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Vote: How to Fix the Demon Hunter Squishiness Problem?

Posted 19 Jul 2013 by

One of the topics near to my heart is the Demon Hunter Squishiness problem. That class was my first main and I still enjoy playing her, but it’s mostly a memory now that I play Hardcore full time. The DH has awesome killing power, but she’s the most fragile class in the game, and even in very expensive gear she’s prone to sudden death from minor mistakes that other classes can survive.

I wouldn’t object to sweeping changes to the class, such as something to address the fact that DiabloWikiDex boosts DiabloWikiDodge, which is of much less survival benefit than DiabloWikiRes All or DiabloWikiDefense, but in the short term I think the devs should tack on a death-cheating passive of the type enjoyed by the Wizard, Witch Doctor, and Monk. I pitched the devs on that during our recent podcast interview and while Wyatt didn’t exactly disagree, he certainly didn’t sign on.

Flux: Let’s talk about death. And avoiding it. Given that I play Hardcore, this is a topic that’s in my head. Monks have DiabloWikiNear Death Experience. Wizards have DiabloWikiUnstable Anomaly. Witch Doctors have DiabloWikiSpirit Vessel. And Barbarians don’t need death cheating skills. Why doesn’t the poor Demon Hunter get one? The squishiest class in the game. I love DHs in softcore but I’ve given up on playing them in Hardcore since there’s such a razor thin margin for error.

It seems like you guys could so easily tack on some work around. Just rip off Spirit Vessel; under 10% hit points with a Demon Hunter you auto-cast DiabloWikiSmoke Screen with a 2 second duration and it’s got a two minute cooldown. Just put that into the game right now as part of DiabloWikiTactical Advantage of DiabloWikiPerfectionist or something. Or replace DiabloWikiGrenadier, which has a death effect that no one has ever actually used on purpose.

Wyatt Cheng: So uh, I’m going to take your question and much like earlier, use the opportunity to talk about something that’s related but different. If that’s okay?

Flux: That is your skill set.

Wyatt Cheng: *laughter* Okay. And that’s sort of like class design in general. I know what players do, and designers do it too. Actually, humans do this. We draw comparisons between different classes. Class A has this, Class B has this, so logically Class C should have it also. I think that it’s a line of reasoning that’s used to justify a buff to something, to a skill. Another example I’ll throw out. The Demon Hunter has Vault. The Barbarian has Leap. The Wizard has Teleport. Why doesn’t the Witch Doctor get a teleport? Clearly the Witch Doctor should have an instant move ability as well.

My general reaction to this is… the classes aren’t meant to be the same. And I don’t want to be in a position where all of our classes come to be so homogenous that they have different-colored versions of the same skill. I think it’s good that a class has something that they’re really envious of that other class. And the other classes are really envious of the first class.

It’s good when the classes have something that’s like, the other classes are super overpowered, and everyone is saying that. Or, better yet, I love my class because I have skill X that nobody else has. Or I can do X and Y together that no one else can.

To wrap up my segue, I wouldn’t make a change based on the argument that 4 classes have it so the 5th should too. I’d be more inclined to ask how we can make them all cool and unique. If the Demon Hunter has issues with Hardcore survivability, can we address that problem in a manner that is unique and cool to the Demon Hunter itself.

Flux: I agree completely with you philosophically, but like 1% of players in Hardcore games in Inferno are Demon Hunters, and this seems like a really easy and direct fix, and I’ve benefited directly many times from the equivalent skills on my Witch Doctor and Monk.

Not everyone agrees with me or Wyatt, of course. Here’s a quote from the comments to give the alternative opinion:

Pretty easy to gear up DH with EHP gear and with a good tank build more than hold your own tanking with the other toons. Perfectionist, numbing traps, guardian turrets, boar companion combined with a decet set of EHP gear makes the DH super tank. Throw in Shadow Power/Gloom and the same DH becomes godlike on the correct MP levels. DH is only super squishy if you want it to be…

That’s true; the DH can be made quite tanky and will only die once in a while. However I’m coming at this from the HC perspective, where “once in a while” is forever. I know some HC players who have DHs in the high paragon levels, but their gear is astonishingly good/expensive, much better than comparable Wizard or WD require, and I think those classes, and probably the Monk as well, would be much less often seen in HC if they couldn’t occasionally cheat death.

I am open to the debate that no class should have a death-cheating passive, but since 3 of them do, and those 3 are all clearly less prone to sudden death than the DH, it’s a pretty obvious inequality. And annoying, since it could be fixed in a snap. Anyway, enough pre-debate. Vote, then debate in comments. Pick the vote option that most matches your opinion and we’ll see how math stacks up to hyperbole.

What fix would you most like to see for the Demon Hunter's squishiness?

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