problematic issue that makes a change non-viable.

Incorporating Player Feedback

There have been incredible contributions from players during this PTR, and we wanted to take a moment not only to thank you for them, but to call out just a fewways we’re reflecting the community’s feedback.

Barbarians, we’ve been eying your class sets and the iconic Whirlwind build for a while. From previous changes to game performance to the defensive tweaks on the 4-piece Waste’s bonus and Band of Might, we heard your call for survivability loud and clear. We’ll be spinning to win beside you in the name of Bul-Kathos!

YSKLH9WCYM1X1505328860829.gif

Wizards, Halo of Karini is an effective piece of equipment, though awkward to use. We’ve added some leniency to its buff so there’s a bigger window and less downtime between applications. We’re also buffing up other gameplay styles available to the Wizard so that Archon doesn’t have to feel like the end-all, be-all class skill. Thank you for your dedication, honored Vizjerei!

Necromancers, Dayntee’s Binding has been a hit, but its curse viability felt too narrow. Opening this item’s affix to all curses should allow a lot more gameplay variety, especially in multi-Necromancer groups. It’s been great to see so many of you enjoying our newest class; thank you for keeping the Balance in check!

Witch Doctors, Jade Harvester is a DoT-filled fantasy we all dream to live. Its fragility has been a long-standing concern, and we’re excited to see more masters of poison with the added defense bonuses to the Jade set. Thanks for making your voodoo desires heard!

6ERBTPQ902RA1505328832132.gif

Demon Hunters, Monks, and Crusaders have plenty of changes coming too! We expect to see a lot more Multishot, Exploding Palm, and Blessed Shield, for example, and we’re just as excited to return to these powerful gameplay fantasies as you are!

Lastly, across most patch changes we’ve taken the broad approach of bringing other sets up to the latest height of progress rather than nerfing overperforming things back down. Many iconic playstyles were behind a few elite builds, and we want those memorable styles to continue feeling legendary. Boosting them up made the most sense, and we appreciate all our nephalem heroes for echoing that sentiment.

What’s Next for the 2.6.1 PTR?

We’re locking down on changes now to smooth out bugs and performance issues, as well as other fine-tuning steps before patch launch. That process can take a while, so there’s a point at which we must stop making new changes.

We’ve now reached that point on the PTR, so don’t expect too many more sweeping changes for Patch 2.6.1 (barring anything game breaking we need to address post-patch or via a hotfix). We most need your help in stress testing, bug-crunching, and experimenting as much as possible to catch any crazy issues before we finalize our build.

Once again, we can’t thank you enough for your patience and participation during the Patch 2.6.1 PTR. We’ve always been reading and incorporating your feedback, and we hope that’s evident now more than ever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So they don't want to admit that they greatly overtuned the Necromancer, and that they are buffing everyone elses damage by 3x-7x(most extreme case) to compensate, in addition to a 1.5x-3x increase in toughness to everyone else as well.

 

Eh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Frogspoison said:

So they don't want to admit that they greatly overtuned the Necromancer, and that they are buffing everyone elses damage by 3x-7x(most extreme case) to compensate, in addition to a 1.5x-3x increase in toughness to everyone else as well.

 

Eh.

We always knew Necro was going to be OP as hell. They had to sell the packs somehow and needed to make it appealing. On the plus side, despite them being the best solo char by 5 GR levels or so, there is no 4-necro meta. It was a joke when we had the 3 and 4-monk meta and I'm so glad they kept it as only 1 Necro per group as the DD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Tri said:

WHIRLWIND BARB BUFFS!!!!!! 

You're pretty hyped for this WW Barb stuff, huh? :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Sharknad0 said:

I love whirl so much. Can't wait. Bonestorm getting a buff also makes me very excited.

Just seeing them opening up more builds to end-game viability makes me so happy. Having Multishot to farm GRs is awesome after seeing it only touched in Torment farming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like Blizzard buffing underperforming sets is missing the point.  The game still won't have build diversity, imo there will be even less builds now that LoN is getting powercreeped hard by sets.

 

Also I'll believe there are alternatives to Archon builds when I see it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/15/2017 at 5:36 PM, Spec said:

Also I'll believe there are alternatives to Archon builds when I see it.

Yeah, I'm super skeptical about this one. Archon is just far too strong both defensively and offensively. I don't see how anything can compete, just due to raw defensive pushing power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan
      Save up to 50% off on select Diablo digital products until July 23, 2018. 
      Season 14 is in full swing and there's an ongoing sale through July 23. All digital versions of the game can be purchased at a 50% discount. If you want to introduce a friend to the game, now's a good time do so (gifting option available). For recommended builds, check out Deadseat's Season 14 Compendium.
      Americas
      Title Price Links Diablo III USD 9.99 19.99 Buy // Gift Diablo III: Reaper of Souls USD 9.99 19.99 Buy // Gift Diablo III: Battle Chest USD 19.98 29.99
      Buy // Gift Rise of the Necromancer DLC USD 9.99 14.99 Buy // Gift Europe
      Title Price Links Diablo III EUR 9.99 19.99 Buy // Gift Diablo III: Reaper of Souls EUR 9.99 19.99 Buy // Gift Diablo III: Battle Chest EUR 19.98 29.99
      Buy // Gift Rise of the Necromancer DLC EUR 9.99 14.99 Buy // Gift
    • By Blainie
      Don't miss out on your chance to grab one!
      The only thing more elusive than a Rainbow Goblin in game is a Rainbow Goblin in real life, but here's your chance to grab one!
      To celebrate the Season of Greed, we are releasing a robust and thorough Goblin farming guide for your murderous, loot-craving pleasure! It will take you through a tried-and-tested goblin farming route, suggest some suitable builds and equipment adjustments for the purpose, and even shed some light on goblin farming metagame and etiquette.
      But enough talk - it's your turn to take blade and spell to their mischievous hides! While using our route (or your own!), take a screenshot with your Season 14 character and a double goblin spawn - and post it in the comments below. Your post will act as an entry in a random raffle to win one of the 20 plush toys we will be giving away.

      For the general rules of our giveaways, please refer to this post. The post-specific rules for this giveaway are as follows:
      You need to be on a Seasonal character. Make sure we can see your character and the goblins in the screenshot. (Console players, do your best with the pause screen, if necessary - we understand it is slightly more difficult to do this than on PC.) The giveaway will end on July 2, 2018 at 23:59 CEST. Multiple entries will be disqualified. Winners will be chosen at random after the contest ends. Grab your guide, grab your nephalem and get finding! You might even be lucky enough to find a Rainbow Goblin in-game and outside - as Abd Al-Hazir put it - a ludicrous notion, truly!
      This contest has now ended - winners will be contacted via PM once we have filtered spam entries, multiple entries and so on. Please note that this can take some time, but we will post here once everyone has been contacted.
    • By positiv2
      This thread is for comments about our Demon Hunter Multishot Build with Marauder Set guide.
    • By positiv2
      This thread is for comments about our Goblin Farming Guide.
    • By Deadset
      Check out our latest guides for Season 14!
      The latest season of Diablo, Season 14, launches today and we've prepared a list of all the best builds for you to get started with! Check them out and get ready for some greedy gearing with Deadset!
      Greetings, fellow denizens of Sanctuary! The 14th Season of Diablo brings a thematic concept to the forefront, starting off with the Season of Greed. For the duration of Season 14, all Treasure Goblin spawns will be doubled. While this won't shake the foundations of the established endgame, it will surely provide a handy treasure burst right at the start of the Season, as well as a shortcut to populate any of the missing cosmetic pets in your collection.
      -Deadset
      Non-Meta Fun Builds
      One of my side-projects during the Season 13 downtime was to investigate some of the more unorthodox build paths for all classes. This resulted in the addition of one extra, non-meta build per class - and more could come over the course of Season 14 if you find those diversions enjoyable!
      Seismic Slam Barbarian - a ruthless visual feast of a build, this cold-focused Barb spec is surprisingly tough and efficient; Shield Bash Crusader - your best bet if you want to pound demon heads in Greater Rifts, if a bit on the clunky side; Chakram Demon Hunter - the ninja star-throwing counterpart to multishotting builds, with comparable AoE and more fun visuals; Tempest Rush Monk - a fun and under-appreciated build that balances the fluidity of rushing through enemies with some carefully timed bursts; Generator Necromancer - a unique take on Inarius gameplay, focusing on lightning-fast scythe attacks and intensive resource interplay; Grasp of the Dead Witch Doctor - a no-cooldown, no-resource take on making corpses rain from the sky; Energy Twister Wizard - a surprisingly undervalued, but horrifyingly potent on the time-bending, whirlwinding destruction from seasons of yore. Why is Patch 2.6.1 a Great Time to Come Back?
      Patch 2.6.1 sees one of the biggest rebalancing efforts to the game since Patch 2.4, the strongest content Patch of the Reaper of Souls cycle. It builds on every good foundation set by it (class diversity, options for underused skills, the introduction of mechanically interesting items) and skyrockets it to post-2.6 damage standards. If you have ever craved a patch where multiple builds are considered top tier GR pushers and practically dozens of combinations are completely capable endgame farmers, this is the one.
      Basics Guides and Conquest Guides
      Before moving on to class impressions and recommendations, I just want to give a quick pointer to the new basics and conquest guides that I compiled recently. If you are new to the game, returning after a long break, or simply have friends that you want to get into Diablo, give those a read:
      Beginner Seasonal Guide - an introduction to Seasons, efficient leveling, crafting and gearing; Bounty Farming Guide - how, when, which bounties to do and the builds to do them with; Regular "Nephalem" Rift Farming Guide - quantity, quality, and methods for Torment rifting; Greater Rift Farming Guide - rewards, competition and strategic considerations for GRs; Conquest Guides for Season 14 - the fast track to the Seasonal Journey completion. As a guide hub, Icy Veins receives a ton of messages on a regular basis for topics like these - I hope they are of use to the community and answer a lot of questions for Seasons to come!
      Barbarians
      Beginner's Guide to Barbarians - Levels 1-70 and Guide with the Starting Set, Raekor - A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your Season 14 Barbarian with the Haedrig's Gift free set. Immortal King (or Raekor) - Hammer of the Ancients Endgame Build  - A top tier, visceral build that emphasizes melee devastation and pulverizes his enemies to the ground with Hammer of the Ancients. Support Barbarian - Group-oriented build that the entire team depends upon for scouting, long-range monster pulls and protection from harmful crowd control affixes. Raekor - Furious Charge Endgame Build  - A spec that mixes the powers of two sets, combining the all-around utility of IK with the agile Furious Charge devastation of Raekor. Might of the Earth - Earthquake Endgame Build - This spec favors devastating large areas over precise shots, exerts a masterful control over the battlefield and sports a very satisfying rotation. Wrath of the Wastes - Whirlwind Endgame Build  - With a playstyle distilled to its simplest essence, the build opens runs with  Whirlwind and mows enemies down in endless, spinning destruction. Frenzy/Thorns Legacy of Nightmares  - More durable than most Barb builds, this spec nails the brutal hand-to-hand melee feel, slicing enemies at incredible speeds. Rend Immortal King  - Nearly forgotten, but certainly not powerless, this exotic build bleeds enemies dry with the DoT powers of Rend. Crusaders
      Beginner's Guide to Crusaders - Levels 1-70 and Guide with the Starting Set, Akkhan  - A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your Season 14 Crusader with the Haedrig's Gift free set. Akkhan - Condemn Endgame Build - This build is the embodiment of the melee spellcaster fantasy, exerting powerful crowd control over monsters and decimating them in waves of holy destruction. Akkhan - Blessed Shield Endgame Build  -  This build plays on the archetype of using the shield as a weapon, charging it with holy might and reaping an entire field of demons with a single, mighty toss. Akkhan - Holy Shotgun Endgame Build  - The Holy Shotgun Crusader is a tanky, impenetrable bulwark of steel that absorbs blows and retaliates in blasts of pure, radiant vengeance.  Blessed Hammer Seeker of the Light - The reigning champion of many Seasons, the Hammerdin build is still a beast in terms of AoE damage and solo GR pushing potential. Thorns Invoker  - Likely the tankiest build in the game that is able to push into GR110+. Tough, focused and dead simple, this build almost Thorns itself to the absolute endgame. Sweep Attack Rolands  - This Crusader build revels in high-density rifts, shredding demons to pieces with the highest attack speed possible to the class. Bombardment Legacy of Nightmares  - The Bombardment Crusader spec takes assorted legendary items into a highly mobile, auto aiming and visually spectacular Thorns combination. Demon Hunters
      Beginner's Guide to Demon Hunters - Levels 1-70 and Guide with the Starting Set, Marauder  - A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your Season 14 Demon Hunter with the Haedrig's Gift free set. Natalya/Marauder Sentry Endgame Build - This build focuses solely on the Sentries, providing Demon Hunters with a cold, calculating playstyle cloaked behind a wall of turrets and animal companions. Marauder - Cluster Arrow Endgame Build  - Requiring a deep understanding of DHs - the need for positioning and strategic companion placement - this build rewards you with great GR potential. Unhallowed Essence - Multishot Endgame Build  - This build embodies the lone, brooding archer that reaps entire screens worth of demons in massive, fiery bursts of arrows. Natalya - Rain of Vengeance Endgame Build  - This build transforms the elegance of Strafe into a potent tool that resets the cooldown of Rain of Vengeance, resulting in a potent, bursty playstyle. Shadow - Impale Endgame Build  - The Impale build emphasizes on singling out and bursting down priority targets, resulting in a ninja-like, elite hunting playstyle. Grenades Unhallowed Essence  - A deceptively simple build, whose sustained grenade damage and tanking potential outdoes many of its flashier counterparts. Fan of Knives Legacy of Nightmares  - One of the more exotic specs in the game, the LoN FoK build thrives at low health values and turns them to its own advantage - playing with permanent crits. Monks
      Beginner's Guide to Monks - Levels 1-70 and Guide with the Starting Set, Inna - A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your Season 14 Monk with the Haedrig's Gift free set. Sunwuko - Wave of Light Endgame Build  - This unique ranged Monk playstyle blows demons up in screen-wide, incinerating beams of searing light. Support Monk  - Group-oriented build that the entire team depends upon for healing, short-range monster pulls and damage reduction from regular attacks. Uliana - Seven-Sided Strike Endgame Build  - Widely regarded as the most satisfying build of the class, Uliana enriches the Seven-Sided Strike visual with Exploding Palm detonations. Raiment Shenlong - Generator Endgame Build  - The Monk's bread and butter, this build pummels enemies into the ground with the sheer might of the primary fist attacks. Sunwuko - Lashing Tail Kick Endgame Build  - Building on the classic Monk image, this spec jump in, whirlwind kicks the demons' teeth in, and jump to the next pack of monsters. Exploding Palm/Mystic Allies Inna  - In this Monk take on a summoner build, you rally spiritual fighters at your side that burst entire groups of enemies with Exploding Palms. Necromancers
      Beginner's Guide to Necromancers - Levels 1-70 and Guide with the Starting Set, Pestilence - A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your Season 14 Necromancer with the Haedrig's Gift free set. Pestilence or Trag'Oul - Corpse Lance  - This build alternates long scouting sessions while waiting on cooldowns with the utter devastation once Devour meets Land of the Dead. Rathma - Skeletal Mage - If you like to keep a tight rein on your minions with precise commands, leading the menagerie of undead at your side in a resource-fueled frenzy, this build is the one for you. Command Skeletons Inarius  - Turning the skeleton warriors into a vicious, unrelenting superior to Bane of the Stricken, this build is a Necromancer's one-way ticket to the absolute endgame heights. Skeletal Mages Trag'Oul  - This is the alternate take on the Mages build, specializing in extreme speed farming, while still offering capable GR pushes. Bone Storm Inarius  - While it took an undeniable nerf, this build is still one of the most relaxing, farming-appropriate melee builds of Necromancers. Corpse Explosion Inarius  - An underappreciated offshoot to the close range Inarius variants, this build is among the most visually appealing and satisfying Necromancer builds out there. Witch Doctors
      Beginner's Guide to Witch Doctors - Levels 1-70 and Guide with the Starting Set, Zunimassa  - A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your Season 14 Witch Doctor with the Haedrig's Gift free set. Arachyr - Firebats Endgame Build  - Requiring minimal upkeep, this build spins a circular, no-aiming-required wave of Firebats obliteration around you. Simple, neat, and utterly effective. Helltooth - Gargantuan Endgame Build  - This staple summoner build offers laid-back playstyle with automated minions, excellent sustain and protective options, and even some space for crowd control. Jade Harvester Endgame Build  - One of the oldest examples of interesting set execution, this melee spellcaster trades the safety of range and hexes for aggressive dives and DoT consumption. Zunimassa Gargantuan Endgame Build - This build thrives behind a thick wall of Fetish summons and is accompanied by lumbering, destructive Gargantuan brutes in a pure minion playstyle. Legacy of Nightmares Spirit Barrage Endgame Build  - Emerging from a convergence of obscure mechanics, this build offers a unique, spell-heavy, bursty playstyle that produces some of the most spectacular visuals of the class. Wizards
      Beginner's Guide to Wizards - Levels 1-70 and Guide with the Starting Set, Delsere's Magnum Opus  - A guide that will take you through the leveling process efficiently and optimize your Season 14 Wizard with the Haedrig's Gift free set. Firebird (or Tal Rasha) - Meteor - Reaching for the heartstrings of Meteor lovers, this build channels torrents of arcane energy to conjure destructive, burning meteorites into a pure visual feast. DMO - Frozen Orb - Combining the Frozen Orb nostalgia of sorceresses past with the forgotten power of Slow Time wizardry, this build leaves enemies helpless, watching their frozen death creep ever closer. Vyr Archon - The oldest devotees to the Archon playstyle: Vyr and its complementary Chantodo sets got an awesome boost of power in Patch 2.6.1. Tal Rasha - Explosive Blast - Aside from its distinct cannonade of arcane blasts, this build is very attractive to Wizards due to its ability to include Sage's set for materials farming. Arcane Torrent Tal Rasha - Spawning off the addition of Manald Heal this guide offers not one, but three very fun, tanky, non-Archon lightning variants to build around. Conclusion
      In short, Patch 2.6.1 is one of the best times Diablo 3 has experienced in terms of build diversity and sheer endgame potential. A living proof that pure numbers patches can sometimes work wonders. Have fun and good luck in Season 14 - I leave you with my hour-long overview of some of my favorite builds in the latest patch!