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  1. #1
    IncGamers Member
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    Total breakdown of my beta playthroughs + final builds

    I started playing the beta on Saturday morning and I've hardly stopped since (except for downtime), I spent the first 2 days leveling characters to 13, and today playing in public games. And now, cup-of-tea in hand I come here to tell you all about it. Clearly I have nothing better to do, anyway...

    Barbarian
    My first playthrough, so obviously my first impression was 'D3, yay! Yippee, hooray etc.'. It felt a little off early, running around with a couple of knives (because they were easily the strongest weapons I had), but I soon settled in to the routine of smashing everything, moving or otherwise. The difficulty was incredibly low, especially after I bought a couple of adventuring rings of wounding from a vendor. Yet I still enjoyed it greatly, it turns out smashing everything IS a lot of fun after all.
    Hunting down the journals was pretty rewarding and the way they tied into world events in the crypts worked well for me. In fact the whole world worked very nicely for me, everything from uniques bursting through doors, to imps popping out of killed enemies had a great sense of fun about it.

    Active skills
    Cleave - Nice, easy to use skill with some aoe, rupture rune effect makes for some epic group explosions
    Frenzy
    - Terrific single target skill, takes down the SK and many elites with little bother
    Seismic Slam
    - 'Because you may as well spend your fury'. nice skill, massive aoe and has a little bit of knockback which helps against elite packs
    Leap
    - Terrific transport skill, nice way to start fights thanks to the snare
    Passive skill
    - Ruthless - Beta is easy => maximise damage and speed
    Weapon - Crafted flamberge with +speed and cold damage -
    Great damage, massive hits, feels like a barbarian weapon

    I started off using ground stomp a lot, it's a very effective skill and deals with elite packs very efficiently and helps make short work of the SK. However I lacked a decent single target skill and I decided that this was the only skill I'd be willing to remove. My options were frenzy and bash with the clobber rune, I went with frenzy simply for the higher damage output once it gets going. I know it's a poor choice for a slow hitting weapon like a flamberge, but it made the crypt an absolute doddle.

    Wizard
    From front-line tank, to fragile caster, less of a difference than I expected. The wizard actually felt a bit weak until I got to level 5 and got Arcane Orb, from there on in it was a matter of trying to make good use of my arcane energy and defensive skills. Efficient play with the wizard turned out to be a lot harder than I expected.

    Active skills
    Shock Pulse - Occasionally annoying, nevertheless a solid spell with a terrific on
    Arcane Torrent
    - Easy to aim, lets you target the environment and big threats with ease
    Diamond Skin
    - Potential lifesaver, counter to many elite packs
    Energy Twister
    - What it says on the tin, big, power efficient aoe attack that work well against hordes and with shocking pulse's on-death effect
    Passive skill
    - Power Hungry - More power = faster killing, seemples
    Weapon - Random wand + orb -
    Toyed with using a flamberge for bigger hit with twister, in the end this faster moving setup worked much better with shock pulse

    Obvious subs are ray of frost for arcane torrent, frost nova for diamond skin and arcane orb for energy twister. 1st choice was because what I wanted to hit was very often in cover, and the aoe makes up for the loss of damage and snare. 2nd choice was because diamond skin lasts longer than frost nova, I would use nova in multi though. Last one was just a matter of preference really. Twister is coooool.

    Witch Doctor
    A lot of people seem to find this class underwhelming, and again, the first few levels are a bit slow. But the BAM, firebats, a stupidly powerful aoe attack quickly followed by a rapid fire dart. Together they were my bread and butter skills. Then soul harvest comes along and you have the hardest hitting class in the beta.

    Active skills
    Poison Dart - Easy to use, works well on both mobs and single targets
    Firebats
    - Very powerful. With the rune, a couple of casts with soul harvest in effect clears out mobs even in multi
    Zombie dogs
    - Defensive effect and free damage, yes please!
    Soul Harvest
    - The big momma, this can more than double your damage, for me, the WD's defining skill
    Passive skill
    - Spiritual Attunement - More mana = faster killing, seemples
    Weapon - Ceremonial knife + mojo -
    Obvious choice, gave the highest DPS

    As mentioned, this fella can hack through mobs like they aren't there. I actually ran into someone else using this exact build and my well equipped barb had a lot of trouble keeping up. The WD's other skills look powerful, but aren't needed in the beta

    Demon Hunter
    A very popular class as some of you may have noticed, and it does have it's advantages. Great movement speed and some good crowd control and single target abilities. It took me longer than most classes to find a build I was comfortable with, but in the end I went with...

    Active skills
    Entangling Shot - Nice little multi-hit skill, keeps 'em at bay
    Rapid Fire
    - A very fast killer, possibly the best single target attack in the beta
    Vault
    - Mostly for moving faster, stops stuff running away from you
    Chakram
    - A proper aoe skill, wide area and decent damage
    Passive skill
    - Tactical Advantage - It lets you get from A-B quickly! The most useful passive in the beta?
    Weapon - 2x Hand crossbow -
    Another obvious choice, great DPS

    The big question here is probably why no bola shot? It has great damage but I found that ranged damage varies too much to make good use of it. It could take anywhere from 1-3 shots to take down a foe so I ended up wasting a lot of shots or missing enemies. It would probably be a great skill against tougher enemies, but I found chakram + entangling shot had it covered.

    Monk
    Many people seem to think this class is OP, I can't see why. It's fast and easy to use in the beta, but it lacks the devastating power you can get from the barb and the WD. It's skills didn't seem to mesh very well, and it took a while to find a spirit spender that I really liked

    Active skills
    Fists of Thunder - Great single target skill, the tele effect made it better than dashing strike for me
    Deadly Reach
    - Great aoe at only level 3, gets even better with a rune
    Blinding Flash
    - Like a worse version of ground stomp that spends spirit, still useful though
    Exploding Palm
    - Corpse explosion makes it's triumphant return, POP
    Passive skill
    - Fleet - It lets you get from A-B quickly! The 2nd most useful passive in the beta?
    Weapon - 2x shop-bought sabres -
    Couldn't find any decent fist weapons, oh well, 'I punch you with my mighty sabre'

    I tended to start with Fists of thunder to tele in, obviously dashing strike would work but it doesn't count as the first hit of a combo. Follow up with exploding palm and hits 2 and 3 of deadly reach for some serious aoe. Deadly reach could easily be replaced with crippling wave if you wished. I toyed around with lashing tail kick and wave of light as big-hitters, but I just didn't like them.

    These are my builds and are probably couloured by my specific experiences in the beta, I'd love to hear what you have to say and see the skill combos you went with.

    A couple more things, I wasn't impressed with the loot system in the beta. Almost everything worthwhile that I found dropped from an elite mob. At level 13 I was just running past everything else, it wasn't worth the one swing it would take to kill the mob
    . The one-handed weapons were massively outdoing the two-handers early on. Every character I made started off with a knife which seemed a bit silly really. It was also pretty silly that you had to buy a couple of rings from a vendor to do any decent damage, adventuring rings of wounding made any character easy peasy to level.

    The multiplayer matchmaking worked really well, I'd end up grouped with other people who were just starting the quest and jump straight in. A lot of people played demon hunter, badly, but it was nice to see how some skills such as frost nova worked so well in a group. Also, it was fun to watch how other people played their classes, I actually gained some respect for the monk when I watched someone dashing about as one, using fists of thunder and dashing strike to full effect.


    Last edited by Planktonboy; 29-04-2012 at 02:00.

  2. #2
    IncGamers Member FireIceTalon's Avatar
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    Re: Total breakdown of my beta playthroughs + final builds

    Demon Hunter
    Active Skills:
    Bola Shot
    Rapid Fire
    Vault
    Caltrops (especially sick with the rune)
    Passive Skill: Tactical Advantage
    Weapon: 2 crossbows, though I must admit I like bows and quiver look more.

    Barb

    Active Skills:
    Cleave
    Hammer of the Ancients
    Ancient Spear
    Leap
    Passive Skill: Ruthless
    Weapon: Started with a nice crafted 2H Sword, then later switched to 2 sickles

    Wizard

    Active Skills:
    Magic Missile (its pretty solid with the Rune attached)
    Arcane Torrent and Ray of Frost i switched off between the two since I liked both equally
    Diamond Skin
    Passive Skill: Power Hungry
    Weapons: Wand and Orb

    Monk
    Active Skills:
    Deadly Reach
    Dashing Strike
    Lashing Tail Kick
    Wave of Light (love the big *** bell, lol)
    Passive Skill: Fleet Footed
    Weapon: 2 swords of some sort, didnt find any decent knuckles

    Witch Doctor
    Active Skills:
    Fire Bats
    Zombie Dogs
    Poison Darts
    Grasp of the Dead
    Passive Skill
    : Spiritual Attunement
    Weapon: random magical sword and mana regen mojo



  3. #3
    IncGamers Member
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    Re: Total breakdown of my beta playthroughs + final builds

    Demon Hunter
    Active Skills:
    Entangling shot (Chain gang rune)
    Rapid Fire (withering fire rune)
    Hungering arrow (puncturing arrow rune)
    Caltrops (especially sick with the rune)
    Passive Skill: Thrill of the Hunt
    Weapon: 2 hand crossbows, these did tons of damage and with caltrops slowing mobs down the other were easy pickins
    Barb

    Active Skills:
    Cleave
    Rend
    Ancient Spear
    Leap
    Passive Skill: Ruthless
    Weapon: Started with a rare 2H axe did 14.7 damage +4 to strength + 3 xp per kills.

    Wizard

    Active Skills:
    Magic Missile (its pretty solid with the Rune attached)
    Arcane orb
    frost Nova
    Twister
    Passive Skill: Power Hungry
    Weapons: Wand and Orb

    Monk
    Active Skills:
    Deadly Reach
    Breath if heaven
    Lashing Tail Kick
    Wave of Light (love the big *** bell, lol)
    Passive Skill: exalted soul When using wave of light you need the extra spirit
    Weapon: found 1 decent knuckle and used mace

    Witch Doctor
    Active Skills:
    Haunt
    soul harvest
    Poison Darts
    Grasp of the Dead
    Passive Skill
    : Circle of Life. With all the destruction that you will get with this build there are bound to be dogs that emerge
    Weapon: 2 handed sword does 14.5 damage and some spirit based gear pulled my damage to 29+ Not bad.



  4. #4
    Clan Officer - US East Hardcore AlexanderBarin's Avatar
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    Re: Total breakdown of my beta playthroughs + final builds

    Plantktonboy, are you the same Planktonboy from Clan Lone?



  5. #5
    IncGamers Member
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    Re: Total breakdown of my beta playthroughs + final builds

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexanderBarin View Post
    Plantktonboy, are you the same Planktonboy from Clan Lone?
    I am not. I can see why you would suspect so, given the Blizzard connection.

    In response to sgtTenor and FireIceTalon, your choices really do highlight how different reasoning and context affect skill choices. You both went with caltrops for example which I deemed to be pretty useless because I was aiming to maximise speed and damage. I'd agree though, that caltrops is a top notch skill that lets you control the battlefield, but since I had vault I felt I was covered defensively.

    With the barbarian, we all chose cleave and leap since, for different reasons they were stand-out skills. However with the wizard build variety was a lot stronger. 1x Signature + 1x defensive + energy spenders was the order of the day but we all went about it in different ways. This bodes well for the full game, with 6 skill-slots and tons of skills, I'm betting there'll be a lot of build variety where somewhat interchangeable skills can be swapped to suit people's playstyles.

    Referring to sgtTenor's WD build, circle of life is an interesting choice. It's like having another active slot, and I bet grasp of the dead deals a lot of aoe damage alongside soul harvest. I guess I went the other route because it helped me to cast firebats more often, which formed the basis if my offense.

    We all seemed to have some problems finding decent items specific to our class (esp. with the monk), I guess that in the full version we will be able to craft our way round that problem. The monk, for example could craft a pretty decent daibo at level 15. Also, there's probably wisdom in playing with friends who are different classes. That way you stand a much better chance of finding the gear that's right for you.



  6. #6
    IncGamers Member Kinmaul's Avatar
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    Re: Total breakdown of my beta playthroughs + final builds

    Solid write-up and while I'm sure people will constantly argue over skills based on personal preference I'm boggled that you enjoyed Energy Twister for the Wizard. I tried everything to make that skill viable, and it still ended up feeling like trash. You only get the tool-tip damage if the mob stays in the twister for the entire duration which is impossible given the random nature of how it moves. Most of the time you get a fraction of that damage; if the twister even hits anything at all.

    Later on runes may save the skill, but it's vanilla version is a waste of a skill slot imo. The two runes that might save the skill are the ones that root the twister in place (you may actually get close to the tool-tip damage on a mob), and the other that forms a tornado when two twisters collide (will have to wait and see how the tornado actually plays out).



  7. #7
    IncGamers Member
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    Re: Total breakdown of my beta playthroughs + final builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Kinmaul View Post
    Solid write-up and while I'm sure people will constantly argue over skills based on personal preference I'm boggled that you enjoyed Energy Twister for the Wizard. I tried everything to make that skill viable, and it still ended up feeling like trash. You only get the tool-tip damage if the mob stays in the twister for the entire duration which is impossible given the random nature of how it moves. Most of the time you get a fraction of that damage; if the twister even hits anything at all.

    Later on runes may save the skill, but it's vanilla version is a waste of a skill slot imo. The two runes that might save the skill are the ones that root the twister in place (you may actually get close to the tool-tip damage on a mob), and the other that forms a tornado when two twisters collide (will have to wait and see how the tornado actually plays out).
    Heh. I made a thread arguing it's awfulness over here:

    http://diablo.incgamers.com/forums/s...Energy-Twister

    I also "tried everything to make that skill viable" but nope, total fail.



  8. #8
    IncGamers Member
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    Re: Total breakdown of my beta playthroughs + final builds

    Barbarian Cleave+rupture Seismic Slam Leap Ancient Spear Passiveound of flesh Demon hunter Entangling Shot+chain gang Rapid Fire Smoke Screen Vault passive: thrill of the hunt Monk Deadly Reach+Piercing Trident Lashing Tail Kick+Vulture Claw Kick Dashing Strike Blinding Flash Witch Doctor Corpse Spiders+Leaping Spiders Grasp of The Dead+Unbreakable Grasp Zombie Dogs+Rabid Dogs Soul Harvest passive: Jungle Fortitude Wizard Shock Pulse+Explosive Bolts Arcane Orb+Obliteration Frost Nova Diamond Skin passive: Blur All of them kicked *** imo.



  9. #9
    IncGamers Member raveharu's Avatar
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    Re: Total breakdown of my beta playthroughs + final builds

    Nothing is final until you've played past leoric.



  10. #10
    IncGamers Member ThomasJ's Avatar
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    Re: Total breakdown of my beta playthroughs + final builds

    Builds will be an everlasting changing cycle of madness on a consistent basis. That is one of the things I like about the game.



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