Blizzard Defends the Legendary Shard of Hate Nerf

The Shard of Hate legendary sword was nerfed via a bug fix in a recent hotfix. That change didn’t sit well with some players, and even a week later we’re still seeing complaints about the change to the item. On Friday Nevalistis offered some additional explanation.

Because there’s definitely a lot of conversation going on for this topic, it’s taken me a while to zone in on the information that’s really missing from this discussion.

Key words, "a chance."

Key words, “a chance.”

In short, Shard of Hate has a chance to proc both on hit AND on skill use. This means that its Legendary affix can occur both when the item hits a target AND when an appropriate elemental skill is used. The chance for Shard of Hate to proc on skill use also runs through the associated skill’s proc scalar. There is no other item in the game (to my knowledge) that works quite like this, so Shard of Hate is unique in that regard. It’s reasonable for there to be some confusion as a result, given there’s no direct comparison to other items.

Its Legendary power does also obey an internal cooldown. This functionality was previously being ignored by players who were dual wielding, but it now works correctly post-hotfix. Bear in mind you might not always see the on-hit and on-skill use proc occur back-to-back because of the item’s internal cooldown.

We feel the item itself is in a pretty good place at the moment, and comparable to other on-hit items, if not a little better by virtue of the fact that it has additional opportunities to proc. Prior to the bug fixes, Shard of Hate was wildly over-performing in ways far above and beyond other gearing options, and as such, was an outlier that merited some adjustment.

The whole reason for the uproar about this (and as per your response I know you didnt glean this) is because the proc coefficients on abilities such as Whirlwind (13% coeff), which also does laughable damage by itself, don’t permit build diversity because you actually get more AoE damage from skills//procs by using Single Target abilities that have nearly 100% proc coefficients.
Nevalistis: We haven’t yet completed a full tuning pass after the launch of Reaper of Souls. While we started with a few changes to some generators and single-target skills with the 2.0.4 patch, that doesn’t mean we’re done with evaluating all the classes and their skills.

While I don’t have exact details to share at this moment, tuning and balancing is something always being discussed amongst our developers. I’m certainly happy to carry back feedback on skills that you (or others) feel need another look, but that would be a separate case entirely from the bug fixes for Shard of Hate. A bugged weapon shouldn’t be a solution to an issue with a skill – if Whirlwind or other skills need to be re-evaluated, then that should be a separate (if related) discussion, and I can certainly pass that on!

You guys think there are legit arguments to be made against the Shard of Hate’s nerf/fix? Or are we just seeing QQ from people who had latched onto one OP buggy item and are speaking with sorrow now that it’s gone?

Should Diablo 3 Followers Share Gear?

I’ve seen the issue come up in clan chat, and today it got a Blue reply on the B.net forums.

wouldn’t it make sense that the followers gear carry over from each character that you are playing? Why do I have to regear all of my followers for each character that I play? I know I can painstakingly transfer the gear each time I play a different character, but wouldn’t this be much easier? Just a thought, I would like to hear what you all think about this?
Grimiku: I think this is solid feedback, and I’d be happy to pass it along. A lot has changed with the followers since Reaper of Souls was released, and it might be a good time to take another look at them. We don’t have any current plans to alter how followers are equipped, but I’d still like to hear your thoughts about it.

  • Do you currently share follower gear between your characters?
  • How often do you swap follower gear around?
  • Would you use a feature that allowed your max level characters to share follower gear?
  • Just posting from the hardcore perspective…it would be nice, but I still think this should just be allowed on softcore, sure it sucks to die on HC and lose the gear that you had on your follower, but with that said…thats kinda the point of Hard Core.
    Grimiku: Thanks for sharing your perspective on this, and it’s definitely a good point that would need to be addressed if a system like this was ever implemented.

    Also, Grimiku, please deliver this feedback:

    - when you die an are about to respawn, your follower respawned seconds before you did, instantly dying, then you revive -> no follower there.

    Fix: give him the same “ghost time” that you have.
    Grimiku: I’ll put this on my list of things to talk about at our next meeting. It’s something I certainly notice when I’m playing my normal mode characters, and the followers would probably like it if they took less dirt naps, too.

    No, I do not share item between class because each class has different requirement and the specific follower that best suit that build. I may switch follower for a character but the item are different between classes. Even if I have 2 class of the same, I will have different builds and require different follow setups.

    No. Please don’t force it on everyone if it must be added. I would like to keep each of my follower different. If they are all the same, the fun of gearing these “pets” will be removed.
    Grimiku: It’s certainly true that there are plenty of situations where a player would not want to share follower items, and that would need to be considered if a feature like this was implemented. Personally, I know that equipping my Scoundrel with a Windforce is fine on my Demon Hunter, but a pain when I’m trying to keep monsters stuck in a Piranhado.

    And then there were three...

    And then there were three…

    Obviously Character A could just take items off her Follower and stick them in the stash for Character B to retrieve and put on his Follower, so any request for shared Follower gear is purely a convenience. That said, conveniences are… convenient. There would be issues changing between types of Followers, with their unique items class-specific and the same mostly true of their weapons, but for most players, the Eirena running behind their Monk is indistinguishable from the one running behind their Wiz, or Barb, or Crusader, etc. So you’d seldom want to change what a given Follower was using, no matter which char you were playing.

    How about this approach — all the Followers on your account would work like two-legged stashes, so whatever gear you put on them is what they have for all the chars on your account. Basically there’s only one of each follower for your account, rather than as many different versions of them as you have characters. If you wanted to change the weapon your Scoundrel was using when with your WD vs. your Barb, that would be easily done, but you wouldn’t have to stock 2 versions of Lyndon with rings, amulet, and unique item. And you would never have to change which char you were logged on with to fetch item X from a different char’s follower. (Plus the Followers could share gossip and insults between your characters! Lyndon: “I was running with a female Monk yesterday and she was much faster killing than you are.”

    Convenient! Cheesy and wrong?

    Diablo 3 Survival: Healing vs. Toughness vs. Hit Points

    Players are greatly overvaluing Vit/HPs and undervaluing healing and resistance and defense. That’s the argument made (confusingly, IMHO) in a post on the B.net forums. But since Wyatt Cheng dropped in to commend it, clearly it’s advice we should all take to heart. Especially for Hardcore players: Diablo 3 Survival: Healing vs. Toughness vs. Hit Points?

    I’ll quote the whole OP’s post and then Wyatt’s reply. Unless my basic understanding of combat in Diablo 3 is flatly wrong, I believe the OP is incorrect in his 200k vs. 500k example, as he seems to think total incoming damage is somehow divided into your total Toughness and then only some % of the damage subtracted from your hit points. By his logic you’d always be better off with fewer HPs/lower Toughness, but with higher Healing, since then the damage you took would be tiny and you’d instantly heal it all up. Build a 1000 hps char with 1000 healing = immortality!

    Wrong.

    What actually happens in Diablo 3 combat, as best I understand it:

  • Raw incoming damage is DiabloWikimitigated by your DiabloWikiresistances, armor, blocking, -melee/ranged% affixes, etc, which results in the red number you see displayed in game.
  • That number is subtracted from your Hit Points (so higher HPs are always better, but maybe not as valuable as more mitigation).
  • Your healing (DiabloWikiregen, DiabloWikiLpH, Health Orbs, etc) produces the green numbers you see in-game, which refill your HPs pool.
  • Here’s the post and Wyatt’s reply.

    So I have been playing for a very long time on softcore and recently have been doing a bunch on hardcore, where survivability becomes paramount (of course). I ran across someone in my clan the other day, and have actually ran across many people of a similar mindset so I decided to write it all down here so it could actually help someone.

    Anyway, he could not understand why I am able to do 1 level of difficulty higher than him when my toughness number was about 40% of what his was. So we joined a game together and started killing some things and he began to wonder why my life pool was barely moving as I took damage, while his would drain a little bit, but not significantly to put him in danger.

    The thing to remember is that your character survivability is a function of all 3 things, Damage, Toughness, and Healing.

    Also, we are assuming no other damage reduction for simplicity. we are only considering healing, life, armor, and all resist.

    Lesson 1: Kill Quickly
    The faster you kill, the less damage you take, and thus the less you have to heal. This is pretty self explanatory, and not specifically the aim of this thread.

    Lesson 2: Life is strengthened by All Resist and Armor
    What is better?

    1. 5,000,000 Toughness with a 500,000 life pool
    2. 5,000,000 Toughness with a 200,000 life pool
    3. Doesn’t matter, 5,000,000 toughness is 5,000,000 toughness

    The answer, every time, is option 2. If you keep your toughness constant while simultaneously lowering your life, it means each life point becomes stronger which makes your healing more potent.

    Let’s do some math and assume we heal for 20,000 life per second and we are fighting monsters while taking 500,000 damage per second… How long will your character last?

    1. 5,000,000 Toughness with 500,000 life pool
    The enemy does 500,000 damage per second which is 1/10 of your toughness, so that means each second, those monsters are hitting you for 50,000 life. we are healing at 20,000 life per second, so we are at a net loss of 30,000 life per second.
    In this case, we will survive for 16.67 seconds.

    Not too bad huh?

    2. 5,000,000 Toughness with 200,000 life pool
    Again, same as above… the enemies damage us for 500,000 damage which is 1/10 of our toughness… That means these monsters are hitting us for 20,000 life per second. But we are also healing for 20,000 life per second. That means we are at a net change of 0 life per second.

    In this case, we will NEVER die!

    3. 8,000,000 Toughness with 800,000 life pool (which is about what my clan-mate had)
    Again, 500,000 damage which is 1/16 of our toughness, so the monsters are hitting for 50,000 damage. we end up in the same scenario as number 1 where we eventually die, but it takes a lot longer. Losing 30,000 health per second with 800,000 health.
    In this case, we will survive for 26.67 seconds.

    Lesson 3: Healing is more potent when stacking armor and All Resist
    we saw above how someone with 3 million more toughness will eventually die when stacked next to someone whose toughness is more seated in all resist and armor. The reason is each point of life has a toughness value associated with it when taking into account all of the other multipliers.

    1. 5,000,000 Toughness with 500,000 life pool
    Each life point here accounts for 10 toughness, so when we have 20,000 healing per second, we are really only regenerating 200,000 toughness per second.

    2. 5,000,000 Toughness with 200,000 life pool
    Each life point here accounts for 25 toughness, so when we have 20,000 healing per seconds, are are actually regenerating 500,000 toughness per second

    3. 8,000,000 Toughness with 800,000 life pool (which is about what my clan-mate had)
    Each life point accounts for 10 toughness so again, we are only regenerating 200,000 toughness per second.

    Conclusion
    Suvivability is a combination of killing speed and toughness and healing. for the defensive aspect, the more you stack Armor, All resist and damage reduction modifiers, the more potent your healing becomes so you can survive much longer even with a smaller toughness number. This leads to people witnessing a sense of “false toughness” when stacking life. In actuality, it isn’t “false toughness,” but just diluted healing

    Wyatt Cheng: Thanks for spreading awareness! Great write-up.

    Damage, Toughness and Healing are all designed to be rough guides to try and help players make gear choices, but knowledge of the underlying mechanics will always allow players to get the most out of your gear. Savvy players understand that mechanics like “+% damage to skill X” or “Cooldown Reduction %” can provide significant increases to your combat effectiveness. Equipping your character is about much more than just making an abstract number on your character sheet as large as possible.

    Healing is currently an estimation of approximately how much Life the game thinks you probably heal per second. Obviously it’s just an estimation because mechanics such as Life Per Kill and Life Per Resource Spent don’t translate directly into a Life per second value.

    We’ve been talking about changing Healing into a “Toughness healed per second” value. This unfortunately makes it even more of an abstract concept, but it would help take into account that your damage mitigation enhances the value of your Life recovery stats. The ultimate goal of the three summary stats is to provide a “quick gut check” of an item’s effect on your character, and making this change to Healing could probably help guide people better.

    Here’s my Shorter version of the whole moral of the thread and Wyat’s reply:

  • TLDR: Healing and damage mitigation (via Defense and Resistance) are more valuable than HPs, and players are getting a false sense of security from big Toughness numbers based almost entirely on high VIT, when survival is more about mitigation and healing.

  • Wyatt’s post suggests that the devs want to make the importance of Healing much more apparent to players, and that’s basically what the OP was trying to emphasize. You are much better off adding to your healing (via LpH, Regen, Life for resource spent, etc), or increasing your damage mitigation (via All Res, Defense, +blocking%, reduced damage from melee/ranged attacks, etc), instead of just tacking on some more Vit for a higher HPs number. Currently, the game doesn’t make that very clear with the way Toughness increases via gear upgrades, and the way that Healing is listed separately and not factored into your total Toughness/HPs.

    What do you guys think of Wyatt’s suggestion for a better display of the Healing mechanic? And/or do you think they need to recalculate Toughness, since it seems to overvalue Vit and types of damage mitigation your character isn’t necessarily benefiting from, while not accurately showing the more important factors in survival?

    Hearthstone™ Now Available on iPad®!

    It’s time to let your fingers do the dueling—Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has arrived on the Apple® iPad®! Now you can enjoy all of the game’s epic card-slinging and deck-building action on the go on these supported iPad devices: iPad Air™, iPad 4th generation, iPad 3rd generation, iPad 2, iPad mini™, and iPad mini with Retina® display. Duel a friend at home, at the airport, at work (we promise we won’t tell), or anywhere that you can connect to the Internet.

    Never played Hearthstone? No problem! You’ll run through a few lighthearted introductory missions to get a feel for the basics of this fast-paced collectible card game, and then you’ll be ready to take on the world—hurling fireballs, swinging Fiery War Axes, and mixing it up with Leeroy Jenkins in no time!

    Already playing Hearthstone on your PC? Your card collection and progress are shared across any device used to access your Hearthstone account, so any cards you’ve collected will be waiting for you when you launch Hearthstone from the iPad.

    As an added bonus for giving Hearthstone a go on the iPad, you’ll be able to earn a free pack of cards! If you’re a new player, just complete the fun introductory missions, defeating Illidan Stormrage at the end, and then enjoy a game of Hearthstone in any mode! Win or lose, you’ll earn your free card pack just by enjoying a game of Hearthstone in Play, Arena or Practice mode.

    If you’re a seasoned Hearthstone veteran and have already completed the introductory missions, simply dive into Play, Arena, or Practice mode on the iPad to earn your bonus card pack! What’s better than opening a Hearthstone card pack? Opening a Hearthstone card pack anywhere you want with the iPad!

    Celebrate the launch of Hearthstone on the iPad by sharing some pictures with the community on social media! We’ll be gathering up the best shots of players enjoying Hearthstone on iPad in their favorite gaming spots. Tag your pictures on Facebook or Twitter with #HSiPad, or send them over to zeriyah@blizzard.com. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter page for updates, and see if your shots get shared!

    Hearthstone requires an Internet connection to play. Getting started is quick and easy! Download Hearthstone now from the iTunes® App Store℠ and start building a deck of your own today!

    Apple, iPad, Retina, and iTunes are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. iPad mini, iPad Air, and App Store are trademarks of Apple Inc.

    Oculus Rift gives terminally ill cancer patient one last sunny vacation

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    Vote: Diablo 3 DPS Meter, Essential Addition or the Worst Thing Ever?

    We’ve seen a lot of requests for a Diablo 3 DPS meter, and Blizzard has turned them all down. There are two more long Blue posts about the issue today, and it’s interesting since the Blues offer the same argument against players with very different points of view. One wants the DPS and Toughness meters removed entirely, while the other wants a much more detailed and accurate DPS meter. (Or perhaps they both want the same thing, and are just offering arguments for it from both sides of the coin.)

    Blizzard, please remove sheet damage and even toughness

    Reading through the topic “350k dps WD got kicked out of party“, I see a lot of people are still in “D3 vanilla” state. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Sheet damage doesn’t mean jack-!@#$ anymore. There are a lot of offensive stats which aren’t factored into sheet damage: pet damage, elemental damage, elite damage, skill damage, CDR, resource cost reduction, area damage, etc. I know this has been a known issue, but seeing people still giving WD “700k dps should be minimum for T3″ or similar things, I just lol.

    Toughness is somewhat a less broken measurement but it needs fix as well.

    TL;DR: Either remake sheet damage or remove it. What’s the point of a measurement if it gives you wrong information?
    Nevalistis: The DPS, Toughness, and Healing stats are all meant to be general, quick evaluations of your character’s power. While you will have a better grasp of exactly what your character is capable of by more closely analyzing your individual stats, these overviews are there to provide this information at a short glance. Similar to the green or red Damage/Toughness/Healing estimations that show up when evaluating a new piece of gear, scrutinizing the details will give you the information needed to make those more precise gearing decisions.

    For players that wish to focus a little less on min-maxing, though, those stats are there to provide a sort of surface check. We’re certainly open to feedback on how we can improve on these stats, and as indicated in our Patch Notes, we are keeping an eye on the stats that weigh into this to make sure they’re properly indicative of the amount of benefit they provide.

    Bear in mind that some stats are much more tricky to incorporate into this kind of system, with bonus damage versus Elites and bonus Skill damage being good examples. Stats with an orange diamond adjacent to them are not calculated into DPS, Toughness, or Healing, and should be independently considered from these overviews as a result.

    It turns out the 350k DPS WD in question isn’t a good poster child for this debate, since he’s actually in very mediocre gear (for T3), and is not kitted out in some super-optimized legendaries and +elemental damage kit that would display poorly on the sheet DPS while kicking ass in action.

    This case study aside, that is a real issue with the game today, with so many items capable of adding damage via +elemental, or +skill, or legendary procs, none of which are factored into the “sheet DPS” score. And while it can occasionally be an issue in multiplayer games, it’s more of an issue with players not being able to tell what their actual damage is. I’ve seen many clan chat threads running on issues like, is it worth it to give up some Critical hit Chance to gain more +elemental damage, even if only 1 of their main attack skills is of that element?


    Over in the EU forums there’s a more traditional request, which gets the usual Blue denial. The OP is from a player who really wants the DPS meter, and most of the replies seem to agree, but when the Blue appears he quotes one of the few anti-arguments, and builds upon it.

    DPS Meter

    PLZ BLIZZARD. would make trying new builds so much more fun. We could actualy know exactly how much dmg we would be doing with different items, builds etc.

    A build’s worth isnt just defined by its DPS potential, but also by its defenses and utilities
    Ulvareth: Well said! We know that a DPS meter is a fairly frequent request and you can be sure that we’ve talked about it. Ultimately though, we feel that a DPS meter would put too much focus on one single aspect of the game and we currently don’t have any plans to implement one.

    Let me explain why we feel this way: DPS is certainly important, but Diablo is a combination of activities. Healing and Toughness are are important, too, and your movement and positioning, your ability to aim with certain abilities and using them at the right moment also play an important role in “determining” how “well” you’re doing. DPS alone shouldn’t be the only number that matters when you play.

    You’re not competing with anyone but yourself so that DPS number is completely irrelevant to your own experiences.

    Actually, we believe the frequent call for such a feature is indicative of a desire for a way to measure your progress and compare with others.

    One feature that we’re working on and that is planned for our first major content patch are Tiered Rifts, and our intention is to add Leader Boards which will allow you to track your progress. That way, you’ll be able to see how quickly you can clear these special rifts which in turn should allow you to assess your efficiency and compare with the community at large.

    We don’t have details to share at the moment, but we’ll have more information on Tiered Rifts (and Seasons) in the future – stay tuned!

    So what do you guys think? I thought the DPS display was fine for Diablo 3, but now in Reaper of Souls with so many more ways to boost damage and gear that aren’t just CC/CD/IAS/Mainstat, having a sheet DPS number that doesn’t include anything else is lame. Lame to the point of being misleading, I think. Sheet DPS is fine for early gearing up, but it becomes less and less useful with better and more specialized items, and while I’m fine with the other stuff not being included in the sheet DPS — after all, the game can’t know in advance how much you’re going to use the one of your skills that’s boosted 20% to Fire Damage — it seems pretty dumb that the won’t give us some kind of damage tracker that would record your actual damage dealt.

    Why not a feature that added up the total damage you dealt over the last 5 or 10 seconds of combat? The number would fluctuate depending on which of your skills you’d been using, which buffs were active, if you were going full out emptying your resource or maintaining a steady pace, it would skew high if you had a lot of AoE against a large group, or low when you faced a single target, etc… but so what? The number would even out over time and you’d have more data to evaluate your character with. I’d love such a number to help me plan my play style and skills and build, and yes, it would function as something of a skill-rating, showing how much damage a character actually dealt, rather than just the misleading and incomplete sheet DPS number we have today. For privacy issues, Bliz could even include an share/hide option, so you could let others see it, just let friends or clan members see it, or no one else at all.

    Perfect solution. Everyone wins! Right?


    Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

    PS4 ships 7 million worldwide, outsells Xbox One in Europe 7:1

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    Microsoft announces 5 million Xbox One sales, 2 million behind PS4

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    RNG leads to Diablo 3 Forum unrest

    It’s been almost a month since ROS was released so naturally it’s time to start complaining, as RNG leads to Diablo 3 Forum unrest! To be fair some never stopped, however the general forums have turned quite sour rather quickly. A cursory glance could see the general complaints about the latest hit to Shard of Hate, but the much larger problem is with the deity we’ve come to love and loath: DiabloWikiRNG.

    RNG

    Both MVP’s and regular forum goers have gone on various tirades in the past few days both with suggestions for the loot system and with complaints about it. At the moment the vast amount of forum qq can be boiled down into a few solid things.

    1. Unrewarding legendaries

    The vast amount of legendaries are not rewarding. Players are playing many hours to find the items they desire and are coming up empty handed a majority of the time. Obviously this is one of the handicaps of the BOA system. It works really well when you find what you want, but every other drop that doesn’t fit that build is by association garbage. With smart drops this also hinders the ability to transfer it to another character sans some major enchanting.

    2. Rift party loot imbalance

    Many reports of players who go through a feast or famine stage while rifting with colleagues. The theory is that loot is somehow bugged with one person taking the lion’s share of loot while the party suffers in silence. I’m not sure if this can be confirmed, but I’ve gone many rifts getting nothing but Blood Shards at the end, and then had a beautiful patch where I would get three legendaries in one rift. So when is RNG being RNG and when is it bugged?

    3. Items/Skills get fixed

    Shard of Hate was good, too good, and Blizzard brought it down to earth. This upset many people, Combine this argument with point one above and immediately you get…

    4. People quitting

    The reasons vary from place to place but it’s usually a combination of one and three. Naturally when you decide to no longer play a game you must inform the player base. Make sure to list your past achievements (How many top 5 D2 players were there really?), hours played, and mention how much money you spent.

    That’s all the complaints I could muster summing up today. Now to be fair (that’s how you know this isn’t a flux article) I can understand some of the complaints about loot. It can be hard to go through a long session and walk away empty handed. That can only breed unrest, and while things are in the works to round out ROS, for some patience is not a virtue they’ve acquired.

    So now that the forum qq is out of the bag feel free to make the comments sections your sounding board for whatever is bothering you. What is your gripe with RoS?

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