PTR Patch Update - A Few Skill Updates

Update: Wyatt Cheng posted on Reddit regarding our datamined class changes. Check his comments at the end of this post.

PTR Patch Update - A Few Skill Updates
A few class changes have shown up in recent PTR files!

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Demon Hunter
  • - Rapid Fire Rapid Fire Cost: 20 Hatred initially, and an additional 106 Hatred while channeling / Rapidly fire for 276438% weapon damage as Physical.
    • - Bombardment Bombardment : Rapidly fire grenades that explode for 345414% weapon damage as Fire to all enemies within a 48 yard radius.
    • - Fire Support Fire Support : While channeling Rapid Fire, launch 2 homing rockets every second. Each rocket deals 35145% weapon damage as Physical to nearby targets.
    • - Withering Fire Withering Fire : Reduces the initial Hatred cost to 510, and ignites your arrows, causing them to deal Fire damage.
Witch Doctor
  • - Firebats Firebats Cost: 98221 Mana initially, and an additional 66 Mana while channeling / Call forth a swarm of fiery bats to burn enemies in front of you for 180% weapon damage as Fire.
  • - Disintegrate Disintegrate Cost: 18 Arcane Power / Thrust a beam of pure energy forward, dealing 170220% weapon damage as Arcane and disintegrating enemies it kills.
    • - Intensify Intensify : Damage increases slowly over time to inflict a maximum of 221286% weapon damage as Arcane.
    • - Entropy Entropy : The beam fractures into a short-ranged cone that deals 196253% weapon damage as Arcane.
  • - Arcane Torrent Arcane Torrent Cost: 16 Arcane Power / Hurl a barrage of arcane projectiles that deal 210285% weapon damage as Arcane to all enemies near the impact location.
    • - Cascade Cascade : Enemies killed by Arcane Torrent have a 100% chance to fire a new missile at a nearby enemy dealing 210285% weapon damage as Arcane.
    • - Arcane Mines Arcane Mines : Instead of firing projectiles, lay Arcane mines that arm after 2 seconds. These mines explode when an enemy approaches, dealing 180340% weapon damage as Arcane. Enemies caught in the explosion have their movement and attack speeds reduced by 30% for 3 seconds.

Wyatt Cheng on the Latest Class Changes
Wyatt Cheng showed up on Reddit where our datamined class changes were published and made a few clarifications on Firebats and Disintegrate.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hey all!

Just in case you're not an avid reader of /r/Diablo, I wanted to pass along some information that Wyatt shared regarding an upcoming change to Firebats. In the next PTR build, the initial Mana cost for Firebats will be increasing (to 220 at level 60), but the channeling cost will be reduced (to 66 at level 60).

We will also be increasing the damage Firebats does, but that change did not make the next PTR build. Wyatt explains more below:

The Firebats changes were halfway done when we snapshotted the PTR patch.
The mana cost change was one change. The other change is buffing the damage of Firebats. The mana change made this PTR patch, the damage change did not. Look for it in the next PTR patch after this one.

While not specific to the PTR or 1.0.8, Wyatt also went on to talk a bit more about crits and DoTs:
Spells such as Disintegrate, Ray of Frost, and Firebats DO crit. You don't get big yellow numbers, but they absolutely crit.

The reason is a technical one. Internally many of these powers are classified as "continuous damage over time" spells. The idea being that between really wanting a visceral sense of "applying" a DOT, some of our DOTs apply damage extremely frequently (I think it's 60 times a second under the hood, but don't quote me on that). The upside of this approach is that as you hold your mouse over the target, you get to really feel like you are melting your opponent.

The downside of this approach is that the floating damage numbers became impossible to read at 60 damage amounts per second. Not to mention it was a stream of extremely small numbers. When you first get Firebats you might be doing 11 damage with your Poison dart, and then you'd get a stream of floating 1s for Firebats when the damage was being applied in these very small increments 60 times a second. So to solve that issue we "batch up" all the damage your continuous DOT did over the last 0.25 seconds and present that to you as a floating damage number.

Under the hood, each individual tick can crit (with the ticks being done at this 60 times a second rate), but because the numbers are batched up, there's no clear definition of when to make the number "yellow". In a 0.25 second period you might get 2 crits, 8 crits, or 15 crits.

Here's the main thread link if you'd like to read the full conversation: http://www.diablofan...-skill-updates/

More on Witch Doctors
Wyatt Cheng went on with the Reddit presence and gave further information about the Which Doctor changes and why they are the way they are.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Pretty much this.
Bears is great for high damage in quick bursts when you can get close to your enemy and sustain the mana. Acid Cloud is great damage you can apply at specific locations, good for AOE, and also good if your playstyle can maximize the DOT component.

Firebats is not intended to step on either of those roles. Since it is a channeling skill, and some of the runes already play into standing still, we want to make Firebats a solid damage choice if you find you can stand in one spot for a few seconds. Will it be for everybody? No. Will it replace Bears and Acid Cloud? Hopefully not.

What we'd like to see is some new approaches that make use of Firebats' niche advantages. An easy example would be high MP group play. I can stand still thanks to my allies, and we want to do a lot of damage due to the high MP. In a situation like this there is room for Firebats to outperform Bears and Acid Cloud. Hopefully creative players will find even more builds and playstyles in which Firebats finds an enjoyable home.

Note that the reduction in the continual mana cost looks small on paper, but is very large in practice. This is because your "net cost" you pay per second is relative to your regeneration. So the reduction in continual cost means that most witch doctors can channel for significantly longer than before. Whereas before maybe you could channel Firebats for 3 seconds before you ran out of mana, now you can go for 6 seconds, 10 seconds, and for certain builds - indefinitely. So the goal of this change is to put a little more emphasis on where you position yourself to start casting, and letting you cast for longer periods once you've started. Is it any good for "run and gun" builds? No, but there are other skills for that. We're not trying to introduce more powerful choices for existing playstyles (ie. I play the same way as I did before but I spew bats instead of bears), instead, we're trying to introduce alternate mechanics to create alternate playstyles. It may not be for everybody, but it should be for somebody. (Reddit)


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