Diablo® III

Demon Hunters fixed, a guide by Juicy (long)

WARNING: This post is a very long read. If any of you remember the legendary post by Gosu, “The Salvation Of Diablo 3: A Guide By Gosu”, then be warned; this is longer. If reading is not your thing, then I'd advice you to stop reading, but I didn't write this just for the kicks or if I didn't feel like it was worth the 4 weeks and nearly 200 hours of effort that I saw. I sincerely hope that this post will find its way to the development team and to the many players of this game and this class. If you love the game and more specifically the class the way I do, then I suggest you keep reading. Please read, bump and upvote this.

So I decided to write a long post about this class and the issues that many players feel that it has. I have played this game since release mainly as a Demon Hunter, and although having tried other classes as well, the DH is the class that appeals to me the most. I also played Diablo 2 for many years already before the expansion, and even Diablo 1 before that.
I have never played World of Warcraft, so everything on this post comes from a 100% Diablo-player's point of view, and I'd like to think that with the experience of these games that I have I'm qualified enough to write all this.
My native language is not English, so it really took me quite some time and effort to write this, so please be patient and keep the comments constructive and the discussion civilized instead of instantly flaming anything without thinking twice.

For the trolls and those who think that this is a cry post: It isn't. I think I'm not alone here saying that I don't need you here commenting such things on this thread as “if DHs suck so much, roll a barb and quit crying” or “the DH-class is fine the way it is and are in no need of change”. If you honestly believe that the DHs are in a good place right now and can't be convinced otherwise, then this thread is not for you. It is a proved fact that compared to other classes, they aren't competitive when increasing MP levels. Even though if this is the case and that's how you feel, I still suggest that you read the section #1: “eDPS” below.
If you don't have something important to say or rational opinions about the matters written on this post, then would you pretty please with sugar on top, leave the ”add a reply” box alone, thanks.

And for the devs: If any of you are actually reading this and feel like not reading the entire thing, then I suggest that you'd jump straight to the section #1: ”eDPS” below. That's pretty much what I feel is the most important suggestion that I'm making on this post.
In addition to that section, see a little more effort to look up the sections #5: “Hatred/Discipline regeneration” part b, and #7: “Number of weapons to choose from + Dual wielding” which I feel are the second most important parts here.
Of course I wish that you'd feel like ”challenge accepted” *insert meme here*, and read through the entire thing. I guarantee that everything written on this post is important to take a look at.

I've seen a bunch of threads concerning the class and the current shape it's in. I've read a LOT of these threads about these issues and almost everything even remotely regarding the class.
Hence I apologize to those in advance who feel that I'm quoting one or more of your threads. I would attach the links of the threads here, but there are just so many of them that I simply can't remember where I got any of the ideas from that I'm about to write down.
So my sincerest apologies and thanks to those who wrote about the class and whoever I got these ideas from and take it as a compliment if you see something familiar, more power to you :)

After reading loads of pages about the DH and what the players of this class feel that are the issues of it I can't recall seeing a hands down detailed text or ideas about all the skills. I'm aware that each class has unused skills that are simply, well, literally useless.
But this thread is about the DH and DH alone so I'm not going to talk about the other classes problems at all, and I'd appreciate if you readers for example didn't cry about the Barbarian's Call of the Ancients skills cooldown either.

That's it for the introduction. If you're still reading this then I have your attention, good. Now to the actual content of this post.

Issues I've read about concerning the DH and what I'll go through on this post, here are the sections:

1. eDPS (if you don't know what the concept of the eDPS is, I suggest you look it up before going on)
2. Class balance
3. Mobility
4. Number of viable builds from MP6 upwards and survivability on high MP levels
5. Hatred/Discipline regeneration
6. Damage modifiers on skills compared to other classes
7. Number of weapons to choose from + Dual wielding
8. Concepts and mechanics of skills and their rune variants

Those are just on the top of my head right now, and I think that those are enough to be talked about. I'll do my best to write about all those things but this thread is mainly going to focus on section 8: the skills of the DH, each actives, their rune variants, and passives, each of them individually. In that section I'll break down every skill and all their runes one at a time and what in my opinion:

- that skill/its runes should be and what is supposed to be their goal
- is ”wrong” with that skill/its runes and why they are used or not
- should be done to improve the skill/its runes to better serve their purpose

It's going to be a long list about the skills and their runes so before breaking them down, I'll get the ”simple stuff” out of the way first. I'll try to keep these sections short so bear with me. So without further ado, get some refreshments, a comfortable position and let's get started:


1. eDPS or effective damage per second (please read this)

This section is not only for the DH-players but for all the players of this game.

I'm quite sure that anyone reading this thread has also seen the eDPS thread about the OP comparing the DH and Monk classes with almost identical gear and their time taking down the same elite pack (big thanks to that OP, awesome post!).
Since it was so awesomely 100% accurate I'm not even going to try and explain what he did, just look it up somewhere if discussing about the eDPS issue is your cup of tea. I'll just mention that the eDPS of the DH is nowhere near on par with the other classes. I don't have to prove this, since it's already been proved. If you haven't seen the thread I mentioned for some reason, I suggest that you find it and take a close look at it.
I'll make suggestions on this post that would generally improve the DHs eDPS, but they are included in later sections. Instead on this section I'm proposing the following:

Anyone who is familiar with the eDPS concept is also familiar with the fact that it's a difficult thing to measure. It's not a fixed number like paper DPS and never will be: paper DPS is based on the gear equipped and ALL the active skills of the class regardless of the build that is used at any given time. Therefore the paper DPS merely gives an idea of the DPS of a character.

(This next part in my opinion is the single most important few rows of text of this post)

So to actually measure eDPS, I'm making a suggestion to the development team, and I very much hope that they would at least see this suggestion. So please, if anything of this thread sticks into your head then let it be this next part and if you're going to quote anything, quote this in your comments below and feel free to spread it around, thank you. Here it is:

Due to the patch 1.0.8, every time you're in a fight your minimap icon shows you that you're in one. This means that the game recognizes when the players are in battle and when they're not. Implement a figure of the eDPS in the inventory screen below the screen DPS figure, that's based on the time a player is in combat compared to the damage inflicted. (One does not have to be a genius to realize that this figure keeps changing over time and after each fight).

There you have it. Don't worry, explanation of this below, read on...

One of the reasons a melee class has a higher eDPS is the fact that they don't have to avoid and dodge attacks manually during fights, they can just DPS away constantly.
With DHs this is not the case: during fights we have to avoid, dodge and evade (D2 reference <3) attacks in order to survive, and while executing those crafty maneuvers of ours we don't do anything to damage the enemies, hence losing eDPS.

If implemented, then whenever a character equips a new weapon, switches skills or anything that's going to change the eDPS, the player would have an option to reset the number value to 0 and go out on the field dealing damage to see a more accurate figure of eDPS of new skillsets/builds or gear or whatever.

I'll make an example of how the eDPS-number would work:
If anyone of you readers play Battlefield 3, then you're familiar with battlelog. There on your profile you see a ”skill” number that adjusts after each game based on your performance on the field.
The eDPS-number would work in a similar way: after each fight the time spent in one and the damage inflicted are calculated into a number of eDPS and adjusted with the already existing number of eDPS that shows directly on your inventory screen.
This way we could get a much more accurate number of the damage that we're actually dealing per second instead of paper DPS which is based on the hypothesis of inflicting damage nonstop.

I know that if implemented, this would be an awesome and a very useful tool to show what skillsets/builds pull anything off or deal most damage, which classes do the least/most damage and therefore being able to balance them and so on so forth.
In absolutely no way would this be a bad feature to implement. If you disagree (which I find very hard to believe), I'd like to hear a good reason (which I also find very hard to believe) why.
Please Blizzard, hear this and include this feature, or some form of it, in the game.

I really want to make this clear so I'll say it again: if you'll remember ANYTHING of this thread after reading it, remember the previously mentioned. Thank you.

Moving on...


2. Class balance

I've read a lot about DH-players thinking that the class itself if vacuumed, is a quite balanced class. I agree. I feel that on MP levels 1-6 this class has the highest amount of variations of skill-setups that are actually somewhat viable and fun to play.
Sure many skills need a ”little” more love, but overall the gameplay of this class is awesome, engaging and most challenging in my opinion, and although I've tried other classes as well, the DH is the class I enjoy the most and keep getting back to.

I have yet to see two Demon Hunters using the exact same build in the same game. Thus I think the class itself is quite well constructed.
However now let's bring all the other classes to the equation, and suddenly it's not so balanced anymore. In terms of killing speed on high MP levels, the DH is not as effective to play as the other classes.
However on lower MP levels (1-5) the class shines and in my opinion outperforms other classes in average regarding killing speed, but on MP 6-10 the class is generally not wanted in parties.

I'm not suggesting anything on to this section on how to bring the eDPS up to par with other classes. I'm just saying that that's how it is. I'll make those suggestions later throughout this post, and I hope to see ideas and discussion about this matter on this thread of how to balance the DH to be equal with other classes on higher MP levels.

I've seen one interesting idea about a damage buff for ranged classes similar to the 30% damage reduction on melee classes. I can't see why that would be a bad idea to buff ranged classes damage by 30%, it only sounds fair to me.
But that 30% damage on its own does include a fault: it would be granted to ranged classes and it sure sounds fair, but it does not encourage ranged classes to stay at a distance which a ranged class is supposed to be in. I realized this fault from that same forum thread where I saw this suggestion of a 30% damage increase for ranged classes, because someone was suggesting a 30% dodge bonus being granted to ranged classes. While this looks good on paper, it would not work in practice because it would only encourage ranged classes to tank even more, and that's not the goal.

The 30% damage increase wouldn't make the tanking ranged class players to change their playstyle to ranged, unless: the damage-buff is granted only if there are no enemies within 10 yards.

This would work exactly like the Demon Hunter passive skill Steady Aim. That wouldn't force the players to go ranged, but it'd be advisable. Anyone who wants to tank, can tank freely, but only without the 30% damage-buff. That would be fair for ranged characters to get a similar buff for damage as melee classes get to damage reduction, and at the same time it encourages players to play the ranged classes as they are supposed to be played, and it wouldn't be unfair against tanking melee classes either for ranged classes having more damage tanking than them.
If some of you like tanking with a CM-Wizard for example, remember that you can't really cry about it: your damage is not going to change at all, it wouldn't be reduced, nothing is changing for your part.

We're more or less glass cannons. We don't survive as well, but to balance that we should pack one hell of a punch.

In public games on high MP levels when a DH joins in it's usually frowned upon when it instead should be reacted as: ”Yes! NOW we got a CANNON and a lot of FIREPOWER! Mobs, say hello to my little friend!”


3. Mobility

This class is supposed to be the most mobile, agile, fast-moving and dexterous class out of all the five. We can somewhat achieve that by using Vault – Tumble with Tactical Advantage, but even then it's merely on par with the moving speed of a Barbarian right now.
And on higher MP levels, we have to pretty much ditch TA for some other passive that gives us more survivability. Not so mobile anymore. I'm absolutely certain that this is NOT how it's supposed to be, or is ”working as intended”.

I read an interesting suggestion somewhere that the passive skill Tactical Advantage should be built in as a default of the DH class. Right now in order to be mobile that the DH is supposed to be, DH-players have to choose skills that let them be just that.
Selecting mobility skills on the other hand takes away skill slots from offensive skills that allow the DH to deal damage, not forgetting that they have to stay alive as well so players have to add defensive skills to suck up any incoming damage.

Hence now the DH has to choose a large number of defensive skills only to survive on high MP levels, taking away skill slots from skills that allow the DH to deal damage, and even then it's a constant struggle to stay alive.
The Demon Hunter is not meant to be running away from the mobs and barely surviving, but to lay waste on them and occasionally dodging and evading, before they get to him/her. He/she is the Demon “Hunter” after all.


4. Number of viable builds from MP6 upwards and survivability on high MP levels

I decided to include these two subjects under the same section, because they're actually pretty much the same thing.
Now remember when you're reading this section that I'm not implying that the DH can't survive on high MP levels. They completely can, it's just very tedious and usually require help from other classes. I can do MP10 just barely. It's not enjoyable or efficient, but frustrating. I have done MP10 Übers with few friends without dying, but we had to have a very clear work distribution in order to pull it off. If anyone wants to know what it was I'll answer if anyone asks, but I won't include it on this post since it's a bit off topic. The point is that the DH can survive on MP10 and it's not impossible at all.
However, in order to survive on higher MP levels the DH has only a few skills and runes to choose from that are viable (or the skills that are more or less mandatory on a high MP level):

-Spike Trap – Echoing Blast (because of the highest damage output on any DH skill)
-Preparation – Backup Plan (survival)
-Shadow Power – Gloom (survival)
-Bola Shot – Thunder Ball/Imminent Doom (high area of effect for Night Stalker passive, hence for survival)
-Sentry – Guardian Turret (survival)
-Vault – Tumble (survival, a no-brainer skill for any DH on any MP)

and from the passives: Perfectionist and Night Stalker (both for survival).

Doesn't leave much of a choice for the rest of the slots. Why is this type of a build used so widely? Because of the cost of discipline skills, hence the fast depletion of the discipline pool. As to those who don't know, if the Demon Hunter runs out of discipline, that pretty much equals death. Therefore in order to not letting this happen, they stay at melee range. This is how it works today:

Melee range = no time spent on movement or kiting = more time spent on attacking the enemies = more attacks = more hits = more critical hits = more discipline because of Night Stalker = constant defensive skill usage (namely Shadow Power – Gloom) = more survivability = maybe not dying

Yes. That's pure logical reasoning, and that's how it is. It's absurd: Demon Hunter which is a ranged class is better off at melee range = not dying. Exactly the opposite of what it's supposed to be.
I'll be listing changes to discipline skills in the skills section #8 in order to drag the Demon Hunter away from melee range and encourage it to stay as a ranged class. Until then be patient.

If you look around you will soon notice that such skills as Strafe, Impale, Cluster Arrow, Rain of Vengeance, Marked for Death, Chakram, Tactical Advantage, Steady Aim etc. are not used on high MP levels. This is not because the Spike Trap-Gloom-Bola Shot is OP, but because the other skills are lacking in effectiveness and that build is close to the only viable build on high MP levels.

Since mobs don't die as fast when increasing the MP, DHs are forced to either kiting forever, or tanking. Tanking unfortunately is easier and it allows you to keep the resources up. Not the image I'd first get of a ranged class. This can't be ”working as intended”.
This class is not supposed to be a tanking class, and yet everyone is forced to do so on higher MP levels to survive. Everyone who are able to think realizes this and the irony that now a ranged class has to tank to stay alive on higher MP levels.

Even if a DH player chooses to tank, it's still not as efficient as the other tanking classes, not even close. The damage output is not enough to be on par with them, the survivability is not enough to be on par with them, pretty much nothing is enough to be on par with them. There is a reason you don't see many high paragon level HC DHs that are still alive.

Blizzard should do something about the class and the skills that encourage players of this class to stay at a ranged distance and kite, because that's what it's supposed to be doing.
I'm not going to suggest things except for tweaking the skills, but I'll write about those in my skills section below.
Instead I hope that the readers of this post would come up with awesome and constructive ideas on top of mine on how to achieve this and discuss them on this thread.


5. Hatred/Discipline regeneration

Everything on this section is based on the assumption of playing on MP level 6 or higher. Any lower than MP5, the regeneration rate of these resources don't tend to be a problem (at least in my opinion).

a) Let's go through the discipline part first:

I personally feel that the discipline regeneration rate is just fine as it is. I think the problem is either the default amount of discipline (30) or the amount the defensive skills cost. Let's take a few examples:

Vault: costs 8 discipline. With Tumble rune every second vault costs 4 (the reason it is used by 74.32% according to diabloprogress of all the top 500 unbuffed DPS players that use Vault in the first place by the time I was writing this). The default discipline cost 8 is a huge chunk, almost 1/3 of the default discipline pool. Not much is left for other defensive skills.

Shadow Power: 14 discipline. Almost half of the discipline pool. Not much is left for other defensive skills.

Smoke Screen: 14 discipline. Almost half. Again not much is left for other defensive skills.

Because the cost of these skills is so enormous most of the DHs have to choose the Preparation skill to accompany one of these, especially if selecting either Smoke Screen or Shadow Power.
If the DH wants to use these skills on a regular basis, they are forced to tank to regenerate discipline faster using Night Stalker as a passive (granting discipline on critical hits).

If the DH on the other hand chooses to kite the mobs (which it's supposed to be doing) they use Vault, and the problem that emerges here is that you vault from A to B, and do nothing in between those two points to damage the enemies = no critical hits = no additional discipline. DH vaults 3 times with default cost of vault, so they are forced to use the Tumble rune.
Even then when they run out of discipline (which happens fast regardless the use of the Tumble rune) they come across a problem: kited mobs didn't die yet. The mobs are still alive, no discipline left, can't kite anymore using vault, and can't use other defensive abilities either which basically means death and game over. Again there is a reason you don't see many high paragon level HC DHs.

Right now the discipline pool/the cost of the skills is just enough to include one of these skills in each build. Considering the survivability of the DH that is not enough to stay alive on high MP levels. I've never seen anyone using both Shadow Power and Smoke Screen in the same build.

In my opinion they should reduce the cost of skills that are fueled by discipline. Especially Vault and Evasive Fire's backflip (a kickass skill by the way, more about that in the skill section) by 40-50%, since this class is the fast-moving mobility class, and without Vault it's not fun to kite or even very possible. I'll get back to the discipline costs of skills on the skills section later on.

b) Then the hatred regeneration part (devs stay sharp! Get coffee or something):

Hatred regeneration rate is not enough, plain and simple. I know that almost everyone who play this class are familiar with this fact. It's just too slow.

Let me clarify: maximum hatred by default is 125. Base hatred regeneration rate is 4 each second. Players usually who play on MP levels lower than 5 choose Elemental Arrow – Ball Lightning as a main attack, which costs 10 hatred/attack (which is a nice and low cost).
Let's assume that a DH uses a Manticore (which is hands down the best high damage dealing weapon for the DH right now, more about that later on section #7 “Number of weapons to choose from”), and some gear that give attack speed. The APS is now around 1.5-1.6/second.
This allows the DH to spam BL about 15 times before running out of hatred. Doesn't sound too bad right? It's a decent amount of projectiles, yes?

Yes, but now they have a problem. They have to regenerate hatred to send more Ball Lightnings on their way, and fast.
I took time of how long it took to get back to full hatred with my DH with such equipment on, that I ended up having the hatred regeneration rate at 4/sec, and 1.68 APS. I used Hungering Arrow as a hatred generating skill which generates 3 hatred/attack (on most generating skills this is the case). Here's what happened (some numbers):

Seconds it took from 125 hatred to 0 hatred spamming Ball Lightning: 8.61
Number of Ball Lightnings before running out of hatred: 15
Seconds it took from 0 hatred to full 125 hatred while spamming Hungering Arrow: 12
Number of Hungering Arrows before reaching the full 125 hatred from 0 hatred: 15

That means that most of the time with those specs the DH is using hatred generators instead of hatred spenders, spenders being the attacks that deal the actual damage.

There are of course a few ways to improve the hatred regeneration rate and increase the maximum hatred. For instance the passive skill Vengeance increases maximum hatred by 25 to be a total of 150, and the active skill Companion – Bat Companion which increases the hatred regeneration rate by 3/second to be a total of 7 hatred/second.

I tested the same thing with the previously mentioned skills selected as well:

Seconds it took from 150 hatred to 0 hatred spamming Ball Lightning with Bat Companion: 13.55
Number of Ball Lightnings before running out of hatred: 24
Seconds it took from 0 hatred to full 150 with Hungering Arrow and Bat Companion: 11.53
Number of Hungering Arrows before reaching the full 150 hatred from 0 hatred with a Bat Companion: 20

So it is a little better, but still it's very close to 50/50 of generators and spenders, and that is not good enough to be efficient on high MP levels. Of course on lower MP levels than 5 or 6, the Vengeance passive helps you to regenerate hatred from health globes by 20 each, and since mobs die a lot easier it's not a problem to keep that resource up at all.
But when increasing MP, mobs don't die that easy anymore = less health globes = less hatred = less attacks = less eDPS = less everything that the DH is supposed to be which is a fast-moving high damage dealing yet a fragile class (but not as fragile as it is now).

For those who think that the previous results about the usage of hatred spenders related to hatred generators are because of the low APS, I did the same test with a faster attacking weapon where I ended up having an APS of 2.45:


x = number when NOT using Vengeance and thus having a full hatred of 125, and NOT using Bat Companion and thus having a hatred regeneration rate at 4/sec

y = number when using Vengeance and thus having a full hatred of 150, and using Bat Companion and thus having a hatred regeneration rate at 7/sec

Seconds it took from full hatred to 0 hatred spamming BL: (5.59/7.83)
Number of BLs before running out of hatred: (14/20)
Seconds it took from 0 hatred to full hatred while spamming HA: (9.35/9.65)
Number of HAs before reaching full hatred from 0 hatred: (24/24)

Sorry if that was a bit difficult to understand, I tried to be as clear as I possibly could. However it doesn't matter whether you understand those numbers or not, the fact is (that I've just proved) that weapon speed and APS makes little to no difference to how much hatred spenders you're using in relation to hatred generators. In a scenario that a DH is in a fight that lasts infinitely, over 50% of the time he/she is using hatred generators instead of hatred spenders (health globes from Vengenace not taken into account). Compare this to a WW-Barbarian, who spins and uses fury spenders, and every now and then uses bash to maintain the furypool. I think this is more like the way that it's supposed to be.

On high MP levels however, DHs stop using Ball Lightning because of its damage modifier (155%), and switch to Spike Trap – Echoing Blast which has the highest damage output compared to the hatred spent (3*275% and costs 30 hatred = 10 hatred for every 275%). On the downside, Spike Trap has a delay, it's stationary, and utterly clumsy, everything the Demon Hunter isn't, but this skill forces the DH to be all of the above.
Using Spike Trap, a fight always starts out fine and smoothly, spending 90 hatred instantly for a maximum of 3 traps up at a time, but now the DH has to get hatred back fast to lay another 3 traps before the previous ones are used out. Usually the generating rate is not enough for this unless you're using a fast attacking weapon like Calamity to get more APS and thus decreasing the time between using Spike Traps, but that is also far weaker compared to a Manticore damage-wise.

So in short: The hatred regeneration rate as it is now, even when using Vengeance and Bat Companion, is not enough for high MP levels to play efficiently.

Next here are some ideas of how to improve the hatred regeneration and thus fixing the issue of hatred regeneration (for the devs):

-Increase the base hatred regeneration rate from 4/sec to 8/sec (as if now with the Bat Companion and a notch better)
-Increase the default hatred pool from 125 to 150 (as if with the Vengeance passive)
-Lower some of the hatred spenders' hatred cost (most skills' hatred cost are in a decent shape now. I'll go through these more on the skills section)
-Increase the hatred generated by hatred generating skills such as Bola Shot or Evasive Fire

I honestly believe, that if the previously mentioned 4 points are implemented, it would fix most of the issues that the DH-class has right now. Let me explain:
The eDPS of a DH is lower compared to other classes not only because he/she has to spend time moving during fights, but also because the hatred spender skills are the ones that deal the real damage, and the generation rate of hatred is not enough right now to use the hatred spender skills for a reasonable amount compared to the far weaker hatred generators.
Of course the damage modifiers of some skills require attention as well, and worry not, I'll go through those later on this post in section #8.


6. Damage modifiers on skills compared to other classes

This is a matter of eDPS. One of the reasons that a DH has a lower eDPS than the other classes is because of damage modifiers on skills. I'll take the Barbarian and the Monk as an example here. The DHs some of the most powerful skills damage-wise that deal the damage nearly instantly are:

-Spike Trap (more specifically the Echoing Blast rune = 3*275%)
-Fan of Knives (320%)
-Cluster Arrow (especially with the Loaded for Bear rune = 304%/hit+4*100% bombs)
-Impale (265%)

The problem in these skills is not only the damage modifier being too low but the rate they can be fired. Because of their resource cost, the DH can spam just a few of these before running out of hatred, and again having to generate (and as I showed you in the previous section, it takes a while).
The Barbarians and the Monks can infinitely spam their high-damage-dealing skills because they have ways to keep their resource-pool up at 100% about 95% of the time.
Let's take a look at some of the Barbarian's and Monk's most powerful skills regarding damage:

-Hammer of the Ancients (especially Smash rune = 406%)
-Rend (700% over 5 seconds)
-Lashing Tail Kick (470%)
-Wave of Light (829%, and yes, they can spam this without a cooldown)
-Dashing Strike (303%)
-Cyclone Strike (313%)

The difference is not only the obvious that the damage modifiers of these skills are higher in average than the ones of the DH, but the fact that there is a way to endlessly spam them. This is the very reason that the DH has far lower eDPS than either of the two melee classes: we can't spam our most powerful heavy-hitting skills. Either they have a cooldown which can't be bypassed, or they cost too much hatred compared to hatred generated.
In addition to that, as I've mentioned earlier, the DHs have to move during fights avoiding incoming damage and thus taking breaks from damaging enemies. During this time the Barbarians and Monks are able to just DPS away not having to move at all.

As a sidenote I'd like to clarify the eDPS issue through the ability of killing goblins. I've seen Barbarians and Monks do this on MP10 solo. I've never seen this being done by a DH, despite the fact that the DH can attack a goblin from a distance and therefore it doesn't matter as much when compared to a melee class that this little turd is running away. Even with the advantage of attacking from a distance, the DH is outperformed by melee classes when it comes to killing goblins on high MP levels.

Now remember that I'm not requesting any nerfs on other classes, just showing everyone that this is how it is. I don't feel the urge to have any nerfs of classes in this game ever, so no need for flaming, lower you hatchets :)
The point of this section was just that: showing how it is and that there is an issue with the damage modifiers when comparing them to other classes.
I'm not suggesting any changes to DH skill damages until section #8, so just be patient and read on.


7. Number of weapons to choose from + Dual wielding (devs stay sharp!)

After I wrote this section and read it afterwards, I realized that it's actually a very important section due to the suggestions I'm making ahead. These ideas don't only concern the DH but the whole game in general.

When the game was first released, I couldn't wait to get to dual wield two one-handed crossbows. I felt that it was the signature ability of the DH, as is dual wielding to a Barbarian. The concept was/is just undeniably awesome.
As I got more experience with the class I didn't want to let go of dual wielding (because of the pure badassery) but soon realized that in order to be efficient I had to, so I was forced to go for a Manticore and so I reluctantly gave up dual wielding. After doing that I've never looked back, not because the Manticore is effective or awesome, but because it's a no-brainer and it's hands down the most effective weapon compared to other ranged weapons.

We all know why the Manticore is so much better than any other ranged two-handed weapon or even one-handed weapon and it's the chance of having 2 sockets. That affix alone makes this weapon a no-brainer compared to all others.
I'm not saying that the weapon should be nerfed since I'm using one. I'm saying that every single two-handed weapon, ceremonial knife, wand, and any other weapon that can't be dual wielded in the game should be granted a chance of having 2 sockets, and I'll explain why:

I can't remember which patch it was, when the two-handed weapons were buffed to be on par with two one-handed weapons: they increased the life steal, the stats, overall damage, life on hit and pretty much everything except for the chance of having 2 sockets. For two-handed weapons to have 2 sockets would only be reasonable.

If adding a chance for two-handed weapons to have 2 sockets (which is reasonable), it's only fair to other classes for their class-specific weapons, that can't be dual wielded, being granted the same chance. If not, then for example the Wizards will start using a two-handed weapon although it wouldn't be a that much of bad thing considering that there are staffs in the game, absolutely no one uses those wooden sticks (except for Eirena, she loves those damn twigs). Plus wouldn't it be bloody awesome for the wizard to dual wield wands or the Witch Doctor to dual wield ceremonial knives?

Think about the following questions for a second:

How many Monks have you seen using a daibo?
How many Barbarians have you seen using a two-handed mighty weapon?
How many melee class players have you seen using a two-handed weapon other than Skorn?
How many Wizards/Witch Doctors have you seen using a staff?
How many DHs have you seen using a ranged two-handed weapon other than Manticore?

I know that the answer to all those questions above is the same: “Not many/none”. And it's such a shame, because all those weapon types are 100% badass and for instance I'd love to use a daibo as a Monk or a bow as a Demon Hunter, but it's just not worth it, and this is a proved fact.
Polearms, two-handed swords, axes, maces, mighty weapons, bows, crossbows, staffs (or staves, whatever), are all nearly unusable because of 2(!) legendary weapons, which are of course the Manticore and Skorn. This is a very unfortunate and clear flaw in game design.
Simply by adding the chance for 2 sockets to appear on the previously mentioned items would permanently fix the problem of two-handed weapons being obsolete.

Elaboration: everytime a two-handed weapon gets the +sockets affix, it would be granted 1-2 sockets with that 1 random affix alone. But those legendaries that already have a socket as a default (i.e. Manticore, Skorn), can roll a second socket ONLY if the “+1 random affix” is consumed (just like the Manticore at the moment). This way for example, Skorn couldn't roll 2 sockets and life steal in the same weapon, that would be a bit overpowered.

I'm aware that this is more or less an itemization issue and will somewhat balance itself out sooner or later due to the upcoming itemization patch (I very much hope so!), but that does not mean that it isn't worth mentioning. As it is now, the DHs choice for weapons is not really a choice at all.

But oh no, a new problem emerges! If the previously mentioned is implemented and all the two-handed weapons are granted a chance of having 2 sockets, it will only fix the issue of choosing weapons halfway:

Scenario: every two-handed weapon can roll 2 sockets:
Now for the DH there's a more difficult choice deciding between any two-handed crossbows and bows, just the way it's supposed to be = problem solved...
…but not close enough: no change is made to one-handed crossbows, and the situation is the same as it is now: almost everyone uses a Manticore or now some other two-handed crossbow/bow instead of dual wielding. Only now the Barbarians and Monks would share the same problem: why dual wield since it's not as effective as using a two-handed weapon that has 2 sockets? This would be disastrous for it would make one-handed weapons more or less obsolete as the Manticore did to one-handed crossbows.

Now how to solve this problem? For example by adding some sort of a bonus when dual wielding. Feel free to make suggestions, if you have any ideas then post them on this thread. I've seen anything from attack speed bonus (more than 15% which it is at the moment) to critical hit chance bonus, or both, which I think are all great ideas. It has to be something that gives the player a difficult choice deciding between a two-handed weapon or two one-handed weapons.

On a sidenote here, the increased attack speed bonus gained from dual wielding is not enough at the moment, nor is the IAS bonus % from any other quiver than Dead Man's Legacy. An example will clarify:

I tested the APS with one-handed crossbows each having an attack speed of 1.60/sec, a quiver that had an increased attack speed bonus of 15%, and a Dead Man's Legacy with an increased attack speed bonus of 20% (the only quiver in the game that can have an attack speed bonus of over 15% excluding 2 legendary quivers which are the Black Bone Arrows and the Flint Ripper Arrowheads that both can have a maximum of 17%).
I didn't wear any other items that increased my attack speed.
Here are the results of what I did and what happened:

-APS when using a one-handed crossbow: 1.60
-APS when dual wielding 2 one-handed crossbows: 1.84
-APS when using a one-handed crossbow with a quiver: 1.84
-APS when using a one-handed crossbow with Dead Man's Legacy: 1.92

There is no difference in APS between dual wielding or using a single one-handed crossbow with a 15% IAS quiver. This means that the IAS-bonus from dual wielding is 15% (although you probably already knew that). This 15% applies to any dual wielding, not only hand crossbows.

Since the Dead Man's Legacy can have 20% IAS, it's generally not smart to dual wield if considering attack speed since the attack speed is lower in the case of dual wielding when compared to a single one-handed crossbow + DML setup. Also, since the Dead Man's Legacy can have so much IAS compared to all other quivers, the other quivers are not used at all. The effect is the same as with the Manticore. Dead Man's Legacy is for quivers what the Manticore is for two-handed crossbows.
However I don't think that this is such a big issue compared to the Manticore vs. all other two-handed ranged weapons but still, like I feel that every two-handed weapon should have a chance of having 2 sockets, so should every quiver have a chance to roll an IAS % of 10-20 instead of 10-15. In addition to that, a bit off topic, DML should have the IAS range between 18-20% instead of 10-20% (because anything under 15% and it's garbage and very close to useless).

The issue is that it's not recommended to dual wield one-handed crossbows since there is a better option available, which is the one-handed crossbow + DML.
The bonus from dual wielding has to be buffed remarkably to the point where it's a difficult decision between using:

a) a two-handed bow/crossbow (with 2 sockets) + quiver (DML), or
b) dual wielded hand crossbows.

Furthermore, hand crossbows shouldn't only be used for fast hatred regeneration and decreasing the time between hatred spenders, but for other reasons. Make suggestions. If the only reason to use them is just that, then they're simply not good enough.

Right now the choice is so obvious that it's not a choice at all.

EDIT: One good suggestion that I heard a while back and thought that it was good enough to be added here considering the dual wielding:
Add a class-wide feature to dual wielding similar to the Barbarian's skill Frenzy:
Attacking when dual wielding grants you stacks of attack speed increase for 3 seconds. These stacks would be 5% ias each, of a maximum of 4 stacks.
This would encourage Demon Hunters to use dual wielding, but in my opinion wouldn't make it too overpowered over a setup of a hand crossbow + quiver. I thought that this was an excellent idea.

This marks the end of the first 7 sections.

The previously processed 7 sections ended up being a little longer than I expected, but since you're still reading this, it doesn't matter. I hope that I've been clear enough to this point about the first 7 sections and the issues I brought up in them, and that I've made some valid points so you've had some eye-opening revelations reading them. I hope that no stone was left unturned, and all questions were answered. If however you feel that something was left without attention, please bring it up on this thread for discussion.
Moving on...

Now we're down to the last (and certainly not least) section of this post which I've referred to throughout the entire text, which is:


8. Concepts and mechanics of skills and their rune variants

So now finally as the “simple stuff” is out of the way, we can delve into the grand finale of the post that is the skills of the Demon Hunter. This is a very long section, and it took me a very long time to finish it.

During this post I've talked about such matters as the eDPS, hatred regeneration, and skills' damage modifiers. On this section I will for example suggest mostly minor (some major, but I think reasonable) tweaks on their damage modifiers, resource costs and some of their mechanics so that they would be aligned and more balanced with the skills of other classes and thus somewhat fixing the eDPS issue. The results will look similar with the patch 1.0.7 Monk buffs.

On this section I will provide a detailed explanation of all the skills of the DH and their runes. I'll break down every skill and go through 3 different central points which I mentioned in the beginning of the post and are as follows:

1. What is the concept/purpose/idea/role of the skill and how well it's executed? (execution rating on a scale of 1-5, 1 being “doesn't deliver” and 5 being “nailed it”, followed by reasoning)
2. Why is the skill/its rune variants used or not?
3. How to balance the skill and its runes with other skills of the DH without any of them being a clear choice or a “no-brainer” making all other skills/runes obsolete.

At each skill on this section I'm providing a link to them from this site. I won't include the tooltips of the skill or explain what it does, that takes too much space from an already crowded post. If you're unfamiliar with any of the skills or runes, then check the links.

In addition to the links, I'll include a usage % of the skill and their runes at every skill and its runes, that at the time of writing this, is based on the Diablo Progress site's softcore Top 500 unbuffed DPS players. From now on I'll refer to that with “DPU%” (Diablo Progress Usage %).
As a rule of thumb, if the DPU% of any skill isn't between 5-45, or any of the runes isn't between 10-80, then something about the skills or the runes have a problem in design, either because of it being too bad, good but not enough, or too good compared to other skills.

I'm listing the skills alphabetically in the following way:

1. Active Skills

A) Hatred Generators
1. Bola Shot
2. Entangling Shot
3. Evasive Fire
4. Grenades
5. Hungering Arrow

B) Hatred Spenders
6. Chakram
7. Cluster Arrow
8. Elemental Arrow
9. Fan of Knives
10. Impale
11. Multishot
12. Rain of Vengeance
13. Rapid Fire
14. Sentry
15. Spike Trap
16. Strafe

C) Discipline Skills
17. Caltrops
18. Companion
19. Marked for Death
20. Shadow Power
21. Smoke Screen
22. Preparation
23. Vault

2. Passive Skills
24. Archery
25. Ballistics
26. Brooding
27. Cull of the Weak
28. Custom Engineering
29. Grenadier
30. Hot Pursuit
31. Night Stalker
32. Numbing Traps
33. Perfectionist
34. Sharpshooter
35. Steady Aim
36. Tactical Advantage
37. Thrill of the Hunt
38. Vengeance

As I'm writing this section, I'm testing and re-testing, calculating and re-calculating, comparing and re-comparing with other classes, every skill and all their runes in-game one at a time on any MP level from 6 to 10 in various of different areas. This was a long process, and I want to make it clear that the suggestions of the tweaks to the skills that I'm about to make are very carefully thought out and none of them are just thrown out there because I was too lazy or too tired to think it over. I have sacrificed a lot of my time and a lot of sex (!) to put these numbers and thoughts on paper for everyone to see, so trust me when I say that I've considered everything that I possibly can.
I hope that you are still reading since this is the part where I saw the most effort, and that effort was massive. So without any further gossiping, let's get the last part of the last section started, enjoy:
Edited by Juicypus#2757 on 5/17/2013 1:24 PM PDT
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1. Active Skills

A) Hatred Generators:

I think that in general the hatred generators should generate more hatred as they do now. I'll include them in the skill descriptions below. But keep in mind that the Barbarian's fury generating skill Bash has a fury generation of 8/hit, along with Cleave that has 5/hit, not to mention various of other fury generating skills such as Leap or War Cry.
You won't see remarkable damage buffs on all the hatred generators here, since their purpose is not to deal the big damage, but to support the damage-dealing process by occasionally maintaining the hatredpool, and occasionally serve as tools such as the backflip effect of Evasive Fire or the slow effect of Entangling Shot.
The shape the DH is in right now, is that they have to spam lot's of generators to get the resources up as I demonstrated earlier. It shouldn't be like this. One reason why certain generators and their runes are used more than the others is because of the present situation of generators being spammed excessively instead of being used merely as tools or for support. That's why players tend to choose generators that deal the most overall damage.


1. Bola Shot – DPU 48.60%


Seen the trailer of the Demon Hunter that was released before the release of the game? In the trailer the DH dual wields hand crossbows and then switches to a HUGE two-handed crossbow and shoots a Bola on a demon that wraps itself around its neck and blows the head clean off. Awesome.

Here's the video for the curious, Bola Shot seen at 2:22:


Out of all the generators, this is the one that is clearly meant to be the AoE skill, that inflicts massive damage to the main target at the expense of a delay. This wouldn't even be a bad skill if switched to be a hatred spender and buffing the damage, but I'm not suggesting anything like that. The concept though, is so great that it could pull off the role of a hatred spender believably.

Execution: 5

Nailed it. This skill is in a reasonably good place. The general idea of the skill is very clear and so is the execution. It is a very competitive and relatively balanced skill compared to other hatred generators and does not/is not shadowed by other generators and is very equally used compared to them (with a few exceptions). And since it is a hatred generator after all, it can't be allowed to inflict much more damage as it does now. However I would tweak the following details of the base skill to even better fulfill the role of the skill without being too OP:

-increase the main target damage from 160% to 170% (it has a delay after all)
-increase the hatred generated per attack from 3 to 8

The skill and its runes themselves don't have big problems, but the reason it's used by almost 50% of the top DH-players is that all other generators are not worth using on high MP levels, therefore being pretty much the only viable generator on high MP levels. Next let's break down the runes:

Volatile Explosives – DPU 23.48%

There's only one thing that I'd change about this rune:

-increase the explosion radius damage from 110% to 125-130%

Its purpose is clearly to enhance the AoE aspect. The fact that it's used by 23.48% of DHs who use Bola Shot, states that it's a well rounded rune compared to all others and gives a difficult decision on whether to go for this rune or some other one. The explosion radius of 20 yards is well thought out and very acceptable, I'd say.

Thunder Ball – DPU 31.58%

This is meant for single targets more than on a group, since it's only the main target that can be stunned. But is 35% enough? In average every third hit stuns a target for 1.5 seconds, which I think is not quite enough to choose this skill with this rune for single targets.
This is widely used on a high MP level, since it's the only skill of the DH that can be spammed infinitely that can stun a target to keep it at bay (excluding stun grenades). Used not because it's awesome but since it's the only skill that can do it.
Against groups a DH can pretty much forget this rune, every third hit for 1.5 seconds against a group is not noticeable. I'd tweak it like so:

-increase the chance to stun from 35% to 40%
-increase the duration of the stun from 1.5 seconds to 2 seconds

Relatively minor tweaks, but I think that it doesn't need any more of it. It's still within the range of reasonable and now it's only a more reliable tool, not too powerful against single targets and not too weak against groups. The fact that 31.58% of top DH-players who use Bola Shot says that it's not too powerful or too weak.

Acid Strike – DPU 0%

That's correct, 0%. I can't blame the players for not using this rune. Removing AoE of the explosions is a misstep by the game developers.
The concept of this rune is to spam and farm a big number of Bolas everywhere in a short period of time. Seen Tropic Thunder with Robert Downey Jr.?


Gets me everytime.

It's not that it doesn't work at all (however it does need tweaking), it's that there are much better alternatives to choose from. Since we're not nerfing every other rune, we have to improve this one:

-improve the targeting of the rune so that it seeks the 3 targets automatically, similar to the Amazon's skill Strafe in Diablo 2, instead of firing at random directions in front of the DH
-add an AoE to the explosions of 7 yards with a damage of 110% (half of the standard explosion radius)
-reduce the “primary target” damage from 160% (170%) to 140% (it has AoE now)

I think that with those tweaks the rune would be worth of consideration. I'd use this, if it really would work as the Amazon's Strafe skill from D2 seeking targets automatically, but still it wouldn't be too powerful. And oh yeah, please reduce the bright green tint, it's ugly as hell and hurts everyones eyes. Please, make it darker.

Bitter Pill – DPU 14.98%

The only hatred generator that can regenerate discipline. A good concept, if some build requires more discipline to work.
The DPU% of 14.98 isn't horrible, but:
Usually when in need of more discipline the DH is in a hurry to get it. The problem however is the 15% chance to regenerate. That means that for every 2 discipline the DH has to fire 6.6 times. With an APS of 2 (which is very generous) this takes for 3.3 seconds. Considering that when in need of extra discipline the DH is in a big hurry, it's far too poor, hence:

-increase the chance to restore 2 discipline from 15% to 40%

With a 40% chance and 2 APS it takes 1.25 seconds to restore 2 discipline, and 2.5 attacks. Doesn't this sound much more reasonable? But still as always, it's not too powerful, or a no-brainer.

Imminent Doom – DPU 29.96%

The heavy-hitter of all the hatred generators. Takes a while to deal the damage, but when it explodes it packs a huge punch. With that in mind I'd tweak nothing else about this rune than:

-increase the primary target damage from 216% to 260%
-increase the AoE damage from 149% to 160%

If that makes you think that it would be too much, then just remember that it does have a 2 second delay. That delay is excruciating, the reward should be as noticeable.

That's it for the Bola Shot. One skill down, 37 to go. This is going to take a while.


2. Entangling Shot – DPU 1.60%


The hatred generator skill that's without question designed for kiting purposes. It has all the characteristics of a kiting tool: doesn't deal that much damage and slows groups of enemies down for a period of time by entangling them, keeping them under control, at a distance, and “in the right place”.

Execution: 2

Look at the DPU%. Although the concept of the skill is good, almost no one uses this skill in any form. That alone tells that it's poorly executed and that it does not fulfill the role it's designed for. Especially when considering the upcoming (or already released at the time of you reading this, started to write this before that) patch 1.0.8 and the monster density increase, it's going to be completely useless because it doesn't keep any group of monsters under control that's bigger than 5. I tested this skill thoroughly and came to the conclusion that the only rune that works to some degree for kiting purposes is Chain Gang.
Tweaks to make this skill worth using:

-increase the projectile traveling speed by 20-25%
-increase the hatred generated per attack from 3 to 8
-increase the damage from 90% to 100%
-increase the number of enemies slowed from 2 to 3
-increase the slow amount from 60% to 70%
-increase the duration of enemies being slowed from 2 to 3 seconds

There you have it. Imagine what this skill would be like with the passive Cull of the Weak. As I've pointed out earlier, the Demon Hunter is a kiting class. They are designed to kite and stay at a distance. They're supposed to kite. This skill should be the right tool for that.
And as for the runes...

Chain Gang – DPU 0%

No surprise in the DPU% since only 8 players out of top 500 (1.60%) use the skill at all.
The idea of this rune has to be the increased control of monster packs. So I'll make this short:

-increase the number of enemies slowed from (3) to 6

That was easy. I think that with that adjustment this rune would be a very valid choice against large, fast-moving groups, such as the fallen ones. Again, think about the possibilities when combining this rune with the passive Cull of the Weak: it would in a way mimic the Marked for Death skill.

Shock Collar – DPU 25% (2 players)

Don't let the DPU% on any of the runes of this skill trick you, it's actually used by only 2 people.
This rune is a little bit of a mystery to me. It's clearly meant to have the damage increased, but of a skill that's not meant to deal high damage at all, it seems a little off. Nonetheless:

-increase the electrifying damage from 70% to 220% over 4 seconds (up from 2)

The tweak looks more radical than it actually is, it's actually 55%/second for 4 seconds, instead of 35%/second for 2 seconds. This damaging rate just lasts longer now, and is slightly buffed.

Heavy Burden – DPU 0%

When fighting monsters that are fast, this rune is a good way to buy some precious time to “regroup”. Against bigger monsterpacks however, it's close to useless because of the present number of monsters slowed which is 2. If the maximum number of monsters slowed is increased, then:

-increase the duration of enemies being slowed from (3) to 6

This would be a great tool for kiting: just send one or two of these babies on their way and you don't have to worry about it for the next 6 seconds. Buys some valuable time, allowing the DH to do whatever the DH is supposed to do: kite and deal lot's of damage.
In addition to that, imagine this skill and this rune with Spike Traps for example: it would be so much easier to estimate the location on where the traps should be laid. Combine that setup with Cull of the Weak, and you're good to go. Genius.

Justice is Served – DPU 37.50% (3 players)

The purpose of this one is very clear: generating hatred faster compared to other runes, so that the DH can get back to using spenders by decreasing the time spent on generating hatred. Want to get back to Cluster Arrow? Fire a few of these.
The problem of course is that the hatred generated by 6 doesn't cut it. It needs to be more to be a considerable option. Right now, even with hatred generated by 6 which sounds like it's quite a lot, in fact, it's not. The DH still has to spam quite a few of these to actually use a high cost hatred spender even once. For a low-damage skill, this is very inefficient and unacceptable.

-increase the hatred generated from (6) to 13

The increase sounds like a lot, but remember that the default hatred generated by this skill was increased from 3 to 8 earlier. This rune would in that case increase the hatred generated by 5/attack. The Barbarian's skill Bash – Instigation generates 12 fury/hit. Compared to that, 13 hatred/hit doesn't sound outrageous at all.

Bounty Hunter – DPU 37.50% (3 players)

I wouldn't change this rune by much. Reason being that I already would increase the number of enemies hit from 2 to 3 and the damage from 90% to 100%. So in fact Entangling Shot already without a rune when tweaked deals 120% more damage in total in theory (assuming that there's 3 or more enemies) = more life steal automatically. That being said, I don't think that I have to analyze the meaning or purpose of this rune. However because of the skill Shadow Power, almost every other skill that steals life is made obsolete. Henceforth the following:

-increase the lifesteal from 6% to 9%

If someone feels that they need more lifesteal they still can choose Shadow Power which of course has 15% lifesteal. This 9% doesn't make Shadow Power useless, but using this allows to skip Shadow Powers 15% completely.


3. Evasive Fire – DPU 3.20%


I feel that this skill is very underrated, only 3.20%? This is probably my favorite skill of the DH, and let me explain why: if I had to choose one skill out of all the skills of the DH that resembles the concept of the Demon Hunter the best, it would without question be Evasive Fire.
The concept of this skill just culminates the essence of the Demon Hunter spot on: the skill is like an accurate .44 magnum (instantly hits, never misses, and the sound has power), allows the DH to stay mobile and fast, getting away from enemies to a distance, escaping tight spots but not by running in fear screaming but instead saying: “Oh no you're not going to get me, not today.”

Execution: 4

A 4 for the execution, and a strong 5 for the effort. The skill itself is a stroke of pure genius.
Why didn't I rate it as a 5? Unfortunately the skill does have some mechanical problems, that could have been fixed pre-release, but here we are. These are the tweaks that I'd make:

-increase the damage from 130% to 190%
-increase the hatred regenerated from 4 to 8
-decrease the possible discipline cost from 4 to 2
-adjust it so the skill doesn't backflip if backflipping doesn't result in repositioning (because of wall, cliff, obstacle, etc.)

I have a friend DH who says that one of the main reasons he doesn't use this skill is because of the fast discipline depletion, especially against a wall, and he's not the only one who feels that way. The DH need the discipline to survive, and this skill as it is now, has it running out fast. For a skill that allows the Demon Hunter to stay mobile, the cost is just way too much.
In my opinion the backflip distance of 15 yards is spot on. It's relatively easy to use, and pairing this skill up with the Steady Aim passive works surprisingly well, it puts the DH in the right distance automatically for the damage boost.
Before the above adjustments this was the hatred generator that generated the most hatred, and I'm pretty sure the reason being that occasionally it uses discipline. So to balance that it granted more hatred than the other hatred generators. Since the tweaking it generates a lot more but not any more than the other ones. 8 in my opinion is plenty, 9-11 makes almost no difference, 12 and above is starting to be too much and the 2 discipline cost is almost unnoticeable.
And as for the notable damage boost, it is a single target ability after all. The reason over 90% of players who use Evasive Fire use the rune Covering Fire is because of the damage. Why use any other rune for a single 130% if I can get a rune that hits 3 targets for 130% each?

Hardened – DPU 6.67% (1 player)

That 1 player is probably trolling. This rune is utterly useless. There are absolutely no tweaks for this rune that I'd make, I'd remove it altogether. It removes the mobility aspect and grants tanking ability. For a class that's supposed to be mobile and not a tank, it's just stupid. It's as if removing the wings of a bird and adding a bulletproof vest. I can't figure out the reason why or comprehend the fact that this is in this game, and this was even implemented later on.
This link resembles what I feel like at the moment:


Please discuss for alternate ideas and functions for the empty space that this rune leaves.

Parting Gift – DPU 0%

The idea is definitely in the right direction. Leaving a bomb behind and fleeing the scene sounds kickass. However, there's two reasons why players don't use this, first being that Covering Fire is so much better, second that the damage is not enough to really damage the enemies, it merely tickles them, so:

-increase the bomb damage from 55% to 130%
-increase the radius of the explosion from 12 to 14

75% difference, not any more than that. Now it actually works very similarly to Bola Shot, but not to the point of being better than that skill. Bola shot doesn't require discipline or the DH to be close to the enemy to spam them. And we have to remember that there's Covering Fire, and don't want to make that rune obsolete by increasing the damage of the bomb to over 130%. Also remember that this rune requires the backflip to be triggered. Whereas Covering Fire performs better from a distance, and doesn't require to be close to the enemy, this rune performs better in the middle of a group, and requires to stay closer to danger in order to spam them. With the reduced discipline cost, this would work well enough to be considered as an alternative.

Covering Fire – DPU 93.33%

Dat DPU%! Not only because the other runes are lacking, but because this is that great. Because it's working well, there's nothing that I'd change in this rune variant. Leaving it as it is. Even the damage at 130%, and not 190% (remember that it does hit 3 targets). “Instead of hitting a single target for 190%, you now hit 3 targets for 130%”. Sounds like a fair tradeoff.

Displace – DPU 0%

The rune is a bit difficult to use because the backflip distance is too much in my opinion. But the backflip distance increase is not enough to choose this rune over the others, it needs something else as well:

- decrease the increased backflip distance from 30 to 25 yards (default being 15 yards)
- add a stun and knockback ability to the backflip that affects all enemies hit by it that lasts for 2 seconds.

I think that in a middle of the group this rune would open very interesting new ways to play the class. It wouldn't be overshadowed by other runes either, but a very solid option. It's like bowling!
Think about what the result of using this rune is: you backflip through a group of monsters stunning and knockbacking them, and now as you finish your backflip, all the monsters you just hit are stunned for 2 seconds in front of you, as if on a silver platter. Time for some hatred spender action, just fire away. Badass, I couldn't wait to get to use this bad-boy.

Surge – DPU 0%

The idea of not having to waste as much discipline already makes this rune sound appealing. Although now since I reduced the default discipline cost from 4 to 2, a problem emerges. Clearly the rune is meant for more backflipping, so I'll remove the discipline cost completely. But now that is not enough to choose this rune over the others, so:

-reduce the reduced discipline cost from 2 to 0
-increase hatred generated from 4 (8) to 13

That makes this a bit more appealing, and not obsolete at all. This rune makes the DH a very mobile, hatred spender using class with good resource management. Kiting with this rune selected is a lot easier, and the very reason I would definitely use this rune. A great kiting tool, and adjusts the Demon Hunter to be a little bit closer to idea of a DH.

There. Now all the runes have a clear role except for Hardened, and it's a lot more difficult decision between them. Problems solved.


4. Grenades – DPU 9.80%


Why is the DPU% even that high? Why would anyone want to use grenades? The damage is not enough, the hatred generated is not much, the targeting is very clumsy, and I'm not sure if they even have AoE. If they do, it's almost nonexistent.
The reason that 9.80% of players use Grenades is mostly because of the Cluster Grenades rune. They have AoE and more damage. They work differently, in a way that one grenade hits multiple times and because of that they allow for a lot of hits at close range and paired up with Night Stalker the discipline pool refills rapidly.

Execution: 1

Grenades are a very central concept of the DH and his/her arsenal, and in many other skills as well there's rune modifications that include some form of grenades, i.e. Rapid Fire's rune Bombardment.
But it's such a shame that they are lacking when it comes to the mechanics of the skill, and that's the reason for the execution rating of 1. They are meant to be an essential part of the Demon Hunter's arsenal, but as they are now, the idea of them falls very short in terms of execution.
I remember that at some point Blizzard informed that they are going to take a closer look at the targeting of grenades, but so far I haven't seen this improvement. Let's do it now instead:

-improve the targeting so that the 3 grenades are thrown directly towards 3 enemies (again, similar to the Amazon's Strafe skill from Diablo 2, only now with grenades, and in one direction instead of everywhere around the player)
-make the grenades explode on impact when hitting enemies (still bounces of walls)
-add an AoE of 8 yards to each grenade
-increase the hatred generated from 3 to 8
-increase the damage from 95% to 110%
-allow the grenades to be thrown over “Waller”

When considering the gameplay with grenades, this tweaked version of them would work far better than the present one. Especially the last tweak on that list, it's so unbelievably frustrating when a waller comes along and you can't even throw grenades over the wall, it's just ridiculous. If they we're allowed to be thrown over these walls, that is one good reason to select this skill as a generator.
These changes would make the grenades a very valid choice for the DH, especially when paired up with the tweaked version of the passive Grenadier later on this section.

Tinkerer – DPU 8.16%

The rune is very clear. More hatred generation. No need for more discussion:

-increase the hatred generated from 3 (8) to 13

Cluster Grenades – DPU 87.76%

Probably the closest that the runes get to the actual concept of Grenades. They have AoE and acceptable damage, which of course is how grenades function.
I wouldn't change a lot about this rune, just the damage for a bit due to the default damage tweak so this rune wouldn't be underpowered compared to the other ones:

-increase the damage from 112% to 120%

The way this rune works is that the grenades actually hit multiple times for smaller amount of damage instead of 3 times (3 grenades) for a damage of 112% each. This allows for a FAST resource generation when Night Stalker is selected as a passive skill. And because of that very feature, I won't change anything else in this rune. It already has a unique property.

Fire Bomb – DPU 0%

Why is this rune even in the game? Even though this rune has a bit of AoE (I tested it), it's still very useless. It feels as if the game developers ran out of juice and got home early from work and just left this rune the way it was at the time. It's incomplete.
Why would I use this skill with this rune since I can choose Bola Shot, which has far better targeting and is less clumsy, 160% damage instead of 124%, same hatred generation and a far wider AoE radius with 110% damage? There's absolutely no point in this rune, and to be honest I'm not entirely sure how to tweak it so that it would stand out but I'm going to try nonetheless:

-increase the damage from 124% to 290%
-reduce the AoE radius from (8) to 5
-remove the “explode on impact” feature

That's what I came up with. A bit more difficult to use, but packs a far bigger punch than the other runes. And it's still a hatred generator. It's meant to be used as a single target grenade, the characteristics are there: a single grenade, higher damage.
Now why use this instead of the adjusted version of Bola Shot – Imminent Doom that has more AoE and almost the same damage? Imminent Doom has a far longer delay, and the damage is smaller. I'd say that against single targets this could work better, but I'm more than open to any other ideas if you can come up with anything better than this (I have no doubt that you couldn't).

Stun Grenades – DPU 2.04% (1 player)

Something for a change that makes my work here a little easier. The name of the rune already states the idea and purpose of it. The problem of this rune is not about the rune at all but because of the general mechanics of Grenades as a whole. Because it lacks AoE, and its very difficult targeting, 25% chance to stun is a lot lower than it actually looks like. But since I'd tweak the mechanics of the skills targeting and add AoE, this rune pretty much fixes itself. However:

-increase the duration of stun from 1.5 to 2 seconds

Comparing this rune to Bola Shot – Thunder Ball, it has a lower chance to stun, but then again this has a chance to stun a big group for 2 seconds instead of a single target. It's well balanced and definitely has its places of use in the game.

Gas Grenades – DPU 2.04% (1 player)

This rune actually works fairly well already. The damage could be slightly bigger and the duration of the cloud a little longer, but those are just minor tweaks as follows:

-increase the duration of the poison clouds from 3 to 5 seconds
-increase the damage per second of the poison clouds from 25% to 55%

55% damage per second for 5 seconds equals 275%. That sounds reasonable. Now I need to elaborate that the damage from the clouds shouldn't stack, in case these are used in smaller tight areas such as hallways or corridors. Then it would be a little overpowered in my opinion.
I tested this skill with Caltrops, and I must say that if only the cloud lasted longer and did a little bit more damage, add Cull of the Weak as a passive skill, this would be a very viable skill setup as they are forced to stand in the cloud.


5. Hungering Arrow – DPU 39.60%


The basic idea of the skill I feel is that it's the “basic” hatred generator of all the generators. There's nothing too fancy about the skill, it's just a homing arrow much like the guided arrow from Diablo 2. It is to generators what an assault rifle is to guns: a general, reliable, well rounded all-around good tool for most situations, not a shotgun, sniper rifle, or a machine gun. That's probably the reason it's also unlocked on the very first level when playing the DH.

Execution: 3

It serves its cause well enough to be rated as a 3. Why not any more? I'll explain soon enough.
It's not that viable against groups however. I tested this and the main reason that almost 40% of players use this skill is the rune Spray of Teeth that improves AoE. Considering the upcoming patch that increases mob density I'm afraid that all runes except for Spray of Teeth are made obsolete.
Therefore the skill has to be updated if you will for the new mob densities:

-increase the hatred generated from 3 to 8
-increase the damage from 115% to 120%
-increase the chance to pierce targets from 35% to 40%
-increase the projectile traveling speed by 70-80%

I'm not too fond of this skill, but every now and then I give it a go. Usually as my main generator I use Evasive Fire, because it regenerates more hatred per shot, and it instantly hits. So everytime that I try this skill out I notice two things since I'm used to Evasive Fire:

1. the AoE is not as good as Bola Shot and thus I feel it's not worth using as an AoE hatred generator, and
2. the traveling speed of the projectile is excruciatingly slow!

Some of you might think otherwise about the projectile travel speed, but remember that I'm used to Evasive Fire. However it is a fired arrow after all, and should travel a lot faster than it does now. Against enemies it feels that it takes forever to land the target, and seems really lazy. It should be more like a deadly accurate fast homing arrow instead of a floating twig. This is one of the reasons I didn't rate it higher than 3.

A quick word about the runes. I feel that just 2 runes of this skill have a clear distinct role. The rest I feel are just quickly scraped together to fill the 5 rune slots. You might see some radical tweaks below to make all the runes of this skill more distinguished from eachother. I'll try however to stay within reasonable adjustments.

Puncturing Arrow – DPU 1.01%

50% chance to pierce instead of 35%? That's not that much, just a 15% difference. Not enough to make this a smart choice. If the default piercing chance is 35% then this should be at least 70% to even be considered as usable.
I'm not too sure about the role that this rune is supposed to fill... let's tweak it a bit to make it clear:

-increase the piercing chance from 35% (40%) to 90%
-make it so that the same arrow can't hit the same target more than twice
-allow the same arrow to hit targets for a maximum of 5 times

Would 90% really be that outrageous? Now the role is far clearer. It's much better against groups now, and against single targets it still is very effective, but not to a point of ridiculousness or the best rune to use for that purpose. It functions very similarly to chain lightning when you think about it. I don't think it's an overshoot at all.

Cinder Arrow – DPU 0.51%

A rune that deals damage over time, not a bad idea. This rune however does not appeal because it doesn't have that “awe” -factor in my opinion. It doesn't stand out enough in its special ability to make an impression of: “Wow that does THAT? That's awesome! I'll give it a go.”
The damage-over-time is a good idea. Let's keep that element and change the mechanics of the rune like so:

-remove the chance to pierce
-increase the damage from 115% (120%) to 160%
-add an explosion on impact of a 10 yard radius that deals 70% weapon damage as fire
-enemies caught in the explosion light on fire that deals and additional 60% weapon damage as fire -over 3 seconds (the fire damage does not stack when multiple arrows are fired)

I got to admit that I got the inspiration to this one from an Amazon skill Immolation Arrow, from Diablo 2.
This overhaul would definitely make it more interesting and now it stands out as a unique rune with a unique ability that no other rune has, but still doesn't make it overpowered. Especially if the travel speed of the projectile is made faster, this would feel so enjoyable to fire away exploding arrows. Now that would make you feel powerful! I'm actually quite proud of this one.
The most observant readers might realize that this gets quite close to Bola Shot, only with less instant damage, so why choose this rune over that skill? Three reasons:

1. The projectile travels a lot faster
2. There is no delay in the explosion
3. It works better against single targets

So the damage dealt is instantaneous instead of Bola Shot that yes, does deal more “instant” damage, but it has a delay not because of the explosion alone, but the missile takes longer to get to the target.
Bola Shot also has more AoE, which is how it's supposed to be for Bola Shot being an AoE skill, but compare the damage against a single target: Bola Shot does 170% (adjusted version, listed above), and the overhauled version of Cinder Arrow does 160% instantly, without a 1-second delay, plus an extra of 20% per second for 3 seconds, so by the time a Bola would explode, Cinder Arrow has already dealt damage for 180%. Nicely balanced, not quite as good against a group as Bola Shot, but slightly better against a single target, and still balanced with other runes of Hungering Arrow. I'm a genius.

Shatter Shot – DPU 0.98%

Oh my, another rune that I can't figure out at all. Why would I choose this rune over the Spray of Teeth? That has far better AoE, the DPU% states that very clearly, which is the only clear thing about this rune.
It's supposed to be more of an AoE rune, but trust me, I tested it and it doesn't work at all against groups. The chance to pierce, first of all, is way too small to be effective. Since it's 35% now, this means that 65% of the shots fired are not piercing at all and thus not getting the effect of the rune. Now the tooltip basically says: “get a 35% chance to get the effect of this rune, and a 65% chance of not getting a no-rune-effect.”
The skill needs to be overhauled but I'll include the element of AoE that this rune is for.

-give the first arrow a 100% chance to pierce a target
-after piercing, the arrow splits into 6 arrows, which don't have the chance to pierce
-the same arrow fired can't hit the same target twice

Now it's more like an AoE skill that it's probably designed for. However against single targets this is not the best option, but as an AoE this one is better. It also guarantees the triggering of the rune effect. I can imagine this rune of Hungering Arrow for being used in situations where's there's more enemies than four but not in a tight group but scattered around. I think this rune now has a more specific role compared to other ones. AoE is better than Puncturing Arrow, but against single targets, better go for that or some other rune.

Devouring Arrow – DPU 13.50%

A rune for a change that has a clear use, that's why the DPU% is higher than 10 as well. This works the best against single targets out of all the runes of this skill.
I have actually already buffed this rune by increasing the default chance to pierce from 35% to 45%.

The same arrow can hit the same target for as long as the piercing chance lets it. The first pierce for example, if fired against a single target, increases the damage of the arrow to a total of 310% (120 + 190). This could go on and on and on for as long as the 45% chance happens. If the arrow pierces 2 times (a 20,25% chance for that), against a single target, the target would take a total of 570% damage (120 + 190 + 260). For three consecutive pierces the chance is 9.1125%. That would mean a damage of 900% on a single target (120 + 190 + 260 + 330). This rune doesn't need changing, it's already fixed.

Spray of Teeth – DPU 84%

The main reason players even use Hungering Arrow as a skill is because of this rune. 84% is a ridiculous amount. Just 16% of players who use Hungering Arrow use some other rune than this one.
Because of two reasons I don't need to change this rune at all:

1. The DPU% is 84, it doesn't need to be changed because it clearly works.
2. It has already been buffed due to the tweaks I made to the base skill, +10% more piercing chance, and a slight damage increase = more hits with one arrow = more critical hits in a shorter time period. With slightly improved damage.

I think that I can leave this rune as it is.

With these changes to these runes, if you think about it hard enough you'll realize that the damage dealt is not rune-dependent but situation-dependent and what you feel like doing at the moment.
For each rune there is a certain situation where that rune performs better than any other rune:

-choose Puncturing Arrow if you want a little bit of both AoE and single target effectiveness
-choose Cinder Arrow if the enemies are usually in tight packs, but this works well with single targets as well
-choose Shatter Shot if there's more enemies but they're a little bit scattered around
-choose Devouring Arrow if you want to deal high damage against a single target
-choose Spray of Teeth if you want high, but unstable damage being dealt to both groups and single targets.


At last that's it for the hatred generators.
If you care to try out what the hatred generating rate would be like with these tweaks (the hatred generated by 8 from each hatred generating skill, and the base hatred regeneration of 8/sec), then the closest you can get to that is by doing the following in-game:

-select Grenadier as a passive skill
-select Grenades – Tinkerer as an active hatred generating skill (now it's 8 hatred generated/attack with Grenadier)
-summon Bat Companion (hatred generation rate at 7/sec)
-select Vengeance as a passive skill (resembles the default hatred pool of 150)

I really feel that with these changes made to them, the DPU% of each skill and their runes would be far more balanced with eachother. Also much of the eDPS issue is fixed due to the upped hatred generation, since with more hatred the Demon Hunters can use more of their actual damage-dealing skills, the:


B) Hatred Spenders:

Below I'll be adjusting some of the skills' hatred costs, damage modifiers, and mechanics. I'll try to be subtle when handling these skills, for they could grow to outrageous measures due to the earlier increased base hatred regeneration and tweaked hatred generators. With the above adjustments to hatred generating skills the spenders already deal “more” damage for now they can be used more frequently.
It feels like I'm handling a sensitive nuclear bomb, and I'll do my best not to trigger and blow it up.


6. Chakram – DPU 7%


During the entire time of writing this “manifest”, I've been horrified by the fact that I would have to write about this skill because I clearly stated that I'd write about all the skills. Because honestly, I got absolutely no idea what it's for. That 7% is mainly only because of Shuriken Cloud, and that's the only rune that has a clear concept compared to all the others, that don't differ from one another, except for flight patterns. They all deal damage, and do absolutely nothing else. Choosing a different rune merely only affects the flight pattern of the projectile, the damage of each being very similar with one another. This skill seriously lacks imagination in terms of mechanics.
The idea of shurikens is a great concept for a Demon Hunter skill but in this game I have no idea what they are supposed to be. Because if a player wants similar damage, with similar hatred cost, with similar area of effect size, then they should probably just go for Multishot – Fire at Will, and that's a lot easier to target as well. And it hits the targets faster.

Execution: ?

I'm honestly out of understanding of what this skill is supposed to be, I just don't know. I'd need to understand the purpose first to rate it even as a 1 (meaning that it doesn't deliver or reach its goal), but since it's a complete mystery to me, I can't judge how it delivers anything because I don't know what it's supposed to deliver. It's like asking a blind man if he thinks apples in the basket are red enough; he doesn't even know what the color red looks like.

So why choose Chakram and/or any of its runes? The skill is very difficult to use due to its targeting. For now, there are far better alternatives for a damaging hatred spender with similar hatred costs than this one. The skill is in serious need of overhauling of the mechanics.

First the skill has to be made distinctive. Chakram needs something unique as a skill that makes it distinctive and different from all other skills.
The first thing that comes to my mind of chakrams and shurikens is that they deal a nasty kind of damage. Check Wikipedia for chakrams, those babies would deal the kind of injuries that leave a lot of open wounds, right? So:

-Keep the basic skill with no rune as it is, but
-add bleeding damage of 100% over 4 seconds to anything it hits, that applies to every rune except Shuriken Cloud.

I did it again, I'm a genius. With such a small add, Chakram really stands out as a unique skill, and at the same time buffs the damage of the skill, and it makes it easier to use: as it is now, the Chakram hits an enemy for x% damage, and then the DH has to spam more of them. Those might not even hit the monsters that the DH is aiming for, but if they start bleeding, the damage is evened out for the group. Once it hits, it “takes care” of the target for the next 4 seconds. This way the Demon Hunter can acquire new targets to make them bleed as well, all this being done while the previously hit monsters bleed it out.
Bleeding damage really fits the image of the skill and the Demon Hunter as well: think about spamming these badboys and watching the monsters bleed to death, that feels like something the Demon Hunter would want to see happening. Sounds awesome!
Although now as it deals more damage, and since the hatred generation was increased earlier, the hatred cost is a little low in my opinion:

-increase the hatred cost from 10 to 13

That balances it out a bit. I would already use this skill for that tiny add, it just sounds much more awesome now. But that little tweak didn't affect anything else than the damage, and the fact that it has a unique feature. Runes still don't differ much from one another. Since I already buffed the damage in the form of bleeding, I won't touch the basic damage of runes anymore.
I'll keep the flight pattern and damage of each rune nearly the same as they are today (however with the bleeding element added), but add a clear function to each rune to make them different.

Twin Chakrams – DPU 11.43%

Right after Shuriken Cloud, this is the most used rune of Chakram, because if targeted correctly, it hits the enemy for 114% damage 4 times.
This rune hits multiple enemies. More than other runes. With that in mind I'd add the following feature to this rune:

-increase damage from 114% to 125%
-increase the bleeding damage done to enemies from 100% to 200% over 4 seconds
-the bleeding effect does not stack

So now this runes purpose is the real damage dealer over time. Since it has the biggest AoE the bleeding effect is considerable. Just watch the enemies bleed and die.

Serpentine – DPU 2.86% (1 player)

This moves slower and deals far bigger damage on hit, so that makes me think of a slow, inevitable death. Since it's poison damage as well, I think that a fitting feature added would be:

-remove the bleeding damage over time
-in addition to the 230% damage on hit, add a feature that when the projectile is in contact with an enemy, it deals 260% weapon damage per second as poison

Looks interesting, and I imagine that it would work great against large linear groups in a poisoned form of a circular saw. This would work great against slowed or immobilized enemies. For example combine this with Entangling Shot and select Cull of the Weak as a passive, and watch as the enemies are being sawed into pieces. At the expense of projectile travel speed and targeting, this rune deals massive damage.

Razor Disk – DPU 2.86% (1 player)

Hands down the easiest Chakram to target against specific single enemies, and that's why I think this is the one that works the best. It flies directly to the targeted location at relatively decent speed and only then starts spinning in a circular motion.
Although the rune itself is not bad and it works quite well on MP5 for example, there are better alternatives for a hatred spender than this one.
This rune, like all others if not mentioned otherwise, would of course get the bleeding damage feature, but as for this rune as a special ability:

-critical hits grant 1 discipline

So I kind of integrated the passive Night Stalker to this rune, only with a 100% chance to trigger. Now it really gives a reason for a player to use this skill and get 1 passive skill slot empty to be used for some other passive skill. That does sound appealing, but still the function is very different than other runes of this skill and in my opinion shouldn't make other runes useless.

Boomerang – DPU 6.25%

Nice damage, lacks range, deals lightning damage. I immediately came up with this:

-Boomerang has a 40% chance to stun the enemies for 3 seconds

It requires to stay quite close for Boomerang lacks the range, but this makes sure that enemies that are near to you won't get any further. Now this rune has a clear role amongst other Chakram runes. Remember that now the rune also has the bleeding effect, as the base skill mechanics was changed earlier.

Shuriken Cloud – DPU 78.12%

Creates a “shield” of shurikens around the DH that lasts for 120 seconds, but where on earth is the user interface buff icon? Something so simple is forgotten, that's just plain sloppy and careless. Blizzard, add that please.
Wondering why the DPU% is so high? Why do players use this skill at all? On its own the skill is not that great, it's for tanking because it doesn't have any range at all. The reason players use this skill is snapshooting. If you pop up Shadow Power first and then use this once, it grants you 15% life steal (25% with Shadow Power – Blood Moon) for 2 minutes, from 34% weapon damage, per each second. Without this feature, this skill would be absolutely useless. But because snapshooting exists, I'm not going to touch this except:

-increase damage from 34% to 110%

Now it's better, and even without snapshooting grants decent damage. With snapshooting however, this is a very viable life steal source. I tried the following build on MP9:


It worked quite well, but there are still better ones for survival or damage-wise, but still this was an interesting build. I'll explain soon how it works but if Strafe damage got buffed, and Shuriken Cloud s damage got buffed, this could very well be a very viable build even on higher MP than 5 with the right amount of resistances. Here's how it works:

1. Summon Bat Companion for that extra hatred regeneration.
2. Use Shadow Power – Gloom already in town
3. Pop up Shuriken Cloud while Shadow Power is on. Now you have 15% life steal of 34% weapon damage per second when at close range for 2 minutes regardless if you use Shadow Power again or not
4. Go hunting
5. when encountering enemies, pop up Shadow Power again
6. while Shadow Power is on, start Strafing and stay close to enemies. Now you have an additional 15% life steal from Strafe for as long as you can keep Strafe going
7. When running out of hatred, use Preparation – Punishment to refill before it runs out completely
8. Keep Strafing. If however something breaks the channeling, use Shadow Power once, and start channeling Strafe again
9. If running into a tight spot, Strafe away to get some distance, or if enough discipline, pop up Gloom for 35% damage reduction
10. Kill

Even if without a single hatred generator, this build can keep the resources up relatively easy without running into any bigger problems. If you run out of resources however and there's no health globes around for Vengeance (happens from time to time), just fire a few Entangling Shots to gain fast hatred to Strafe again.
You don't have to worry about discipline regeneration, Night Stalker takes care of that, so you can use Punishment all over and over again to refill your hatred pool for nonstop Strafing. It is advisable to stay as close to the enemies as possible (for as long it doesn't get you killed), for maximum amount of discipline regeneration from both Shuriken Cloud's and Strafe's critical hits, and life steal. When you think about it, the gameplay looks very similar to a WW-Barb.
If you run into trouble for not getting enough critical hits, acquire gear that grant +x% critical hit chance to Strafe, and you're on your way.
Imagine this build if dual wielding was buffed. Then you could replace the Passive skill Perfectionist with Archery for an extra 10% critical hit chance, with a lot of attack speed. This build would be kickass. But I'm getting carried away here, back to the topic at hand.
I'm not saying that this is an ideal build for higher MP, at least not at the moment because of the weakness of Strafe (I'll be tweaking Strafe ahead to make this build for example, much more viable). This was just an example of how to use Shuriken Cloud, and an example of a build that it's included in.

I'm so relieved that I'm done writing about this skill now. I hope that in your opinion I came up with some interesting ideas. If however you have better ones, I'd be more than glad to hear about them! Moving on...
Edited by Juicypus#2757 on 5/17/2013 3:41 PM PDT
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7. Cluster Arrow – DPU 16%


The high cost, high damage dealing skill of the Demon Hunter. I've always felt that this is the Hammer of the Ancients for the DH, but it costs so much more than HotA. And that's the problem. Most DH-players feel that it costs too much, 50/125 of the hatred pool is a hurtful chunk. Even when using Vengeance and Grenadier skills as passives, it's still 40/150. Still a lot for a skill that deals 225% damage instantly (yes it does release 4 grenades that each deal 100%, but even the hatred cost is a lot).
As for the idea and the image of the skill, it feels powerful to release an arrow of the likes of a bomb-hammer, and it sounds like it really hurts the enemy when fired.

Execution: 3

The image is great, but compared to the damage inflicted, it costs too much hatred to be considered worth using. I'm aware that items exist that reduce the hatred cost of this skill, but even when those items are acquired and equipped, there are still better builds than the one including Cluster Arrow and Grenadier.
So without question the hatred cost and the damage modifier has to be balanced out a little, but by how much without making this skill overpowered? I came up with:

-reduce the hatred cost from 50 to 40
-increase the damage of Cluster Arrow from 225% to 304%
-add a feature similar to Barbarian's skill Hammer of the Ancients: gain 1% critical hit chance for every 10 hatred that you have (Barbarians need 5 fury for 1%)

So now it's the same thing as a default as when using Grenadier and Cluster Arrow – Loaded for Bear (without the critical hit element), with slightly less hatred cost. I borrowed the critical hit factor from the Barbarian's HotA skill, and because of the high cost that Cluster Arrow has, a Demon Hunter is very rarely at full hatred to get the most out of this feature, unlike the Barbarian that can keep the furypool at 100% almost 100% of the time.
From my eyes, this only sounds fair, because even if the DH could have the hatred pool at 100% for 100% of the time, this tweaked version of Cluster Arrow wouldn't be on par with Hammer of the Ancients: it has less critical hit chance and deals less instant damage.
I tested it with Bat Companion to simulate the tweaked version of base hatred regeneration that I listed earlier on this post, and it doesn't seem like an overshoot to me. For a powerful skill it should not be allowed to be spammed endlessly, and I couldn't do that. It feels reasonable.
Some of you might think otherwise, that this is an overshoot and overpowered, but remember the shape the DH class is in compared to other classes. Hammer of the Ancients for example costs 20 less resource, and deals 21% more instant damage. It needs tweaks like this to be competitive on high monsterpower levels.

The functions of the runes, to my luck, are already quite clear and each has a relatively unique function. But most players still use Loaded for Bear and to my surprise Cluster Bombs, and because of that the rest of the runes have to be improved a little:

Dazzling Arrow – DPU 1.25%

Since the base damage of the skill is increased, the runes should already be evened out a bit. Now each rune variant deals the same 304% which is very considerable and doesn't make Loaded for Bear a no-brainer.
This rune is quite simple to tweak. So, it's supposed to stun enemies? Let's make that feature worthwhile:

-increase the chance for enemies being stunned from 55% to 70%
-increase the duration of stun from 2 to 3.5 seconds

I think that now the rune is a much more valid option. 70% chance and 3.5 seconds sounds plenty sure, but remember that these things can't be spammed in a manner like many other skills that stun enemies, and that the grenades of this rune that do stun, hit randomly and can't really be targeted.

Shooting Stars – DPU 1.25%

The damage of the rockets is good as it is, the number of rockets isn't in my opinion. It works well against medium sized groups, like elites for example. However with the upcoming tweaks to the passive skill Ballistics in this post later on, this skill is a very good solid option against even bigger groups.

-increase the number of rockets from 3 to 4
-make it so that 1 enemy can get hit by a maximum of 1 rocket (not sure if it's like this already, couldn't tell during testing. This is because I don't want to make this a single target ability)
-increase the range of the rockets slightly

The tooltip gives no information about the range of the rockets, but when I was testing it on MP8, it felt that they fall a little short, hence the above adjustment suggestion.

Maelstrom – DPU 0%

The DPU is 0% only because of the skill Shadow Power. Why use other lifestealing skills when Shadow Power – Gloom is nearly mandatory, and it grants 15% lifesteal as a side effect?
But as I did already change the hatred cost and upped the damage by some, this rune is already fixed because it now fires more frequently.
I tested the skill, and 4% is more than plenty for a high damage inflicting skill. Any more than that would be close to useless because the health pool is not that big.
So instead of tweaking this rune, I'll be tweaking Shadow Power ahead a little bit. And yes, I'm warning you guys already, those tweaks are not going to be all buffs.

Cluster Bombs – DPU 38.75%

This rune really surprised me when I was testing it. I immediately checked the DPU% after a while, and I was surprised again of how useful this rune is. It inflicts huge damage against groups and especially large single targets. The targeting is a little difficult, but the damage is magnificent.
It doesn't matter to which distance you click to attack, it always lands to the same distance.
I won't change this rune at all. It's so good. If targeted correctly, it deals 920% weapon damage with just one shot against a single target. This is difficult, and it does have a delay, but it's still possible.
I won't touch this monster of a rune, the DPU% is high enough already. I suggest you try it out.

Loaded for Bear – DPU 57.50%

A relatively clear winner of this skill, because of its high damage modifier. The function of the rune is very similar to Barbarian's skill HotA – Smash.
This rune gives the most value to the hatred spent, but since I reduced the base hatred cost, and increased the default damage of the skill, Cluster Arrow balances out. I'll just tweak this like so that it doesn't lose its purpose as a single target rune:

-increase the damage from 225% (304%) to 383%

The difference is the same as before, 79%. Because the default damage is higher now, the difference is not that noticeable and the rune isn't a no-brainer, but makes rest of the runes worth using over this one without making Loaded for Bear useless however.


8. Elemental Arrow – DPU 25.80%


Basically a fire arrow. A quite typical skill of a ranged class' arsenal, and there's nothing surprising about it. It does not remind me of a serious damage inflicting skill, but more of an average damage dealing missile. The idea is not revolutionary, but it was expected for the Demon Hunter to have a skill like this. Glad that it's in the game.

Execution: 3

As a hatred spender, the damage should be bigger. When comparing this to hatred generators, the damage is not that much different, and when comparing this to other hatred spenders, it's better to skip this and go for something else. Of course it also costs less hatred so it's spammable, but as I was testing this skill and its runes on MP5, it still felt that the damage was lacking, not to mention higher MP levels that I tried out.

-increase the damage from 155% to 195%
-increase the hatred cost from 10 to 13 (due to earlier hatred generating tweaks to balance it out)
-increase the projectile travel speed by 15-20% (except for Ball Lightning)

That was fairly simple, for the shape the skill was earlier, it was more or less a low MP skill. Increasing the damage brings this skill to be more viable when playing higher monster power levels.
It's called Elemental Arrow so it doesn't just include fire, that's where the runes partially kick in:

Ball Lightning – DPU 93.02%

Okay so, the DPU% of the entire skill in general is because of this rune. Seriously 93%? Either this rune is awesome, the others are severely lacking, or both.
This is without question the best AoE rune out of all the 5. In addition to that, the fact that it hits multiple times due to the slow traveling speed, it allows for a lot of discipline generation when paired up with Night Stalker.
Because this rune is already in a good place, I'm not going to touch it. I think it's awesome already, and 93.02% of players who use Elemental Arrow can't be wrong either. I already increased the base skill damage from 155% to 195%, and that should be enough for this one to make it viable on a high monster power level.

Frost Arrow – DPU 1.55%

Lightning is dealt with, now it's cold's turn. This one is better for kiting purposes, the damage has been increased for this one, but still it's not as good as Ball Lightning. So I'll keep the idea of freezing enemies and improve that idea a little:

-increase the damage from 170% to 195%
-increase the cold duration that affects movement speed of enemies from 1 to 3 seconds
And as something new:
-add a feature that enemies freeze completely for 1.5 seconds on a critical hit

Ta-da! I included the same system to this rune that Elemental Arrow – Lightning Bolts have! It's very fitting as well, and really makes this rune worth using now! It's one of the best hatred spenders now for kiting purposes.

Screaming Skull – DPU 0%

Okay what happened? No one uses this rune = useless. I can't blame them. Why on earth would anyone choose this one over the other hatred spenders? Nowadays there's no reason for doing that.
I remember that I used this in my build before the monster power times and before the Inferno difficulty was nerfed. Inferno was hard as hell back then, especially as a DH, so this rune allowed to buy some valuable time when killing elites. They never got to my DH, since they were always running away in fear.
Now however this is utterly useless and very frustrating to use. This rune needs to be scrapped and reconstructed completely from bottom to top. I'll do my best to come up with a more usable skill (or less useless :D), but I'll keep one element of the skill included, only slightly improved. Here we go:

Fire bolts of fire that deal 230% weapon damage as fire. Grants a 45% chance to fire a flaming ballista bolt that knocks enemies back, rooting them to the ground for 2 seconds.

Now it's not as frustrating to use, it would look more awesome, and feel more powerful to shoot a huge spear that penetrates enemies on its path, knocking them back out of sheer power of the bolt's momentum and impaling them to the ground.
I'm not sure if that 45% is an overkill, but gotta remember that the flight pattern is linear. Against bigger groups there's still better alternatives than this one. I think this could work.

Lightning Bolts – DPU 1.55%

Lightning and cold damages are dealt with, now it's-... wait what? Another lightning rune? Why? Especially when considering that the previous one, Lightning Ball, was totally kickass. Why add another lightning rune that's clearly not as good as the previous one?
As you saw earlier, I already included the effect of this rune in the previous Frost Arrow rune. That was the only interesting thing in this rune, and in addition to that, this one looks pathetic and crappy.
So once again a rune needs to be reconstructed, here's the new one:

Fire Arrows
Shoot fire arrows for 195% weapon damage that leave a trail of fire on the ground dealing an additional 420% weapon damage as fire over 3 seconds.

That one would be a super-interesting rune! I directly borrowed it from this video, at 2:28 and 2:46:


Because that's the actual trailer of the Demon Hunter, I can't believe the fact that I can't see that skill anywhere in the game. It's also funny that Elemental Arrow doesn't have fire arrow runes, only the standard skill with no rune fires arrows of fire.
This rune leaves the same kind of fire trail as Vault – Trail of Cinders. I would use the crap out of this skill. Blizzard please see this and implement this.

Nether Tentacles – DPU 3.88%

This used to be much more powerful before it was nerfed to the ground. It allowed to hit enemies multiple times like Ball Lightning does, but with life steal.
Now it feels very clumsy, and sometimes it feels as if it doesn't hit the monsters at all. I think they should bring it back to the same shape it was before nerfing, but at the expense of damage:

-make targeting the same as Ball Lightning
-reduce the damage from (195%) to 155%

It's not as damaging as the other runes, but grants much more survivability, and is easier to use again. Still on high monster power levels, it's far from a no-brainer due to its damage. I think this is a reasonable tweak.


9. Fan of Knives – DPU 2.20%


I'm very fond of this skill. Or at least would be if it would be worth using. I'll get to that in a second.
The idea of this skill is that it's the kind of a “last resort” maneuver when enemies get too close to you and need to do something radical fast. It's the kind of an offensive defensive skill. Whenever used, I always think of the DH saying: “You got a little bit too close. You should know that if you get too close to me, it'll hurt like hell. Not a smart move.”

Execution: 2

It's very clear that this skill needs something changed, already the DPU% states that. As the skill is now, it doesn't inflict the level of injuries worthy of a 10-second cooldown, and is therefore nowhere near worthy of reserving a skill slot.
I thought of numerous ways on how to improve this skill and make it worth a skill slot, and these are the options I thought about:

1. Remove the cooldown altogether.
So now it's a spammable skill, that doesn't sound too bad at all, but for a 320% weapon damage skill that costs 20 hatred, it's way too powerful in my opinion. So either the damage would had to be nerfed, which would get further away of the purpose of this skill, or increase the hatred cost, which gets further away as well as a last resort offensive defensive skill, because when in need of this skill, you usually wouldn't have enough hatred to use it.

2. Implement a mechanism that the cooldown of 10 seconds starts 1.5 seconds after the last use of this skill. The hatred cost would be increased to 30.
So not it's a semi-spammable skill, and can be spammed as long as the hatred pool lets it to be spammed. Again there's the same problem, when do players have enough hatred to spam this for 5 times with a 150 hatred pool? Very rarely., why not use other hatred spenders for damaging purposes? In addition to that, this mechanism sounds a bit too complicated.

3. Reduce the cooldown a little, and increase the damage dramatically. Remove the hatred cost.
Okay so now it fulfills its purpose, does huge damage at the expense of a cooldown, and players have to consider carefully when to use it. Because it doesn't have a hatred cost in this example, players can use it in a tight spot when monsters are close to you and ran out of resources. After much thought, this sounds like the best way to go to me.

So I'll change the numbers slightly in a way of example number 3 above, but the damage modifier gets the most attention:

-increase the damage from 320% to, wait for it... 830% (now it's the same as Monk's Wave of Light, and this can't be spammed like WoL. It's fair.)
-Reduce the cooldown from 10 to 8 seconds
-increase the duration of enemies slowed from 2 to 4 seconds
-increase the radius from 10 to 16 yards
-remove the 20 hatred cost

With those features, it's a difficult choice to go for this skill or some other, but still doesn't make it too powerful to be mandatory. It's much more worthy a skill slot now as before. It's not this desperate attempt to damage enemies for a little as a last resort just before you die anymore.
For those who think that 830% weapon damage every 8 seconds is too much and that same 8-second cooldown is too low for that amount of damage, remember that Monks have a way to spam their giant bell for 829% weapon damage. Without a cooldown. Nonstop. Infinitely. So trust me, 8 seconds for an 830% damage skill is very reasonable.
Notice that I increased the default radius to be almost the same as the rune Hail of Knives, and I'll list the changes to that rune below along with all others:

Crippling Razors – DPU 0%

The enemies slowed down by 80% instead of 60% for 2 lousy seconds isn't worth using. It has to be increased, but how on earth you increase it from 80%? Of course the default duration the enemies are slowed is already increased from 2 seconds to 4, so that helps a little bit to make this rune worthwhile but still it's lacking a tad. So adding a new feature:

-also grants a 40% chance that the enemies are immobilized for 2 seconds

There. Worth using.

Retaliate – DPU 0%

The concept is good, and due to the default cooldown this can be up at 100% of the time.
Because I increased the damage, I'll have to do the same here:

-increase the damage from 464% (830%) to 1400% (the increase is the same as before, ~ +69%)
-“reduce” the radius from (16) to 13 yards
-increase the cooldown from (8) to 10 seconds

I reduced the radius and increased the cooldown only because if I didn't, this skill would probably quickly be realized as mandatory. 1400% over 20 yards every 8 seconds is just way too overpowered.

Hail of Knives – DPU 100%

Oh wow, everyone who use Fan of Knives use this rune. That's the reason I increased the radius of the default skill to match this one, this was/is a complete no-brainer. At the time of writing this post, no other rune has a 100% user rate. Nerfing the radius of this rune did cross my mind, but instead I increased the radius for the rest of them.
Because it would be stupid to increase the radius even further, the mechanics of this rune has to be changed:

-remove the cooldown and add a 30 hatred cost
-reduce the damage from (830%) to 280%
-increase the radius from (16) to 20 yards (so in fact this rune doesn't change at all from that part)

Now it's a spammable hatred spender skill, and a skill-setup can be built around it. I thought about it for a long time of what amount of damage would be reasonable, and I ended up with 280%. If spammed for 5 times (from full hatred to 0), the total damage would be 1400%. Sounds like hell-of-a-lot, but the effectiveness of the skill is limited to its 20 yard radius.
280% damage for 30 hatred around 20 yards sounds like an interesting hatred spender, that can be built a whole build around. This should as well balance that 100% DPU a little.
Why not choose this rune over the other Fan of Knives runes since this can be used enough to deal more damage? Easy: this one costs hatred, the rest of them don't.

Fan of Daggers – DPU 0% (surprise)

Another stun skill. 65% chance however for a skill that can be used once every 10 seconds sounds pretty pathetic, because now there's a 35% chance to not get the effect of the rune at all, and that's way too much, just a bit over 1/3. The stun chance has to be buffed a lot to make this rune a valid choice, and a better rune for immobilizing purposes than the modified version of Crippling Razors:

-increase the chance to stun from 65% to 85%
-increase the stun duration from 2 to 2.5 seconds

Now it offers a solid backup plan in case of an emergency, to get away from tight spots. It gives the player a “value of his/her money”.

Assassin's Knives – DPU 0%

I'm not sure if anyone reading this have actually taken the time to give this rune a try, but in case you haven't, you're not missing much. The extra 5 knives travel so slow and don't deal enough damage. It should be as fast as the skill Impale, and the damage should be higher:

-increase the travel speed of the 5 knives to the level of Impale's projectile travel speed
-increase the damage of the 5 knives from 70% to 170%

For a skill that can be used once every 8 seconds, this isn't an overkill at all. Plus now I think that it's on par with the other runes as well.

With those changes this skill seems a powerful skill but it's still limited by its cooldown, but it's not as excruciating as before and gives the player a difficult decision on whether to choose this skill over the others to reserve a whole skill slot. In addition to that, none of the runes fight the other hatred spenders as being overpowered.


10. Impale – DPU 2.60%


It doesn't take a genius to realize that this is a single target skill and that it has no AoE element at all. This skill is meant for one purpose: to completely @#%!#*#% a single target. Needless to say that against groups this isn't the weapon of choice, but if running into a powerful enemy, this ability makes quick work out of it.

Execution: 2

With that in mind, the skill does have a few flaws: targeting and damage. The reason almost no one uses this skill is because it takes a valuable skill slot away from skills that better achieve the damaging of single targets. Since it does not have an AoE element at all, it's safe to increase the base damage of this skill. In addition to that, the targeting has to be improved:

-increase the damage from 265% to 530% (I took the damage modifier, and then doubled it!)
-improve the targeting so it actually hits the target that it's aimed at, regardless if there's enemies in the line of fire
-enemies in the line of fire have a 20% chance to take 265% weapon damage (50%)

Especially the latter 2 points are important. It's awful to use, and against goblins it's absolutely useless because it doesn't “penetrate” enemies in the line of fire; there's always some ugly mofo in the way, and since this is more or less of a skill that is meant to prioritize targets, this can't be accepted. This change would already make the skill much more usable, along with the remarkable damage-buff.
Notice that I'm not changing the hatred cost at all, reason is that the skill doesn't have any AoE, and therefore is not a valid “main hatred spender” but more to support a build in case for single targets that can really take a beating.
If you also compare the damage modifier to some other heavy-hitter that has a similar cost from other classes, you'll notice it's not overpowered:

-Monk, Lashing Tail Kick – 470% and has AoE
-Barbarian, Hammer of the Ancients (Smash) – 404% and has AoE

Impale does not have any AoE. I think this tweak to Impale is done within reason.
Now it really stands out as a powerful one-target skill, which is exactly what it's supposed to be. The skill became a solid elite-killer, and is suddenly a very considerable choice against elitepacks.

Impact – DPU 0%

Idea is to keep the target in place preventing it to either escape or do anything offensive.
The rune is in a decent place in my opinion, 1.5 seconds is enough, but 65% is not quite:

-increase the chance to stun from 65% to 70%

Now it fulfills its cause slightly better. The targets in the line of fire wouldn't be affected of this feature, only the primary target.
I'm not changing anything else about this one, and why is that? I think that this rune is in a very decent shape, but how come there's a DPU of 0% then? Reason is because of the next rune.

Chemical Burn – DPU 84.62%

The reason so many players who use Impale in the first place and use this rune is because of the base damage modifier of the skill, 265%. This rune give 220% bleeding damage over a 2-second period, which is exactly 83.02% increase in damage. That's a total of 486% weapon damage in 2 seconds.
I'm not going to change this much either. The fact that I increased the base damage modifier of the skill by 100%, the difference in damage of this rune compared to the base skill is now 41.51% instead of 83.02%.
That is also a very sizable increase in damage, and still stands out a little too well outperforming other runes. I'm not changing the 220% weapon damage much, but:

-increase the bleeding damage from 220% to 225%
-increase the bleed duration from 2 to 3 seconds

Now instead of 110% bleeding damage per second, it deals 75% bleeding damage per second, and that balances the rune out a little bit compared to others lowering the DPU%.

Overpenetration – DPU 7.69% (1 player)

A rune that's supposed to increase (or in this skill's case, add) the AoE factor.
As I increased the damage modifier of the base skill by doubling it, this rune as it is now, would become way too useful; I don't know about you, but 530% to everything in the line of fire sounds way too much in my opinion.
Because of that the rune needs a bit of a nerf and mechanics-tweak to be balanced with other runes:

-enemies in the line of fire have a 75% chance to take 265% weapon damage (50%)

As it was before, the rune had a 100% chance to pierce through all targets, and that was completely allright considering the damage modifier of 265%, but 530%? That would cause not only other runes of this skill to become useless but many other skills would quickly become obsolete as well.
The name is also still very fitting, and so the rune still serves its purpose.

Awareness – DPU 0%

This skill looks awesome as ****. It releases a weaker version of Fan of Knives at every click of the skill. But despite the cool looks, I can't blame the players for not using this skill, there's Chemical Burn after all.
To make this rune appealing amongst the runes of this skill and not making Fan of Knives underpowered, I'll tweak the following:

- increase the radius from 10 to 15 yards (tweaked version of Fan of Knives – Hail of Knives that can be spammed as well as this one, has a 20-yard radius.)
- increase the damage from 75% to 180% (tweaked version of Hail of Knives has 280%)
the damage of 180% and 530% do not stack!

Now Fan of Knives still is better for a close quarters purpose, but if when using this skill the player wants to add a valid close quarters feature, he/she can.
I don't want the damage from the knife and “Fan of Knives” to stack, because that would make this a no-brainer against single targets over Chemical Burn because it would deal more damage faster when at close range.

Grievous Wounds – DPU 7.69% (1 player)

The 100% weapon damage adds to the original base weapon damage, and is calculated in the way that in case of a critical hit, the damage is 365%, not 100% of 265% being 530%.
That fact alone makes this rune utterly stupid: why use this rune for the chance of a critical hit that gives me 365% weapon damage, when I can just choose the rune Chemical Burn that is guaranteed to give me 485% weapon damage over 2 seconds? He who came up with this rune didn't exactly think this one through, no offence intended.
So needless to say the numbers of this rune has to be adjusted a little to make it a difficult choice over Chemical Burn, and trust me, I calculated this one carefully:

-increase the additional damage on a critical hit from 100% to 250%

That number is based on numerous reasons, and I ended up with the golden mean when they're all taken into account. I calculated this with a hypothetical critical hit chance of 50% (which is relatively easy to achieve).
I also know that critical hit chance also applies to the bleed effect of Chemical Burn (hit a monster with Reflects Damage-affix in-game with Chemical Burn, and I took more damage on a critical hit than on a non-critical hit).

-every shot in average deals 125% additional weapon damage if critical hit chance being 50%
-+250% per a critical hit (which are the actual damage dealers in this game) is 25% more than the tweaked version of Chemical Burn, and it's instant damage instead of damage over time
-I don't want to make other runes obsolete by going too far with the additional damage on a critical hit

Between Chemical Burn and Grievous Wounds it is now a difficult choice and it's very hard to determine which rune is better in the instance of single target damage. The goal was that if the critical hit chance is high enough, Grievous Wounds should win slightly.

That's it for Impale. This skill could work so much better as a single targeting skill with the above tweaks, and it's frankly unbelievable what the shape of this skill is nowadays.
I would like to able to kill goblins above monster power 7, and this skill with the above adjustments made to it would be an excellent tool for that.


11. Multishot – DPU 7.20%


I'll say it right now that I'm a part of that 7.20%. This skill is just pure kickass. It's a very iconic skill, brought straight from Diablo 2 (only in that game it was called Multiple Shot).
For a class that specializes in archery, this skill fits in perfectly. I can only imagine the skill required to execute such a feat. This skill suits the Demon Hunter excellently.
If Impale would be the sniper of the Demon Hunter skills, Multishot would be the shotgun, which does devastating damage at close range. And in addition to that, in my opinion it looks beautiful.

Execution: 4

For a skill that costs 30 hatred (down from 40, after a patch in the earlier days), it does not deal enough damage to be “devastating”. The skill functions well mechanically, but the resource cost in relation to the damage inflicted is not enough to really be a valid choice, which is the only reason (and a good one) why most players who use Multishot (myself included) use the Fire at Will rune which reduces the hatred cost to 15.
15 hatred cost sounds much more reasonable. I think Multishot and all its runes should cost 15 hatred. But since I increased the rate of hatred regeneration and upped the hatred generated from generating skills earlier, I'm suggesting this instead along with a damage-buff:

-reduce the hatred cost from 30 to 20
-increase the damage from 165% to 240%

Does the damage seem a lot? Well it's not: in relation to the tweaked version of Elemental Arrow which now costs 12 hatred as shown earlier, and has a damage modifier of 195%, this skill that now costs 20 should have a damage modifier of 325%. Instead I increased it to 240%, because it is more of an AoE skill than Elemental Arrow, hitting more targets with one shot. I don't want to make Elemental Arrow useless. Against a single target, Elemental Arrow in the end does more damage with the amount of hatred available.
And as for the runes, especially the first one is important:

Fire at Will – DPU 63.89%

“Only” 63.89%, and that's due to the Suppression Fire rune. If it wasn't for that rune, this would be used by almost 100% of Multishot users.
The reason so many players use this rune is because of the obvious, this gives the most value to the hatred spent. And since I already reduced the base hatred cost of the skill from 30 to 20, 15 seems like not worth of a rune, and 10 would be too low considering the hatred regenerating aspects earlier on this post.
I'll keep the hatred cost as the same as every other rune has, to balance the DPU% of runes. So now this rune needs a different function than hatred cost reduction:

-increase the hatred cost from 15 to 20
-increase the attack speed by 20% for 1.5 seconds after using Fire at Will

I'm a genius. Now it's more balanced with other runes, it opens up new build options, and the name of the rune still fits. It should also add a UI icon for that 1.5 seconds. My work is done here.

Burst Fire – DPU 0%

A burst so powerful that it releases a shock wave around the shooter. It sounds like a great idea. Too bad that it's not that powerful. Damage being only 65% is really pathetic, and is nowhere near on par with other runes of this skill.
The idea, as I said, is great, so I'll just buff the damage and add a special feature:

-increase the damage of the shock pulse from 65% to 190%
-shock pulse has a 35% chance to knock enemies back

It's really fitting, and now it's a valid rune: it gives the Demon Hunter a chance to shoot in peace.

Suppression Fire – DPU 30.56%

As I reduced the hatred cost of the skill, that has a side-effect: now this skill is too powerful and this would probably be used excessively, since the skill in general is far more spammable. I'm sorry for doing this, but I honestly believe that I'm doing the right thing:

-every enemy hit has an 90% chance to grant 1 discipline (down from 100%)

Seriously, I think it's reasonable and the right thing to do in order to balance the runes out. Don't worry, the rune is still very powerful! I did that only because I love the skill in general and don't want it to be broken because of one rune.

Full Broadside – DPU 5.56%

(On a sidenote, either the description in the link I provided about the damage of 215% is wrong, or the in-game tooltip about the damage of 214% is wrong. I'll go with 214% here.)

Okay, where to begin. The idea itself of a rune that increases damage for delivering a heavier blow sounds just fine. The problem of this rune isn't the rune itself, but the fact that the Fire at Will rune exists.
Fire at Will, as it is now, costs 50% less than Full Broadside, and deals 77% of total damage of Full Broadside. Err what? So, Full Broadside costs more, and deals less damage in relation to Fire at Will when calculating the hatred cost. Why use Full Broadside to fire 214% damage once for 30 hatred, when I can use Fire at Will twice to deal a total of 330% damage for the same hatred cost of 30?
This rune was by far the hardest and most time consuming for me to adjust. As I reduced the hatred cost already from 30 to 20 and increased Fire at Will to match this, I first thought that because the purpose of this rune is to deal more damage, I'll build on that concept.

I wanted the rune to be this high resource cost, heavier damage dealing skill as it was before comparing to Fire at Will, but I wanted to also make it a difficult choice to go for either one.
First I thought about increasing the hatred cost from 20 to 40, and deal twice the damage. I quickly found out that I had to scrap that idea and that it was completely the wrong approach: doubling the damage would cause the damage modifier to be a total of 470%, which with a paper DPS of nearly 300k and critical hit damage being about 350-400% would deal over a million criticals to everything in front of you and making many other hatred spenders useless and obsolete.
That's way too overpowered, so I thought about decreasing the damage a little, but as I kept decreasing it I realized that that concept doesn't work, it would cause the situation to be exactly as it is now between Fire at Will and Full Broadside.

I understand very well that Blizzard didn't double the damage compared to Fire at Will, but what I don't understand is that they didn't do anything to change the rune to make them balanced with each other.
I did that for them instead. I went back to the drawing board, and came up with this:

-increase the damage from 214% (240%) to 265%
-increase the hatred cost from 30 (20) to 25 (hope you understood. It costs 5 more hatred than the rest of the runes)
-add a 35% chance to knockback enemies

There. I'm actually very proud of this one. It deals heavier damage now, but costs more hatred. However when calculating the damage and what it would be in straight relation to the hatred cost, it's in fact lower: the hatred cost got a 25% increase, but the damage only got a 12.76% increase. If I wanted to add a “correct” damage compared to the hatred cost, then the damage modifier would be 293.75%. That's too much; remember that the adjusted Cluster Arrow deals 304% and costs 10 more hatred, so in this case that's 1 useless skill because of Full Broadside.
So I added the knockback feature, a bit over 1/3 chance for a knockback to occur sounds reasonable, and now the name sounds fitting as well as a more powerful blow. A blow so powerful it knocks enemies back.

Arsenal – DPU 0%

What comes to my mind about this skill that this would be the best Multishot rune as a tool against a few, more powerful foes, such as elite packs!
Rapid Fire – Fire Support got a huge damage buff to the rockets, and this should get no less treatment. If this rune is supposed to be the elite-killer of the Multishot skill, then:

-increase the rocket damage from 60% to 155%

Now it serves as a good elite-killer, and I can imagine this rune being widely used for that purpose.
Rapid Fire – Fire Support rocket damage is 145% after the 1.0.8 patch, but before that it was (is in my case) 35%. It's far lower than Arsenal's 60%, so that's why it's slightly more now as well.
You got to remember that I did decrease the hatred cost of this skill, so the rocket damage is not as much in relation to the Fire Support rune than it was before.
With elite-killing in mind, I can imagine it to be a difficult choice choosing between Rapid Fire- Fire Support and Multishot – Arsenal. Just as it's supposed to be.

As a Multishot user, I paid extra attention to the tweaking of this skill and its runes. After hours of thinking about this part of the skill section, I'm very pleased with the numbers and mechanics that I came up with, and I have no doubt that they wouldn't work in-game.


12. Rain of Vengeance – DPU 13%


The last unlock of active skills for the Demon Hunter, wow, this must be really shockingly awesome! And it does look good. It's a very iconic skill, and is supposed to be THE skill for the Demon Hunter.
When I first saw the video in the skills page before D3 was released, I thought that this is going to be one of my active skills 90% of the time. The concept is just too awesome, too bad that the skill is not worth a skill slot due to the damage compared to the cooldown. Why use this skill for 715% each 30 seconds, since I can just use Fan of Knives – Hail of Knives for 320% each 10 seconds? In 30 seconds Hail of Knives has dealt 960% weapon damage. So for damaging purposes, Rain of Vengeance is not ideal (excluding the runes for now).
I'm aware that this skill isn't actually a hatred spender, but I feel that this is the most fitting section to include it in.
The idea of the skill is great and hats off to the developers for coming up with such a skill: it's like bringing a real ****storm down upon the enemies. Each time I'm about to click the mouse to use this skill makes me want to shout out:


Execution: 2

It doesn't deliver well enough. It should be this massively damaging, destroying and killing ability, but as it is now, in addition to the damage not being as noticeable as it should be, it does have some mechanical missteps. I'll list the improvements for a higher execution rating below like so:

-increase the duration of the skill from 5 to 8 seconds
-increase the damage over time from 715% to 2002% (notice the 3-second increase)

A little bit of math: I gave the damage per second a 75% increase, and also increased the duration:

(5/8) * 100 = 62.5
715 / 0.625 = 1144
1144 * 1.75 = 2002

So now the damage per second is 250.25% (2002 / 8) instead of 143% (715 / 5) and that to me sounds very very, very reasonable and acceptable as a high-damage-dealing skill with a cooldown of 30 seconds.
Some of you might think that why so much while Barbarian's Earthquake does about the same damage over the same duration, but can be used once every 2 minutes? I think that Earthquake should be a lot more as well. For a 2 minute cooldown, it should be. They would either have to increase the damage 4 times (not a good idea), or reduce the cooldown to 30 seconds (good idea).

So now this skill is worth thinking about, and the video that I provided walks hand in hand with this skill! It can be used only once every 30 seconds, but my god does it get its work done now. With a 30-second cooldown a player must consider carefully when to use this skill, because it's impossible to spam around. 2002% weapon damage over 8 seconds is reasonable for the iconic skill that it is.

Still sounds that 2002% over 8 seconds is too much? Think about it this way: the skill can be used only once every 30 seconds, so in theory the damage per second is 66.73% (2002 / 30), but instead all that damage is packed into an 8-second period. During the rest 22 seconds, this skill is just an empty skill slot and useless. If that still doesn't sound reasonable to you, then I don't know what to say.

Dark Cloud – DPU 5.97%

Pretty much the same function as the base skill, only less random and lasts longer.
Some might question the damage being only slightly more than the base skill, but those who think this way have got to remember that they are guided arrows (which could work better in my opinion), and therefore more effective in theory.
Although when put into practice, this rune's targeting is not good enough, and is still clumsy and isn't respondent enough.
Now as for the the math: the damage per second of the base skill is 143% (715 / 5), and this rune has a damage per second of 66% (792 / 12). So compared to the base skill, this rune does 46.15% of the total damage done per second. That's a bit too low, even for guided arrows.
I'm not going to touch the duration at all, because of the 30-second cooldown. If I increased the duration, this skill could be kept up and active almost half the time. Instead I'll increase the damage a bit:

-increase the damage from 792% to 2312% (This is very carefully calculated, I'll elaborate below)
-improve the targeting to be more respondent to the movement of the player and less random

The total damage per second compared to the tweaked version of the base skill is now 67% instead of 46.15%, so I increased that a bit to balance the rune out compared to others. Here's the math:

Base skill's damage 715% over 5 seconds = 143%/sec (715 / 5)
Dark Cloud damage 792% over 12 seconds = 66%/sec (792 / 12)

66% weapon damage of 143% weapon damage = 46.15% ((66 / 143)*100)

I increased that 46.15% to 77% to bring it closer to par with other runes.

The new base skill damage is 2002% over 8 seconds = 250.25%/sec (2002 / 8)
77% of 250.25% weapon damage/sec = 192.6925% weapon damage/sec (250.25 * 0.77)
192.6925% weapon damage per second for 12 seconds = 2312.31% weapon damage (192.6925 * 12)

So in fact the damage per second is lower, even though the overall damage is slightly higher compared to the base skill without any rune.
If you try this rune in-game you will see that it's nowhere near as effective as the base skill without a rune.

Beastly Bombs – DPU 68.66%

Probably the reason so many players choose this rune over the others is that this has the highest overall damage. 20*245% = 4900% weapon damage. Wow that's a lot.
However because I buffed the base skill enormously, this needs a little boost as well. The DPU% though is very high already, so I won't be boosting this as much as I did to the base skill.

-increase the number of shadow beasts from 20 to 30
-reduce the damage of each bomb from 245% to 185%

So now when triggering the skill, it lasts a little longer, just as I increased the base skill duration from 5 to 8 seconds.
I also decreased the damage a little bit only to balance it. As the skill is now, it deals a total of 4900% damage over a very short time period. I wanted to extend the duration of the skill, so I added more shadow beasts, but if they didn't have their damage reduced, the rune would deal a total of 7350% weapon damage. That's way too overpowered, so I had to reduce the damage to 185% weapon damage per bomb. Now it deals a total of 5550% weapon damage, and it's still huge.
The rune got a damage-buff of a total 650%, which is sizable.

Stampede – DPU 1.49%

When in a tight spot this skill works fairly well, but not as well that it should, now even close. It's very difficult to determine if the monsters are even going to be in that location after a while, and that's probably the reason it is so unused. The damage needs a boost, the targeting needs a boost, and pretty much everything needs a boost, so:

-decrease the damage of each shadow beast from 120% to 100%
-increase the number of shadow beasts from 10 to 20
-have the beasts target enemies instead random locations, so the player is allowed to move and not stay put.

The overall damage of the skill is higher due to the increased number of shadow beasts. Now the skill is far easier to target, as it doesn't need targeting at all, but instead the skill does it for you. They are like homing shadow beasts that deal low damage but ease the fighting for the Demon Hunter, knocking enemies back hit by hit.

Anathema – DPU 7.46%

I can't believe that the DPU% is that high. 5 players in fact use this. It's nearly impossible to target correctly. The only reason that I can come up with, that it seemingly deals the most damage (this is not the case, Beastly Bombs deal the most damage of 4900% total), and that this lasts for 15 seconds. The damage per second is 220%. Sounds like enough, but the targeting is so awful that it sure as hell doesn't feel like 220%.
I wouldn't change the damage at all. It's the targeting that has a problem, and that's a big one!

-when summoned for 15 seconds, the beast follows the Demon Hunter around above him/her
-add a small amount of AoE to the bombs for more reliable hits

As it is now, the beast stays put for 15 seconds. This forces the Demon Hunter to stay put as well, since the best way for this rune to deal damage is being straight above the enemies. That's actually probably the reason even 7.46% use this. Those 5 players must have some kind of a tanking build, and they stay put anyway.
This tweak allows the Demon Hunter to move while this is up without wasting it. The damage didn't need to be changed since it fixes itself as the targeting is improved to actually hit the enemies.

Flying Strike – DPU 14.93%

This rune, I feel, is probably meant as a stationary single target ability. Again, the idea is good, but it's the targeting that's lacking. It's amazingly difficult to predict the location of the monsters in 5 seconds.
I'll keep the damage almost the same in relation to the base skill damage modifier which is now 2002%, but I'll improve the targeting a little:

-increase the number of shadow beasts from 8 to 10
-change the targeting so that the shadow beasts land on a targeted foe instead of a targeted location
-increase the damage of each shadow beast from 100% to 200%

The straight relation of the damage of each shadow beast compared to the base skill's damage would be 225%, so it is in fact a little weaker compared to the base skill as before. Still that's 2000% every 30 seconds to a single target. Amazing against goblins for example.

Some of you might think that the above changes are absurd and are too much damage-wise, and therefore I tried to be as calculative and reasonable as I possibly could to show that in my opinion the numbers I showed are not an overkill at all for a skill that has a 30-second cooldown.

If you do think that it's way too much, remember that if I replaced the skill slot with something else, let's say Ball Lightning for example, then with the APS of 1.91 that I have right now, I would deal a total of 8881.50% damage assuming that I could spam Ball Lightning for that entire time of 30 seconds. Now 2000%, or any other damage% of the tweaked version of this skill doesn't sound too outrageous after all.
Edited by Juicypus#2757 on 5/17/2013 4:55 PM PDT
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13. Rapid Fire – DPU 5.20%


I'm writing this part before the patch 1.0.8, where this skill received an enormous buff. If you're reading this before the release of that patch, then the link I provided shows the wrong damage modifier and the hatred cost. I'll write about this skill here as it is after the patch 1.0.8, and I'll be testing this skill in the PTR release. Since this is written before the patch, the DPU% of each rune is based on those prepatch specks of the skill, and do not tell the real numbers.

I think that this skill along with Multishot, Strafe, Rain of Vengeance and Evasive Fire is one of the most iconic skills of the Demon Hunter. If Strafe is the dual handguns, Multishot is the shotgun, Impale is the sniper, then this would definitely be the machine gun. It's so satisfying to let it rain upon enemies, the concept of it is brilliant: sacrifice mobility for heavy damage, like a machine gun with a bipod.

Execution: 5 (3 before the 1.0.8 patch)

So far the second skill and the first hatred spender that I grant an execution rating of 5. Before the patch the concept was great and all, and even worked to some degree, but still it wasn't powerful enough for a stationary skill.
After the patch however, and having tried it on the PTR release, this skill absolutely delivers, and fulfills its purpose as a machine gun of the Demon Hunter.
Because it's so dead on accurate and the rating is a 5 in my opinion, I'm not going to change one thing about the base skill mechanics, except the hatred cost but that's only because of my earlier base hatred regeneration tweak from 4 to 8/sec, so no actual difference is made when using this skill:

-increase the channeling cost from 6 to 10 hatred. Now it's the same as “before”, only 2 hatred more than the base hatred regeneration rate.

And as for the runes, they are in a fairly decent place and you'll see very little tweaking here and there. However I'll go through each one nonetheless, so let's get to it:

Withering Fire – DPU 34.62%

As the initial hatred cost is reduced, that opens up new possibilites on how to use the skill. Example of this would be getting into a good spot and start firing, vault away after a while and setting into a new spot and continue firing.
This rune allows for a bit of mobility and is a little more flexible to use than the rest of the runes. Just as the DPU% states, I think this rune works excellently and therefore I'll leave it alone.

Web Shot – DPU 3.85%

Only 1 player uses this rune, although I think the idea of this rune variant is very good. But since it's so underused, clearly something has to be done:

- increase the slow duration from 1 to 3 seconds

So now this rune allows to spam projectiles here and there on big groups as well, for kiting to be a little easier.

Fire Support – DPU 23.08%

This rune is in a very good place, especially after the 1.0.8 patch. This rune could very well be the best elite-killing skill of all the skills of the Demon Hunter, and that says a lot of the rune's uses. After the patch, it fires 2 rockets for 145% each, every second. That's huge, 290% every second, and that's just the rockets.
I won't change it at all. Best tool for a few/single targets.

High Velocity – DPU 26.92%

The rune is supposed to add an AoE element to this skill, and it's a good approach to that. However I've noticed against bigger groups the 40% starts to be a problem because it's not quite high enough. So in order to make this skill with this rune a valid choice as a main hatred spender even against groups:

-increase the chance to penetrate enemies from 40% to 45%

Now it's still not overpowered, but it stands out more as an AoE skill. It still hits the “front line” of enemies, only with slightly better odds.

Bombardment – DPU 11.54%

Before the patch this rune was awful. The targeting was frustrating because it didn't actually hit anything, the delay for the grenades to fall was crazy, and those two combined made this almost impossible to use. One had to be very skilled to predict the exact spot where the enemies would be at the time when the grenades fall on the ground.
However after the patch, one small tweak to the skill saves it entirely. They increased the radius of the grenades from 4 to 8, and suddenly it's a very valid choice for a rune of this skill. It works nearly flawlessly, so I'll leave this rune alone as well.

This skill is dead on. The base skill mechanics are great, and the runes are in fairly good balance with each other. Hats off to the Blizzard development team for inventing this skill, and the shape that the skill is (going to be) in patch 1.0.8. It did take a while, but you really nailed it on this one.

As a sidenote of the hatred cost of this skill from the patch 1.0.8 onwards, see the skill #16 Strafe, where I'm bringing up an interesting point concerning the hatred cost while channeling this skill.


14. Sentry – DPU 17%


As a trap-laying, grenade-throwing, crossbow-using, mobile and agile hunter, this skill couldn't be more fitting for this class. Setting one of these up and letting enemies run into it kind of reminds me of this legendary scene, enjoy the tension:


Those babies were 100% badass that would make quick work out of anything. You certainly wouldn't want to run into one of those.

Execution: 2

The shape the Sentries are in, they just feel so weak. They look weak, the damage is weak since they can't hit any criticals, they're just weak. They aren't used for their damaging capabilities at all, but for certain runes for defensive purposes, and I feel that that's not how it's supposed to be. They should resemble the sentry guns from the video that I provided above more than being what they are now.
To achieve that feeling of serious turrets, I thought about what I wouldn't want to run into in PVP, and I came up with this:

-increase the turret's APS to 4/sec instead of being the same as the character's APS (awesome!)
-increase the damage from 175% to 455% (it's not that much since they can't hit criticals)
-increase the hatred cost from 30 to 40 (much more powerful now, and the hatred regeneration rate has been increased as well)
-reduce the cooldown from 8 to 6 seconds

I increased the damage by 260% (175 * 2.6). With nearly 300k paper damage and 1.91 APS, 175% inflicts anything between 70-87k hits, so I figured 455% would do the job as getting ~200k hits through in average if the APS isn't changed, but since it is, the hits would be smaller but they would be more frequent.
As the APS is increased to a cool 4/second, the turrets feel really active instead of plain lazy. Now they are much more worthy of serious consideration as damage inflicting turrets than before. For a skill that costs 40 hatred, they should deliver serious damage in addition to defensive aspects.

Spitfire Turret – DPU 7.06%

The turret for pure damaging purposes, so of course the rockets should deal more damage to choose this rune over Guardian Turret for example. Even though I increased the base damage of the turret dramatically, the 30% damage from rockets isn't anywhere near enough to stand out as a damage turret.

-increase the damage from rockets from 30% to 455% (they can't hit criticals either)

The damage isn't much, again because critical hits don't occur. Now it just stands out as a damage turret, and now it's a more difficult choice whether to go for Spitfire turret or some other.

Vigilant Watcher – DPU 3.45%

I reduced the base cooldown already from 8 to 6, so that won't do. But in addition to that, a mere cooldown reduction even before tweaking, hasn't been enough for players to choose Vigilant Watcher over the others. It just allows you to put them up and running faster, but since they do weak damage, it's useless effort. It needs something else as well:

-reduce the cooldown from 6 to 2 seconds
-reduce the hatred cost from (40) to 30
-increase the maximum number of turrets to 3

So now they stand out for their “spammability” if you will. Just set turrets fast here and there, and let them do the job for you. Sounds neat, the Demon Hunter being a tinkerer and sort of a mechanic that relies on gadgets.
But as the first two runes are now tweaked, they both have the same basic idea: to deal damage, so which one to go for? Spitfire Turret can have 2 turrets up at a time, both dealing 455% weapon damage plus the rocket damage from both, another 455%. They can be set up slower, but ultimately deal more damage: Vigilant Watcher can have 3 turrets up at a time, each dealing 455% weapon damage.
So it's a difficult choice! Against more powerful foes I'd go for Spitfire Turret, and against larger groups I'd choose Vigilant Watcher, although both would perform perfectly well in both situations.

Chain of Torment – DPU 0%

Just as a sidenote, more players use the Sentry skill without any rune than this. No one uses this. And seriously I can't blame them much. This rune sounds great! The ability to have the “fire chains” affix sounds awesome, but it lacks the serious damage, and because of its “range”, it's difficult to kite enemies with this baby damaging them. Remember that it removes the ability to fire, and the only thing damaging enemies is the chain, so the damage should be bigger as well.

-increase the range of the chain from ~40 to 50 yards (measured it with vault to be around 40 at the moment)
-increase the damage from 125% to 525% (a 420% increase, 125 * 4.2)
-add a feature that in addition to a chain to emerge between the character and the turret, a chain is also created between turrets (for example, 2 turrets = 3 chains)

Those are all important tweaks, but especially the latter part of the list is very important. These tweaks to this rune would open up new very interesting ways to play the Demon Hunter, and would definitely give a notable boost to the DPU%.

Aid Station – DPU 6.90%

This one is clearly for defensive purposes, but there's a problem since there's Guardian Turret that gives much better defense than this one. They did increase the life regeneration rate from 1% to 2% in the patch 1.0.8, but I still feel that that's not enough for making it a difficult decision between Aid Station and Guardian Turret. So:

-increase the life regenerated per second from 1% (2% after patch) to 5%
-add a 5% lifesteal to allies and yourself within the circle of Aid Station

Right now the turret feels like, well, nothing much. When Aid Station is set up in the field, it doesn't actually matter if it's there or not. It should feel like: “ OH **** I'm going to die! YES AID STATION! Relief, I'll live to fight another day.”
Guardian Turret does that now, it gives the feeling of survival and safety if staying within the circle, Aid Station should do that as well. Now it's just plain weak and insignificant.

Guardian Turret – DPU 81.61%

The DPU% says it all. The reason that 17% of players use Sentry is mainly because of this rune. 15% damage reduction sounds amazing on a high monster power level, especially as a Demon Hunter which is a very fragile class.
In my opinion this rune doesn't need changing at all. 15% damage reduction is just fine as it is, so I'll leave it untouched.


15. Spike Trap – DPU 59.20%


This skill is completely broken. It's not only because of other skills lacking in performance and killing ability, but because of one rune which is the Echoing Blast. One would be stupid to not use that rune.
I can't believe that they haven't done anything to the rest of the runes, or fixed this in some other way. It's just being left there, and because of that my work here is going to be difficult to start fixing this skill from bottom to top. I'll do my very best, and everything I change is because I honestly believe it's for the better. So be warned, some of you might disagree with some of the points that I bring up and fixes/adjustments that I make.

The idea of powerful but clumsy mines sure sounds like an interesting idea, and as a trap-laying class this is very matching. Letting enemies walk into mines should result as a devastating blow. Seen what happens to a person after walking into a claymore? Me neither, but I hear and know that it's pretty nasty.

Execution: 1 (I'll explain below)

The only part of this skill that works without any other skills selected to compliment it (Custom Engineering) is the rune Echoing Blast. The rest don't do enough damage in relation to the clumsiness that this skill has. Because of the skill is broken on so many levels due to Echoing Blast, I had to rate it as a 1, even though Echoing Blast is very effective. The problem is that compared to other runes, it's way too effective, and makes every other rune completely obsolete. If it wasn't for Echoing Blast, this skill would probably have a DPU% lower than 5.
In order to enhance the effect of serious injuries being inflicted to enemies, the base skill needs to be adjusted as so:

-increase the hatred cost from 30 to 35 (only due to the base hatred regeneration rate increase from 4 to 8 and the default hatred pool being lifted from 125 to 150, and the damage of this skill that I'm about to suggest)
-increase the damage from 275% to 400%

So those two changes are to the base skill. As I thought about what damage modifier would be good for this skill I thought about the new Cluster Arrow and compared to that. I came up with the above 400% which is significantly more than the base damage modifier of the new Cluster Arrow (304%), and that's partially because of the hatred cost (new Cluster Arrow has 40, just 5 more than this), and the fact that this is much harder to use effectively because of the delay and targeting. In addition to that, we can't forget that Cluster Arrow has 4 smaller bombs as well, each dealing 100% damage. Over 400% would be a little too much, and less than 360% wouldn't be worth 35 hatred when Cluster Arrow exists.
Now for the runes, and those of you who use this skill in any form have probably thought and cheered about the above damage being increased, but I must warn you: you won't be too happy about the following.

Echoing Blast – DPU 97.30%

What I'm about to do to this rune, will probably make you who use this rune feel like fetching your pitchforks from your garage, but trust me when I say that I'm doing this only because of balancing reasons.
The DPU of this rune being 97.30% for a skill that over half of the players use proves that this rune along with the skill is utterly broken. It is way too overpowered compared to the other runes, and because of the mechanics of this rune this skill has the highest damage output of all the skills in relation to the hatred cost. This results in a playstyle that this class is not designed to be played.
Here's a very typical high monster power build:


That build does not work without a hatred spender that has a similar damage output compared to the hatred spent than Echoing Blast. This rune deals an overall 825%/30 hatred. Despite the clumsiness of this skill, that's way too much, making almost every other hatred spender obsolete. The fact that so many players use a build or something similar like the above, further proves that this class is in deep trouble and need for improvement.

The above build is NOT how the Demon Hunter was designed to be played!

Before I show you what I'd change about this rune (which is very reasonable), I'd like to make sure that you remember the tweaking that I've made to every other hatred spender, so that they would be more viable on a higher monster power level. Even without Spike Trap, the Demon Hunter should do very decent damage with these adjusted skills.
So here goes:

-decrease the number of explosions from 3 to 2
-decrease the damage per explosion from (400%) to 300%

The damage per blast is slightly more than before, but the number of explosions is less. This had to be done. Still the overall damage is 600%, which is plenty for an AoE skill that costs 35 hatred, and when considering the new hatred regeneration rate and the maximum hatred pool, this 35 hatred cost is very reasonable.
You should know that I did think about leaving this rune as it was, and instead buffing the other runes to be on par with this one, but I soon realized that they would also become way too powerful when compared to other hatred spenders. Of course, I'm going to buff other runes significantly, but this rune had to be brought down a little. It's still very powerful, and a very valid choice for being the main hatred spender, but it's not a no-brainer. Now it is in balance with the rest of the hatred spenders.
If you have read this post all the way up to this point, and still disagree with this change after reading about the rest of the runes of this skill below, then in all honesty, I'm sorry to say, there's something wrong with your way of thinking. No offence.

Sticky Trap – DPU 0.34%

Against single targets when there's no other targets around it's literally useless, but against bigger groups it's ideal. Especially when there's an elite-pack with a lot of trash mobs around, you stick this bad boy onto one weak mob and kill it, and anything within 16 yards didn't know what hit them.
It is difficult to use nonetheless, and as I said, it is just an empty skill slot against lone single targets.
The idea is great however, and I don't think that this rune needs much changing aside from a slight damage increase:

-increase the damage from 404% to 560%

The DPU% of this skill doesn't say much, because of Echoing Blast being used by a clear majority. I think this rune already works fairly well, it's just that Echoing Blast is so much better and this is left unused because of it.

Long Fuse – DPU 0%

Meaningless. Wait longer to get higher damage? Good. Use this to for 371% weapon damage when there's a rune that gives me an overall 825% weapon damage for the same hatred cost? Bad.
Why is this even here as I can just be smart and go for Echoing Blast?
But, since I nerfed and therefore fixed Echoing Blast along with the entire skill earlier, this rune doesn't need much changing. Only a relative damage boost compared to the base skill damage, and a little something else as well:

-increase the damage from 371% to 520%
-increase the explosion radius from 8 to 12 yards
-add a 75% chance for enemies caught in the explosion to be knocked back

Now it stands out as a rune that takes a while to trigger but in turn packs a huge punch. I'd use this.

Lightning Rod – DPU 0%

This rune has a lot of potential. Now as Echoing Blast is “out of the way”, this could be very powerful. As I increased the base skill damage modifier, this skill is already boosted a bit, but still I feel that it could use something else. Since it lacks the AoE element, and only hits a maximum of 3 enemies each, I feel that it needs something to balance that lack of AoE:

-(damage was increased from 275% to 400% earlier)
-add a 65% chance to stun enemies for 3 seconds

The mine has a distinct role out of all the rest, and is not too overpowered because it lacks the AoE.

Scatter – DPU 2.36%

I think that this rune is a very close relative of the present Echoing Blast: with just 30 hatred, you get 3 explosions each dealing 275% weapon damage. The difference is that Scatter can have a maximum of 3 explosions at a time, 1 from each mine, but Echoing Blast can have a maximum of 9 explosions, 3 from each. In addition to that, this can't be targeted as well as Echoing Blast, and there you have the reasons why this rune is left unused compared to Echoing Blast.
Ever tried this rune with Custom Engineering selected as a passive skill? It's awesome, if you haven't tried, I suggest you do. For just 60 hatred you can set a mine field of 6 mines in just under 2 seconds, each mine dealing 275% weapon damage. That works well.
However, as I increased the base weapon damage to 400%, this rune would quickly be realized as overpowered. The damage can't be as big as the base weapon damage, since that would mean a 400% explosion over an 8-yard radius that costs a little over 10 hatred each. Times 3, simultaneously. That's too much damage. So:

-“reduce” the damage of each mine from 400% to 300%

Now the damage is the same as the new Echoing Blast. Without Custom Engineering selected, just using Echoing Blast twice beats the damage dealt of this rune. One use doesn't. I think it's much more balanced now.

This skill was one of the hardest skills for me to tweak, for it being so broken because of one rune. The decision was hard to nerf it, but it had to be done in order for the rest of the runes to be equal with it. If your argument to this would be: “Why didn't you just buff other runes to be on par with it and leave EB alone?”, then here's the answer:
If I left Echoing Blast as it was, dealing a total of 825% weapon damage/use, and buff let's say Long Fuse for example, then the damage modifier for that rune to be balanced with Echoing Blast would have to be anything in between 700-1100%. For a skill that costs 35 hatred (or 30 before tweaking), and therefore is relatively spammable, you can't say that it isn't too much. Even Monk's giant bell deals less damage, and costs more resource. That's not balanced.
I have improved almost all the hatred spenders so far, so this “loss” can't hurt that much when looking at the big picture, which was exactly what I had in mind when this skill was under my treatment: the big picture.
I doubt that you can come up with good reasons on why Echoing Blast shouldn't be nerfed. If however you do, I'd be more than glad to hear them, but as I said, I doubt it.
Now moving on to the last hatred spender of this section and the entire post:


16. Strafe – DPU 4%


Before the release of D3, this was one of the skills that caught my eye not only because of it's awesomeness, but because D2 had a skill with the same name and I was curious what they would do with it. I was very pleased with the results as I saw that video for the first time and before I actually got to test the skill the first time.
Those who have played D2 probably know the eternal comparing of Multiple Shot and Strafe skills of the Amazon class. In D3 the mechanics of Strafe have been changed to more resemble Rapid Fire than Multishot, so I feel that in this game those two skills are compared to each other as Multiple Shot and Strafe was back in D2.
It's a very iconic skill, and pure kickass, being this sort of “dance of death”, much like Whirlwind for the Barbarian.

Execution: 2

Unfortunately it is lacking severely in the damage department. Even in the video on the link I provided it sucks, it just can't get the zombies killed.
Let's compare this skill to Rapid Fire: Rapid Fire is more of a single target ability than Strafe. It requires to stay still when channeling whereas Strafe doesn't. Those are the main differences between the two skills.
The thing with Rapid Fire is that you can prioritize your targets, and just concentrate to one target at a time, but Strafe shoots randomly in every direction where there are monsters to be shot at. Because of the randomness of targets, the skill deals horrible damage. And by that I mean horribly low.
I tested the average critical hit being anywhere between 70-90k with a paper DPS of nearly 300k critical hit damage being 380%. That's so low. Rapid Fire after patch 1.0.8 deals critical hits with that same paper DPS and critical hit damage of ~180k, and that can be concentrated onto one target.
So without question the damage of Strafe has to be improved, but by how much? When there's only one target available, Strafe deals all the damage to this one target, so if the damage is improved to the same level as Rapid Fire, then Rapid Fire would be useless. Not an option. So:

-increase the damage from 156% to 390%
-increase the movement speed while Strafing from 75% to 80%
-keep the hatred cost at 12 (I'll elaborate below)

Rapid Fire would still remain supreme as a single target hatred spender for it having a bit more damage, and less channeling cost, but Strafe would receive the much needed love to be viable on higher monster power levels than 5.

The tweak I made to the hatred cost (or didn't make) of this skill is because I felt that the channeling hatred cost is too much. Yes, you read correctly. I actually decreased the cost compared to hatred regeneration rate by not changing it. As I increased the base hatred regeneration from 4 to 8 earlier, this actually “costs” 4/second (12-8), instead of 8/second as it is today (12-4). I always felt that Strafe depletes hatred way too fast compared to the damage inflicted, and I know I'm right.

I increased the movement speed a little bit to better resemble the mobile and agile nature of the Demon Hunter. They can't get close to the enemies, and 75% movement speed quite often leaves the DH in trouble for not being fast-moving enough. Sure one can just stop strafing and run away at 100% movement speed, but seriously, the following is not how the class is supposed to be played:


Poor kid. I'm going to burn in hell for laughing at that.

So now the channeling cost is actually higher than Rapid Fire, which brings me to an interesting observation that I made when I tested the PTR and Rapid Fire:
I had a hatred regeneration rate of 8.23/second, but channeling Rapid Fire “costs 6”. If it's 6/sec, then in practice I should gain 2.23 hatred each second, right? But I didn't, it slowly runs out. Which is completely fine! That's the way I want it to be, the skill would be broken if it didn't consume hatred. It would be interesting to know however, what does that “costs 6 hatred while channeling” mean, because obviously it can't be 6/second.
Now let's move on.

So now the real pro of this skill compared to Rapid Fire is that it's mobile and doesn't require to stay still. If there's only one target, Rapid Fire still remains the better choice for its slightly higher damage modifier and lower hatred cost. I believe that these two skills are now nicely balanced, and with this tweak done to Strafe, they can continue the eternal “conflict” of which one being a better skill, a relationship much like between Multiple Shot and Strafe from D2.

Emberstrafe – DPU 0%

I'm not sure if anyone remembers but this rune used to be called “Equilibrium” and the function was that it increased the attack speed by 20%. I guess they realized it to be too overpowered compared to the other runes, so they scrapped it altogether, and instead gave us this piece of sh*t (sorry).
It's true though: it's useless in its current condition.
The idea is decent though. But being able to move at 75% speed, and the trail lasting only for 2 seconds and dealing 65% weapon damage is not enough, not even close. I already did increase the movement speed from 75% to 80%, so that's out of the way, but as for the rest:

-increase the duration of the fire trail from 2 to 3 seconds
-increase the damage per second of the fire trail from 65% to 165%

That's better. Against big groups this would be very useful to just strafe through the group and letting them burn. If you can take the “heat” being in the middle of the group. Haha what a thigh-slapper.

Drifting Shadow – DPU 15%

This rune grants the exact same benefit as the Barbarian's Whirlwind – Hurricane. But as I increased the movement speed of this skill from 75% to 80% for a reason I explained earlier, this bonus should be increased a little as well:

-increase the total movement speed from 100% to 110%

If any of you Barbarians are crying at this for being unfair since your Hurricane rune to Whirlwind only increases your movement speed to 100%, then please stop. You're in no position to cry about things. Sorry. The Demon Hunters are supposed to be agile and fast-moving, this is only fitting for the image of the class. And remember that you don't have to Whirlwind away to escape melee range. We do. In addition to that, Monk's skill Tempest Rush – Tailwind gives 125% movement speed while channeling. 110% movement speed is only fair for this class that's meant to be the most mobile.

Stinging Steel – DPU 5%

The idea of this rune is great, but unfortunately it pretty much has to be scrapped: as I increased the base skill damage to 390%, which is only 48% weapon damage short of Rapid Fire, then adding this rune increases the damage of criticals beyond the damage of Rapid Fire which would make Rapid Fire obsolete. In that case Strafe wouldn't only have higher damage, but the mobility aspect as well. Either Strafe should have a damage modifier of 300%, or have Stinging Steel scrapped. 300% weapon damage is too low, so that's why this rune must go. It would beat Rapid Fire as a single target ability, and that's not the intention. So here's the change:

-remove the existing benefit of this rune
-add a feature similar to Rapid Fire – High Velocity, granting arrows a chance based on the critical hit chance to penetrate enemies and ricochet into 1 additional target. A pierce increases the damage of an arrow by 20%

Now it further increases the AoE, it has a nice twist to the base skill, doesn't overshadow Rapid Fire, and it ain't even useless. This rune would rock in the middle of a big group.

Rocket Storm – DPU 55%

That's a surprisingly high DPU%, but as I tested it, it did function pretty well actually. The damage of course could and should be higher and the rockets should receive the same attention as Rapid Fire – Fire Support did, but the idea is good. And I don't really want to remove rockets from any skills because that would make the passive skill Ballistics a little less useful. But as for the damage boost:

-increase the rocket damage from 60% to 145%

I increased it to match the 1.0.8 Rapid Fire – Fire Support. I think it's fair for both skills.

Demolition – DPU 25%

This skill is definitely the best AoE rune out of this skill. It gets decent hits, when they actually hit the enemy.
That's the problem of this rune: targeting. I know that the tradeoff for higher damage is that the grenades are “bouncy” and therefore much harder to target, but this rune gets very frustrating to use against just a few targets. The delay after throwing and before the explosion of a grenade takes just a bit too long, and it feels as if enemies close to the DH don't take any damage for being in this sort of a “blind spot”.

-increase the damage from 187% to 250%
-increase the targeting by reducing the delay of the explosions

I increased the damage by about 33%. I calculated that with that damage modifier, the hits would be decent enough for being a great AoE skill. The skill would be overpowered if the damage would be anywhere near the base skill damage modifier of 390%.
Critical hits with 187% damage modifier were anywhere between 180-220k, paper DPS being nearly 300k and critical hit damage being 370%. With a damage modifier of 250%, these hits would be anywhere between 239-292k. I think that's good enough but not too good for an AoE rune, especially if the targeting of this skill rune is improved.
The damage is not too good compared to other runes, and it shouldn't be. This rune gives AoE at the expense of damage, hence having a clear role.

There you have it. I believe that with the above changes to this skill, would bring it very much closer to Rapid Fire in effectiveness, and so they can pick up the conflict for supremacy over each other just as in D2 the Multiple Shot and Strafe skills did.


That's it for the hatred spenders. With all the adjustments that I've suggested, I believe that the eDPS issue would be somewhat forgotten as something that “once was”. Some skills might seem powerful at first glance, but that's only because the Demon Hunter is required to move during fights to pick up a better spot and in order to survive. A melee class doesn't have this problem, and they can deal damage constantly without almost never having to move away from melee range. While the Demon Hunter moves and avoids attacks, he/she doesn't deal any damage during this time, hence losing eDPS, so whenever the Demon Hunter does deal damage, they should pack a bigger punch as they do today.

I hope that with the above adjustments this can be achieved, and I hope that you have enjoyed reading them, and maybe had some new ideas to them as well. I'm not saying that what I've suggested should be written in stone; they are my opinions of what should be done, based on careful calculations and hours and hours of testing and re-testing these skills.

I've tried to consider every aspect possible when tweaking the above skills: balance between classes, balance between the Demon Hunter skills, and balance between the runes of these skills. My goal has been that every skill and every rune would have the same DPU%, and I believe that with the adjustments that I've made to them, this shouldn't be too far from the truth.

Now we're off to the next part with a completely different and new element of this post, and that is of course:


C) Discipline Skills:

To this point of the post, I've dealt with mainly eDPS issues as having tweaked the basic hatred regeneration rate, hatred generators and hatred spenders. These adjustments to these parts would indeed improve the situation of eDPS and class balance, for the Demon Hunter can deal more damage than before.

This part, the discipline skills, takes on the aspect of survivability on higher monster power levels. Damage by itself means nothing if there are no ways to survive, and because of that, only improving the hatred spenders isn't enough.

Whereas the melee classes rely on tanking ability and the toughness of taking hits and absorbing damage, the Demon Hunter is granted a big number of defensive abilities allowing either to get out of sticky situations fast, or preventing the Demon Hunter ever getting into those situations.

The Demon Hunter is not designed to take hits, and that's why it is a fragile class. This is completely all right as it is exactly as it is supposed to be, but the reason the Demon Hunters can't survive on a higher monster power level equal to melee classes is that these defensive abilities only buy some time before the class completely runs out of resources to use these defensive abilities on a regular basis. The depletion of discipline = pretty much death to a Demon Hunter, and as it is now, the discipline pool runs out and empty very rapidly and frequently.
That brings me to the conclusion that the defensive abilities that cost discipline, cost too much compared to the discipline regeneration rate. A large number of the deaths of the Demon Hunter are a result of depleted discipline, if not a the majority. This isn't the way it's supposed to be in my opinion, which is that instead of running out of discipline, the main reason for deaths should be a result of the player's own error, or being outplayed by the monsters.

In order to even survive on a high monster power level, the Demon Hunter is forced into being within melee range with the enemies as that allows not having to spend time on moving, kiting and dodging = more time spent on actually damaging the enemies = more hits in a short time period = more and faster discipline via Night Stalker = more regular defensive ability spamming = more survivability = maybe staying alive.
This is pure logical reasoning, and this (tanking) is NOT how the Demon Hunter is designed to be played. I know I'm right.

As I'm not going to change the discipline regeneration rate (because I think it's just fine as it is) and not going to increase the default discipline pool (because I think this to be just fine as it is as well), I'm going to drastically decrease the cost of most of the discipline skills.
In addition to that, I'll be adjusting some skills just as I did with the hatred spenders, only to balance them with each other, and making some of them more interesting and appealing to use.

Some of you might strictly disagree with some of the changes I'm suggesting, because you might feel that I'm reducing or restricting benefits from skills that are used excessively in order to survive on a high monster power level, and thus “taking away” the builds that are the only viable ones for the Demon Hunter on a high monster power level.
You should know that I'm not taking away anything from the ones who like to tank. It will however be much harder with the tweaks I'm going to make, but you should also realize that I'm improving numerous skills that let the Demon Hunters to kite and be mobile, and adding some features to these skills that make them much more appealing.

My goal below is to take the Demon Hunter away from melee range and tanking, a bit more to the direction of kiting and staying at a distance which is exactly the way that this class is designed.

The Demon Hunter class needs this to be done, in order to be played on a higher monster power level as how the Demon Hunter class was originally designed to be played: as a mobile, agile, danger-avoiding, hit-dodging, melee-evading, fast-moving, dexterous, monster-kiting, turret and cannon-like rapid killing machine.

Not as an ineffective tank. Tanking is for melee classes. And I most certainly along with everyone else who did roll a Demon Hunter, didn't roll it with tanking in mind.

I hope that with the following suggestions to the discipline skills, the image of the class could be realized. I saw a lot of effort and brainstorming for these, so here you go devs:


17. Caltrops – DPU 14.20%


Skill that's meant for pure kiting purposes only. It's very unfortunate that the use of this skill isn't the skill's fault, the skill does exactly as it's supposed to.

Execution: 4

The skill is left unused because players tank with their Demon Hunters, and there's no need for Caltrops to kite the enemies and keeping them at a distance and more stationary for the Demon Hunter to get easier hits. The DPU% is so “high” basically because of 1 rune, Bait the Trap, that grants a 10% critical hit chance with all attacks while standing on the trap. This is purely for tanking purposes, and the idea there is to never leave the area of Bait the Trap.
That's actually sad: a skill that's designed for kiting, is in fact used for tanking purposes.
I though about it for a long time of what would make this skill more appealing and being selected as an active skill over the others, without however making it over -or underpowered. I came up with this:

-reduce the discipline cost from 6 to 3
-add a feature that enemies within the area of Caltrops take 8% more damage with all attacks

It would only make sense that anything that steppes on caltrops would be an easier target, right? This feature would make Caltrops a much more desired skill as it does not only grant the benefit of buying time by slowing the enemies down, but the chance for the Demon Hunter to deal more damage to the enemies. This encourages kiting, and mobility.

The runes were a bit tricky, but I did come up with pretty decent adjustments in my opinion. Again the reason so many players use Caltrops in the first place is because of Bait the Trap being used for tanking without moving at all.
However when you really think about it, as Bait the Trap is used much more over the other runes because of tanking, it shouldn't be nerfed much if at all because it is not this skill that encourages tanking, the problem lies somewhere else, which is of course the skill Shadow Power. You won't like what I'm going to do to that skill, so be warned.
Shadow Power is the one and only thing that allows the Demon Hunter to tank. Without it, tanking is impossible. It does not matter that Bait the Trap exists, since that skill does not enable tanking, it merely boosts it a little.
When Shadow Power is fixed, so is the DPU% of this skill and all the runes.

Hooked Spines – DPU 0%

Since the players don't kite, this rune has a DPU% of 0. It is now the rune's fault at all that it's obsolete, the rune is perfectly fine as it is, and therefore I am not going to change it in any way.
I already decreased the discipline cost by 50% and added a new exciting feature, so this is in fact in a very good place now.

Torturous Ground – DPU 2.82%

Same description for this rune as to Hooked Spines. It's an excellent skill, and outstanding against targets that have a fast movement speed. I'll leave this as it is.

Jagged Spikes – DPU 16.90%

As I tested it, the damage seems a little too low (I know that it's not supposed to be too big), to be picked up as a valid choice over the others for kiting. The reason the DPU% is so high is because of tanking Demon Hunters; enemies never leave the area, so it's that much needed little extra damage. Since I've increased the hatred spenders' damage modifiers earlier, I think a little damage buff wouldn't hurt here, along with a twist:

-remove the discipline cost and add a hatred cost of 8
-increase the damage from 270% to 405% weapon damage over 6 seconds
-remove the feature of monsters taking 8% more damage when within the radius of Caltrops

I increased the damage by 50%, but removed the recently added feature. This gives a tough decision for a player, but this rune does have the benefit of not having to spend any discipline. The enemies are still slowed down by 60% and can be controlled, without the cost of discipline.

Carved Stakes – DPU 0%

As I decreased the discipline cost from 6 to 3, this rune is made obsolete. I can't reduce it to1 anymore, the benefit of it wouldn't be good enough. So this rune needs another feature:

-increase the amount enemies take damage from 8% to 13%

That was a fairly simple feature that I think fits to the style of the game. It's in balance with the runes. One could go for this rune if they are using really heavy hitters, or then they could choose Hooked Spines for 10%, but the enemies stay on the trap longer. It's a difficult choice, that opens up new styles of gameplay.

Bait the Trap – DPU 78.87%

As I mentioned earlier, the issue why this rune is used so much more than the other ones is not because of the rune itself, but because of some other skill entirely. And because of that I actually think that this rune should stay exactly as it is except for:

-remove the feature of monsters taking 10% more damage when within the radius of Caltrops

That balances the runes out to be equal with others and all of them have their own ideal gameplay-style. This rune has so far been used while tanking, but I doubt that the developers had that in mind when they thought about these runes. How I see this rune and the “image” of it, is that the player takes a good position, lays one of these on the ground, gaining a 10% critical hit chance, at the same time luring enemies to step on the trap and then when they're too close, bailing out. The name of the rune explains this already. It's “Bate the Trap”, not “Come here so I can **** you up at melee range”.

I'll be addressing the tanking issue on a later skill #20, Shadow Power.


18. Companion – DPU 44.80%


Again one of these skills that is used mainly because of one rune, and in this case, Bat Companion. It's very popular since the hatred regeneration rate compared to the hatred costs of hatred spenders, is often felt not being enough. Bat Companion gives a very welcome boost to the hatred regeneration rate, but even then it's still not uncommon at all that the hatred pool is depleted.
That's enough of that, since I've already dealt with hatred regeneration issues in numerous ways on this post, via hatred generators, spenders and regeneration rate. So as that issue should be fixed now, back to this skill.

Execution: 2

Apart from Bat Companion, only Boar Companion offers some degree of thought on whether to use this skill or not. Others are very much useless, and the bonuses are not enough. This skill is not meant to really damage the enemies, but to offer benefits that helps the job of the Demon Hunter. As it is now, only the Bat and the Boar are useful. I'll add some interesting features to other companions that are left unused, but just before them I'll tweak the enormous discipline cost of this skill a bit:

-reduce the discipline cost from 10 to 6

The discipline cost don't make much difference for those who use the Bat Companion for example, since it cannot be targeted by the enemies. It's a different thing for the Wolf or Boar Companions, they have a health pool, and they die quite frequently on a high MP level. The 30-second cooldown is a penalty enough already, so why such a high discipline cost? 10 is 1/3 of the entire default discipline pool, hence the reduction.

Spider Companion – DPU 0%

No surprise there. This rune is probably the most useless of all of them. Only the spider slows enemies down, but not that frequently because of the attack speed, the damage is low, and other runes are just way better. This rune doesn't really offer any benefit to the Demon Hunter that would help his/her job, such as hatred regeneration or movement speed. It's merely a useless pet, that dies way too easily. So:

-Spider Companion imbues your attacks with the ability to slow enemies down by 60% for 1.5 seconds

It's far more useful now, and using this skill with Cull of the Weak would be a very common sight. This would work. It also makes it a far more difficult choice between the Bat and this. This is now a very defensive rune, as kiting is far more easier, not necessarily having to choose other skills that slow down enemy movement.

Bat Companion – DPU 77.97%

I'm not going to touch the idea of this rune since it's close to flawless. But as I did increase the base hatred regeneration rate earlier from 4 to 8, the +3 hatred/second is not that appealing anymore, so:

-increase the hatred regeneration rate from 3 to 4/second

At first I did think about 5, but that would be a little too much considering the hatred regeneration rate would then be a total of 13 each second, and would make this skill a very clear choice from all the other runes, and that's not something I'm aiming at. An additional 4/second is very notable already and a valid choice, but it's also possible to cope without it due to the earlier hatred regeneration tweaks.

Boar Companion – DPU 18.06%

This is in pretty decent spot, but still it's used far less than the Bat Companion. That issue is already been balanced a bit since the base hatred regeneration now allows to not use Bat Companion, but still the benefit from Boar is not quite there yet:

-in addition the Boar increases your maximum life by 10%

Boar Companion is purely a defensive companion, so I improved that idea a little. It suits the rune well.

Ferret Companion – DPU 2.64%

I can't believe that anyone uses this rune. The feature of this rune is lacking already since the ferrets seem lazy, and sometimes when there's a pile of gold, I can get it faster by picking it up myself. I just wait for them to fetch it for me, but from time to time it just doesn't happen.
Even if it would work flawlessly, they are a bit useless on a high MP. There we want to survive, not only pick up gold. So I'll improve the idea of the rune a little, and add a feature that makes it a competitive rune:

-improve the movement speed of ferrets and make them less lazy and more active picking up gold
-increase the pick-up radius for the DH by 5 yards
-add an 8% dodge chance for the Demon Hunter

Now they're a valid choice for the higher monster power levels due to the dodge chance, and with increased pick-up radius it not only eases picking up gold, but health globes as well.
The dodge chance is also very fitting. Ever tried to catch a ferret? I have. Didn't succeed. That little torpedo was impossible to catch. It's easier to catch chickens. That's also close to impossible.
Edited by Juicypus#2757 on 5/17/2013 4:50 PM PDT
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+1 for writing such a long post that even I wouldn't read it. Just kidding. I'm reading it now. also FIRST
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Wolf Companion – DPU 0%

A companion that's meant to be a damage dealing pet. 94% isn't damaging enough. Even if that was boosted, the benefit is very minor compared to others. I could just choose the Bat so I could spam my most damaging skills more often. This needs something more:

-increase the damage done by the Wolf from 94% to 455% (they can't crit, it's the same amount as the new Sentry turrets)
-increase the APS of the wolf remarkably (it's furious!)
-increase the movement speed of the Demon Hunter by 25%
-the wolf grants 4% life steal for the Demon Hunter (it's bloodthirsty!)

Very fitting, running like the wind with a wolf at your side. Choosing this rune makes it optional to choose this over Vault. If you want to simulate what it would feel like using this kind of a Wolf Companion, then summon it, and use Shadow Power – Shadow Glide. That grants 30% movement speed for 5 seconds so it's a little more than 25%, but you'll get the idea.
The attack speed should be increased as well so the wolf would actually resemble a rabid bloodthirsty wolf. Know this meme?


Just look at that picture, imagine having a killer predator like that by your side. Now the Wolf Companion feels like a lazy puppy.
This rune would be very popular with the new Strafe skill as well, since Strafe slows down the movement speed.

I believe that with the above changes, Companion and all the runes would be much more equally used, but still their power granted isn't a necessity or mandatory.


19. Marked for Death – DPU 24.80%


An excellent concept for a skill. Marking and prioritizing a target for a quicker kill, working exactly like a curse. There's not much else to say about this skill, it's great in its simplicity.

Execution: 4

This skill is in a very good place. The DPU% is already 24.80, and it's not because of one rune. Only 2 runes are clearly left unused, which are Contagion and Death Toll, and those are the ones that I'm mainly going to pay attention to. Since I've buffed almost every skill somehow so far, I'll buff this as well, but just slightly, to make it equal with the rest.

-increase the damage to the marked target from 12% to 15%
-reduce the discipline cost from 3 to 2
-add a 4% critical hit chance against the marked target

Now it's a skill worth looking at, even more than before, and it really does mark the target like “you're next!”, doesn't it?

Contagion – DPU 1.61%

This is one of the two runes that need a little help. But because I added a 4% critical hit chance to the target marked, that already helps this to a certain degree, as it spreads to others as well. I feel that the rune doesn't have a problem in mechanics, the number of how many enemies the “mark” spreads into is good as 2, 3 would be a little bit too much compared to the features of other runes.
The problem is that the range what is required for the “contagion”, is a little bit too short, so in all simplicity:

-increase the radius needed for the skill to spread

The skill apart from the above, partially fixed itself along the monster density patch. But the above tweak is to make it easier to use, and more reliable.

Valley of Death – DPU 33.06%

Remember what I did to Caltrops? This skill rune acts very much like that version of Caltrops, the differences are that this allows to deal more damage, this doesn't slow enemies down, and this doesn't require to be on the spot to lay it down on the ground. The radius is the same, and as it doesn't slow enemies down, it's a little difficult to use against enemies that move, unless the Demon Hunter is tanking. That's probably the reason this skill is used so much.

-increase the radius from 12 to 15 yards

That wouldn't hurt now would it? Instead of choosing Caltrops, this is clearly a better choice for damaging purposes now as the radius is also remarkably wider in addition to the higher damage.
Think about combining those two, Caltrops for 8% damage, and this for 15% damage and a 4% critical hit chance against enemies in the area. Not bad.

Grim Reaper – DPU 35.48%

Whereas Valley of Death is better against slow-moving or stationary targets and groups, this performs better against mobile, and fast-moving targets and groups due to its ease of use. I don't think the rune is lacking at all, but as I did increase the Valley of Death radius, I'll have to do something about this rune to bring it closer to the level of usefulness.

-increase the damage divided to enemies within 20 yards from 12% to 30%
-the 4% critical hit chance does not apply to enemies within the 20-yard radius, except for the marked main target

Now the damage divided is double the damage the marked target takes (15%). If there's 2 more enemies within the 20-yard radius, both of them take 15% extra damage. 3 targets would make it 10%, 4 targets 7.5% etc.

Mortal Enemy – DPU 28.23%

I think that the popularity rune being so big is because of hatred generation issues. This rune is mainly used against bosses or enemies that can take high damage. But as I have fixed the hatred regeneration issue to some degree, that did have an unfortunate side-effect of this rune being made obsolete, why pick this rune since the hatred isn't a big issue anymore? So in addition to boosting this a bit, this needs something else as well:

-increase the hatred regenerated per attacks against the target from 3 to 5
-attacks made against the target also generate 1 discipline

I think that this is acceptable. 1 is a small difference in the discipline pool, but it is a difference. This change wouldn't make this rune a skill-breaker in my opinion.

Death Toll – DPU 1.62%

This is the other rune of the two runes that need a little bit of help. For one, the 1% is close to nothing, and two, against a group it's almost useless. This is meant against single targets, but that 1% just doesn't cut it.

-increase the life steal from 1% to 5%
-attacks made against enemies within 12 yards of the marked target steal 2% life

So for example, if in addition to the marked target there's 3 targets within the 12-yard radius, then hitting them all at the same time with a skill let's say Multishot, steals 11% life (5+2+2+2).
That would make it much more appealing against bosses as well. 5% lifesteal is starting to actually be worth something.

Now it's time for the part of this post that will probably make a lot of the players of this class very angry. Remember what I've said earlier about it, that I've increased the potential of almost every skill to at least some degree, some more than others, and therefore the survivability of this class shouldn't walk hand-in-hand with the following skill anymore. Remember that I'm doing the following only for the better of this class. I'm trying to retreat the Demon Hunter from tanking, back to being ranged what it's supposed to be in the first place. I'm not saying that you should agree with what I'm about to suggest, I'm saying that you should at least give a thought to the bigger picture of this class' future.


20. Shadow Power – DPU 97.20%


Here we are. I'll start of the DPU%. This skill is the most used skill of the Demon Hunter. Fact. It is the number 1 skill on the list. This is only because of players that tank, but I can't blame them: as I've pointed out earlier throughout this post, that is the only option to stay alive on a high monster power level.
That 97.20% is only because of one rune, which is Gloom. It is used by 95.47% of players who use Shadow Power, which means pretty much everyone. Out of the top 500 players, 464 players use Shadow Power – Gloom.
All jokes aside. This skill is broken, because the class' survivability is broken. Gloom is a mandatory option for staying alive on a high monster power level when tanking, since that grants a 35% damage reduction 100% of the time. Something is very, very wrong there.

Execution: 3

The problem with skill is that it grants the benefits for 5 seconds and that can be kept up non-stop if there's enough discipline. Only that enables tanking.
You might have noticed so far that I've added lot's of lifestealing features to some skills and improved the ones that already include that feature. There's still more to come, to make this skill less mandatory, and more of an option.
I've suggested numerous different tools for surviving on a high monster power level, and there's still more to come. As it is now, this is the only skill that lets the Demon Hunter survive. This shouldn't be so.

I see this skill as an ability that lets the Demon Hunter to survive a tight spot when activated. That means, that because this skill is up almost 100% of the time, the entire gaming session with this class is a tight spot. Death is just around the corner all the time, that's not how it's supposed to be. So once again I remind you before I'm showing what I'm going to do to this skill, that when you have read this post, you've seen plenty of other ways to survive a tight spot than this skill, and skills that prevent the Demon Hunter to ever get into those situations.

It does not matter how you look at it, this skill is broken along with the survivability of this class. An almost 100% DPU is not something the Blizzard development team had in mind when designing the skills for this class.

With one simple concentrated “blow” (or “change” to the ones who see the big picture) to this skill, I'm going to remove the ability to tank nonstop, and somewhat forcing the class to stay as a mobile class, and use other measures to survive. This next part will probably infuriate over 90% of the players, but I think that there's some readers, including myself, that would be very happy to see such a change.

For those readers that will be infuriated: this needs to be done, and it doesn't matter how much you cry about it. Tanking is not the way that this class is supposed to be played. If you like to tank, then this class isn't for you. If you pull the “it's the only way to survive on a high monster power level”-card, then after all the tweaks to all other skills that I've suggested, it is not.
Here goes:

-reduce the discipline cost from 14 to 9 (only because the limited discipline pool of 30, for better resource management and survivability)
-add a 7-second cooldown

BOOM! You're infuriated? Thought so. As I said, it doesn't matter how much you cry about it, it needs to be done and I've been more than clear about the reasons why.
As the skill lasts for 5 seconds, there's a 2-second gap between the uses of this skill. This removes the ability to tank nonstop, and that is nothing else except a good thing for the class. This 7-second cooldown will not affect those players who play the class as it's designed to be played, this only disables the tanking aspect.
Of course you're allowed to tank. It is enabled for 5 seconds. Then you have to relocate, do something else for 2 seconds, and then tank again. You have to move. That already resembles the mobility of this class much more than nonstop tanking. So it is possible, but not ideal.
If you want to tank, then at 5 seconds, you're forced to move as you won't survive in the middle of the group for 2 seconds without that 35% damage reduction. This class is not the Barbarian, or the Monk. It is not a melee class at all.

When the 3-second gap is closing, the Demon Hunter tells the enemies “later dudes” and vaults out. That sounds like the image that I get of the Demon Hunter. Vault in, wreck things up, vault out. Awesomeness.

I urge you to think about the big picture. I'm not asking this tweak to this skill, if that's all that is done to this class. If nothing else about the class is done except this skill, then I as well, would be furious: basically nerfing the one skill that allows the Demon Hunter to survive on a high MP, thus removing the survivability of this class altogether, without adding any other tools for survival.

So Blizzard: if this is the only thing that you're thinking of implementing out of all the suggestions that I've made to other skills on this post, then don't bother.

Now as for the runes, not much is needed to be done. The DPU% is already brought down dramatically along the 7-second cooldown. But however, I'll tweak them a little anyway to make them more equal with one another.

Night Bane – DPU 0.41%

This rune works quite well since there's never enough hatred. Although again after earlier tweaking to hatred regeneration issue, this rune was made a little less useful. In addition to that, Gloom is far more powerful, and as I'm not going to touch that rune at all, this has to be made a little more powerful, but by how much?

-increase the hatred regeneration from 3 to 5/second

At first I was thinking of an attack speed increase being added to this rune, but I want to get this skill out of the mold of being mandatory. As Gloom reaches its full potential when tanking, the DPU% of that rune in a way is already diminished.
This rune now allows to spam the most powerful hatred spenders in a much more frequent fashion, for example Cluster Arrow.

Blood Moon – DPU 2.87%

Because of snapshooting, this is the second most used rune of Shadow Power. It works great with channeling skills such as Strafe or Rapid Fire, and such skills as well as Chakram – Shuriken Cloud. If it wasn't for snapshooting, this rune would be close to useless, but because that feature exists, I'm not going to touch this one. I'm not even going to increase it.
If a 7-second cooldown is added to this skill, this rune will become very popular and widely used, since the cooldown has absolutely no effect to those who use the snapshooting feature.

Well of Darkness – DPU 0.62%

Because I already reduced the discipline cost of this skill significantly, this rune would become obsolete even if the discipline cost was reduced to 5. The other runes are just better. So in order to make this rune more of an option, I'll change the mechanics entirely:

-gain 15% attack speed while Shadow Power is active

It's a quite powerful rune now, but I don't think that it overshadows other runes. Gloom still has that 35% damage reduction, and that's more than enough to compete with 15% attack speed.

Gloom – DPU 95.47%

The most used rune of the most used skill of the Demon Hunter. But that's because players tank. As I added a 7-second cooldown to Shadow Power, the usage percent of this skill is already diminished. I don't think that this rune needs anything more or less. It's supposed to be used in situations that the player knows he/she is in a tight spot without any other way out except taking a lot of hits and damage. The idea of the Demon Hunter is to stay away from those types of situations, not intentionally get into those situations. This rune in my mind exists just in case that kind of situations ever take place.

Shadow Glide – DPU 1.03%

Movement speed on its own isn't much of a benefit. I think that it is not enough to be a better choice out of all the other runes. I do think that it's a good feature, so I'll not remove it, and 30% is more than enough in my opinion so there's no need to anything about that either. I'll leave it alone entirely.
Nonetheless, this rune needs something else as well to make it equal with the rest of the runes:

-in addition to 30% movement speed, gain 7% dodge chance while Shadow Power is active

Now that makes a very valid choice, and it fits the image of the rune perfectly. The purpose of the rune is to enhance the mobility of the class, and I feel that dodge chance along with movement speed achieves that.

After you've read the above and given it a little thought, you cannot disagree that tanking is not the way the class is supposed to be played. The change I made to this skill restricts it, but does not entirely disable it. The 7-second cooldown forces the Demon Hunter to move, and if you honestly believe that to be a bad thing, then you shouldn't play this class at all, but a melee class.


21. Smoke Screen – DPU 18.80%


Don't worry, I won't do anything negatively impactful to this rune.
Remember the time when D3 was released and this skills duration was 2 seconds, and with Lingering Fog it was increased to 3? They we're very right to nerf it, even though it started very negative reactions amongst the Demon Hunter players. It was way too overpowered, the class was invulnerable during that time, and immune to everything.

Execution: 3

As the duration of the skill was nerfed, they didn't adjust the skill in any other way. The purpose of this skill is to get out of sticky situations like Frozen, Jailer, Fear, or such. As it lasts only 1 second, it can't be considered as a damage absorbing skill, but as an escape maneuver.
Having said that, the discipline cost of this skill is way too high. Blizzard made a mistake when they nerfed the skill without actually reducing the discipline cost. In addition, I thought that it wasn't the best way to balance this skill with the others. 1 second is abysmal, and its only purpose now is to escape the crowd control effects. I think that the following is much more of the skill that it's supposed to be:

-reduce the discipline cost from 14 to 9
-add a 6-second cooldown
-increase the duration from 1 to 2 seconds (as it was before)

That's more like what it's supposed to be. Much easier to use, and not overpowered at all, since the skill as it is now, does in fact have a cooldown of 2 seconds, two times the duration of the skill. It's still used to escape tight spots, and it's far more flexible if one desires to use it for some other purpose, like absorbing a huge blow like Molten explosion for instance. You'll see that the runes make much more sense now as well, as I'm tweaking them a bit ahead.
The difference to Shadow Power is the simple fact that this doesn't grant lifesteal. These two skills have different functions that are used in different type of situations.

Displacement – DPU 6.38%

Now as the skill lasts longer, this makes much more sense as well. 35% movement speed for 1 second? That's just sad, it's not enough to escape from the middle of the group, that I feel is the purpose of this rune: getting away from danger fast.
As I said earlier, a rune that merely grants a movement speed bonus, is almost never enough to catch the attention over other runes. This needs something more too:

-in addition to movement speed, gain an 8% dodge chance for 2 seconds after Smoke Screen ends

There. It's a little more useful. It grants a benefit even after the duration of the skill. There's still a gap of 2 seconds if this is used consecutively.

Lingering Fog – DPU 81.91%

This rune is the most popular one, but that's probably because it allows the duration of the skill to last a bit longer, a duration that's close to nothing already. If the base skill duration is increased to 2 seconds, then the DPU% of this rune should balance itself out. I'm adding the following:

-increase the duration from 1.5 to 3 seconds

So now it's the same duration as before the nerf, but I added the base skill a 6-second cooldown and because of that, this skill isn't overpowered. Blizzard was right to nerf it back then, as this could be kept up nonstop. 100% invulnerability was game-breaking. This isn't with a cooldown of 6 seconds.
This is what I meant earlier when I said that I didn't think that reducing the duration was the right way to balance the skill. Cooldowns make much more sense for a skill that's meant to be a defensive one.

Breathe Deep – DPU 2.13%

Again a rune that was dramatically nerfed along the reduction of the duration. The tooltip still actually says “per second”, and it's just a sign of laziness from Blizzards part, as it only lasts one second. Why doesn't it just say “gain 12 hatred while Smoke Screen is active”?
As I increased the duration to 2 seconds, this doesn't need much anymore, the benefit is already doubled! 24 hatred for 9 discipline sounds almost reasonable to me, so I'll leave this almost as it is:

-While invisible you gain 14 (up from 12) Hatred per second.

That's the exact same description as in the link of the skill, only slightly improved.

Special Recipe – DPU 6.38%

Now I face the same problem as with Shadow Power – Well of Darkness: I already reduced the discipline cost, and I can't reduce it any further without adding something else. I know exactly what to do about this one:

-remove the discipline cost but increase the cooldown to 10 seconds

The most observant of you readers might realize that this exact feature is in Vault – Acrobatics. As this feature doesn't make much sense in that skill (I'll get to that later), here it really does. This can be purely used in situations where there's a Jailer or a Frozen affix for example, without the need to pay discipline at all. Imagine a situation where you ran out of discipline, and now you're frozen because you didn't have the discipline to vault out. Something has to be done and fast, so BOOM pop this on, and escape to regroup. That's survivability on a whole new level for the Demon Hunter.

Choking Gas – DPU 3.19%

This is a little bit more difficult. It's a rune variant that's meant to deal damage, but it's really lacking. A rune designed for damaging purposes that doesn't deal much damage. Nice one.
Not only that the damage goes very unnoticed, but the “radius” of the cloud is very tiny. It doesn't deal enough damage compared to the time enemies spend being in contact with the cloud, to be considered a supreme choice for any build including Smoke Screen as a skill.
The idea of the damaging cloud of gas is just fine, but it needs to be way more powerful to draw the interest of a player. So I'm just buffing it to the level of other runes:

-increase the radius of the cloud to 12 yards (same as Caltrops)
-increase the damage from 700% over 5 seconds to 1200% over 6 seconds
-include the discipline cost, but also add a hatred cost of 15. If there's not enough hatred but enough of discipline to perform this skill, then it only executes the base skill, without triggering the gas cloud.

So now in other words it deals 200% weapon damage/second for 6 seconds over a 12-yard radius, and not 140% weapon damage/second for 5 seconds over an almost nonexistent radius.

When Vault – Trail of Cinders was buffed to 1500% damage over x seconds (can't remember how many seconds it was back then), Blizzard soon informed the players that it was actually a bug and hence they nerfed it to 300% damage over 3 seconds (too small, I'll explain this and tweak it later).
Blizzard explained it to be a bug, and that it wasn't their intention to have a discipline skill that deals magnificent damage. It wasn't part of the concept of discipline skills, and I'll have to agree.
But I did think it to be an awesome twist to discipline for being able to deal remarkable damage, and I know that I'm not the only one who has this same opinion.
So why not include this interesting twist? If the problem was that hatred was the resource meant to fuel the damage-dealing process and not discipline, let these discipline skills that deal damage also cost hatred. They would become these sort of “hybrid” skills, which I think would open new interesting ways to play the class and make players pay more attention to resource management.
The pro of this rune would clearly be the fact that it deals notable damage, but the con would be the fact that it needs hatred to trigger the damaging feature. If there's not enough hatred to trigger this feature but enough discipline to perform the “invisibility”, then it just triggers the invisibility for 2 seconds as the base skill does, and not the damaging feature, being the gas cloud in this case.
There are similar runes that deal damage, like Vault – Trail of Cinders, or Vault – Action Shot for instance. I'll undergo those runes ahead adding similar hatred-costing mechanics.

Smoke Screen got a very notable boost in my hands. In my opinion, the Demon Hunter absolutely needs help like this to defensive skills in order to survive on a high monster power level. The aim for the DH is to not get hit, and these skills allow that to be a bit easier, but not overly so. On a high MP level, if a DH takes damage, it's almost always lethal. The class is designed to avoid and dodge blows altogether, so please make it possible, but within reason of course; the tweaks above do not make the class invulnerable or invincible, but merely grant the chance to stand a chance.


22. Preparation – DPU 77%


The second most used active skill of the Demon Hunter.
This skill is a bit more difficult for me since I've decreased so many discipline skills, and so this skill is made a little less useful. Before those changes, this was one of the most useful skills in my opinion due to the lack of discipline available compared to the discipline costs of skills.
This skill isn't really a defensive skill when you think about it. It's more of a utility skill to maintain the resource pools, and it's the only one of its kind among the skills of the Demon Hunter.

Execution: 4

Because the skill is so useful, this gets such a high rating. Not a 5, because it shouldn't actually be this useful: the discipline costs of skills are way too high, and that's why players feel that they absolutely need to include this skill in their builds (or Night Stalker, or even both).
The trademark of this skill is to get instant discipline refill at moments of close calls. No other skill does that. I've adjusted the discipline skills so that this skill is not as useful as before, so that already balances out the usefulness of the skill. I'm not going to tweak it any further, the mechanics and the idea of the skill are great, but the 45-second cooldown is a bit too much now as discipline skills cost far less. 45 seconds in my opinion is too much to sacrifice a skill slot for, so:

-reduce the cooldown from 45 to 35 seconds

There, that makes it a little more useful and it's still a valid choice for those who prefer fast discipline regeneration. Notice and remember that I haven't changed the discipline regeneration rate at all, so this skill is still needed in some situations.
As for the runes, there are a few ones that need a bit of help, but the ones that are used widely, I'm going to adjust them just a little to suit the new discipline costs a bit more.

Invigoration – DPU 1.55%

The least used rune out of all the five. This needs a lot of help, the maximum discipline increase by 10 for 5 seconds is just not good enough when there's a choice to go for Focused Mind for example.
I thought that since this entire skill is a sort of utility skill for resources, I'd add different features to different runes that need the much needed help. In the case of Invigoration, I came up with this:

-increase maximum discipline by 10 for 15 seconds (up from 5 seconds)
-increase the hatred regeneration rate by 5/second for 15 seconds

So this rune is more of a “hatred pool maintaining rune”, but it still has the element of the maximum discipline increase. 5 seconds was petty, 15 seconds is more of an option. As I reduced the cooldown by 10 seconds, down to 35, this rune can be kept up for almost half the time.

Punishment – DPU 15.28%

This is a fairly good, simple and balanced rune. The concept is clear, and it's very useful to some builds, like this one as an example:


I showed that link earlier in this post as I talked about Chakram – Shuriken Cloud and its usefulness.
The channeling of Strafe never stops because Punishment allows it to continue. With enough of critical hit chance and Night Stalker, this is never a problem.
However, the critical hit chance has to be very high due to the discipline cost of this rune, 25 discipline out of 30? That's a bit too much, I think.

-reduce the discipline cost from 25 to 20

Now it's a more valid option over the others. Using this skill still leaves 10 discipline to the bottom of the discipline globe instead of 5, I think that's reasonable.

Battle Scars – DPU 17.10%

Usually this rune is needed in a severely serious tight spot, when you either ran out of discipline or are close to death. It works very similar to potions, only difference being that potions don't grant discipline and that this skill has a higher cooldown.
I think that because this skill has a cooldown, this rune should get something more that lasts over time. As it is a “health pool maintaining rune”, I'll develop on that:

-increase life regeneration by 4% of the maximum life per second for 15 seconds

It grants sizable life regeneration, and in a tight spot where this rune is mostly used in, this is a very welcome and fitting feature.

Focused Mind – DPU 6.99%

This is the “discipline pool maintaining rune”, as it boost the regeneration of discipline.
The tooltip of this rune is either misleading or incorrect. Now it implies that upon using this skill, a player gets a total of 45 discipline over 15 seconds, and when that 45 discipline is gained, it stops regenerating. I'm not sure why it says 45 discipline, since it regenerates it for as long as the 15 seconds last, so it in fact should say:

-increase discipline regeneration by 3/second for 15 seconds

I didn't change it at all, because that's how the skill works now. I tested it with Vault, and even if I vaulted 6 times (costs over 45 discipline in total), it didn't stop regenerating.
I really think that this is a kickass rune, and I can't come up with any other reason why this is not more widely used than Preparation – Backup Plan. I already decreased the cooldown of the skill, which results in the fact that this rune and thus the discipline regeneration boost can be kept up almost half the time.

EDIT: Okay I was a little braindead here. I didn't take into account the default discipline regeneration. So in total the discipline over 15 seconds is regenerated by 60 (45 from the rune and the default 1/second for 15 seconds = an additional 15 discipline)

Backup Plan – DPU 59.07%

The most used rune out of all the five, and that's expected, because of the shape where the discipline skills are. Because the discipline skills cost so much today, this rune grants a welcome possible re-refill of the discipline pool.
I already decreased the cooldown, and because this rune is the most used one simply because of the cost of discipline skills which I have decreased quite a lot, this rune in my opinion doesn't need any more help. As it is now, I don't think that it would become useless if the discipline skills' cost is decreased. After all I didn't increase the discipline regeneration rate at all.


23. Vault – DPU 61%


Finally we're at the last active skill on this post, and it most certainly isn't the least. This is the one skill that grants the Demon Hunter the kind of mobility that no other class can acquire, just the way it's supposed to be. This resembles the agility of the class flawlessly.

Execution: 4

This is the third most used active skill of the Demon Hunter. However there is a but. The skill itself is fine and works impeccably, but once again the discipline cost is way too much. I feel that this skill isn't meant to be spammed much, but merely to get away from situations that can get the Demon Hunter killed, hence the developers have added a discipline cost of almost 1/3 of the default discipline pool.
I don't think that this is the right approach for this skill. For a class that's supposed to be very mobile, the cost of this skill kind of kills that idea. It shouldn't only be the kind of skill that offers a quick escape from dire situations, but a skill that allows the class to move around the enemy groups, playing with them, relocating his/her position frequently. It should be a far more spammable skill as it is now. That's the reason a clear majority who use this skill use the Vault – Tumble rune.

-reduce the discipline cost from 8 to 4
-add a 5% dodge chance for 3 seconds after using Vault

I honestly don't think that that would be a bad idea. The class is very fragile, and very much relies on mobility to survive (or at least it's supposed to). With a discipline cost of 8, the Demon Hunter very quickly runs out of discipline and can't use any other defensive skills. That means a quick death.
Or then the player can just choose to tank. Again this dilemma. The thing with Vault is that it basically only buys some time, and during that it doesn't deal any damage (apart from some runes). Therefore the discipline pool faces quick a depletion, and as a tradeoff the only thing granted is some time. Not good enough. With a discipline cost of 4 however, the idea of the skill is better realized. It doesn't deplete the discipline pool as fast, and it allows for a playstyle that this class is designed to be played.
The 5% dodge chance adds an element to the skill, that actually encourages players to spam this in a more frequent manner. 5% isn't that much, but still it does encourage the player to play this class as a very mobile one when using this skill. Now it's also an even more of a defensive skill as before, granting another benefit than buying time as well. It also fits the description of the Demon Hunter.
Also notice that the dodge chance granted does not encourage tanking, since it's a mobility skill. It forces the player to use this skill and therefore move in order to get the benefit of dodging.

As a sidenote, I think it would be awesome if Vault had the ability to crash through doors, as shown in this trailer at 2:44:


Action Shot – DPU 0.98%

As I talked about Smoke Screen – Choking Gas, I brought up an idea that the discipline skills that deal damage should also cost hatred. That doesn't fight against the idea of discipline being fueled for only defensive purposes.
This is one of those skills. This rune (along with all the other ones but Tumble) has a problem that it costs way too much discipline compared to the discipline available. As I already more or less fixed that issue, this rune has a new one: it doesn't deal enough damage to be considered viable. So I'm going to increase it, but as I do, it has to cost hatred as well:

-increase the damage from 75% to 180%
-always shoots 5 arrows
-a single target can't be hit by more than 1 arrow per each use of the skill
-include the discipline cost, but also add a hatred cost of 15. If there's not enough hatred but enough of discipline to perform this skill, then it only executes the base skill, without triggering the arrows being shot.

Now it's much better! A very interesting way to play! An entire build could be built around this rune.
I included the feature that a single target couldn't be hit by all five arrows. Even two would be a little too much, that's already 360% weapon damage against a single target. If allowed to hit all the 5 times, this skill would be overpowered against bosses: 900% weapon damage on a single target per use.

Rattling Roll – DPU 1.64%

Oh well. This rune has a few problems, one of them being the discipline cost. But as that is fixed already, that won't need any more attention. Second being that it's actually pretty difficult to use well: it's hard to estimate where the Vault is going to land. Radius being only 8 yards, it's hard to actually hit the enemies desired. So:

-increase the radius from 8 to 12 yards
-increase the duration of stun from 1.5 to 2 seconds
-add a feature that enemies along the way of Vault are also stunned and knocked back

Remember what I did to Evasive Fire – Displace? I added the exact same feature to this rune, only difference being that this one has a 12-yard radius at the destination. In my opinion the tooltip of this skill should say the following to be interesting:

All enemies on the path of Vault and within 12 yards of the destination are knocked back and stunned for 2 seconds.

It's far easier to use now, and because of it it's far more appealing.

Tumble – DPU 75.08%

This is the most used rune of this skill, and that's quite expected as this needs less of that much needed discipline to be used constantly. That alone implies that the discipline skills cost too much along this skill.
As I have already reduced the discipline cost of the base skill to 4, then a 50% reduction isn't that appealing anymore (or at least that's how I'd feel. I'd rather use the new action shot than this one).
So I think that this isn't a too bad call to make:

-after using Vault, your second Vault within 6 seconds has its discipline cost reduced by 100% (up from 50%)

Meaning zero. This rune is meant for mobility purposes beyond anything else. A character is allowed to move a lot using this skill rune, and I can't see that being a bad thing for this class. The base discipline cost is reduced, and other runes are being improved, so this rune isn't a clear choice anymore, but for those who prefer to move a lot using this skill as a tool for that, this is the choice.

Acrobatics – DPU 3.28%

All the usefulness of this rune, if it had any, is gone as I decreased the overall discipline cost of the base skill. It is very frustrating to use. It is meant to offer a quick getaway, at the cost of time. It works very similarly to Teleport. This rune needs a lot of help, so I'll add a feature similar to Teleport – Wormhole:

-Remove the discipline cost, but add a 10-second cooldown, which starts 5 seconds after using Vault

So now the cooldown of 10 seconds will commence only if there's a break of 1.5 seconds between Vaulting. Now it allows for a quick escape from situations that would get the Demon Hunter killed, to a great distance. 5 seconds is not a long time enough to deal huge damage, so I think that this rune would be mainly used for escaping tight spots. I think that this would be immensely useful for traveling purposes as it doesn't cost discipline, and quick escapes from dire situations.
I'm aware that the Wizard skill Teleport – Wormhole has only a 1-second delay. The reason I added 4 seconds on top of that, is that the animation of Vault lasts a bit longer (plus I think that the 1 second is too low).

Trail of Cinders – DPU 18.36%

The much debated rune after its nerf. Yes 1500% was way too overpowered, and all who cry about the nerf of that 1500% are wrong. Some think that the nerf was too much. I'm not too sure if I agree, I actually think that 300% weapon damage over 3 seconds is just fine, as the damage of the trails stack. After 3 vaults over a target, it momentarily deals 900% over 3 seconds (although the first vault trails run out fast).
The damage is 100%/second, which is in a pretty decent place. As the discipline cost of the skill is reduced, it's easier to stack it due to a bigger number of trails. This would however result in a big abuse of the skill, so it must be balanced a bit. As this is one of those defensive skill runes that also deal damage, I'll add the same feature to this as to previous runes with the same damage-dealing idea:

-increase the damage from 300% to 460% (now being 140%/sec)
-include the discipline cost, but also add a hatred cost of 15. If there's not enough hatred but enough of discipline to perform this skill, then it only executes the base skill, without triggering the fire trail.

I think that this is very reasonable. As the damage is stacked and since the discipline cost so far has been the restricting element of this skill along with the duration of the trail, a hatred cost of 15 is a good feature to balance it.


That's it for the discipline skills of this post, and all the active skills. I believe that along the above changes comes the much needed survivability of this class and therefore makes it far more viable on a high monster power level. With these changes the class could be played the way it's designed to, and not as a tank with a build like this:


Even though the above build works, it's not something that anyone wants from this class. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the way this class is now played on a high monster power level, is not how this class was designed to be played. The Demon Hunter is a ranged class. Blizzard, please acknowledge this.

I am not implying that the changes I'd make that are shown above, would be the perfect way to fix this class. I do however believe that those changes are very close to the final solution. I hope that the developers of this game and this class would see this post and if not implement these features of the skills directly, then at least get new fresh ideas based on them. This version of the Demon Hunter is something I would definitely enjoy playing, and I'm fairly certain that there are other players as well who share that same opinion.

Now we're off to the last part of the last section of this post. Enjoy it.


2. Passive Skills

Don't worry, the post is soon coming to an end. This part of the post is far shorter than the previous listing of skills, for I think that all in all the passive skills are in a decent shape.

When you think about it, the passive skills of the Demon Hunter can be divided into three types: offensive ones, defensive ones, and utility ones. Most skills are very clear of which of the previously mentioned it is, but some of them are less obvious, having either more than one element, or not being clear at all. As I'm listing the skills, I'll include the “type” of the skill similarly as I included the execution rating to active skills.

I'll be mostly adjusting the passive skills that are clearly left unused, but I won't be touching the ones that are the most used. They are in a great place. If anything, I'll be adding some features to some of the passives, used or not, to make them more viable on a high monster power level.

I'll also be change the mechanics of some skills entirely. Such skills as Sharpshooter for example, in my opinion is broken because there are better alternatives. If a player has a low critical hit chance, then this skill doesn't offer much of a change since it resets the bonus to zero after a critical hit, and because of that same feature it is close to useless for those who have a decent critical hit chance. That means that the bonus of the skill is up for a very short time. Skills like this need help.


24. Archery (Offensive) – DPU 67.60%


This is the second most used passive skill of the Demon Hunter, first being Night Stalker. I don't think that anything is wrong with this skill, but I did come up with an idea that certain passive skills should give a boost to certain type of skills. And as this is called “Archery”, it should naturally boost the archery skills, which are: Strafe, Multishot, Cluster Arrow and Rain of Vengeance. So even though this skill doesn't need any help, I'm adding some buffs to these skills because 1. I'll add a similar idea to some other passives, and 2. it would open new interesting build combos.

This passive skill now also buffs archery skills:

-Strafe: attack speed increased by 15% (similar to the Equilibrium-rune back in the old days)
-Multishot: weapon damage increased by 20%
-Cluster Arrow: gain 1.5% (up from 1%) critical hit chance for every 10 hatred that you have (remember this feature I added to this skill?)
-Rain of Vengeance: cooldown reduced by 5 seconds (now 25 seconds)

I think that those are decent buffs but wouldn't make that big a difference. One can absolutely manage without this passive, just as today a player can use Spike Trap or Sentry without Custom Engineering.


25. Ballistics (Offensive) – DPU 1.40%


This is however one of those skills that need help. The idea is great that this would give a boost to rockets, since that should open new skill combos, but players have quickly discovered that a 50% damage increase isn't enough for this to occupy a skill slot over other passives. Players have thrown the following idea everywhere, and I think it's actually a pretty good one:

-in addition to 50% damage increase, rockets are given an AoE of 8 yards.

This would make this skill far more useful, especially if rockets of skills are buffed in a way they did to Rapid Fire – Fire Support. In that case the damage of each rocket would be 195% weapon damage (145% + 50%) over an 8-yard radius. Doesn't sound too bad, I'd try to use this passive, and it would definitely be used by more than 1.40%.


26. Brooding – (Defensive) – DPU 1.40%


Another skill that needs help, and a lot. I have been thinking of what this skill should gain, because simply a life regeneration feature isn't enough at all. It's meant to be a very defensive skill, but still almost no one uses it regardless of the monster power level. Even if life regeneration was buffed significantly, it's still not enough, so:

-increase the life regeneration from 2% to 4% of maximum life per second
-Brooding grants a 7% lifesteal for the Demon Hunter

That feature would make this a far more desirable skill, but it's not mandatory as there are active skills that grant lifesteal as well, for example Shadow Power, and the new version of Companion – Wolf Companion. Something that's mandatory is not because of a feature alone, but because that feature cannot be gained from anywhere else. That same point applies to the use of Manticore, it's the only weapon for the Demon Hunter that can have 2 sockets. If other weapons were to have that same feature, Manticore wouldn't be the “Mandatory Manticore”.
This would balance the use of Shadow Power, and make Brooding more widely used. I don't think it's a ridiculous or outrageous idea.


27. Cull of the Weak – (Offensive) – DPU 5.80%


As I have improved the skills that slow enemies (Entangling Shot as an example), and added slowing features to some other skills (Spider Companion for example), this skill doesn't need any more help. I think that the 15% damage increase is good enough, and it doesn't need 20%. Think about this skill when used with the new version of Spider Companion. Pretty much all your attacks would deal 15% more damage (if you can attack fast enough, Spider Companion imbues your attacks the ability to slow enemies for 1.5 seconds).


28. Custom Engineering – (Utility) – DPU 7.60%


This is the only skill that's clearly a “utility” skill. It's already in a pretty decent place, but I think that this skill is the most fitting to grant a boost to “devices” skills as Archery did to archery skills. So in addition to the already existing features, this should also do the following:

-Evasive fire: generates 3 more hatred (now 11)
-Fan of Knives: reduces the cooldown by 2 seconds (now 6)
-Spike Trap: reduces hatred cost by 5 (now 30, I increased it to 35 earlier)
-Sentry: reduces hatred cost by 10 (now 30, 20 in the case of Vigilant Watcher). Allows for 1 extra turret to be up at a time (Vigilant Watcher now grants the fourth with this passive)

Done. Opens up some very interesting skillsets.
Edited by Juicypus#2757 on 5/16/2013 4:51 PM PDT
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My finger hurts from trying to scroll all the way down to the end.
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29. Grenadier – (Offensive/Utility) – DPU 5.40%


The idea is one of the best of passive skills in my opinion, but this skill has a few flaws as they've added monster power levels, and buffed the Monk skills etc. I'll start with the “trademark” of this skill:
Who wants to die? No one. The idea that upon death you drop a grenade that inflicts huge damage to the enemy, as if saying: “I'm taking you with me.” The concept is awesome, but 450% isn't the “huge damage” that it's supposed to be. That's one thing I'm going to change, and it's going to get a straight out buff in damage.

Secondly, a skill that's called “Grenadier” should in my opinion buff all the skills and runes that use some form of grenades. It just makes sense. Similar to the damage-buff gained to rockets from Ballistics, Grenadier should grant a damage buff to all of the grenade skills, which are:

-Grenades (obviously)
-Rapid Fire – Bombardment
-Strafe – Demolition
-Cluster Arrow (more specifically the grenades released after the initial hit, excluding the runes Shooting Stars and Maelstrom, those don't release grenades)
-Rain of Vengeance – Anathema (the buff is going to be abysmal, but it is a grenade-skill anyway)

So with the above changes in mind, this is what it would look like:

-increase the damage done by the grenade upon death from 450% to 2000% (the purpose is to kill, not tickle. Think about the movie Predator when the creature dies)
-increase the radius of the grenade upon death slightly
-grants a 30% weapon damage boost to skills that use grenades (listed above)
-increase the hatred regenerated by Grenades from 2 to 3

The hatred cost reduction of Cluster Arrow would stay the same, so with this skill it now costs 30 (I reduced the default cost to 40 earlier).

I know that the feature of grenade upon death is useless in HC, but I can't help myself:
Imagine HC inferno Diablo, and it seems like the fight lasts forever. Just at the end when Diablo is about to die, he/she (don't know which one haha) grabs you and as he/she smashes you on the ground you die. But you take him/her with you with that last grenade that deals 2000% weapon damage. Awesome way to go on HC!


31. Hot Pursuit – (Defensive/Utility) – DPU 0.40%


I think that it's great as it is. It's actually one of the best skills out of all the passives, the movement speed of 15% is beyond important on a high monster power level. I'm not going to do anything to this skill, as it works flawlessly already.

Of course I'm just trolling. I wish that I could say the above. However I just can't, and it's beyond my understanding why this skill is in the game in its current shape. It's absolutely useless, regardless of the monster power level. For example, have you ever seen a Barbarian that only uses fury generators? The idea is stupid: using this passive does more harm than good as it doesn't allow to use hatred spenders, and it's frankly unbelievable that this ended up in the game in the first place!

This skill requires the most attention in my opinion to be desirable. This skill needs a complete overhaul, and that's exactly what I'm going to do. All that I'm not changing, is the name. I'm scrapping the skill as it is, and this is what I came up with:

-gain 20% movement speed for 5 seconds after picking up a health globe. These bonuses do not stack
-this bonus exceeds the movement speed cap (can't believe that it hasn't done this so far)
-increases the pickup-radius by 5
-increases dodge chance by 5%

That makes it far more desirable, and as the name is “Hot Pursuit”, the new characteristics of the skill fit well. Now it's a defensive and a utility skill, and very similar to Fleeting Shrine. Blizzard should also add a UI icon of the 5-second movement speed boost.

I have to say it again, for I just can't believe that this skill is in the game as it is. This skill is the most stupid, utterly idiotic passive skill that this game has out of all the 5 character classes. This absolutely needs to be scrapped altogether and overhauled from bottom to top. The above changes to this skill is an idea. Start with that.


31. Night Stalker – (Defensive/Utility) – DPU 73.80%


This is the most used passive skill of the Demon Hunter, but that's only because of the cost of discipline skills and the issue of discipline regeneration. On a high monster power level, this is mandatory.
I won't change this at all. The DPU% will already shrink as I've changed the discipline costs of skills. This skill is still very useful, but not necessarily mandatory. It still offers a great discipline source, but one can absolutely survive without it as there are active skills that allow you to refresh discipline easier than before. For example I reduced the cooldown of Preparation by 10 seconds.


32. Numbing Traps – (Defensive) – DPU 1%


The idea is great, and the concept is clear. The bonus however is not enough for this skill to be supreme over the others as a defensive ability. As the name of the skill is Numbing Traps, I came up with the following. In addition to the 20% damage reduced by enemies for 3 seconds, enemies also have their:

-attack speed reduced by 20%
-movement speed reduced by 60%

For 3 seconds. Now the definition of “numbing” is on a different level. This skill is supposed to numb the enemies, so why not add all those numbing effects? This makes this skill a very defensive one, and it's far more welcome on a high monster power level. It's now used by 1%, that alone says that it needs help like this in order to get noticed.


33. Perfectionist – (Defensive) – DPU 57.40%


The third most used passive skill of the Demon Hunter. It's purely defensive, and this is close to mandatory on a high monster power level because players tend to tank the enemies. The defensive features of this skill are most welcome in a melee range fight.
I think that this skill is great as it is, and therefore I won't change this one at all. This skill was actually already buffed earlier by Blizzard at the patch 1.0.5. Before that, it only provided a 10% reduction to the cost of discipline skills, and none of the other features.
Leaving it as it is and moving on...


34. Sharpshooter – (Offensive) – DPU 1.20%


When D3 was released and I rolled a Demon Hunter, I thought that this skill was one of the best skills as it granted a guaranteed critical hit every once in a while. Back then players didn't have that great equipment (because they didn't find those yet) that could grant a total critical hit chance of over 50%, but today it's different: As this skill resets itself and the bonus to zero after every critical hit, then when a player has a critical hit chance of over 50% this skill is useless. This skill is more useful for those who don't have equipment that give a boost to critical hit chance, but let's be honest, then that character is useless.
So without question this skill needs a little bit of tweaking. I'll keep the element of critical hits of course but I'll change the feature like so:

-Gain stacks of 10% critical hit chance every second of a maximum of 5 stacks (50%).
-When landing a critical hit, then this bonus is reset after 1 second.
-The stacks would receive an icon to the UI, similar to Barbarians Frenzy

This is much more of a sharpshooter in my opinion. The benefit is more instant, because it “refreshes” the critical hit chance faster than 3%/second. To balance that, I added a cap of 50%. for those who have over a 50% critical hit chance already, this skill is still somewhat valid, but for those who don't have any critical hit chance at all, this is much more valid than before.

If anyone thinks that this would be overpowered, then remember the rate that critical hits are landed with a critical hit chance of 50% from items. Those players barely get the benefit of this skill, but still they do get it if there's a break in combat. In a constant fight however, these stacks are reset to zero all the time. This encourages to a playstyle that make the player wait for a few seconds between attacks. That time can be used for moving and repositioning, and that in my opinion is the correct playstyle for the Demon Hunter, and suits this class well. As the skill is now, this isn't possible, for it would make the player wait for far longer than 3-5 seconds.


35. Steady Aim – (Offensive) – DPU 30.80%35.


I think that this skill is one of the best passive skills for the Demon Hunter, not only because of its usefulness, but because of the concept, and the playstyle that this skill forces the Demon Hunter to play. I think that this skill is very close to flawless in design, as it is for a ranged class.
I'm not going to change this skill at all, because I honestly think that it's perfect.


36. Tactical Advantage – (Defensive/Utility) – DPU 13.20%


I think that this is more of a utility skill than a defensive one: although movement speed can be used for defensive purposes, on a high monster power level it loses its effectiveness.
This skill is great. Offering more mobility to the class that's the most mobile, and encouraging the class to use skills that make the character move faster. However, on a high monster power level, players usually skip this skill because movement speed is the only thing that it can offer, and for purely defensive purposes this is not enough when there's such skills as Perfectionist. So I'm adding something to this skill to make it an actual option for high monster power levels:

-grants a 5% dodge chance for 3 seconds after using Vault or the backflip of Evasive Fire.

I already added the similar feature to Vault, so together with this skill it adds a 10% chance to dodge for 3 seconds after using it. For Evasive Fire it grants 5%. This wouldn't make the class tankier, because they are skills that force the Demon Hunter to move. This encourages the players of this class to stay mobile and use these skills on a regular basis. I think that it's an excellent idea, and a great way to drag the class away from tanking.


37. Thrill of the Hunt – (Offensive/Defensive) – DPU 0.20%


This is the least used passive skill of the Demon Hunter, which is actually very surprising considering that Hot Pursuit exists as well.
I don't think that this skill is all that bad, and no, this time I'm not joking. Of course this skill needs a lot of help, but the idea is great! It's very interesting as it at the same time fills the role of an offensive passive and as a defensive passive. It's meant for 100% kiting purposes.

So what's so wrong about this skill then since it's so awesome in my opinion?
First off, the 7 seconds is not good enough. It's horrible to wait for that long.
Secondly, the UI icon information of the skill is incomplete in my opinion, it only shows when the skill is available, but after it's not, the icon disappears; they should add a cooldown to that icon, so the player can better prepare on using it.
Third, it's now consumed even if not hitting anything, and that's an awful flaw in design. If the Demon Hunter misses his/her hatred spender, he/she has to wait for another 7 seconds to have this skill available.

With these in mind, I'm going to improve them. But even when I do that, the skill still isn't good enough for using this skill over the other passives. It needs something else as well, so I'm adding a similar boost to Hunting skills of the Demon Hunter by this skill, the same way that Archery boosts archery skills.

These are the overall changes to this skill to make it appealing on a high monster power level:

-reduce the cooldown duration from 7 to 5 seconds
-increase the slow duration from 2 to 2.5 seconds
-add a cooldown duration to the UI icon
-the ability is consumed only when hitting an enemy with a hatred spender, not when using a hatred spender

Thrill of the Hunt now boosts hunting skills:

-Vault: increases dodge chance from 5% to 8% for 3 seconds
-Preparation: reduces cooldown by 5 seconds (now 30, down from 35)
-Companion: removes cooldown altogether (awesome when using tanking companions, like the Wolf)
-Marked for Death: increases damage done to the marked target from 15% (increased it earlier) to 20%

These changes make this skill so much more interesting, and very viable on a high monster power level. And have you thought about how effective this is against treasure goblins?


38. Vengeance – (Offensive/Utility) – DPU 31.80%38.


This is one of the best passive skills of the Demon Hunter. Because the hatred regeneration has been an issue so far, this skill has offered the much needed comfort of a non-empty hatred pool.
I'm not going to change this, except for one slight adjustment. As I changed the default maximum hatred already from 125 to 150 earlier, this skill needs to be adjusted according to that. As 25 is 20% out of 125, then I'll need to increase the bonus to the adjusted hatred pool by 20% as well, which is 30:

-increase the bonus to maximum hatred from 25 to 30 (a total of 180)

That's all that I'm going to do to this skill. This already works so well, and I don't see any reason why I should enhance it further.


So that's it. For the skills, for all the sections, for all of it. I do have some ideas that I couldn't include in any of the above sections, so I'll list them soon ahead. That won't be a long text, just some things that I've come to notice as I've played the Demon Hunter, and where I think the game needs a little bit of improvement.

I sincerely hope that I haven't left out anything, and all questions were answered, and all aspects of the class were dealt with. I've done a quick check of the post in total, and if I did leave something unclear, please let me know and don't be shy to ask about those things. I'll answer as soon and the best way that I can.

I'm not saying that everything that I've suggested on this post should be written in stone. They are my opinions, and what I feel that the Demon Hunter needs in order to be fixed and realized as the class that it's designed to be: an agile, fast-moving, dexterous, deadly yet fragile, killing machine.
This is the version of the Demon Hunter that I would like to play, and what I imagined it would be like when I first created a character of this class.

I hope that this finds its way to the hands of the development team, and that they also in addition to you readers would come up with awesome ideas that would improve the class to be on par with the others on a high monster power level.

I'll list the bonus issues below.


Bonus Content

1. Decrease the cooldown of potions to 10 seconds

It's not like the potions could be spammed anyway, but this offers a more reliable final straw for survivability. There's an excess volume of potions dropping, and that's because they can't be used that much.
As it is now, a player has to carefully consider using a potion. It's like parachuting, when you open your main chute and it doesn't open you still have a reserve. But as Ryan Reynolds once said: “If I use this one, then I'll have none left”. Kinda makes you nervous right? Because of that they are not used as much as they should be. A 10-second cooldown wouldn't make them spammable, but usable.

2. Make leaping enemies targetable while midair

Of course. It's really frustrating for ranged characters for enemies leaping to melee range with them and not being able to do anything about it. Please change this, I don't even think that I need to justify my opinion on this matter.

3. Make certain skills ignore the Waller affix

Certain skills being grenades of skills and rockets of skills. It's ridiculous that the Demon Hunter can't throw grenades over that wall. As I understand it, the Waller affix is meant to prevent the player from escaping, not to act as a shield. At least change it for grenades and rockets.

4. Reduce the distance needed for Savage Beasts to execute their charging attack

I can't count how many times I've died in act 1 Fields of Misery to these beasts. When they're about to charge they do this animation, and that's a good thing. It requires some skill to realize that I'll have to get out of their way.
But when those things attack you from outside the screen, that's a bad thing. The charge attack is so fast that there's simply not enough time to realize it before it hits you. I can't be the only one who feels the same way.

5. Make it possible for class-specific items excluding weapons to have a lifesteal affix, exactly like Mighty Belts for Barbarians

I think it would only be fair. I actually received a good comment on this issue since I added a cooldown of 7 seconds to Shadow Power, this would in a way force a player to use active skills or passive skills that wouldn't necessarily fit the build otherwise, IF wanting to go for Calamity with a socket for example (can't roll LS then). I think that all classes should have a lifesteal affix on their class-specific items that are not weapons: Cloaks, Wizard Hats, Voodoo Masks and Spirit Stones, and I can't figure out the reason why the Barbarian is the only class that this affix is allowed.


NOW that's it. I'd like to thank my brother Rottana and my co-player friend Diabolo for helping me to write this post and sharing some of their ideas on the many aspects of this huge post.
If you have actually made this far and read the whole thing, then I urge you to upvote this and bumb it. Demon Hunters are in need of help. Be a part of that help.

Long live the Demon Hunters!


A while after releasing this post, I've received a few comments that this would be copy pasted. This assumption is probably based on the fact that my US profile shows no characters above lvl 1. For those who doubt:


I'm an EU player. I decided to post this 90-page essay on these forums, since it has more audience here. My original goal was to get this in the hands of the development team for them to read, and thought that posting this huge manifest here on the US forums would be the best solution as they tend to pay more attention here than the EU forums (or at least that's what I feel).

Here's some trivia of this post that are straight from the word program that I used to create this post:

- Words written: 46493
- Letters typed: 253313
- Time spent: 199 hours, 41 minutes, and 3 seconds.

I sincerely hope that this clears that issue up permanently, and no more doubts are developing about this matter. Thank you.
Edited by Juicypus#2757 on 5/18/2013 4:28 PM PDT
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- 17.5. Added a point #5 to the "Bonus Section" about lifesteal on items, right at the end of the post.
- 17.5 Added a chapter to section #7, a suggestion about dual wielding.
- 18.5 Added a chapter right to the end of the post about suspicions that this would be copypasted
Edited by Juicypus#2757 on 5/18/2013 1:30 PM PDT
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Edited by Juicypus#2757 on 5/15/2013 1:22 PM PDT
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Extra. Enjoy the read.
Edited by Juicypus#2757 on 5/15/2013 1:23 PM PDT
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Wow... slow day I guess? I really want to read it all eventually, but can someone give me some key points in quotes first haha?
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Reading this while sitting on the bus. You make a lot of good pointers! One of my ideas was to replace one of each hatred generator rune with extra hatred gained on crit, similar to the monk's spirit generators.

I try to solve my hatred problems using preperation punishment rune, and the goblin issue I use caltrops to kill them. But then again I use nat legacy set.
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unfortunately, as much information as you may have shoved into this 10 page essay of yours, Travis Day basically just said that they have no intention to fix DH beyond where we currently are because he doesn't feel we have issues.
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You should post a PDF version of this on googledocs (with a table of contents for easier navigation). These forums don't seem adequate to support thesis/dissertation-length comments.
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unfortunately, as much information as you may have shoved into this 10 page essay of yours, Travis Day basically just said that they have no intention to fix DH beyond where we currently are because he doesn't feel we have issues.

90-page essay, actually :)

I hope that the development team reads the entire thing, and if they after reading this still think that way, I'll give up :)
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One of the reasons a melee class has a higher eDPS is the fact that they don't have to avoid and dodge attacks manually during fights, they can just DPS away constantly.
With DHs this is not the case: during fights we have to avoid, dodge and evade (D2 reference <3) attacks in order to survive, and while executing those crafty maneuvers of ours we don't do anything to damage the enemies, hence losing eDPS.

Stopped reading here due to it being completely wrong and misleading. We do not have to move at all.
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One of the reasons a melee class has a higher eDPS is the fact that they don't have to avoid and dodge attacks manually during fights, they can just DPS away constantly.
With DHs this is not the case: during fights we have to avoid, dodge and evade (D2 reference <3) attacks in order to survive, and while executing those crafty maneuvers of ours we don't do anything to damage the enemies, hence losing eDPS.

Stopped reading here due to it being completely wrong and misleading. We do not have to move at all.

That's exactly my point. A mobility class that's not required to move? Not the way it's supposed to be.
You're missing a very central point here. Read on please. You just barely started to read the post if that's how far you got.

I'm not too sure if you're trolling.
Edited by Juicypus#2757 on 5/15/2013 3:06 PM PDT
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I haven't read this but if it's anywhere near as good as Gosu's Salvation of D3, I'm gonna a real fun evening.
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Pretty good stuff so far, I just made it to the Discipline portion.
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