1.04 -- Things I'm hoping to see

  • #1
    Let me first premise by saying Witch Doctor was the first class I leveled, so it's near and dear to me! But alas, I've decided to explore other aspects of the game after hitting a wall with him. Now I haven't been back since 1.03 other than an hour or two here and there, I feel it's a bit of an uphill battle when playing him. Currently I have a Monk with a Wizard on the way.

    But with 1.04 and developer blogs soon to come out, I'm hopeful that I'll have good reason to come back and visit the WD as I think it is probably the most interesting class to play. Here are some things that I'm looking forward to, and I'm looking to see what other people are hoping to see Blizzard acknowledge about this class overall.

    Animations: While the witch doctor has some of the neater animations (raining toads anyone!??) they're all far too long, even with a ceremonial blade or fast 1h. In inferno I feel sometimes that while running from Fast affixes or just faster moving creatures, stopping to cast grasp/wall of zombies runs a risk of taking damage sort of defeats the purpose of casting the abilities in the first place.

    Mana: At this point after playing a monk fully through inferno and a wizard into hell (I actually play and not farm Leorics manor for each difficulty). Resource management on those classes just feels so much more natural. Diablo 2 felt like resource spending game, Diablo 3 feels like resource generation game. This point has been argued so heavily that if Blizzard doesn't make some kind of change -- whether it be in skill mana adjustment or a buff elsewhere -- I'd say it's clear that they don't play WD nearly as much as Barbarian (which seems to be the most well thought-out.

    Pets and summoning: For a class that has 3 passives dedicated to pets, 1 of which is unlocked at level 45, this is lacking. Where the witch doctor has so much potential in the pet department it certainly falls short. But this has been acknowledged by Blizzard during their AMA (I think, if it wasn't there it was a blue tracker). Especially considering that the promotional video for the WD in the days before release featured "foul beasts" at your disposal, it would only seem right for this to be buffed. As it is, having sacrifice and zombie dogs on your bar is close to pointless at most difficulties.

    Overall build variety: The truth is that you can get through this game with pretty much any build no matter how crazy. I'm sure somewhere there's someone angling to prove that pets can work with a toad of hugeness/spider queen build and will be posting within the next few days a youtube of them soloing various champion packs. There's just simply a lack of variety and at the end of the day most people are just increasing the amount of splinters they've shot. WD may be the least played class, but he's got the best lungs -- you don't blow that many darts through 4 acts and 4 difficulties without having nice lung capacity.

    These are actually pretty general things that I would imagine Blizzard will be looking at and I hope they do. The class is really fun with some really cool abilities they just seem all over the place. I would really like to start playing him again and seeing more people doing the same.
  • #2
    Scale pets with player's int/vit and all is solved on that part. This goes for the monk summon as well.

  • #3
    Quote from Junotekh

    Scale pets with player's int/vit and all is solved on that part. This goes for the monk summon as well.


    I"m hoping for more creative solutions. I will be really disapointed if any glass cannon WD can just throw summons in the build and it works out all pretty and well.

    Summon changes i want:

    * 50% free damage reduction against ranged attacks.
    * Immunity to AoE that pets naturaly do not avoid such as arcane sentry and plagued pools.
    * Zombie Handler gives additionally a armor and all resists buffs to pet. Maybe +50%.
    * Zombie Dogs cooldown reduced to 30~45 seconds.
    * Remake Fiercy Loyalt. Pets scaling HP regen and thorns should be default in first place, not a passive effect. Fiercy Loyalt should be: enemies damaged by zombie dogs and gargantua takes additional 10~20% damage. Lasts 3 seconds.

    Maybe not even this would solve all pet's problem but it's a nice start.
    "In time the hissing of her sanity
    Faded out her voice and soiled her name
    And like marked pages in a diary
    Everything seemed clean that is unstained
    The incoherent talk of ordinary days
    Why would we really need to live?
    Decide what is clear and what's within a haze
    What you should take and what to give" - Opeth
  • #4
    I'd not say complete immunity to aoe effects like plagued, molten or arcane sentry, but a 90% reduction. This way you may still want to have a little control on pets without punishing you too much for not having a pet control feature.

    I also would like to see (but the priority is much lower than pet's) reworked some stuff, like chicken hex.
  • #5
    Quote from KiriONE

    I'd say it's clear that they don't play WD nearly as much as Barbarian (which seems to be the most well thought-out.)


    I had to facepalm when I read this quote in regards to resource management. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, since you say you have played WD, Wizard and Monk, and have no clue about resource management for barbarians. I will simply point out for you, that nearly all of the viable builds for inferno barbarians (excluding those running around in tens of millions of gold worth of gear) have barbarians using absolutely zero resource spending abilities. I am literally at full rage at all times during combat. Virtually no barbarian uses any resource spending abilities whatsoever. This is why the Berserker's Rage passive, which grants a 25% damage increase while at full rage is so popular; we are always at full rage!!!
  • #6
    Not if you play double tornado build. (=

    But I have to actually second this.
    Resource management as barbarian is:

    Play tank = always at full rage.
    Play range barb or double tornado barb = extremely crit dependant and you have to watch your buffs / rage / cooldowns, mess sth. up and you have to run around without doing anything.
  • #7
    Quote from danpaladin

    I had to facepalm when I read this quote in regards to resource management. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, since you say you have played WD, Wizard and Monk, and have no clue about resource management for barbarians. I will simply point out for you, that nearly all of the viable builds for inferno barbarians (excluding those running around in tens of millions of gold worth of gear) have barbarians using absolutely zero resource spending abilities. I am literally at full rage at all times during combat. Virtually no barbarian uses any resource spending abilities whatsoever. This is why the Berserker's Rage passive, which grants a 25% damage increase while at full rage is so popular; we are always at full rage!!!


    Sorry, that point I made got a little off target in that section. It's true what I know of Barbs is only what friends tell me, and they all play HC barbarians in Inferno, so I'm going off conjecture. My point was that just barbarians seem to be able to do a lot with a lot less gear than WDs do. Just based on my own philosophy of the game, a class that has more options with less gear is a class that has well-thought out abilities.
  • #8
    I would like pets to scale with a portion of Vitality, Resist, and Armor. Doesn't have to be much, but I'd like to see a 1-minute cooldown last for at least 15 seconds in normal combat conditions. I HATED when I had to stop using my Garg, and the Dogs were useless from A4 of Nightmare.
  • #9
    Some interesting ideas, but there is something I disagree with - pets scaling with defensive stats.

    I get the idea that you don't want to give glass cannons super awesome defensive pets. But, when they heavily scale with defensive stats (vit, armor, hp, etc), then they become somewhat redundant - if I'm building a tank, why would I need the tankiest pets? Wouldn't I want damage pets? Or, if the only way to make them viable is to be a tank already, then again, what's the point?

    Pets should, IMO, scale nominally based on player advancement - no matter what your gear is, with no skill buffs, they should be okay (not great), on the act you are trying to progress on. I'm thinking 50-75% of the cool down. Basically, they should be balanced so that if you don't spend at least a portion of your build on them, they so-so. However, if you want to use pets, you can choose passives and skills that would benefit them. That way, you're making a trade off - less damage/survivability through passives and CC, but more survivability through pets. I feel this would have worked with the original idea of having active skills interact with pets, like being able to set fire to, or add locust to, pets. If you want to use pets, you build your build around them.

    I only have three other major wishes.

    The smallest, but maybe the largest impact, is faster animations. It makes it incredibly difficult to kite well when you have stop for so long to cast something.

    Second, I think they need to revamp the spirit based attack spells - haunt and SB. Haunt would be decent if we had unlimited spell slots, as it's very situational (45% dps is too low for a main attack spell, especially one that is as mana happy as haunt). Maybe halve the damage but make it a debuff (extra damage from spirit attacks, slow, reduce damage, a small improvement to all spirit skills for every enemy with haunt on them, something). For Spirit Barrage, well, it's just got a terrible damage/mana ratio. Sure, you can use up a passive and a rune and reduce it to 40ish mana, but it still only does 10% more than splinters (does less if you happen to be rocking PtV instead of the Rush of Essence to get the reduced mana). Also, even if it only "costs" 40 mana, it still takes the full 108 to cast as you only get the rest back over time (as opposed to nearly every other classes cost reduction runes which are a straight up reduction in cost, frequently for a better reduction as well).

    Finally, mana. Now, my personal wish is that it gets completely replaced, like with some form of Blood Ritual (that'd make a truly unique class if we cast out of hp). However, that's a bit much for a patch. I think the best they could do is rework the costs and cooldowns. I'm not sure how they could make the class more unique, but I think the first thing is reduce or eliminate the cost for the primary skills. We're the only class that has no way of attacking when we oom. Maybe reduce APS when using primaries below a certain mana %, or cast primaries out of HP, or just do what the Wizard does and make them free. Also, splinters needs a reduction in damage. It's just too good right now. That, or make the other primaries better. For all the limits on firebombs AoE vs other classes primary AoE's, it doesn't do much damage (can't hit anything more than once, it's slow so it misses a lot...I guess only two limits. But they're big!).
  • #10
    Quote from TheDFO

    if I'm building a tank, why would I need the tankiest pets? Wouldn't I want damage pets? Or, if the only way to make them viable is to be a tank already, then again, what's the point?


    I agree with everything you said except this.

    Zombie Dogs, especially, is categorized as a "defensive" ability. And it's plenty clear that both Zombie Dogs and Gargantuan are supposed to give the DK a measure of control. They absolutely must scale with defensive stats (and I believe they already do). If you want to build a tank witch doctor then you'll probably not want to take pets. It's really not going to change much.

    I just don't see a logical way to make pets scale on the opposite role you take. That's a ton of work for very little reward.
    p400 :: 85.1k EK :: 2.38m TK
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    (V) (°,,°) (V)
  • #11
    Quote from DenkaSaeba25

    I'd not say complete immunity to aoe effects like plagued, molten or arcane sentry, but a 90% reduction. This way you may still want to have a little control on pets without punishing you too much for not having a pet control feature.

    I also would like to see (but the priority is much lower than pet's) reworked some stuff, like chicken hex.


    Exactly how would you control your pets without having a pet control feature in your scenario, then? Running far away to get them to pull back out of aoes? That seems like really fun design >_>


    Quote from shaggy

    Quote from TheDFO

    if I'm building a tank, why would I need the tankiest pets? Wouldn't I want damage pets? Or, if the only way to make them viable is to be a tank already, then again, what's the point?


    I agree with everything you said except this.

    Zombie Dogs, especially, is categorized as a "defensive" ability. And it's plenty clear that both Zombie Dogs and Gargantuan are supposed to give the DK a measure of control. They absolutely must scale with defensive stats (and I believe they already do). If you want to build a tank witch doctor then you'll probably not want to take pets. It's really not going to change much.

    I just don't see a logical way to make pets scale on the opposite role you take. That's a ton of work for very little reward.


    Think you meant WD instead of DK. WoW much? =P

    I'm sure there's a way to make pets scale defensively using your offensive stats. For example just off the top of my head, a dodge chance that increases with your crit. Their resists, hp and damage reduction could scale at a scaled rate according to your int, crit damage, attack speed or something along those lines. There are ways to do it and we can only come up with so much before we're doing the devs jobs for them.
  • #12
    Touche, yes WD *angry*

    I don't think defensive stats = offensive pets is very intuitive at all. I think that's insanely convoluted for the average player. It would require fairly detailed tooltips showing exactly what player stat gives exactly what dog/garg stat just to keep everything straight. It's a whole lot of crap for the average player to really wrap their head around just because someone might want to build a tanky-WD who uses pets.

    It's also a ton of work to make sure all that is balanced for what has to amount to a niche of WD players.
    p400 :: 85.1k EK :: 2.38m TK
    Planet Express <PlanEx>
    (V) (°,,°) (V)
  • #13
    WD pets are never going to be good offensively. It's clear that Blizzard doesn't want people playing D3 like they did with the necro in D2 where you just hang out and let your summons kill stuff.

    They'll likely just allow their health to scale with vitality, which is the major issue at this point and maybe buff the benefits they get from defensive stats, similar to how the followers work. There's no way to increase dogs base HP atm which is really ridiculous... the dogs probably have like 6k HP or something.

    The biggest things they need to fix with the WD is resource management and passives, which kind of go hand in hand. There are a lot of other problems, but mana is the main one. Can't say for sure how they would do it though.

    Buffing primarys might be a start. Maybe it would be better if we had bigger mana pools with less regen so that spending mana wouldn't be a problem, and the primarys became generators...

    It seems kind of dumb that our primarys don't generate mana because it really encourages you to just stack mana regen rather than use a primary. And of course VQ is ridiculous.
  • #14
    Quote from KiriONE

    Diablo 3 feels like resource generation game. This point has been argued so heavily that if Blizzard doesn't make some kind of change -- whether it be in skill mana adjustment or a buff elsewhere -- I'd say it's clear that they don't play WD nearly as much as Barbarian (which seems to be the most well thought-out.


    Just a problem, rage-spenders are useless.
  • #15
    Even if pets became viable, I'd never put them on the bar. Why have a pet tank 4 mobs, when I can use wall of zombies and GoD and CC them all? Why have a pet do 15% weapon damage to elites, when I can have fetish army do 8 x 20% weapon damage. Pets are cool at the lower levels when you are just messing around; but in inferno, you need to spike your damage in the fights that matter. Pets will always fail this test.

    They'd have to make a run for ZD/Gargantuan that lets the Garg ride a big ZD before I'd use it. And even then, it'd either have to look super funny or super cool.

    I have to disagree, though. I found the WD to be a ton easier all the way thru inferno. I stopped my Barbarian in Hell, cuz it just got to be too much kiting for a melee class.
  • #16
    Quote from Junotekh

    Scale pets with player's int/vit and all is solved on that part. This goes for the monk summon as well.


    They already scale with Int; buffs your dps, thus your pets. "Just" adding a bit more hp from vit scaling will still not help much when they take crazy amount of damage in seconds in later inferno acts, but would make them even more op then they already are up to that point.

    Quote from italofoca

    I"m hoping for more creative solutions. I will be really disapointed if any glass cannon WD can just throw summons in the build and it works out all pretty and well.

    Summon changes i want:

    * 50% free damage reduction against ranged attacks.
    * Immunity to AoE that pets naturaly do not avoid such as arcane sentry and plagued pools.
    * Zombie Handler gives additionally a armor and all resists buffs to pet. Maybe +50%.
    * Zombie Dogs cooldown reduced to 30~45 seconds.
    * Remake Fiercy Loyalt. Pets scaling HP regen and thorns should be default in first place, not a passive effect. Fiercy Loyalt should be: enemies damaged by zombie dogs and gargantua takes additional 10~20% damage. Lasts 3 seconds.

    Maybe not even this would solve all pet's problem but it's a nice start.


    Wooooh there, that a TAD to much buffing imo. If your dogs are alive 24/7 they are WAY OP. Show me any defensive skill that will tank 3+ mobs for you and do a bit of dmg at the same time permanently.

    Damage reduction taken from ground based attacks would be nice, but they are supposed to die from those. The pets can't be good at everything.

    Fierce loyalty is fine. Pet damage taken scaling isn't. This one will be a bitch to balance though (I'm guessing) due to the many different playstyles and expectancies of players.

    I wouldn't mind if they changed one of the runes on the dogs to be something along the line of; "Hulking Beasts: The summoned dogs are tougher, receiving less damage and having more hp, but move slower and you can't summon as many".

    Instead of reducing the cd for a full resummon, the cd could be adjusted depending on how many dogs you summoned.

    Quote from PsyBomb

    I would like pets to scale with a portion of Vitality, Resist, and Armor. Doesn't have to be much, but I'd like to see a 1-minute cooldown last for at least 15 seconds in normal combat conditions. I HATED when I had to stop using my Garg, and the Dogs were useless from A4 of Nightmare.


    Hehe, I play HC, have had decent (read not great) gear since Act 1 Normal, and I'm still using dogs in Act 1 Inferno (I hear bad things about act 2, but not gotten there yet, pet scaling issues).

    I have an average of 1 dog alive and like 90% uptime on Garg (need to get me some better gear before Butcher). Which is just fine with me. That 1 average dog might sound low, but that's cause I counting the time when I run into a plagued, electric, desiccator pack which just eats up my 6 dogs in 5 sec ^^

    Their weaknesses;
    Slow hard hitters (Dark Berserker, Tremors, Colossal Golgor or similar)
    Ground based effects (Plagued, Desecration, Fire chains or similar)

    When they are not running into any of the ones above, they work wonders imo. I mean vs normal mobs with crappy life regen (working on it), decent mitigation, Jungle Fortitude and Fierce Loyalty I can usually keep all my pets alive, just needing a resummon after elites. If Blizzard balances the damage pets start taking in Inferno AND the above weaknesses, they will be a bit OP I'm fearing/hoping. And then they will be nerfed again ^^;
    Winter is coming...
  • #17
    i fully support buffing pets and pet passives. they need to scale with 5-10% of our hp at the very least. they need reduced damage against things players are meant to avoid like plague pools.

    they shouldn't be invincible, but they shouldn't explode in 0.7 seconds to wasp missiles either

    in a way i think blizzard tipped their hand with item skill buffs. you'll find zombie dog skills on items as, "reduces the cooldown". that kind of tells us they meant for dogs to be trash throwaway pets that we constantly have to resummon. i'm hoping they'll reverse course on that.
  • #18
    Quote from SparkimusPrime

    Quote from DenkaSaeba25

    I'd not say complete immunity to aoe effects like plagued, molten or arcane sentry, but a 90% reduction. This way you may still want to have a little control on pets without punishing you too much for not having a pet control feature.

    I also would like to see (but the priority is much lower than pet's) reworked some stuff, like chicken hex.


    Exactly how would you control your pets without having a pet control feature in your scenario, then? Running far away to get them to pull back out of aoes? That seems like really fun design >_>


    It's exactly what we have now. This is why i wrote what i wrote: since we can't control them, give them AoE reduction.
  • #19
    Pets already scale with armor, resistances and DPS (I say DPS because it covers int, crit chance, crit dmg and atk speed). They would be significantly better if they scaled with vitality. Anyways, here are my suggestions.

    Active Skills:
    • Summon Zombie Dogs cooldown reduced to 14 seconds.
    • Pets will now scale with players' vitality. One point of Vitality is +15 HP for pets.
    • Spirit Barrage's mana cost has been reduced to 98 from 108.
    • Plague of Toads mana cost has been reduced to 17 from 34.
    • Acid Cloud's mana cost has been reduced to 150 from 174.
    • Zombie Charger's range has been significantly increased for the unruned version and for the runes leperous zombie and undeath.
    • Hex will now follow the player better.
    • Pets will now receive 33% less damage from molten, plagued, arcane sentry and AoE skills.
    • Pets and followers do not attack treasure goblins until the player has attacked them.
    Runes:
    • Zombie Charger - Zombie Bears rune has been modified. Bears can only hit one target once (The same as DH's Nether tentacles).
    • Zombie Charger - Explosive Beast rune's damage has been increased from 236% to 290%. The range has been decreased from 9 to 8 for the explosion.
    • Zombie Charger - Wave of Zombies rune's damage has been increased from 72% to 200%.
    • Spirit Barrage - Manitou rune's range has been slightly increased. In addition, the damage has been increased to 33% from 28%.
    • Spirit Barrage - Well of Souls rune's range has been slightly increased.
    • Acid Cloud - Corpse Bomb rune's damage has been increased from 200% to 275%
    • Acid Cloud - Kiss of Death rune's range and width has been increased. In addition, the damage for the poison pools has been increased from 82% to 100%.
    • Wall of Zombies - Creepers rune has been changed. The zombies will now for a circle around the player for 3 seconds attacking nearby enemies for 60% weapon damage. The circle is 20 yards wide.
    • Corpse Spiders - Fire spiders rune's damage has been increased from 21% to 25%.
    • Plague of Toads - Toad of Hugeness rune is now able to swallow elites. The duration is halved against elites, but the damage is increased from 20% to 40%.
    • Firebats - Cloud of bats rune's starting damage has been increased from 195% to 250%. In addition, the range has been doubled.
    • Hex - Angry Chicken rune's cooldown has been reduced from 15 seconds to 10 seconds. In addition, the skill now knockbacks nearby enemies with the explosion.
    • Hex - Hedge Magic rune now heals for 5% of the players max HP instead of 1861 HP. In addition, the skill now heals nearby allies as well instead of choosing the one with least HP.
    • Hex - Painful Transformation rune's damage has been increased from 12% to 20%.
    • Horrify - Ruthless Terror rune has been changed because of feedback. Players don't like using panic-skills for mana regeneration. The rune will now summon a ghost who lingers for 10 seconds. The ghost will fear one enemy at the time for 3 seconds. If there are multiple enemies, the ghost will pick the target randomly. The skill has a chance to fail against elites.
    • Big Bad Voodoo - Rain Dance rune will now regenerate 20% of the players maximum resource per second. In addition, the skill now affects allies as well.
    • Sacrifice - Provoke the Pack rune shows a buff icon now.
    Passive skills:
    • Circle of Life summoning chance has been increased to 15%.
    • Fetish Sycophants summoning chance has been increased to 10%.
    • Gruesome Feast shows a buff icon now.
    • Zombie Handler will now have an additional effect. One pet will survive from fatal damage and heal themselfs to 50% HP. This effect cannot happen more than once per 120 seconds. The skill is global among all pets meaning if a dog uses the skill, gargantuan needs to wait 120 seconds.
    • Tribal Rites will now affect Gargantuan's cooldown as well.
    • The bug with Tribal Rites working incorrectly with Fetish Army - Devoted Following rune has been fixed.
    • While under the effects of Spirit Vessel, the player can move through units like in Spirit Walk.
    As you can see, they aren't that huge changes. Just a few adjusts here and there, but these changes would make some of the runes and skills a lot more viable. I didn't address mana regeneration, because I feel it's fine. These changes wouldn't change the gameplay mechanics of a WD either, it would simply make pets more viable and boost weaker skills.

    PS: Please don't quote the whole post! Remove the ones from the quote you aren't going to comment on!
  • #20
    Quote from Derwiv33
    • Pets will now receive 33% less damage from molten, plagued, arcane sentry and AoE skills


    Well thought post, but this needs to be at least 60% imho. Even with your lowered cd dogs would explode in no time without substantial resistances.
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