Diablo® III

Amassing a small army for the doctor

I apologize if this has already been covered, a cursory search didn't pull up anything too specific.

I've been playing my WD from day 1, and I have to say I do miss my druid. That said, I've been discovering more ways to recreate the feeling of an army surrounding me which is what I had originally hoped for.
Between Fetish Sycophants, the Garg, Manitou and the dogs I can get the usual amount of pets on the screen. With the enchantress and the maximus I get one more, however with the rules being that sets don't apply to followers I'm at a loss of any other way to have a large standing army.

Even at 230k DPS they really don't do much more than keep enemies busy (outside of the Garg). It makes playing MP1 and 2 really funny, the pets kill most things outright, but above that they start to just be more of a shield than anything else.

I don't want to take a huge DPS drop to get a skeleton, or any other set on my doctor so....

My question was has anyone found any other unique combinations to amass a small army that actually does damage on any higher MP levels?
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Beyond stacking crazy attack speed w/sycophants(I have 2.65 attacks per second), there is no way to make your pets do realistic amounts of damage.

However, Blizz has announced that in a future patch they'll include a legendary Voodoo hat that'll increase pet damage by a percentage, so hopefully that'll help.
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I've recently been playing with BBV jungle drums and MC Paranoia to help make the pets viable during elite fights, and I've found that it seems to make them a lot more useful.

But I run with a thing of the deep and grave injustice to make the cooldowns not so painful. I was surprised to actually see a reflects elite killed by my Garg while I was waiting for my spirit walk to cooldown.

I'd like to see the hat, but for those of us who use a full zuni set for the mana regen I'm not sure it's a trade off I could live with.
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1 Draenei Shaman
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Posts: 9,050
I honestly think this is why there's still room for the necromancer in diablo 3; witch doctors just aren't pet masters.

I really, really like that the casting side of this class was fleshed out quite well because I honestly don't usually like pets. However, before the "pet buffs" I had amassed life regen and thorns gear for a mass pet build that looked something like http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#WYiTPQ!agV!bYZZZb

I had bleed on a weapon and cc effects on every piece of armor. I could only get like 3500 armor and 300 resist all with 20k hp, ~2k life regen and 8k thorns. It worked fine for act I but I couldn't really do act II effectively.

Quite fun, but not good. I think a lot of people would really like to make a "swarm doctor," but the items just don't exist and the pet skills aren't very well-designed at all.

Blizzard has their work cut out for them, haha.
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Important points to remember when maximizing pet damage:

1) Pet damage does not benefit from Crit Damage, they always crit at 50%
2) Pet damage scales with attack speed, their attack frequency does not change but they'll do more damage.
3) Pet damage sucks.

Taken this info into consideration I would recommend the following:

  • Choose a weapon with +Intelligence and a Socket, put a Ruby in the socket
  • Attack speed in moderation is good, pets will do more damage, and you'll proc fetishes more often
  • Use Plague Bats, it procs twice as many fatishes and does great damage. I would not recommend CoB for a pets build. You'll need to have enough mana regen to sustain PB
  • PtV is meh if you are using Plague Bats, it is possible to use this with something like spiders + bears build
  • You'll still have to do the majority of the damage so don't completely neglect crit and crit damage.
  • Consider using a Stone of Jordan
Edited by Wachati#1647 on 6/18/2013 4:45 PM PDT
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Thanks for all the insight, I switched some of my gear to focus on IAS and more raw damage however it seems im doomed as my build is towards crit damage. Even using a build where I have 330kdps and 1.95 attacks per second - on mp1 the pets still cant tear anything apart at a reasonable rate. I might swap out my emerald for a ruby a little later, but it seems an uphill battle.

I was unaware that crit damage did not help pets at all, wish I had done some more research earlier on....

I just miss the way i used to be able to run though levels mindlessly and let the pets do most of the work, i guess the times.. they are a changing.
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A build like this one is a lot of fun -

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#cTUVdY!YVZ!bYZcaZ

mega-buffed army of knife-stabbing fetishes.
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