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Summoner and patch 1.03

Discussion in 'Witch Doctor' started by Thrakhath, May 29, 2012. | Replies: 30 | Views: 10779

  1. Thrakhath

    Thrakhath IncGamers Member

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    So currently, summoner builds seem to work in Act 1 Inferno with lots of +armour and resists, but completely fail later. Sacrifice is actually awesome but doesn't feel like a true summoner; keeping zombie dogs alive seems impossible in Act 2. But reading the front page, this caught my attention:



    With more consistent, less spiky damage, Fierce Loyalty will be much more useful, and with Leeching Beasts they may actually survive. This could fix summoner viability in Inferno, and as soon as 1.03 is out I am going to give it a try. Any advice?
  2. sacridoc

    sacridoc IncGamers Member

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    This is what I'm thinking atm...

    Both armor and resistances will transfer to your pets. Dodge is less useful because it won't trigger thorns damage. People have said that vitality does not affect your pets, but I can't say for sure. Also, your pets probably can't block.

    Stack thorns + life per sec + armor + resists. Armor + resistance values tend to be higher than if you were to get strength + intellect on items. I'm not sure at this point whether stacking resistance is better than intellect overall though. Because intellect apparently increases pet damage. So it's unclear whether you're better off increasing your pets melee damage but having less survivability by getting intellect, or increasing it's survivability with no added damage by getting pure resistance.

    So basically you would stack those 4 stats (thorns, life per sec, armor, and then intellect or resistance) and you would wear a shield for the added armor.

    As for the build... I think you have to go with these 3 passives: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#!Zdg

    Beyond that, you can really use any combination of runes + skills. Obviously you would have to get Zombie Dogs and Gargantuan. But the other 4 slots aren't clear cut.

    I think a build like this would be extremely gear dependent. Because you rely on both the thorns and life per sec primarily to keep your pets alive and do any damage at all. And your personal damage would be very weak most likely.

    I'm not sure what determines how much life pets have besides the level / act. If there's no way to increase a pets life then most likely you'd have very low HP with this build, but all the defensive stats of the pets.

    I don't know if these stats apply to fetishes. They don't apply to the spider queen / toad, etc I don't think. But the fetishes are a little different.
  3. z00t

    z00t IncGamers Member

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    Playing petless is my preferred style, but I was surprised when I discovered how much less effective Dogs become even as early as late Nightmare.

    I would have thought that when it came to build viability, Blizzard would have made sure that the most 'iconic' method of playing the WD was viable.

    So yeah, if not patch 1.03, then certainly soon dogs will get a buff.

    I must say that while I'm not a pet-loving sorta guy, I definitely love Zombie Dogs + Sacrifice with the Next of Kin rune. That stuff is just way too fun :p. It doesn't even feel like I'm playing with pets XD.
  4. Thrakhath

    Thrakhath IncGamers Member

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    This is the next-of-kin build I am running until patch 1.03:

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#WVYUQj!adW!aZZccZ

    Sacridoc, I cannot link to your passives for some reason, so I don't know which three you meant. Apart from Fierce Loyalty, I can see tons that would be useful:

    Zombie Handler for an extra dog and +health
    Jungle Fortitude/Bad Medicine for damage reduction
    Blood Ritual if the life regen works with Fierce Loyalty
    Fetish Sycophants or Tribal Rites if Thorns triggers with Fetishes
    Vision Quest is not bad as the two key skills are long cooldown skills

    Does anyone know if life-on-hit items trigger with dogs? What about skills that grant life to the WD when used (like Haunt + consuming spirit), or that grant a % of damage as life (e.g. Vampire Bats)?
  5. Jary

    Jary IncGamers Member

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    Yeah, that'll be interesting to see if the Dogs get a buff... I know Blizz deffinitely doesn't want this game to turn into where everybody only uses one viable build.

    I'm nervous about using Thorns though. Too many bad memories of Spirit of the Barbs & Bramble with my lvl 92 Summoner, and thorns just plain sucked in hell with monster regen and ginormous health pool back in the day. If they can make it work this time... Kudos.
  6. Thrakhath

    Thrakhath IncGamers Member

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    I finished Hell with a Thorns merc alongside my summoner in Diablo 2, solo, using just items I had found and only 30 strength. Only ever died 3 times, and Thorns was my second most effective killer after Corpse Explosion.
  7. Jary

    Jary IncGamers Member

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    Sry I was thinking druid.. but also that's solo too. I could pretty much beat hell solo with a well equiped holy freeze merc only putting points into decrep & attract, no offense.

    Add 3 more friends into your game and you'll see thorns is rendered useless.
  8. sacridoc

    sacridoc IncGamers Member

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    The 3 passives are Jungle Fortitude, Zombie Handler and of course Fierce Loyalty. I think they will be the best for a build that's 100% focused on summons.

    This is the thread I'm getting this info from by the way, it's not my own: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5271500086

    As for the other life regen stats besides life per sec, right now I'm under the impression that they do not transfer to your pets even with Fierce Loyalty. Fierce Loyalty (I think) refers only to life per sec. Which makes sense because the other life regen stats don't transfer over very cleanly.

    As for life regen abilities like Haunt: Consuming Spirit, etc. Apparently they don't affect pets either. Although Blood Ritual does.

    The max thorn values on items are pretty high. But one problem is that once you have max thorns damage, that's the most you can do really. Because other affixes won't affect thorns damage. So what you see is what you get.
  9. jamesL

    jamesL IncGamers Member

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    zombie dogs suck A$$

    here's my post from another thread
    http://diablo.incgamers.com/forums/showthread.php?831311-Summoner-Build-Idea-Need-Feedback
  10. Thrakhath

    Thrakhath IncGamers Member

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    jamesL, what is your Intelligence and Armour? Dogs do not benefit from Vitality but they take significantly less damage if your Armour and Intelligence are high.
  11. Starving_Poet

    Starving_Poet IncGamers Member

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    From the Blizz forums, we've done some testing:

    Pets get Str, Int, Dex bonuses for armor, damage, dodge.
    Pets don't block.
    Pets don't get any Vit bonuses.
    Pets get +resist bonuses.
    Pets get any regen bonuses(spirit walk, blood ritual), but do not get any life on hit or life leech bonuses.
    Pets get any %CC on items, so do their 'auras' burning dogs and big stinker.

    So, from my testing in late hell, early inferno - one of the best ways to use them is as massive CC generators - if you're gearing for armor, resist, regen, int and str / vit - try to get as much CC on your items as possible, and with 5 extra guys hitting enemies, you can get a lot of CC out quick.

    The problem of them surviving ACT 2 Inferno still remains - without some sort of life scaling, and with less insta-gib inferno-ness, I just can't see how to make them useable for end-end-game.
  12. sacridoc

    sacridoc IncGamers Member

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    The thing that's frustrating about the pets is that it seems like you have to stack defensive stats exclusively in order for them to survive well, with or without buffs to the dogs in the future.

    I've played around with them quite a bit... using different builds, gear, etc.

    I think it's already obvious to people who have played around with it, but basically there's no way to do heavy damage with a summon build, and if you stack all defensive stats to make heavy tank pets, you'll do 0 damage and you have to rely on other players to kill things for you. Thorns is interesting, but in practice it's not very useful. It does nowhere near the damage of a player who stacks offensive stats.

    Another thing that you notice playing as a summoner is that Life Per Sec is the most important stat. You need crazy regen in order for the dogs to stay alive. So while the Gargantuan is alright, in order for him to stay alive late in the game you probably have to get Fierce Loyalty and have Life Per Sec stacked to some degree.

    It's kind of sad that Blizzard didn't implement a way for the pets to do legitimate damage. Instead, if you want them to stay alive, you have to stack all defensive stats to the point where your damage is nowhere near what other players do. At that point you'll be able to tank most enemies, but you'll never be able to kill things solo quickly.

    Not like it's a new idea, but you're really not rewarded in D3 for being a tank. The only time that a tank WD is somewhat useful is on bosses and elites where your pets can tank what players can't. But you're not doing damage, so it's really questionable. And of course they can still die to AoE damage because of how the damage is calculated (I think), even in Hell if you have pretty high defensive stats.

    I really don't understand why they made the pets so weak. In fact, they should do a ton of damage, but have the same lowered defenses. So that if you want them to stay alive and do damage, you have to stack defensive stats. And if you try to utilize them without defensive stats, they should die quickly.

    But instead, they do no damage and have low defense.

    Anyways, after playing a WD at 60 for a while you kind of wonder what makes this class better than WZ/DH... nothing in my opinion. Too many WD abilities are melee based, and the pets, a large part of our abilities, cannot both survive and do damage at the same time efficiently.

    Overall, there's really nothing good about being a melee character, or using melee mechanics I feel like. The best characters in D3 right now are ranged, no doubt.

    ___

    TLDR: Even if you stack defense so that your pets are almost invincible through ACT 1 Inferno, you're not going to do any damage and will have to rely on other players who have stacked damage to kill things for you. And how many people want to play with 3 DPS instead of 4 in a party?

    Overall, playing a summoner is very underwhelming. And if they make it so that vitality benefits dog HP, everyone is going to have to regear, which should be fun. Also, if you're a summoner there's really no value in having high HP because you just sit far away and don't really do any damage anyway.

    I'm not saying that summoners should be able to tank and do maximum damage too. But at the moment, if you want your pets to survive, you need huge defensive stats to the point where your damage gets almost non-existent.
  13. Chaosmage

    Chaosmage IncGamers Member

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    It would be really nice it they'd implement the good old d2c blood golem/iron maiden invulnerability with leaching beasts and thorns damage XD

    Anyway I don't get the feeling they want pure summoner builds. You are supposed to either use dogs/gargantuan or fetishes.
  14. Smash

    Smash IncGamers Member

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    Do you guys remember big words from Bashiok how petless build was harder. I said he is talking **** and who is right in the end?
    It is obvoius that he had no idea what he is talking about and he was putting words from his ***.
    Pets are not viable late game and even Blizzard confirm that now.
    Lies has short life... nothing new.
  15. Silverfang

    Silverfang IncGamers Member

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    So that means to really keep your pets alive, you'd have to be able to "spam" Horrify every 8 Seconds for the 100% armor boost and have at least one additional skill with a good amount of life per second (Haunt comes to my mind here...), while stacking up +armor, +all resistances, +%cc, +%cd, Strenght and Intelligence, get yourself a way out of a moment, when all pets are on cooldown despite the effort AND get to decent damage numbers... So fixed skills are (at the least) Dogs (Burning Dogs or Leeching Beasts) and Gargantuan (Big Stinker), Horrify (Frightening Aspect), Soul Harvest (needed for Damage - Siphon or, perhaps better, Languish) and Haunt (Consuming Spirit - %cc doesn't work here...). On Passives you'll then absolutely need Grave Injustice and Fierce Loyality. Not much room left here for additional defence skills or even a decent attack of your own.

    Playing Summoners was the easiest route in any arpg i've played using the concept of summons. In D3 it seems to be the one thing exclusively for experts...

    edit: Does someone here know, how the +15% armor from enchantress works together with the 100% from Horrify? Just had them used individually until now and both seemed to directly enhance the stat Armor by said amount. So are they just added? Or is one applied first, then the other?

    edit: Strike that. Just tested it myself: It simply adds. Which means getting the templar and enough Life per seconds on item could free up the skillplace reserved for haunt. Yippieeee...


    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  16. Horcsog

    Horcsog IncGamers Member

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    The theorycrafting on battle.net about pet scales mentions that cc is also very good, the best one being the Chance to Stun on hit affix. Do you think it's worth going for? We could get like 7%.
  17. Thrakhath

    Thrakhath IncGamers Member

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    7% chance to stun with the burning dogs aura on 4 dogs, and the big stinker aura on the gargantuan, is a lot of stunning. But may as well wait for 1.03 now, and see what they do.
  18. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

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    Most developers and other people working in the game industry are really really ****ty gamers from what I've seen. Most aren't up to gaming in the higher difficulty levels. Couple this with a desire to have as many people playing the game as possible and the end result is statements that promise everything but turn out to be false as soon as someone competent plays.



  19. sacridoc

    sacridoc IncGamers Member

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    CC gear is likely the way to go yeah.

    But still there's only 1 way to create a true summon build... that's with Thorns + Bleed. And that sort of build wouldn't want cc.

    Honestly, I don't really see how it's all that great to stack defense + cc for your pets when you're still the one that has to do all the damage. I mean they'll definitely be nice tanks which allows you to sit still and spam damage I guess.

    But the battle.net threads suggest getting Firebomb: Fire Pit + Corpse Spiders: Spider Queen in order to increase the amount of CC. Those skills do pretty bad damage obviously. Yeah, you'll be able to tank stuff. But it's not really a complete summon build because your pets are just tanking for you while you do all the damage. You could do the same thing with stronger damage skills and Leeching Beasts and probably be successful. You wouldn't get all that CC, but you'd kill enemies faster.

    Point is... the builds that a lot of people are talking about are just builds that use pets as tanks instead of relying on Siphon, Hex, Grasp, etc in order to kite enemies or whatever.

    In my mind these aren't really true summon builds. You just end up replacing your core defensive skills with pet skills and probably losing damage in order to avoid having to kite. There are a lot of people who use pets like this in Inferno already even. If you have access to high end gear your pets will be able to survive throughout Act 1 even if you don't have a full pet build. I think pets will be buffed, and then become much more common when people have access to better gear. But they'll just be replacing other defensive abilities with the pets and still maintaining the typical damage abilities.

    Anyways... I, like many people, enjoyed having minions that could actually kill things as a Necromancer in D2. I still think thorns is not that great, but I'm interested in making a WD where the summons are capable of killing things on their own.

    Obviously Blizzard didn't design the class to be able to do this by any means, but I still want to see how good a real summon WD is that has max thorns damage + consistent bleed procs.
  20. sacridoc

    sacridoc IncGamers Member

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    Of course the thing I forgot to mention is that thorns doesn't work on ranged enemies that don't switch to melee attacks in close range x_x

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