Bren

Diablo III

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Actually, Tensei, I think that's my build, haha. At least that's the idea. Cold Snap on multiple targets increases crit rate by 15 on top of planned crit gear and attack speed I'll be stunning and refreshing cooldowns like nobody's business.

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Act 3 Inferno is insanely brutal. I can kill champ/elites maybe... 25% of the time, and white (trash) mobs are easily as strong as Act 1 elites. I've had my gear totally wrecked several times and I have yet to complete the first quest. Very very very brutal for a Monk. So far I've been using my very defensive build which, although possessing a respectable 19k DPS, is just not enough to tank like I did in the earlier acts. Fallen Shaman are also a huge problem since they sit in back and run away, making me wade through tons of lethal mobs in the process.

At the moment I'm trying an attack speed build with more emphasis on offense and dodge, in the hopes that I can just kill stuff before it kills me. My overall DPS is down but in return I'm getting way more spirit regeneration and some life on hit. If that doesn't work either, I might just have to gear up further...

Care to share some builds you've been using or are considering? Personally, I'm starting to lose faith in Monk being a tank enough class to survive inferno.

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Zircon, I'm heavily debating doing a vault/ss super sequence break progression through Act 3 and hitting all major checkpoints and remaking when I'm forced to fight. I'll do my best to not progress past a boss without bringing you in so you can get credit.

Just gotta get to the point where Siegebreaker runs are as feasible for us as Butcher runs used to be like a week ago. Now even I can tank act 1 inferno like it's nothing so we can do it...eventually...maybe when I finally decide to drop some real gold into the AH.

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I haven't made it past Nightmare on my demon hunter yet, I've been to focused on refining my skills playing hardcore. I would rather not be soloing by the time i hit hell, does anyone else play hardcore that wouldn't mind me tagging along in hell and beyond?

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I dunno, I still don't see how your skill combination that you're suggesting for your wizard is supposed to work - it doesn't look like it'll be that effective on mobs. Living lightning didn't output much damage from my experience at all, nor does it have good range either. You sure Arc Lightning wouldn't be more effective, especially if the goal is close range? The only benefit I can see would be if you have something like blizzard or slow time to help slow enemies from distance to get extra hits, but with the way Living Lightning works, you probably won't get much of it off before an enemy reaches you most of the time even counting usage of an extra skill.

Also you sure about the hydra? I tried it on right click a week or so ago and it would just move my character to the location if it wasn't a valid target (and got me killed a few times). It absolutely did not work the way you are claiming it is for you and after a few hours of it I switched it out due to lack of flexibility in casting hydra wherever I wanted.

I've looked up various stuff about wizards and it seems like there are varying approaches, although blizzard/venom hydra are the most common with each person taking different approaches, built around magic weapon, armor skill (or two for some), and survivability. I know venom is meant for slower moving enemies/bosses, and arcane is the other option, but the acid puddles for venom is part of what makes it potent (so enemies walking through still get hit) - this is great vs. elites/champions when running around objects in circles, where I'm able to take on most mods excepting invulnerable, sometimes teleport and/or vortex and/or fast. My bane is if I haven't cleared enough room when trying to kill elites/champions, and part of it is probably gear as far as I've read. Belial will be difficult for me due to the snakes in a confined area, but short of going melee (which probably relies on being ridiculously geared, moreso than standard wizard builds) I don't see a good solution for that except to pile on the extreme for dps which seems to be the typical approach for getting through.

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Well, did you change your move button to right click? Because then yes I can see why you would move without casting and you would need to shift click. With default controls right click will always just use the ability it's bound to regardless of the presence of a valid target.

Also you're missing the point of the melee wizard build. The build doesn't care if the enemy has reached me. The build is purely for doing as much damage/cc/sustain at point blank range. So living lightning is the perfect spell due to the sheer number of hits it does. This maximizes stun chance, overall crit numbers, which therefore means I take less damage and by not moving my venom hydra is successfully doing loads of damage to the stationary targets standing next to me as the pools stack up. Also the gear demand is slightly less than a typical melee because with the armor spell combined with blur that's more than melee classes get from their built in damage reduction. Also like any other typical melee inferno build it runs a shield off hand for even more survival.

Also from my experience playing DH it's all about just loading on the DPS for your standard ranged strategy. Any kiting you get is essential. Wizards don't have a root break or a freeze break spell unfortunately so that means you're stuck running crystal form to mitigate damage instead of avoiding damage like WD or DH. So the logic behind gearing for a melee wizard is to accept the fact that you'll be using crystal form and maximizing its utility.

Also I only said to run the arcane hydra because you have a passive that you're totally and utterly wasting and I was trying to suggest a way to make it useful. Your build doesn't actually do arcane damage.

Edit: Also as for signature wizard spells general consensus is that the best multipurpose ones are Magic Missle [seeker] and Electrocute [Lightning Blast]. For melee oriented wizards they either run Shock Pulse [Living Lightning] or Spectral Blades [Deep Cuts] or [Healing Blades]. There is heavy emphasis on high crit chance for melee builds and either easy line AoE damage for trash mobs or higher target long range poking for the ranged builds.

Edited by eternal Zero

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Care to share some builds you've been using or are considering? Personally, I'm starting to lose faith in Monk being a tank enough class to survive inferno.

Act 1 was pretty straightforward. Act 2 is obviously a big step up, but doable. Act 3 is total hell though; duoing with Zero's Demon Hunter makes things easier (though still extremely hard).

There are a few ways to build. In all cases, you should try to have a lot of resistances and high dexterity (for DPS + armor). I would never let my resistances go below 500 in any build.

Main attack options:

* Deadly Reach w/ +Armor: The range on this is amazing, and +50% armor is basically up all the time. Excellent in all acts, almost a necessity for Act 3, and definitely if you are tanking for the group.

* Crippling Wave w/ -Damage: Worthwhile for it 360 AOE and damage reduction effects, not a bad option for main tank but not as viable later on when the +50% armor will benefit you more.

* Hundred Fists w/ Windforce: Very high damage output and ranged attack. Good for farming or if you don't need more tankiness.

* Fists of Thunder w/ +Dodge or Teleport: Good options for an Aspd heavy build, eg. you need more spirit generation or have a lot of Life on Hit. Good for dual wielding in particular. I ran this on Act 3 dual wielding for a bit but I think you really need VERY good gear to make it work that far (eg. a LOT of life on hit).

Other skills:

* Serenity w/ increased duration: This is a necessity.

* Breath of Heaven w/ +Damage: Very nice for boosting DPS and self-healing, of course. Another necessity.

* Blinding Flash w/ increased duration or +Damage: I prefer +Damage since my items are mainly defense-oriented and I need more damage. This one is extremely good but possibly swappable for other skills IF you can survive without it. I generally can't, unless I'm farming Act 1.

* Mystic Ally w/ Earth Ally: +10% HP and taunts enemies off you. Very useful, I can't live without it in Acts 2/3.

* Sweeping Winds w/ any rune: For farming or if your DPS is just too low, this can be a good option, particularly if you're running high crit. Bladestorm (+Damage) is a good one for really boosting your output, while spirit generation at max stacks is good if you are spamming your spells. I personally have tried this but in Act 3 you can't stay in melee range for too long, so I haven't been able to really make it work for me. It would be good with Fists of Thunder w/ teleport though.

* Various finishers: I used these throughout the entire game, but as of Inferno, I can't spare the slots. I know some Inferno Monks use various kicks for the stun/knockback properties or +dodge, but I don't.

Aura Options:

* Mantra of Healing w/ Time of Need (+Resists): Amazing survivability bonus for the whole party. My preferred aura, generally.

* Mantra of Evasion w/ Hard Target (+Armor): Another option. Armor does reduce all damage, so it's hard to say which is better. Dodge is a little to random for my tastes, but the activation bonus is really nice.

* Mantra of Conviction w/ Overawe: If you're fairly tanky and/or farming Act 1, this ability is very strong. +24% damage for the team or +48% in short bursts is insane. I've run this in groups with success.

Passives:

* Dex -> Armor: Necessary, I can't live without it.

* One with Everything (the resists one): Same as above.

* Transcendence (Spirit -> Life): I used this quite a bit. If you run a mostly passive/defensive build like me, you will have spare spirit, enabling you to spam your aura for bonus heals. Not as effective if you are going vit over resists/armor, but you shouldn't do that anyway.

* Beacon of Ytar: I've tried it, but w/o another healing source, it's tough to run. Can work if you have Life on Hit though.

* Resolve (-Damage): Very nice in groups and in Act 3. This is what I'm currently using.

Gear:

* +Single resist, +All resist, +Dex, +Vit: These are all very important stats. It's usually not too hard to find gear pieces with at least +30/+30 resists, the tricky part is getting good dex/vit too.

* Attack Speed on rings, amulets, gloves: Get it if you can, since it improves your spirit generation, but don't sacrifice too much defense. You should be able to get at least your preferred single resistance while looking for this.

* Life on Hit: If you can get 400-500, this is worthwhile to stack and give you some real sustain in combat.

* Weapon: A blue weapon with 700-800 DPS is not super expensive (100-200k or so), and you can probably get a nice fat +50-100 dex bonus on it too. A rare weapon with the same DPS and stats like Life on Hit or Vit will be much more expensive, so try to get a good blue first.

Good numbers to shoot for:

* 20-25k HP

* 500 all resists, unbuffed

* 10k DPS, unbuffed

* 4000 armor, unbuffed

In Act 3, I have 30k HP, almost 17k DPS, 4700 armor and 750 resistances - and there are many WHITE mobs who can do over half my health in one shot. Having buffs from my aura, deadly reach, etc. do help but at this point you can't face tank everything (as you definitely can in Act 1, and more or less can in Act 2).

In terms of follower, I use Enchantress for her CC and buffs. Get her a strong 2h weapon for cheap (<50k) and then int/vit items (not usually too expensive, or you can just find them). Mine has about 1800 DPS and 50k HP, which is nice.

Strategy: This advice applies mainly to Acts 2/3. In Act 1, you don't need to be QUITE this careful. Clear methodically. Go slowly and pull mobs in as small numbers as you can. Once they start running toward you, your Ally/Enchantress will hopefully engage. Get in as many hits as possible at range. As soon as you get aggroed, Blind them and keep attacking. If you see your HP dropping, hit your Breath of Heaven and/or aura activation. If you're still dropping then activate serenity. Usually this will have bought you enough time to clear a pack. If not, you may need to potion and keep going. If EVERYTHING is on cooldown, time to run and get single hits in while you can (eg. while your followers are tanking things).

Try not to be hitting something and maxed on spirit at the same time. Use your Aura, if nothing else, for the activation bonus. However, you should never drain your spirit to the point where you can't use Serenity. That's bad.

Fighting champions/elites: Can be easy or hard depending on mods, of course. I find Fire Chains to be extremely difficult to deal with. If they're of a particular mob type, I have to pull them or remake (eg. fast spiders, shielding, vortex). In Act 1, they're not too bad. Desecrator can be dealt with because there is a delay between when the animation appears on the ground and when it starts doing damage. Plagued can be safely attacked with Deadly Reach beyond the actually damaging AOE. Invulnerable minions is VERY hard unless you can do a substantial amount of damage while Serenity + Blind are up (that's about 7 seconds of, in theory, uninterrupted DPS on your part).

In Act 3, my strategy is even more conservative. If they are very damaging (desecrator/molten, for example, or just a naturally damaging monster type) I will get in their face and pop Serenity up front to unload DPS. Then, as soon as that runs out, I will Blind and continue to hit them. Then I'll generally run around, getting hits in where possible, recasting my Ally, and healing where necessary, then repeating once Serenity/Blind are up again. This works the majority of the time, though not ALL the time unfortunately.

Hope that helps. I agree that Monks are pretty difficult to play, but it IS doable if you're patient. I have around 70 hours of total playtime so I haven't been an insane farmer or anything. My most expensive item (an amulet) cost about 500k gold, everything else was much less, between 50-150k. Now that I have over 900 buffed resistances, I'm looking to tweak my defensive stats to optimize them, for example with String of Ears which provides both Life on Hit (sustain) and reduced damage from melee attackers.

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I'm not missing the point - Living Lightning just doesn't do nearly as much as you think for close range I think, but you'll probably find out when you get to that point yourself for reasons that are harder to describe with text or pure numbers without knowing how the spell works in-game. I've only found it effective for damage when fighting a huge number of enemies at once, and even then its benefit was questionable. For sheer damage, something like Arc Lightning *should* do significantly more and it's designed for close range.

In other news, design update for patch 1.0.3: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/6262208/Patch_103_Design_Preview-6_6_2012#blog

Inferno is going to get easier in that enemies will not do increased damage with more people joining the game, which is probably what makes it more difficult with more people. Also damage/health of monsters are getting tweaked in Acts 2-4. Sounds like fair adjustments there.

They might up repair costs 4x - 6x times due to people rushing through bosses or chain rezzing in co-op games - sounds brutal.

IAS is getting nerfed.

Elites/champions will drop 1 guaranteed rare with a 5 stack of NV.

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There's also a Wizard build focused around Living Lightning that makes use of the amount of times it hits combined with high crit ratio and the Critical Mass passive that reduces your cooldowns each time you crit, which in turn increases the uptime you have on the likes of Diamond Skin and other survivability spells.

Baha I'm not going to pursue this conversation any further. There's a specific reason for living lightning and it's not the damage. You are indeed missing the purpose of choosing that spell.

Those changes look pretty awesome. I look forward to when the patch drops.

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I'm levelling up my wizard for inferno, almost at a3 hell now. Is there any build out there that uses meteor and works? I'm running this build at the moment http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#UkgROP!aYf!ZaZbbZ

I mostly wait for a champ pack to appear, if I can attack first then I drop 2 meteors and a hydra from the edge of the screen, that leaves most of them ready to be melted with lightning. If they attack first, I drop slow time, drop the meteors+ hydra then mirror image out. Run around a bit to recover my health while they are busy with the duplicates and when the cooldowns are ready I just repeat the process.

We'll see if this works on inferno, most wizards are just running blizz+hydra atm but there are certainly others viable ways to progress. I am currently looking into replacing forked lightning because as we know most spells that require you to stand there and cast are pretty bad with how things are atm (one shots and such). Any suggestions?

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Sir_nuts: I'm currently running this build for inferno groups

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#akQROS!Tef!YaZccZ

However, it doesn't work out so well solo. I'm really unable to kite effectively by myself, but if I have someone who's somewhat tanky, or can slow reasonably well, it does have decent survivability and dps...at least for act 1 inferno.

Guess I should explain my build a bit.

I have two items pushing my arcane power stack up a bit to 107 total with force armor active. However, this isn't enough to chain two meteors back to back. Magic Missle Attunement is there for two reasons. One, while I like shock pulse: orb more as a sig spell, for some reason, arcane dynamo seems to work best with magic missile of any sort over shock pulse or electrocute. Because of my lack of 120 AP, and no passives left to devote to ap gen, I use attunment to help me cast more meteors more often. I have to cast sig spells anyways due to needing to stack Dynamo.

Dynamo is there as a massive DPS generator. It favors very slow, high damage spells. It's practically a must for both arcane tornado builds and meteor. Arc orb obliterate may also function well with it. 5-6 magic missile hits is enough to max the stack. And the buff is a multiplier...so molten impacts 338% weapon damage spell becomes a whopping 591.5% total damage. Add to that the increased damage from conflagration, which buffs all damage done to target by 10% for 3 seconds when hit with fire damage (meaning fellow party members get it to) from either a previous meteor or the hydra, and your meteor is doing a whopping 650% weapon damage if you get all the burning ground ticks in. That's before a crit. I regularly see 50-60k crits with a 600 dps weapon and 1165 int while solo.

A note about Dynamo. It is consumed by Hydras, but does not buff hydras. If you use this build, and have a full stack, cast meteor first, followed by the hydra. The hydra will hit first anyways.

This is probably the only high dps build that could possible use an un-runed skill. When dealing with runners or mulitple mobs, if you're having trouble getting the mammoth to hit targets reasonably (cast it behind you or close to you to get foes to run along the path), go with plain flame hydras. Less damage output then the mammoth, but more accurate when dealing with fast mobs, and less arcane power intensive.

Edited by MaxFrost

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Sir_nuts: I'm currently running this build for inferno groups

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#akQROS!Tef!YaZccZ

However, it doesn't work out so well solo. I'm really unable to kite effectively by myself, but if I have someone who's somewhat tanky, or can slow reasonably well, it does have decent survivability and dps...at least for act 1 inferno.

Guess I should explain my build a bit.

I have two items pushing my arcane power stack up a bit to 107 total with force armor active. However, this isn't enough to chain two meteors back to back. Magic Missle Attunement is there for two reasons. One, while I like shock pulse: orb more as a sig spell, for some reason, arcane dynamo seems to work best with magic missile of any sort over shock pulse or electrocute. Because of my lack of 120 AP, and no passives left to devote to ap gen, I use attunment to help me cast more meteors more often. I have to cast sig spells anyways due to needing to stack Dynamo.

Dynamo is there as a massive DPS generator. It favors very slow, high damage spells. It's practically a must for both arcane tornado builds and meteor. Arc orb obliterate may also function well with it. 5-6 magic missile hits is enough to max the stack. And the buff is a multiplier...so molten impacts 338% weapon damage spell becomes a whopping 591.5% total damage. Add to that the increased damage from conflagration, which buffs all damage done to target by 10% for 3 seconds when hit with fire damage (meaning fellow party members get it to) from either a previous meteor or the hydra, and your meteor is doing a whopping 650% weapon damage if you get all the burning ground ticks in. That's before a crit. I regularly see 50-60k crits with a 600 dps weapon and 1165 int while solo.

A note about Dynamo. It is consumed by Hydras, but does not buff hydras. If you use this build, and have a full stack, cast meteor first, followed by the hydra. The hydra will hit first anyways.

This is probably the only high dps build that could possible use an un-runed skill. When dealing with runners or mulitple mobs, if you're having trouble getting the mammoth to hit targets reasonably (cast it behind you or close to you to get foes to run along the path), go with plain flame hydras. Less damage output then the mammoth, but more accurate when dealing with fast mobs, and less arcane power intensive.

Meh I dislike magic missile cuz its so boring, but I know where you're coming from with this. more ap = more meteors I like some aspects of this build, and I will try it out but I will switch out magic weapon for my trusty slow time. When you get in a pinch it acts both as a damage increase and escape ability along with teleport/mirror image.

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Double posting, just coming back to say:

Nevermind, with templar buddy to slow things down/trip them up, you can indeed solo act 1 inferno with this build! At least if you don't get something too terribly nasty

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Meh I dislike magic missile cuz its so boring, but I know where you're coming from with this. more ap = more meteors I like some aspects of this build, and I will try it out but I will switch out magic weapon for my trusty slow time. When you get in a pinch it acts both as a damage increase and escape ability along with teleport/mirror image.

I'm not the biggest fan of it either. However (and it works actually fairly nice with this build) it generates dynamo stacks faster then any other of the signature spells. It may be something to do with how it's only single target, and I haven't tried spectral blade yet with it, but it's pretty much a 1-hit to 1-stack with dynamo. Shock pulse, any variation of it, is a lot less dependable to generate those stacks, and I believe the same of electrocute.

I'm spamming Meteor as often as possible. That's where the dps comes from. MM is used to pick off runners and fill time when you can't hurl heavenly objects on monster heads.

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Inferno Siegebreaker now safely on farm mode, and I'm finally starting to make some money. A good route is to go to Rakki's Crossing, clear Northeast and check for elites or the Underbridge. Then go to Keep Depths 1 and clear 1-2 elite packs. WP to Keep Depths 3, get another 1-2. If you have Underbridge, get your 5th there. If not, go to Keeps 1 and walk to Keeps 2 and get another 1-2 packs. If you STILL don't have enough (unlikely!) then go to Rakki's Crossing and clear southwest. Should take no more than about 30 mins per run.

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BTW there was a hotfix today that disabled the increased damage from mobs in cooperative games.

This should make melee classes' life easier when doing cooperative games. I shelved my barbarian for a while, might try it out again now and see how it feels when going in a party.

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Decided to drop a mil to get my Infernal Staff of Herding so I can do Whimsyshire runs immediately following Butcher runs cause while I can do Siegebreaker runs solo I die a lot and it's frustrating when I come up to combinations I just can't kill. It's a lot easier to kill everything in Whimsyshire for a DH even if they have stupid mods on them cause nothing leaps at me. First run I found a set piece of the barbarian armor which isn't great but hey not bad for just one run and it'll definitely pay back the price of the staff. It's nice that with my magic find gear I have base 153% magic find so with 5NV I'm going to be finding some nice stuff.

Also I think after my big exam Friday I'll start up a hardcore character since I'll have more time to play and I've been wanting to do that for a while now.

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Newt and I are starting Act IV hardcore tomorrow -- it's a whole different game there. Should be through normal by Monday if things continue to go well.

The sticky moments thus far:

Act I Highlands -- watch the poison clouds after you get Karyna's Staff.

Act II -- Belial fight you have to play 100% defense when the arms go down.

Act III -- Suicide minions; they're not hard but you have to have a way to deal w/ them.

We expect Izual to be the sticking point for Act IV overall. For the opening fight Tom (wizard) will AoE stuff down while I (barb) build enough Fury to cast Earthquake + Ancients.

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Mmm, if I had a computer that ran the game at 100% speed I'd get in on hardcore in a heartbeat. As it stands, though, there's something like a .5 - 1 second delay to everything (due to my graphics card, not my internet connection), so I can't physically avoid certain circumstances. Makes the occasional death impossible to avoid.

One suggestion I'll give to you, though, is to either break from play only after large quests are finished or refresh a given quest from the beginning whenever you enter a new game. It'd be a real bummer to have a lag spike the moment you enter the game... and you enter the game in the middle of a dungeon full of nasty baddies (had it happen to be earlier today... good times :???:). That'd be a horrible way to lose a hardcore character.

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