With Patch 2.1.2 PTR up, some say that it’ll be released after Christmas, possibly in January. Right now, there’s only limited amount of testing available as quite a bit of the new items for the coming season are still being tuned. However, we have seen how both the monk and the demon hunter are being modified as well as some new items and ancient items. But if you’re a non-seasonal player (like myself, although I did create a demon hunter just for the transmog), this blog is geared for looking ahead a bit and seeing what you can do right now.
I think the biggest change for many people will be the modified Maurader Set. No longer will you be able to duck and hide while letting your sentries do all the work. Instead, to really maximize your damage, you’re going to have to realign your gear and skills slightly or start your hunt for a Kridershot. At the moment, I believe most Demon Hunters are employing the Etrayu bow as it does the best DPS for the popular frost-fire build. With the changes to the Maurader set, you will probably get rid of Elemental Arrow (if you don’t have a Kridershot) and use either Chakram (if you have the quiver) or a different generator since your sentries will only fire your spenders when you trigger them. If you’re doing a lightning build with the Helltrapper Hand Crossbow, you should start hunting for new weapons as the lightning build pretty much will be going away since the number of Sentries will be limited in the patch.
So what are some possible weapon combos given these circumstances? In my case, I managed to have a Calamity in my bank along with the Chakram quiver. Until I am able to locate a Kridershot, I might change my spender over to Chakram, thereby eliminating the need for a lower DPS spender. Calamity does boost your DPS by 20% so it might be worth giving that a try. Of course, you still will want to move back to the Bombadier Rucksack quiver down the line but you’ll either have to switch Elemental Arrow to a generator or have your sentries use Polar Station for the damage bonus with the Bane of the Trapped legendary gem. From what I’ve seen, Multi-shot will probably end up being prevalent, although you probably can still choose Cluster Arrow (but it won’t provide as good AoE and the cost will be higher).
The good news is that by relinquishing one of your key spenders, you’ll be able to have a free action bar slot. Two possibilities here will be to choose Preparation with Punishment to have the secondary Hatred regeneration or go for another defensive like the old Smoke Screen with Healing Vapors.
Because Hatred management will be relevant again, you’ll need to look into gear and passives to help keep your Hatred up. Essentially, Tasker and Theos will be going away, so if you had the older fire build gear, you can dust that off. So ideally, you’ll want to make sure you have some spare Maurader Gloves handy along with a Cindercoat and Fire oriented Reaper Wraps (I was fortunate to retain all three). If you don’t have a Hellfire Amulet with a good passive, you might want to consider using Night Stalker for more Hatred regeneration (since they’re redesigning this).
The other major change will be monks using the Sunwuko set. Currently, most monks with this set use a Flying Dragon in conjunction with the Eye of Peshkov spirit stone so that they can spam Breath of Heaven and Sweeping Wind to generate the clones from the set bonus. With the changes to the set bonus being changed to eliminate the need of spending 75 spirit to generate the clone and moving the clone generation to several spenders, you no longer will need these items to be effective. Instead, the weapon of choice looks to be the Incense Torch of the Grand Temple since you can spam Wave of Light for the clone generation instead while doing fairly decent damage.
One thing to look out for with this change is the possibility of using the Inna’s set for some additional spirit regeneration and possibly having all base mantras. Before the Inna’s set reduced the cost of Sweeping Wind which made the clone generation somewhat prohibitive. Now, that the clone generation will be moved towards a different spender that does not depend on the amount of spirit spent, using Inna’s in conjunction with Sunwuko might become a possibility, especially since you’ll probably want a different source of Spirit Generation.
On the bright side, this will change the build slightly since you won’t be as cooldown heavy. Also, you might be able to switch up your elemental damage somewhat from being strictly holy into something else like Lightning since your spender will be handling the clones. I’ve seen a ranged monk who uses the Lightning Pillars from Wave of Light so that might help make monks a little more feasible in doing higher level Greater Rifts.
In both the Demon Hunter and Monk’s set bonus cases, the changes will be applied retroactively. That means that you will be affected no matter what, for better or worse. In my mind, what you can do in the meantime is start hunting for those key items so that when Patch 2.1.2 comes down, you’ll already have enough items ready for the changes.
I think if you play a fairly well geared Demon Hunter and are planning to stick with non-seasonal (and if you do participate in the current seasons even), I would suggest that you try to do all your farming right now. While the changes to the Mauraders set are said to be a buff, you still will have to get adjusted to the “new” play style. If you’re pretty comfortable with Demon Hunter play style and use him/her as a feed character to the rest of your toons, you might consider spending that extra time generating keys and farming blood shards so that you have enough gear going into patch 2.1.2.
I would suggest getting as many Rings of Royal Grandeur, Hellfire Amulets and anything where you feel that you’re overpowered right now and can handle the content blind folded. I’m really not joking. Also, start catching a few streams and keep up with the PTR notes. But don’t let yourself get caught off guard and unprepared. Get that gear right now while things are pretty easy for you.
What about the rest of the classes? Barbarians too will be seeing their gear change a bit with Furious Charge and Raekor’s set receiving a facelift. So far though, it hasn’t been mentioned whether the Barbarian’s current Raekor set will receive the same retroactive treatment as the Mauraders and Sunwuko sets. If that isn’t the case, then you’ll simply have to re-farm the set to get the new bonuses.
I think Pet Doctors will see a very positive change to make them a little more viable with their pets seeing a life buff. I don’t know if this will solve all their problems but hopefully it’ll help them solo greater rifts a little better. Jade Harvester Doctors, I feel, won’t see too much change unless they get into Season 2 directly. The real game changing weapon, Wormwood, will be a Season 2-only weapon so it’s hard to say how a non-seasonal Jade Harvester Doctor will fair.
Firebird Wizards will be seeing a change too with their DoTs having range limits as well as Hydra receiving a damage nerf in exchange for increased attack speed. I’m not sure if that implies that the Serpent Sparkler will end up becoming the BiS weapon for a Firebird Wizard but more than likely The Furnace still will dominate non-seasonal Firebird BiS weapons (if you can find one).
The last three things I want to talk about are the three ugly step child 6 piece sets in the form of Helltooth, Roland and Raiment of a Thousand Storms. Not much has been said about the Helltooth and Roland sets but I do know that the monk Raiment of a Thousand Storms will be seeing a pretty big change. I think the main thing is giving generators more power and worth using with the Raiment set. The current patch notes don’t specify exactly how it’ll work but the idea should be that you still ping-pong around with the set. They might swap the four set bonus as well but I don’t remember exactly what the change will entail.
Now, the big thing I’m hoping for is more information on some of the newer sets. I did manage to play with the new Barbarian, Demon Hunter and Wizard sets at Blizzcon 2014. The big question is whether or not they’ll be ready for both the patch and Season 2. More importantly, will the new sets be seasonal only or for anyone. I’m really hoping that these sets make it into the non-seasonal world. With the changes to many of the sets, I think people will want some form of compensation. Part of that compensation I think is designed to get people to want to try the new sets out. In the case of the Demon Hunter, the problem was that Mauraders simply was too easy of a set to abuse so even if the new Demon Hunter set is being planned to be quite powerful, I feel that many Demon Hunters would probably just prefer to hunt for Ancient Versions of the Mauraders if it didn’t change.
Unfortunately, I do think that some of these set items might depend on having the new Season 2 items. For instance, the new Demon Hunter bow Odyssey’s End might be designed to work with the new Demon Hunter set (I recall the six piece bonus possibly working with this bow, but I could be wrong). So I kinda feel that these new set items will end up becoming season only. Hopefully, that won’t be the case so that people who prefer non-seasonal will still have incentives to play.
At any rate, for myself, I’m trying to do my last minute farming and getting all of my guys geared to satisfaction. I now have 12 level non-seasonal level 70s and can’t wait until the next patch to see how far I can get.