Diablo® III

What do we Want Balanced?

What needs to be balanced out for the Demon Hunter?

Based on Thread Results:

Strongest Abilities:

  • Smoke Screen
  • Preparation
  • Bola


Weakest/Useless Abilities:

  • Grenades
  • Companion (Bat is somewhat useful, but the others are completely useless)
  • Sentry
  • Strafe
  • Fan of Knives (cooldown is the killer here)
  • Vault
  • Cluster Arrow
  • Rapid Fire(Chanelling mixed with too high a hatred cost)
  • Rain of Vengeance


Most people that have posted agree that SS/Preparation are pretty much mandatory right now and DHs in general lack variety. Whether that actually means a nerf to SS/Prep or a buff to most of their other abilities remains to be seen. Inferno is currently forcing every class into one particular playstyle. If it remains as it is, SS can't be nerfed until our other defensive abilities get some significant buffs.

One user also posted a comparison of Passive Skills and it's true that the DH really lacks defensive options. The Grenadier passive in particular needs some work, since both Grenades and Cluster Arrow are underpowered, even with the Grenadier passive.

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Make your own list. I'll edit this post to reflect the most requested nerfs and buffs. I'm interested to see what people think of Shadow Power. Also point out any runes you think offer too little in comparison to their counterparts.

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My personal take as a DH that's partway through Hell:

Strongest Abilities:

  • Smoke Screen (IMO, needs a tweak to stop it from being used as a tanking ability)
  • Elemental Arrow (first, second, and fifth runes are disproportionately strong)

Weakest Abilities:

  • Off-hand crossbows (not an ability, but needs to be brought up to par with quivers)
  • Sentry
  • Companion
  • Grenades
  • Strafe
  • Evasive Fire
  • Cluster Grenades
  • Fan of Knives


Evasive Fire could actually be an interesting primary ability, but the Discipline drain, mixed with its inferiority to the other primaries make it a poor choice right now.

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All responses have focused on the DHs poor survivability. Some suggested changes throughout the thread to the defensive skills have been:

Vault:

  • Remove the minor startup delay (I'm guessing this is a bug anyway)
  • Make the Demon Hunter invulnerable during the animation
  • Increase dodge chance for a short time after vaulting
  • Upon activation, transfer aggro to nearby allies


Smoke Screen:

(Note: this is an explanation of the tweak I mentioned above. A couple other users posted similar ideas in this thread)

  • Make SS true to its name and lose all aggro, but don't make users invulnerable. If necessary to keep it useful in Inferno, make it last a little longer.
  • Possibly improve dodge chances while it's active (in conjunction with the last point)


This will allow you to use it to escape or fire from the sidelines, but prevents sitting on a fire pit or sitting right beside an enemy to deal your damage. It also seems to be more in line with the ability's original intention and the Demon Hunter gameplay.

Shadow Power:

  • Make it reduce incoming damage somewhat regardless of the rune. Leave the rune that already provides this as a 35% further reduction.
  • Increase the base life steal amount


Caltrops:

Caltrops are difficult to fix. They're incredibly powerful in Normal and NM and even retain some usefulness into Hell. By Inferno, the stronger enemies are either immune, too fast, or have an ability that lets them avoid Caltrops (Teleport, Lashers, Vortex).

I haven't seen a reasonable solution to the late-game caltrop issues yet.
Edited by IzzQuad#1537 on 5/21/2012 2:26 PM PDT
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Nothing needs to be changed about smoke screen
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its hard to say rly outside of obvious buff that sentry needs.
Smoke screens seems like it needs nerf but does it ? elites on hell are quite damn op themselves , it wont get easier on inferno and they made D3 about killing elites not bosses.

Multishot itself is weak - supression is the rune you should put there but again its strong because SS.

I dont see anything wrong with preparation , its mostly "becup plan" dont see that as problem.
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Why are people pooping their pampers so much over multishot? Frost Arrow is hands down better imo, and even if you don't agree with me on that, there is literally nothing about Multishot that makes it overpowered. It's pretty overcosted to be honest. You are forced to rune FaW just to make it reasonably costed, where Elemental Arrow you actually have a choice on what rune you want to use.

As for Smoke Screen and Prep, I don't think Prep is a problem. It's only a problem when paired with Smoke Screen I think. A nerf to Smoke Screen to make it less dominant would mean Prep is instantly less desirable and would ultimately be in a good spot.

I think Smoke Screen probably needs a nerf, but to be honest, I think it's more a matter of Vault's shortcomings. I feel like many fights and enemies are just built to deal with you vaulting around (Phasebeasts in act 3 come to mind). Couple that with the clunky-ness of Vault (the really odd delay both before and after you use it) and it's just not as good as Smoke Screen. If Blizz could remove the delay on Vault and make it more fluent and maybe make the runes for it a little better overall, I would be happy with taking it over Smoke Screen.

Personally I don't think any skill is to OP (other than Smoke Screen to be honest), I think it's more a matter of many things just aren't viable enough. I wouldn't say Hungering Arrow is to good, just that the other options are usually to specific or underwhelming. I'm not to happy with our choice of Passives though. I feel like there are a few must have's (Archery, Vengeance, Steady Aim/Cull the Weak) and to many incredibly specific ones (Grenader, Ballistics, Numbing Traps, Custom Engineering). Everything else just falls into this not-very-useful-at-all space (Brooding, Hot Pursuit).
Edited by Quantum#1518 on 5/19/2012 10:07 AM PDT
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This is a single player game... Why the !@#$ would you talk about balance in a single player game?

An ability is strong so it should get nerfed? This isn't world of warcraft buddy. Every class has very strong abilities.
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85 Tauren Druid
3735
dual hizzy is not weak,
place emeralds in them and watch your critical damage% sky rocket since it is additive

gear for speed + crits% with archery
Edited by zoid#1554 on 5/19/2012 10:22 AM PDT
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This is a single player game... Why the !@#$ would you talk about balance in a single player game?

An ability is strong so it should get nerfed? This isn't world of warcraft buddy. Every class has very strong abilities.


When you get to the point where you can't complete content because you chose X ability over Y ability, there's a problem. Like I said, I don't think anything is really OP, but I wish I felt better about picking other abilities and runes, and didn't have to be forced into 1 or 2 choices because I wouldn't be able to complete content otherwise.
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This is a single player game... Why the !@#$ would you talk about balance in a single player game?

An ability is strong so it should get nerfed? This isn't world of warcraft buddy. Every class has very strong abilities.


When you get to the point where you can't complete content because you chose X ability over Y ability, there's a problem. Like I said, I don't think anything is really OP, but I wish I felt better about picking other abilities and runes, and didn't have to be forced into 1 or 2 choices because I wouldn't be able to complete content otherwise.


So what you're saying is, you want to be able to beat challenging content using inferior builds?

If you want to do some crazy builds do them in Normal or Nightmare. But in higher difficulties there will always be few good builds. And that's true for every class. You can't balance everything. :|
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85 Human Warlock
4840
Just one question what other defensive abilities do DH have vs Elites and Rares in Inferno mode? This is what the game comes down to is in that mode and those are the only things that kill anybody at the moment... All the elites are immune to slows so kiting isn't much of a option and DH have no Damage reduction. You vault once and then again and your disc starved. You arn't doing enough damage to kill the elites in this time.

So how would you go about nerfing the only defensive ability a DH has right now? Just wondering.

If you also read and notice that without smoke screen almost all DH even with 25-30k hp are getting 2-3 shotted. Once they switch to smoke screen which still does require some skill just like any defensive ability the DH can actually survive now.

Honestly the only way a DH can survive vs Inferno elites and Rare's is without taking any hits honestly and you can't do it with just vault =/
Edited by Rich#1427 on 5/19/2012 10:47 AM PDT
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Some abilities which better tackle healing/resistance/damage reduction needs.

They gave us some neat close ranged abilities and I'd like to use them. I'd much rather be tumbling around the outskirts of a pack than just kiting them for 6 screens straight.

I'd also like to see Marked for Death apply to an area of mobs on click (sort of like the D2 Necromancer Curses) and have the runes changed to apply different types of weaknesses rather than the ability's current design. It would bring much better damage output related utility to the game and give it to the class which should have it (and needs it).

Just one question what other defensive abilities do DH have vs Elites and Rares in Inferno mode? This is what the game comes down to is in that mode and those are the only things that kill anybody at the moment... All the elites are immune to slows so kiting isn't much of a option and DH have no Damage reduction. You vault once and then again and your disc starved. You arn't doing enough damage to kill the elites in this time.

So how would you go about nerfing the only defensive ability a DH has right now? Just wondering.


I'd really like to see it not be our "only defensive ability." It is a pretty glaring hole in the DH design that there aren't any "take X% less damage from Y source" or flat increased armor/resistance/etc passives. DH is the only class which something like this is missing from.
Edited by ChainsawSam#1497 on 5/19/2012 10:49 AM PDT
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85 Human Warlock
4840
Now that I could agree with as that seems to be our ONLY defensive ability but we are a DH not a Barb or Monk, Wizards have 2 defensive cooldowns? Their armors?, honestly I think they should make Smoke Screen where you loose all aggro but still able to take damage not be immune to everything!

Give us something with 20% damage reduction or something.
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Why are people pooping their pampers so much over multishot? Frost Arrow is hands down better imo, and even if you don't agree with me on that, there is literally nothing about Multishot that makes it overpowered. It's pretty overcosted to be honest. You are forced to rune FaW just to make it reasonably costed, where Elemental Arrow you actually have a choice on what rune you want to use.


You use suppression fire rune with multishot to get more discipline or you use faw and open the fight with 3 multishots in the first second while your crit is 100% due to sharpshooter. Something to convert hatred into discipline is awesome and so is starting a fight (and probably ending it) with 3 multishot crits on everything.
Edited by Haela#1854 on 5/19/2012 11:46 AM PDT
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Abilities that need to be nerfed:


  • Preperation


  • Haven't used this yet, but it looks strong on paper. Who doesn't need more Smoke Screens and Vaults.

  • Multishot


  • I'm on the whole opposite side on MS. I think it does okay damage for a really high hatred cost in a bigger cone than necessary . I like cluster rockets way better, but that's just me.

  • Smoke Screen (biggest nerf needs to be placed right here)


  • It's good, especially runed with the 60% MS for 2 sec after. I think it is fine, however. It has a high discipline cost and I've had plenty of monsters still chase me until after it wore off, and that isn't long.

    Now if Blizzard ever launches PvP, well, people will cry nerf. Until then it's fine.

    Abilities that need a buff:

  • Dual 1 hand xbows (not an ability, but needs to be brought up to par with 2h)


  • I haven't used dual 1h yet, 2h always seems easier to obtain as you only need one rare as opposed to 2. Can't comment.

  • Sentry


  • Turrets are always mediocre in just about every game I have played. These are decent, but I find myself taking them out a lot due to low damage.

  • Companion
  • Oh my, yes. Not only are they weak and pathetic, they are the most generic creatures ever. The boar is straight out of WoW. sigh...

  • Grenades
  • Agreed, I'm not sure if Blizz intended these for group play only, but even then Bola is much better. They are fun, but with all the runes or without, the blast radius is always odd sizes or too small.

  • Strafe


  • Yeah, this move does bad damage and is very strange. I think Blizz watched one too many vampire hunting movies or something. I mean this move is most useful if completely surrounded, but if that happens you're dead anyway. This is a head-scratcher.

  • Evasive Fire


  • Yeah they range is too low. We have moves to stay out of semi-melee range and if you get vortexed in by a mob, you're better off Smoke Screening or Vaulting (or your dead, lol).

    Smoke Screen needs to be changed. It might be the best ability in the game right now and it's not being used properly. It's pretty much just a 'god mode' button right now, when really it should be an alternative to Vault.

    Not sure if I agree here. Vault is very effective for me. There's a very slight delay but I like it more than smoke screen. Lower discipline cost and just as effective. Again, that's just me. I might be forced to take SS in Hell.

    I'd like to see Grenades serve a purpose beyond super hatred regen.

    I agree there are better spells for AoE like bolas, with much better range. Maybe a damage increase needed? Although, cluster grenades' animation looks straight out of Contra of the 16-bit era. :)

    Lightening Bolas also cover bosses perfectly with their stun-locking.

    Yeah and bolas in general are really good. I keep finding myself going back to them.

    I've heard Caltrops are ridiculously strong, but I've barely used them, so I won't comment on those.

    They're really good in normal, but once you get to Nightmare, a lot of really strong enemies don't get kited that well, even at 80%. So, I haven't used Caltrops nearly as much since normal. Maybe immobilization rune is the way to go?

    ------------------------------------
    Edited by Diablo#1340 on 5/19/2012 12:12 PM PDT
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    83 Blood Elf Mage
    3780

    Abilities that need to be nerfed:

    • Preperation
    • Multishot
    • Smoke Screen (biggest nerf needs to be placed right here)


    Abilities that need a buff:

    • Dual 1 hand xbows (not an ability, but needs to be brought up to par with 2h)
    • Sentry
    • Companion
    • Grenades
    • Strafe
    • Evasive Fire


    Preperation, Multishot, and Smoke Screen are only amazing in normal, and just very good in nightmare. Once you get to hell the ability to do burst on a 45 second cooldown stops beings amazing. You need staying power and those three ability do not have it.

    Dual 1 hand xbows are fine. This isn't WoW where slapping on two weapons increases your DPS by 50%. 2h + quiver has higher base damage and 10% speed increase, while dual wielding has lower base damage and 15% speed increase. However the attack speed of dual wielding is much higher which allows you to build hate much, much quicker. This goes back to needing sustained power over burst in the higher difficulties.

    Grenades are great. Have you even used them? They cover 1/4 of the screen and do good damage considering you can easily spam them (compared to bola). Don't just look at their low DPS and think: they must suck, they have the largest AoE of all the hate generating abilities.

    Sentry and Companion are fine. Passive damage < active damage. Sentries do decent damage considering they are drop and forget. Companions only do good damage depending on the rune, otherwise they're there to provide buffs to you.


    I'd really like to see it not be our "only defensive ability." It is a pretty glaring hole in the DH design that there aren't any "take X% less damage from Y source" or flat increased armor/resistance/etc passives. DH is the only class which something like this is missing from.


    DH has two skills that provide passive damage reduction: Guardian Sentry which reduces all damage taken by 15%, and Numbing Traps which reduces all damage done by monsters by 25%. Put that together we have 40% damage reduction, which is excellent.
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    Strafe is the most disappointing skill in the game for me.

    I have played d2 for most of my life and have had several Zon and my absolute favorite was my Strafe centered Zon. I try to use strafe in this game and it just drains my hatred and does crap damage.

    This needs the biggest buff of all the skills. Strafe is not an AoE type skill in the slightest and should not be used on a group that surrounds you. It is just to increase your IaS to a high level and do a lot of damage based on the number of shots fired.
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    05/19/2012 12:18 PMPosted by Reat
    Preperation, Multishot, and Smoke Screen are only amazing in normal, and just very good in nightmare. Once you get to hell the ability to do burst on a 45 second cooldown stops beings amazing. You need staying power and those three ability do not have it.


    I wish someone would have told me this before I used SS to easymode my way through hell.

    I dont like the calls for nerfs right now though. I feel like some people are doing this just because they want to play a certain way and right now that way is subpar. People want to use Vault and Caltrops and not be doing themselves a disservice, I get that. I just dont think making other abilities relatively worthless is the right way to encourage that.
    Reply Quote
    Now that I could agree with as that seems to be our ONLY defensive ability but we are a DH not a Barb or Monk, Wizards have 2 defensive cooldowns? Their armors?, honestly I think they should make Smoke Screen where you loose all aggro but still able to take damage not be immune to everything!

    Give us something with 20% damage reduction or something.


    It's not just about active abilities, it's about passives.

    Barbarian:
    Nerves of Steel
    Relentless
    Superstition
    Tough as Nails
    Juggernaut
    Inspiring Presence
    Bloodthirst

    Monk:
    Resolve
    Trancendence
    Seize the Initiative
    Guardian's Path
    Pacifism
    One With Everything
    Near Death Experience

    Witch Doctor:
    Jungle Fortitude
    Bad Medicine
    Spirit Vessel
    Grave Injustice

    Wizard:
    Blur
    Galvanizing Ward

    Demon Hunter:
    Numbing Traps

    Above I've listed every skill that directly enhances survival. Such as reducing enemy damage, increasing armor, increasing resistances, or increasing healing in one way or another.

    Granted not all of them are equal. Jungle Fortitude and One With Everything are downright amazing while some of the others are a little funky. Most of them are pretty decent and can find a place in a build.

    The single most awkward on the list is Numbing Traps. Not only is this our only passive which directly increases our survival, but it requires either Caltrops (placed directly at your feet), Fan of Knives (10 second cooldown), or Spike Trap (expensive). This buys you 3 seconds of 25% less damage. It doesn't line up at all with similar talents (Cheaply spamming poison as a WD or regular attacks as a Monk) and has very little pay off due to the lack of synergy since DH don't have enough passive or active damage reduction to capitalize on the reduced damage.

    This is a gigantic hole in the design of the class and makes it so that DH are the only class that needs to not get hit. You could stack defenses through gear to make up for it, but the sheer lack of healing and damage reduction built into the class puts you at a huge opportunity cost (you could be playing any other class and have superior defenses, therefore DH start "in the hole").

    I would much rather see Smoke Screen turned into mere Invisibility instead of Invulnerability and have some real defensive options given to the class. I like the idea of "shadowy demon assassin," but that is only one build out of an entire concept and it is currently head and shoulders above the viability of other options. This is a definite design problem.

    Edit: This doesn't even address runes or abilities which directly add to survival, of which we have virtually none (aside from lol invis-cible) and most classes have several. "Deal damage 1000 different ways and dodge around a bit" is not a complete character design, it lacks depth.
    Edited by ChainsawSam#1497 on 5/19/2012 12:37 PM PDT
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    1) Mentioned a dozen times already: But give Demon Hunters an option moving into Inferno and beyond that doesn't revolve solely around Smoke Screen and Preparation. A lot of people are noting that this ability feels overpowered because of it's popularity, but the reality is, it's our only option as the game progresses. Enemies hit too hard, we have no damage reduction, and standing still becomes a death sentence. Thus far, Inferno has not been so much a test of my skill, but rather my patience: How long am I willing to run in circles ad infinitum? This isn't interesting game design, and I think DHs get shoehorned harder than our counterparts in this regard.

    2) Sentry Turret. This one is obvious. In particular, the damage obviously needs to come up if it's going to compete for a slot on my action bar, and as another change, I'd really like to see the Turret's Rate of Fire be some function of the Hunter's Attack Speed. Utilizing this one small change (in addition to at least some bump in damage), Sentry Turret can rapidly find a niche in builds that specialize in Attack Speed.

    Edited to add: I forgot to mention that in order to make these buffs cost appropriate, I think having a Sentry in the field should cause a slow steady Hatred drain, so that the improved scaling and significantly increased damage output still need to be managed by the DH.

    3) Cluster Arrow. The cost on this ability needs to come down a smidge, or needs a rune that affords it a lowered cost on use. I like it in concept, but it lags behind other AoE options (like Lightning Ball or Multishot) because firing it even once or twice is enough to go hate-bankrupt and the increased damage it offers doesn't compensate for the notably increased recovery time.
    Edited by IceRay42#1649 on 5/19/2012 12:50 PM PDT
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    1 Human Rogue
    0

    Preperation, Multishot, and Smoke Screen are only amazing in normal, and just very good in nightmare. Once you get to hell the ability to do burst on a 45 second cooldown stops beings amazing. You need staying power and those three ability do not have it.


    What on earth are you smoking. I didn't even bother with prep and SS in normal and nightmare since stuff just falls over there. It's in hell that they really shine. In fact, it's pretty much mandatory. Not only does SS drop aggro it also makes you immune to most incoming damage / cc. Jailer mortar? No problem. Frozen / Teleport? Too easy. With suppression fire on you can easily get at least 5 smoke screens before you run dry on discipline. With one back up plan prep proc that's 7 SS. In that duration do you know how much damage you can do? That's not even counting the space in between where you don't need to SS since the mobs aren't aggroed or are very far away and you can stutter step. I don't know how badly geared you were in hell but I could kill anything normal within 3-4 seconds and elites were easily kited via templar tanking and SS unless they had some crazy modifier comp like waller fast shileding.
    Reply Quote
    90 Orc Warrior
    15205
    The reason that prep / smoke screen might be considered a problem is that its the only thing demon hunters have atm to let them get through later difficulties. As was mentioned earlier, Demon hunters have very few options when it comes to debuffing. IF mobs hit you, you are dead.

    As for nerfing multishot. Just because its good in normal and early nightmare...
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