Diablo 3: Blizzard nerfs monk in first hotfix

"The game is young, there were some skills that threw things out of whack."

Blizzard has nerfed Diablo 3's monk class as part of its first round of hotfixes.

Specifically, Blizzard is "in the process of removing" the on-use benefits of the Monk's Mantra of Healing rune, Boon of Protection. The hotfix change is:

"Amount of damage absorbed is now capped at the amount of healing provided by Mantra of Healing in the first 3 seconds after activation."

Blizzard community manager Bashiok recommended monk players stop using the rune until it's replaced with a new rune and mechanic in a future patch.

Explaining the decision, Bashiok said BoP was, quite simply, overpowered.

"The Boon of Protection rune was approximately 10 times over its budget on the benefits it provided, and it was quite simply a mistake on our part to let the rune ship as it was. We don't intend to take these quick and drastic measures often, but considering the severity of the issue, we felt it important to correct it swiftly."

The news came after players noticed the wizard's Force Armour rune had disappeared from the game without explanation. The demon hunter has also been affected by a change.

Bashiok also addressed concern that the monk and barbarian classes are underpowered versus other classes when it comes to damage.

"In general class balance is an on-going investigation, and by no means do we believe the game is now perfect, but we're also seeing evidence that supports (with a few nerfs to wizard and demon hunter) the monk and barbarian are not as bad off as they seem," Bashiok said.

"A large part of the monk and barbarian designs are based on survival models that mimic the concept of the class itself. The idea of a monk is that he survives through being agile and difficult to hit, and his healing and survival scales particularly well by focusing on mitigation stats like dodge, resists, and armour.

"The concept of the barb is that he survives through a huge health pool, and healing himself through damage (%life on hit stats), which is potentially a bit obvious with all the life return skills but can't be overstated.

"The game is young, there were some skills that threw things out of whack, and we expect the landscape to settle out a bit more evenly. Or at least change again so we can continue to monitor the impact.

"Maybe we're wrong, maybe there's no current chance for monk or barbarian to compete with ranged, but our current suspicion is that's incorrect and until we know for sure we're not going to turn any dials."

A full list of hotfixes will be released today.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

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Wesley is Eurogamer's editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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