Blizzard just released a massive patch detailing huge balance changes coming to Diablo 4 for Season of the Malignant. I want to focus just on Barbarian changes, and they are massive.
I'm going to start with most important stuff, and we're going to skip the stuff that's inconsequential.
Caused Far More Damage Than Expected
Number one, the most important thing that they just changed was, and I'm going to introduce this directly from the patch notes, fixed an issue where the outer edge of the quakes given to Hammer of the Ancients, Echo of the Ancients was doing far more damage than intended.
Developers note, we recognize this adjustment is a significant decrease to Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian Build, but we do not want its strength to be reliant on an underlying bug.
Now first of all, it's not aspect of Ancestral Echoes that grants quakes to Hammer of the Ancients, it's actually aspect of Ancestral Force.
Second, this is absolutely going to significantly change the power rankings of Barbarian builds, making Hammer of the Ancients less powerful than alternatives, and by the way, Hammer of the Ancients was the only S tier build Barbarians had, no matter how much Diablo 4 Gold you have, it's hard to own. So it seems like developers have nerfed Barbarians best build, and given them no alternative now.
The Change Of Hamstring
That's not the only thing that they have decided to change, one of the biggest changes is actually Hamstring. It now only slows healthy enemies, and the slow amount has been increased. Now of course the slow amount is pointless it's just the fact that it had given a slow, that gives things like No Mercy bonus damage, check out what No Mercy does? Nine percent increase Critical Strike chance, against slowed, immobilized or stunned enemies, sometimes helps you get some Diablo 4 Items loot faster.
If Hamstring is no longer causing bleeding enemies to become slowed No Mercy, no longer gives you that nine percent Critical Strike chance. However I do think that potentially they are nerfing this, because they're introducing a new aspect for Barbarian, which is called Audacity, this is a Utility Aspect. Which says, when there are at least five close enemies, stun them for two to four seconds. This only happens every 20 seconds, it's much worse than a Hamstring, and it's a less damaging stun.
However it only happens once every 20 seconds, and so I don't think it's actually good enough to give back what Hamstring used to give Barbarians. So if you look at the patch notes, I think Barbarians got hit pretty hard, and the audacity aspect seems to not really give them what they were just what they just lost.
Another Aspect Called Ancestral Charge
Not only that but Barbarians are also getting another aspect called Ancestral Charge, which is an offensive Aspect Charge calls forth four ancients who also Charge, dealing 50 to 100 percent of normal damage. No serious Barbarian Build currently uses Charge, so it seems like Blizzard's attempt to make Barbs use this ability like force them, with this new aspect.
I think this aspect could be good, it sounds like it will do a lot of damage right four multiplied by 50 to 100 normal damage, if that is actually how it works. I think it has some potential, but right now Charge just doesn't fit into any build and so it seems kind of forced, I'm not sure if this is actually going to be beneficial to Barbarians, and finally a generic that was nerfed that.
Aspect of Disobedience Was Nerfed
I think is going to impact Barbarians significantly is Aspect of Disobedience, this was nerfed, the maximum Stacks were reduced from 100 to 60 reducing the mag maximum bonus armor granted, from the max of fifty percent to a Max of thirty percent. This is unfortunate because Barbarians really needed damage reduction in bonus, armor to survive, they're always in melee range and so I this Nerf is going to disproportionately affect Barbarian players really hurting their survivability.
I'm not sure how viable or how easily Barbarians are going to survive come season one. Now finally a buff, I think this actually could be something enhanced Death Blow damage bonus to bosses increased, from 100 to 150 percent. Death Blow was often used, when leveling using Hammer of the Ancients, so I could see this getting more use in the future potentially.
Especially now that wrath glyphs' bonus effects, all damage instead of just core skills. So maybe there's a glimmer of hope there for Death Blow, but that really wasn't used in any end game builds, so I'm not really sure how much of a difference it's going to make.
New Unique Item Called Azurewrath
Finally, we learned that Barbarians are getting a new unique item, called Azurewrath.
It's a Unique Sword that has lucky hit your core skills have up to a 20 chance to freeze enemies for three seconds and deal cold damage to them. Developers say that at 820 item power Azurewrath deals between three thousand to seven thousand damage roughly, now Azurewrath hopefully might have a better lucky, hit a fix in the future like lucky hit, developers won't ruin your class.
Anyway, I thought were meaningful, if you're a Barbarian player and what your plans are for Season 1?