The application of Diablo III’s patch 2.2 on the PTR service has had an interesting side effect: enabling permanent player immunity with the use of some new legendaries. While attaining that status is an achievement - using the new Cooldown Reduction affix to bring ability cooldowns below their duration, Blizzard are tweaking some abilities to prevent this from happening; in fact this very outcome has been on their radar for a while now.
And in case you think this is an “anti-fun” move, the change will allow Blizzard to bring in some “new and powerful” items that can do the same, albeit in a more balanced manner.
Permanent immunity isn’t new to Diablo III, and Blizzard have spent some time thinking in a way to balance its effects. “The concept of permanent immunity has actually been on our radar since we introduced Cooldown Reduction in Reaper of Souls.” stated community manager Tyvalir. “Since then, we’ve seen many players who have been able to skirt the edges of permanent immunity using this affix. Frankly, we think that’s awesome, since we love it that players can customize their characters in different ways.”
An initial pass saw Demon Hunters, in patch 2.1.2, see a cooldown being added to Smoke Screen - an ability which granted invulnerability for a very short duration of time - and prevented back-to-back chaining. In the next PTR patch, the same will be done to various other class abilities that grant immunity: Spirit Walk, Serenity and Laws of Hope - Stop Time. Now, they will begin their cooldowns once the abilities duration has expired. To balance this, these skills have had their cooldowns reduced in some way.
Interestingly, this change is actually a hidden boon - with the headache of balancing these types of builds, Blizzard can play around more with items; legendary ones specifically. “Previously, we may have decided against adding an item power to the game that might lead to permanent invulnerability.” explained Tyvalir. “However, with these new changes, we’ll have much more freedom in designing new and powerful items, since there will be a stop gap to ensure that permanent invincibility is no longer a concern.”
A good change nonetheless, but one thing’s for certain: rest in pieces you “perma serenity” monks: