Diablo 3 nerfs Monk with 'drastic' rune change

By Steve Watts, May 23, 2012 9:00am PDT

Diablo III is getting hit with a major change to the Monk class, after Blizzard determined that letting a overpowered rune exist in its current state was a "mistake." This comes among other hotfixes that apparently weakened the Wizard class as well.

The change comes to the Mantra of Healing rune, called Boon of Protection. It now caps damage absorption at the amount of healing provided by the Mantra of Healing in the first three seconds after activation. Blizzard recommends discontinuing its use until the rune is replaced in a future patch.

"The Boon of Protection rune was approximately ten 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," read a post from community manager Bashiok. "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 post notes that other fixes are coming, and forum users seem to have spotted at least one of them. Many players are noting that the Wizard has had his Force Armor weakened without a notice yet.

So how is Blizzard just now catching such large problems after the game spent two years in "polish mode"? A follow-up post from Bashiok says that the game is adapting to player data. "The game is still 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," the post read. "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."

And to assuage some fears that the Monk would be underpowered now, Bashiok points out that "general class balance is an ongoing investigation" and claims that "the monk and barbarian are not as bad off as they seem."

If you want some tips on surviving Nightmare Mode, check out our latest Diablo III Diary. John Keefer is playing as a Monk, and "use overpowered rune" wasn't even one of his tips.

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