I tried to give witch doctor a good last hurrah

Hey there been a witch doctor main since launch. I loved the aesthetics of the skills/pets and played one every season that I played. So for the last big season of D3 I thought to myself “hey why not try all the builds you never got to try” cause I played from seasons 1-4 then 28. So experiment with all the sets and their new effects, trying munduugu for the first time it was fun. However So I started gr climbing (around 125 with Zunidarts) at 1k paragon with level 100ish gems and this is when all the bad things about witch doctor came flooding back.

Like all the terrible class design choices in terms of gameplay. “oh you want survivability you better run into the enemies and soul harvest them during spirit walk before you blow up” when literally no other class has to do something this stupid to gain survivability. In fact soul harvest being damm near priority in most builds. The game literally can’t calculate the weird obsession of WD sets trying to do dot damage but then increasing that dot damage to minute durations then executing them instantly without studdering/lagging the game (i’m looking at you jade/munduugu). The gameplay of these are also not fun. The pet A.I is atrocious and the fact there is no legendary to help with targeting/ adding a skill that makes it target is dumbfounding. Also pets not scaling with gems/item interactions is a real shame forcing you to play zunidarts because pets are useless otherwise.

Then I thought to myself you know what for this last season lets play a fun class, a class that the devs main themselves Wizard. The night and day difference in terms of gameplay, survivability, and easy to play class design is just astonishing. It was kind of disheartening to be honest.

So this is a side tangent I played druid during the beta of D4 and suddenly found myself reliving witch doctor. I found a cool pet build that was easily clearing content. Granted while leveling you wont be head to toe decked with legendaries. D4 also added skills on top the summon pet skills that target the enemy which is a great addition. I want to main druid but I don’t know if I want to put myself through something like witch doctor again where none of the devs play the class and the class is in a constant bad place compared to the classes the devs main.

Oh some clarifications

The fact that lakumbas can roll a variable between 1-3 on WD main survivability equipment for most builds is like the biggest middle finger to the class, why is this a thing why does it matter how many enemies you soul harvest.

The thing about D4 druids is that if the devs did play the class for more than 5 minutes they could have seen the obvious glaring flaws of the class but it’s obvious they didn’t so that’s why I’m hesitant of playing one.

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  • The gigantic offensive band-aid for this class is band of emptiness
  • The gigantic defensive band-aid for this class is soul harvest + lakumba
  • maintaining these regularly all run, run after run, is like a fist coming out of my monitor, and as it punches me repeatedly the entire run it screams “HEY ARE YOU HAVING FUN YET!?”

I say this as a long-time WD player since early RoS days, who enjoyed the class casually on and off for many years, but just finally gave up this season and said “no more soul harvest or locust swarm”. If I want fun pet builds, there are inna monk and necro and hydra wizard. If I want nuking fun, then there are numerous builds to play across several classes. If I want to play a DoT spec, I go find another game to play because D3 has no base UI support for DoT gameplay, INCLUDING ACTUAL TIMERS.

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WD is just underpowered. There are a bunch of great builds but most are far to weak to be useful for anything. I don’t mind the Roe/locust, Lakumba/Soul Harvetst thing. I don’t mind that WD builds are clunky and difficult to play but the juice isn’t worth the squeeze when you compare it to other classes.

There are really only 3 somewhat competitive builds. Dart doc, Spirit Barrage, and Spiders. These builds are not that amazing compared to other classes and they could all use a little buff imo. Everything else like Jade, Gargs, Bears, Firebats etc. need huge buffs to be relevant.

Dart Doc is one of the most difficult builds to play in the game imo. It is the ultimate glass cannon but it is so glass it is almost unplayable. It has very good single target damage and decent AoE but you really need high paragon to play this build to its potential. Can cause lag in groups.

Spirit Barrage has high potential but it is very inconsistent and really only good in very high density. Terrible for GR farming but pretty good at pushing. Really good for t-16 this season with the manitou buff. It has been nerfed too hard because groups can exploit the power of the build with coordinated pixel pulls. Can cause lag but not as bad as the Dart doc.

Spiders is our all around best build by far. It is tough (by WD standards) has great AoE and it can kill the RG. The real problem with this build is it is a complete lagmonster. You can’t even play this build in groups, the server will freeze up. The mechanics of this build seem designed to be tough on the server. Super high attack speed 5 spiders at a time with life plus all infested enemies take damage and there are brood of Aranae stacks spider queen and locusts.

I think ever since RoS that WD has felt awkward, and was not designed for for the type of gameplay we have now.