I also realize none of these suggestions would happen quickly, but maybe they can catch an ear for an eventual patch or even expansion time. We had lots of these threads at opening of the game, but not that we have had a lot more time to play and experiment I think it is good to bring up some of these again.
These are my opinions, and you can flame away or add your own ideas as you so choose. I make this post in the interest of the WD community to provide discussion and also in the unlikely hope that Blizz might actually like and use some of these ideas to open up skills that are rarely if ever used.
Poison Dart – Initially I thought that the damage needs to be upgraded so that it isn’t left in the dust by the other powerful skills, instead my suggestion is to make it as a skill or with gear able to pass through targets. The single damage to target is pitifully low, however if it could pass through then it could become very versatile as a damaging skill with splinters or a great CC skill.
Grasp of the Dead – Reduce mana cost. There are so many mana dependent skills that another one that does not even provide sufficient effect or damage becomes obsolete as a support skill. And then make breakable grasp 100% root so it can be unbreakable and then increase all Grasp of Dead runes to 80%. With that buff, then maybe the mana cost would be more justifiable.
Corpse Spiders – Make them last longer. The time it takes to cast them removes the DPS that could be being done and makes them in the end inefficient. There are a few niche ways to use them as of now, but if they became more of a pet and less of a hassle you might see more use. Also Medusa spiders says they are paralyzing spiders, then actually make them stun, not just a useless slow. Slow in this game does very little in PvE as it functions currently.
Summon Zombie Dogs – I actually think that there is very little that needs to change, except one nice thing would be to have Rabid dogs “infectious bite” actually be infectious and spread or have some other effect (slow/fear/confuse) that actually makes it worthwhile in comparison to the standard ZD with no rune.
Firebats – Super strong as they stand, and currently need no real change. However, if all of the skills were more balanced out, I would suggest making them do less damage as the other skills would take some of the load for dps need.
Horrify – One of the worst skills IMO for a WD that mostly has short to midrange attacks, unless darts was actually made useful. Frightening aspect is almost the only rune even used, and then it is used for the armor bonus and not really for the fear. The movement is almost cool, but not really in the end. Instead of causing fear maybe have some of the Horrify runes (or all) cause some other effect like enemies defense lowering that would actually be useful.
Soul Harvest – Overall a good skill, maybe increase the amount of mana/life return on relevant runes.
Plague of Toads – My personal favorite, but completely obsolete skill. This is more like zombie bears carebear style. It shoots 3 like ZB, but does less damage, is harder to aim, and does not pass through enemies. Early levels this is a fun and workable skill, until you unlock stronger skills. Make explosive toads have a decent AOE effect with some nice splash damage. Have Toad of Hugeness actually do something? Anything? Maybe gives the caster a bonus based on whatever monster it swallowed? Rain of toads is almost good if its radius was expanded just a hair. Make addling toads and toad affinity pass through targets to get back to further rows. As long as skills like ZB and FB pass through enemies, a low power skill that doesn’t like toads will always be passed over.
Haunt – Just increase the number of spirits flying out for most runes to multiple targets and it could be a really fun skill. Once again when there are AoE skills like ZB and FB that hit harder why go to a single target skill that does less damage and stops after contact?
Sacrifice – A great skill, but some runes lacking in balance. Black blood, make the ichor leave a ground effect. Provoke the pack should be a party buff :D
Zombie Charger – Just balance out the damage so that the different skills have worth. Each rune is very different in effect, but the lack of damage on all but ZB make them lame.
Spirit Walk – I actually think all runes are very nice, if mana management wasn’t so poor for WDs then you would see more runes used other than just Jaunt and HG.
Spirit Barrage – I think just balancing some damage between runes would be fine here. Could be a great skill to form a build around other then the set builds existing currently.
Gargantuan – Once again good runes, just need some balancing.
Locust Swarm – The mana cost is just ridiculous for the damage output. And not all of the runes seem to really even have that different of an effect.
Firebomb - good runes, just poor damage.
Hex – Great runes, just some balancing of damage and healing that actually does something for higher end players.
Acid Cloud – Great skills, but the mana cost just isn’t worth it and not all runes do enough to make them useful. A great thing would be to make it so casting acid rain did not interrupt main skills and then it could really be an awesome support.
Mass Confusion – good effects I think, just not enough difference in what each rune does. In the end it just becomes not as valuable as other skills and is passed on.
Big Bad Voodoo – great skills, just need some change in duration/effect. The heal is pitiful, and the CD makes most of the runes not worth it. Jungle drums should double the length to make it worth it, or maybe extend the radius. Rain and Slam Dance work well. I am not sure boogie man even really has a worthwhile effect with the CD length of the skill. Other than rain and slam dance none of the other runes are worth the wait.
Wall of Zombies – Too little effect overall. The speed of the game makes this skill near worthless. Mobs get around it far too easy, there are already other skills that slow, and any damage is pitiful. Pile On damage is huge but it just is too awkward and doesn’t hit enough. Make it have a nice splash damage and maybe. Or have it knockback everything a good distance, and it could be an emergency panic skill or something.
Fetish Army – One of the coolest yet lamest skills of all. The low damage, with huge cooldown, and with short duration makes this one just plain out weak. They should either just stay out for the majority of the cast (90 of the 120) or do a hell of a lot more damage. Or make them explode when they die giving us a grim satisfaction to exact retribution for all of the times we died to them in D2.