Developer Chronicles: Armor of Akkhan

Developer Chronicles: Armor of Akkhan

Hey all, Wyatt Cheng here, back for another round of Developer Chronicles. Today we’re going to talk about an armor set a lot of Crusaders have had questions about—the Armor of Akkhan.

Currently, the core of most Akkhan playstyles involve trying to remove the cooldown on Akarat's Champion in order to maintain 100% uptime on a damage and survivability buff.  As we sat down to make improvements to Akkhan's, we kept coming back to the same question—how would using Akkhan's be different than using Legacy of Nightmares? The introduction of the Legacy of Nightmares set has created an interesting scenario for Akkhan's. We knew that whatever legendary items we made for Akkhan's, it was likely that those same items could be used to make a Legacy of Nightmares build that was better. Of course, we could always buff Akkhan's to be comparable to Legacy of Nightmares, but then determining which is better boils down to a math problem.

Instead, our plan is to double down on the ways in which Akkhan's is different than Legacy of Nightmares. Rather than simply buffing the damage or survivability of Akkhan's, we want to explore creating a space for some new builds and items to shine that don't compete directly with Legacy of Nightmares-based Crusader builds.

The first avenue we'd like to explore is giving Crusaders more fun options for combining with the Sage's set for obtaining Death’s Breaths. The Crusader is currently the only class without a 6-piece set that can be combined with the Sage's set (when using a Ring of Royal Grandeur). This is a space which Legacy of Nightmares can’t occupy as by its very nature it cannot combine with other sets.

The second avenue we'd like to explore is altering Akkhan’s so the playstyle doesn't include having Akarat's Champion up all of the time. When the set is focusing on "permanent Akarat's Champion with bonuses," that's when it overlaps with Legacy of Nightmares builds the most. We still want Akarat's Champion to thematically be part of the set, but moving away from permanent Akarat's Champion allows us to augment the overall strength of the set in other ways.

As of the time of this post, we don't have a timeline for implementing either of these changes, or the specific details as to how we would alter the playability of Akkhan’s. However, we wanted you to know why we don't feel the right answer is to just tweak the numbers. Ultimately we’d rather bring a little more justice, and a little more power of the Zakarum, to this iconic Crusader set.