Diablo® III

Plague Bats: Thoughts and Techniques

Assuming no boost from Intel etc.

weapon (1) does 100 weapon damage with aps of 1.0
weapon (2) does 50 weapon damage with aps of 2.0

Both weapons will sustain the same dps of 578.

Weapon (1)
=========
Each frame does (1.0 * 1/300) * 100 * 5.78 = 1.92 damage
Stacked 5 times that is 5*1.92 = 9.63 each frame
DPS (60 frames per sec) = 60 * 9.63 = 578

Weapon 1 will reach 5 stacks in 2.5 seconds.

Weapon (2)
=========
Each frame does (2.0 * 1/300) * 50 * 5.78 = 1.92 damage
Stacked 5 times 5*1.92 = 9.63 each frame
DPS (60 frames per sec) = 60 * 9.63 = 578

Weapon 2 will reach 5 stacks in 1.25 seconds.
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Assuming no boost from Intel etc.

weapon (1) does 100 weapon damage with aps of 1.0
weapon (2) does 50 weapon damage with aps of 2.0

Both weapons will sustain the same dps of 578.

Weapon (1)
=========
Each frame does (1.0 * 1/300) * 100 * 5.78 = 1.92 damage
Stacked 5 times that is 5*1.92 = 9.63 each frame
DPS (60 frames per sec) = 60 * 9.63 = 578

Weapon 1 will reach 5 stacks in 2.5 seconds.

Weapon (2)
=========
Each frame does (2.0 * 1/300) * 50 * 5.78 = 1.92 damage
Stacked 5 times 5*1.92 = 9.63 each frame
DPS (60 frames per sec) = 60 * 9.63 = 578

Weapon 2 will reach 5 stacks in 1.25 seconds.


Great info - so that would mean attack speed scales linearly.
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Oh wow, it's awesome to have the details of this finally clarified, knowing that attack speed is definitely not wasted and reinforcing the play style we've all been running with... plague bats + other skill instead of just plague bats.
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Thank you Wachati and Nubtro for your work.

Looks like this is finally nailed down.
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For those of you who run plage bats + bears, how long do you typically channel PB before switching to bears? How long is the "golden" duration of channel to hit max dps with bats? Also, how long before you switch back to bats?
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07/20/2013 11:42 PMPosted by Nyarlathotep
For those of you who run plage bats + bears, how long do you typically channel PB before switching to bears? How long is the "golden" duration of channel to hit max dps with bats? Also, how long before you switch back to bats?


Some thoughts for you:

PB is a secondary skill with Bears that can also be used as a main skill as needed. Mana management is very important with a ZB/PB build. Maybe more so then many of the other builds. Minus bear reduction items and mana regeneration items are important in this build.

A thought to think about is just make sure you can stream PB for a long time and remember it has a 210 or so initial cost to start up.

With that said usually what I do is:

1. run into the elite area mob (my mitigation and HP are high so it gives me time to stand around and position a lot easier then having low mitigation & HP) and cast SH if it has not been cast before you reach the elites trying to max the buff at 5 (we all like 5 over lower numbers) and then looking at a positioning strategy for bear streaming I.E. a wall to put you back against, etc. and then cast your damage buffs - mine are MC & BBV. Then I spam my PB for roughly 3 - 4 seconds or so to ramp up the initial max damage buff (sometimes longer depending on the elite pack and situation yet mainly just to get the max DOT going) then switch to bears in a single stream if possible. I will spam bears for about 6 seconds or so and if the elites are still alive (I.E. Extra HP, Shielding, etc.) I switch back to PB and ramp it up again followed by bears if needed. If I see shielding on a side note I will rotate to PB and just spam that until the shield goes down so as not to waste my mana pool.

A few thoughts - wallers in general just PB. PB is great vs wallers, etc. Save your bears since they will not go through the walls yet you all know that but in a duel or tripple elite confrontation if you see walls try and PB for a while vs ZB that will usually waste your mana due to the pack or packs walling. - If you look like your running out of mana with bears and the elite pack is not going to fall switch to PB you will be able to stream it longer and not go OOM. If you go OOM in a bad spot and can not hit things to LS, etc. you can be dead real fast. - goblins = No problem with this build. Just hold PB on them till they run, if they do not die as they run away follow them and when they stop PB again. Usually they will be dead on the second attack if they did not die in the first or as they ran. If you are not killing goblins in the second attack you may be playing at an MP lvl that is to high in general. Not that it can not be done, it can yet if you fall into that issue just ignore the goblins.

I probably could add more to this yet thats a start since I just woke up and my brain is not all with me yet haha.

Have fun - ZB/PB is a fun build to play. It is more gear dependent on -ZB reduction and mana regeneration then others yet it can be deadly once you get the hang of it.
Edited by Gotcha#1167 on 7/21/2013 6:03 AM PDT
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Usually I'll draw with locusts, pick up my soul harvest stacks, then channel plague bats until I get surrounded, hit spirit walk and keep channeling for another second before repositioning back to the periphery, throwing out another locusts and lining up bears. I don't usually channel bats to hit for more than 1.5-2 seconds vs packs before switching to bears (so looks like I was already doing it right by feel). Then as the things die, repeat with another round thanks to GI or vs elites which don't go down straight away I'll switch back to bats when I notice the sustained dps slow down and repeat the process.

I can't sustain bears indefinitely with my gear so if it takes too long, usually I'll just lean on bats for a bit longer until my spirit walk comes around again. Other issues for bears can be fast monsters, or monsters that are hugging the wall instead of you getting the wall, these usually are better to just channel bats on until the positioning becomes favourable again.

Also noting what Gotcha said above, don't be afraid to use waller elites walls against them for bear positioning when it's not too congested/won't waste too much time. ie. put your back to their walls with open space between you and the elites.
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07/20/2013 04:31 PMPosted by Wachati
578%*(aps/0.5) = 1156%*aps


Huh? I don't think you got this part right. Kindly explain.

PB ramps up to max damage and reaches a plateau, the 6th stack replaces the 1st stack, so the summation of total stacked damage is still the same max damage of PB. On a graph, they behave like straight lines of different gradients to reach the same plateau - the faster the APS, the lesser the time needed to reach max channel (steeper gradient).

The initial cast does is for the first stack only and not for the subsequent stacks. It serves graphically to be like a flat line to raise the 'floor damage" from zero, and then the various APS will have different steepness to join up this floor damage to the plateau damage.
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With PB and Well of Souls (WoS), I basically use WoS to kill stragglers, fast moving white stuff, and elites or bosses if they knockback or freeze me or otherwise break my PB stream.
You can also stutter step and throw WoS, and basically cast it while you are moving.

WoS is great against any single target, and its is powerful enough to take down bosses, as a matter of fact it will take Ghom down noticeably faster than using PB in a solid stream (so Ghom must be resistant to poison).

Using Roe with WoS allows me to spam WoS whenever I have to. also no special gear is required, however if you use a one handed weapon, you may need mana reduction gear to spam WoS.
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578%*(aps/0.5) = 1156%*aps


Huh? I don't think you got this part right. Kindly explain.



I can try and explain. This is from Nubtro's summary

-> stacking (if you keep channeling) occurs at a floor(30/aps) frequency


So if we have a weapon with an aps of 1.0 stacking will accour every 30 frames or 0.5 seconds (i.e. twice a second). Each stack does the full tooltip damage - 578% weapon damage and with an aps of 1.0 each stack lasts 5 seconds (300 frames)

The first 5 stacks time frame (ramp-up) will look like this:

#1 1_____2_____3_____4_____5
#2 ___1_____2_____3_____4_____5
#3 ______1_____2_____3_____4_____5
#4 _________1_____2_____3_____4_____5
#5 ____________1_____2_____3_____4_____5


So lets say at this point we stop to channel and switch to ZB or WoS - essentially in 2.5 seconds we stack the max of 5 stacks each one will deliver 578% weapon damage.

Now, if we continue to channel the stacks will start to overlap and refresh themselves, this is what Nubtro was referring to when he says that stack won't deliver the full damage.
Edited by Wachati#1647 on 7/21/2013 9:44 AM PDT
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Passing by to mention that the 1.0.8 patch Firebats buff modifier is 77/36 = 2.138888 repeating. I was testing some skills against Belial and reverse calced the Firebats damage I got.

This means base Firebats was changed from 180% to exactly 385% weapon damage (aps * 6.41667% per frame). Plague Bats was changed from 270% to 270 * 77/36 = 577.5% weapon damage (aps * 1.925% per frame per stack) and Cloud of Bats was changed from 234% to 234 * 77/36 = 500.5% (250.25-500.5% damage per tick).
Edited by Nubtro#2147 on 7/21/2013 10:02 AM PDT
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07/21/2013 09:41 AMPosted by Wachati
So lets say at this point we stop to channel and switch to ZB or WoS - essentially in 2.5 seconds we stack the max of 5 stacks each one will deliver 578% weapon damage.


Thanks for the visual on stacking. Yes indeed, assuming all 3 bears hit per cast, from approximately the 3rd or 4th stack of PB, casting Bears with the residual PB damage will outperform CoB max channel. However, this peak-power is short lived, estimated at the 3rd to 4th second for a total of 2 Bear casts, before the PB effect dwindles down to purely Bear damage after that.

That's for APS = 1.

If the APS is 2 (doubled), the ramp up time is only 1.25 secs, so we can start spamming bears after 1+ sec, and the peak-power will dwindle down by the 2nd to 3rd second. This is also the same 2 Bear casts, like playing a video playback on x2 speed. It is noteworthy that CoB channel at the 3rd sec is only 700+%, not yet 1000%. That means, if mana is not an issue, a PB/ZB cycle at 2.0 APS behaves like a Sine wave fluctuating across the CoB max channel damage - 1+ sec to ramp up PB (this portion is lower damage than CoB max channel), 1+ sec to spam bears and let PB dwindle down (this portion is higher damage than CoB max channel).

Pre-requisites:
1) infinite mana
2) APS near 2.0
3) Cycle PB every 2 bear casts.
4) All 3 bears hit.

The peak PB/ZB damage is about 125% of the CoB max channel, and the trough PB/ZB damage is about 60% of the CoB max channel. This means, the APS of the player must really be high, to reduce the ramp up time. Otherwise, too much time is spent on the cyclic portion below the CoB max channel flat line.
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Man Paul stop knocking the build I use haha. Kidding

The nice thing of PB/ZB is runners are not an issue like with COB. Both skills are larger range skills vs COB's small range/radius. Also bears have a huge range when your back is against a wall single file streaming the bears vs normal bear range when not single streaming.
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Who plays bats anyway? They suck.
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I kept my gear from an old bears build pre-0 dog and recently added / changed gear on an alt doc to see how far down the bats path I want to go. My build currently is a pet tanker (fierce loyalty and 2.8K life regen) and plague bats. Using a skorn with higher life steal has really upped my survival and the pets help to focus the monsters in front of me. I do occasionally get surrounded but hasn't been an issue to have to use horrify. I started testing with haunt draining spirit / spirit walk and that has helped any issues I've had with mana. Haunt adds that little extra punch with a skorn.
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07/21/2013 04:24 PMPosted by manvan
Who plays bats anyway? They suck.


Does this mean you're playing again??
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I was running some a3 runs with Wos / horrify / hex and was very nice I have to admit,

but when I started A1 runs sucked a lot I think wall of zombies, locust, dogs / bbv works better
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07/22/2013 08:21 AMPosted by Nausea
but when I started A1 runs sucked a lot I think wall of zombies, locust, dogs / bbv works better


Never had trouble in AI with the build, but by all means use whatever you think works best for you.
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happy to have found a -8 mana Giyua. now i can channel PB indefinitely...not that i want to do it. what a good morning find :D

what are your experiences regarding the stream going up the stairs? sometimes they do, sometimes they don't(stoneFort). this puzzles me, i am definitely missing something here.
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07/26/2013 05:37 PMPosted by theStrobist
what are your experiences regarding the stream going up the stairs? sometimes they do, sometimes they don't(stoneFort).


I can't confirm this, but I have a theory. Let's say the type of skill sticks to the ground (Acid Rain). It literally flows down the stairs, and splashes up a few steps.

Bats fly at a certain height, and the angle of flight does not change. If you're casting down the steps, it will depend on the height of the target mobs - further away you need taller mobs to engage their "hitbox", nearer to you the shorter mobs have their "hitbox" engaged by your Bats. If you're casting up the steps, due to your height and the Bat's AOE "hitbox", you will hit the floor of the steps after some distance - thereafter, your animation actually goes below the stairs where the "hitbox" of the mobs are above your Bats, so you hit nothing.
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