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A Look At The Major Class Changes in Diablo 3

With patch 1.04, the five classes of Diablo 3 will see a lot of changes for the good. Blizzard has taken the time, over the past few days, to explain the philosophy of these changes and to showcase some of the new numbers.

While I refuse to play any class other than the Monk, and therefore can’t speak on behalf of the other classes; I can say that the logic is sound behind every decision.

The changes they’re making to the Monk, are the same exact changes I’ve been dreaming for since I got into Inferno, two days after Diablo 3’s release.

The Witchdoctor, as described by Blizzard, has gotten the biggest set of changes. Blizzard admitted that the class was designed to be a pet class and that the biggest draw for most players, was in fact, the pets. They also admitted that past Normal mode, pets weren’t viable. Here’s some of the hard numbers provided by Blizzard:

Zombie Dogs

  • The base Life of a level 60 Zombie Dog is 10,000 Life
  • With scaling, each Zombie Dog will have 21,200 Life (10,000 [base] + 32,000 * 35% [scaling])
  • The maximum damage the Zombie Dog can take in a single hit will be 3850 Life (10,000 [base] * 55% [damage not mitigated by armor] * 70% [damage not mitigated by Resistances])
  • Ignoring passive Life regeneration, this means each Zombie Dog will always be able to take at least 5.5 hits (21,200 [Life] / 3850 [damage])

There was also some significant buffs to the base mana regen of Witch Doctors. Increasing it to 45, from 20 to help lessen the Witch Doctor’s dependence on the passive ability, Vision Quest.

Anyone who’s played Diablo 3 can attest to the fact that Demon Hunters need the least amount of work. Apparently, Blizzard agrees as most of the changes were slight numerical changes to buff under used skills, hatred generators and spenders a like,¬†into a more desirable spot. Here are some examples of the buffs due in the next patch.

Bola shot

  • Damage to the primary target is being increased from 130% to 160%
  • Damage for Thunder Ball and Acid Strike is also being increased from 130% to 160%
  • Damage for Imminent Doom to the primary target is being increased from 182% to 216%

Chakra Shot


  • We’re increasing its damage from 150% to 170%
  • We’re increasing the damage for Twin Chakrams from 100% to 114%
  • We’re increasing the damage for Serpentine from 203% to 230%
  • We’re increasing the damage for Razor Disk from 165% to 187%
  • We’re increasing the damage for Boomerang from 188% to 230%
  • We’re increasing the damage for Shuriken Cloud from 30% to 34%

Due to the large damage disparity between Venom Hydras and the rest of the variants, large buffs were distributed, to try and even things out.

  • Arcane Hydra: Weapon damage increased from 28% to 60% per Arcane Orb
  • Lightning Hydra: Weapon damage increased from 34% to 64%
  • Frost Hydra: Weapon damage increased from 31% to 36% Frost Hydra’s cone width has also been changed from 15 yards with a 60 degree spread to 35 yards with a 30 degree spread.
  • Mammoth Hydra: Weapon damage increased from 22% to 67%

Blizzard did mention that they’re not happy with where the Mammoth Hydra is at right now and expressed a wish to change the role that it serves.

Barbarians are getting a lot of love next patch with massive buffs across the board on fury spenders. They’re also buffing Bash and Cleave to get it in line with Frenzy. Some examples for the buffs on both the fury generators and fury spenders, respectively, are as follows:


  • Weapon damage increased from 150% to 165%
  • Fury generated increased from 6 to 8


  • Weapon damage increased from 210% over 3 seconds to 700% over 5 seconds
  • Lacerate weapon damage increased from 271% over 3 seconds to 903% over 5 seconds
  • Bloodbath weapon damage increased from 60% over 3 seconds to 100% over 5 second

Last but not least, Monks got some brilliant changes to help them fit the theme Blizzard intended for them. The biggest of which, is the use of two handed weapons, which ends up rolling into another one of their buffs. While they didn’t give the exact numbers, because, apparently, they want to surprise us, they did mention that Seven Sided Strike was getting a massive overhaul.

With the new use of two handed weapons and the damage buffs to Seven Sided Strike,¬† I can’t imagine what kind of carnage I’ll be sewing across the battlefield. They also buffed several underused spirit spenders, here are some of their numbers:

Exploding Palm

  • Current: 220% weapon damage over 3 seconds
  • 1.0.4: 745% weapon damage over 9 seconds

Wave of Light

  • Current: 215% weapon damage as Holy + 45% damage as AoE
  • 1.0.4: 390% weapon damage as Holy + 45% damage as AoE

I really like the direction Blizzard has taken with these changes, across all the classes. There were virtually no nerfs and the few classes that got anything nerfed, were compensated hugely as a result. Along with being backed by strong, logical reasoning.

Mostly, though, they just buffed the under used abilities, to make them more appealing in comparison to the, “strong” abilities.