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Blizzard on Planned Item and Witch Doctor Improvements

Posted 1 Mar 2013 by

Besides his giant reply to Gosu’s uber list of game issues and fixes, D3 dev Travis Day hit a big Witch Doctor improvements thread and added few specifics with a lot of general sympathy and hope for the future. He did the same for an Items thread as well; here’s the highlight of the WD thread; click through to read them both in their entirety.

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.

The full Witch Doctor thread:

Very nice compilation of thoughts and a lot of really good ideas in here. Class and ability balance is something that we constantly strive to improve and while the Witch Doctor is in a better place than some classes as far as skill diversity is concerned there is always room to polish things up further.

This is a great list and I love to see the community come together and put forth ideas and solutions to the things that they feel need attention. Keep coming up with ways you want to see us improve the game and the classes we all love and we will keep reading… even if you never see me… because I’m a ninja.

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.
Travis Day: 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.

And the thread about items, with more promises of a better day.

This is a great and constructive thread which brings up both a lot of good ideas and valid points. Items is a topic of conversation on a daily basis, we talk about where they are currently, where we want them to be, and how to get them there. Some of the future changes involve making item affixes that aren’t currently good into something that at least some players are really excited to see. A good example of this is Pickup Radius and Witch Doctors. Sure not everyone wants a lot of Pickup Radius on their gear but there are some specs of WD that love it and want as much as possible and we want to expand that idea further. Thorns is a good example of a stat that, at its core has potential, but in reality falls short. While we plan to improve thorns by allowing a players primary stat to increase its damage, we have other plans that help further embrace thorns for specific classes and specs.

Increasing the availability of skill specific affixes and school damage affixes is also something we plan on doing. They have the potential to open up more fun and varied character builds as well as simply giving players another way to improve abilities they enjoy. An example that has worked previously is Zombie Dogs and Sacrifice using Zombie Dog cooldown items, Wall of Zombies cooldown items with Pile On, and Hammer of Ancients with cost reduction items. We like that these builds exist and want to open up even more builds by virtue of expanding the availability of these affixes.

We want items to make you feel more powerful but more importantly we want players to feel like items can be game changers. We want players to find items and think to themselves “whoa I wanna try making a spec for this item” or “oh man I’m totally gonna level a Monk to use this thing”. Improving the overall feel of the Diablo item game is something that is incredibly important to us and is receiving a lot of attention from our development team because it’s important to you all as well.

Incidentally, apologies that our blue tracker is down (not loading new posts) during this spate of Blue activity. The tracker is being redesigned and should return to functionality in the near future, making the new Blizzard posts much easier to read for everyone.


Tagged As: | Categories: Items, Travis Day, Witch Doctor