So the main points of 1.0.4 are to 1) Deal with VQ and 2) Buff pets survivability.
I don't think buffing pet survivability is that big of a deal because once you hit a certain gear level, it's your damage that matters, not how well you can tank enemies. Clearly there will be uses for pets... Big Stinker + Burning Dogs should be really good if they don't change CC effects and Summoners will be pretty solid in HC (for the people that actually play it). But they'll never give you more damage. I think it just means more people are going to have glass cannon builds where their pets tank for them and they hope not to die... but this is kind of dumb because the chance of getting killed by white mobs is still going to be high.
I think the change to VQ is most important (30% regen for 5 sec after using a Primary spell). It seems like this isn't going to stack.
So it's a situation where you'll have ~100 mana regen / sec if you stack mana regen gear with VQ now. I assume bears is still like 210 mana / sec. So this means you get to spam bears for a few seconds, and then maybe use something like Spined Dart in order to get a bit of mana back. Except most people will gear towards bursting enemies down and just get more mana gear.
The truth is that this patch is sort of a nerf to WDs.
Right now with VQ and +30 regen we're getting 200 / sec. In 1.0.4 we'll be getting 100 / sec. So if Bears costs the same, that's a significant nerf assuming the 30% doesn't stack.
Also, I think this patch kind of forces players into the builds they should have had all along... where you have 1 Generator and 1 Spender basically.
In a way, this patch will make mana runes way better. Because people really want to just spam the highest damage abilities. So something like Honored Guest is going to be extremely good I think... same goes for Devouring Swarm.
Your average build now would include 1) The highest damage attack. 2) A primary for regen. 3) SW, probably Honored Guest. 4) SH, perhaps Swallow Your Soul. 5) BBV. 6) FA. Something like that... And you would get the typical passives, perhaps using something like Rush of Essence instead of VQ, depending on your build.
There aren't really enough damage passives that you would take instead of VQ. PtV seems like it'll be only for low cost mana builds now, which is appropriate.
So you end up going JF, SV and VQ. The alternative being GF instead of JF once you can get decent defensive stats or GI if you somehow actually have Pickup Radius gear.
Basically I still think the same principle applies... you find the highest damage attack, completely build your gear and spec around it.
The biggest change may be that GI actually becomes pretty useful. So it could be a good idea to start getting pickup radius gear now.
It'll be more worth it to stick around to kill white mobs since the drop rates get better, so if you had like 35 pickup radius or something you'd easily be able to have BBV and FA up much faster than every 1.5 minutes. And since there's no advantage to having them on cooldown anymore and VQ is nerfed, it'll make sense to have those cooldowns for every champ pack.
For example, if you run GF / PtV / GI with pickup radius gear you should be able to really well if they buff some of the other skills enough.
the biggest problem is that we could use a 2h to Greatly prolong the casting of zombie bears the only problem is that 2H dont have any mana regen and does not let you use a mojo, so you will loose up to 25 mana regen just from that to drop your base attack speed, but with the loss of that much mana regen its just not worth it as you will probably be able to use zombie bears for and even shorter time with 2H then CK and Mojo.
lets se, 45(base)+11(voodoomask)+ 8(spirutal attunement)+2(templar)=66 mana per second.
Now with the new vision quest throwing a spider queen (best uptime) gives you 30 more mana regen so
66*1,3=85 mana per second
lets say we find a 2h with zombie reducing mana cost (max 12 lower cost)
140-30%-12=86-90 (depending on how its calculated)
base attack speed 0,9 cost per bear 78-81 mana per second
so with base speed a voodoo helm, templar, spirutal attunement, blood ritual, vision quest, mana cost reducing 2h mace.
it seems like its possible to cast zombie bears indefenitly with a 2H
this is Great news! for all you zombie bear spamming freaks out there. also remember big bad voodoo - rain dance will help you out alot to kill elites/rares with no need to heavily invest into this type for gear.
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The new VQ is also great to maintain or high cost spells that dont need to be cast super often. like locus swarm, acid cloud haunt and spirit barrage.
Some thing to note is that Ruse of essence increases your mana regen, instead of giving back mana. so this will open upp some doors. for example haunt and spirit barrage gives you 3-3,5 extra mana regen per cast for 10 seconds and the great thing about it is that it is increaded by vision quest. and this can lead to some ways to get enought mana to go almost break even while casting some higher cost spells.
PtV seems like it'll be only for low cost mana builds now, which is appropriate.
Can I just say that this is not appropriate. All other classes can increase their damage and it doesn't affect their specs. Most just get straight damage amplification for free. The closest one to a drawback is Wizard glass cannon, and the passive doesn't also hinder their damage output while trying to increase it. Why are we OK with this?
Mana, with the information currently provided, is far from fixed. I think our closest hope of a new emergent build will be some kind of rush of essence monstrosity that doesn't take Spirit Vessel.
if the pet buff is significant enough it gives WDs a lot of options. currently you have to invest a lot of effort into specific gear to make pets viable in inferno, especially past act 1. after this patch it may be possible to use normal gear with pets, but not have to focus on pets. so you can be half glass cannon half pet or whatever you come up with.
i think my WD can have a lot of options to change and play around, but my DH is gonna end up being exactly the same.
I think if you look at all the proposed 1.04 changes across all the classes only under the aspect 'How do these changes affect the highest DPS builds' then you are missing the most important driver behind many of those. The changes are not for those players who go to any length to min/max their builds. They are not for players who make build decisions based on: Build A takes 2 minutes less on a 45 minute farming run than build B and so I will always choose A. The changes are about build diversity, that is making more builds viable. This doesn't mean builds have to be equal in farming efficiency they just have to be close. How close? Now that is very subjective and players will make their own decision but my gut feel is that Blizz are on the right track with those proposed changes (across all classes) to achieve their goal of seeing a wider variety of builds being used after 1.04.
Holy...... So they completely nerfed WD's to the ground. Everyone who was using zombie bears of bats as main attack gonna start using some crappy skill as splinters and that means overall dps output will be much lower.
I can't believe this sh*t..
Here's the thing, though, I vastly prefer tossing a Spider Queen every 30 seconds (or a non-Splinter Dart every 10-ish) than keeping 4 of my 6 skills on cooldown at all times. It means that I can actually use my main cooldowns, and perhaps play with other spammables, instead of having to keep them all locked down.
I am REALLY a fan of this, if it wasn't obvious. I can go back to my hounds, back to my Slam Dance, back to having two attacks instead of just one offensive... perhaps even back to the Horde of Doom (Hounds-Garg-Army-Handler-Fortitude). I'll just have to play with it for a while to see how it runs.
To answer the topic question, the five-cooldown builds are gone for good. Good riddance.