Anyone else go against the grain?

  • #1
    Hey everyone. Been checking this site out for a while, happy to finally be signed up with it finally. And maybe it's my imagination, but the community here seems to be a bit quieter and not quite as "enraged" or loud as D3.com's forums...

    Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else has had any interest, or tried out, any unorthodox builds.

    There's been so much heat on this game for allegedly forcing everyone to be the same that, when my Demon Hunter hit level 60 in Hell difficulty, I couldn't take it anymore and had to try out my Demon Hunter as a melee-ish character. So, I threw on a Burning Axe of Sankis and a high block chance Shield (I think with some Dex), I took away his left click skill so he could wield the axe, had a pretty cool animation, actually...and put Grenades on right click to occasionally generate Hatred without needing to shoot a bow/crossbow. I didn't have to change my other four skills (Shadow Power - Gloom [though, recently changed to Blood Moon], Vault - Trail of Cinders, Sentry - Spitfire Turret, and Spike Traps - Echoing Blast) though I definitely want to look through and see if there's a more "melee/close quarters" centric build than that...also, I'd forgotten to switch out my passives, so I had on stuff like Cull the Weak and Thrill of the Hunt, which is really only good for ranged shots, though Custom Engineering helped me throw out more Sentries.

    Then I started up a Nightmare MP10 Diablo run...and I gotta tell ya...I had an absolute ball! I was chopping down Oppressors any chance I could get, Shadow Power was still giving me back a decent amount of life, it was really fun! I would definitely do it again, and once I have even better armor than he has on now, I can't wait to try it out in Inferno.

    I say...if a build like that can survive in Inferno MP0, it should be considered "viable."

    So seeing some of the threads and posts today, it's really got me thinking about other quirky ways to go against the grain. Maybe D3 doesn't offer quite as many weird options as D2 does, however just adding a minor non-primary to certain classes can change up how they work. Witch Doctors can carry crossbows, why not go for it? I have a Pus Spitter in my stash that I'm pretty sure has Intelligence rolled on it...I let her shoot it on left click, I have one more attack to use that requires no resource. What about a Strength Wizard melee version? Extra Armor and a Shield, combined with Diamond Skin, maybe Ice Armor and attacks to slow enemies down? They'd still need Intelligence to raise damage output, and Crit and APOC would still be a big help to keep resource stocked, but if used differently it could be pretty fun.

    In Diablo 2, people went against the grain with builds because they wanted additional challenge, and because even the amount of freedom in that game to make a unique character wasn't enough. People wanted the glory of doing something amazing with a different style of character, with gear that purposely gimped them in various ways, but allowed them to make a special character they could be proud of. Diablo 3 may only be out less than a year, but trying to find people who go this way in this game is pretty rough.

    TLDR: If some people are so bored with the same old builds, especially with so many people streaming on twitch and YouTube, why is it not more common to see people with funky variations, doing strange and unorthodox builds to show what these classes are really made of? Why are the same default builds seen sooooooooooooooo often?
    Pre AH-shutdown Transcendence/Spirit Regen build, used only found and crafted gear and gems, could handle MP7.
  • #2
    You can use Impale, Spike Trap, Fan of Knives and Chakram too if you want to experiment with melee weapons. You can reduce the cost of Chakram to 0 with cloak, Jordan or Mara's, so you don't even need Grenades to generate hatred.

    I've done some experimenting/fun with these skills, but to be honest, it sucks to loose the stats on the quiver, and Shadow Power-Gloom makes the shield obsolete :)

    As to your question about default builds, well, this game is about efficiency. Everything that reduces it is unpopular. High MPs put build optimization in laser sharp focus, as there is no build widely available for MP10 farming. That doesn't mean that there is no creativity in character building. In fact, everyone without infinite budget will have to be creative to build from whatever items they can snipe cheap.
  • #3
    Quote from m4st0d0n

    You can use Impale, Spike Trap, Fan of Knives and Chakram too if you want to experiment with melee weapons. You can reduce the cost of Chakram to 0 with cloak, Jordan or Mara's, so you don't even need Grenades to generate hatred.

    I've done some experimenting/fun with these skills, but to be honest, it sucks to loose the stats on the quiver, and Shadow Power-Gloom makes the shield obsolete :)

    As to your question about default builds, well, this game is about efficiency. Everything that reduces it is unpopular. High MPs put build optimization in laser sharp focus, as there is no build widely available for MP10 farming. That doesn't mean that there is no creativity in character building. In fact, everyone without infinite budget will have to be creative to build from whatever items they can snipe cheap.


    Exactly, I'm sure there are lots of interesting ways to play the DH melee, I was just saying what I did at the time. Even not using the ranged skills much and just using the standard attack, though, it was still pretty fun to do, :-)

    The reason I switched my Shadow Power rune from Gloom (the popular choice) to Blood Moon is that while 35% seems nice, it doesn't typically offer enough of a damage reduction for me to ever save me, even/especially when I'm using ranged weapons and I get overwhelmed, that 35% doesn't seem to do much. Meanwhile, if I increase the Life Steal % with Blood Moon, by the time I have enemies all around me, I'm keeping my Life at a healthy enough place that I have time to Vault away. I also typically use Nether Tentacles instead of Ball Lightning for the extra Life Steal, so between those two, even when my Life dips low, when I hit Shadow Power, it tends to jump back up pretty fast.

    As for "efficiency," I know...that seems to be most peoples' mantra, my guess being that the activity of "power leveling," like in Diablo 2 is pretty much impossible. Though, creativity involving Auction snipes isn't the way I wanted to play this game. Not at all. And in fact, since I started building most of my characters from the ground up, without any help from the AH whatsoever, it's caused me to really see all the "itemization problems" this game has in an entirely new light.

    Gearing up on one's own is challenging, but it's absolutely not impossible. Will it take a long time for me to get the gear necessary to make it to higher MPs than 2 or 3? Sure it will. But once I get there, I'll know I did it on my own and without needing to buy perfectly rolled stuff from people. I don't want to be proud that I swooped in on some deal, I want to be proud that I conquered the mountain without anyone to help me.

    Maybe throwing melee weapons on my DH won't get him to MP10, but it's a fun thing to try out, to see the farthest aloing he can survive with a setup like that.
    Pre AH-shutdown Transcendence/Spirit Regen build, used only found and crafted gear and gems, could handle MP7.
  • #4
    Well, considering I use a mace for my wizard and I constantly run out of AP when I'm not in Archon form...

    It always looks like my wizard is bashing melee mobs with a hammer.

    Oh, I went melee DH once. That was when I found Bashiok and I had to grab my Rakanishu's Blade so I could get the achievement.

    Only that one time.
    Blizzard Entertainment - Diablo III Community MVP
  • #5
    Quote from Jaetch

    Well, considering I use a mace for my wizard and I constantly run out of AP when I'm not in Archon form...

    It always looks like my wizard is bashing melee mobs with a hammer.

    Oh, I went melee DH once. That was when I found Bashiok and I had to grab my Rakanishu's Blade so I could get the achievement.

    Only that one time.


    You use Echoing Fury for the extra crit damage, and you have on Critical Mass...which is funny, because you also have on Evocation. I'm sorry...you're using a passive to reduce cooldowns by 1 second per successful critical hit (which you should pretty much be doing constantly with that amount of crit chance), yet you're using another passive to also reduce cooldowns by 15%? Your CM Wizard has more critical chance than mine, exactly why do you need Evocation?

    And by the way, playing a Critical Mass Wizard that wields a melee weapon (thousands of other people carry, by the way) is exactly what I'm NOT talking about. I made my CM Wizard to play multiplayer, and the only reason mine has on a dagger is for extra attack speed. Not saying it's done better, it's not. I followed a YouTube guide because my friends are AH addicts.

    I mean, sacrificing a skill for long periods so a ranged/magic user can go straight melee. That's some hard stuff to do, so...I don't blame most people for not trying it for more than a couple seconds, ;-)
    Pre AH-shutdown Transcendence/Spirit Regen build, used only found and crafted gear and gems, could handle MP7.
  • #6
    Not quite sure you understood that I was simply making a statement about the amusing animation, but that's fine.

    And also, maybe you're not familiar with hybrid Archon builds on MP10. Archon rarely lasts 1-2 minutes and CM does a great job reducing the CD. However, Evocation also automatically reduces Archon's CD by 18 seconds, which is a lot.
    Blizzard Entertainment - Diablo III Community MVP
  • #7
    Quote from Jaetch

    Not quite sure you understood that I was simply making a statement about the amusing animation, but that's fine.

    And also, maybe you're not familiar with hybrid Archon builds on MP10. Archon rarely lasts 1-2 minutes and CM does a great job reducing the CD. However, Evocation also automatically reduces Archon's CD by 18 seconds, which is a lot.


    Wasn't aware of that, no. Your response came off very sarcastic. Could just be a problem with my interpretation, though...most peoples' responses seem pretty matter of fact when it comes to this game...

    As for hybrid Archon builds, I've used Archon plenty, and even used Evocation plenty as well, before I made mine specifically multiplayer only with AH gear, both were handy skills. Though, I could never see myself using CM and Evocation just to reduce the cooldown between Archon transformations. Seems like a really awkward way to play, but maybe that's just me.
    Pre AH-shutdown Transcendence/Spirit Regen build, used only found and crafted gear and gems, could handle MP7.
  • #8
    I once attempted a storm wizard utilizing that one two handed legendary weapon that gave a bonus to lightning attacks. It worked pretty well for a bit, but I couldn't get it powerful enough to go past the lower MPs of Inferno.

    I also successfully ran a Melee wizard style up till I reached inferno, then I had to change the game a bit.
    Jellyfish are the one and only true Wizards
  • #9
    The Freeze Doctor is a fun spec for the Witch Doctor based around Azurewrath (maybe it can work with Sky Splitter too). The main skill is Rain of Toads and you need a high attack speed.
  • #10
    There are actually quite a lot specs that are viable. And when you have certain spec, you can spice it up with different rune or skill. So the posibilities are not so limited. For example, I like ww/HotS hybrid for my barb and its amazing. But I also like to be efficient,which is the true limiter here. But I dont know how to fix that, I think there will always be one spec that is the most efficient, even if by a small margin.

    What bugs me more is that there are some skills and especially passives that are useless right now. There are some that I never even picked. Same applies for runes.

    If they brought them more close together,I would have even more options.
  • #11
    Hi CardinalMDM. Great post. I think I mentioned a similar thing somewhere else a while ago.

    Thing is, I never heard of this efficiency thing in Diablo 2. No one cared. You were the coolest guy in town if you had the worst gear and most awkward distribution of stats and skills and still managed to get around.

    In D3, if you don't have 100k DPS, roflstomp through MP5 with 80m XP/hour and your skill or gear looks a little bit odd (i.e., doesn't equal the same shit that everyone's wearing) people will laugh at you.

    It's really strange, people are complaining about what was possible in D2 and what's not possible in D3 anymore, but they ain't even trying. And please don't tell me your 250 strength sorc had a faster kill speed than the next best hammerdin. Can't hear that crap anymore. I don't know when and why this efficiency blurb started in D3, but as long as it doesn't stop, people won't be happy again.
  • #12
    Hey Cardinal, great post. I created an account to reply to the post that you created an account to make :)

    I agree that MP0 is a fair assessment of viability, and there's a heap of fun things you can do despite any apparent lack of balance in the game.

    I think you and Bagstone are onto it, though. The issue is efficiency, and the reason people care is really very simple: RMAH!

    No, no, i'm not a troll. It's just that in Diablo 2, items and gold didn't have an obvious price tag with hourly exchange rate updates built into the interface of the game. Now they do. Everything you can do in Diablo 3 can very easily be measured in real money and everyone knows it, and since, according to the law of the internet, real money is more important than playing video games... here we are today.

    It took me a couple of months to realise that i was good enough at flipping to make 100 x more from the AH than from playing the game, and it took maybe another month after that to then seperate that from the game, accept trading as a part-time hobby and then go back to playing the game without the AH involved. And yeah, it's a huge difference. I still use the AH, but i don't really see it as part of the game anymore. More like an extra tool i can use if i really want to tweak my game experience, which i imagine is closer to the original intention.

    I am still critical of this game, things like itemization and skill balance aren't perfect, some of the dialogue lines and plot progression points are really lame, but for the most part, you can have some serious demon killing fun.

    Anyway, to anyone who thinks that sounds fun, add me: Dragonfly#1941

    No point sitting around waiting for the revolution to happen, right?!

    PS. Be nice to Jaetch o.O Not every elitist is an asshole, some of them are actually really nice people :)
  • #13
    I really enjoyed reading OP post.
    But I have nothing really to add, just wanted to let you know it was refreshing! +1

    Swedish Official Fansite www.Diablo3pvp.se

  • #14
    i dual wield with a Witch Doctor in Hardcore MP5 Inferno. Check out my guide on how to do this!
  • #15
    Quote from haXudon

    i dual wield with a Witch Doctor in Hardcore MP5 Inferno. Check out my guide on how to do this!


    Oh, you do, do you? How interesting.
    Do you also dual wield with your Wizard?
  • #16
    When i get bored with efficient builds, i sometimes just select completely random build and unequip 4-5 pieces of my gear to make myself weaker.
    On my barb i just select a fury generator and the rest is picked either blindly or simply the least used, least useful or most inneficient runes there are. Some builds made this way turn out to be surprisingly fun and can handle upto mp3, depending how much gear i unequip.

    I'd steam it if i could, best i can do is a short vid. Pick random skills for me and i'll kill stuff :)

    But yeah, like others and eventhough im plvl100, most of my time i spend playing an efficient build, farming efficient routes ... because i might find something sellable on RMAH. It's sad, but i'll admit i'm one of those ppl who would rather make 100s or eur and have medium fun, rather than have lot of fun without profits.
  • #17
    Quote from CardinalMDM
    TLDR: If some people are so bored with the same old builds, especially with so many people streaming on twitch and YouTube, why is it not more common to see people with funky variations, doing strange and unorthodox builds to show what these classes are really made of? Why are the same default builds seen sooooooooooooooo often?


    Why would anyone use anything else other than cookie cutter builds and little variations off them? Fun? Doing what? Isn't farming what this game's about? Why would you gimp yourself and use something completely inefficient?
  • #18
    Quote from Sartorius

    Quote from CardinalMDM
    TLDR: If some people are so bored with the same old builds, especially with so many people streaming on twitch and YouTube, why is it not more common to see people with funky variations, doing strange and unorthodox builds to show what these classes are really made of? Why are the same default builds seen sooooooooooooooo often?


    Why would anyone use anything else other than cookie cutter builds and little variations off them? Fun? Doing what? Isn't farming what this game's about? Why would you gimp yourself and use something completely inefficient?


    Hey, now...

    I'm actually in the process of building a "block" wizard (Helm of Command, massive shield, Justice Lantern, legacy Justice Lantern, Doombringer) with virtually no DPS and I'm going to try and tackle the highest MP possible and attempt to farm without dying.

    No sarcasm here, OP.

    You can do this once you hit paragon 100. There really isn't much else to do, actually.
    Blizzard Entertainment - Diablo III Community MVP
  • #19
    Quote from Sartorius

    Why would anyone use anything else other than cookie cutter builds and little variations off them? Fun? Doing what? Isn't farming what this game's about? Why would you gimp yourself and use something completely inefficient?


  • #20
    Quote from Bagstone

    Quote from Sartorius

    Why would anyone use anything else other than cookie cutter builds and little variations off them? Fun? Doing what? Isn't farming what this game's about? Why would you gimp yourself and use something completely inefficient?







    Quote from Jaetch

    Quote from Sartorius

    Quote from CardinalMDM
    TLDR: If some people are so bored with the same old builds, especially with so many people streaming on twitch and YouTube, why is it not more common to see people with funky variations, doing strange and unorthodox builds to show what these classes are really made of? Why are the same default builds seen sooooooooooooooo often?


    Why would anyone use anything else other than cookie cutter builds and little variations off them? Fun? Doing what? Isn't farming what this game's about? Why would you gimp yourself and use something completely inefficient?


    Hey, now...

    I'm actually in the process of building a "block" wizard (Helm of Command, massive shield, Justice Lantern, legacy Justice Lantern, Doombringer) with virtually no DPS and I'm going to try and tackle the highest MP possible and attempt to farm without dying.

    No sarcasm here, OP.

    You can do this once you hit paragon 100. There really isn't much else to do, actually.


    Sorry, I actually read the TLDR part only.
    While I was still really into the game, I tried stuff like this myself, hence the snarky reply. I went with Azurewrath and Sledge Fist builds for my monk when doing ubers and farming. Until I realized ubers were pointless and unfortunately so was my monk.

    I'm just saying, trying that block wizard will result in nothing but disappointment. You will probably be able to farm any MP, but at a rate that will render the build useless (throw in obscene amounts of dying and you're set). Pretty much everything has been tried and tested by much more "devious" minds than ours. The game's itemization and skill set is so poor that it offers little to no variables when looking for interesting/creative ways to farm. It's all about efficiency. Simple as that. I would even go as far as saying that right now, if you're not a barb, you're doing it wrong.

    Sure, you can go and try stunlock builds, high dodge/block builds and...well I can't think of anything else. But WHAT is the point? Isn't act III what everybody does all day? Isn't a bigger chance to get a good item that will sell on the AH the point? You'll say "having fun, that's all it matters". Well then, sorry but I got into the game for the same reason as you, and we all know the "right" way to play it, whether you admit or not.
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