Diablo® III

HC Wizard newb here, looking for some tips

I sort of associate DH's with lots and lots of dying from playing with a SC friend, so that probably has something to do with it.

I think I will learn to walk with a wizard before I try and fly, so I'll try a more standard build for my first few doomed wizards before I go too nuts :)
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For one thing, starting a class you have never played before and learning it in HC is utterly counter-productive. You do not die because of carelessness or bad luck, you die from lack of knowledge. Dying in SC can be as much a learning experience than it is in HC if you pay attention and you focus on LEARNING.


I'm not saying you can't learn in SC. I'm saying if your end goal is hardcore, and you can live with the RIPs, then starting in HC will teach you to play HC right from the start.

I agree that you die from lack of knowledge. The guy learning in HC will have a lot of time releveling to think about exactly what he did to get killed. And if that guy doesn't have fun playing SC, he's not going to want to play SC to get better. Trust me, I know :) The guy who learned in SC may (not always, but often enough that people should think & know about it) have to break habits they learned because SC is more forgiving - and that is also lack of knowledge that can get you killed.

This isn't a statement about one way being better than the other. It's a statement acknowledging that player temperament has a huge effect on which way would be better for a particular player.

I'm going to use an analogy here, and I am going to state up front that I do *not* intend this analogy to be demeaning in any way towards SC players. Whether the analogy is even relevant depends a lot on what a particular player's goals are (i.e. 'SC is HC w/ training wheels' is only a valid comparison if someone's goal is to play HC in the first place. If their goal is to play in SC and have fun there and that's what they like, then the analogy doesn't matter to them).

When I was five, I learned to ride a bike. I didn't use training wheels. I fell a lot more, but I always got up and tried again. The next door neighbor kids were also learning to ride bikes - and they had training wheels. They fell a lot less than I did. When their training wheels came off, I already knew what I could get away with as far as leaning. They still had to learn that, because training wheels keep you from leaning very far - and they did learn it, although they got there a little bit later - and they still fell sometimes after the wheels came off. The end result was the same, only the path was different, and I can guarantee that both I and they had a crapload of fun riding those bikes around that summer, whether there were training wheels on at the time or not.

And that's my overall point. It's not bad to learn in HC if you can stand the RIPs, and in some ways it's good. That doesn't mean it's always better for everyone - it's going to depend on what the player has fun doing.

And like you said, no hard feelings.
Edited by Anomie#1322 on 12/9/2012 7:46 AM PST
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I sort of associate DH's with lots and lots of dying from playing with a SC friend, so that probably has something to do with it.

I think I will learn to walk with a wizard before I try and fly, so I'll try a more standard build for my first few doomed wizards before I go too nuts :)


There is no reason on Earth why you should not start playing HC with what ever character you like. They all have skills that let you deal with any enemy that comes along. Properly built and played you can paragon with all of them and be the scourge of the Demon hordes.

I like DH and Wizards. So I play them. My first character was a Wizard and they are still my favorite class to play. Everyone ribbed me at first. "WhiteOwl, what the hell are you using Chain Lightning for you noob?!" they would say. But Wizards are awesome, and now that same Wizard is a Lv60 and is still smoking demons with Chain Lightning as my main. No character starts awesome, but once you get 'em rolling. . .any of them can really lay down the pain.

Same with DH's. I love 'em. But it does take skill and a rock solid build to be sucessful. Problem is- there is alot of people out there who are dishing out fundamentally unsound advice. Anyone who tells you that there's only certain builds or certain equipment needed to be sucessful at ANY class of character is really doing you a disservice. Seek info from many sources before you act on any of it.
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Well, I am a seasoned hardcore player dating back to D2, so I'm not too worried about forming bad habits. I mostly just am too lazy to level a SC character I won't enjoy, and he'll take up a precious character slot.

Incidentally, I think I am going to go with a monk in the short term, since I have one at 10 already and I should be able to build a very DC/lag resistant one.

After that, though, I'll try out the Wizard for fun and terror. I'm far too used to having waaaaay too many EHPs and EHP/sec.
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Sounds like you have a good grasp of the game.

Things to consider (some are Wiz specific, some are universal):

Constantly be on the lookout for things that can mitigate damage (Stats/AR/resists/etc.)- and seriously consider a shield.

Have one CC skill, one big DPS skill, one armor(if a Wiz) or a healing skill if someone else, and one Defensive skill (like Diamond Skin for example). Be comfortable using them even under extreme duress.

Never stand in one place and spam anything- kite crazy and never give them more than a second or two to train in on you. Don't play defense- Be able to take a hit, but YOU do the attacking and make them react to you. Imagine Yoda in the Star Wars movie when he goes all psycho on the bad guy with his lightsaber. Never sit still. Stick and move.

Hope this helps-
Edited by WhiteOwl#1550 on 12/10/2012 1:00 PM PST
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^ I agree with the above except using a shield; it simply not needed unless you are running alk run in archon mode on hc.Look at all the top wizards on hardcore and there are only a few using a shield(mostly with archon or because they have 75k dps even with a shield)>.

I use blizzard when soloing ; that + diamond skin is more than enough for the few time I get hit(and I have 0 LOH with my 300MF gear currently)
Edited by Asura#1611 on 12/10/2012 1:25 PM PST
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My thoughts on a shield are basically - if your armor isn't up to snuff they can be a good stopgap until you can get your other gear upgraded, but the end goal should be using a source.

I won't hesitate to use a shield if i think I need one, but I'm always looking to be able to *not* use one.
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@ Anomie & Asura-

I totally agree with you. I just don't know that I would recommend to someone just starting a HC Wiz to not use a shield.

Eventually I will have to give up my security blanket and drop the shield. . .but I will only do it for one *HELL* of a source.

:)
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@ Anomie & Asura-

I totally agree with you. I just don't know that I would recommend to someone just starting a HC Wiz to not use a shield.

Eventually I will have to give up my security blanket and drop the shield. . .but I will only do it for one *HELL* of a source.

:)


There comes a point in every wizards life that a shield just cant do what a source can. I feel safer killing stuff faster then I do knowing i have 28% block. The rare times you are really in danger its because you get trapped or vortexed in with no cooldowns, i dont know if the shiled would save you.

I used to love my shield but at the cost of over 1/3 of my dmg I just cant give up the orb.
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Malzarius- I see your point.

I have debated this long and hard (internally as well as with others). I agree that a source can drastically change the offensive capability of a Wizard. No question. But what is DPS really? Time it takes to kill an enemy. If it took you 33% more time to kill something, it would take you 3.3 more seconds in a 10 second fight. Significant time savings (kinda).

So now that you are 33% more powerful- what does that do to help you against lets say a reflect damage enemy? YOU take more damage. If you are running a shield- you take less damage because you are doing less, and you get the added Armor and benefits the shield gives you. PLUS there is that big FAT 28% (darn near 1 in 3!) chance that if you do take a lick from something- it's blocked.

I have been pinned down (Lykotic can attest to this- he bailed me out of a tight jam one night!) and HAD to take a pounding until help arrived. I would be releveling my wizard right now if I was running a source. I literally saw the word blocked flash over my head at least 8 times in a matter of seconds.

I see the argument for and against- and I may convert sometime in the future to a source, but for me it's "shields up Scotty".
Edited by WhiteOwl#1550 on 12/10/2012 7:30 PM PST
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As a barb, I don't run a shield.

As a wizard, I think I would strap one to each hand, my back, and my underwear if I could!

Oh lord the squishiness!
Edited by Norc#1435 on 12/11/2012 12:49 PM PST
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^ Hehehe- nice.

Kinda like in the 'little rascals' when the kids would put a book in their pants if they were gonna get a whoopin'.

:)
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So now that you are 33% more powerful- what does that do to help you against lets say a reflect damage enemy? YOU take more damage. If you are running a shield- you take less damage because you are doing less, and you get the added Armor and benefits the shield gives you. PLUS there is that big FAT 28% (darn near 1 in 3!) chance that if you do take a lick from something- it's blocked.


Honestly, I always run as much regen as I can get. With that and mitigation, at the dps levels I've had reflect reads 'make red and green numbers fly out your head' most of the time, basically making it a non-affix.

Higher dps might be different, but you can always back off on dps or DS or whatever you need.

There are very specific conditions under which I've had to move a hydra or back off on my dps. There was one time Bob and I were rolling together that a mob basically didn't even hit me and I was at a little over half health after the fight ... but it was a) a fairly long fight, b) the mob didn't move at all and I was running poison hydra, which means a ton of poison stacked up on the mob, and c) I was full dps'ing the entire length of the fight (this means keeping blizzard and a poison hydra up while full-bore spamming shock pulse - the mob didn't move and neither did I. It was basically watching my health slowly, slowly drop as I was dps'ing the elite, until it died - didn't pot, didn't back off dps, didn't diamond skin. I don't usually full-out dps like that unless running in a group, because solo I have to keep moving, so the times I've seen my health actually even drop due to reflect aren't that often once my mitigation is sufficient - and in that particular case the health drop rate was so slow I didn't even bother to back off).

It's one advantage that the lack of 'boom' in a blizz/hydra build has - I'm not hitting anything too absurdly hard to begin with, and my dps is split between three abilities - so I have a fair amount of control as to how hard I dps. I can actually even drop to just blizzard as dps if needed. (That makes fights terribly, terribly long, but I've won fights that way, for sure - sometimes just because I needed to run enough that I never had time to drop anything *but* blizzard (firechains/scavengers w/ fast when I first hit inferno on braverobin ... had to drop blizzard to slow them enough that running would keep damage off me, but didn't really have time to drop more than blizzard)).
Edited by Anomie#1322 on 12/11/2012 3:43 PM PST
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I think a lot of the people who want to run without Diamond Skin are thinking that way in part because they assume it's all about Crystal Shell. Not at all. Agressive builds can make great use out of Prism or Diamond Shards. If you're tough enough to not *need* DS, all the better, because then you can pop it to lead off a fight, and not worry about exactly when it comes off its relatively short cooldown.

The conclusion I've come to after losing a ridiculous number of varied wizards (two at 60, one at 59) and recently getting a new one there, is that the most important thing is elemental/attack synergy. Don't try to gain damage by removing defensive skills from your active slots.
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I think a lot of the people who want to run without Diamond Skin are thinking that way in part because they assume it's all about Crystal Shell. Not at all. Agressive builds can make great use out of Prism or Diamond Shards. If you're tough enough to not *need* DS, all the better, because then you can pop it to lead off a fight, and not worry about exactly when it comes off its relatively short cooldown.

The conclusion I've come to after losing a ridiculous number of varied wizards (two at 60, one at 59) and recently getting a new one there, is that the most important thing is elemental/attack synergy. Don't try to gain damage by removing defensive skills from your active slots.

indeed; the cool people remove ATTACK skill and replace them with buff; one of the top wizard with 200k dps removed his main attack and only use arcane hydra/free signature spell as attack.I would do the same if I had that kind of dps; no need for a main attack so may aswell use magic weapon with blood magic.
Edited by Asura#1611 on 12/11/2012 6:56 PM PST
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@ Anomie-

I, too, use the 'tier' approach to dealing damage. I will normally start with a frost nova, then start laying down the Chain Lightning. If I'm not seeing the kind of damage I want, then I will let loose with a Blizzard and reposition so that the enemy has to stand in it. All the while spraying CL. For those special times when I need more and can safely do it (read: no reflect damage)- then RoF gets the nod. I've never had a problem with Reflect damage- mostly because I keep my DPS moderated at all times.

I control the combat, it does not control me.

As an experiement I switched to Chantodo's wand/source and I did see an increase in kill speed so I may convert to running a source. I do feel kinda naked without the shield though.
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