Diablo® III

The design flaw in Dogs + Sacrifice

60 Human Warlock
0
Posts: 28
There is no denying that the whole sacrificing your dogs thing looks awesome. But ive got one real problem with it.

Its the Crimson rune in Sacrifice. 40% damage boost for 1 minute for every dog sacrificed? Thats awesome! Until you realize that this does not really benefit pet-centric witch doctors as much as it does spell-centric WDs.

120% extra damage is something that a spell caster just cant pass up.. its too good. But having to take these two abilities to make use of it opens up a whole new can of worms.

For one, you are using 1/3 of your ability slots for this. That leaves just 4 ability slots for the stuff that you will actually be using all the time. For a spell casting WD, that means ONE...maybe two damaging abilities.. because you need at least a couple of escapes/CCs to avoid getting mobbed and killed.

The other possibility is that people will begin using the dogs and sacrifice, and then switching out one or more of the skills for something more useful. This is what the "most effective witch doctors" will do..and it will be considered the "proper way to play".. not doing so will be considered incorrect and lazy. Essentially.. it forces you to switch out skills every 60 seconds in order to play your class correctly.. and that isnt fun.

So your choices will be to spam one damage ability over and over with the 120% damage buff. Effective im sure, but not very fun. OR switch out abilities every 60 seconds to take advantage of the buff without sacrificing your flexibility, effective as well, but not very fun.

Personally, id rather they just removed the damage buff from crimson rune completely, and perhaps gave spell casting WDs access to a nice damage buff through a different and more useful ability for them. Perhaps a 100% damage increase against mobs in the Grasp of the dead AOE.
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Posts: 106
wait wait wait

This is making an incredible amount of sense. +1
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60 Human Warlock
0
Posts: 28
wait wait wait

This is making an incredible amount of sense. +1


Glad you see what im saying :D. Apparently not many people feel this is an issue.
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Posts: 71
Huh, it never clicked in my head that the wording seemed to imply only your damage, not your pets, got boosted. I even came here expecting this to be about how for a sacrifice build to be somewhat viable it needs 2 additional skills to help churn out dogs at a somewhat reliable rate.
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84 Blood Elf Death Knight
0
Posts: 40
I don't think you can switch spells and abilities on the fly. At least I hope not.

The fact that we see people constantly changing their hotkeys should be due to:

1. The game is being beta tested.
2. The players are on normal difficulty

I seriously hope that Blizzard doesn't allow people to simply change abilities without penalty after Normal mode.
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60 Human Warlock
0
Posts: 28
I don't think you can switch spells and abilities on the fly. At least I hope not.

The fact that we see people constantly changing their hotkeys should be due to:

1. The game is being beta tested.
2. The players are on normal difficulty

I seriously hope that Blizzard doesn't allow people to simply change abilities without penalty after Normal mode.


Even if that is the case, I still see this being an issue. I just dont think that this is the intended use that Blizzard saw for sacrifice and zombie dogs. Its going to be used as a huge damage buff for spell casting WDs.

I dunno about you but I dont want my versatile build involving multiple skill uses to be outshone by some dude spamming dire firebats with a 160%+ damage increase.

Im all for giving people various build options.. Im just not sure that this should be one of them. A 120% damage increase is nothing to sneeze at.


And really, the point is that you dont NEED to be switching skills in combat. You can put sacrifice and zombie dogs in your build outside of combat, summon them, sacrifice them, and then move on to the next fight. You have 60 seconds of 120% damage. Do it again in 60 seconds.

Unless of course you have to KEEP the spell\s in your bar in order to keep the buff.. which is entirely possible. But then you see a situation where the most effective builds involve taking Sacrifice + dogs along with Horrify, Spirit Walk, some form of mana or health regen.. and then Bats or bombs...or whatever the best damage spell for WDs turns out to be.

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85 Blood Elf Paladin
0
Posts: 40
I really hope that you aren't able to change your abilities AT ALL, in combat or not, without a penalty. Even if it is just having to pay money for a 'respec', only being able to do it in the town, or only being able to rune a maximum of 6 skills.

This type of restriction is necessary for people abusing this type of UI layout. I understand where you are coming from and I think you are just looking at the situation from the wrong perspective. If you are going for a more summon-oriented build then obviously you will have less direct damaging spells, maybe only 1 direct dmg spell. As a Witch Doctor with fewer of those damage spells, the red Sacrifice rune is your way of filling in that gap that a more spell-oriented WD can do with various spell options.

I think a Witch Doctor that is trying to go for pure spell damage by attempting to exploit a simple +damage % buff, while at the same time gimping his build with less options without using them for their primary intended purpose, will have subpar performance.

Of course this is only true as long as Blizzard imposes what I mentioned in my first reply. I am confident that they will take this approach because you're rightly concerned. This style of play mostly defeats the purpose of them even having only 6 hotkeys to begin with.
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Posts: 2,158
I'm reserving judgement until release. I know the wording seems to decisively suggest that it increases all your damage by x%, but it does seem rather.... huge imo. We'll wait and see.
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Posts: 38
Who says you have to use sacrifice? The point of having different rune skills is to allow multiple paths to play your Witch Doctor, right? Some people want to build around Sacrifice, and for dog replenishment, they'd get the skills that has a % chance in raising new dogs.

And even so for spell-casting WDs, having sacrifice + dogs to increase DMG isn't all that as you'll be sacrificing two skill slots which could have helped you with mana regen and crowd control capabilities. But, what is great is that you get to choose how you want to play your Witch Doctor. So if you want an increase in DMG without AS much survivability, go for it.

I don't even utilize Sacrifice in my builds because i don't like the idea of killing off tanks for damage increase when I can already give my dogs some DPS via Poison rune :)

If you're bored with this Sacrifice + Dogs build, then the flaw isn't with the build, its with how you chose to play.
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Posts: 333
Well it's not a Dogs+Sacrifice design flaw... its a crimson runes on sacrifice flaw in your perspective.

I beg to differ. You pointing a flaw about something you read, misinterpret and didn't test.

Wait the release and come back here when it's really a design flaw.
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Posts: 17
I agree with the OP in most regards but differ on a couple of points.

The wording in on the skill calculator is kind of vague; so the damage bonus might be higher than 120%. For instance, If you add zombie handler passive, then the WD can summon four dogs which can be sacrificed for 160%. If the wording on the skill sheet is taken literally, then the damage buff can continue increasing for runed skills like Alabaster Mass Confuse and Alabaster BBV which have a chance to summon zombie dogs when an enemy dies. That means you might get up to something like 1000% damage increase (or maybe infinite, if the duration of the buff refreshes every time you sacrifice), although this bit of abuse seems unlikely to be allowed.

The damage boost will most likely be shared with the WD's pets:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/3196390647

So the crimson sacrifice combo is only worse in the sense that pet centric WD's rely more on zombie dogs than spell casting WD's.

Also, its been stated by Blue posters that they are looking into limiting the amount of skill swapping that is currently happening, so I don't think this is something to be concerned about.

Now all that being said, I agree that Crimson Sacrifice is maybe a little bit too good. That is, it seems to be a combination that makes just about every build better than an alternative two skills (except for a build focused on the sacrifice skill, which means alabaster is probably better). This is especially true when you factor in that a golden rune on ZD will have them drop health globes, which, with the gruesome feast passive, will make getting an extra 50% damage bonus an easy feat.
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60 Human Warlock
0
Posts: 28
Well it's not a Dogs+Sacrifice design flaw... its a crimson runes on sacrifice flaw in your perspective.

I beg to differ. You pointing a flaw about something you read, misinterpret and didn't test.

Wait the release and come back here when it's really a design flaw.


Pre-release is when most notable changes are made. After release there tends to be a lot more reluctance to make changes such as this. Not saying it couldnt happen, but if it IS a flaw that CAN be identified now, there is a better chance of it being fixed NOW than later.
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60 Human Warlock
0
Posts: 28
09/21/2011 08:16 AMPosted by lelezi
Who says you have to use sacrifice? The point of having different rune skills is to allow multiple paths to play your Witch Doctor, right? Some people want to build around Sacrifice, and for dog replenishment, they'd get the skills that has a % chance in raising new dogs.


And id say that that should be a totally viable build. The problem is not in what this allows pet centered WDs to do.. but in how it effects spell casting WDs.

A damage boost of this magnitude is going to be required. Not taking it will be viewed as gimping yourself. Now, that doesnt mean that builds without it wont work just fine.. just that they probably wont work as well as a build with it, and that is an issue.

I have a feeling that it wont be that hard for someone to fit the mana and health regen they need into the 4 leftover slots. Especially when all their damage is boosted by 120%.. making lifesteal/manasteal abilities much stronger, and making just one nuke enough killing power.
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Posts: 210
I understand what you mean, but here is the flaw in the majority of how people play games. The summon dogs, sacrifice then change skills witch doctor might be the strongest, but other witch doctors are completely viable and since I am not in competition with the other witch doctors when I play solo or with my friends I play how I want to.

I will play the way that is most fun, even if I could do boring things to make my character less fun and more effective I possess even self control to be able to make the game still be fun for me.

I see what you are saying, but to me the problem really isn't big.
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60 Human Warlock
0
Posts: 28
09/21/2011 10:28 AMPosted by Rhasta
I see what you are saying, but to me the problem really isn't big.


I understand where you are coming from. Personally, I play for my own enjoyment as well. However, my enjoyment is hampered when I know that what im doing is sub-optimal :D. Its not that I cant still have fun, but when I know that im saving up for 3 months to get a level 14 alabaster rune for my sacrifice... and I know that I SHOULD be saving up for a crimson rune because ill get a lot more mileage out of the skill going that route...thats where I start to get annoyed :D.

I like it better if things like this are nipped in the bud. And really.. I wouldnt have too much of an issue with this IF I didnt feel like this was an unintended consequence of the design. Other classes have similarly disgusting damage boosts.. such as the barbarian's weapon throw + 100% weapon throw damage passive and 100% damage battle rage. The difference in my mind though is that this is an intended design, and it works within the mechanics of the game. I feel like the dogs + sacrifice damage boost, with it taking up two ability slots that are not used for anything except the damage boost, is an unintentional design. Perhaps blizzard thinks that no one will make use of the damage boost except for people who intend to run pet builds, I dont know. But id bet money that its going to be abused more by people who dont even have pet centered WDs.
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Posts: 17
If by hotswapping, you mean switching skills while actively in combat, they did mention it was something they want to change to the extent that they were "currently testing a few different solutions" to solve the problem.

They do want to players to have the ability to switch skills without respec costs and while they are out adventuring, though. That might mean you can buff yourself, switch skills, enter combat, kill enemies, exit combat, swap skills, buff, etc. That seems like something they would quash though.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/3196390175#12
Edited by Kevin on 9/21/2011 11:35 AM PDT
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Posts: 333
Well it's not a Dogs+Sacrifice design flaw... its a crimson runes on sacrifice flaw in your perspective.

I beg to differ. You pointing a flaw about something you read, misinterpret and didn't test.

Wait the release and come back here when it's really a design flaw.


Pre-release is when most notable changes are made. After release there tends to be a lot more reluctance to make changes such as this. Not saying it couldnt happen, but if it IS a flaw that CAN be identified now, there is a better chance of it being fixed NOW than later.


Well.. It has been tested, played for about 4 month by the internal tester at blizzard. I'm not confident that one guy in a forum reading a tooltip could find a design flaw. Sorry. But it's nice to read and see different build and idea.

PS: I was in the game industry business for 5 years
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85 Troll Druid
3395
Posts: 276
I kinda like the way it is.

For example with something like this http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#cQPhTZ!UXe!aZbZZa

I can initiate the 160% spell buff cycle when my summon zombie dogs is about to come off CD and keep the buff rolling while retaining the benefit of having the 4 dogs out to assist.

Granted, it doesn't do anything for the pets per se but it does empower any nuke that I fancy in slot 1 to suit the purpose.

With voodoo doll and 40% damage increase, thats a whopping 200% increase for something I'd imagine to be spammable when you have 4 abilities on CD and have 300% mana regen rolling. Not even factoring the chaos unleashed with army, gargantuan and 4 dogs (provided they can all be out at the same time lol)
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