Diablo® III

Searing Swarm one-cast kill in Act3?

How much damage do I need to kill most minions in Act 3 with one cast of Searing Swarm?

There is a thread that shows a WD with over 200K damage. I think that's more than enough to kill most normal monsters in act 3 with one cast right? Searing is 468% for 8s.

Can somebody do some math for me? I don't know how much health most act 3 monsters have. I know some have more but what's the average?

The setup I am thinking is going to be something like this:

High 2H damage, high INT for sure. I don't even care about LoH or steal life.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#VhYdUT!WaY!ccbYaZ
(I may change out Garg for a spam skill)

And the way I understand is that when Swarm critical, it only critical the full duration on the same target or it doesn't right and the next jump can be a critical or not.
Edited by Jibikao#1131 on 8/28/2012 11:02 AM PDT
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There is a thread that shows a WD with over 200K damage. I think that's more than enough to kill most normal monsters in act 3 with one cast right? Searing is 468% for 8s.


You need to reread the searing locust rune.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/class/witch-doctor/active/locust-swarm

08/28/2012 11:00 AMPosted by Jibikao
And the way I understand is that when Swarm critical, it only critical the full duration on the same target or it doesn't right and the next jump can be a critical or not.


Yes if a swarm crits then all hits will be crits. Each jump is calculated separately and may be critical or not.

For reference each second its active Searing Locust does approximately one splinters worth of damage.
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Oops, I mean 468% over 8s. Yeah, I've used Searing before but my raw damage is not nearly as high to kill off minions with one cast.

So, how much raw damage do I need to kill off most minions with one cast of Searing? Do you think it's possible?

A lot of dps is bumped up by very high critical damage but Swarm is you either critical on the same target or you don't. This means even with high critical damage and 50% critical chance, still half of them don't take that much damage?
Edited by Jibikao#1131 on 8/28/2012 11:35 AM PDT
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For reference each second its active Searing Locust does approximately one splinters worth of damage.


Assuming you are using the same weapon, and it only hits 1 target and doesnt spread.

As for the original question?

Well, i have 47k damage and use a 0.95 AS weapon.

My Searing locusts dont kill act 3 trash with one cast. However, Locusts + 1 acid rain etc often do.

So assuming you use a slow 2 hander, you probably need around 80-100k on your paper doll to 1 cast kill.

The thing is, this really isnt required. Thats the beauty of LS. Cast it 1x, then cast other stuff and things melt while LS spreads like mad.

If you have an area with 50 trash mobs in it, 1 will very likley kill every one because it will keep jumping until they are all dead.
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08/28/2012 12:15 PMPosted by Xarkar
For reference each second its active Searing Locust does approximately one splinters worth of damage.


Assuming you are using the same weapon, and it only hits 1 target and doesnt spread.

As for the original question?

Well, i have 47k damage and use a 0.95 AS weapon.

My Searing locusts dont kill act 3 trash with one cast. However, Locusts + 1 acid rain etc often do.

So assuming you use a slow 2 hander, you probably need around 80-100k on your paper doll to 1 cast kill.

The thing is, this really isnt required. Thats the beauty of LS. Cast it 1x, then cast other stuff and things melt while LS spreads like mad.

If you have an area with 50 trash mobs in it, 1 will very likley kill every one because it will keep jumping until they are all dead.


Thanks. This is the kind of info I am looking for. So I need at least higher than 47K.

I was just brainstorming some stuff. I was shopping for 2H and I see more cheaper 2H with ridiculous high 500+ INT for sale that's within my budget than a good 1H Dagger. No idea why WD dagger/mojo cost that much.

The idea of Acid Cloud + Locust is good because Acid Rain is large radius. Mana cost could be high though. I'll need to think about it.

I was merely picturing myself gaining +damage from sacrifice and just run in, spit and get out and then go back to pick up loot. LOL Fantasy....
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if you have like...47k dps. wouldn't a few fire bombs kill a huge mob? the time saving difference for locust isn't really worth anything right?

it only ticks for 7k for me. vs a 50k dmg fire bomb =\
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I kill a lot of normal mobs with one cast of LS in Act 3. If I get to ~100k DPS with a 2H, I suspect almost all normal mobs will die with one cast. However, do you really want to wait 8 seconds for things to die? Usually I hit the pack with LS, then use Splinters/Manitou to speed things up. Most normal packs are dead in a few seconds.
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if you have like...47k dps. wouldn't a few fire bombs kill a huge mob? the time saving difference for locust isn't really worth anything right?

it only ticks for 7k for me. vs a 50k dmg fire bomb =\


LOL point taken. I thought it would be funny to spit once and watch things die. Standing there and casting firebomb seems riskier.
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At those raw dps numbers (assuming no ias), wouldn't it make sense to just walk in, cast a few bears then move to next group? Assuming we're talking efficiency...

Anything that dies in one swarm (468%) will die to 3 bears (702%). Anything that dies to 1 swarm(468) + 1 acid(265) will die to 3 bears (702) + a dog hit(2%)

Actually, wouldn't it always be more efficient to walk in and bears if you can afford to take the hits to do so? Acid and firebomb are a different discussion since its ranged but if you can get in safely to locust.. bears just seems so much more efficient

Am I missing something?
Edited by JookSingJai#1628 on 8/28/2012 12:57 PM PDT
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At those raw dps numbers (assuming no ias), wouldn't it make sense to just walk in, cast a few bears then move to next group? Assuming we're talking efficiency...

Anything that dies in one swarm (468%) will die to 3 bears (702%). Anything that dies to 1 swarm(468) + 1 acid(265) will die to 3 bears (702) + a dog hit(2%)

Actually, wouldn't it always be more efficient to walk in and bears if you can afford to take the hits to do so? Acid and firebomb are a different discussion since its ranged but if you can get in safely to locust.. bears just seems so much more efficient

Am I missing something?


I have been usnig ghost bomb / acid rain / searing locusts.

I dont normally use LS on trash, normally just 1 Acit rain 2 firebomb 1 acid etc.

but, if for some reason i get close, i can LS.
LS really comes in handy on elites. You can LS though doors etc. LS lets me cast it, then forget and get back out of range to cast acid / ghost bomb.

Yes, bears do more damage, but i found i die far less when i dont have to get close to stuff. I can cast LS one time (up close) back up and then simply cast my ranged gear and stuffs dead.

I wont argue that bears will do more damage, But for me, I would never stay alive long enough in Act 3 If i used bears.
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Actually, wouldn't it always be more efficient to walk in and bears if you can afford to take the hits to do so? Acid and firebomb are a different discussion since its ranged but if you can get in safely to locust.. bears just seems so much more efficient

Am I missing something?


Yes, bear has shorter range, doesn't work that well in a narrow path and I was picturing swarm and then run away and just let it spread.

If I have that kind of high damage, I think I'll use Corpse Bomb first. Again, I was just trying to get an idea of how much damage I need for one-cast of Searing to kill.

I can see it being fun in Act 2 desert. Huge area with so many monsters. I wonder if there is a cap on how many it can jump? The problem is surviving them while pulling all the aggro together...
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Also keep in mind the AOE of bears vs acid cloud / LS.

Bears have a short range, but also "narrow" (per bear).

Where as LS, can swarm an entire area.

Thats why i am using ghost bomb / acid rain. Both essentially hit everything on the screen =)
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Thanks all for the clarifications. Very helpful and now to go try it out in desert :)
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People with "100k" dps obviously have attack speed, buffs, crit chance all factored in. So you'd be looking at stupid things like

Trifecta gear (Crit, Crit dmg, and IAS) which is pointless because attack speed does not affect DoTs
5 stack soul harvest (unreliable as it is melee range, and lasts 30 seconds)
potentially 5 stack gruesome feast (unreliable, requires 5 health globes and very short duration)
Frenzied buff (25% attack speed, useless again)
Some combination of follower buff (scoundrel crit, enchant AS aura)

Locust swarm in its current incarnation isn't even worth using, its damage is completely subpar to any of the newly buffed primaries. You'd be better off spamming the now awesome Acid Cloud or throwing off a few firebombs (flash fire) which bounces and keeps hitting enemies like a DoT, but much faster and higher damage.
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LOL point taken. I thought it would be funny to spit once and watch things die. Standing there and casting firebomb seems riskier.

It isn't white trash mobs that are the problem, whether you kill them with with locusts, acid rain, firebomb, or let your pets do it, makes no difference, don't try and balance your character around killing white mobs.
Elites are the killers in Act 3, and for that , Locust Swarm sucks, as it doesn't stack.
You would need perhaps 10 casts to kill them, one after the other.
That's 80 seconds while they pound you into the ground.
You need a high-DPS skill that can stack, and manage your mana so you can keep hitting them with it, once you can do that, locusts becomes (sadly) irrelevant.
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100K dps kills pretty much everything with 1 cast of swarm. The issue is, it takes forever. The spread time combined with the 8 second dot time really slows things down. You can go with the double chance to spread, and less damage. But then it's not as effective against higher hp mobs and champs. The thing is, at 100k dps 1 or 2 casts of acid cloud pretty much instantly kill the entire area tons faster than anything else.

Locust swarm is really good for getting those outlying mobs though. A lot easier casting one of those instead of darting down 4 guys. It's also really useful against ranged guys who are really spread out, vs wallers, and a whole lot of other things. It's just way too slow to be used as a primary dps tool compared to other things.
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after a certain point in dps a dot like swarm isnt optimal for trash. You are killing too fast to get 8 seconds of damage on it, or the swarms that spread.

swarm might be okay on elites, but that is a preference I suppose.
Edited by Cakemountain#1234 on 8/28/2012 7:28 PM PDT
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08/28/2012 06:51 PMPosted by Vaylor
100K dps kills pretty much everything with 1 cast of swarm

No, it doesn't, Elites have waaay more life then that.

08/28/2012 07:27 PMPosted by Cakemountain
swarm might be okay on elites, but that is a preference I suppose.


Opposite fact is opposite.
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Locust swarm is an amazing farming tool not because of it's damage but because it's completely passive. This gives you great mobility in going from pack to pack.

Once you have high enough dps, searing locusts is actually far outclassed by pestilence. The ability to spread your locusts exponentially faster does a great job at improving your farming speed.
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Good info in this thread. Currently I use Searing Locust quite a bit, but plan to give Acid Cloud and Pestilence a shot based on this info.

I do kite elites a fair amount though. I'm skeptical that either of these skills will be better than Searing Locusts for elites "on the move". Also, I don't have any mana regen items... not an issue with LS, but if I cast several Acid Clouds this could be problematic.
Edited by BigRed#1100 on 8/29/2012 11:47 AM PDT
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