Diablo III's Newest Patch Brings Tons of Character Tweaks
Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls

Blizzard Entertainment has released its 2.0.4 update for Diablo III, which is now live in North America. The patch update itself introduces a multitude of tweaks to the game’s classes, as well as numerous other tweaks to pets, town hubs, crafting, Diablo III’s Adventure Mode, the in-game items and more. I’ll be covering the changes to the character classes for the most part. So, without further ado, let’s head right on into it.

Without a doubt, it’s definitely the character classes--the Crusader especially--that have received the most tweaks with the introduction of this patch, fixing a few bug fixes here and there, increase and decrease of rates and statistics, and so on. For the sake of consistency, let’s go through the characters one by one.

Barbarian

Blizzard has made it so that Barbarian class receives an increase in the potency of single-target options when generating Fury while in combat. Before, Fury generators that could hit more than one target at a time felt more “meaty” than when compared with single-target Fury generators, and so single-target generators have been increased to be more competitive.

The Barbarian’s active skills have been buffed as well. “Bash” has had its base damage increased from 170 percent of a weapon’s damage to 215 percent of a weapon’s damage. A lot of the statistical changes are based off of a percentage of a weapon’s damage. Bash’s Skill Runes “Clobber” and “Onslaught” now have an increase stun chance from 30 percent to 35 percent for 1.5 seconds, and an increase in additional damage from 80 percent to 100 respectively.

The other two skills, “Frenzy” and “War Cry”, have had their base damage increased from 120 percent to 155 percent, and had an issue preventing the five seconds of paused Fury degeneration after casting War Cry fixed respectively. The final skill, “Weapon Throw”, has had its damage increased from 150 percent to 185, and its Skill Runes “Mighty Throw” and “Throwing Hammer” have had its damage increased from 150 percent to 185 percent and an increase chance to stun from 30 percent to 40 percent respectively.

Demon Hunter

Like the Barbarian, Blizzard has changed the Demon Hunter’s way of generating Hatred from single-target options to make them more competitive with multi-target options.

The Demon Hunter’s “Evasive Fire”, “Hungering Arrow” and “Sentry” skills have been tweaked with this update. Evasive Fire has had its base single shot damage increased from 160 percent to 200 percent, and its side shot damage has been increased from 80 percent to 100 percent. Hungering Arrow’s base damage has been increased from 125 percent to 155 percent, and damage reduction from Sentry’s Rune, “Guardian Turret”, will now be reflected in the Toughness display.

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Witch Doctor

Since it is said that the Witch Doctor didn’t have much to do if it was low on Mana, Blizzard has increased the potency of a few single-target Signature spells to be more of an aggressive option while waiting for your Mana to regenerate. “Haunt” has also received changes to provide a low-Mana option when in combat, as well as providing an option for damage-over-time playstyles, which is to say its Mana cost has been reduced from 200 to 50, and its damage has been increased from 1465% over six seconds to 4000% over 12 seconds.

A few of the Runes for the Witch Doctor’s “Poison Dart” skill have changed, as well as the base damage of the skill itself, which has been increased from 155 percent plus 40 percent to 185 percent plus 40 percent. The “Splinters” and “Spined Dart” Runes have had their damage increased from 65 percent to 105 percent per dart, and the amount of Mana returned from 25 to 50 respectively. “Flaming Dart’s” damage has now been increased from 275 percent to 425 percent over four seconds, and its damage over time can now stack with itself. “Snake to the Face” now has an increased chance to stun from 25 percent to 33-to-35 percent.

“Corpse Spiders” has had its damage increased from 216 percent to 324 percent, and its Runes “Leaping Spiders” and “Blazing Spiders” have both had their damage increased from 238 percent to 383 percent and 259 percent to 400 percent. Lastly, “Firebomb’s” Rune “Pyrogeist” has had its damage increased from 560 percent to 880 percent.

Wizard

Blizzard changed the Wizard’s “Frozen Orb” and “Electrocute” skills because there were bugs in their implementation, which unfortunately weaken both skills as a side effect. However, the fixes are said bring these two skills back in line with the rest of the Wizard’s skills. Specifically, Frozen Orb was chilling for longer than what was intended, and has thus been fixed; the skill’s bonus damage radius the same treatment due to hitting a larger area than what was intended. Electrocute’s Run “Surge of Power” has had its proc scalar reduced from 0.25 to 0.166.

The Wizard’s “Teleport” skill has been changed so that it can be utilized in more situations; it’s range is being increased overall for each time it’s cast. As a result of this change, the “Wormhole” Rune has been reduced in the number of times you can use it consecutively; you can now travel 150 yards in three casts instead of 140 yards in four casts. The range of Teleport skill itself has increased from 35 yards to 50 yards.

Two of the Wizard’s Passive Skills have also been tweaked: “Arcane Dynamo” now properly grants bonus damage to channeled spells, and the issue of “Prodigy” doubling Electrocute’s intended amount of Arcane Power when used with the passive has been fixed.

Crusader

The Crusader has had a bunch of tweaks done to it, which makes sense as it is the newest character available to Diablo III thanks to the Reaper of Souls expansion. Blizzard believed that many of the Crusader’s Wrath skills were below where it would have liked, unlike “Fires of Heaven”, which was believed to be over-performing. While toning Fires of Heaven back from 950 percent damage to 735 percent damage, Blizzard has increased the potency of most of the Crusader’s other Wrath spenders to encourage players to explore different builds. Blizzard has also increased the potency  of “Punish” and “Justice” so that they can be competitive against the Crusader’s other skills.

Justice has been increased from 175 percent to 240 percent weapon damage, and its Runes “Burst” and “Hammer of Pursuit” have been increased from 25 percent to 30 percent weapon damage, and now seeks targets more quickly when cast and an increase in damage from 200 percent to 300 percent respectively. Punish has had its damage increased from 200 percent to 270 percent, and its rune “Retaliate” has been increased from 70 percent to 94 percent in damage.

What’s more, the cooldown and duration of “Steed Charge” have both been reduced. However, the skill also loses its ability to break stuns, which is said to allow you to focus on the skill as being a mobility skill that can get you out of root effects, such as “Jailer”. The skill has also received an increase in damage for damage-focused runes.

In more detail, Steed charge has had its cooldown reduced from 25 seconds to 16 seconds, and its duration and decreased from two seconds to 1.5 seconds. The Runes “Endurance”, “Ramming Speed” and “Nightmare” have been reduced from three seconds to two seconds, increased in damage from 475 percent to 515 percent and had an issue fixed where the fire pools weren’t lasting their full duration has been fixed respectively. The “Draw and Quarter” Rune has also been increased in damage from 125 percent to 185 percent, too.

The Crusader now takes 15 percent less damage from all sources, and the “Rally” Rune for its “Akarat’s Champion” active skill has had a bug fixed that wouldn’t reduce the cooldown of “Condem”. The “Burning Wrath” Rune for “Blessed Hammer” now has an increased radius of eight yards instead of five, and its pool damage has been increased from 95 percent to 150 percent. The “Icebound Hammer” Rune for the same skill has had a bug fixed where it wasn’t chilling enemies, and it no longer goes away when exploding.

Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls

“Blessed Shield” has had a base skill damage increase from 280 percent to 340 percent, and its “Combust” and “Shattering Throw” Runes have each had their damage increased from 105 percent to 270 percent and 50 percent to 333 percent respectively. A known issue about this increase is that the tooltip for the Shattering Throw Rune doesn’t reflect this change.

Finally, “Shield Bash”, “Fist of the Heavens” and “Phalanx” have been given a good treatment, too. Shield Bash’s damage has been increased from 325 percent to 370 percent; the “Crumble” Rune has had its death proc damage increased from 550 percent to 600 percent; and the “Pound” Rune’s bonus damage from shield Block Chance has been increased from 150 percent to 500 percent.

Phalanx’s damage is now 380 percent from 295 percent, and the damage for it’s “Bowmen”, “Bodyguard”, “Shield Charge” Runes are now 160 percent, 285 percent and 180 percent from 85 percent, 200 percent and 75 percent respectively; and the “Stampede” Rune has been given a 30 percent Stun chance instead of 25.

Lastly, the impact and bolt damage for Fist of the Heavens is now 340 percent each from 240 percent and 210 percent respectively. It’s Rune “Divine Well” now has damage of 80 percent instead of 14 percent, and its zap damage search radius has been increased from 12 yards to 18 yards; the “Fissure” Rune’s area of effect damage has been increased from 80 percent to 400 percent over five seconds, and its Arc capsule damage radius is now six yards instead of three yards; and “Heaven’s Tempest’s” issue of not moving around in its intended pattern has now been fixed.

Blizzard has listed a full rundown of all the other changes introduced with patch 2.0.4 over on Battle.net. Diablo III’s expansion Reaper of Souls sold 2.7 million copies in the first week since it released, and an Xbox One version is currently in the works along with a PlayStation 4 version, but Blizzard doesn’t know if the Xbox One version will actually release at this time.

[ Battle.net ]

Kieran Mackintosh
Kieran Mackintosh
@KingSongbird

Contributing Writer
Date: 04/14/2014

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