More Monk and 2-Handed Weapon Buffs Coming to PTR

The next Patch 2.1 PTR build brings skill buffs & fixes, Greater Rift improvements, and more

Diablo III Monk
The next test update for Diablo III Patch 2.1 is on the way, in the form of a new Public Test Realm build. The new build will bring buffs to multiple classes, including more improvements for Monks, who are getting special attention in Patch 2.1. Wizard skills like Meteor will be hugely improved as well, along with even more increased damage for two-handed weapons, and streamlining of the new Greater Rifts rewards. Here are all the latest Blizzard Blues, with details about the upcoming patch!

Monk Class Improvements
There have been a lot of changes to the Monk class so far in Patch 2.1, and more are on the way! Monks will be back to attacking quickly, as the Attack Speed scalar of most Monk generators is being improved. That means generator skills will hit more often, especially for characters with a lot of Increased Attack Speed on their gear.
This next PTR patch is going to have a BUNCH of Monk changes headed your way. There's a lot to talk about here, so bear with me. This is gonna be a long one.

While we touched on Spirit Regeneration a little bit in the last patch, that was the tip of the iceberg. We're going over all the Monk Spirit Generators and making some significant changes.

Monks are quick strikers, and we wanted to increase the Spirit generation and damage of each Primary skill without just upping the numbers. We're addressing this by increasing the Attack Speed scalar of most Monk generators. This means that each will operate more quickly and scale better with Attack Speed. This is a change you won't see reflected in the tooltip or PTR data mining, but should experience in practice, especially if you already have a substantial amount of Attack Speed. This change addresses both concerns while further embracing that Monk fantasy of being fast and nimble.

We're also addressing some of the remaining Dodge mechanics that Monks have left in their kit. We're leaving a few options for players who really want to embrace the Dodge mechanic and focus on it, but others we're retooling to provide more consistent and reliable benefits. Mantra of Evasion is being replaced with Mantra of Salvation, and the base skill will now provide you and your allies within 60 yards a 20% bonus to All Resistance. We've moved the Dodge bonus to a new rune, Agility, and you'll find some other useful utility among the other new runes.

There are plenty of other changes coming as well, but I don't want to get too patch-notey here. Expect some quality of life and DPS boosts to spenders like Lashing Tail Kick and Wave of Light to make them more competitive and offer you additional options. The new Alabaster Gloves have been removed and replaced with a new Monk Seasonal Legendary Fist Weapon that increases the maximum stack count of Sweeping Winds by 5-7. Overall, there will be new toys to play with, and we're looking forward to seeing your feedback on these changes as we move into our next PTR patch.

Meteor Madness
The Wizard Meteor skill is getting some serious attention in the next patch. The base damage is being boosted across the board, and some of the runes are getting extra attention. A new Legendary power for the two-handed staff The Grand Vizier will make Meteor cost less Arcane Power. That is part of an ongoing effort to get two-handed weapons used more in the game.
While we don't have plans to innately reduce the Arcane Power of Meteor in the next build, we do have some significant Meteor changes coming in the next PTR patch that should make the Arcane Power you're spending feel much more valuable.

In addition to damage increases for the baseline Meteor skill, we're making some changes to a few of the elemental runes that weren't fully embodying their fantasy. The goal is to make each flavor of Meteor different and more indicative of its element while keeping each competitive in its own way. These changes should also make the Tal Rasha’s Set bonus more appealing.

Comet has been slightly modified, dealing a great deal of Cold damage on impact and freezing Chilled enemies for 1 second. You'll still enjoy its icy mist after effect that deals additional weapon damage as cold over time and chills enemies.

Star Pact has also been redesigned, and is now a little reminiscent of the Barbarian's Ancient Spear (Boulder Toss) rune. You'll be able to expend all remaining Arcane Power for a massive amount of Arcane damage, with each point of additional Arcane Power spent granting a 20% damage increase. (I'm personally looking forward to exploding things with this!)

Lastly, Lightning Bind has been replaced with a new rune, Thunder Crash. This new rune removes the delay on Meteor, to better embody the quick nature of Lightning based spells and abilities.

We're also updating The Grand Vizier with a new Legendary power oriented around Meteor, which will now reduce the Arcane Power cost of Meteor by 45-60%. This aligns with our goals of making 2-handed weapons feel more powerful and desirable, and we'd like to hear your thoughts once you get a chance to give these new options a go!
Here's what Don said regarding:
Posted by: Jaetch

If Star Pact can have some synergy with Tal Rasha's 4-piece, that would be awesome.

"When you proc it it'll give you extra damage based on how much Arcane Power you have. Won't spend any."


Quoting for blue, just so this gets some additional visibility. :)

More Two-Handed Weapon Buffs
All two-handed weapons are getting a damage increase in patch 2.1. An earlier PTR patch increased the damage of level 70 two-handed weapons by 23-26% damage. That will now apply to leveling weapons too, and the boost in damage is increasing to 26-30%.
We're planning on expanding the level range for the retroactive damage buff to 2-handed melee weapons, so that it will include item levels 10-70 in patch 2.1. One of the benefits of this change is that it should help lower level Crusaders feel like Heavenly Strength is still a good choice. The percent of increased damage will still be based on the weapon speed, and not based on item level. So, lower level items will receive the same base percent damage increase as their higher level counterparts.

Additionally, we're adjusting the amount of increased damage from 23-26% to 26-30%.

Greater Rifts Improvements
The new Greater Rifts feature is being polished, with some changes in the upcoming patch in how often Legendary Gems can be upgraded, and other changes to the rewards from the new activity.
There has been a ton of great feedback coming our way about Greater Rifts and your experiences with them. So let me take a moment to just say thank you! It's been super helpful to us and confirmed a lot of suspicions our development team has had regarding their current reward structure. Plenty of changes are coming in the next PTR patch that reflect these concerns.

  • Urshi will no longer only spawn when a Greater Rift is failed; instead, she will spawn at the end of every Greater Rift level. You'll be able to choose whether you wish to upgrade your gem or, assuming that you completed that Rift within the time limit, move on to the next level.

  • The Rift Guardian will spawn at the 15 minute mark regardless of whether your bar has reached full progress. This should eliminate "the slog" at higher Greater Rifts where you fail, but have the rest of the level to go before you get your rewards.

  • The pacing for upgrading your Legendary Gems is being significantly revised.
    • Legendary gem upgrades are now more likely to receive multiple ranks per upgrade attempt at higher Greater Rift tiers, to a maximum of 4 ranks at a time.
    • This is in addition to the higher chance to upgrade gained at each additional Greater Rift tier.
    • To compensate for this change, individual ranks are less powerful. The rate of power accrual will roughly be the same, you'll just experience it more frequently!

These are some pretty significant changes to the Greater Rift reward scheme and they should vastly improve your experience when completing and conquering higher Greater Rift tiers. Be sure to let us know what you think once these changes are on our PTR!

*Edited for clarity*

Read on for more Blizzard Blues on the upcoming PTR patch.

Hydra Bugs
A couple of issues with the Wizard Hydra skill will be fixed up in the next PTR build.
Posted by: WARRADA

1- Hydras are proccing the electrified effect on Elites, and im not sure if theyre supposed to, but still the proc are out of control, it covers the entire ground making almost impossible in higher Great Rift levels to get near the mobs. Right now its completely unsafe to run Hydras in parties, you ll just end up killing everyone.

2- Hydras are still consuming Arcane Dynamo stacks, but not gaining any benefict from it, which i dont know if theyre supposed to, but in case of not, it shouldnt consume the stack.

Just wanted to pop in here and let you know that we have a potential fix in place internally for for both of these issues, and that these fixes should make it into our next PTR patch. I obviously can't make any promises as to when that will be, but we are working to get that out as soon as possible!

Thanks for the reports!

Light of Grace and Ray of Frost
Another bug that has been bothering some Wizards is finally getting quashed in the next PTR patch. The Legendary Source Light of Grace has a power to boost the skill Ray of Frost. Unfortunately, a long-standing bug has made the skill not hit certain types of monsters when used with that Source; that bug will finally be fixed.
Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to pop in here and let you know that we have a fix in place for this internally that you should see in the next PTR patch. Thanks for the reports!

Sprinter and Speed Racer Conquests
Conquests in patch 2.1 are season-specific achievements. Some of those have not been working properly so far on the PTR, and the next build will include fixes for them.
Posted by: Taffer

Maybe it's currently not working/implemented? I find it strange that the leaderboards for this category are completely empty.

Strange indeed! After doing a little digging on this, unfortunately it appears this particular Conquest is currently broken. :( This should be resolved in the next PTR, though I don't have an ETA on when that will be at this time.
Posted by: Michael

If we get to tyrael in 59 minutes, will it trigger on the current patch? Or is it 100% not working right now? would hate to spend anymore time on it.

The achievement is granted, but the Leaderboard won't register the score. So if you're looking for the Leaderboard credit, it would be best to wait until the next PTR patch.

No Zero-Cooldown Zombie Dogs
Witch Doctors who used a combination of certain old legacy Legendary items could get to the point where Summon Zombie Dogs did not have a cooldown. In patch 2.1 there is a minimum of a 1-second cooldown on the skill.
I am going to go ahead and lock this topic as this is not a bug. This is an issue with a build that was only possible due to a very specific combination of legendary items that are no longer obtainable. In Reaper of Souls (and 2.1.0), it should not be possible to get to a zero second cooldown state with Summon Zombie Dogs.

PlayStation Bonuses for Ultimate Evil Edition
The upcoming console Ultimate Evil Edition of Diablo III has special bonuses, when purchased on the PS3 or PS4. Those extra goodies are not tied to the other pre-order bonuses.
Posted by: Bazinga

So the UEE is up for preorder on the PSN store (NA) and as I was reading the description on what it includes. There wasn't any mention of "The Last of Us" and "Shadow of the Collosus" goodies, just the standard preorder bonuses. So is this only for physical only and not digital?

The Last of Us themed Nephalem Rift and Shadow of the Collosus transmog armor are exclusive content in the PS3 and PS4 versions of UEE, but are not part of a preorder bonus. This means everyone who plays UEE on the PS3 and PS4 will have access to that content regardless of when they pick up the game.
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