Suggestions for WD Skills 1.0.2

Witch Doctor
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A simple bump to keep this very relevant post on the front page. I don't have much to add that hasn't already been expertly stated already. See you in the Unformed Land, Brother Umbaru.
Bump, I just watch the GoT where Lord Eddard Stark gets ... well no spoilers in case people haven't seen it yet.

I already put in my twenty cents, but I can certainly add another eighty.

Here's another twenty or so:
In this thread:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7895009644
Search for passive.

The most commonly proposed solution is to simply bake One With Everything directly into the Monk's class. In essence, give the passive away for free. This has a few issues. We don't currently bake a mechanic like this into other classes

First, they baked in 30% damage reduction for Barbs and Monks, but nothing for DH, WD, and Wizard. Why not other classes?

Baking in Jungle Fort is an easy change for everyone.

Witch Doctors are all over the place when attacking, sometimes melee, sometimes mid range, sometimes long range. Just give them more base defense, halfway between zero and barbs. Pets survive longer, WDs can use certain melee skills more often, and I really don't see a downside.

I think Fierce Loyalty is another VERY easy one. What fierce loyalty is now, can be the base, and the fierce loyalty passive can increase it to double life regen, add 20% max HP, and double/triple/.../septuple/... thorns damage based on MP level (double at MP2 and so on). (pending supposed updates to thorns) Thorns is **** now. Or it can just follow the monster HP bonus % per MP.

That's two passives and it would barely change the balance. Some players could now play higher MP thanks to better defenses and better pets.
In PvP it would still be 30% DR for WDs.
Excellent post. My input:

I believe soul harvest would be better off granting stacks based on the strength of the enemy harvested. For example, white enemies grant 1 stack, minions grant two stacks, all forms of elites grant three stacks, and bosses grant a full five stacks. This would make the skill useful in all encounters, not just mobbing. The mana and health return would adjust based on the strength of the soul harvested as well.
Thanks for this awesome compilation. I agree with most of your ideas! Heres my contribution:

Plague of Toads - (all runes except RoT) I think the toads should jump towards enemies and not randomly. The damage should be adjusted accordingly to not make it overpowered, however the toads are slow and don't travel very far so I think the current damage is fine. :D

Locust Swarm - Allow crit chance to be calculated for EACH tick rather than for each jump. Currently it either does very good damage when it crits, or useless when it doesn't. Also giving it extra range would be awesome, when no enemies are near allow it to travel slowly forward like Maghda's and if any monster comes it contact the ball should disappear and spread around mobs like normal.

Haunt - Same with how crit chance affects locust swarm. It should be per tick and not per cast or jump.

That's all I can think of for now. :)
Hello there, here is my first round of suggestions.

First, all the DoT skills have the same problem: they are weak, and do not scale with Attack Speed. No one uses them because of this.
A simple and easy solution, would to allow all DoT (except Manitou and spider queen) to STACK. Right now we can only refresh the timer of DoT.
If they were to stack, they'd scale with IAS, and would at least allow to do decent damage with multiple casts.
Also, as suggested Ororon, the critical damages should not be calculated once fo all the duration of Dot, but on each tick!

What people use (in this order): bears, acid cloud, rain of toads, bats (dire bats), well of souls, fire bomb, darts (splinter), spiders.
And for dps efficiency, we have, bears... and that's all. Everyone knows that. Except sacrifice users but it's an extreme build.

Let's see each skill in details.

Locus swarm
Our biggest mana cost (196), and still only 45% damage per second. Agreed, it spreads, and can potentially wipe out an entire screen with a single cast.
Still, you need to cast it at melee range. Thus the damage is not correct. If it was to stack, it would be a different story, but it would be correct to put it at 100% per second instead of 45%.
Here are the runes that need rework:
  • Devouring Swarm : should stack the recovery of mana as well. It needs more than 5 foes to recover the cost of cast, so it's fine.
  • Diseased Swarm : should get a huge buff. It could be 100% per second up to 300% per second; or a scale like the monk palm. After all you did kill the mob, the reward should be up to the task.
  • Searing Locusts : a boost of 20% damage compared to the base damage is fine.


  • Acid Cloud
    Second biggest mana cost (172), and since it does not stack damage, it is fair to only compare the initial cast to the other skills. this is a 115% weapon damage, which compared to 110% (140%? not sure about this) of Ghost bomb (10 mana, 17x less!) just gets ridiculous. The DoT afterward is only 50% weapon damage per second, so basically nothing much.
    So yes the great point of acid cloud is that 2 runes allow to stack proc on LoH and crowd control. Which is why it is used. But damage wise we pay for at least a final 260% damage, but only get a 110% coupled with some tiny DoT.
    Let's enable the stack of damage as well and maybe boost the DoT from 50% per second to 75% OR the initial cast from 115% to at least 150%.
    Here are the runes that need rework:
  • Lob Blob Bomb: the blobs (limited to 3) don't stack damage. They should. As for the proc, increase it from 33% to 100%. Also increase the number of blobs, so that they may scale with ias.
  • Kiss of Death: since we loose the distance safety, this should get a huge boost to be able to compare to bears (which cost less!). Bears deal 708% Aoe per cast, Kiss of Death not even 300% over 3s! o_O
  • Corpse Bomb: we loose the DoT and proc ability. So boost the damage! at least 350% (half the bears).

  • I'll stop for now, and continue on another post.
    Thank you for your acknowledgement that we exist. I hope you do not mistake the fact that just because Witch Doctor's have the most build diversity, there is still dramatic room for improvement within the class. Some scalability mechanics have also been concern that has been addressed and ideas expressed.

    Glad to see a Developer looking at some of the improvement recommendations the players have.


    You are correct, there is always room for improvement. My Witch Doctor is probably my character I have the most fun with but there are certainly abilities I have plans to improve. For example I have always really enjoyed damage over time based characters and was pretty disappointed when I tried to build my WD around that idea. Locust Swarm is pretty fun and I liked using it but it was hard to justify giving it a place in my build. Haunt is in the same boat but I think Haunts problems are very clear and easily addressed in a future update.

    Also, I put a lot of the ideas in this thread into my current list of ideas for improving the WD so I'm here to do more than just give you guys a pat on the back. The ideas and suggestions in this thread are great and community input is sincerely appreciated. You will absolutely see some of these ideas down the road and when you do you will be able to take pride in knowing that these were your ideas and they were awesome.


    Wtf improve WDs? Wds need to be nerfed like hell, they are way too op and pretty much ruin pvp because of that..

    First of all, the fact that haunt is autoaim, goes through obstacles and makes way too much dmg is complete fail. Other thing is that wds can cast spells while in spirit walk(same goes with dh smoke screen), invisibility + invincibility is total bull!@#$. Add that retard pig skill to that and you have yourself a disaster there..

    Haunt could be improved so that it hits multiple targets(and those multiple haunts wouldnt hit the same opponent) and makes less dmg, but in shorter time so that dmg over time, so that if haunt is casted multiple times at same opponent when it ends it would make more dmg over time(over multiple casts), but single hits wouldnt be that powerful.
    Our mana regen passives are severely lacking as well. Right now VQ is the only one that really helps and it requires mana regeneration stacked on every item possible to be effective. I'd love to see spiritual atonement made competitive.
    Lob Blob Bomb: the blobs (limited to 3) don't stack damage.

    What do you mean? Don't they all do damage to a single target simultaneously?
    03/02/2013 10:37 PMPosted by JangBahadur
    What do you mean? Don't they all do damage to a single target simultaneously?

    If you have 3 blobs attacking the same target, they'll do the same damage as if there was only one of them. I just re-tested it.
    The blobs have an aura, which should be considered as an area of effect. This area is increased by other blobs, but they don't stack damage, only proc (but only to a mere 33% for LoH).
    Here is my take on primary skills:

    Poison Dart
    Everything is fine, except maybe these two runes:
  • Flaming darts: since it does the same amount of damage (180%) than the splinter rune (60% x3), it should get a tiny up, since splinters will proc crowd control (not LoH) more.
  • Snake to the face should be upped from 30% chance of stun to 50% or 60% at least. For comparison, Weapon throw of barbarians, stuns at 50%, do 130% (instead of 100%) damage and slow the target by 60% for 2s...
  • Corpse spiders
    Everything is fine, except maybe these two (or three) runes:
  • Blazing spiders : the up in damage does not even bring it close to leaping spiders, since the latter will all land hits, not the blazing ones. Up The damage a bit.
  • Spider queen: it's good for proc but still a bit short since we can only have one spider. Also it's totally lame damage wise.
    4 solutions (choose only one of them):
    - the one suggested by Umbra
    - take off the limit on the number of Queens (scale with ias), and do not stack the damage (like current acid cloud's blobs)
    - Up the limit of Queens to 3, and stack the damage;
    - make the damage 100% per second, based on sheet dps like the pets, and up the proc to 100% LoH per ennemy. This will make it a great add-on to acid cloud without ever overpowering it (since there can be only one queen).
  • As for medusa spiders, many believe that the 25% chance to slow should be upped to 100%, or get an increased duration. Or a bit of both. That might be right, but it shall not overpower grasp of the dead.

  • Toads
    The basic swarm of toads should be reworked to be semi or full homing at each hop. The damage right now is just way too spread, thus nobody uses them.
  • Toad of hugeness:
    01/15/2013 03:47 AMPosted by JangBahadur
    it might make us WDs OP when facing elites
    Well, not really. Hex is already doing such a great job at it. Plus you can still damage the hexed mob. With toad of hugeness you can't add damage on it, it's just for removing it from the equation, thus for defense. I believe that it should be able to swallow everything that can be hexed.
    The other suggestions you made are nice as well.
  • Toad affinity : this was useful before the reduction of mana cost in 1.0.4. Now it is totally useless. Mana return, fetish affinity are ways to go; Or like suggested Fean : release 12 toads in a circle around the player, that will explode right away or after a max of one hop.
  • FireBomb
    Everything is fine except FIrepit. It (pre 1.0.4) was the rune to go, but now it is just weak. We do not choose this rune for the damage but for its proc that has been nerfed.
    So restore a bit of the proc of firepit from 6.5%/enemy/tick STACKS to 10% or 20%/enemy/tick STACKS.
    03/03/2013 05:12 AMPosted by ZeMickey
    Flaming darts: since it does the same amount of damage (180%) than the splinter rune (60% x3), it should get a tiny up, since splinters will proc crowd control (not LoH) more.

    I was thinking this could set the target on fire and spread it to nearby enemies if they got to close.
    Blazing spiders : the up in damage does not even bring it close to leaping spiders, since the latter will all land hits, not the blazing ones. Up he damage a bit.
    Spider queen: it's good for proc but still a bit short since we can only have one spider. Also it's totally lame damage wise.
    4 solutions (choose only one of them):
    - the one suggested by Umbra
    - take off the limit on the number of Queens (scale with ias), and do not stack the damage (like current acid cloud's blobs)
    - Up the limit of Queens to 3, and stack the damage (like current acid cloud's blobs)
    - make the damage 100% per second, based on sheet dps like the pets, and up the proc to 100% LoH per ennemy. This will make it a great add-on to acid cloud without ever overpowering it (since there can be only one queen).

    Agree. Blazing spiders does need a little love and spider queen is damn near useless right now. She has terrible speed and damage. It would be cool to see her as a permanent summon that has a poisonous bite with the same damage% as is but with the time cut in half. That means her bite would stack the poison damage and tick away enemies health.
    03/03/2013 06:57 AMPosted by OverKill
    I was thinking this could set the target on fire and spread it to nearby enemies if they got to close.

    As your name implies, you're a bit Overkill !
    It definitely would be awesome, but simply overpowered. This is the effect of locus swarm, which is only 20 times the mana cost! ^_^;

    02/28/2013 08:10 PMPosted by OverKill
    I believe soul harvest would be better off granting stacks based on the strength of the enemy harvested.

    Again this is too OP. With soul to waste, you almost always have full 5 stacks. Any other way would be way too easy to get this huge buff!

    03/02/2013 06:17 PMPosted by OverKill
    Our mana regen passives are severely lacking as well. Right now VQ is the only one that really helps and it requires mana regeneration stacked on every item possible to be effective. I'd love to see spiritual atonement made competitive.

    They are fine! Anyone can perma cast spirit barrage without any gear mana affix!
    Perma Bears is well known, and yes for doing so you need mana gear. But hey! that is the point of the game ain't it? Bears cost a lot of mana because it is so powerful that you cannot perma cast it without sacrifices and good gear!
    If you are not convinced check this bears build with A LOT of IAS :
    http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/6635004964
    About secondaries:

    Grasp of the dead
    It does a great job at slowing the mobs. But it costs 123 mana, thus we'd expect a bit more damage than just 40% per second (and does not scale with ias).
    Especially on the groping eels and the rain of corpse.
  • Desperate grasp : this should remove completely the cooldown, thus making it spammable. In return remove the damage, or at least make damage not stackable.
  • Rain of corpse : This latter should sting with the corpse raining down. Something like 200% damage on the corpse. Also it should be about time to change the wording; it should be: "A corpse drops every second onto a random mob and dealing 80% damage as physical"
  • Firebats
    This one I don't know much about, except for direbats which is a great rune for damage dealing. Still, one direbat deals 220% compared to 236% for one bear. But there are 3 bears at each cast. So I'd still see a boost for up to 350% for a direbat.
    For the other runes I'll provide Fean's suggestions:

    The base damage of this skill is just plain too weak, it should be around the 205% mark maybe a bit higher.
    Plague Bats
    - I like the skill, the range should be a lot longer and the damage a little higher at max it should be about 350%, it's a strong skill.
    Hungry Bats
    - On paper these look amazing, in reality? They suck so much, make it so the range is increased with pick up radius, make it so that have a 10 yard AoE splash on the damage and increase the damage to 450%-500% and they will possibly see builds, the mana cost of bats means higher damage.
    Cloud of Bats
    How awesome is the damage? Well it's ok, the weakness with this skill is that it's... well weak. There are a number of changes but first off the damage NEEDS to be 350% base gaining 30%-35% per second over 5 seconds, you either need to be able to move while casting it or Pick up Radius increase it's range OR have your pick up radius cause a vortex effect on creeps dragging them to you.


    Haunt
    Simple. Make it stack, and haunt is fixed!
    Consuming Spirit would thus scale and not be laughable;
    Resentful Spirit would do decent damage;
    Lingering Spirit would be great;
    Grasping Spirit would still be able to slow, but the damage would become of some use;
    Draining Spirit is already great in itself and used for perma bears build with ias. Make it stackable and it'll help even against elites as a mana source.
    Hungry bats targeting sucks.
    If I click on an enemy, it targets a random enemy in range with every bat.

    It attacks once per tick which is nice, closer to 2x aps, good for skills such as the fetish passive.

    The other thing is, compared to other skills, its single target damage sucks. Consider well of souls, with Rush of Essence and Blood Ritual, it is very much mana positive with normal item expectations for any witch doctor: mana regen and max mana.

    Now even with two items with -cost of firebats, 90+ mana regen, and only 1.4 aps, bats are still costing mana per second... granted it's a very small cost over a long time period, but it still doesn't open up doors for other mana spenders.

    Also, all of these skills are meant to be cast by pressing and holding the bats down, but if it is mana negative, either one has to interrupt to cast spider queen + VQ, thus removing the bonus damage and starting over (on some of the runes), or one has to really spend a lot of attention on mana regen, -cost to firebats, and have a low attack speed.

    Reduce the cost of firebats significantly.
    Dire bats: Increase damage and range (by pick up radius).
    Vampire bats: 9% life steal is much closer to respectable. Up the damage significantly.
    Hungry Bats: Up the damage of hungry bats and give it an AoE blast on hit which deals additional damage to all enemies within range. Fix the targeting system to attack the specific unit that is clicked.
    Increase the range of cloud of bats or allow us to move, much like hurricane skill of druid in diablo 2, where we only have to recast it once every 10 or 60 seconds or whatever. Mana cost at that time period is negligible.
    I personally think that the Spider Queen should spray tons of poisonous webs, slowing enemies while applying a nice DOT effect. And then when she leaves she should wrap up a corpse, shoot a web out and carry it off the screen.
    Holy sh!@#$...that is one LONG list of things. I've been away for a few months but when I was here, I had tons of ideas for Fetish skill and tactic.

    1. Fetish Army - Not enough Tiki and Head Hunter. If I choose Tiki and Head Hunter rune, I want 5 of them. Not just 2. The damage they do isn't even that much because they only shoot about 16 times at best during the full duration.

    2. Fetish Sycophant - I really want to have a chance to proc Tiki and Head Hunter. I've tried many variations of Fetish builds and even having 10 of the dagger ones, I just don't feel they are doing much. Sure, they distract but so are Dogs and Garg. Fetish daggers die way too quick from Plague and fire dot on the ground. They need to increase Dagger's damage a bit more as they hit-and-run way too much.

    Some of the ideas are: Fire damage proc Tiki Fetish and Poison damage proc Head Hunter. Physical and Arcane proc Dagger Fetish (for Spirit builds). I don't see why Spirit builds are forbidden to proc Fetish.
    Rush of Essence

    Yes, Rush of Essence is perfect for spamming Well of Souls but other than that, it is actually a very limited Tactic. Why?

    Because Haunt is a 6s DoT and you can't stack it on the same target so there is really no need to take Rush just for Haunt. It helps but unnecessary

    Spirit Walk, Mass Confusion and Horrify are all on cool-down. Hardly need Rush of Essence.

    This comes down to Spirit Barrage: .
    1. Spirit is Willing is already a mana saving rune. Yes, taking Rush helps but if you have good +mana regen, you can use it without it and take other better tactics.

    2. Phantasm has a cap on 3 so nobody is going to take Rush of Essence to spam Phantasm. Phantasm has pretty terrible damage anyway.

    3. Phlebotomy is pretty useless in PvE. It may have a use in PvP now but I don't know how the life steal works in PvP and really, most fight ends so fast that you are probably better off using Well of Souls with life steal weapon as WoS has 425% weapon damage while this rune only has 230%.

    4. Manitou does not need any mana tactic at all.
    ------------------------------

    Rush of Essence should add a few more things for Haunt. Something like increase Haunt duration or damage or something unique.
    Phlebotomy

    I really hope they can change this Rune. WD has no "proc on Critical" system that other classes have. This rune is perfect for it!

    When you critical, the Soul explodes and does 30-50% weapon damage. Think of it as Barb's Bloodshed rune and Demon Hunter's Spray the Teeth. This will make Phlebotomy rune more interesting for 1h/mojo build (critical build) and give it better aoe potential than Well of Souls.
    ----------------
    Spirit is Willing

    The mana gain is nice but really, Spirit Barrage in general is already very spammable. I would improve this rune by making Proc Coefficient to 150%, making it even better "utility" rune so you can leech more life.

    --------------

    Phantasm

    Big problem. Radius is too small and it has only 3 cap. They need to 1. increase damage per second greatly or 2. get rid of the cap to match Wizard's Wicked Wind or 3. make the radius much better and last a bit longer so more cast-and-forget.

    A very interesting way is that monsters killed within Phantasm turned into Enslaved souls that fight for you for a duration.
    Hungry bats targeting sucks.
    If I click on an enemy, it targets a random enemy in range with every bat.


    Yes, Hungry Bats now has almost zero point after WoS' extra souls can hit the same target without "off targeting".

    Hungry Bats' damage is much lower and mana cost while is lower, Rush of Essence can make WoS perma spammable even without heavy +mana regen and SOJ.

    Hungry Bats' has less range and the bats can get blocked and the bats are way more random than WoS.

    They need to do something about this rune.

    Right now, the only reason I would use Firebats channel runes is for proc Fetish.
    As your name implies, you're a bit Overkill !
    It definitely would be awesome, but simply overpowered. This is the effect of locus swarm, which is only 20 times the mana cost! ^_^

    Yeah I just thought about that.

    03/03/2013 10:52 AMPosted by ZeMickey
    Again this is too OP. With soul to waste, you almost always have full 5 stacks. Any other way would be way too easy to get this huge buff!

    But the skill loses almost all of its effectiveness in boss encounters and even in some elite encounters.

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