Lets face it, most of the WD skills are basically useless.
With zombie bears bugged there isn't even some unique ability which is more damaging in some cases.
Some runes are completely useless:
Swirl of bats: I haven't used this ever, and never seen anybody use it ever. It could be worth a shot if the range would be significantly increased. Nobody is going to stand around in melee range for mere 250% dps.
Sacrifice: It is fun upto hell and early act1 inferno, but until that it just doesn't cut it. I would suggest making it only sacrifice one dog at a time and buffing the damage.
Zombie bears: I don't know what they were doing to the skill but even while it was before the most useful dps ability it has it's flaws. The bears should emerge at the position of the WD, not behind it, like what how it does/did when standing against a wall. This would finally give the WD a high DPS ability with consistent usage.
Haunt: I never used this and only saw that used a few times in the game. The problem is you have to click each enemy you want to haunt separately. It might be useful if it auto-aims enemies which haven't been haunted already.
Pyrogeist: Absolutely useless, just make us have several geists at the time.
Manitu: Make it a cooldown skill, buff it's damage and make it a pet following you around like hex.
Hex: the short cooldown and duration is absolutely annoying, pointless while the skill itself is useful.
Toad of Hugeness, useless make it able to swallow elites then we are talking.
Corpse spiders: DPS is way too less to make it useful, some people used it for hardcore kiting but they seriously need some dps boost. Maybe make them a cooldown ability and buff the duration. Better summon a few of those spiderlings to fight for you.
Circle of life passive: Seriously buff it's percentage that skill alone should suffice to always have a few dogs around.
Vision Quest: Absolutely annoying the way it works now. Either reduce mana costs so through the board or give a partial bonus for every skill on cooldown.
I pretty much agree with everything... you could've written more too lol.
I do have to admit though, Hex is probably our best ability besides Spirit Walk and Spirit Vessel (though that's a passive). The short cooldown and the fact that it lasts 12 sec but has a 15 sec cooldown is annoying for sure, but it's one of our strongest abilities so I'll be OK if they just leave it as it is.
Hex and Haunt are both decent abilities, and Haunt is one of the few things the witch doctor does well that is unique.
Sacrifice would be an excellent skill, in my opinion, if the dogs could survive in normal play. Sacrificing one dog at once would effectively halve my damage. I think they should reduce Next of Kin to 30%, but reduce the Summon Dogs cooldown by 10 seconds, and raise Circle of Life to 10%. That would fix sacrifice instantly.
Corpse Spiders is really not that bad, Icreckon a DPS boost of 1% would be all it took to make it match the other primary skills. And I like Vision Quest as it is - it has the potential to be incredibly powerful, but huge drawbacks; makes it fairly balanced. When pets become durable, VQ builds will be pretty fun; hide behind minions while spamming powerful spells.
I agree with most of the others. I'd like to add the Zombie Charger rune that leaves poisonous vapour, has to be the least useful rune there is, vapour needs a huge duration or damage buff.
The only skills that I have liked for a WD are; poison dart (splinters), firebomb (flash fire), direbats and zombie bears. Or at least for primary attacks.
Apart from that I feel WD is more like a support character... it has good CC and BBV is great for a group buff (though annoying that it's on a large cd and u must stand inside the area).
Hex is fantastic, but I agree that having to recast it every 30 seconds or so is annoying. Then again every class has something like that... like a wizard's self buffs last 2 minutes.
I have just benched my WD personally. I think the class is broken (in a bad way). They really need to fix it and make it more interesting. I started a hardcore wizard and I was amazed at how many different via builds are available to it... so much more interesting. WD on the other hand is pretty much pidgeon holed into 1 or 2 builds if u don't have ridiculous gear.
With the terrible pathing and targeting of the shaman, I actually like being able to recast him on top of an approaching mob.
Having bears spawn behind you allows you to use it as an area effect I find very usefull. Unless I'm against a wall there is often some random thing on my back I like to get with a bear burst. When you want them to stream forward just find a wall. If they keep it as is but get the bears to go on stairs and over tiny bumps in the map I'd be happy.
My 60 WD is just sitting there on the character screen for the last 3 weeks. Useless piece of crap.
Can I have your items then? :P
Seriously with Zombie bears and Well of Souls my WD can afflict more effective damage than most melee characters and wizards. And if you exclude ball lightning even the DHs. Granted I don't have some high DPS number to brag with on the character screen.
"Those guys" don't listen if I tell them that Zombie bears is effective 708% skill damage and well of souls 280% added to that another 20% from grasp, 80% from rain of corpses (upto 3x from grave injustice) and 80% from zombie wall.
Not all of that gonna end up at the target but if it does very little comes close. The WD is just not the class suited for a lazy playstyle if you wanna be "good".
Yeah, this is true. A lot of people probably made a WD thinking it would be the lazy class of the game lol, because of the summons. Definitely not the case. Even with current skills WDs can do tons of damage. But again, it's all melee range and you don't have the 30% reduction or enough protection abilities.
Honestly though, most people probably just don't like the fact that they have to get heavy defensive gear as a caster in order to survive Inferno using most of the WDs skills. They want to be able to do what DHs do and just roll into Inferno with 10K life and demolish everything. Soul Harvest starts to make a bit more sense when you consider the way WDs are expected to play =/. The class is not for everyone.
You have to use your defensive abilities in melee range in order to survive versus having a passive 30% DR. Once pets are buffed it'll be easier of course. Personally, that's not the playstyle I expected when I made a WD, but it seems pretty clear that it's how to be most effective.
Hex is awesome. The damage buff is insane and nice for ccing champs. My only problem is that it does ABSOLUTELY nothing against bosses. I took it off my bar for zombies wall cause at least that can do damage and block bosses. I would love for them to move the bears to in fornt of thw witch and maybe increase the range. Lower the damage on bears if you want, but definitely increase the range. I agree with vision quest using stacks of mana regen instead of changing your entire build so you can waste summons to get 4 things on cd :/. I got a nice build I like I just run oom soooo friggin fast.
Witch doctors could also use a damage buff or enemies hit buff on their primary attacks. You can hit 1 target for 180% with darts or hit 10+ with firebomb for like 75% damage... is ther eno middle ground that hits 1-3 targets for 125% damage like demon hunters? That's the major thing i noticed after I leveled my demon hunter. Witch doctors are severely lacking in damage from low mana cost abilities. DH and wizard can both start hitting multiple targets for more damage at like lvl 10. Now, bears do fantastic damage, but you gotta be in death range to even use them. At most, without vision quest active, you can cast bears like 5-6 times before going completely oom. Then your stuck with trying to finish them with darts while your bar SLOWLY fills back up. it's like they took demon hunters, nerfed the damage, enemies hit and resource gen, gave them some cc/pets and said here, witch doctor.