Game designer John Yang recently announced that Patch 2.1 will bring with it a much needed buff to 2H weapon damage.
We’ve been discussing 2-Hander buffs for a while now. Right now on live, 2-Handers are almost always less powerful than dual-wielding 1-Handers for a few different reasons, and we wanted to rebalance them for Patch 2.1. We had two options to address the issue:
1) Make new 2-Hander passives and buff existing 2-Hander passives for Barbarian, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard.
2) Buff all 2-Handed weapons baseline and adjust Heavenly Strength accordingly.
After trying both options out internally, we decided to go with option 2. This solution has two desirable benefits: 1) it’s immediately noticeable to all players when they pick up a 2-Hander and see the DPS number both significantly higher than a 1-Hander and higher than pre-Patch 2.1 2-Handers and 2) changing 1 passive is less of a jarring overall change for players than changing/adding 4 passives.
In the upcoming PTR patch, you should see the DPS of 2-Handed Melee Weapons increased by 23-26% across the board. The goal is to get the raw DPS of a 2H build to be close enough to the raw DPS of a Dual-Wield build that the weapon choice is mostly determined by the legendary powers on the item and by the build you are using. Some of the tradeoffs of 2-Handers vs. Dual-Wielding are that 2-Handers are intended to make more efficient use of resources and hit harder for skills with cooldowns while Dual-Wielding is intended to generate more procs, Life on Hit, and give more of certain stats. Currently, the raw DPS gap is large enough that Dual-Wielding feels like it is always the right answer.
To summarize the changes:
- The DPS of 2-Handed Melee Weapons has been increased by 23-26% across the board.
- This applies to the following weapon types:
- 2-Handed Maces
- 2-Handed Mighty Weapons
- 2-Handed Axes
- 2-Handed Flails
- 2-Handed Staffs
- 2-Handed Swords
- In direct response, Heavenly Strength will now reduce damage done by 20%. With both changes, Crusaders using a 2-Hander should see a very small DPS increase.
- This change is retroactive to existing live items.
- This change only affects level 70 two-handed melee weapons.
- This change affects two-handed melee weapons of all rarities.
We are still considering additional changes if needed but this should be a solid step towards making 2-Handers viable again for all classes. (Source)