Diablo® III

CM/WW/Meteor build replacing EB?

I'm running a CM/WW variant build with Meteor as my spare slot. It is as follows:

Energy Twister: Wicked Wind
Meteor: Molten Impact
Frost Nova: Deep Freeze solo, Bone Chill group
Diamond Skin: Prism (-7 AP cost for all skill)
Explosive Blast: Unleashed (10 AP cost instead of 20)
Energy Armor: Prismatic Armor (cos I'm a *#!#@#*#!)

Conflagration
Cold Blooded
Critical Mass

With this setup, I am playing your standard style CM/WW of laying down twisters, mobbing monsters, freezing then spamming EB except when I have them frozen, I lay off FN and start spamming meteors only stopping to refreeze. Against elites, I don't really stop using FN and alternate between WW and Meteor.

It's a pretty optimal setup since Unleashed make EB only cost me 3AP... pretty much free for 225% damage per cast.

After listening in on Mumble earlier today (yesterday night for everyone else) when someone asked about Meteor (forgot who), it got me thinking... is there an alternative for EB? A few skills came to mind...

Blood Magic: 10% damage + 1.5% LS
Time Warp: 20% party damage
Sparkflint: 12% damage (I'm guessing the fire damage doesn't mean anything)

At the moment, I'm really thinking that it comes down to BM v TW v EB since Sparkflint doesn't compare to TW and offers nothing more than just damage. I do feel the 1.5% LS working (not hugely, but it does help a little against RD) but the damage isn't as high as TW. The problem with TW, is that I don't like what it does to mortar. Since my EHP isn't really where I can tank comfortably, if I use SA in solo games, a few of those mortars can kill me. If I use Prismatic, I gimp my DPS.

So assuming that the Meteors have similar range and are hitting the same number of monsters as EB would, would either BM or TW be a good substitute for EB at 2.73APS/54CC?
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Well, Murderma, here's what you need to do:

Go into festering and into Warrior's Rest. It has a single elite, good mob, small area, readily reproducible. So, you can kill mobs in a real life controlled setting. Set so the enemies have health bars and numbers...so you know how much life the elite has.

Start with straight up SNS (with Deep Freeze) and Record kill times (stopwatch on phone works well). Average a few runs, do the math....figure out the multiplier. Then do the same with your meteor build.

(life of Elite)/(seconds)/(sheet DPS)

On MP10, the elite is usually about 53M Life. Your multiplier for SNS should be between 6 and 8...depending on latency, etc. Consistency is the key. Throw out results that have knockback (unless you don't get knocked back (or maybe only once) or extra life or annoying things like that.

Make conclusions.

You could also use video capture software.....start recording and then do the math. Go back and note the life of enemies before and after...and calculate the multiplier. Realistically you should calculate the multiplier after full windeup (when you are at full sustain)......I tend to do it as soon as I first freeze the enemy. Either way, just be consistent.

Report results here.

(My guess, SNS wins the day. Meets will be less. Anything you do will be less. More fun? Sure. More efficient, no.)
Edited by PieHole#1628 on 9/21/2013 8:45 AM PDT
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Err... this isn't SNS v Meteor... it's just replacing EB with either TW or BM.

I've run Festering a few times each with BM and TW. As I said, BM provides slightly better sustain, but not that much better than my existing LoH. TW definitely gives more damage but I do get hurt by mortars because of how TW works.

Spamming two buttons is actually alright compared to three. It's a bit less thinking in terms of micro since BM/TW are almost passives in the sense of not having to spam them.

What I was wondering is if someone could work out if my EB (Unleashed) casts I do with my APS/CC is doing more damage than damage with TW (+20%) and BM (+10% + 1.5LS). My guess is that TW will do the most damage, BM will do the least but give LS and EB will be in the middle.

I don't know how to configure the CM/WW simulator can factor in Meteor as well if it's possible at all...
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Well, yes. Call it SNS-EB vs SNS-meteor. Regardles of how much theorycrafting or calculations you do, the proof is in a DPS test like I described. The calculations can't really or easily or correctly take into the effects that you see in game with the buffs and +15%cc and number of enemies, etc.

So, try both specs 3 times and do the math. Post results.

I'll be checking back in an hour.

Go.
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Hey Pie,

Why did you ask him to use deep freaze? I seem to remember your guide saying that bone chill was better. Which one is, and why?

-E
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Hey Pie,

Why did you ask him to use deep freaze? I seem to remember your guide saying that bone chill was better. Which one is, and why?

-E
Because Deep Freeze is better for solo, while Bone Chill is better for group dps. And for Meteor users, the extra +15%cc means you can spam Meteor for longer periods. For your standard elite pack (unless its a rare pack with Horde), Bone Chill will provide better times.
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Ah I see. Void told me the same thing. Up until now I have been running bone chill solo too.

Thanks!
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@MrDuMa: It depends, but invariably it's a bad idea to drop Explosive Blast or Shocking Aspect as far as DPS is concerned (whether you're using Wicked Wind or Meteor runes).

Roughly speaking for your DPS output, you need to double your weapon damage before you'll compete with either of those abilities. In fact, for standard SNS about 25-30% of your DPS respectively comes each from Wicked Wind, Chain Reaction, and Shocking Aspect. This is how SNS gets about 6.8-8x DPS Multiplier. So we're talking a HUGE DPS loss to drop EB!!!! Your only DPS spells in your current build that you're running are: WW, Meteor, and EB. But you can only cast either WW or Meteor for each casting action. In contrast, EB is "free" and you just doubled your DPS output for free by choosing to run it. That's pretty daunting to replace! :p And yes the corollary of this is that you've lost a lot of DPS because you've chosen to run Energy Armor over Shocking Aspect, so you have to ask yourself how much more are you willing to lose.

The only skill on your list that has a shot of being competitive is Time Warp, but that's only because you're buffing other team member's DPS. I keep seeing people wanting to drop EB for various builds (so you're not alone in wanting to do this), but if you want DPS, it's an exercise in futility to look for something "better." At this current time, there is nothing better for DPS. Now if you care less about DPS and want to focus on other things (like smoother AP management), then other spells become worthwhile to consider! :)
Edited by TekkZero#1963 on 9/21/2013 10:26 AM PDT
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Yep...that's why I like doing DPS tests in warriors rest. You get enough trash to proc deep freeze...which makes the test more real life. If you do the Gohm test, it's very static and reproducible, but it's just a single elite and not very real world like.
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09/21/2013 10:24 AMPosted by PieHole
Yep...that's why I like doing DPS tests in warriors rest. You get enough trash to proc deep freeze...which makes the test more real life. If you do the Gohm test, it's very static and reproducible, but it's just a single elite and not very real world like.
Yup, and that's why people often think Meteor is worse than Wicked Wind, but it's not as bad from a DPS perspective. ;) And as far as tests go, I actually advocate the Kulle test, since you get 3 targets in a standardized format and you're penalized if you don't have a decent freeze.

EDIT: Liquefy is actually a wonderful dark-horse performer, but then 3 targets are the sweet spot for Liquefy, since you can reliably extend the DoT ~90+% of the time.
Edited by TekkZero#1963 on 9/21/2013 10:31 AM PDT
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Warrior's Rest (with SA instead of PA) MP10

Time Warp
Descecrate, V, Reflect Damage, Mortar: 0:57.1
Teleport, Plague, Illusionist, Nightmare: 1:02.0
Fast, Vortex, Molten, Desecrate: Died
Mortar, Jail, Nightmare, Reflect Damage: Died
Missile Dampening, Reflect Damage, Fast, Desecrate: 1:10.6
Teleport, Shielding, Nightmare, Plague: 1:09.5
Waller, Knockback, Nightmare, Desecrate: 0:59.3
Electrified, Extra Health, Reflect Damage, Fast: 1:09.5
Average Time: 1:04.0

Blood Magic
Knockback, Mortar, Extra Health, Fast: 1:09.0
Fast, Plague, Nightmare, Horde: 1:07.6
Knockback, Horde, Reflect Damage, Plague: 1:18.7
Horde, Frozen, Jail, Teleport: 1:03.2
Arcane, Shielding, Plague, Mortar: Died
Desecrate, Shielding, Electrify, Nightmare: 1:21.3
Average Time: 1:11.4

Unleashed
Desecrate, Electrified, Vortex, Teleport: 1:07.7
Arcane, Reflect Damage, Missile Dampening, Nightmare: Died
Knockback, Reflect Damage, Desecrate, Fast: 0:58.8
Knockback, Teleport, Mortar, Horde: 0:54.8
Nightmare, Illusionist, Plague, Waller: 0:57.8
Shielding, Reflect Damage, Nightmare, Desecrate: 1:05.7
Average Time: 1:00.6

OK... so... Unleashed gives the best times. BM is a lot slower but a tiny bit more tankier. TW is just behind Unleashed and susceptible to getting boned by mortar but will benefit more from group games.

So... seems like Tekk was right on the money. I though TW could have boosted WW and Meteor damage enough to drop EB... I guess not. I would rather use Unleashed than BM but I will give TW a try next time I'm in group play.
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WR elite kills are not readily reproducible, not even close because of RNG. Even averages on those runs and removing shields, extra health, etc elites won't be that reliable. The closest you will get to reproducible results is Boss kills. Yes, there are draw backs to Boss kills as being single targets, but that's all you have. That's why you see other classes doing Ghom and Azmo tests, not WR elite kill tests.
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09/21/2013 10:47 AMPosted by kiza
WR elite kills are not readily reproducible, not even close because of RNG. Even averages on those runs and removing shields, extra health,


Kiza, very true, of course. That's why I advocated to him throwing out results from those types of affixes. Most of the time you are fine...as long as you TP in and freeze and are interrupted during the test (i.e. your freeze is so good that you don't get knockbacked by a knockback affix). But yeah....you do have to throw out some runs. At least you get more of a real-world test though.

In my opinion, its probably the best that you can do. SImple to find...even if you have to trash a few results.
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09/21/2013 10:47 AMPosted by kiza
WR elite kills are not readily reproducible, not even close because of RNG. Even averages on those runs and removing shields, extra health, etc elites won't be that reliable. The closest you will get to reproducible results is Boss kills. Yes, there are draw backs to Boss kills as being single targets, but that's all you have. That's why you see other classes doing Ghom and Azmo tests, not WR elite kill tests.

Yeah, I thought that too... but for single target, it becomes even more difficult because of Meteor.

In any case, these results are consistent enough for me. I just wanted to know if there was any other skills I missed that could possibly replace EB.

Unleashed in this set up is pretty much free to cast so it's much better with Meteor. The limitations of this, however, is that I usually need to run PA in group games since my EHP isn't really up to par. I can't run SA with CS since I use Prism.. again, another reason why I'm forced to use PA until I get better gear.
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WR elite kills are not readily reproducible, not even close because of RNG. Even averages on those runs and removing shields, extra health,


Kiza, very true, of course. That's why I advocated to him throwing out results from those types of affixes. Most of the time you are fine...as long as you TP in and freeze and are interrupted during the test (i.e. your freeze is so good that you don't get knockbacked by a knockback affix). But yeah....you do have to throw out some runs. At least you get more of a real-world test though.

In my opinion, its probably the best that you can do. SImple to find...even if you have to trash a few results.
Well, it's VERY variable and you have to carefully watch your videos on standard fights, since a giant big target is much more forgiving. Actually, I prefer the real field tests over one target and non-Ghom/non-Azmodan tests, because it forces players to learn how to play SNS right. If you don't stack enemies properly under your twisters or Meteor DoTs means your DPS multiplier plummets. Being efficient means having ALL enemies under ALL your Wicked Wind or Meteor DoTs at ALL times.
Edited by TekkZero#1963 on 9/21/2013 11:08 AM PDT
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Warrior's Rest (with SA instead of PA) MP10

Time Warp
Descecrate, V, Reflect Damage, Mortar: 0:57.1
Teleport, Plague, Illusionist, Nightmare: 1:02.0
Fast, Vortex, Molten, Desecrate: Died
Mortar, Jail, Nightmare, Reflect Damage: Died
Missile Dampening, Reflect Damage, Fast, Desecrate: 1:10.6
Teleport, Shielding, Nightmare, Plague: 1:09.5
Waller, Knockback, Nightmare, Desecrate: 0:59.3
Electrified, Extra Health, Reflect Damage, Fast: 1:09.5
Average Time: 1:04.0

Blood Magic
Knockback, Mortar, Extra Health, Fast: 1:09.0
Fast, Plague, Nightmare, Horde: 1:07.6
Knockback, Horde, Reflect Damage, Plague: 1:18.7
Horde, Frozen, Jail, Teleport: 1:03.2
Arcane, Shielding, Plague, Mortar: Died
Desecrate, Shielding, Electrify, Nightmare: 1:21.3
Average Time: 1:11.4

Unleashed
Desecrate, Electrified, Vortex, Teleport: 1:07.7
Arcane, Reflect Damage, Missile Dampening, Nightmare: Died
Knockback, Reflect Damage, Desecrate, Fast: 0:58.8
Knockback, Teleport, Mortar, Horde: 0:54.8
Nightmare, Illusionist, Plague, Waller: 0:57.8
Shielding, Reflect Damage, Nightmare, Desecrate: 1:05.7
Average Time: 1:00.6

OK... so... Unleashed gives the best times. BM is a lot slower but a tiny bit more tankier. TW is just behind Unleashed and susceptible to getting boned by mortar but will benefit more from group games.

So... seems like Tekk was right on the money. I though TW could have boosted WW and Meteor damage enough to drop EB... I guess not. I would rather use Unleashed than BM but I will give TW a try next time I'm in group play.


Oh...and you still need to do the standard SNS w Deep Freeze test
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You mean standard SNS with Deep Freeze and Meteor? That means no Prism?

One thing that makes these tests hard is the amount of Meteor I can cast before I need to use WW again... it changes based on how much I'm getting smashed by monster affixes. If I'm trying to survive better, it'll take longer.

Also, since I'm not teleporting in, there maybe a discrepancy of a few seconds just getting to the elite in the first place. It really is quite difficult to test Meteor properly :(
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Just standard SNS with EB and Deep Freeze. This will give you a baseline to compare your test to....that way you'll know if meteor or bubble or MW replacing EB is better or not.
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One thing that makes these tests hard is the amount of Meteor I can cast before I need to use WW again... it changes based on how much I'm getting smashed by monster affixes. If I'm trying to survive better, it'll take longer.
You shouldn't need to. If you're able to spam Meteor, all you need to do is walk up to the elite pack freeze them with Frost Nova, and start lobbing Meteors. :) And actually if you want to give Meteor a fair shake, don't fight rare packs. Find a decent champion pack, or my preference is do a Kulle test. This way you're testing against multiple targets, which is what you're doing most of the time. No sense testing Meteor where we know it's not very good. The goal is NOT to rotate between Wicked Wind and Meteor. That just confuses things. Instead if you focus on one spell at a time, this will give you an idea how much DPS you're actually doing when spamming Meteor, versus just opting to use Wicked Wind.

Also, since I'm not teleporting in, there maybe a discrepancy of a few seconds just getting to the elite in the first place. It really is quite difficult to test Meteor properly :(
Then don't use Teleport on your SNS tests. :)
Edited by TekkZero#1963 on 9/21/2013 11:42 AM PDT
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I'll give it a go tomorrow (it's 4:45am). I'm not expecting blistering times, but at least it'll be the most optimised CM/WW time.
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