Ethereal Feedback (Part 1)

This post has been updated as of 6/21/2021 with select addendums.

I quickly want to share feedback on Ethereals – it is the first impression gleaned after finding, using and planning the best builds to pursue:

:one: Consider replacing All Damage % with % Damage to Certain Skill Groupings and crank those numbers so we can play different builds. Restrict the big bonuses, just like you did with Windforce’s 200% damage to Archery Skills.

Right now, Ethereals are best suited for upgrading our strongest builds. Those used for paragon grinding and GR pushing. Aim to improve lower-tier builds so we can pick different skills & sets to grind paragon.

100% to All Skills -> 500% to Grenades
100% to All Skills -> 1000% to Device Skills
100% to All Skills -> 800% to Rockets
100% to All Skills -> 2000% to Chakram and Elemental Arrow

This approach will completely eliminate one of the bigger complaints we’ve heard, the disparity of item power between Ethereal weapons – as each Ethereal will ultimately have its own specific use and correlating skills.

:two: Weapons look mass produced seeing the same affixes applied to different class Ethereals takes away from the experience. Even within the DH class Ethereals the same rolls are shared, ie. (all damage %, 1 max damage per paragon up to 800) — this makes the items appear generic and less special. I recommend varying the affixes more.

:three: Dial up the utility rolls, I noticed several items with CDR and RCR rolls. These could actually change builds if they are higher values. On DH we need 35% CDR to no longer equip Dawn. On Crusader a 30% 1hander would work quite well and eliminate Akarat’s Awakening. It keeps the game more interesting when the loot hunt changes.

The Windforce bow lacks a RCR, which causes a clunky, fragile play experience for Multishot. (thank you Ronin) Those who planned to equip Windforce on the UE set also complained about the lack of Max Discipline as well…

:four: Crowd Control Effect affixes like Knockback, Freeze, Fear are problematic for multiplayer pushes. While they were included to honor the original D2 weapon, consider replacing them with sensible replacements ie. % to Chill, % Cold Damage.

:five: No Dagger for DH it be nice for the Doomslinger 1hand xbow to become a melee weapon. The Shadow’s set cannot use any Ethereal item.

Maybe a revamp of Thunderstroke as an Ethereal Spear and replace Doomslinger? Give it a 30% attack speed consecutive hit stacking affix, a weapon damage roll +400-600 Lightning Damage, and stick on 1000% Damage to Devices to enable FoK. That would be pretty yummy to play.

:six: The ethereals have a damage range that isn’t simple to understand. Basically, ethereals have a hidden physical damage modifier which isn’t visible on the list of affixes but is visible on the total damage range of the weapon (and its DPS). This hidden “black” damage affix does have some variability since two identical ethereals with same attack speed and +% damage modifier can have different DPS values. (thank you Iria)

:seven: The +1 maximum damage per paragon (max 800) is a confusing affix that seems to work like the damage range on a ring. It ignores the +90-100% damage modifier on the weapon and does not reflect on the weapon’s DPS value (but does influence the player’s DPS). After paragon 800, the affix roughly translates to three ring rolls of +89-178 damage (that is +267-534 damage is approximately equal to +800 max damage), thus it is a very powerful affix that should be present on every weapon for equality. (thank you Iria)

:eight: Some ethereals have bugs and/or are missing affixes. For example, the hand-crossbow is missing the “ignores durability loss” affix, and because of this, it can get damaged. Interestingly, it can also be repaired which is NOT how the ethereals work in Diablo II. I expect these bugs to be patched before they go live though. (thank you Iria)

:nine: Restrict the legendary effects of Ethereals on a per item basis. Windforce should have a preset list of legendary effects since it contains an affix that boosts Archery Skills. Ie. Do not allow Windforce to roll with Karlei’s Point affix, they are incompatible. See this post for more explanation.

That’s all we’ve got for now – I think this patch has potential to be great, the biggest concern for me is :one: – I’ll probably skip this season if GoD6 Hungering Arrow and LoN Bombardment are the kings, as I’ve already geared and pushed with them for the past year. Thank you.

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I think from a power perspective they are about where they should be. I would like better utility and QOL from them. Id make cooldown roll up 20%. Life to 50%. Etc
Some of them like the flying axes (barb) have a shiddy power of movement boost for killing elites. I dont even loot them anymore. Maybe spice stuff up like that.

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You’d need a hell of a lot more than that since 100% uptime on Vengeance requires cubed Dawn alongside 39% sheet CDR. Multiplicative 35% CDR won’t fix that. Not even close.

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That’s actually NOT true. CDR on all slots except amulet, with a 10% CDR follower will net you 66.37%

10% Follower
10% Paragon
12.5% Helm (Diamond)
8% Shoulders
8% Gloves
8% Ring
8% Ring
10% Weapon
8% Offhand
20% Captain Crimson

Apply an extra 35%, it brings the sheet CDR to up to 78.14%, which makes the cooldown of Vengeance 19.67 seconds, which is LOWER than 20 seconds so it’s 100% uptime.

That doesn’t even include use of Gogok, or Leoric’s Crown in the cube.

If you’re skipping Dawn, that 35% CDR affix turns into an extra 11.77% damage via Captain Crimson, plus whatever you choose to equip in the slot, maybe Echoing Fury, or Odyssey’s End? I see this being good for Multishot, Cluster Arrow and Impale if they address :five:.

I’ve done some strong pushes with Impale/CC3 – there is room for improvement with Echoing in the cube.

There is also an opportunity to cube Fortress Ballista with UE6 Multishot to help with Squirt’s uptime. And let’s not forget the old M6 Multishot build benefiting from full time Vengeance. Much opportunity for a different gameplay experience with bigger CDR on our Ethereal.

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The whole idea behind the Ethereals is that they can be used for ALL builds, with the determining factor being the weapons roll on skill. Your idea will eliminate that and have it cater to certain builds which is not the idea of ethereals.

Do you work for Blizz good sir? And know what their intent behind Ethereals is?

That being said, having every ethereal work for ALL builds would be counterproductive to build diversity, as one ethereal will inevitably end up trumping the others. The best way to ensure each ethereal gets to shine is for each to serve different skills/playstyles.

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About the ethereals themselves, and specifically the DH ones, it seems Windforce was designed to work with UE multishot. In order for it to be a faithful replacement for Yang’s, it should have RCR and discipline added to it, as playing MS without the RCR would be aids. Also Buriza seems to be overtuned. It should lose some of its massive cold dmg.

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Ronin if you saw NightRaven’s other post you’d feel even stronger about him being an employee or paid endorser.

I know. That’s exactly what this game needs. Did you read my justification? We’re all going to play the same build if Ethereals fully supports all skills. 100% Damage to All Skills is a problem. DH’s GoD6 Hungering Arrow is so much stronger than everything else, there’s no incentive to play Multishot, Cluster Arrow, Impale etc.

I have no problem with people using an Ethereal weapon to help boost their GoD6 HA, due to the higher weapon damage and the 800 paragon increases max damage affix, — however, those big supporting affixes of 100-200% damage should be aimed at inferior skills so we have some choice for how to grind paragon.

No sane person will main the loser skills. The power discrepancy is too big, we’re a talking +10GRs.

I doubt they’d pay him, having closed his account on at least one occasion. Then again maybe that’s not beyond Bliz.

Yeah most on PTR are playing UE MS with Buriza. It’s a literal eyesore.

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more like 2,000,000% if you want them to compete…

Haha, yeah it seems like that right? The 2000% multiplier is just a general idea, but it gets it close. I think UE6/M6 Chakram is GR108-110 at 5k paragon atm. So 19 GRs from the weapon brings it a little over GR131-132 when the other Ethereal affixes are factored in.

N6M4 Chakram is ~GR118-119, with the substitution of Bombardier Rucksack for an Ethereal 1h xbow as a legendary power, it’s ~GR114-115 – so we’re talking mid GR137-138ish all affixes considered.

That’s because the Burrito is the only one that gives UE MS proper stats. But we lose a TON of DPS from lack of RCR because we’re firing off very very slow generators to build that back up. Remember, the devs never implemented a system where slower weapons generate more hatred to offset the fewer generators you can fire off in a given time frame. Yang’s is still going to do better than Burrito for the MS build, by far. MS leans unbelievably heavily on that RCR for DPS uptime.

Not impressed with the lack of +Vit roll on ethereals. Survivability is key and paramount to any good build. More life should be a good thing.

:+1: I agree, having each weapon have its own build would make sure all 3 weapons have a use for each class.

:+1: Yep, I noticed that too since there are many affixes that are present on all 3 weapons for a given class.

That said, the most powerful affixes should be common to each of the 3 weapons while the moderately powerful affixes can vary. It’s far easier to balance weapons with lesser affixes than their strongest ones.

:+1: Again, I agree since one of the biggest issues with the ethereal bow is the lack of RCR compared to Yang’s Recurve. This lack of RCR also massively hurts toughness since UE multishot uses Captain Crimson. I would recommend the RCR values be closer to 50% because of this for some classes. The CDR shouldn’t exceed 30-35% though for most classes (DH isn’t a cooldown bound class though).

:+1: This has always been a mixed bag in that some builds benefit from it and others don’t. Group settings for sure have issues with CC abilities so I would imagine it’s better to remove those affixes from ethereals. The idea to change them to soft CC effects is a good idea.

I also found it odd that only the DH weapons had a massive +35% hard CC effect while others had +5%; this is likely because they used Windforce and Buriza-Do Kyanon as the mold and added things to it.

:+1: That surprised me too but I think it might have been that the developers were too cautious with making very large buffs to certain builds. By similarity, Crusaders and Monks did not receive a 2-hand ethereal weapon!

While the hand-crossbow is one of the weakest ethereals in the game at the moment (comparing to the other 2 DH ones), one fix could be to allow dual wielding of that one ethereal. That would put it in line with the very strong crossbow ethereal. However, that approach might irk other dual wield classes (Monk and Barb) so perhaps they could tune the Monk and Barb one-handers to be a little weaker so that dual-wielding is a fair option; they could even mix two different ethereals that way unlike DH who only has one type of hand-crossbow.

Your idea to change the hand-crossbow into a dagger or sword is another viable option but would mean that DH is the only class without a class-specific weapon ethereal. This is not a big issue but lore-wise, every other class would have an ethereal of their unique class: Barbarian – Mighty Weapon, Crusader – Flail, Monk – Fist Weapon, Necromancer – Scythe, Witch Doctor – Ceremonial Knife, Wizard – Wand.

Also, the developers have to be careful to not simply flag the hand-crossbow as a melee weapon because of the Shadow set bonus. This would open the door to a Natalya/Shadow hybrid build where a player gets both the S2 bonus and N6 bonus for a total 8601x damage multiplier to every skill! This would completely overpower DH and ruin game balance (3 DH + zBarb would be the meta for speed 150s).

This was a very good overview that I agree with but I have a couple more concerns:

:six: The ethereals have a damage range that isn’t simple to understand. Basically, ethereals have a hidden physical damage modifier which isn’t visible on the list of affixes but is visible on the total damage range of the weapon (and its DPS). This hidden “black” damage affix does have some variability since two identical ethereals with same attack speed and +% damage modifier can have different DPS values.

This also makes it cumbersome for some players to understand in that some weapons may be better than others without a clear reason (e.g. the ethereal crossbow with a high +X-Y cold damage modifier may actually have less DPS than another with a lower modifier).

:seven: The +1 maximum damage per paragon (max 800) is a confusing affix that seems to work like the damage range on a ring. It ignores the +90-100% damage modifier on the weapon and does not reflect on the weapon’s DPS value (but does influence the player’s DPS). After paragon 800, the affix roughly translates to three ring rolls of +89-178 damage (that is +267-534 damage is approximately equal to +800 max damage), thus it is a very powerful affix that should be present on every weapon for equality.

Another interesting idea would be to change it to +0.5% critical hit damage per paragon (max +400%) or something to remove the reliance on emeralds for a season! The ruby would be king in the weapon socket, especially with the +90-100% damage modifier!

:eight: Some ethereals have bugs and/or are missing affixes. For example, the hand-crossbow is missing the “ignores durability loss” affix, and because of this, it can get damaged. Interestingly, it can also be repaired which is NOT how the ethereals work in Diablo II. I expect these bugs to be patched before they go live though.


I will add a few more ideas if I come up with any later. I won’t make a massive PTR feedback post as I have done before but dmkt can incorporate any of my ideas into the OP.

Keep up the good work dmkt!

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First off it’s Buriza (Japanese for ‘Blizzard’).

Secondly you’re using Buriza because the beefed up stats on it make it far better than alternatives such as Yang’s or even ethereal Windforce. There is nothing inherently ‘proper’ about those stats as pertains to MS. Not to mention, thematically it’s entirely incorrect (a MS DH should wield a bow).

Now ethereal Windforce does have a proper stat (+200% dmg to Archery skills), but it’s unfortunately not only missing the crucial RCR and discipline but underpowered compared to Buriza. Which goes to show how much the devs missed their mark on this one.

I don’t care what its name translates into. I already know that, thanks. I’m still calling it Burrito.

The beefed up stats that gave me a 4400 DPS weapon cleared slower than Yang’s. Missing the RCR and disc (all of them lack discipline) really hurts UE MS. We rely on rapid refilling of resources, including our disc, which is tied to how fast we can fire our generators, and we rely on the RCR. We lose both on all of the weapons, with one of them giving us just a tiny break with 10-12% RCR, which is a far cry from the 40-50% on Yang’s.

The beefed up stats means jack squat when it clears slower because you’re losing resources and filling them excruciatingly slow due to the Burrito’s firing rate.

The real issue here is that there are only three per class, so they kind of have to be generic to fit the most builds possible. Unfortunately for the DH, only the top builds got boosted. The underperforming ones got nothing. This theme really needs to be kept on the back burner until season 25 so they have time to iterate more on it.

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+1

eighteen more char

Lol his idea is far better than their current idea which is Ethereals = :poop:

Considering there’s only 3 of them per class, they’ve already become a tired novelty that has worn off much sooner than later, since they’re all the same and people have already started ignoring them.

That, like I said, is a FAIL.

And, just in case you’ve forgotten, this is supposed to be the main selling point of the next season…the thing that’s supposed to make you want to play longer than a week or 2 and then abandon it altogether like most people do nowadays.

Not quite.

Personally I would like to avoid farming for a specific Ethereal to play a specific build considering they also roll random legendary effects that may be completely incompatible with the build I have in mind, therefore I like +dmg bonus to all skills better than +dmg bonus to a specifc skill category.

Since Ethereal is a one season thing, I don’t really care if some of them are completely garbage but that may be just me.

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Okay call it what you want, doesn’t change the fact that it’s icy instead of hot :smiley:

Admittedly I haven’t gone on the PTR and tested it myself, as I’m too busy with S23 to bother leveling a fresh seasonal toon. But I wouldn’t be surprised that Buriza performs worse than Yang’s. Even in some UE hungering arrow runs I was feeling lack of discipline from not having the RCR. Compounded with the lack of hatred for MS is why I mentioned earlier that pushing MS will be aids with Buriza/Windforce. The only real remedy is to take Pride’s Fall but this entails losing a DPS gem for Gizzard.

Actually they don’t have to be generic at all. Windforce for instance, only provides %dmg for Archery skills, so one can assume that the devs wanted this to be a MS/CA exclusive weapon. The real issue is why they didn’t have the foresight to add RCR and discipline rolls on it too, given the importance of these stats for those skills.