Diablo® III

Does the Witchdoctor seem out of place?

05/30/2012 04:16 PMPosted by Wolf
i asked the witch doctor for his opinion, and all he said was "oo ee, oo ah ah. ting, tang, wadda wadda bing bang"


Really? I asked one and he wouldn't stop trying to summon the ultra mega chicken.

Cookie to whoever catches the reference.


he is legend
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I wonder if the same person who came up with the hammer jammers also had the idea for some of the WD skills, mainly Hex and giant frog.
I also think he's a little bit out of place with his funky looking abilities but that's one of the many reasons he was my first character I tried for the beta, and the actual game. I love things that are not too serious.
So it's okay for having one character out of place, as long as he fits somewhat in (no pirate-ninja -alienhunter please)
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I have a level 60 Witch Doctor who just finished Act 1 Inferno. I come from a Necromancer in D2 so I knew right away this class was going to be for me. I do have some critiques though.

Summons(Gargantuan/Zombie Dogs):

Zombie dogs were a good investment for Normal and Nightmare. However, once I got into hell they pretty much became useless. They would die very quickly and ended up just being a waste of a skill slot. All they ended up being used for (if at all) was to distract mobs for a couple of seconds before being annihilated.

The Gargantuan on the other hand has fared much better. He was my main tank throughout all of hell difficulty. However, once inferno rolls around he takes a few hits and its game over. At best he can delay the onslaught for 4 to 5 seconds.

All in all I believe that summons could use some work. I am not exactly sure what should be done. If you make them too powerful as tanks then they become the staple of the Witch Doctor and every one will feel like they need to use them. On the other hand if nothing is done I highly doubt any Witch Doctor will be using them throughout all of inferno. I will have to think on this one.

Primary Spells (Poison Darts/Corpse Spiders/Plague of Toads/Fire bomb):

As for poison darts I believe this is one of two primary spells that are capable of being used in inferno (I'll get to the other one shortly). This is a great spell as all the runes make it very versatile for a number of situations. However, from what I have seen Splinters is the most popular rune as it provides the highest number of DPS. With that said though I have seen some WDs using Numbing Dart for kiting, but I prefer to use grasp of the dead.

On to corpse spiders. This is a very fun spell, but it ends right there. I played around with it in normal and had a good bit of fun, but I soon realized that it had no place on my skill bar as the other primary skills were just way more effective. I believe it takes too long for the spiders to pick up on the enemies in the area and they just do too little damage and are too unpredictable to be an effective primary skill. This spell seems mostly like a gimmick.

Plague of Toads is the other spell I feel can be viable in inferno. I used the spell for the entirety of nightmare and a lot of hell. It's a great close to, at max, midrange spell. This spell is great for throwing into large groups of enemies, especially with the exploding or confusing rune. With that said in order to maintain viable single target DPS you have to litterally be standing on top in melee range to ensure that the toads are hitting their target. That's where the problem lies. WDs don't have the survivability to be in melee range in late hell and inferno. With that said though I like the spell and think it should stay the way it is.

Finally but not least we come to Fire bomb. This was easily my most anticipated spell for the Witch Doctor. Unfortunately the spell was easily my biggest let down. In my opinion the damage is too low and the runes don't do much to help. The base spell only utilizes 85% weapon damage. Now I can understand the reason for doing so as it is an AoE spell. The main problem I see with this is that most Witch Doctors only use one primary spell and Fire Bomb just doesn't cut it in single target DPS. You're much better off using Poison Darts, or if you're feeling brave you can use Plague of Toads. I don't know what to do with this spell without making it overpowered. Maybe I just have to accept the fact that the spell is not meant for single target damage.

With all of that said. I personally believe that every single primary spell should be capable, and viable, for using in Inferno and for single target DPS. I know for a fact that if I hadn't used Poison Darts on Inferno Butcher I would not have beaten his enrage timer. So in my opinion, you (Blizzard) need to re-evaluate the roles that primary spells have in end game.

I plan on making a more full analysis that will have its own dedicated thread and will cover most, if not all, aspects of the Witch Doctor and end game viability.
Edited by Bigt#1155 on 5/31/2012 11:24 PM PDT
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100 Troll Rogue
11590
Posts: 840
After playing a little bit of every class, I have found that the Witchdoctor seems really out of place in this game, as if he doesn't belong at all

Anyone else feel this way?


Interesting!

Are you referring to how the witch doctor looks (physical appearance + armor options) or how the hero interacts with other characters in the game and progresses with the story arc? Or is it all about gameplay, and what spells the witch doctor has in its arsenal?

This is just anecdotal, but I've experimented with all five classes on various genders, too, and the witch doctor (female) is my absolute favorite in terms of how she engages with the main the characters and responds to conflict, so I'm curious about what just doesn't "click" for you.

/eagerly waiting your response


I'm playing a female witch doctor. And my biggest beef is that NO ONE reacts to this crazy naked lady carrying a shrunken head around. I've not gotten very far because it's just so...wrong that no one gives her a weird look or treats her as though she were out of place.

By all means, she should PROVE her place eventually...but seriously...she's a crazy naked lady!

Every other class fits the situation. While the Barbs would get a few looks, and the female monk goes light on the clothing as well...they fit visually. They fit the storyline. But then we have crazy naked lady from the jungle show up in the middle of OMGUNDEADEVERYWHERE and no one gives her a second look as she blowdarts things or chucks spiders everywhere.

It's a fun class to play don't get me wrong...but storywise, she's pretty out of place (or at least, people's lack of reaction to her makes no sense!)
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Nothing like watching the Prime Evil die to frogs and blowdarts.
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05/30/2012 06:23 PMPosted by Lylirra
This is just anecdotal, but I've experimented with all five classes on various genders, too, and the witch doctor (female) is my absolute favorite in terms of how she engages with the main the characters and responds to conflict, so I'm curious about what just doesn't "click" for you.

I play a female WD too, and I agree. I like the male monk as well.
But WD has broken skills / passives if you play inferno (especially conjuration is useless, which was one of the class specifics)
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My whichdoctors name is "BWDdotCOM"
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100 Orc Warrior
11495
Posts: 13
After playing a little bit of every class, I have found that the Witchdoctor seems really out of place in this game, as if he doesn't belong at all

Anyone else feel this way?


Interesting!

Are you referring to how the witch doctor looks (physical appearance + armor options) or how the hero interacts with other characters in the game and progresses with the story arc? Or is it all about gameplay, and what spells the witch doctor has in its arsenal?

This is just anecdotal, but I've experimented with all five classes on various genders, too, and the witch doctor (female) is my absolute favorite in terms of how she engages with the main the characters and responds to conflict, so I'm curious about what just doesn't "click" for you.

/eagerly waiting your response

I do not feel this way. The Witch Doctor is currently my 2nd favourite class to play in terms of the look and feel. That said, I cannot comment on how they fare on harder difficulties (yet). ^_^
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Currently on act 3 inferno, play solo and with some friends (DH, Wizard until our monk gets geared).

Right now, it seems you either go with a VQ build with Zombie Bears/Direbats (they seem to die out after act I), or with a splinter-dart build. There seems to be no other viable choices, and I think that has to do with the fact that pets are utterly useless, and that we don't have any other spell that compares to splinter-darts in term of single target damage (which in my opinion seems significantly weaker compared to other classes skills).

Currently I use fetish army runed with legion of daggers to recreate what a pet is supposed to do: be able to tank an elite for a few seconds at least, instead of getting one shot (of course the little guys get destroyed too, but usually it takes the mob more than a single swing to kill them all, which gives me some time to squeeze in some dps). I'm not sure if they were meant to be minitanks, but with the absence of pets, they're the closest thing to a proper pet that we currently have.

I was in fact getting sick of playing my WD because they seem very underpowered, and then I started playing with a couple of friends of mines, and it's been a blast. We kite everything, and I finally feel like my wall of zombie, my snares and whatnot actually feel powerful, and then it finally hit me: even with the Pierce the Veil (20% damage passive) i'm not gonna be able to outdps a similarly geared DH, but I will be a useful support class.

Now, having played a warlock in arenas to 2.2k+ rating, I understand what it's like to be mostly a support class, or a third wheel so to speak, but i'm not sure if that's what I want to do. And I also realize that a damage buff (like for example making spirit bomb a very powerful spell) AND a pet buff on top of all my other tools would make the WD a very overpowered class.

So, what can be done? i'd actually look at the mana cost of some of our damaging spell and the damage they do. You can't use direbats without vision quest, using darts is dumb without pierce the veil (which increases mana cost too, but darts are very cheap), and spirit bomb/haunt don't do enough damage for their cost. It seems fixing the mana cost and the damage of some of the other spells would bring diversity back into builds, and if done correctly, would not make us OP. A pet buff seems necessary too, I honestly feel sad for the devs that put so much into making these cool pets that we can't use on inferno, and i'm not asking for a perma gargantuan that will tank better than a 900resist Barb, but rather something that is able to tank an elite/champion pack for 5-7 seconds, similar to our fetishes.

If we're going to be a support class, then make us feel useful, and if it's not your intention to make us a third wheel, then please revisit some of our less used spells and make them compete with some of the stuff DH/wiz have. I'll continue to play this amazing game, but I'd really hate getting to diablo on inferno and realize I should've rolled a DH or a Wiz.

Also, kind of unrelated, Spirit Vessel doesn't seem to proc at times, and when it does the spirit walk that activates is unable to go through mobs, like our normal spirit walk does (not sure if intended). Also let our Spirit Walk be able to go through the mob's walls :P!
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Yeah I agree. I created a witch doctor simply to play with a low level friend, and was really uncomfortable with it.

I can't help feeling like it's some goofy colourful out of place Haitan-creole voodoo guy in the middle of my awesome dark medieval-ish Diablo world.
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Not quite understanding the out of place idea here...
Since Diablo II someone has had to have command over Spirits and death...
Only this time we get badass masks...
If it feels out of place.. just roll another character maybe.. clearly this isnt the one for you.
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06/01/2012 02:06 AMPosted by Zuelan
I was in fact getting sick of playing my WD because they seem very underpowered, and then I started playing with a couple of friends of mines, and it's been a blast. We kite everything, and I finally feel like my wall of zombie, my snares and whatnot actually feel powerful, and then it finally hit me: even with the Pierce the Veil (20% damage passive) i'm not gonna be able to outdps a similarly geared DH, but I will be a useful support class.


I agree with this. The only time i have fun playing my WD is in a group setting. I find myself CCing all the time to allow my friends to do the real damage/help them survive. I don't mind playing a support role for groups, i actually feel really useful, but it doesn't translate well into solo play.

Solo i feel pretty gimpy. With no one to keep mobs off me i have to run around until my CC's come off CD which allow me to do damage for a few seconds...and then back to kiting. I think the lack of decent pets is what's really holding the WD back and keeping it from feeling unique. We're advertised as the pet class but our pets are basically useless, making us a wannabe wizard =(

Edit: Also, we have too many goofy spells. It really doesn't fit in with the diablo world imo. A lot of the goofy spells are totally useless too (Angry Chicken and Toad of Hugeness i'm lookin at you!)
Edited by Tomac#1128 on 6/1/2012 2:28 AM PDT
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Posts: 7
Actually I thought both him and the Demon Hunter were subtle nods to the original King of Dark Fantasy: Robert E. Howard.

(1) The Barbarian is (as always) inspired by Howard's "Conan the Barbarian".

(2) I thought the Demon Hunter was also very much Howard's "Solomon Kane".

(3) Meaning that the Witch Doctor was Kane's friend and companion "N'Longa" the African sorcerer.

He actually fits quite nicely, if you consider Howard the Grand-daddy of the Genre.
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My biggest issues are that a large number of their spells seem underpowered and / or have to be in melee range to use them.
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My WD is still pretty new (~level 20) but his skills seem really wonky. For example even in normal mode the zombie dogs get killed extremely easily and have way too long a cooldown to be worth it.

i wanted to take them and blow them up but that requires 2 skills with a long cooldown to do. Where as the DH (my main) can do the same thing way better with spike trap.

Also the witch doctor needs to get in melee range for most of his good move which seems like it's going to scale horribly into inferno.
Edited by illundreal#1735 on 6/1/2012 7:33 AM PDT
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I have to say that I started day 1 playing a Demon Hunter, and after getting to about level 13 I decided to take a break and just see what the other classes played like. When I tried the male Witch Doctor (haven't tried female yet), I liked his personality so much that I kept playing him, and he's now my primary at level 54 in Act I Hell. He is by far the kindest character, which I was not expecting from the pre-game descriptors! I mean, dude uses weapons meant to sacrifice human beings.

So far all summons are still extremely useful for me, but I am fully aware that my play style will have to change once I reach Inferno. But that's okay, because unlike D2 (back when I used to play it, before its most recent patch), respec-ing is easy and free, so I felt no trepidation in building a summoner build knowing the summons would be worthless end-game (like D2's necromancer).

He doesn't feel out-of-place at all to me in the Diablo universe mostly because of D2's Act III. His skills definitely seem like they were built with more focus on novelty than effectiveness, but part of the fun is figuring out just how to make those strange skills work effectively, and there are many ways to do that (albeit not at every point of difficulty in the game). I will miss those pets in Inferno, though.

Edit: So far I have only played solo.
Edited by Gremdavel#1986 on 6/1/2012 8:58 AM PDT
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Also, for those claiming that dogs are worthless after Nightmare, I have some advice, as this has not been my experience whatsoever (in Hell).

Jungle Fortitude and Zombie Handler give your pets an accumulative 40% reduction in damage. That's very significant. The cooldown on dogs is also pretty quick, so while they might die very quickly with certain affixes like plague, it never bothers me. Having extra +life from health globes and extra pickup radius can be crucial in healing pets mid-battle (just run through the melee with Spirit Walk, which also has quick cooldown), and life-leech can also help, especially if the pets do high damage (I also use Pierce the Veil to give them an extra 20%, and I have been using the invaluable Soul Harvest throughout the game which has pretty much kept my weapon damage [and that of my pets] at a consistent 2x normal).

This is my current build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#hdYUPT!ZdW!ZYccaY

My pets let me stay at a distance, and since almost every battle is against a group of clustered enemies attacking my pets, Firebomb has been amazing in wiping out groups. This plus Fetish Army w/ Fetish Ambush to deal crazy damage to champions and elites is one way to make the Witch Doctor an effective pet class, at least through mid-Hell.
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i like the witchdoctor. i think he is at home with the death and destruction in D3 haven't progressed him far yet but am hopeful once i get to
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100 Worgen Death Knight
17705
Posts: 499
Interesting!

Are you referring to how the witch doctor looks (physical appearance + armor options) or how the hero interacts with other characters in the game and progresses with the story arc? Or is it all about gameplay, and what spells the witch doctor has in its arsenal?

This is just anecdotal, but I've experimented with all five classes on various genders, too, and the witch doctor (female) is my absolute favorite in terms of how she engages with the main the characters and responds to conflict, so I'm curious about what just doesn't "click" for you.

/eagerly waiting your response


I think you'd have less hating on the WD, in general, if our zombie dogs and gargantuan didn't require fairly specific and fairly rigid gearing requirements to be viable.

WDs were billed as the "summoners" in D3, even if that specific language wasn't used. It was clear that we had pets at our disposal. Our pets suck, majorly. Fix that and you've gone a very long way to fixing the Witch Doctor as a whole.

With viable pets then abilities like Soul Harvest and Insect Swarm stop being so punitive with their range.

With viable pets we can afford to be more strategic and less glass cannon because we're not just going to be randomly taking massive damage because Spirit Walk was on CD.

Some things you can do to fix our pets:

- Make them take severely reduced damage from AoE and other unavoidable damage since we cannot actually control them and keeping them out of things is entirely reliant on the movement of the mob they're attacking.

- Make them scale appropriately and not be 1-shotted by single-target attacks either. When we spec for Zombie Dogs or Gargantuan, we are inherently investing a portion of our DPS in those abilities. We still cannot control these pets, so it's really not fair if mobs go around 1-shotting them. They need some reasonable survivability in PvE scenarios otherwise there's simply no reason to ever take an ability such that your DPS disappears when <mob> melees it.

- Lower their aggro radius slightly. Nothing is more irksome than retarded old Gargantuan Gary running off-screen to fight some mobs you didn't even see.
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