DA Stacking and the Crucible

DA stacking should NOT be nerfed. Break it and you will lose balance completely. You will be left with SnB tanks and a few odd combos as the only viable builds for crucible.

Getting your DA past 4k is not trivial and comes at a DPS expense almost always!

Not to mention that hunting for those super rare MIs extends the game’s lifespan. Nerf that and many would simply look for another game to play. There should be a nice reward for countless hours of crafting and farming specific bosses.

To me, this game is properly balanced right now.

I sincerelly believe, that if you apply 2), then there is no need to apply 1) at all. DA becomes really strong only when players stack it at very high values (4k+), resulting in very low chance to be hit (below 33%). So, if PTH will be limited to somehing like 66%, it will solve all imbalanced caused by extreme DA stacking. Furthermore, you can even buff DA values a bit, and it still wont cause any problems. No, you SHOULD increase DA values on items (or reduce enemy OA), because otherwise, stacking DA will became far too weak mechanics, and no one will ever get bothered with it. DA stacking is OP now, but i dont want “rollercoaster” shift in next patch, where stacking DA suddenly becames totally pointless and not worth any efforts at all (above becoming crit-immune, maybe).

Then, maybe, we should overlook S&B tanks and FDR spellbinders too? And then, adjust enemy power accordingly, after fis\xing those imbalanced defesive options…

The balance of current DA is already nonexistant, this argument is void.
Big Z said that they are adjusting Crucible as well, although, how much these new Celestial blessings will offer we will see.
The original argument was that DA stacking happened because Crucible is too much to handle at 170+, that’s why people started to abuse this mechanic to no end. With proper adjustment of Crucible and nerfing DA at gapstop on certain levels will allow for more build variety and more creative combos to shine instead of abusive gameplay.

It’s not really. Stalwart and Readiness affixes drop all the time, so getting these is far easier than any of green rare affixes.

They are not rare. Proper balancing does not equal nerfing. You are exaggerating.

As many before me said, the first point really isn’t needed with second. With 3700 DA as a threshold, people should be fine even with Stalwart\Draghoul affixes in their current state, since getting DA further will net limited returns already in terms of twisting your own build.

Given that the premier DA MIs are double magic affix’d things I cannot agree with you that these things are exceptionally rare. Living rings in particular are easier to farm than hunting good affixes on something like zantarin’s shoulderguards. You have a vendor selling them in an area that will drop a few while you romp through.

“An intelligent person learns from their own mistakes, but a genius learns from the mistakes of others.”

Nerfs are NEVER a good thing, something blizzard learned the hard way. This mentality is what eventually killed D3 (not that it was any good to begin with). Instead of nerfing something, you should be buffing other things to keep people away from DA stacking.
The fact that some are whining about DA killing build diversity is amazing to me. How can something that added several viable builds, kill build diversity. Everything that works without DA still does and kills much faster. The rest that will never work without it, now it does and gives a chance for some people to enjoy their favorite builds and finish the hardest content with them.
It’s very tempting from the devs point of view to address only the issue of DA stacking, but the easy way is never the right way. Nerf DA without giving back something just as strong and i can almost guarantee you will regret the decision later.

Oh boy, the nerfs are bad logical fallacy again. :eek:

Let me give you a very brief example since this has been explained ad-nauseum.

Let’s say we have 100 skills. 4 of them are Overpowered, 86 are average and 10 are underperforming. In addition, if you use some or all of the overpowered skills, monster balance feels off and the game is too easy.

You are the developer.

Do you buff 96 skills to match the OP ones and then adjust every monster in the game to make the difficulty feel right again?

Or do you do the sane thing and fix the 4 overpowered skills and 10 underperforming ones, leave the monsters alone, and move on to other pressing tasks also on your immediate to-do list?

Something can add build diversity but still be poor for gearing variety. Why have 100’s of items in the game when you can just stack the same 3 affixes for success?

Don’t see how we’re taking the easy approach here anyway…I’ve described our multi-step approach earlier in this thread. The easiest solution was to do nothing at all and I dare say that approach wouldn’t impact the majority of our playerbase much, if at all, and probably realistically wouldn’t impact future sales much either. Yet here we are…addressing a problem for the high-end users and very likely making things better for everybody in general.

Instead of nerfing something, you should be buffing other things to keep people away from DA stacking.

Yeah, I know! Lets buff life. Like, hm, increase it from all sources by 500% (~37CTH 4600 DA level )

Ah, I like how people call it “whining” when they don’t like something.

DA is unimaginative, your core build concept is irrelevant as long as you stack DA. Therefore it kills build diversity.

They’re looking into monster difficulty of waves 150+. So that’s something

Balancing isn’t done in a single patch. The next patch is the first balancing pass and we’ll see how it affects builds
The subsequent patches/hotfixes will be based on the feedback of the community. This is how it has always been.

Your posts always crack me up :smiley:


Some of the people calling for nerfs are the same people who used bombard pre-release patch notes in the old days at the sight of nerfs. A lot of these guys only look for what needs to buffed. But this is really hurting build diversity and therefore has been brought up

I loathe this mentality with a burning passion. This is not how balancing works in the first place.

There’s need to be a line of balance and everything in the game needs to get as close as possible without being broken. Of course perfect balance will never exist but it’s something that needs to be strived for, that meaning the game should be as balanced as possible.

Making underpowered things as broken as overpowered things is the opposite of balance. It’s making things even worse.

About DA stacking, people will DA stack regardless if things are broken or not. Buffing things will not change a thing about that. DA stacking is pretty much the easiest way to mitigate damage in the Crucible right now.

Would it not be possible to tweak the getting hit formula so that nothing is changed up to say 3k DA but after that the gains start to level out. So you can still reach 5k DA if you’re so inclined and there will still be a benefit for getting such a high number, but (a lot) less than you currently get. Added benefit is that you won’t need to touch items at all, because I agree nerfing both the DA affixes and introducing a hard cap on DA benefits is too much.

TDLR severely diminishing returns on DA at high numbers

This is essentially happening from (2) in Zantai’s post

  1. Apply a minimum cap on the PTH formula of 66%.
    Against a Nemesis in the Crucible on Gladiator difficulty in wave 170, without Mutators or buffs/debuffs, this makes a DA value over ~3680 only relevant for counteracting monster debuffs. Going below 66% PTH is overkill for the campaign.

This change achieves that, except does it in a way which allows the devs to NOT alter the PTH formula (which is desirable from their point of view because that might be absolute cancer to change just for the crucible game mode, when this is a much simpler solution).

Whatever the actual number that is arrived at (if its 66% or 70% or 60%) is another discussion.

It’s not. A hard cap makes more DA (aside from DA shred) entirely useless and in my opinion a bad idea. Diminishing returns is not quite as brutal, a soft cap if you will.

I made many builds that I consider really well made for campaing mode. They all can do Nemesis and most content (didn’t try ravager, modrogen and only tried Lokarr on 2 builds). Most of my builds tend to focus on a source of damage absorption (%b or flat amount or both in rare cases), overstacking resistances as much as possible and having a way to reduce ennemy damage (war cry or oleron’s blood pretty much). I also try to get over 2.2-2.3k Armor for dualwield… some builds have more some less. Overall I tend to make similar builds to what you see on the forum but ‘‘better’’ for campaing since you don’t need as much DA as the Crucible. My point being I know how to make a great build for Hardcore.

I mean my builds have generally speaking in-between 2.6 and 2.8k DA… more sometimes like my 2-handed commendo build but we all know 2-handed melee builds tends to rely on high DA, high life leach, high armor then the last layer of survivability depends on the mastery taken (fumble attacks, damage absorbtion… ect).

When I see people saying that 3.6k DA should be the new norm for Gladiator crucible for waves 151-170 I feel like it makes some gear(legendary) and devotion obsolete for the sake of having that high DA. The idea of making some gear and devotions (tier 3) obsolete is something I don’t like. It’s like baiting the player towards the cool stuff but in the end that cool stuff makes your char weaker for the sake of having ‘‘low’’ DA for the crucible. Don’t get me wrong, I do use MIs but some builds for the crucibles tends to use 1-2 more slot for greens just for the sake of having an high DA. Also having an high DA means either cheating to get the gear or playing non-stop for a long period of time. It’s far away a possibility for any ‘‘casual’’ player but still dedicated to the game. It also kills the diversity and the creativity (to a certain extent) for the sake of taken/use what has to used to get that high DA (gear wise and devotion wise). I used to play much more the game, now I play a bit less (still do cool melee builds :stuck_out_tongue: ) and although I don’t find the Crucible that interesting because of the mechanic of the game mod I also don’t play it because of the reasons discused above for gear/devotion. I still tried the crucible with a few builds when the last waves was 150.

Just my though.

What do you think that those diminishing returns would look like?

Do you think that after selecting some value (say 66% PTH) and making DA asymptotic towards that value (a soft cap) is going to have some drastically different effect than a hard cap?


Lets say they did change the scaling. For example-

So after 3680 DA (66%PTH) your PTH would only change 10% by 4500 DA. Then it would change an additional 1% per 100 DA until 5000 DA where it would ‘soft cap’ (and reach your desired diminishing returns) of some arbitrarily small amount of PTH reduction per additional DA value (lets say .1% PTH for every 100 DA over 5k)

OK great we did all that extra work and changed the PTH formula for damage!
What did we get?

Some effective cap on DA.

Which is exactly the same thing as is being proposed by Zantai (except more directly and without such toil from the devs).

This doesnt even get into ‘WHY’ you would want to pursue those high DA values in the soft cap example over other things in your build (like HP or damage or armor or phys resistance, ETC)

Yeah but the thing is you’re not about to nerf 3 or 4 skills, you are going to render useless a mechanic that works for almost any build in the game, especially the ones that have no other hope of clearing 170. In my case, DA added almost 100 more hours of enjoying GD. Builds like forcewave and mortar have no hope of succeeding in crucible without DA and i enjoyed every minute of playing them. Just something to think about.

I never said you are taking the easy approach, just that it’s tempting to do it as it often looks like the logical way of resolving this. And it is, as long as you replace it with something just as good or better. However, it’s easier said than done and i’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

But different enemies have DIFFERENT OA values and DA shreds, so essentially, after a certain point, your DA gain will only matter against enemies with high OA (various bosses, etc) or DA reductions. You can think of it was of some sort of “soft cap” too. Against different enemies, your DA “hardcap” will be different too, so it wont be as “hard” as you may think.
I actually like this simple solution. If a simple trick can do things well, there is no need to use something more complicated. So it’s better to use simple tricks and mechanics whenever it’s possible, and turn to complex things ONLY when simple ones dont work.

BTW, it’s a VERY GOOD QUESTION itself!
There are SO MANY affixes in the game, and they even split into 2 categories - weaker “magic” category and more stronger & infrequent “rare” category. Yet, somehow it happened that some “magic” affixes (specifically - ones that grant OA & DA, and to lesser degree - things like resists, etc.) outperform all “rare” affixes, even the strongest ones, sometimes. And i have to admit, most of “rare” affixes are too weak for their “rare” status, giving random nondescript bonuses, that most (if not all builds) dont want at all. Although you made a good job at buffing certain rare affixes, there still is a lot to do.
So, the question is, why have 100’s of item affixes, when almost every build uses the same “stonehide”, “of kings”, “stalwart”, “of readiness”, etc.

Do you enjoy playing a build, that has “0% chance to be hit” listed in character’s chart?
I made such a build, roflstomped 151-170 waves on Gladiator with extra spawns, and it was BORING AS HELL!!!
If 1-2 defensive mechanics is too poweful, and others are too weak, why they cant be adjusted properly? I can accept the fact that i need a damn tanky build for 151-170 waves, but for that, i suppose it should use various defensive mechanics, not just mindlessly stack DA and be invincible due to broken PTH formulae.

Not really.

A universal hardcap is a global change that nullifies effectiveness past a certain point of investment regardless of the context in which that hardcap was achieved. I hope that’s not too much of a mouthful. :stuck_out_tongue:

For instance, suppose 3680 DA grants you roughly 66% PTH in Crucible (maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t, I have no idea, being as I don’t play Crucible). But then let’s say that a campaign build can also reach 66% PTH for some campaign content with as little as 3200 DA. Maybe some other content only needs 2800 DA to reach that point, but such enemies have more raw damage to compensate in turn for being easier to avoid that raw damage.

People that choose DA to tank up in campaign now find themselves at a point where their tankability is a constant, unchanging in effectiveness regardless of what they fight against. Conversely, they actually become significantly weaker against the 2800-enemies than the 3200-enemies, despite stacking a seemingly defensive stat to shield themselves behind. Actually, this could have the adverse effect when trying to balance enemies of homogenizing their designs, so that the 2800-higher-damage enemies aren’t too powerful.

A hard restriction on survival can eventually result in too much homogenization of design, be it players building builds or designers designing enemies. Sure, we do already have hard restrictions in the form of resistances, as those can’t exceed 95% (for players), but that restriction is a fringe case even for those of us on the fringe of dedication to the game, and is rarely pervasively reached for too many builds. 66% PTH, however, is easy to reach, and I’m not convinced that that easiness is a ‘problem’.

In lieu of the above, if it’s remotely relevant anymore, I voted that Crucible was the problem, if anything.

Oh, so this is where this thread got moved, when I lost it in “Ideas and Feedback” this morning it used to be only 3 pages long. Oh well, not reading whole 11 pages.

Just my 2 cents, I think DA stacking is fine. It is only good for literally two things: killing (cheesing) Ravager and soloing waves 150-170 in Crucible Gladiator. For everything else it’s boring and hardly effective. So if a small group of enthusiasts wants to complete those two small portions of the game, fine, let them have it. Rewards of 150-170 are same or worse then 130-150 (given how much time you need to spend), Ravager is just a gimmick.

I mean, after AoM was introduced and before waves 150-170 were added there was no challenge in Crucible with new level cap and items, any build could slice through it. But players wanted artificial dificulty and they got it, and then they found a way to cheese this dificulty abusing just one defensive mechanic. Fine with me.

What I see from Z’z post is that they’re going to (1) nerf stalwart and co. (2) impose a hard cap of 3680 DA in cruci (3) nerf crucible in some way we don’t know yet and (4) buff blessings and banners.

I personally think 3 and 4 are what crucible needs right now, but even if you nerf crucible to the ground, since the DA meta has been discovered, people will continue using that until it’s needed to the ground, which is why I think 2 is a very good solution. Sure you might not like that devs are imposing a hard cap on defenses but with the upcoming nerfs (and blessing buffs), then that hard cap should be a value wherr cruci is doable for most builds. That cap might change depending on what changes we’ll see but I trust Crate in this.

As many people have said, I think nerfing stalwarts while imposing a hard cap on DA isn’t good. 3680 DA (if that stays as is) is easy for many builds to attain with judicator rings, so stalwart will almost be obsolete amyway.

There are 2 HUGE problems in new waves: wave 160 and wave 170. Now you’re cutting the effectiveness of DA by half for the sake of overall game health - I can take that. But please keep in mind that a vast majority of builds that are not shielded tanks or kiting casters simply can’t pass wave 160 without DA stacking. There are simply no defensive mechanics for them to do so because the nemesis’ damage is too high. If you do not want to do anything with nemesis themselves then please give us at least some really worthy buffs to compensate.
How about a crucible buff that will give 30% damage reduction against nemesis IF a character doesn’t use a shield or caster off-hand?