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Fresh Meat N' Greet - AlCalzone#2424(1)Category: Witch DoctorApril-15-2015 1:45 PM PDT (7 years ago) Go to Blizzard forum post
The world of Sanctuary is a BIG place, defended by hundreds of thousands of heroes each and every day. To help you get to know some of these fellow nephalem a little better, we've created the Fresh Meat N' Greet.

The Fresh Meet N' Greet is a recurring series of interviews featuring you, our community. A few times each month, we'll sit down and chat with six different community members, one for each class, and then post our Q&As right here in these forums.

Up this week for Witch Doctors: AlCalzone#2424

Read on below to find out more about your fellow ally in battle!

General Info
My Strike is True
Who's Up Next?
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Fresh Meat N' Greet - AlCalzone#2424(2)April-15-2015 1:48 PM PDT (7 years ago) Go to Blizzard forum post
[GENERAL INFO]

Grimiku: Tell us a bit about yourself.

AlCalzone#2424: I’m Dominic, a 25 year old engineering student from Germany. Besides that I’m a part-time software and web developer, author, musician and partner in a little company that rents rehearsal rooms to fellow musicians. Not kidding – sometimes I think I’m doing too much.


Grimiku: Got any cool hobbies or talents?

AlCalzone#2424: Besides making music – I play the piano/keyboards in a 9 man cover band, I enjoy bouldering and climbing, which I started last autumn.
And I’m a math guy. I love figuring stuff out, some forum regulars might have stumbled across my pet attack speed testing in PaulNG’s genius thread.


Grimiku: What’s your history as a gamer?

AlCalzone#2424: I was never much of a gamer, although I did pick up some games here and there. I did play StarCraft a little (back when I could play about 1-2 hours a week, because dial-up was so expensive), but Diablo 3 was my first serious Blizzard game. Last year after I was so frustrated how buggy BF4 was, my friends finally convinced me to try D3:RoS – and I never looked back.


Grimiku: What are some of your favorite games?

AlCalzone#2424: Besides Diablo 3 I like:
- Lemmings (love that game, it was so hard it brought me to tears when I was like 4 years old)
- Worms 2 (Haaaaleluja!)
- The old Need for Speed parts (especially High Stakes, which had some insanely hard races)
- The Battlefield series
- GTA: San Andreas and hopefully soon GTA 5


Grimiku: Do you play any other classes?

AlCalzone#2424: Yes, I have at least one char of each class with good enough gear to get through T6 quickly, except Barbarian (but I kept my Raekor gear and Lut Socks). Yet I spent far more than half of my total play time on my WDs and I will continue to do so. Sadly all my other chars are able to crush my WDs in terms of T6 clear speed.


Grimiku: Are you in a great clan or community? If yes, tell us about them!

AlCalzone#2424: <SfK>, short for “Slavery for Kadala”, is a little fun clan I created with said individuals who brought me into D3. It’s more or less a utility to quick-join games and see each other’s drops.


Grimiku: What's your most embarrassing moment while playing?

AlCalzone#2424: Shortly after patch 2.1 hit, I crafted a ton of rare amulets to get a good one with a socket for the new legendary gems since I did not have any legendary ones worth rerolling at that time. I kept one or two out of a few hundred crafts.

So I went on playing, switched gear around, did a few rifts, switched more gear around, did a few more rifts, making good use of the new “salvage all yellows” button at the blacksmith… wait a second, where did I put my amulet?
Yes, it was in my inventory… yes, it was salvaged… and yes, I did that 2 more times after it happened.


Grimiku: Okay, what about your most AWESOME moment while playing?

AlCalzone#2424: Most likely the exact same moment many other WDs will mention here. Seeing my first Starmetal Kukri drop after over 600 paragon levels. I screamed so loud, my friends in TeamSpeak wanted to print T-shirts saying “AlCalzone found his SMK – and I was there”.
I went to town immediately, identified it, saw the rolls… and screamed again – close to perfect. It is still in use on my main char “Olaf”.
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Fresh Meat N' Greet - AlCalzone#2424(3)April-15-2015 1:57 PM PDT (7 years ago) Go to Blizzard forum post
[MY STRIKE IS TRUE]

Grimiku: What drew you to the Witch Doctor?

AlCalzone#2424: My friends telling me about the different classes. The WD’s odd skills got my attention: towers of zombies, giant alligators, frogs, bats, spiders, piranhas…

Later I realized how bad all those strange skills are. Nonetheless, WD is and fun class to play. The amount of micromanagement necessary just feels good and keeps it interesting. In season 2, DH quickly bored me, because it all came down to setting up sentries and shooting once or twice.


Grimiku: What’s the voodoo that you do: do you drain your foes' life force over time, unleash your minions upon them, or call forth a surge of power to crush them?

AlCalzone#2424: I’m a pet guy. It took me some time to get used to them but now I cannot imagine going to battle without them. Sometimes I let my Jade Harvester out for a spin, so she doesn’t feel neglected. That being said, I’d love being able to use spenders to kill my foes some day.


Grimiku: What's your favorite skill (or skill rune), and why?

AlCalzone#2424: Hex – Angry Chicken. I consider it the ultimate form of the WD, just like Wrath of the Berserker, Akarat’s Champion, Archon and so on. But it’s not as strong as I’d like it to be – just think about the angry chickens in Legend of Zelda!


Grimiku: What build are you running currently?

AlCalzone#2424: I have a WD for each of the current popular builds. Tiklandian/Sacrifice, Jade Harvester, zDPS support and Carnevil. I’m really looking forward to DPSing in high group GRifts after 2.2 hits.


Grimiku: Is there a particular item that you’re currently after? How would it change things for you if you found it?

AlCalzone#2424: An Ancient Starmetal Kukri as a replacement for my first one. Doesn’t really change things except for more damage. I’ve never been a fan of the concept of ancient weapons.

After the patch I’ll hunt some of the new set pieces. And I’d like to see a well-rolled Compass Rose one day with INT+CHC+CHD+Socket. My season 2 DH found three…


Grimiku: If there was one thing you could change about the Witch Doctor, what would it be?

AlCalzone#2424: I can think of a few things:

Pathing and target priority of pets:
Fetishes often fail to find the doors in indoor levels and prefer to attack stray enemies behind the WD instead of the mass of dangerous foes in front. Which is especially frustrating for Carnevil builds, where we have to Spirit Walk into the danger only to respawn our minions where we need them. Melee pets prefer to attack the adds a rift guardian summons instead of the guardian himself.

Dogs get stuck behind or inside clumps of fetishes. Even if they are standing directly next to enemies, they usually fail to notice that. Respawning often seems to reboot their AI and fixes that problem. They really need to be able to walk and attack over fetishes.

And Gargantuan… weaker than fetishes, long cooldown, same problems as dogs and often spends his time thinking about the meaning of life.

Speed and Mobility: (see question #20 below)

Spenders need some love other than being tacked onto the reworked Zuni 6pc set.


Grimiku: If you could build a Set or Legendary item to support a skill, what skill would it be and how would you support it?

PLAYER: I love the idea of Zombooka WD as a counterpart to the Shotgun Crusader. Being able to spam Sacrifice with a constant supply of dogs for huge AoE damage. The new 2.2 Homunculus goes in that direction but I think we need a little more. Increased damage against single targets, using Mana to instantly resummon a dog when sacrificed – think of the Homunculus dogs as charges we can use even without Mana. Maybe splitting each dog in 3 parts before sacrificing, hitting in a line rather than only one spot.


Grimiku: Pick a Witch Doctor quote!

AlCalzone#2424: When he feels unobserved, my WD says some funny things. My favorite is “There is no hurry. Obviously!”

Even my WD knows he’s slow ;)


Grimiku: Name one piece of advice that you think every Witch Doctor should know.

AlCalzone#2424: Got any question about pet docs? Best gems, synergies, maximizing damage? Go look up PaulNG’s thread “[VUDU] Pet Damage”. There you will learn why using Enforcer for a pet build is not always the best choice.
Otherwise, think outside the box. WDs can realize so many oddball builds.
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Fresh Meat N' Greet - AlCalzone#2424(4)April-15-2015 2:03 PM PDT (7 years ago) Go to Blizzard forum post
[WHO'S NEXT?]

Grimiku: Which Witch Doctor should we interview next?

AlCalzone#2424: JangBahadur#1968 – the creator of the legendary item suggestion thread.


Grimiku: Pick a question to ask in the next interview:

AlCalzone#2424: How would you make spenders viable?


Grimiku: Surijak asks: “Got any ideas or suggestions for making Witch Doctors go faster?”

AlCalzone#2424: Disclaimer: This question was answered before patch 2.2 hit, so my points regarding Zunimassa 6pc might have become invalid.

I got tons of ideas! Warning: this one will be long…

One obvious problem with WDs is that we are moving slow. We have exactly one useful mobility skill – Spirit Walk: Jaunt – that is on a relatively long cooldown (usually >10 sec) and also doubles as our only escape skill. We need it to break Knockback, Vortex snares and spider webs (which put us at ridiculous -37.5% movement speed), get out of bugged walls that leave us no room to move, go past Molten explosions or mobs that block our path, avoid unavoidable damage like Jailer, Thunderstorm, charging Corrupted Angels and so on… you get the point. And after all that, we use it to get over the painfully slow 25% movement speed.

In many of those cases we would not need the invulnerability, CC immunity and more movement would do.

We also have Horrify – Stalker, which grants a nice boost but simply doesn’t fit in every build, since we tend to need a lot of skills (Fetish Army, BBV, primary attack, crowd control and of course Spirit Walk) only to make our builds work.

We can also combine Horrify with Tiklandian Visage and Rechel’s Ring of Larceny. Horrify doesn’t fit in every build, Tiklandian Visage collides with build-defining items like Quetzalcoatl and Carnevil and lacks damage compared to Mask of Jeram, and Rechel’s Ring is pretty rare, often rolls badly and competes with strong rings like Stone of Jordan. Our movement options either break our builds or come at a severe damage loss.

Let’s take a look at other classes:
Crusaders: Their major movement skill Steed Charge has a similar duration and cooldown as Spirit Walk but grants a much larger movement buff (+150% compared to +50%). Due to the high CDR requirements of Crusader builds, it is ready to use much more often than Spirit Walk. On top of that, Crusaders don’t need to waste it to break CC effects.

On a typical Crusader skill bar, you will almost always find a law. This allows Crusaders to choose between more damage, resource cost reduction and Laws of Hope: Wings of Angels, which grants another movement/anti-CC buff which is as good as Spirit Walk alone.

Demon Hunter: Vault costs resource instead of depending on a cooldown. Can be used relatively often and is completely spammable with Danetta’s.

Monks: Epiphany, which is the staple of monk builds has inbuilt teleport. Dashing Strike has half the “cooldown” Spirit Walk has, can be used up to 3 times in a row, can go through walls and obstacles and is almost spammable due to the high CDR most Monk builds require. In addition some runes grant a useful buff after each use, be it movement speed or attack speed. The new 2.2 Raiment set makes this skill ridiculously spammable while doing insane damage.

Wizards: Don’t require a specific weapon for many builds, so they can use Aether Walker to spam Teleport, crossing entire levels in seconds. Without it, it has a lower cooldown than Spirit Walk, can go through walls and over obstacles.

Barbs: Inbuilt movement speed (Wrath of the Berserker), Spammable movement skill (costs resource), deal damage by moving (Furious Charge).

You see, their movement skills are either spammable, on a low cooldown or both. We have neither. Also the synergy between Grave Injustice and Spirit Walk which allowed us to have it ready between fights will be broken in 2.2.

The answer from Tavern Talk “WDs don’t need to excel at movement” is as far from reality as it gets. Even as a Jade Harvester with high CDR, Grave Injustice, Spirit Walk Jaunt and Horrify-Stalker, I cannot keep up with Raekor Barbs, let alone kill a few mobs.

Enough about other classes, back to WD and my suggestions:
Rework Spirit Walk runes: The only useful one is Jaunt, because – let’s face it – 50% longer immunity and movement speed just beats a little Mana or healing. The two damage runes are completely irrelevant.

One reworked rune could change the damage immunity (not CC immunity) to 25-50% damage reduction in exchange for a lower cooldown with the old cooldown mechanic, lower movement bonus, enabling permanent uptime.

Another one could drop the immunity for a longer duration and turn the cooldown into a Mana cost.
Jaunt could read as follows: Increase the duration to 3 seconds. Keep a 25% movement speed bonus for 3 seconds after it expires.

Improve Angry Chicken: As it stands, this skill is just a worse Spirit Walk. Short movement speed buff, high cooldown, a little AoE damage at the end. This could become our staple movement skill. Make it a channeling skill, using the skills turns auto-channeling on, attacking or running out of Mana ends it. The mechanics could work like Tempest Rush – Flurry: a little damage (plus knock up) while channeling, building up the big explosion at the end.

Also it should enable us to cross small obstacles (chickens can fly) like steps or gaps (Tower of the Damned, Cathedral) and auto-break objects. This could be enhanced by a supporting item (Shoulders maybe or Manajumas), which causes enemies to run behind us and which causes us to lay eggs that explode after a short while.

For T6 and low GRifts it could replace Spirit Walk completely if done right.
Improve Fierce Loyalty: While 30% movement speed sound nice, this competes with strong DPS passives and is too unreliable for that. Remove the constraint “out of combat” and if that’s too much, reduce the buff to 15-20%.

Don’t tack movement speed onto unrelated skills (like Soul Harvest):
We don’t need boring movement buffs on skills that are otherwise useless in most builds. Rather make our existing skills better and unique.

Don’t debuff, buff!:
The amount of micromanagement I mentioned earlier, which makes WD so interesting, also has a downside. It slows down our killing speed. Jade Harvester needs to tag mobs with Haunt and Locust Swarm before being able to nuke them. Pet doctors need to wait for the pets to attack enemies or fetishes to align in a way that allows all of their darts to hit enemies instead of walls.
(Assuming the PTR mechanics have not changed):

The new 2.2 Zunimassa set grants us pet docs a huge damage buff, but only mobs we’ve tagged with a spender before that. Melee docs which will most likely be running Haunt due to the obvious synergy with the new fetish belt. Therefore need to tag every single mob our pets attack. The debuff only lasts 4 seconds so we have to do it over and over to keep the 6pc bonus and will most likely miss some mobs.

Again, let’s take a look at other classes here:
Monks: The Sunwuko set grants a 500% damage buff after the first usage of a skill. While spamming, the buff never falls off.

Barbs: The new IK6 grants a 100% damage buff while certain skills are active. In normal situations, the buff should never fall off.

Crusaders: The Rolands set grants a 500% damage buff to certain skills. Always!

Demon Hunters: The Natalya’s set grants a 100% damage buff to Rain of Vengeance and a 400% damage buff to all skills after using Rain of Vengeance. If done correctly, this should be almost always up.

Wizards: The reworked Tal Rasha set grants a stacking 150% damage buff after attacking. While this is harder to keep up than the other buffs, it applies to all enemies.

Suggestions:
I don’t see why WDs should have to deal with a debuff instead of a buff. After all, the original Sunwuko set was changed from a debuff to a buff because it was too unreliable. If it stays that way, all other classes will still be faster at killing in T6 than WDs, because they just have their buffs up, they don’t need to set them up over and over before being able to deal significant damage to a foe.

Change the 6pc to:
The first hit of a mana spender increases the damage of your pets by 275%


Got any questions yourself for AlCalzone#2424? Post them below!
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