Hey there everyone, Rolfson from MMO-Mechanics here. I've been around gaming for quite some time now, wouldn't call myself an expert (and there are certainly some of you much more knowledgeable than I out there!), but I am getting a little annoyed with all of the misinformation out there on the forums. So I've decided to try to write a guide / FAQ to assuage all of your fears, answer all of your questions, and hopefully point you guys in the right direction! Please let me know what I can change / add to improve the overall guide. That being said, let's get into the gritty details:
------------------------------ Change Log 6/6/2012 2:53 PM EST - added in a note to the on hit % section about critical mass and AP on crit procs, as well as some slight formatting changes. 6/7/2012 1:40 AM EST - added in a section on Elective Mode 6/7/2012 10:43 AM EST - fixed a discrepancy in the On-hit section 6/7/2012 5:13 PM EST - fixed an error in Section 7 about Critical Mass and its proccing (sp?)
All of my formulas and sources come from personal experience and here -
Quotes coming from:http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5235402096
-> A guide for Infernohttp://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5149154265
-> List of Life-on-Hit % for every spell / rune
Damage comparison tool can be found here:
------------------------------- Elective Mode
So you see all these neat little builds, but WOAH! They've got two or more skills from the same skill page in your skill book! How'd that happen??
There's a neat little option called "elective mode" that you can enable (hit escape or go to the menu, then go to options, gameplay, and enable "elective mode" under the Interface column) to allow you freedom to place virtually any skill wherever you want, and place multiple skills from the same page on your bar. The more you know :)
------------------------------- Table of Contents Section 1: A brief overview of the Wizard Section 2: Your role in each difficulty Section 3: Your Stats, and what they do for you Section 4: Your damage number explained Section 5: Where to go from here? (Inferno strategies) Section 6: Attack Speed and you Section 7: Previous 'gimmick' builds and why they no longer work Section 8: Crit and your spells Section 9: On-hit Effects
------------------------------- Section 1: A brief overview of the Wizard
You picked a wizard - congrats! Now what does this mean, for your (likely) next couple hundred hours of gameplay? Well the wizard is obviously a mage archetype and can be played as such throughout the entire game, from normal to inferno. However, there are also some very successful Battlemage / Melee builds based around shields, stuns, damage reduction, and any other sort of utility abilities you have coupled with fantastic AoE damage. I'll get into all of those details later, this is just a very overly simplified intro.
-------------------------------Section 2: Your role in each difficulty Normal
Pretty much anything you want. Normal is meant for you to learn the class, figure out what you like doing, and make it work. You can run anything from a pure glass cannon channeled spell build to a full out melee tank with castable spells and insane tankability. You should be around lvl 30 by the time you finish Act 4 of normal, give or take a few levels based on how quickly you cleared it all. Nightmare
Like normal, you can still do almost anything you want here. The damage has increased slightly and champion mobs have an additional attribute (such as jailer, waller, etc) but you will still be successful running pretty much everything. Some fights, specifically bosses, may be easier in one spec over another but again, you can be successful with anything. You will be in the upper 40s / lower 50s upon completion of Nightmare mode. Hell
With Hell comes the beginning of the end for some of the more fun but DPS low builds. Mobs begin to hit much much harder and survivability becomes an issue for the first time in the game. Melee tanking is still a very viable / competitive option provided you start to gear up properly and don't try to run a 4k health melee build. You will begin to learn how to kite, a skill that you absolutely need in Inferno, towards the end of Hell. Act 4 Hell and Diablo will pose a pretty significant challenge, giving you a taste of what's to come!Inferno
Oh boy, Inferno. All of it is doable, just...insane. Act 1 isn't too bad, and even act 2 is somewhat easy compared to 3/4. Melee tanks are all but phased out here and a pretty common complaint is that you're almost forced to run a kiting build centering around Blizzard / [enter damage type] Hydra. In groups you can run more pure DPS, but solo it's essential to have slows / getaway spells to keep from being instantly killed. Some builds focus on getting tanky enough to survive a hit or two, while others just focus on not ever being hit and go full out glass cannon. More detail on Inferno builds later
-------------------------------Section 3: Your stats, and what they do for you Every class has a 'main stat' that increases their damage by 1% of their "weapon damage", where that "weapon damage" is defined as (1 + passive skill boosts)(Weapon Damage + (minimum damage bonus + maximum damage bonus) / 2). For wizards, it's intelligence, which also increases all of your resistances by .1 per point. This will be very significant if you want to be somewhat tanky in later inferno acts. The other two main stats, dexterity and strength, do not affect your damage whatsoever. However, dexterity gives bonuses to your dodge at .1% dodge per point of dexterity up to 100, .025% dodge per point up to 500, .02% dodge per point up to 1000, and .01% dodge per point past that. Strength gives +1 armor per point, where the % of damage reduced by armor is given as
Physical damage reduction = Armor / (50 × Monster Level + Armor).
Vitality is your health stat, determining how much health you will have. Before level 35, your health is given by the formula:
Life when player level < 35 = 36 + 4 × Level + 10 × Vitality
Post lvl 35, the formula changes to:
Life when player level >= 35 = 36 + 4 × Level + (Level -25) × Vitality
-------------------------------Section 4: Your Damage Number explainedDamage calculator / equipment compare available here, http://mmo-mechanics.com/diablo/compare.php . Should be fairly self explanatory, if you have any issues please let me knowYour damage number, shown on your character screen, is often pretty misleading. People think that this number is the modifier that their spells go off of, when in reality it's quite the opposite. The following is copied and pasted directly from http://mmo-mechanics.com/swtor/forums/Thread-Your-Damage-number-and-how-various-stats-affect-it : What exactly is the "damage" number comprised of?
As given via the mouseover ingame, "The amount of damage per second you can deal based on your weapon, attributes, attack speed, Critical Hit Chance, passive skills, and dual-wielding attack speed increases"
Basically, this is the max damage you can deal per second if you were casting a spell that has no additional damage modifiersThe formula for damage is:
(1 + passive skill boosts)*(Average Weapon Damage + ((minimum damage bonus + maximum damage bonus)/2))*(Weapon Damage Multipliers)*(Attack Speed)*(1 + ( crit% * crit damage %))*( 1 + (main stat / 100)) For Dual Wielding:
((1 + passive skill boosts)*(Weapon 1 average damage + ((minimum damage bonus + maximum damage bonus)/2))*(Weapon Damage Multipliers)*(Attack Spee)*(1 + ( crit% * crit damage %))*( 1 + (main stat / 100))*(average attack speed of both weapons / weapon 1 attack speed) + (1 + passive skill boosts)*(Weapon 2 average damage + ((minimum damage bonus + maximum damage bonus)/2))*(Weapon Damage Multipliers)*(Attack Speed)*(1 + ( crit% * crit damage %))*( 1 + (main stat / 100))*(average attack speed of both weapons / weapon 2 attack speed)) * 0.575
or to simplify a little bit:
Find the damage of weapon 1 using the general damage formula, then multiply it by the average attack speed of the two weapons and divide by weapon 1's attack speed. Do the same for weapon 2, add the two numbers together, and multiply by 0.575 So how does each stat affect the "damage" number?
Your primary stat increases "all damage" done by 1% per point. What exactly does this mean? "All damage" is calculated simply by taking your weapon DPS (the number that shows up on mouseover of your weapon) and multiplying it by 1 + (crit % * crit hit %). So if you have 5% crit and 50% crit damage with a 100 DPS weapon, your "all damage" stat will be 100 * (1 + (.05 * .5)) which will come out to 102.5 DPS. The damage bonus provided by your main stat is given by:
(Weapon dps)(Weapon multipliers)(1 + (crit chance % * crit damage %))(main stat / 100) Attack Speed
Attack speed is a flat increase, given by Damage * (Attack speed / Weapon speed). This is why a 5% increase in attack speed may be a much larger damage increase than 100 of your main stat.Critical Hit Chance and Criticial Hit Damage
As seen earlier with the damage modifier for your main stat, crit chance and crit damage affect your base damage modifier, given by (Weapon DPS)(1 + (crit chance % * crit damage %))Additional Damage from Rings / Amulets / Offhands
I'm sure all of you have come across a ring with +1-3 damage on it and thought "Ah, useless!" But when you compare it to current gear, it's helping more than your +50 main stat ring. What?!Bonus damage affects your Weapon DPS modifier through the formula:
((minimum bonus damage + maximum bonus damage) / 2)*Attack SpeedWhat does this mean? +Damage rings / Amulets increase your overall damage number significantly more with high attack-speed weapons, as it provides a larger percent of the normal weapon damage.Ok, so what number is used for Spell Damage?The number used for spell damage is:
(1 + passive skill boosts)(Weapon Damage + (minimum damage bonus + maximum damage bonus) / 2)(1 + (main stat / 100)) Note: the weapon damage mentioned here is NOT your DPS. This is the numbers on your weapon, giving you a range of damage from
(1 + passive skill boosts)(Min Weapon Damage + (minimum damage bonus + maximum damage bonus) / 2)(1 + (main stat / 100)) to (1 + passive skill boosts)(Max Weapon Damage + (minimum damage bonus + maximum damage bonus) / 2)(1 + (main stat / 100))
Your spells' multipliers act on that number, so a spell doing 175% damage will hit for around
(Average Weapon Damage)(1 + (main stat / 100)(1.75) damageApplying your Damage modifier to various spells
This has been brought up quite a bit, and I guess I should have addressed it previously. Some of the spells / skills you'll use are not simply cast and run. So I'll break this down into two categories:
Channeled spells / constant damage skills (hydras included here)
Your channeled spells are pretty simple. They have a set damage modifier and they apply their damage continuously. The issue arises in that attack speed increases seem to make their ticks larger, when the formulas say attack speed has no say in the damage. What's happening? Ticks are shown on screen at a fixed rate, approximately 2 per second. And yes, an increase in attack speed shows larger ticks. Reason behind this is your spells are applying the same damage as before, but at faster intervals since their damage is done by:
(1 + passive skill boosts)(Weapon Damage + (minimum damage bonus + maximum damage bonus) / 2)(1 + (main stat / 100))(Spell Modifier)(Attack Speed) damage per second. The ticks will show larger numbers because the damage is being applied quicker.Also important note for hydras: their attack speed is constant. Increases in attack speed DO increase their tick damage, since their rate of attacks never changes[/b]
Of important note: Spells that do a set amount of damage over a set duration (Blizzard), do NOT have any increase in damage from attack speed. Their damage is pre-calculated on cast and is not applied any quicker / slower due to attack speed.Castable Spells
These spells are very simple: it's simply the multiplier shown on the skill times (1 + passive skill boosts)(Weapon Damage + (minimum damage bonus + maximum damage bonus) / 2)(1 + (main stat / 100)) Since your "damage" number is only a theoretical damage per second you can do with a 1.00 modifier attack, sometimes it will be much more useful to drop some of your actual damage number to pick up more on-hit damage. I dropped two rings with +15% attack speed on each of them for some rings with +16-32 damage and lost quite a bit of numbers from that "damage" number, but my spells hit much harder and since I'm constantly kiting and only getting off one shot every couple of seconds, that is a very necessary increase and an actual benefit even though my damage number dropped. Also of note: Right now, it seems that magic weapon for wizards is increasing the damage by twice what the tooltip says. Regardless of intellect, critical chance, attack speed, critical damage, and weapon dps, the stock bonus is a 21% increase while the runed to 15% increase is giving 32% bonus damage. I will keep looking for a reasonable explanation (no, it is not applying the bonus to main weapon and off-hand) and try to keep this updated . Figured it out! Magic weapon is currently applying a 15% increase to weapon damage AND a 15% increase to passive bonuses. This is causing it, when applied solo, to add a (passive)(weapon modifier), or (1 + .15)(1 + .15) = 1.322 modifier. When applied in conjunction with glass cannon, a passive modifier, the damage is calculated as (1 + (.15 + .15))(1 + .15) = 1.49487 modifier.
-------------------------------Section 5: Where to go from here? Quoting from http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5235402096 , Arktem provided a wonderful guide for Inferno for wizards and it'd be a shame if I didn't include most of that hereSo you made it to Inferno, breezing through everything with the power of arcane magic and hydras fueling you - what now? Well, the floor is open! You are free to experiment all over to find a build that works for you (personally, my favorite is http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#acQSlR!XYU!cYYZba and I use it to farm Inferno whimsyshire / act 3). There are some proven to work, though, such as the following -
Basic spec, that is useful for any and all situations. Some people prefer to replace Blizzard with Arcane Orb + Temporal Flux. Both are 100% viable, and both have their pros and cons.
Blizzard gives you a lot more control over mobs, basically it's the "Safe Route".
Arcane Orb gives you more Damage, but you have to be much more careful.
Everything else should basically stay the same in nearly all situations. Diamond skin, while very strong early on, loses a lot of it's usefulness simply because it does not scale. The only time it can be useful is for Reflect Damage mobs, which can easily be dealt with by having a few extra pieces with + Life on Hit (Note, this isn't % Life Steal), and swapping to them when the need arises.
Boots - Every single boot you buy should have 12% movement speed. Nothing else matters.
2h - Two Handed weapons are superior damage over 1h/oh Combo, but they have the disadvantage of being much slower animations.
1h - have the advantage of having much faster attack animations, which in a kite spec is extremely important.
Please note if you are not using a signature spell, which I don't personally recommend, then you should always go with a strong 2h if you can get your hands on one.
Vitality - Get 30k, maybe a bit more, then focus on other stats.
All Resist - Your number 1 defensive stat. Far more important than Vitality, assuming you have around the 30k mark.
IAS (Increased Attack Speed) - Far from useless as others seem to say. Anyone who has done testing with it knows the value of it. If you are not running a Signature Spell then IAS loses much of it's value, but again there really is no reason not to have a signature spell.
With a signature spell, and more specifically a kite solo spec, IAS is a god send. Being able to cast spells while kiting, and not lose any movement time, is absolutely amazing. I would highly recommend this stat to anyone who primarily does Solo Kite strategies.
INT - More damage is always good, but it also has an increased advantage of giving us All Resist which is HIGHLY valuable.
Crit Chance - Now that the Critical Mass build has been nerfed crit has lost much of it's appeal. With that said, once you reach about 15% crit, which isn't very difficult, it has the bonus of making Crit Damage Highly valuable.
Crit Damage - With a semi decent Crit chance, 10-15% crit damage is a very good stat to have. With 15% crit the value of having an Emerald (+70% crit damage) greatly outweighs the DPS value of a single Ruby (Bonus damage).
Farming Spots -
*Save yourself some time and pain and just skip act 2.*
Act 1 - I personally skipped all of act 1 and went straight to act 3. I just don't find the loot to be of any use, especially considering the AH. With that said many people choose to farm "The imprisoned Angel" and work their way towards Butcher.
Act 3 - Siege-breaker runs. First start a game on "Kill the Siege-breaker" and then teleport to the Bridge. This will give you "Tyrael" as a companion. Once you have him teleport to the Bridge of Korsikk. The mobs in this location are very easy to kite, as well as generally not having many "Bad Combos". This is by far my favorite place to farm. Once you reach a 5 stack kill Siege-breaker.