Let's discuss play styles, builds, and gear selection for the Wizard class. Post anything you learned from your experience playing so far and share it your fellow wizards!
1) Current level and act.
2) Current skills and play style
3) Current gear setup
4) Overall game strategies, discussion, and tips for the wizard
I'm currently level 40 and am starting act III NM.
I am using disintegrate, meteor, blizzard, electrocute, archon, and wave of force. To be honest, I am having a bit of trouble. My roommate is level a lvl 41 DH and it seems like he does more damage and survives longer. I'm turning to you guys for help and discussion.
I use a rare wand and source and have been trying to use gear that adds as much +intelligence and +vitality as possible. I probably found half my gear from shopping merchants. I also attempted to craft a couple wands but they all turned out bad.
I am curious is anyone has had any luck using a sword or axe as their main weapon. Also, how does this affect skill damage. One thing that bothers me is it seems there is no way you can actually check your skill damage. Does anyone know a way?
And here's my tip:
If you choose Elective Mode from the game options, you can use any combination of you skills you like rather than 1 primary, 1 secondary, 1 conjuration, etc. So, for example, I use both blizzard and meteor.
Anyway, let's try and fill this thread with information to help our wizard brethren. Thanks a lot and good luck guys!
Take your listed weapon damage (on the weapon the big numbers at the top) and multiply it by your Intelligence value, then by your "skills modifier" value in the stats tab (that is basically stuff like Magic Weapon). Then, simply apply the % of your skill. Note - for skills that are on cooldown such as Wave of Force, instead of weapon damage it will use your DPS (damage * attacks per second).
Alternatively, just use "show damage numbers" in the options.
I am only level 27, but it looks like you are overloaded on damage skills. You are using 4 nukes, and your fifth skill is a basically "get moar nukes." I'd drop Meteor or Blizzard or Disintegrate and get another defensive skill or a damage multiplier (or a compromise - Prism on Diamond Armor works fantastically with spells like Disintegrate because you can cast them for way longer) Which passives are you using?
2) frost nova, hydra, familiar,archon, electrocute, desintegrate/ passives: blur (real life saver at the moment), astral present, evocation
3) dmg+int+vita. as a weapon I have a 35dps axe with 54 int. I didnt use wands at all
4) frostnova with -15% cooldown seems pretty ok (but still not perfect). hydra (arcane orbes) is an awesome corner puller with a nice damage and lives preety long. Really like it. Tried meteor - VERY slow, found it completely useless. blizzard looks OK as a mobs slower but takes too much mana as dps (multiple casts). Familiar vs imbue isn't really clear for me but i use familiar with sparkflint at the moment as I CAN see it's active. Imbue - I forget to refresh it as it's not really clear if I have it activated or not until I check the character damage. desintergrate with chaos nexus is a real killer.
tactics: put hydra from max distance, desintegrate, nova if mobs still alive and close, hydra on frozen mobs, desintegrate =all dead. Issues: sometimes it feels I need a bit more control (that can be done by hydra-->blizzard switch) but that happens not that often. NM looks really easy but I only have skel king killed so far.
Warning: Snow Blast (ray of frost rune) is either bugged or badly designed. It seems that the initial damage is actually lower than unruned Ray of Frost, which makes it a significant damage in downgrade in damage until you get several seconds of channel in on the target.
Which is stupid for two reasons - if you have any IAS, there is a good chance you won't get a noticable increase in damage before you run dry, you will lose damage if you have to relocate; and your killing speed on weaker enemies that die in 1-1.5 seconds of Ray of Frost anyway will go down.
I've only just finished Act 1 of Normal, so I don't have much input on my current build. The more and more I read people talking about the later acts, and the harder difficulties, the more and more I rethink what I want my end-game build to be. It seems like defensive / "utility" skills are going to be huge late game, and we won't have as many offensive skills being used as we first thought. I was playing around in the skill calculator, and came up with this, this, and this. I think in my head that any of those could be a viable build, or some variation of them with a different offensive spell in the RMB slot. They all at least give you cooldown reduction for Teleport and Diamond Skin, some AP regen with Magic Missile and Astral Presence, and some HP regen/longer shield with Galvanizing Ward.
Im at Hell act 3, level 58 atm. Was playing alone or with a friend (monk) all the way.
Difficulty is managable, but very challenging at this point. Since the start of Hell act 1, I had to put heavy emphasis on defense. 3-4 defensive spells and a shield is routine. Damage output is still viable, even if leaves open wishes, due to the mass ammount of DPS sacrificed for defense.
Act bosses and similar encounters are significantly less of a big deal.
Trash can be deadly if you are uncareful, but with some exceptions very managable
Biggest trouble at this spot are minibosses/champions.
A lot of things i expected to be viable pre-release turned out to be not, while other things turned out to work out quite well.
Using this setup currently at level 55 http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculato...SOm!aXf!YYabZY
Only really works with no signature beacause my weapon is a 2 hander with 0.9 attack speed so resource consumption is only alittle more than regen.. Not to mention frost nova and diamond skin are both free.. Until about half way through hell act 1 I one shot every mob with arcane orb, now in act 2 hell takes 2-3 to kill medium health mobs hitting for about 8k an orb but thats not a problem yet. Archon is usually good enough to kill everything before it gets in to melee range. Betweeen energy armor, an enchantress buffing my armor and diamond skin pre-archon usually have no surviablity problems on elite packs except the really really high health ones that dont die in 10 seconds of archon wrecking.. Sometimes use glass cannon instead of blur.. Galavanizing ward is obviously personal preference, makes it so you always start packs with full hp even when the last one didnt drop a globe and makes it less likely the armor will expire midfight or while archon is up.
Only thing that was really hard was izual in nightmare but mirror images instead of frost nova made it easy.
This is where I'm at at the moment, level 52, just cleared Big D in nightmare. Strategy is mostly getting close to a mob -> Time Warp -> Cold Snap -> Forceful Wave and the getting the hell out of there while casting the Chain Lightning. I'm fairly pleased, but any advice is appreciated! Especially if there is anything I really shouldn't miss out on when I reach 60.
Currently, my battle involves this:
1. Run into the crowd, cast Frost Nova once
2. Cast Wave of Force
3. Get one Arcane Orb in
4. Cast Mirror Image and run out of crowd
5. Keep casting Arcane Orb into the on Shift, while adding some Magic Missiles
6. Repeat the Frost Nova, Wave of Force, and Mirror Image as soon as their timers reset
This has worked really well for me. My past builds have involved:
1. Chain Lighting (6 targets); Ray of Frost (extra damage on hold); the rest the same
2. Generally, anything with a good balance of single-target and crowd control, with Frost Nova, Wave of Force, and Mirror Image being constants
Here's my brief analysis of the other skills
1. Signature Skills Magic Missile: I don't think the 3-split Magic Missile is worth it; the extra 7% in damage (over the single bolt) is not worth the amount of times that at least one of the bolts will end up missing; piercing might be worth it, but I haven't tried it Shock Pulse: This is usually quite short-range, and thus unless you're using a beam for your secondary, I'd avoid this; piercing orb is nice, but slow and also short-range Spectral Blade: You have to be building a melee tanking wizard for this to be worth it Chain Lightning: 6*80% damage is quite a bit, while the critical hit bolts aren't that great; the straight-lightning is unlikely to hit more than 6 targets, so it's not really worth it
2. Secondary Skills Ray of Frost: With the second rune, is really potent when you have just one enemy left and you can lock it on; if you use this, make sure you have a good crowd-control (Shock Pulse or my favourite, Chain Lightning) on the Signature skill. Note that Cold Blood isn't that great. I actually haven't tried sleet storm yet, should do that soon Arcane Orb: The Obliteration and Arcane Nova are both really good; Arcane Nova (larger AOE) basically makes it into a Frozen Orb (when it hits), with huge splash and great crowd control, while Obliteration is a good intermediate choice Arcane Torrent: I haven't used this very much; Death Blossom (the random-shots rune) sounds promising, but for crowd-control, I haven't found it as good as Arcane Orb (not sure what its splash radius is) Disintegrate: This thing doesn't do very much damage compared to any of the other items, and it's very unlikely to hit more enemies than a big Arcane Orb. Volatility (enemies explode) can make it worthwhile, but the explosion radius is very small
3. Defensive Frost Nova: Using this feels like cheating; it freezes bosses too, and with 2 wizards, you can basically have any monster frozen almost all the time. This is especially potent with Cold Snap and Evocation, which reduce the cooldowns. Frozen Mist is not worth it at all; freezing rocks Diamond Skin: Haven't used it very much, but doesn't seem that useful (Prism, reducing arcane power cost, seems okay though) Slow Time: This is pretty cool, especially Miasma (slow time clings to enemies); it's another good crowd-control spell, and comes close to Frost Nova; Miasma and Time Warp are both great; Time Shell isn't that useful, except if you stand inside it, you can run away from anything Teleport: It seems cool since we all used it in D2, but it's not actually that useful except for running; none of the crowd-control of the other skills
4. Force Wave of Force: This is good crowd-control and does lots of damage. Forceful Wave gives you great damage (260%!) while Impactful Wave is good for more defensive players. It's better than Blizzard and better than Meteor in most cases (only 25 Arcane Power too!) Energy Twister: It's okay with Gale Force, but a max of 360% damage over 6 seconds (or 468% with a rune) if you get lucky is still not much better than 260% to a whole host of enemies from Wave of Force Hydra: These are okay, but take a long time to deal as much damage as Wave of Force (28% to 34% damage per hit, depending on runes) Meteor: The arcane power cost (60!) is really too high for 260% (+78% if you're lucky); the volley of 7 meteors looks okay, but I haven't gotten there yet Blizzard: We all love blizzard, but it just doesn't do as much damage! (210% for 45 AP); that's still less than wave of force.
5. Magic Weapon Ice Armor:Great for defensive solo play, especially with Chilling Aura; Frozen Armor as we knew it; I used this for a long time until I realized it didn't actually save me that many times for my build Shock Armor: The thing is, you need to be attacked for this armor to damage your enemies, so it's not that great for a typical Wizard; Power of the Storm, reducing Arcane Power cost of all spells by 3 is pretty nice though Magic Weapon: 15% extra damage with a rune or 10% arc'ed damage; pretty okay. I don't know what the actual chance of 1 Arcane Power being generated on an attack is for the third rune Familiar: The damage these do are really negligible, and although Sparkflint is competitive with Force Weapon, I'd still choose that Energy Armor: I really need all my Arcane Power! As such, I haven't used this. I might want to try it with Absorption (4 AP per hit on yourself)
6. Mastery Skill Explosive Blast: Frankly, the low damage plus the 1.5 second casting time (2.5 for Time Bomb rune which also gives extra damage) makes it not very useful; Short Fuse actually makes it competitive, but Mirror Image is too awesome Mirror Image: With Duplicates (5 images!) these will be your perfect meat shields; 25% health each doesn't seem like a lot, but remember that they don't last very long. The reason you'd want 5 is so that the chance of monsters targeting them increases greatly Archon: This is pretty cool, but using it really threw me off. The cooldown is pretty crazily high though, but I can see it being useful for brief fights against rares