Diablo® III

[Suggestion] Zombie Dog is inferior?

I have played games for many many years and I like to understand the design of spells/skills and gameplay.

Witch Doctor is the only class I've played so far and I read this forum a lot during the day. I keep reading about how bad the Dogs are and quite frankly I agree. Here is what I think:

In a game where you can choose any combination of skills under the same class, each Skill needs to be Balanced Against each other.

Gargantuan and Zombie Dogs ARE NOT balanced against each other. Both are pet skills and yet Gargantuan is like 10x better in almost every single way.

I understand not every pet is meant to deal good damage. Gargantuan deals base 25% of your weapon damage and you can improve it to 32% cone or 15% aoe or extreme buff with Relentless. Zombie Dog only deals 9% base damage so that's 27% from 3 dogs. If you compare Stinker and Flaming, one is 15% and one is only 6% (2% each).

So, damage-wise, Zombie Dog is inferior and this only gets worse when you factor in their survival.

I don't know the exact math behind Gargantuan but I know he can tank 10x better than 4 Zombie Dogs!

So why is a pet that survives LESS also does LESS damage? It doesn't make sense to me because in most games I've played, you deal MORE damage if you survive less.

I see that Zombie Dogs have interesting runes but Zombie Dog has the same 60s recharge as Gargantuan. This is just not right. If Zombie Dog's inferior damage and survival is balanced against their superior Utilities, then Zombie Dog's cool-down needs to be a lot better than Gargantuan, don't you think?

I don't mind coming up a Tanker-oriented WD build just to keep Zombie Dogs alive but their damage and utilities need to be a whole lot better.

There are several ways to buff Zombie Dog:

1. Damage: Buff Zombie Dog's base damage by a large margin so their inferior survival is justified.

2. Survival: Zombie Dog has a lot less Life and quite frankly, they deal ZERO damage if they just die so quick. By improving Dog's survival, it also translate into more damage in the long run.

3. Utility: If improving Dog's survival and damage is not an option, then Dog's cool-down needs to be brought down by a large margin. Sacrifice skill can have a bit cool-down to balance the fact that Dogs are more available.


I really hope the dev can consider this.
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Good post.

Zombie dogs are indeed lacking and really don't make much sense.
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Posts: 13
Many skills in this game make me scratch my head at the design team... dogs among them.

At minimum, I'd really like to see their CD dropped to 30s or lower, for the reasons you mention. The only way I found to make them viable in NM was with the life on hit+fire dog rune. Everything else died way too fast to be useful AND then you're stuck with a 60s CD. I just got into hell and I'd really like a pet build to be viable.
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Yup, I am also leaning towards 30s CD with a big higher Survival. We can keep the low damage because at least 3 of them can be good for distraction and proc CCs.
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Posts: 7
I like the dogs. I combine them with sacrifice. I will cast ZD and then wait for the cool down to reset. When I encounter a large crowd, elite pack, or boss, I let the dogs run in and then I sacrifice them. Most of the time, I get 2-3 more dogs instant respawn and sacrifice them again. Once I've exhausted that pack, I cast ZD again and do it all over again. That way I'm only sitting through one cool down per large fight. I'm currently on Act IV Nightmare and it works great! The sacrifice explosion does huge damage and plows through enemies very quickly.
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85 Tauren Shaman
4495
Posts: 8
I have done some research on this and I don't think Blizzard ever intended for zombie dogs to be kept up. I think they are intended to be used with a sacrifice build (which is insanely strong I might add).

This is why you see the disparity between gargantuan and zombie dogs. ZD's are meant to be sacrificed for huge damage.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#fVYjQd!dUa!YZZZcY
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I've tried Sacrifice. Yes, its damage is very good but there are certain things I don't like:

1. You can't control where the dogs run to. Can you? If there is an Elite with whole bunch of minions chasing first, your dogs only engage the first few mobs.

2. If you team with 3-4 people, you'll need to sacrifice way more. Dogs being on 60s is way too long IMO.

And if you are not using Sacrifice, Dogs are very terrible on their own. :(
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Here is a decent build if you want to use zombie dogs. Basically you want your Gargantuan, Zombie Dogs, Hex doll dude, and Grasp of the Dead on CD at ALL TIMES, using spirit walk when in need of hp as well. This basically gives you mana regen enough to spam Spirit Barrage which does decent dmg at a long range. The dogs dmg gives you hp, the hex doll gives you hp, spirit walk gives you hp, and of course you have potions. This is what ive been running in Hell and im at the end of ACT 4. the only thing is YOU HAVE TO KITE well. which is easy :P just learn haha so heres my build https://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#gZURYT!WdU!ZacacZ
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Posts: 13
05/27/2012 12:49 PMPosted by Moonsalt
Here is a decent build if you want to use zombie dogs. Basically you want your Gargantuan, Zombie Dogs, Hex doll dude, and Grasp of the Dead on CD at ALL TIMES, using spirit walk when in need of hp as well. This basically gives you mana regen enough to spam Spirit Barrage which does decent dmg at a long range. The dogs dmg gives you hp, the hex doll gives you hp, spirit walk gives you hp, and of course you have potions. This is what ive been running in Hell and im at the end of ACT 4. the only thing is YOU HAVE TO KITE well. which is easy :P just learn haha so heres my build


How does the leeching rune compare with fire dogs + lots of life on hit?

Maybe the devs intended dogs to be a long charge aimable nuke paired with sacrifice... I know there are a bunch of us that really want to play zookeeper style builds though. You'd think Bliz could at least throw us a bone so there some variety in what people use in Hell/Inf.

For ref, here's the build I just finished NM with (lvl 52 in hell):

https://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#hZXRYT!adg!aaYaYY

(Although generally I drop grasp or hex or whatever my #1 is for a mana dump, depends).

I think I've got around 100 life on hit (need more!) and ~2000 armor (since this carries over to pets but vit stacking does *not*, AFAIK) 2500dps.
Edited by mouse#1937 on 5/27/2012 1:44 PM PDT
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Maybe the devs intended dogs to be a long charge aimable nuke paired with sacrifice... I know there are a bunch of us that really want to play zookeeper style builds though. You'd think Bliz could at least throw us a bone so there some variety in what people use in Hell/Inf.


I think we can find a good balance between a good Sacrifice build and a real zookeeper build. I don't think the two are linked because one gets rid of the dogs and one wants to keep the dogs alive. The two are not really that related.

Let's just say the Sacrifice build is really good, does this mean there's not much use of the Dogs in later difficulties? I am lvl 45 and I stack mostly INT/STR and carrying a shield and the 3 dogs are still dying to regular trash enemies. Gargantuan is fine.

If a skill only works on trash mobs, then the skill is a Trash IMO. I think Toad of Hugeness has the same problem. It can't swallow anything higher than white enemy and it can't swallow any "bigger" size enemy. What's the point? A skill that only works on trash enemy is... a Trash.
Edited by Jibikao#1131 on 5/27/2012 3:08 PM PDT
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85 Troll Hunter
1920
Posts: 21
I just beat nightmare w/ zd garg combo. I've built for tank stat( int., str., resist) and while I do have luck the dogs need something done, especially when it comes to aoe. and the fact that they may supposed to be linked to sacrifice, Im sorry but is bs. if that was the case just make sacrifice a rune, but to take up 2 whole slots with a 60 sec. cd! I understand that some people think," thats not the way to play wd", but in my opinion the reason you have so many choices is because multiple play styles were available. and to have moves like, Zombie handler, fierce loyalty, and to a lesser extent Jungle fortitude. shows me that there was thought into keeping these guys alive :) . So blizz give a guy his pets PLEASE
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Posts: 7
the controlling them aspect is deciding when to explode them. So if they are fighting a single guy away from the pack, then dont explode them. lol
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05/27/2012 03:57 PMPosted by Juicebox
the controlling them aspect is deciding when to explode them. So if they are fighting a single guy away from the pack, then dont explode them. lol


If you don't explode them fast enough, they die. :P lol
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Posts: 7
I will help them get out of a single fight without exploding them. I carry 4 and if I see one die I explode on 3. It happens far less then you think. I seriously see hell being a problem though and inferno i just dont know lol. I can certainly say that the garg and ZD are solely there as a buffer so you can shoot darts unimpeded. ZD are nothing without sacrifice.
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I'd love for Blizz to buff our pets, but I find it highly unlikely right now. Blizz seems busy trying to fix the AH and stamping out every exploit/OP build as fast as possible.
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85 Troll Hunter
1920
Posts: 21
05/27/2012 04:08 PMPosted by styr
I'd love for Blizz to buff our pets, but I find it highly unlikely right now. Blizz seems busy trying to fix the AH and stamping out every exploit/OP build as fast as possible.


and thats why WD is the only class that hasnt been nerfed lol... WD FO LIFE!
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05/27/2012 03:31 PMPosted by Porkman
and the fact that they may supposed to be linked to sacrifice, Im sorry but is bs. if that was the case just make sacrifice a rune, but to take up 2 whole slots with a 60 sec. cd!


Yeah I really hate having an easy way to do tons of damage and keep vision quest active at all times.
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Posts: 13
To the folks still in NM:

Dogs are pretty viable in NM. I solo'd all the way through just fine, occasionally even soloing in 3-4 person games.

(Sorry I can't remember skill/rune titles yet) Go with the passive that gives them your lifesteal, the 20% damage reduce one and the extra dog. Then take fire dogs & big stinker garg. Then stack some +life per hit - you only really need about 80, but obv. the more the better.

This may not be what the devs intended (I still worry that getting +life per hit from the dmg auras being a bug), but it does work very well in NM at least.

I just finished the skeleton king in Hell, and I'm still doing OK. Not awesome, but OK.
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85 Troll Hunter
1920
Posts: 21
Posted by Porkman
and the fact that they may supposed to be linked to sacrifice, Im sorry but is bs. if that was the case just make sacrifice a rune, but to take up 2 whole slots with a 60 sec. cd!

Yeah I really hate having an easy way to do tons of damage and keep vision quest active at all times.

#17
4 hours ago
Like

pretty sure sacrifice doesn't cool down just greys out
Edited by Koichiban#1892 on 5/27/2012 9:52 PM PDT
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Quick question: My +life on hit rune on my weapon will give my pets the +life on hit from the fire and poison runes?
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