Diablo 3: Patch 2.3 Change to Crowd Control Thoughts

Patch 2.3 is changing the way crowd control works. In a nutshell, they’re reducing the efficacy of crowd control. There’s a pretty big outcry on the forums from this change and it’s not without reason because it changes a lot of builds and eliminates a core key style in the game. I want to delve into my own thoughts about the implications of this potential change and where I stand with it.

I feel that the change to crowd control is primarily done in response to group play where a few key builds would allow for near perma-stuns. In high level greater rift runs, this style becomes almost mandatory for progression since you want to shut down any opportunity for monsters to do damage, which practically one shots you at these levels.

To compensate, part of the changes to greater rifts was the scaling mechanic when it comes to bosses’ health, the overall damage output done by monsters and massive lowering of damage to things like jailer (which is an instant death sentence the moment it hits). Of course, reflect damage was boosted at the same time and is causing people with high toughness and life-on-hit to still insta-gib themselves.

For myself, I think that the direction of nearly eliminating crowd control, if it’s a knee jerk reaction to perma-stun group play, is the wrong path. At that point, you essentially nullify a large group of skills and legendary affixes. Not to mention crowd control is practically a fundamental aspect of any RPG type of game. By removing crowd control, you reduce the game mechanics to just +- damage and numbers, which really isn’t fun.

If anything they should be reducing elites and bosses’ resistance to crowd control and making crowd control useful to interrupt certain abilities. Take for instance the way jailer happens right now. You can be at perfect health then be reduced to near nothing. Even if you play correctly, you’ll still get one shot because your potion is up and you’d have nothing available to help heal you back up quick enough. If there was a way to detect for the upcoming jail and either pull out a defensive or use a crowd control effect to reset the timer, then the game play would be more interesting since it’ll be more about timing and understanding the mechanics at hand.

In general, I think it’s just kinda sad seeing such an important aspect of the game nearly removed. One of my favorite parts about Diablo was being able to freeze enemies and then shatter them. We don’t get to see as much of that visual effect these days and the result is either one shotting your enemy or getting one shot yourself. That’s pretty binary in terms of play style and a direction I do not want to see the game move towards.

I don’t want to see CM Wizard come back in the sense that you have perma-stun as a result of intensely spamming a few keys and developing carpal tunnel. But the issue really centers around balancing the numbers when it comes to scaling mechanics. That’s the key problem right now in the game since part of the game does end up evolving into a very complex math equation. For now, I think keeping crowd control as is should be fine except that maybe a few abilities need small tweaks to avoid too much of a dramatic change.

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