Diablo® III

First Impressions

I was finally able to play the beta over the weekend, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. These are my first impressions of the Witch Doctor.

Witch Doctor: The Witch Doctor is one of my favorite classes. It is going to be my main character for playing with my wife and friends. I like the crowd control that summons give.

Poison Dart: I wasn’t terribly impressed with this skill until I got Splinters. The skill does the same amount of damage unruned as it does with Splinters, but the 2 second poison unruned means you can’t spam cast it to kill things which takes away from its usefulness in my eyes. However, with Splinters you can spam it until something dies and since its 3 separate projectiles if the first one kills the mob the other 2 continue past hitting other things.

Corpse Spiders: I didn’t care for this skill. The animation took too long. The spiders didn’t last long enough.

Zombie Dogs: I really enjoyed my Zombie Dogs. They were very handy at keeping mobs off me and allowing me to use my attack skills uninterrupted. I like how fast they move and how quickly they get from one target to the next. They really didn’t do much damage though, and all 3 got one shot by the Skeleton King which makes me worry about using them later on.

Grasp of the Dead: When I was coming up for builds for my Witch Doctor I never included this skill, but after using it, I love it. I think the animation is very cool. I like how large the AoE is. The slow is very handy, and it does damage.

Firebats: I like Firebats, but I did not use it very much. The mana cost is steep at lower levels. I like the animation though and the damage. I am looking forward to using Hungry Bats, and I hope that mana usage does not prohibit me that much later on.

Soul Harvest: I heard a lot of complaints and conjecture about Soul Harvest and how overpowered it is and it would never make sense to not have it in your build as a Witch Doctor. After using it, I’m not terribly impressed. I couldn’t tell much difference in my damage between using it and not. I didn’t like how close to mobs I had to get to make full use of it. Maybe it was just because I was killing things quick enough already, and maybe it will be better later when things take longer to kill. I am on the fence with this skill.
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Soul Harvest: I couldn’t tell much difference in my damage between using it and not.


Not sure if trolling or..
Edited by D3BETA on 4/16/2012 12:24 PM PDT
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When I was running through I was using borrowed gear collected by my other characters as they ran through the beta, so it wasnt pure junk, but it wasnt the best stuff either. I was doing roughly 29dps. I was noting damage done by zombie dogs 9%, grasp of the dead 20%, and poison dart 60% of weapon damage. So my poison dart was doing roughly 17 per hit with Splinters. When I used Soul Harvest it was doing roughly 20, so it increased, but it wasn't an exaggerated amount, and it certainly wasn't increased to the point where I simply have to have it.
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Then I'm not sure if you're using firebats (preferably direbats) + soul harvest (stacked at 5) effectively. Damage should be significantly higher. If you're not noticing the damage from not using versus using it...you're probably not stacking to 5.
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24 Draenei Shaman
6845
I just went in my game to check it (note: using Splintered rune).

Poison Dart: 17-20 range
Poison Dart w/ 5-stack of Soul Harvest: 26-37 range

If you're not using Soul Harvest, you're greatly gimping yourself.
Edited by Elentheus on 4/16/2012 5:59 PM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
10340
Awesome advice on Soul Harvest. I didn't realize it was of much value.

I agree with most of the OP's review. I however, did use flame bats alot! I used it til I drained my mana to zero and giggled the whole time I was using it. I used grasp of the dead alot while I was out of the various "dungeons" but found little use for it IN them. So I reverted to flame bats at that time.

I hate spiders IRL, but I liked the runed jumping spider ability, perhaps the dmg scales with levels, but I found that with them, the zombie dogs and my follower, I had little difficulty in the dungeons.

As for soul harvest I popped it a few times but never noted any obvious benefit and I never used the horrify skill at all, as I didn't want to sacrifice my zombie dogs!
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28 Human Rogue
0
Run up to mobs, use soul harvent, use firebats, everything is dead instantly.

Soul harvest + firebats makes 4 player games feel like a joke, as if you're in a game by yourself.
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With a higher damage skill like Firebats the effects of Soul Harvest probably wouldve been more noticeable, but even if that is the case it doesnt help Soul Harvest's useability. I am not completely sure I ever had a 5 stack of Soul Harvest. Most groups I ran into didnt contain 5 or more mobs. The ones that did were usually spread out a bit too much to get them all in the AoE range. Not to mention the fact that I would cast grasp of the dead when I encountered a group and with my zombie dogs attacking some of the mobs would already be dead by the time I got in range to cast Soul Harvest. I could have ran around and tried to maneuver 5 mobs close enough together to get a full stack, but just killing them was quicker and more effective.

All of these things may change in later difficulties where mobs will be harder to kill and may be in larger groups, but I stand by my critique of the skill as it pertains to my experience in the beta. It was not terribly useful in beta, but I cannot count it out completely until I can test it at higher levels. As such, I remain on the fence.
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You weren't using soul harvest very well. You need to run in, get a full stack and THEN kill the monsters. Yeah... it's not very good if you just randomly use it and get a single stack of it.

It's even more noticeable when you run with a slow 2 hander instead of a 1 hander. Firebats will do 200 dmg on crits.
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Not using Soul Harvest very well is subjective. I think that wasting time trying to get 5 mobs close enough together to get a full stack and then trying to kill them is not a good use of the skill when I could just kill them in the time it takes to round them up. Again, Im not saying that it cannot be used to increase damage. Im simply saying that the time and effort it takes to get full use from the skill is not worth it at this point when all it provides is overkill.
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24 Draenei Shaman
6845
I'm not sure what game you're playing, but in mine there are always, always large groups of enemies ripe for Soul Harvesting. Hell, it's rarer to get one or two mobs alone. And this is from playing by myself and in groups.
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I find it hard to believe that other people were not able to kill as fast or faster than I could given that I only played through one time on the WD and did not have time to hunt for uber gear. I was able to kill most normal mobs with one shot of my poison dart sometimes it would take two shots. My dogs + grasp of the dead was able to kill mobs without me doing anything else. There are very few areas where 5+ mobs are readily available to use Soul Harvest on. A lot of areas will end up with 5+ mobs if you wait for them to crawl out of the ground, spawn from other mobs, or bust out of walls, but why wait when you can just kill them.
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04/18/2012 12:43 PMPosted by D3BETA
I find it hard to believe that other people were not able to kill as fast or faster than I could given that I only played through one time on the WD and did not have time to hunt for uber gear. I was able to kill most normal mobs with one shot of my poison dart sometimes it would take two shots. My dogs + grasp of the dead was able to kill mobs without me doing anything else. There are very few areas where 5+ mobs are readily available to use Soul Harvest on. A lot of areas will end up with 5+ mobs if you wait for them to crawl out of the ground, spawn from other mobs, or bust out of walls, but why wait when you can just kill them.


Soul Harvest is a huge buff.. in the beta and probably more so end game. But I do see where you're coming from, in the beta things drop pretty fast even without it. I definitely think that there shouldn't be a skill that's "mandatory" or you're gimped, I believe that's the whole point of this skill system. But I suggest you test it out by going into a 4 player game and try to solo content (before max level).. you will notice a difference, even with less than 5 stacks.
Edited by Vorador#1326 on 4/18/2012 1:02 PM PDT
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I agree with collide and was not impressed by Soul Harvest. Beta was too easy to bother with it. More of a fuss to get full stack then to just kill the mob and move on. I think it will be valuable later on, but then later on it might be more important to mitigate damage then cause it...
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