As far as I am aware, Area Damage has not been changed significantly in the past few patches. It could absolutely be improved, however. In its current state it offers very little and I'd like to see it optimized further to become a viable affix for more than one or two random builds. I'll probably actually develop some theories on how to improve Area Damage.
VMT8, I have a feeling that your version of the build, with the extra emphasis on Multishot, is going to reign supreme for this build. Yang's Recurve. Ninth Cirri Satchel, a lot of Hungering Arrow and Multishot damage, and Convention of the Elements. That version will probably be able to output the highest overall damage. Seeing as the primary difference between this build and the regular Multishot build is that we lose the Dead Mans Legacy, I think we make up for that damage loss with our Hungering Arrow.
With the (IMO unnecessary) buffs to Yang's Recurve, DH will have enough RCR to not run a generator for MS. The only reason to run would be for activating F/R. I unfortunately don't have time to wait queues for PTR, but your overall Hungering Arrow build is going to be VERY interesting for 2.3
Yes, at least for the version of the build focusing on Hungering Arrow. The reason for this is the fact that we can output much higher damage with a two handed weapon. At least, that's my observations. Because of the way the skill works, turning high damage into MUCH higher damage is better than turning low damage into medium damage at a faster rate. If that makes sense.
Feel free to test it, and if you can, prove me wrong. I'm not the end all say all on this build. I've lost most interest in Diablo 3 at the moment, despite the new patch and Season 4 being right around the corner. I'd love to see someone else take ownership of this build and test it, pushing it to new heights.
I've actually been interested in this build for a while now but I'm currently on vacation and can't test it until I get back on the 18th. Hopefully the PTR will be up for a while longer so I can test some things before season 4 starts.
I do do however agree on the crossbow thing for this build. Lower attack speed and higher damage would benefit this build because it uses the new belt for Demon Hunters that boosts the attack speed of Generators by 30%. This makes up for the speed loss when equipping a 2H crossbow. This is a theory obviously, but I see no reason as to why it wouldn't be proven true.
I cannot wait to get home and test out these builds. Demon Hunter looks very fun and promising for season 4. There are so many builds and strategies that are opened with the introduction of Kanai'a Cube and I think lots more will reveal themselves as the season progresses. They always do. Builds change, new things are discovered, and the meta is always evolving. I want to see what will happen with the Demon Hunter.
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The hardest thing in this world, is to live in it.
As a long-time Buriza / Devouring fan, it's good to see 2.3 improves the build further.
I don't have a geared DH on the PTR atm (been focussing on WD), so perhaps one of you could run these tests and let us know the results.
Determine if pierces add Bane of the Stricken stacks
Craft the lowest level bow / xbow / hand-xbow possible
Remove all damage enhancers from gear (BotT, Iceblink, Zei, etc.)
Remove passives that conditionally enhance damage (Cull etc.)
Socket Bane of the Trapped
Use Molten / Esoteric / Mara's to be able to stand next to Belial for a few minutes
Shoot one Devouring at the time, ensure that no more pierces occur. Count the number of shots and record the damage.
From this test, it should be quite easy to tell if each Devouring shot adds one stack or 3+ stacks; after 50 shots, the bonus is either 50 * BotS bonus % or 150-200 * BotS bonus %. Compare that the last hits to the first and we'll know the answer.
Determine if the Bane of the Stricken bonus is multiplicative with Zei's bonus
Test setup for this test is pretty much the above situation but run the test with 1 free socket and a leveled Zei's in inventory: It's easies to stand on the raised platform at the side, as close to the edge of your screen as possible.
Build up a decent number of stacks
Record the damage of the latest hits
Put Zei in the socket
Shoot again and record the damage
Determine base damage by doing a new run, standing in the same spot but with Zei and Bane of the Stricken removed from gear
Put Zei in the socket again to determine the exact Zei bonus from the spot used for testing
Common wisdom tells us to use Iceblink + Bane of the Trapped. While this is a solid choice, perhaps Zei's + Bane of the Stricken can be competitive. Iceblink + Bane of the Trapped gives us a bonus in the 30-40% range. The 10% Iceblink crit chance bonus is a bit harder to figure in since it's overall boost depends on the critical hit chance the character already has (but the higher it is, the less the Iceblink bonus adds). Let's say on average it's a 5% overall increase, making them both a 40-50% overall DPS increase. Now if Zei's and Bane of the Stricken are multiplicative (which is likely), assuming a 25% bonus from Zei's (mid-range), a 15-20% Bane of the Stricken stack would rival Iceblink / Bane of the Trapped. When looking at long range, a 7-10% Bane of the Stricken bonus would be sufficient. Depending on the result of the first test, this could be interesting (or not). If Bane of the Stricken stacks are build up with 3-4 stacks per shot, this would be 4-5% damage increase per shot so 7-10% would be 2 shots, 15-20% just 4 shots. At 2 ApS, that's just 2 seconds to rival the BotT / Iceblink bonus, 4 seconds to surpass the overal DPS increase. Of course you'd still need to compensate for Cull, but let's remember Cull is a class A damage increase, so it is additive with Depth Digger, Simplicity's, the UE 20%, etc. This makes the overall DPS increase in this setup around 6-8%. This would be compensated by just 2 shots per the above example.
Great advice on the Ananoch amulet btw. I already use that amulet in greater pushes with my WD due to the 1-shot nature of Frozen Pulse and the carpet bombing of Frozen champions, having it negate RD is icing on the cake.
Also a note on Cirri. While it is very good, it may not be mandatory. There is a maximum flight distance on Devouring Arrow. So when you're shooting long-range (which should be common if you want to live as a DH), even with 100% pierce chance, you wouldn't get an infinite amount of pierces. From my observations in the Buriza 80% days, when at long range, flight distance is capped at around 4-5 pierces. Since Buriza gives us 2 free pierces, we have at least 3 hits. Given the base pierce chance, that's what we'll see most of the time. Cirri pushes that number up to 4 hits most of the time. This is definitely a major upgrade since it's more than 33% damage per shot and faster Bane of the Stricken stacking. However, the alternative is not without merit. I'd go with Nat's Slayer and Calamity. This is a bit more IAS than a quiver and trading CHC for (major) CHD. In that setup, I'd minimize CHC and use Nat's ring and Broken Promises instead of Focus / Restraint. The high number of hits per shot in combination with the incredible attack speed should provide a very high uptime for the 100% CHC, thus getting the most out of the extra 130% CHD in the off-hand weapon. This also gives some space in the passives; I'd run with Ambush / Awareness / Steady Aim / Numbing Traps or Perfectionist. In addition, CHC on gear becomes undesirable, freeing up the slots for IAS or Area Damage. Especially IAS is nice, since both Bane of the Stricken and Broken Primises highly benefit from it.
Of course, this will only be viable if Bane of the Stricken en Zei stack and the stack buildup proves fast enough....we'll see next season!
The DH god Wudijo did indeed conclude that each pierce of Hungering Arrow applies a stack of Bane of the Stricken in one of this 2.3 videos.
I'm not interested in running these tests, but I'm sure there is someone who will make it happen and we will find the most viable version of the build.
Thanks for that reference, I've checked the video and he confirms what I hoped / expected. The build I propose should thus be competitive with Iceblink / Bane of the Trapped. Some things in the video made me reconsider the idea I posted before. I'd now take Ballistics as the 4th passive, since the missile hit adds a stack of Bane of the Stricken. For weapons, Nat's Slayer is traded for the seasonal The Demon's Demise since the Sticky Trap also adds a stack, allowing for quick stack buildup on tight packs due to the constant explosions.
Are you sure Cull is just additive? because the diablo planner shows it as multiplicative.
You can see this when you hover over your skills when using the planner.
All in all its alot of damage to make up, it would be better to keep bane of the trapped and cull the weak, and somehow find a way to chill them with some legendary or something.
I haven't tested it myself, but in general skill bonusses are a class A buff and everything in class A is additive within the class. It's easy to test though; craft a low damage bow, only equip the bow and Depth Diggers and shoot something and note the damage range. Then take Cull as a passive and shoot a slowed target (use something that only slows, no other debuffs...Caltrops for example). If the increase in damage is 20%, it's multiplicative with a skill bonus (a class A buff). If the damage is increase by 10% (2.2 / 2.0) it's additive with the skill bonus.
If there's an effective way to apply an effect that allows BotT and Cull to work that doesn't cost a gem slot (like Iceblink does) that would of course be the best option.
If all 3 gem slots are available for offensive gems, by far the best will be BotT / BotS / Zei...given that you get CC somewhere. If you have no source of CC, BotT / Iceblink / BotS is the best offensive option.
When 1 gem slot is used defensively, it becomes tricky. If CC is available, BotT / BotS is best. BotS / Zei should be competitive with BotT / Iceblink, which is better will be situational, where BotS / Zei will gain the upper hand in prolonged fights (read: greater rift pushing).
Simplicity won't keep up, due to Depth Diggers. Since they're in the same buff class, they are additive so if we disregard everything else in class A, Simplicity's actual increase with Depth Diggers bonus is 2.25 / 2.00 = 1.125, a 12.5% DPS increase is the most favorable situation (read: no other class A buffs). Since most of the DPS buffs and monster debuffs are also class A, the actual gain from Simplicity's is most likely below 10%. Zei is in it's own class, so it's multiplicative. At 20+ yards, it will easily beat Simplicity. Since both UE and Steady Aim require 20+ yards, it's pretty clear-cut.
Ok, that sounds right - i'll prolly run iceblink for starters since it's a defnitie damage increase, unless i run with a CC man around. Looks also a better option for solo because of CC. I'll level up Zei in any case.
As for defensive gems(if needed) should we go with GIzzard or are there better options around?
EDIT: i'll try also to get a decent dual wield setup, though we don't have a weapon required for this build - we can eiher run Buriza and cube Calamity for the special or the opposite to get the exact same benefits; as for the caluclations above 1h seems to perform better, but more tests need to be done.
The numbers for Simplicity's are actually worse; with the numbers you give, the actual increase is (100+45+60+100+50) / (100+45+60+100) = 355/305 = 1.16. In other words, the 50% Simplicity adds 16% overall damage....given no other class A buffs (which isn't the case, since UE and Steady aim are class A, for example...include them and the overall increase already drops below 15%).
I'm aiming for a Broken Promises version of this build and hand-xbow is then far superior since you get more attack speed (= faster BotS stacking) and 130% more CHD (which is more output when Broken Promises is up, which is more often because of the higher attack rate).
For the defensive gem, Molten is normally the first choice since it gives you a shield (prevent 1-shots) and extremely high Life per second. With the bracers (DR%) and Boar (more DR%), Moratorium is a pretty good general mitigation option, especially if you take Leech as a passive. Then there's always Esoteric and if youre good at avoiding elite effect, Mutilation Guard is good against Assassins and stuff.
I'm actually considering dropping Multishot from the setup for Chain Gang for the CC, so I can run BotT with it. DH doesn't have a reliable long-duration CC available, but Chain Gang is reasonable (more than 1 second duration and multiple targets, especially with Buriza bonus)
Edit: the Cold Grenade is probably a better option. That leaves a slowing ground effect for 3 seconds and is also a cold skill. Grenadier as one of the passives is interesting then for the 20% increased chill area.
The problem about dropping MS is that you need another spender to proc F/R buffs.
About Broken Promises: looks good on paper but actually math shows a maximum 60-ish% uptime, which is still dominated by RNG. If you want to truly use it, it's best to remove all CC from gear and reoll it to AS to maximize the procs.
Still, i don't think it pairs with Depth Diggers (100%dmg is a lot) and for sure it doesn't stand a chance against F/R - cubing BP means no RoRG.
Another "issue" i have is that Cirri is not stellar even for this build, but we don't actually have a weapon to pair with Calamity for dualwield dreamers. Very likely if you're going for a quiver dead Man's Legacy looks just better because even if the focus is not on MS making it dealing double damage is good since it still gets the bonus from UE and cold damage. Not at Arsenal level for sure but still worth considering.