Higher difficulties in Diablo III punish player diversity. There simply isn’t any leg room for viability. One of the most apparent results of this is the absence of certain builds for the Witch Doctor. In Inferno, the Witch Doctor is reduced to nearly half of what the hero archetype suggests. Pets simply die instantly, forcing the voodooin’ fiends into kite builds that becomes dull and repetitive.

    In an upcoming patch (no details on a when), Blizzard is looking at addressing the problems Witch Doctors face when fighting in the higher difficulties with pets.

    While the intent is for witch doctors to re-summon DiabloWikiZombie Dogs and DiabloWikiGargantuan fairly often, we agree that pets aren’t living long enough in higher difficulty levels. Of course, the harder difficulties are supposed to be more challenging, but we don’t think it’s fun gameplay to cast Zombie Dogs, watch them die almost instantly, wait for the cooldown to reset, re-cast Zombie Dogs, watch them die almost instantly…etc. And this is happening even when players are wearing pretty reasonable gear.

    We’re looking into ways to improve witch doctor pet survivability at later levels, but we don’t have any clear plans to share just yet. One thing we’re considering, though, is having pets scale with your DiabloWikiVitality (which they currently do not do).

    The way Inferno is tuned currently, I don’t think the potential fix DiabloWikiLylirra posits would work. Not because the theory isn’t sound on paper, but because it would force vitality builds to stay alive. The sheer amount of damage enemies do currently would imply that they would have to create a fine balance between damage output and ability to tank. Pets, in essence, would continue to be meat shields (as they are now). The light at the end of the tunnel, though, is the tuning of DiabloWikiInferno to better meet the expectations of end game players.

    Is this something Witch Doctors enjoy? Do you think this would fix the problem at hand? It feels odd to me that being a summoning-focused hero still must focus on direct damage spells rather than that of their summoned companions.

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