What would REALLLLY help is if champ affixes got used on the pets, that would be sick.
I really don't expect this from Blizzard though, they'll probably make it so the pets are a lot stronger, but you have to stack higher defenses to tank champs. Or they'll make it so the Gargantuan can tank champs but the dogs are garbage. Which would be a definite improvement.
I mean I'm hoping for the best, but considering how much damage A3 champs can do, it would make pets really OP if they could tank that without stacking defensive stats.
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.
Those two are the main reasons for which the WD is underpowered. I would add the insane cooldowns of some spells (e.g. pile on)
I hadn't used Soul Harvest much until I swapped up my spec a bit lately and now I'm giving it a whirl instead of taking Hex or Horrify since I just don't feel like I need them for what I'm doing. Anyway...
I began to realize why I slowly moved away from Soul Harvest in the first place. 30s just is a horribly short length. Either the base duration needs to be upped significantly (60-120s) or they should change the mechanics so that using Soul Harvest while you already have the buff up refreshes the duration and adds to the stacks (if you have fewer than 5 stacks).
Having to suck 5 new souls every 30 seconds to keep a 5-stack is not remotely friendly to the player and they definitely could implement this in a way such that it doesn't require quite as much micromanagement.
I'm eagerly awaiting the 1.0.4 patch notes. Being as they're aiming for the patch going live on the last week of August I'd imagine we'd be seeing the rest of the blogs and notes probably within the next week, roughly.
heh be nice if soul harvest became a 5min buff that would siphon the souls of the dead to the 5 stacks... and would gradually wear off 1 stack every 30sec that there is not a corpse around to refresh the stack
then you would have to keep killing to keep the stacks up but it would work passively for ya...
Well according to the initial outline by Wyatt, I'm a happy WD. Just about everything in my post back at the beginning of July is getting addressed. Really like the VQ change, I'm predicting a lot of spider builds coming out soon.