Crushing Blow


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Crushing Blow ("CB")is an item affix that is not found in Diablo 3. It was present in Diablo 2 and was one of the most sought item modifiers, since it subtracts a % of the monster's hit points each time it procs, which can be incredibly powerful against enemies with very high hit points.

Crushing Blow uses the strength of the target against it, dealing a % of the enemy's hit points as damage, either to the enemy or sometimes to other nearby enemies (as was formerly the case with the Monk's Exploding Palm skill). Crushing Blow is actually not very useful on lower difficulties, where attacks can deal much higher net damage. It's on higher difficulties where the Crushing Blow mechanic becomes strong, when targets have extremely high hit points.

The Crushing Blow effect in Diablo III[edit]

While Crushing Blow has never been enabled in a live version of Diablo 3, there have been skills and items that have a Crushing Blow mechanism, dealing damage as a percentage of the target's life.

  • Exploding Palm, the Monk skill, worked with a Crushing Blow effect during all of D3v and early RoS, until it was patched out in Patch 2.1. The skill caused targets to explode, dealing up to 40% of their maximum hit points to other targets nearby. This skill dealing billions of points of damage powered the first Greater Rift 100 completion, early in the Patch 2.1 PTR testing.
  • The Furnace is a two-handed mace added to the game in Reaper of Souls, which deals 6-8% of a target's hit points as fire to the target. Blizzard questioned the exploitable nature of that item in Greater Rifts in June 2014[1], and removed the property from the item in a PTR patch in August 2014.
  • Rimeheart, a sword, does not work like Crushing Blow, but was also nerfed in the same patch with The Furnace. Prior to that, it had a percent chance to instantly shatter and kill any non-Elite frozen target.

Reaper of Souls beta test[edit]

Crushing Blow was present in Diablo 3 during the Reaper of Souls beta test, but was removed during testing as the developers concluded (probably correctly) that it was overpowered. No matter how low the % chance for it to trigger, it was so powerful against big enemies that every character would have geared up for it. A Hard cap were suggested by players, but that too was rejected by the developers as an adequate way to integrate the powerful modifier into the game.

When Crushing Blow was present early in the RoS beta, it spawned in the 5-8% range as a primary affix and could be found on gloves, shoulders, rings, amulets, and weapons. The affix worked differently depending on the target, with a lower proc rate against Elites and lower still against big bosses. Blizzard replied to questions about it during the RoS beta in a forum post. [2]

We are in a super early beta testing phase right now, and there are still lots of things that need tuning and also bugs that need fixing.

The developers’ intentions with Crushing Blow is for it to be competitive with stats like Increased Attack Speed, Critical Hit Chance, or Critical Hit Damage, but obviously it will need some tuning if it clearly trumps all of those other stats.

We are of course interested in reading more of your thoughts on Crushing Blow, so please keep posting your feedback on it :-)

Currently, a Crushing Blow hits for 25% health against normal monsters, for 12.5% health against elites, and it will hit for 5% health against bosses after the next beta patch has launched.

Keeping in mind that Crushing Blow is subject to changes and tuning since it has to compete with other stats (Increased Attack Speed, Critical Hit Chance, and Critical Hit Damage), what are your thoughts on these percentages?

The property was removed in subsequent patches and Blizzard never gave any official explanation of why it was gone or why they'd given up on balancing it.

Crushing Blow seen on amulets from the Reaper of Souls beta test.

Crushing Blow in Diablo 2[edit]

The affix is described in detail in the Diablo 2 wiki. CB "worked" as a modifier in D2 since CB was very different in availability, and because the overall Diablo 2 combat engine was much more varied. A knowledgeable Dibalo 2 fan described the issue during the RoS beta.[3]

Thinking back to D2, CB was less powerful per proc, was harder to come by on gear (just found on some special legendaries), only worked as a physical attack (when monsters had different elemental resistances and immunities) and since difficulty and monster hps didn’t scale up so high, CB didn’t seem mandatory. RoS is a very different game state.