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Do you really need an AP generator?

Discussion in 'Wizard' started by Kvothe, Apr 25, 2012. | Replies: 21 | Views: 2704

  1. Kvothe

    Kvothe IncGamers Member

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    Do you really need an AP generator?

    I didn't get a chance to do much with wizards during the open beta. Just enough to make one and to play with a few starter skills. That said, i did notice that AP seemed to regen surprisingly quickly.

    It's not enough to be able to constantly spend it without running out, but it did seem to be enough to be able to spend about half your time casting.

    Looking around, every build I've seen seems to rely on 1 AP generator. Why? I mean, in harder content we'll probably be spending as much time moving around as we do casting in combat. Would it be worth it to sacrifice an AP generator for, say, a nuke of an element you haven't touched yet or another utility? What do the more experienced players here think?

    Edit: Also, worth mentioning diamond skin + prism, astral presence and power hungry passives, etc.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  2. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    You mean not using a signature skill? With some active or passive skills (like the ones you mentioned) and items (AP on crit, +max AP) it may be possible. On the other hand, doing that may restrict our choices too much. I'm sure many people will try to do this, but it remains to be seen whether it's a viable way to play or not.
  3. beingmused

    beingmused IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    I'd say that a signature skill is important if you want a good build. If there are ever any moments when you can't cast a spell, wasting that weapon swing is a huge DPS loss - you should be casting something at every possible opportunity, and there's no spender so cheap that you could cast indefinitely.
  4. Snerra

    Snerra IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    Just to pick a nit, the signatures skills of the wizard technically aren't AP generators (they don't generate AP, they are simply free, as in they have no cost).

    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.
  5. galzohar

    galzohar IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    It seems like while AP regens fast enough, it's also not that hard to run out of it and still have time to fill in with a signature spell. Some builds will depend on signature spells more than others (ex: meteor builds need them badly, while ray of frost builds won't use them as much), but they'll all find themselves casting them. Even with all the running around, I find it hard to believe we'll run around so much 100% of the time to never really run out of AP. If we do, then Blizzard did a bad job. Even in the beta, where 2-3 arcane orbs pretty much clean house and then you're off running to the next pack that you start with full AP again, I found myself finishing monsters off with the signature spell because my AP was still regenerating. In other words, we'll probably run around a lot, yes, but probably not enough as to never run out of AP.

    The real question is to me, though, not whether we'll use the signature skills or not, but rather will we use them enough to justify stuff like the "generate 4 arcane power when dealing damage with signature spell" passive. I wonder what % they'll be of our overall damage (probably not a whole lot but still a meaningful amount), and how that will affect weapon choices - While slower weapons with equal DPS are obviously preferable for the wizard due to AP efficiency, if the faster weapon has more DPS it becomes a more difficult choice, as the faster weapon with more DPS may significantly increase the amount of damage your signature spells are dealing while slightly reducing the damage your spenders are dealing. How significantly and how slightly, as well as how much of our damage really does come from signature spells, will make a big difference when it comes to weapon choices.

    In any case, I doubt a build with no signature spell can be effective. "Playable at best" is my guess.
  6. LucianDK

    LucianDK IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    When I played Wiz during the open beta, it felt like you ran out of ap constantly and had to wait for it to recover. Imo Signature spells should grant ap innately, without needing runes, nor passives for it.
  7. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    I agree with you, in that it should never be possible to completely ignore our resources. However I think that it should be possible to play without signature skill even on Inferno, but it should come at great cost. For example, you should have to focus on AP regen and AP extending passives and items to do this and even then you should play perfectly, meaning that if you miss one of your AO you'll get in trouble because you'll run out of AP and won't be able to do much until it regenerates.


  8. galzohar

    galzohar IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    I think if your build can run out of AP, then it needs a generator, and not much you can do to get away with it. I also don't see any effective builds that have a good chance to not run out of AP, even when you assume some decent amount of movement. If we ignore the free ROF rune (which is practically a signature skill), the only thing you might consider is one of the skills that cost 20 AP (like arcane orb with cost reduction rune), avoiding any other real AP-costing spells (so no skills like hydra, wave of force, teleport), getting a(some) AP generating passive(s) and using a very slow weapon.

    Maybe something like this:
    http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#PcOYXg!ZXg!YYZYZZ

    Some alternatives are to maybe get rid of the crit buffs and instead get more max AP from the energy armor and more damage from frost nova and get the glass cannon passive.

    But then again you might still run out of AP sometimes even with such a build, so I really don't know if it'll be effective or even viable.
  9. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    For a build like this, I would seriously consider Hydra. It has the best damage per AP ratio out of all the skills and it has AoE effects.

    RoF isn't a bad choice either, but the Cold Blood rune is still bugged in the calculator (for how many months now? I've lost track). It actually reduces the cost of RoF to 12 AP, which is very nice.

    In some cases, the Familiar's Arcanot effect (+2 AP / sec regen) could be better than Energy Armor.
  10. DoxieVon

    DoxieVon IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    The beta has maybe seen 1/10th of possible rare boss mods, nothing so far has had resource drain... although its likely that it will exist and will be prevalent in hell/inferno. I think the chances of you getting away without a resource generating skill while playing solo is unlikely, in a group however we might see lots of them, for all the ranged classes at least.
  11. galzohar

    galzohar IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    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/calculator/wizard#PcjOXg!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).
  12. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    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. :)

    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. :)


    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  13. capnlarge

    capnlarge IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    i think it would be easier to go with a build that doesn't use any AP. There are some strong signature skills.
  14. galzohar

    galzohar IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    Nah, signature spells seem to pale in comparison to most spells that actually cost AP - Both in terms of actual damage and size of AOE.
  15. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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  16. Sooru

    Sooru IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    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 :p

    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!" :p
  17. galzohar

    galzohar IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    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.
  18. Sooru

    Sooru IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    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.
  19. galzohar

    galzohar IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    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.
  20. Lokiftw

    Lokiftw IncGamers Member

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    Re: Do you really need an AP generator?

    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.

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