Another example for "odd" key selection: I have two extra mouse buttons for my thumb, and I've mapped them to 3 and 4. ...Because it's a new mouse and I've never had thumb buttons before, however, I really only use the one that activates 4. On my DH it's Smoke Screen for an easy "Oh ****" skill, while on my Monk it's a Mantra for the two scenarios of set-and-forget or "The first three seconds, x occurs." I've also got my middle mouse button set for potions.
Generally, 1 is my "bomb" skill (Seven Sided Strike or Multishot), 3 is healing (Breath of Heaven, Preparation), and 2 is a bit of a floater (Blinding Flash for CC, but also Vault for an escape/movement).
Because I'm playing Diablo again, I can't break the habit of keeping the fingers of my left hand on Tab-1-W-Alt (what I call The Claw). I rarely use the map, but after playing D2 for so long it's become both comfortable and natural. It's very hard to fight it.
edit: Huh. The front page has a news story on Diablo's Claw. That's what I should have called my hand position originally.
I didn't really tab much in D1 and D2, I always had the overlay on. The reason I use ASDF rather than 1234 or f1, etc, is that its all closer to the alt, shift, ctrl cluster. I use a mouse with (12) thumb buttons, but haven't cared to use them in D3 yet. They will activate my skills, but I just prefer pressing keys. I'm considering picking up a Naga Hex, though, and with those buttons being mechanised, I'd expect to use some of 'em.
Regarding the mouse wheel, I read a reasonable suggestion about setting scroll up to open inventory and scroll down to close all open windows. I can see that making gameplay a little more fluent.
I've always had map on `, and stand still on space. This causes a bit of a confilct with the "spam space to skip cutscenes" mechanic. If you map space, it no longer skips.
Now that I think of it, I used to use space to show items back in D2, and Tab and Shift for standing still. In D3 I find space more comfortable for standing still, and showing items is no longer necesarry.
I've mapped my 4 skills to qwer and the potion to 1(first belt slot in D2). I tend to have some sort of disabling skill(ground stomp, frost nova) on Q. The rest of the buttons have different skills at different times. I did use to have telekinesis, teleport and static on A, S and D respectively, on all my sorcereses in D2.
Now that we've had this amazing discussion, can we please stop derailing my thread?
I took a DH through the first act and a half of Inferno in mediocre gear without needing to drop my Bat in favour of another utility skill. Because my damage was low I actually needed the Hatred regen. Even while kiting I could eat hatred far faster than I could regen it (FWIW: entangling shot (extra hatred), nether tents, caltrops (immobile), smoke screen (extra duration), prep (heal), bat).
My progress was halted because DH isn't really what I wanted to be playing but I was beginning to think that with the gear I had, something was probably going to have to change for the first zones worth of Kulle quests, though I could've changed back later on. Had I stuck that out, there's absolutely no way I could've defeated Belial, so I parked the toon before I got to experimenting.
I've been questing through with a Wiz as my main and have been working on a WD as a secondary. The Wiz is dropping arcane hydras for the splash group damage, piercing orb for distance fighting or ranged, frost nova with deep freeze for the added crit chance, ray of frost with sleet storm, energy armor with pinpoint barrier for the added crit chance, and magic weapon with force weapon (more recently seeing how the blood magic works out and at this point I can't tell how much the leech is doing in A3 hell). Currently using Critical Mass, Cold Blooded, and Astral Presence for passives. She's 57.5 and waiting for 60 to use the lovely prismatic armor on energy armor to boost the resists with the armor boost.
Run into a pack and do a frost nova to spark the 15% crit bonus (for 40% total with gear), sleet storm away, and with Critical Mass passive and a lot of crit gear, I can spam frost nova like it's nothing and keep the sleet storm running with all the AP on crit as well. Synergizes very well On boss packs it loses some punch since frost nova needs 5 monsters to proc and there are usually only 4 left to hit. Still yet, as long as they stay around me I can keep crit'ing 25% of the time and get some decent AP restored and frost nova off CD. I did try using the healing rune on spectral blade and it seemed to help with have the high crit gear. However, the lack of being able to take on ranged attackers or anything at the back of groups sent me back to piercing orb rather quickly.
Have had to change things up on act bosses a couple of times, but I stacked a lot of res gear and that made all the difference. Around 10k DPS, higher when the crit chance goes up, 23k life, ~3k armor IIRC, and 200-300 in all resists. It's very much an in-the-action build and I die a lot more than those who are hydra/blizz kiting I'm sure. But I thoroughly enjoy the build and hope to not have to change things up down the road. I'm sure I'll have to do something different in Inferno, but I'll definitely be trying to find some way to make it work.
WD is in the start of NM and he's using large fire bats and explosive toads after a soul harvest buff. Gargantuan to follow him around and be a meat shield (pretty tough for me so far unlike the dogs), and fetish army ambush for the big damage drop and CC. Lastly he's using zombie charger (back and forth between runes). I hardly use the fetish army and zombie charger. With some gifting of old gear from my Wiz, he tore through norm like it was nothin. NM has been exceptionally easy so far as well, but he hasn't hit A2 yet.
With soul harvest, it buffs his damage so much that he can toss a few toads down and kill most things. If there are special mobs it's just a matter of casting a couple of bats and they're done for. The gargantuan just runs around and adds a little damage here and there, gives some distraction while I fire bat away.
I feel torn with this guy though because I want to be able to use summons more, a lot more. But the good summon passives seem pretty far down the line and the cooldowns/survival really suck for zombie dogs/fetishes. I wish the fetishes could stick around longer. Even with the CD rune on fetishes and the passive, there's still around a minute before another group can be cast.
This, and I'm having trouble finding good uses for a lot of the skills too. I could use this or that, but the setup I'm using now seems more efficient than when I try to switch out a skill or use something as a tertiary skill. I just find myself not using whatever is on those spots on the skillbar for now. I'm trying to get used to zombie charger for this "epic" zombie bear destruction, but I'm not sure I even want to do that build. I'm sticking it out for 1.0.3 or whenever they are going to up the summons a bit before I try to push this guy too far into Hell.
I stuck with a vague summoning theme on my WD until this evening, questing through the mid-late stages of NM Act 2. I've finally dumped my zombie dogs and summoning passive in order to switch to a more effective casterish style. That said, I'm struggling to find a spell I really like to take the place of the dogs - its bound to be a survivability button in the long term but right now I don't quite need it.
By and large I've found it quite difficult to radically alter the specs on any characters as I've been playing through the game. I pick up skills as they become available in the very early levels and tend to slowly evolve. I have a feeling that at some point I'll have to take a long look a the WD as the difficulty ramps up and the twink items are less impactful.
It's a wizard build I've just tried, and so far(act3 nm) it's turning out to be very interesting. The idea is to get the Paralysis passive, and then use all the lightning you can. I'm using Lightning Hydra on left clink, Electrocute with Forked Lightning on right click, Frost nova(deep freeze), teleport(wormhole), energy armor(crit chance), and magic weapon(lightning weapon). To kill monsters you lay down a hydra, and then hold down right click to electrocute. If there is a group of enemies, teleport into them, cast frost nova, teleport back out for extra crit chance. Gear with crit chance helps too, since forked lightning shoot charged bolts when you crit.
I haven't been with this build long, but so far it seems very amusing. Will report back if/when I try it in late hell/inferno.
TLDR: Decent damage, decent survivability but easily killed, good all-around character
Stats: Around 25k HP, 36K DPS with negligible amounts of resists and armor.
Merc: Scoundrel with 3% extra crit.
Strategy/Build: It's a standard kiting build. The damage comes from Blizzard(reduced AP)+Hydra(Venom), with little Rays of Frost(reduced AP) thrown in there when I have the time to do that. Force Armor is one of those 'required' skills that allows me to get hit without losing 90% of my HP. Teleport with fracture is used for kiting and getting out of tight spots (wallers etc). Force Weapon is there just for the huge DPS boost.
The passives are Glass Cannon (damage), Cold Blooded(more damage) and Blur which is not really required unless I would get one-shotted (the 20% mitigation is lost in Force Armor) but I kept it around anyway.
Annoyances: The only thing I miss in the build is Diamond Skin and I sometimes replace Teleport with it. Teleporters/Wallers/Jailers/Mortars (not at once, that would be silly) can be challenging. In some situations (ie. heavy kiting) I run out of AP and that sucks for a bit because there's nothing to do but wait (while running).
TLDR: Huge damage (potentially), very limited reaction based survivability, very fun to level and play normally (not farm)
Stats: 8K HP, 40K DPS, no resists, no armor, very high crit.
Merc: Scoundrel with Hysteria.
Strategy/Build: A standard glass cannon. I made it after my wizard felt too much like a glass cannon but after seeing the DH perform I now think of the wizard as quite tanky.
Nether Tentacles is just silly in terms of DPS so I picked that. Next are a bunch of defensive abilities. Smoke Screen/Preparation is what keeps me alive and Vault/Marked for Death are used only when the situation calls for it (boss fights mostly). The strategy is to kill them before I run out of discipline for Smoke Screen or kite them till they die (if possible). Entangling Shot is used to activate the 15% extra damage passive.
Annoyances: Everything. Even opening a chest can kill me (because of splinters). It's been very fun leveling her, playing a little bit in inferno and it's definitely possible to continue and possibly finish the game but the whole 'one-shotty-ness' is not my cup of tea.
TLDR: Slow and steady, rarely dies, impossible to upgrade items using the AH, very fun all-around
Stats: 40K HP, 8K DPS, some resists (200ish I think), 8k armor.
Merc: Enchantress with 3% extra attack speed.
Strategy/Build: I rarely die with him even if I stand in desecration with two arcane beams slicing me. My main attack is Frenzy, so I just whack away at enemies one at a time. Furious Charge (Dreadnaught) is used as an extra healing CD and to get out of a bad spot. Ignore Pain is self explanatory, I just pop it when I take too much damage. Revenge is my secondary attack and healing CD and with the 30% rune I almost always have it available. I use Wrath of the Berserker (100% extra damage) when I encounter champion packs and usually it's enough to thin them down before it expires (I almost never clear a pack with it still active); after that it's just more whacking with frenzy. The passives could be called standard for tanking I guess (extra armor, armor from vitality and reduced damage when bellow 20%).
Annoyances/Extra: He was my first character and I think he's also my favorite. I let go of him a few days after the game was released because he simply died too much so that was annoying. But after buying some tanking items from the AH the whole 'can't get close to anything wraaa!!' deal went away. The dps is nothing to write home about either but in the end killing is much smoother than with my other characters because I don't kite/die/etc. The only thing that could be labeled as 'annoyance' is that upgrades are expensive as hell, basic Vitality+Resists items are cheap and so are those with Strength/Vitality but Vitality/Resists/Strength are just ridiculous and personally I don't see myself with enough gold to buy even one piece.
And that's it. Much longer than I would have wanted (hence the TLDRs) but that's probably my last update since I doubt I'll be leveling other characters.