D2R 2.4 PvP Builds & Gameplay Changes - Diablo 2 Resurrected Patch 2.4 Effects on PVP

With the 2.4 patch, Diablo 2 Resurrected will have a brand new patch completely changing a lot of things for the first time, which will surely affect the PvP builds and gameplay as well. In this post, we sort out the PVP changes in D2R 2.4 patch from Coooley's Viode. 

1. Faster Hit Recovery

Faster Hit Recovery is probably one of the biggest changes to PVP in years and probably one of the healthiest ones. 

For years players who stepped out into the blood more would have to worry about getting locked down perpetually unable to cast their skills by assassins, barbs, chargers. There are so many ways to completely lock a player out from being able to respond, at all to what you're doing. The change that they mentioned in the patch notes surrounding hit recovery as it pertains to players, kind of looks like basically a player will get stunned on the first hit but then there are some ensuing invincibility frames with FHR, this doesn't make your character invincible but it just makes it so that you can't necessarily be stunned again within a certain number of frames. If an assassin just holds down their name lock and mind blasts you, it will only be one hit that stuns you, and eventually, after a few frames, you'll be able to teleport out or walk around or charge or move or do what you need to do to escape. The same is true for leap locks on a barb or smites or charges from a paladin, all of these things have historically been able to completely lock players into this stunned animation and it appears as though that's a thing of the past. A lot of players who play the assassin as their main PVP character are kind of fired up about this.

2. Fix Assassins

For many years, you've needed very specific gear on a dual claw assassin to be able to hit the 102 percent faster cast rate breakpoint, it's probably time especially with this change that gets lowered a bit. It basically pigeon holes dual claw assassins into wearing Griffin's Eye and back in the days of LoD you would need an 08 Valk with certain setups, it kind of pigeonholes them into that and doesn't really give them a lot of options for gear. If that got lowered a bit so that sins could hit a reasonable cast rate frame while wielding two claws. 

The same thing could be said for their inherent attack speed, for many years Assassins have needed very specific claws to be able to lay traps at a reasonable pace. Now of course you could use a burst of speed to correct that however in PVP oftentimes, Assassins opt for fade because of the buff to damage reduction and resistances, so they kind of need that for their survivability. It just would be really nice to see Assassins be able to use different claws rather than GTS or runic talons to hit their breakpoints.

3. Leap

Along those same lines when we saw changes concerning leap in the 2.4 patch notes. As you might know, the leap in PVP has been used to lock down teams of players in similar ways to this mind blast conundrum, not only is the FHR no longer a thing in that situation. However when you actually look at leap the change that they made is that they sped up the animation for it, but the recovery frames that it takes for your barb to land or to leap, have actually stayed the same. So in PVP, when players take these very short leaps the animation for them is actually not really a lot faster, this was really good foresight on behalf of the programmers, now if you could only fix alt whirlwind and the short whirlwind that'd be great.

4. Guided Arrow

Another thing we were concerned about in the 2.4 patch notes were the changes to guided arrow. Guided arrow was already extremely powerful in PVP and it did get a bit of a damage buff in this patch. But after building a zone in single player to kind of test the maximum damage that this thing could do previously versus how much it could do now, it really doesn't make that much of a difference on the high end - it's a difference between about 400 and 600 damage which equates to about 100 damage in PVP, now granted you will be getting shot with a lot of guided arrows in a duel. That being said, we don't really think this change will encourage many people to use the guided arrow in PVM.

5. NERF Bone Spirit

Bone spirit is a dominant skill in PVP used by Bonemancers or Bonenecroers, and it was already an s-tier build before this change. A decked out necro at that time could do about 5.4000 damage with a bone spirit. After the patch changes or balance changes to this skill, a necro can hit about 7.4 000 damage which is less than you had originally estimated off, but still, it's pretty insane. The same logic applies where we don't really think this is going to make a big difference in PVM, but the effects that it has on PVP are pretty devastating. When you consider the fact that a lot of bone necros will kind of stay off your map and launch these things from across the screen, due to a glitch that's existed in the game since the days of lord of destruction, you won't be able to see these bone spirits from across the screen, so you're going to get hit with devastating damage that you can't really interact with that now hits even harder than it did 30 percent. This change single-handedly brings a bone necro post patch into outer space with the tier level of what it is in PVP. Again Coooley would just suggest that we dial this damage back down to what it was before, there's really no reason for it to be a lot higher.

6. Fist of the Heavens (FoH)

Another skill that kind of follows this same agenda here that is FoH. The vindicator paladin or VT was already an s-tier build in PVP and it gets even crazier with a shorter cooldown now. It's really hard to tell that will this absolutely break the build compared to other things in the patch, we have very limited D2R Ladder items on other classes, for example, we can't really test amazon's in PVP without going out in magic finding certain Diablo 2 items to make faith bows. This is still outclassed in PVM by a Hammerton, so the effects of this lowered cooldown on FOH, we don't think will have a lot of effects on PVM, but it does have a pretty significant effect in PVP.

7. Possible New PvP Builds

Some of these character balances may actually lead to more viable builds in PVP, here is a very short list here:

  • The volcano druid is actually a very interesting class here, now will do physical and fire damage, and you can combine this with attacks like fisher for a more diversified approach to how you attack your opponent. The cool thing about having a volcano druid versus a wind druid or tornado Druid is that previously a tornado druid would have to basically stomp their opponent to land a tornado, and now you can actually keep your distance on your opponent and just light a volcano up underneath them to do some pretty significant damage. So now having a character such as a druid you no longer have to completely close the distance or get dangerously close to your opponent to be able to hit them as a caster.

  • Hydra Sorc would be another OP builds as obviously, you know that there have been some pretty serious changes to the skill hydra, when you couple this with the fact that a lot of PVP players tend to CT cast their spells, this just means that you can cast a ton of hydras from about two screens away upon your opponent. This now allows a fire Sorc to really keep distance on her opponent and pose a threat from quite far away. 

PVP Tier List

Here is a sort of arbitrary PVP tier list just based on some of the changes we've seen in the 2.4 PTR: 

D2R Patch 2.4 Effects on PvP

Now, granted we weren't able to really fully test all of these classes in multiplayer again based on the Diablo 2 Resurrected items that we get in the ptr but there is a silver lining here: right now a bone necro and an origin are sort of on a different planet when you look at them compared to anything else, but just imagine if those classes were dialed back to something a little more reasonable, look at the balance from all of these other classes. 

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