With the launch of 2.6.7 PTR there was a lot of hype around the new sets designed for the Crusader and the Monk, but specially the changes implemented to the Barbarian items. In this post I would like to share my personal review and opinion towards the PTR.
Since the " Season of Grandeur" seasons became more popular, the season buffs became more relevant and creative then ever.
2.6.7 brings the “Pandemonium” buff, which is the most creative buff yet. Some bugs and problems arose, but in all, they feel like a fun idea to bring change to the seasons once more.
Blizzard appear to be listening more to the player base and some changes to some Barbarian items and the Wrath of the Wastes set brought a very popular build back.
When news came out that new sets were coming for each class, pretty much every D3 player was very surprised and excited since most people thought of D3 as a forgotten and abandoned game.
Despite the company showing the player base that they are hearing us more, it does not feel like there is a lot of effort or game state awareness to cover these changes.
The new sets for the Crusader and Monk feel extremely weak. The Crusader set feels like it could have been conceived in a 15 second conversation.
The same 50% DR comes back, which is a standard for most class sets and even Legacy of Nightmares/Dreams, but it comes with the downside that you have to build that up through stacks. That feels weak because other sets don’t have that downside and the value and duration of the stacks don’t correspond with the effort necessary to keep them up.
The 10.000% buff feels standard and untested, it really feels like there was not much thought put into it and in the end the set fails to deliver.
The Monk set is just weird to me. That is not necessarily bad, it feels like there was an idea and perhaps more creativity then the Crusader set, but whatever idea that was, it failed to come through. The set lacks a DR buff and lacks damage to the point that it is dozens of GR levels below any other popular build currently available.
The both new transmog sets look VERY cool, but the Crusader one feel like the model is a bit more pixelated and with lower resolution or detail then the other sets, there is something off about it. The Monk one however doesn’t appear this way, but the necklace on the chest is not something most people I talked to appreciated, to me it looks like garlic to keep vampires away.
With the new changes this season came some nerfs, which is not something that happens very often in D3.
Chantodo’s was changed a couple seasons ago and really became one of the strongest builds of the game and the problem with it in my opinion was that it was just too good at everything. It is conceivable that a nerf would come in, but the one implemented is just way too strong and in my opinion, between a overpowered Chantodo’s and a useless Chantodo’s, I would prefer the overpowered one.
Another item that was nerfed was Bone Ringer. The whole explanation about why it was nerfed was extremely weird and really felt like it was hated by Blizzard.
" Developer Note: We never intended for this item to be used in a way where you farm stacks for an egregious amount of time (5+ minutes) and then watch all their health disappear in less than a second. It’s not an engaging style of gameplay, and we don’t want that experience to be the best way to play the Necromancer." (I can’t include links, but it is a direct quote from the PTR announcement)
As if everything in the game is working as intended. The whole point about new builds in several types of strategy games IS the creativity of the players coming up with new things not thought about by the devs that work.
For something to get nerfed, in my opinion there has to be a problem. You first identify the problem, then you come up with a solution and think again to see if you solution actually fixes the problem and if it doesn’t create an even worst problem.
What specifically is the problem with Bone Ringer? The only thing I extracted from the explanation gives was “we didn’t intend it and we don’t like it”. The builds that used Bone Ringer was both the meta Thorns RGK and the solo push Thorns.
Where was the problem? Was the Solo Thorns the problem? That it took 5min to kill things? So killing the map in 1 second is fine then? Why the silence about Star Pact? I’m not saying to nerf Star Pact, but it’s kinda like arresting the burglar and letting the serial killer walk free, no?
Solo Thorns was a unique type of play that was not appreciated by all, required that you really enjoyed playing it, required a lot of patience, skill and fishing. In the end, what is the difference in killing something 1% at a time in a time span of 5min and taking 4 minutes to take 10% and 1 minute to take 90%?
Then the new “Pandemonium” buff brings out angels that once shot any rift guardian. It’s just a mystery for me what the problem with Thorns was.
I spent hundreds of hours farming Thorns loot in season 18 and now I won’t even get to play with it after the season is done?
Last thing in the post. Is the Blackthorn’s set working as intended as well? Please either delete it for next season or make it playable.
When you remove something that was the best, something else takes over as the new best. In the Chantodo’s case, it will just consolidate Star Pact as the best solo push build for Wizards again, it kills diversity, it doesn’t create it.
As for the Necromancer, there are no changes to the class this season, nothing else emerges to solo push, it will just be Lance and LOD Singularity, again, less diversity, not more.
This season the Barbarian might replace Chantodo’s because of how strong Rend feels in PTR. If Chantodo’s is too strong, so is Rend, I would rather see both builds, but if it is considered too strong, perhaps Rend needs to be toned down (with care not to kill it, it should be a good build still).
Despite the last few paragraphs not being positive ones, I do have to give it to Blizzard that the game has seen a lot of positive changes and received an attention we never expected to see again in the game. We have a great community in D3 that is positive and helpful to new players and has a wish to aid the company to make the game even better at every season. I hope this post helps in doing just this, as well as giving credit where credit is due.