I've always played the archer in every Diablo game, this one will be no exception. I tend to specialize in what I used to call "chicken fighting" but is now called "kiting". Sounds more dignified.
I'm not really into PvP, I just suck at it, I like to go mop up monsters to blow off steam, sometimes alone or sometimes with others. To that end I think any strategy I use has to have three legs, like a stool:
2. A way to handle gobs of mobs all at once
3. A way to kill elites and help others kill the elite too
To me that's any viable Diablo character I've ever played in very general terms. If you can do those three things, it tends to work out.
Right. So the build.
Okay let's start with the easy stuff - Defense Leg
Vault with Tumble - I want to get far, far away fast.
Caltrops with Jagged Spikes - I think because I have another way of slowing enemies, which doesn't bother me in and of itself, this is probably the best rune for me to use.
Anyway I have always wished I had a better defense than putting on a rune word so I could teleport, so those two are staying no matter what else. That's the defensive leg of the strategy.
Now how do we handle it when a big pile of monsters like spawns? Well I would probably die, but assuming instead I were a competent Diablo player what might I do then.
Entangling Shot with Chain Gang - Hungering Arrow could be the other way to go here, but this seems like a no brainer for someone who's consistently played with a kiting approach.
Strafe - Okay this is just stupid perfect. I can run away AND shoot them ALL, WITHOUT Aiming!?
It's been my experience this general approach by itself just won't kill the monsters past a certain point late in Normal difficulty. But I figure it's a viable way to "soften up" a big crowd and gives me the option to run and gun. I like this so far for the "handle lots of monsters" leg.
Finally we have the Elites killer leg. How do we help take down the big 'un?
Marked for Death - I felt like Contagion was the most diverse rune here. This reminds me of the Amplify Damage curse, sort of. It was really basic, it didn't do much on its own, but everyone appreciated it. It's also meant to combo with:
Impale - I did my research. I know Rapid Fire hits harder. But I move around too much playing Diablo, I don't think I'd ever be able to channel.
I am debating the rune and skill choice here however. I am debating if Overpenetration isn't the butter rune, or if I shouldn't grab Elemental Arrow isntead. Cluster Arrow is too much hatred to spend, and the other thing Vengeance or whatever is on a cooldown. I just know that in most boss fights, as the archer, I usually wound up killing the adds and minions so the melee characters could kill the nasty. That always seemed to work better than directly targeting the big bad thing myself, although I always got at least a few shots in on it.
The passives are very general I think, should help keep me going longer. Running out of juice is a problem for this build I can foresee.