The problem with no resource generating skills isn't the "in X situation you'll be totally screwed", but rather "sometimes you'll simply do less damage because you'll be out of AP and have nothing to do". Notice that even the most AP-efficient builds assume that you will be forced to spend some of the time moving around and thus generate some AP back. If you happen to spend more than a few seconds standing still with a chance to do more damage, you actually lost that chance because you're out of AP. If you get such chances often, the "no signature skill" build loses its benefit, and that benefit really is just having an extra skill slot open, which may not be good enough of a reason to do less damage in those situations where you can stand still for more than a few seconds.
I agree familiar is probably a good option, at least if you're not going for the crit-happy variant. I wonder if the build will have enough defenses, though. I don't really like hydra because it's one more spell that costs AP instead of 1 more spell that doesn't cost AP (spells that don't cost AP increase the time you can stand still and cast without running out). Maybe something more like this: http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculato...OXg!ZXY!YYYaZZ
But again, the thing I think will kill such builds is that you simply sacrifice a lot of stuff just to be able to free up 1 skill slot, when in the end most of your damage is really dealt by your primary and secondary attacks, with the rest just buffing them (like certain runed skills that give more crit/damage), providing utility/defense (teleport, mirror image), or just add some extra damage that pales in comparison to the damage dealt by your primary+secondary but is still a bonus worth having (like hydra).
Well, I think it was a given that these builds won't be optimal, ever. They may still be viable though. Even though we won't know the definite answer to the question in this thread's title for some time, exploring the possibility is certainly fun.
Originally Posted by Snerra
I wonder if skills cast while in Archon Form cost AP. There is no cost listed for the Archon skills on Diablonut. Anybody know? That could potentially be important for a signature-skill-free build.
Archon skills didn't have a cost in the PvP demo last year as far as I know. Of course the relevance of this information is questionable.
A build like this can spam Arcane Orb/Tap the source indefinitely with +2 AP/sec from gear with 0,90 speed weapon (2-handed mace).
It regens 14 per sec and Power of the Storm reduces costs by 3 so Hydra can be spammed indefinitely at 1,1666... APS.
Even Meteor with the cost reduction seems very nice option for a build like this, though it would really like another skill to complement it, which could easily be a signature spell. Or to make things extra fun, disintegrate or Ray of Frost, which again could be sustained indefinitely with little help from gear... And it took me this long to realize the RoF talked about above was actually Ray of Frost
These are definitely some of the most interesting Wizard builds, and I really need to try this stuff after few weeks :_D
OT: Kvothe, did you play WoW with the same nick? If so, "Hi, and see you in Sanctuary!"
Hydra is not a spam-able skill. Only 1 can be up at a time.
Keep in mind that even with a 0.9 speed weapon, you'll have to ignore any attack speed gear (or at least you'll gain much less from attack speed than a "normal" wizard), which will reduce your gear options. Then again, even a "normal" wizard won't really like attack speed as much as barbs and monks do anyway, and since they'll probably balance attack speed stats to not be overpowered for barbs/monks, wizards will likely prefer to get other damage stats when they can help it. Then again, we might not have alternatives for attack speed when we think of top-end items (how many damage-related stats are there anyway?).
In the end you need to keep in mind that you're giving up a lot of skill slots that might be better-used with a "normal" build just to save up on the signature skill's slot.
Ah, it's true about only one hydra at a time. Might be why I 'overlooked' it while thinking about the build earlier.
About cast times, I'd say about half of combat time against non bosses will be used moving. On a very theoretical level, I find it beautiful trying to maximize damage per and arcane power at the same time, I mean finding the highest possible dps that could be permanently spammed. I think with the AP from globes passive and some regen from gear even the cost reduced Meteor could be a candidate for a build like this.
But, it's not even necessary to not take a signature spell, the rest of the build works just as well for high sustained DPS whether one incorporates a signature spell or not. I was actually trying to calculate if dps would go up or down with slightly too fast APS for perma spamming Meteor, so that one would fire an Electrocute once in a while. Waiting a bit for the Meteor was usually the better option, but the calculations were hardly comprehensive. I'm sure people will study stuff like that better later, when normal fight patterns and gear setups will be discovered.
My view on a good balanced Wizard build (for Inferno) is currently 3 out of the 4 following: Teleport, Time Stop, Frost Nova, and Armor spell or Diamond Skin. Actually all of the Defensive skills are awesome, one more way Blizzard is kind of shooting the less experienced players in the foot, since all of those (well maybe not Diamond Skin) can be used very aggressively too, and the 4 overlap in no way at all.
Dps spectrum would consist of a Signature spell, Aoe Spell, and a single target spender - that would be Incinerate or Ray of Frost. Arcane Orb is an ok compromise between sintle target and AoE I guess. An 'all eggs in same basket' build could have 2 utility spells, 2 damage spells and Power of the Storm/Arcanot for that nice regen. It should not be too bad, maybe like this.
Really the questions are these:
1a: How many defensive/utility skills are needed to survive.
1b: Is teleport needed for movement?
2: For the rest of skill slots, is dps better increased by having less variety on skills and higher regen making those skills castable more often, or higher number of different attacks more suited for certain occasions.
The thing is, once you take a signature skill, getting stuck with AP becomes not as big of a deal, making you consider other options rather than use all your skill and passive slots on stuff that generate AP. Stuff that generate AP might still be good, yes, but now you have the option to use other skills that might be even better. For example, an overall boost of 10% to your total damage will always be better than an overall boost of 10% to your arcane power regeneration if you have any signature spell in your build, but are the same value if you don't have one. Attack speed is a bit more beneficial for the one with a signature spell compared to the one who lacks one (since when you're out of AP your attack speed does nothing).
Having a signature spell and an AOE spender is really standard, anyway... As for the need for a single-target spender, it's debatable whether it'll be worth the skill slot or not.
As for your 1a and 1b, I think it will greatly depend on difficulty level, gear, as well as what actual skills and passives you've picked. Some might be more powerful but more situational while others may be weaker but be always useful. Also, dead enemies can't kill you, so giving up a defensive skill for more killing power might, on occasions, be a viable choice.
Without knowing the scaling retlationships b/w AP use vs mob by difficulty, it's hard to know yet. It appeaers to me that the AP spenders in the Secondary Skill Tree (Type) are in general, going to be more dps vs. signature (any numbers on primary nuke dam/ap vs other type dps spenders???). Overall I think it will come down to...dps/ap/m to eval what is the high dps spender vs other options..like Sooru mentioned. So I think, in the end, max dps will about how many nuke spenders can you drop, say per minute. Ofc active regen (skilled/runed/gearaffix) will be >> passive ap regen...so there is likely a sweet spot in that relationship that maximizes your damage output. For me, really for all the classes, I'm looking to meet broad criteria:
1) main nuke
2) resouce regen to maximize 1) up time when needed (bosses, champs etc)
3) CC, it appears you can easily have 2 (CD overlap - 2+ sources ideal imo)
4) buff(s) - group or self
5) mob debuffs (eg- lower attack speed of mobs etc)
6) pure Def attribute...mainly for high end solo/pvp....I am looking to coop highest diffs, so Im hoping I can forgoe 6) and simply buff/debuff and nuke. The less kiting I have to do, the more dps right.
Its nice that some skill/rune combos give you more than 1 criteria....1 eg) slowtime-timewarp...this is CC and mob debuff (mobs take +20% more damage in the bubble) in addition to being slowed.
From what ive seen in the beta, Im pretty sure we will want regen in our late game set up...whether from affix/skill/rune. I can run out of AP on boss nuke spam beta..and that the lowest tuning. Passive regen (just w8ing) will likelybe subpar (hunch) where game scaling is such that, mathmatically, you must meet certain criteria to win. ie in highly tuned encounters, player skill cannot overcome certain mathmatical minimums. At places where you meet the minimum criteria to survive/kill, then player skill seperates who wins from who fails.
On use/no use of signature....can we even select a non-primary skill for the primary skill slot? Im still unsure about that...they have the skils in trees (called types)and it looks designed that you get to pick 1 skill from each of the 6 trees (types).
If this is the design, Im pretty solid on using electrocute-surge for regen...with the idea ill spam spenders, hit cute to fill ap quick, then spender spam again. I like this vs. some of the other ap source skills/runes because its more throttled, and i think the non signature ap sources sacrifice other criteria (debuffs or dps etc). ie, signature use if ofc less dps, but ...no ap cost so u get SOME dps and 100% dam/ap + passive regen + runed regen...then back to nuking. Ofc the regen source decision is based on sacrifice for other build goals....but because my end game approach is focused on coop atm, the ability to hit a burn cycle and keep buffs/debuff uptime on boss/champs seems doable with cute-surge in the primary slot (time will tell).....but ofc if gear affix or another opt is better for my goals..so be it.
hope this is usefeul.