The Witch Doctor's Plague of Toads lame? Hardly.

A user on forums recently commented that the Witch Doctor's "Plague of Toads" skill was "lame". This baffles me, because out of all the skills that I played around with at BlizzCon last year, the toads were easily my favorite and seemed perfect for the character. Bashiok also commented in on the subject:

"If you're basing the entirety of your purchasing decision on if Plague of Toads remains in the game or not, then sure, otherwise that's a giant leap of logic.

I'm saying if you don't think it's cool enough there are tons of other skills to spend points on. I happen to personally think it's a cool ability. It works really well, the sounds and visual of a plague of toads hopping around and exploding in poisonous goo is entertaining to me. It fits the style and feel of the witch doctor class, and it's a fun and useful skill. I like it.

If you don't think it's a good ability, you don't have to use it. The great thing about Diablo III is there are lots of options for building a character. If you don't like an ability for whatever reason, it doesn't work with the build you're going for, it seems weak, or you just don't like the way it looks, don't get it. There are plenty of skills to spend your points in. The witch doctor trees have only been shown in a very limited amount, so I know that's kind of hard to put into focus, but he has tons of awesome (AWESOME) skills. Pick the ones that appeal to you. Customize your character as you see fit.

Saying it's not cool enough is completely subjective, and based on limited knowledge. So I disagree with you, I think it is awesome, and it should be a skill. There's no consensus here. So where does that leave us?

We could argue back and forth how appealing something is to each individual person. Or! We could agree that not every skill will appeal to every player, and through diversity and choice we welcome a wide range of players to choose how they wish to play."

He then went on and responded to the following user comment:

"I'm happy that you often mention sounds with skills, though. That is a very, very important aspect of any skill in any game. I hope to hear more about that soon. (pardon the pun).
I know I probably won't since game companies tend to gloss over sound creation and highlighting those features but it is very important, as was mentioned in some thread about the sound the health globes make. Distinctive and unmistakable is key.

"I would love! to have a dedicated feature just to the sound engineering that goes into the game. It's truly amazing how much of an abilities power and feeling comes from the audio.

Jay had an anecdote at ... the last BlizzCon I think, where he talked about seismic slam. It was one of if not the first barbarian abilities created, actually first in the game entirely, and they were working on it and working on it, and just never really happy with it, and then one day the sound came back for it and they got it all working in game, and finally it all came together. It became this stunningly powerful feeling ability. I think that speaks volumes (nyuk nyuk) about how important sound is to the feeling of a game.

That same lesson is true through the development of the game. A new skills goes in and it seems awesome, it looks cool, but until you get the sound attached it just seems incomplete.

Just because a lot of the sounds are early renditions though, as amazing as they are, we'd need to make sure the audio engineers are far enough along where they'd want to showcase them. They're perfectionists. So hopefully a sound feature is something we can do, but if I had to guess it won't be for a while yet."

So what do you guys think about the Witch Doctor's skills from what we've seen so far? I for one love 'em. And yes, sounds are vital and it's unfortunate that the foley artists often don't get the same credit that the graphic artists do.


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