Diablo® III

CoB End-game Progression Guide

07/05/2013 12:19 PMPosted by Bonefish
With this said, isn't the additional mana regen possible 42/sec? 14 from weapon, mojo, and helm?


2H path can have mana regen on helm too. Where possibilities are similar, that won't be "additional" over the other path.

14 on weapon, 14 on mojo, being additional to the 1-handers, where the 2-handers cannot find the mana regen on any 2H weapon. This is the additional buffer that 1-handers have, but in terms of APS multipliers, there will come a breakpoint where 1-handers need to consume more mana than the buffer can provide. Carving knife will reach this threshold fast, Spear and Mace slower, and 2H weapon even slower. This is because the %IAS is multiplied to the base APS, while the buffer mana is added per second. One is a multiplicative relationship, while the other is an additive relationship. There must surely be a tipping point.

@Mugel, ok man, cheers.
I'm not exactly biased on any path, although I admit to being lazy and just want to stand there and channel, as you can see evidently in my videos. On this logic, spending weeks preparing and compiling this guide is tiring.
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Gotcha, totally forgot about mana regen on zuni helm, since you practically never see someone w/out CC in that stat slot.
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I want to note that mana regen is kinda underestimated here. One thing - is less mana consumption, another is mana regen. COB is 221 mana to start, better mana regen will get you on safer side with fast and/or controlling elites. Having more mana consumption in many cases is not that critical if your COB build is well balanced. Also high attack speed is less problem the more dps you have. Having base 1.64 aps I really don't notice problems with frenzy shrine + 4 totem stack - things die fast. As soon as your dps is good to make GI+GF combo work well (+ some pickup radius) you can try to push your AS farther with 1h and see if you have mana problems. I believe from my experience that there's a strong correlation between mana and dps. More dps - less mana problems with higher AS. But more AS is more dps... so at some point stacking AS is not hurting 1h setup as much as some people believe
Edited by KyKaH#2425 on 7/5/2013 1:34 PM PDT
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07/05/2013 01:12 PMPosted by Bonefish
Gotcha, totally forgot about mana regen on zuni helm, since you practically never see someone w/out CC in that stat slot.


Now that you touched on this part of the topic, I'm thinking if a 2H doom hammer (with Ruby) WD chose to give up CHC on helm and have 14 mana/sec, how far an APS limit can he push?

Then I started counting all the possible IAS slots. Pants, 1 ring (other ring should be Bats SoJ since the weapon is a doom hammer with ruby), amulet, glove, bracer. Total 5 pieces of IAS, using 2 mana passives and SW. That means, The maximum APS of the 2H Mace will be 0.9 x 1.45 = 1.305. Zuni helm might as well be CHC, there's no advantage of having buffer mana, when 2 mana passives + Bats SoJ + SW can already support the APS bracket of 1.31. However, with a Skorn, the APS will be 1.45, which may or may not need the additional mana buffer from the Zuni helm. These are the potential opportunities that may be achievable when the base APS is so low.

At the 1.45 APS, we're near 3 ticks per second. By giving up 12% CHC, we're at 37% CHC, which mathematically is still about 1 critical tick every second for survival concerns.

It is this type of high-end gear configurations that I am unable to test in game, and was asking players with the Billions whether they'd be keen to see how far the 2H path can push the DPS limits while keeping within the threshold of mana consumption.
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07/05/2013 01:23 PMPosted by KyKaH
As soon as your dps is good to make GI+GF combo work well


This by itself is already a variable, where you need mobs around, and you need the mobs to die. The threshold limits I'm writing about are the cycles that can be achieved (say Uber or boss fights), where there is steady and reliable mana returns (via gear, passive or SW). This will be good balance. To put it simply, getting rid of external factors, channel in town.

Assuming unlimited budget, the question then becomes:
1) 1.2 APS weapon, how many pieces of IAS is the limit?
2) 1.4 APS weapon...
3) 1.0 APS weapon...
4) 0.9 APS weapon...

When there is sustainable mana management, the DPS can firmly be pushed higher. No matter which weapon is selected, it will reach the limit as more and more IAS is stacked. Then there's the additive mana buffer (28 mana potential for carving knife path, 14 mana potential for other 1H path).

The way I see it, 2H Mace will have the best potential to push the APS limits by adding the most number of IAS gear, and a 1H Dagger will have the least potential to push the APS limits.
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As soon as mob (elite, boss or whatever) dies before you mana depletes you don't really need any extra mana return. Elites provide steady and reliable mana return as soon as you make them produce a health globe before your mana depletes. If I would have 1mil dps it would not hurt me if my mana depletes in 10-15 sec, I would worry more about how fast it would regen after - I hope this would make my argument more understandable. That is mana consumption (i.e. attack speed) can be balanced with damage per mana
Ubers is all different topic though.
Edited by KyKaH#2425 on 7/5/2013 3:16 PM PDT
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Paul, thanks for an awesome post. I will bookmark this and refer to it often.
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07/05/2013 02:13 PMPosted by KyKaH
If I would have 1mil dps it would not hurt me if my mana depletes in 10-15 sec, I would worry more about how fast it would regen after - I hope this would make my argument more understandable. That is mana consumption (i.e. attack speed) can be balanced with damage per mana


Yes, indeed a valid point. An experienced WD can go for burst damage (kill before OOM), anticipating mana refuel at various stages, or disengaging from shielding (or extra health) packs to allow mana regeneration since they don't take damage while shield is on. Mana negative on fights, but killing faster and then moving on, while moving the mana regenerates back for the next battle.

The pre-requisite to explore your concepts is vast experience with the WD class. The original intention for this guide is to help players complete the game at MP10, provide a stable build and style to handle the various Acts and bosses, and the popular Uber runs among friends. Beyond that objective, and with their accumulated experience, they can move on to advanced levels of gearing (Topic (3)- SoJ + stacking IAS), as well as "burst damage" concepts for high efficiency farming.

Very good feedback here, thank you.

Not giving any promises, but if I expand this guide to include advanced concepts that enhance the CoB style of play, but require certain conditions and factors to execute the style smoothly, I will put such styles under Topic (6) - Miscellaneous Concepts.

All feedback for "advanced styles" with CoB as main the damage skill is appreciated. With enough content, Topic (6) will be written.
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I finally found some time to re-read your guide and I must say it was very enjoyable. I watched a couple of videos too and I agree with the way you approached a goblin kill with CoB. I learned that approach myself after watching another video by a Europe WD. He was also very experienced and skilled.

I wish barbs had a guide for throw barbs - I started a throw barb recently but its just a pile of mess.

Many good points and tips to be gleaned here.

Except for this =D

07/02/2013 11:32 AMPosted by PaulNg
* Zuni 4-piece is a must (boots, helm, ring, chest).


No just kidding. Wish I had the benefits of a 4pc Zuni too! definitely the zuni bonuses will help immensely and make gameplay much smoother. Not that I have tried it myself though lol. I just imagine how more mana/mana regen could have made my gaming experience much better.

I also found it odd you did not include RoE in your build especially when you seemed to be running WoS. But I guess you explained that with WoS = occasionally used skill. But if that was the case, maybe changing WoS to something else that you can use more often might be better? just a thought.
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07/06/2013 07:23 AMPosted by EremiteAngel
I also found it odd you did not include RoE in your build especially when you seemed to be running WoS. But I guess you explained that with WoS = occasionally used skill. But if that was the case, maybe changing WoS to something else that you can use more often might be better? just a thought.


Nowadays in groups, I don't even have other damage skills, only CoB. I put SW, SH, Hex, MC, Horrify to support the group play. Friends are so much better than the AI follower.

Did you see the Uber team play? Nothing much planned except for the 108% DPS buff, our first time grouping (Amiar didn't even know the other 2 players). Our timing for all 3 Ubers was less than 8:45 minutes.

So you can say I haven't used WoS in quite a while.
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Added to Topic (3)

Advanced gearing for Skorn (SoJ & IAS)

When all the mitigation and other DPS stats are in place, Skorn WDs can really push their DPS to higher limits.

IAS Gears APS Mana/sec Remarks (Using BR & SA passives)
0 pc ------- 1.0 ---- 66 ------
1 pc ------- 1.08 -- 74 ------
2 pc ------- 1.16 -- 80 ------
3 pc ------- 1.21 -- 83 ------
3 pc ------- 1.26 -- 87 ------ BR, SA, no SW = Mana +ve
4 pc ------- 1.31 -- 90 ------ BR, SA, no SW = Mana -ve, channel >10 mins in town
5 pc ------- 1.37 -- 95 ------ BR, SA, need SW = Mana +ve
5 pc ------- 1.43 -- 99 ------ BR, SA, need SW = Mana +ve
6 pc ------- 1.51 -- 105 ----- BR, SA, need SW = Mana +ve


* Note: I only used 1 ring for IAS, because the other ring is reserved to slot in an SoJ. WDs that are not fond of SoJ can stack IAS on glove, both rings, amulet, belt, (bracer or pants) - 6 pieces total, without affecting your current survival.

Using SoJ -6FB & BR passive, without the need for SA passive.

A higher FB reduction SoJ will perform even better. SoJ frees up 1 passive slot, and delivers much higher eDPS against elites. Adding even more IAS pieces is not practical.

IAS Gears APS Mana/sec Remarks (SoJ & BR passive)
0 pc ------- 1.0 ---- 66 -------
1 pc ------- 1.08 -- 74 -------
2 pc ------- 1.16 -- 80 ------- no SW = Mana +ve
3 pc ------- 1.21 -- 83 ------- no SW = Mana -ve but channel >8 mins in town
3 pc ------- 1.26 -- 87 ------- need SW = Mana +ve
4 pc ------- 1.31 -- 90 ------- need SW = Mana +ve
5 pc ------- 1.37 -- 95 ------- need SW = Mana +ve
5 pc ------- 1.43 -- 99 ------- need SW = Mana +ve
6 pc ------- 1.51 -- 105 ------ need SW = Mana -ve, channel about 6 mins in town

A 2H Mace or 2H Polearm will be even more mana-efficient.

Simulated High-End Gearing for Skorn

Profile - http://d3up.com/b/833484/july-2013-gear-config

Following the SoJ path, we stick to the 5 pieces of IAS gear to remain mana positive, without negative impact on defences.

DPS 236,437.6
DPS vs Elites 307,368.88


Attacks per Second 1.44
+% Attack Speed 44%
Critical Hit Chance 42.5%
Critical Hit Damage 511%
MH Weapon Damage 164,192.78

Armor 3,439
All Resist 650.1
Block Chance 0%
Dodge Chance 15.95%
Armor Damage Reduction 52.19%
Total Damage Reduction 86.74% (with JF passive)
Thorns 1,794

Maximum Life 66,270.86
HP:EHP Ratio 1:7.54
Life Steal 5.4%
Life per Hit 425
Total Life Bonus 46%
Life per Second 1,325.42
Life per Kill 0
Health Globe Healing Bonus 0
Bonus to Gold/Globe Radius 7

Skorn with > 300k DPS against elites is a reality, if you can afford it.
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Topic (4) has been expanded with new research information on the whole range of 1H weapons.

Additional Research on all 1H Weapons
Some important details first:
1) The SoJ when used, was -6 FB. There are better SoJs around.
2) The SoS mojo used was +150 max mana, +14 mana regen. This is the highest available in AH. The SoS mojo can come with %CHC too, so your DPS will not be weakened.
3) The VoG mask when used, was -12 FB, and +14 mana regen. This is the highest available in AH. The VoG mask can come with 6% CHC too.

Your results will vary if you use items that are different from the above 3 points.

The conclusion is that mana "discount" is better than mana regeneration, because "-12 FB" and BR passive scales directly with APS.

etc.... Details in Topic (4).
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First question: Do you know how exactly -12 FB works? I think it will not substract 12 from channelling cost nor will substract 12 from initial cost. I'm not sure, but I think it will substract around 6 from both, so +12 mana regen will outperform it up to 2.0 attack speed. -mana works really nice for bears though. I have to mention I did not test it myself, but people on other forum made the tests and they claim that -FB divided between initalizing and channelling. I don't want to fail here, so I leave the testing to you.
Edited by KyKaH#2425 on 7/7/2013 3:14 PM PDT
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07/07/2013 02:15 PMPosted by KyKaH
First question: Do you know how exactly -12 FB works?


I've no idea how FB reduction works, but I do know the mana "discount" and BR passive scales directly with APS. You are right that it does not -12 mana every channel, it is weaker than that.

All the threshold limits were tested in town, so the limit of IAS pieces are valid, if the mana gear is the same as the types used in the test. If a player chooses different parameters, their results will be different.

Getting the IAS gears with all the other DPS stats will cost billions per piece, which is way beyond my budget, but anyone can just buy simple IAS blue items to test the threshold themselves, maybe 10k gold per piece. All players can just stay in town to verify my tests.

So for example, if a player wants to go aggressive on the SoS mojo, and only have VoG as the only item with 14 mana regen and -12 FB, then his IAS limit will be fewer gears, and he can get blue IAS items and his preferred type of 1H weapon to test in town. Let's say a 1H Spear WD, it's not practical to get 7 pieces of IAS gear, so a Spear WD will have strong reason to have slightly fewer mana stats on the helm and mojo, and look for other types of stats like DPS or mitigation.

The objective for this player will be to find out the limit of his APS breakpoint, without the need for the 2nd mana passive. Then this player will be able to map out his gear upgrades to include the total number of IAS pieces he can support, with the confidence that he will not "break" his WD because his mana management is sustainable. Once this player succeeds in having only 1 mana passive, he can use the defensive combo such as SV/JF or the offensive combo GI/GF for various situations. Pet hybrids can also go CoL/ZH. Many possibilities open up.

The WD skill-gear relationship will widen and have more variety, and we will see more creative ways of getting things done.

For most players, perhaps the most important purpose for such APS limit testing is for budget planning. Let's say I want to go into the 1.43 - 1.50 APS bracket for my Skorn, and buying a trifecta Zuni Pox with 5% IAS or 9% IAS will put me in my target APS breakpoint. The obvious choice will be the cheaper 5% IAS trifecta Zuni Pox. Even though the 9% IAS Zuni Pox will show higher sheet DPS, the eDPS for both rings will be exactly the same for CoB. The prices of both rings will be significantly different.
Edited by PaulNg#6869 on 7/7/2013 4:27 PM PDT
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Your profile still shows up as Bears path. Basically, the gear and skill build needs to have synergy. The gear-build relationship is different for every style. Just follow the concepts in Topics (1) to (3), and the whole game content shouldn't be any problem for your current gears.

I guess you're not really familiar with the techniques and casting sequences for CoB, that will be Topic (2).

I'm sure you already know where you can upgrade (eg. more CHC and Intel).
Good luck![/quote]

Oops, so sorry Paul, my profile should now show COB!

Yup I read your topic 2 again and tried it out on Act 2 VOTA and Oasis and generally works really well but a couple of struggles I was hoping you have advice on:
- Dealing with knockbacks - there is this blue guy with a hammer that jumps and hits the ground (like from the same Shaman group) and causes knockback that is really annoying. I find there are many times I am OOM because it disrupts COB channel, then I keep restarting and incurring the big initial mana cost. How do you generally deal with knockback? I can use Horror or SW but that is only limited times I avoid the hit, and they still not dead yet. I could kite, but then I disrupt my own channelling.

- BLAZING GUARDIANS - these guys hurt bad! Esp for COB where you sit still, you end up sitting in piles of fire which is really bad, plus they keep moving around so u gotta reposition. I tried using SB but its not enough damage to down these guys efficiently enough...and I often OOM halfway doing that.

- 1H vs 2H - am I correct in saying your conclusion out of Topic 4 is that for COB builds, Skorn is the safest and cost-effective approach, while overall a 1H spear/mace setup (assuming no budget constraint) is the optimal performance setup? It seems like that was your implication? If not, what kind of gear do you recommend? Spear and Serpent?
Edited by Bankai#2591 on 7/7/2013 5:25 PM PDT
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PaulNG, I still remember your help with my monk, and this guide is VERY good!

I think my build/gear is ideal for act1-act3 (high mob density makes devouring really shine).
Dropping the EF (at James1v12's suggestion) has me into MP9-10 solo farming.

I'd really appreciate a quick peek at my setup and let me know if I'm missing something; I just got back into WD a week ago and I've been studying pretty hard!

Thanks man!!
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Great guide PaulNg, certainly have learned a couple new things.
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07/07/2013 04:04 PMPosted by PaulNg
Even though the 9% IAS Zuni Pox will show higher sheet DPS, the eDPS for both rings will be exactly the same for CoB.


Please elaborate. I don't understand it. With %9 aps you do more damage per second than with 5% aps. What is eDPS? Damage per mana pool divided by time? If you never empty mana pool than DPS=eDPS

If you mean sustainable mana is "mana regen=mana spent", than I think sustainable mana is not needed. Sustainable mana means setup is not balanced with resource. It's like HP - if it's always full than you're overdoing it. You getting most of your resource if it is almost empty in the end of the fight.
Edited by KyKaH#2425 on 7/7/2013 11:52 PM PDT
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Please elaborate. I don't understand it. With %9 aps you do more damage per second than with 5% aps. What is eDPS? Damage per mana pool divided by time? If you never empty mana pool than DPS=eDPS


He's probably referring to the tick rate of bats. Just like with certain wiz builds, there are certain breakpoints that actually increase your damage. Going from 47% ias to 48% won't necessarily increase your dmg unless you cross over to the next threshhold of tick rates. Check out topic 3 for more info.
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Please elaborate. I don't understand it. With %9 aps you do more damage per second than with 5% aps. What is eDPS?


eDPS is the effective DPS you output in game. This is from Topic (3)

APS Breakpoints

Special thanks to Nubtro, for excellent research work on the mechanics of CoB:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/8796451628?page=7#121
1.42858-1.50000 aps - 20 frames - 3.00 ticks - 99 mana

I'll use this example. Let's say you're shopping for a Zuni Pox, and you can consider 2 high-end Zuni Pox, one ring has 5% IAS / 6% CHC / 33% CHD and the other ring has 9% IAS / 6% CHC / 33% CHD.

Let's say, the 5% IAS ring puts your APS at 1.43, and the 9% IAS ring puts your APS at 1.47. Your sheet DPS will be higher for APS 1.47, but your CoB damage output is exactly the same as APS 1.43. Any player with the APS ranging from 1.43 to 1.50 is going to do exactly 3 ticks per sec when channeling CoB. The CoB damage is based on your weapon "per hit", your Intel, CHC, CHD, etc, but has nothing to do with APS. The APS only determines how frequently you're going to hit.

In terms of gear planning and shopping for gear, especially when each piece is going to cost Billions, the clarity that you only need 5% IAS will be much cheaper than the 9% trifecta Zuni Pox.

However, if you change to a skill that does not channel the same way as Bats (eg. Bears, or Poison Darts), then yes, casting faster at APS 1.47 will be higher sheet DPS = higher eDPS.

07/07/2013 11:37 PMPosted by KyKaH
If you mean sustainable mana is "mana regen=mana spent", than I think sustainable mana is not needed. Sustainable mana means setup is not balanced with resource.


While in-game, we also need to cast other spells like MC, Hex, SH, FA. It's good to have some "surplus" or sustainable mana to compensate during the fights. You do not think it is necessary because you have extensive experience and you know how to combo with GI. When a new WD seeks guidance, we give them the most stable path in the guide. After they know what they are doing, they can always "optimize" for efficiency, "optimize" for their specific objectives (DE farming, boss hunting, anything).

It's like a driving instructor telling you to keep both hands on the steering wheel and keep your eyes on the road. After you get your own car and become experienced, you don't always follow the same way. The driving instructor cannot tell you to use your knees to control the car while looking into your phone to reply a text message.
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