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Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

Discussion in 'Witch Doctor' started by LucianDK, Apr 2, 2012. | Replies: 34 | Views: 7429

  1. LucianDK

    LucianDK IncGamers Member

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    Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    Thoughts on Haunt.

    Cost 98 Mana

    Unruned:
    Haunt does 575% weapon damage over 15 seconds.
    Which is 38,3% weapon damage per second, or 115% weapon damage per 3 seconds.


    Runed with Resentful Spirit
    Haunt does 288% weapon damage over 3 seconds, which is 96% weapon damage per second.

    At first glance Resentful Spirit appears to be a must be Rune for Haunt, dramatically increasing the dps potential, turning the 15 second dot into a 3 second one, with each tick hitting for 2.5 times as much. But the total damage done per mana pent is litterally halved as 575/2=287.5, meaning you have to expend twice the amount of mana to do the same amount of damage. Making resentful spirit far better for bursty pvp when its implemented.

    Furthermore as Ive understood it, if the haunted target dies, the spirit will for a short time attempt to seek a nearby new target and haunt it, until its 15 duration is expended, which means that even if a haunted target dies early, then the cast is not always wasted as the spirit will latch onto a new nearby victim until it have spent itself, plus multiple haunts can stack on one target. Which makes haunt excellent for dealing with both crowds and tough bosses with high life. Especially so if choosing to rune it with Lingering Spirit to give the spirit more opportunity to find a new target and reducing mana waste when running around and kiting foes that might not always be in range of each other.

    Haunt gets even more interesting when you look at the Draining Spirit Rune that makes the spirit return 8.17 mana per second. At 12 seconds of survival, a draining spirit will have paid off its entire cost. If a draining spirit lasts the whole 15s duration, you will even have a mana surplus. 122.55 mana returned at 15 seconds passed, which is more likely to come to pass thanks to the seeking ability. And thats not even considering the Witch Doctor's innate mana regeneration or anything from items affecting it.

    So dont be fooled by the Resentful Spirit rune, the mana efficiency becomes extreme with Draining Spirit and even letting it act as a mana generator to help fuel other expensive spells.

    Now imagine the potential of using Pierce the Veil passive. PtV gives you a straight 20% buff to damage at the cost of 30% more expensive spells. A Draining spirit would need to survive the entire duration to nearly wholly pay off the cost of itself with PtV chosen.

    Haunt would pair well with Plague of Toads runed with Toad Affinity to remove mana cost for it and giving you something to spam at close quarters with the damage buff of PtV, and still having plenty of mana left over for anything else. And thats not counting in other mana efficiency passives like Rush of Essence or Blood Ritual.
  2. pcguy

    pcguy IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    I imagine Lingering Spirit would be one of the most mana efficient spells. Assuming the Lingering Spirits follow you from screen to screen, it may be possible to just fire out a volley of five or six in the beginning of the game, and then try to engage groups of enemies before the 15 second timer wears off. The groups of Lingering Spirits will act as semi-permanent minions, fueled by death and combat instead of mana.
  3. LucianDK

    LucianDK IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    Lingering spirits remains for 10 seconds, trying to hit a new target to haunt. Lets say target 1 was haunted for 6 seconds and died, the lingering spirit then lounges for 5 secs and catches another target, able to haunt it up for a max of 9 secs before it dissipates or jumps to a third target. Though I doubt the lingering time will be subtracted from the duration of the active dot itself.
  4. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    DoTs don't stack and Haunt is no exception.

    Especially with the Rush of Essence passive.

    I'd be very surprised if Lingering Spirits would be able to follow the player. They most likely stay or should I say linger in place. :)

    This is an interesting question, for the base skill as well, since even without Lingering Spirits Haunt requires some time to reach a new target before it starts doing damage again.


  5. Jaago

    Jaago IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    Haunt has never stacked.

    Resentful Spirit has been crap for a good while, currently it is quite clearly inferior to Hungry Bats, for example.

    Lingering Spirit allows you to start fights with a bunch of pre-cast seeking missiles charging at baddies, but since Haunt is a slow DoT, the rune does little to actually kill the first monsters quickly to ease the rest of the fight. It offers much less mana efficiency than Draining spirit, for example. The rune is inferior to others.

    Grasping Spirit loses out to other slows, and in PvM AoE slows are much more important. This might be good in PvP, though.

    Draining Spirit helps some with the mana, possibly negating the cost in a while, though I would not expect your average fight to last long enough for DS to actually regain mana. The question with this rune effect is whether a near-free 38.33 dps for 15 seconds is worth its cast time and a skill slot. Could be, but I'm actually a little doubtful.

    Consuming Spirit is, in my opinion the best rune effect for Haunt. It's not made for a fast-paced play style, and a single spirit won't regenerate that much, but 3 will already boost it to almost 500/s, with a fitting hit-avoiding style it should be plenty.



  6. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    I don't necessarily agree with the mana efficiency part of your Lingering Spirit analysis. Haunt's transition range isn't that great and in the beta very often my Haunt chain is broken, because an enemy is just outside this range. I think over time Lingering Spirit will reduce the mana consumption of Haunt because of less casts will be required to kill enemies. Whether it will be better than Draining Spirit or not, I don't know.


  7. pcguy

    pcguy IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    We haven't seen it's actual behavior yet, but if it is indeed inferior, perhaps it's effect should be changed altogether. There's no reason to keep skills in the game which nobody is going to use.

    I figured Lingering Spirit would be good for WD's looking for a DoT which in most instances would apply itself without any additonal casting. This may be useful in situations where the WD has to concentrate heavily on casting one or two other spells which have no cooldowns or short cooldowns - situations where the WD cannot waste time to re-cast haunt.


  8. Jaago

    Jaago IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    Well, if Lingering Spirit on average does damage for 12 seconds, a 6-second Draining Spirit would be roughly equivalent in mana efficiency. I imagine that later on mobs will be stronger and denser, so chaining Draining Spirit should become relatively easier. Of course it's impossible to say how exactly the end-game will actually be, so I'm just relying on my guts here.

    The argument that Lingering Spirit releases casting time for other spells mid-fight is valid, though I find it questionable whether the additional damage is significant enough to warrant that particular skill and rune. 6 is a very limiting number of skill slots, and I think I would prefer some extra burst or utility in that space.
  9. ElementEight

    ElementEight IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    For some reason, I remember haunt being able to stack 3 times on a target. Anyone test that out?
  10. LucianDK

    LucianDK IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    While I dont have beta access, I had seen chatter on http://d3db.com/home regarding haunt stacking and why I mentioned it.
  11. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    Previously it had a target limit of 3, not a maximum stack of 3 per target.
  12. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    Proof that Haunt doesn't stack:

  13. pcguy

    pcguy IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    In multiplayer games, Haunts from multiple WDs will stack. Haunts cast from the same WD only refresh the duration of Haunt.
  14. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    That's correct.
  15. z00t

    z00t IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    I actually think the Resentful Spirit rune for Haunt is going to be kickass :p.

    Sure it's less mana-efficient compared to other versions of Haunt, but that's the price you pay for the power to kill things that need dying RIGHT NOW.

    Not everything can be kited easily, especially if they have modifiers like Teleporter or Vortex. A pack of three fast-moving Teleporter Unburied will be scary in higher difficulty levels because they already have built-in knockup. Against such enemies, you will want them dead fast.

    Possibly more importantly, I like Resentful Spirit because it is a very good way to snipe high-priority targets at long range. Casting a regular Haunt would allow a Tomb Guardian, for example, to live long enough to cast even more skeletons and hurl even more mini-arcane-orbs at you. With Resentful Spirit, you can snipe it much more quickly.

    Haunt is interesting in that with MOST of its runes, it becomes a supplementary DoT - it's not going to be killing stuff very fast. What makes it useful is not the damage, but the fact that it provides some sort of additional utility throughout the course of a fight, be it life gain, or mana returned.


    @Jaago - you mentioned Hungry Bats. Although we haven't seen the rune in action (besides emulators which are inaccurate), it is my belief (going by the rune description), that the bats seek out the NEAREST enemies, meaning that you have very little control over how your mana gets spent (you can't kill that Tomb Guardian in the back if there are skeletons in your way, for example). Resentful Spirit is good precisely because you can reliably target what needs killing.
  16. Jaago

    Jaago IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    Hmm, that could be true. And if it is so, then Resenful Spirit might have a role to fill, but I still think it needs to be stronger.

    I figured you would be able to target with the skill based on the emulator videos, and a comparison to wizard's Snow Blast RoF, which would be very similar in power lever if Hungry bats is targetable. So with these in mind, I thought the bats were just homing to whichever target you selected. It's definitely something to test out later on.



  17. z00t

    z00t IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    In that emulator video, you also see Dire bats fly off like WHOOOOSH :p. We know that that's not how Dire Bats work, so yeah - I wouldn't trust those videos :p. They show the effect, but don't include information on how the spell really behaves.
  18. Jaago

    Jaago IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    I know, but the player is at least able to control the direction the bats start out to. It's just that I'd be really disappointed if it hits random targets as it would not compare with the skills Wizard and Demon Hunter have filling the same purpose.
  19. snurrfint

    snurrfint IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    The "Resentful spirit" rune basicly turns haunt into a primary attack. The tactic is to apply one haunt to 3 different targets and cycle them between enemies. By the time the third haunt hits, the first haunt is 'done' and needs a refresh. This means that it's basically a full time job keeping these spirits up and running, unless of course a target dies, or if you have a very fast attack speed. Then you have time to squeeze in something else from time to time if you want (recommended).

    ------------------------

    The other runes give you a "fire and forget" type spell. Get 3 haunts out as fast as possible in the beginning of a fight and then focus on other attacks throughout the rest of the fight.

    It's mana efficient, but you can't really rely on the "fire and forget" haunt to do the majority of damage like with Resentful Spirit.

    ----------------------

    It's nothing more than a perfect example of how runes can completely change the nature of a spell.
  20. Jaago

    Jaago IncGamers Member

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    Re: Thoughts on Haunt and rune options

    Correct.

    The problem with Resentful Spirit, though, is just that it's only a good skill against 3-5 scattered monsters, and even then not the best by a fat margin as it should. If there is only one or two enemies, you'd be better off with an instant-damage single target spell, and if multiple enemies are grouped, an AoE spell works better for the mana cost. RS also doesn't provide the advantage of being able to concentrate fire between targets.

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