Demon Hunter Skills and Resource Totally Reworked

Blizzard is continuing to release big bombs of Diablo III info without explanation or provocation, and after we were told a few days ago that the DiabloWikiDemon Hunter skills were being reworked… today brought the results. And wow, are they big.

No more are her skills divided into DiabloWikiHatred, DiabloWikiDiscipline, and Utility (there was just one utility, making some changes fairly necessary). Now they are divided into Hatred spenders, Hatred generators, and Discipline (spenders), and the skills do what the names say — some add to the Hatred resource while some spend it, apparently somewhat like the Monk’s Spirit Generators/Spenders.

The spenders are very expensive; Level One Impale costs 40 Hatred, while the lowest generating skills only bring in 5 or 10 Hatred. (The lowest generator is listed as Level 2, which must be wrong, or else the DH will start out with only one skill.) At that rate a DH would have to fire 4 or 6 or 8 shots of the hatred generators to use a single Hatred spender, and that seems a weird ratio, given that they’re all just arrows of one type or another.

Note that we do not know if Hatred still regenerates quickly, or at all. Perhaps it regenerates slowly, and thus the hatred generators are just sort of supplemental? (That debate is raging in the forums.)

Also, the required levels to start using the skills have been greatly reshuffled, with the biggest change to DiabloWikiRapid Fire. It was formerly enabled at Clvl 24, and it’s been moved all the way down to Clvl 5! This seems a direct response to the DH issue that some beta testers noted; that all the early DH skills spent Hatred, and that none of them did any AoE or multi-target damage. This turned the low level DH play into a very point and click, single-target attacker, and made her much less fun than the other four classes

So how do these changes work? No one knows. They have not been enabled in the beta, (I checked myself 5 minutes ago) and it’s entirely possible that they will not be. That’s based on the fact that Blizzard has listed plenty of other changes and bug fixes as “known issues” that they say are fixed in the final game, but won’t be patched into the beta test client.

I think these DH changes should be, (no matter how confident Bliz is in their Q&A) and not just because I want to play a more fun Demon Hunter now now now! After all, it seems like Beta tester feedback was a major factor in forcing this DH revision, and these are huge changes to how the character will play, so I’d think the Diablo 3 developers would want to roll them out to let the beta testers kick the tires and give them a test drive.

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34 thoughts on “Demon Hunter Skills and Resource Totally Reworked

  1. My question is… how do the INTERNAL testers actually ”test” things? Because unofficial beta testers outside Blizzard already found TONS of bugs and mechanics-related problems… in the first minutes of Act 1.

    I perfectly understand that ”Beta is intended to make a stress test” (really? well… invite someone then…) but wasn’t the Blizzard staff able to fix those things BEFORE releasing the beta?

    I mean… the hunter mechanics were already wrong after 10 minutes of gameplay. Didn’t they notice that?

    I now understand why the game is going to be released in 2012.

  2. Does Flux sleep? It is like 6am his place and he is churning out articles after articles. Nice though *thumbsup*

  3. Shows how much Bashiok knows. 
    How are these fundamental changes to how the DH skills and play style work “spread sheet” stuff?
    They’re much more than just changing some numbers…

    • Technically, all they did was change a bunch of numbers in a spreadsheet. No new art, no new sounds, etc. But yeah, changing a few things around in the spreadsheet can change the feel, tactics, etc of a class DRAMATICALLY.

      • That’s not accurate. Making skills all of a sudden generate resource (hatred) is not “spreadsheet stuff” (as Bashiok put it) – it’s programming, which is  more difficult and time consuming than just changing numbers. That’s a big difference, especially with Blizz, where everything takes 10 times longer to perfect.

        • Skill: Hungering Arrow
          Old: On Cast, Hatred Count -10
          New: On Hit, Hatred Count +5
          That’s spreadsheet stuff. It’s how the monk/barb already work. They have tags that tell each skill how much spirit/fury to generate/consume, when the runes lower the costs or strengthen the gains, etc. Spreadsheet stuff. In fact, some lazy programmer probably copied the monk spreadsheet template and changed all the names.

          • I stand corrected.
            Now, I’m thinking about all the rune effects that’ll probably have to change as well to accommodate some of these skill changes…

  4. The internal testers of every company leave something to be desired.  Maybe it’s because they are just too close to the game.  But then again, there are things that are so glaringly obvious or broken that you have to wonder how the hell the issue was missed.
    Have any of you all looked over the D3 Items pages?  I have, and some of it has left me with “WTF are you thinking?”.

    I’d site examples, but they’d be spoilers, so I won’t. I’d site examples but they’d be [spoiler][/spoiler]

    • I was one of a very few closed beta testers that tested a well known game a few years back.  Frankly, the game blew, which came as a major disappointment, as part 1 had been pretty good.  A lot of us testers were reporting our feelings right and left, and it became quickly apparent, based on the company’s attitude, that such feedback was unwelcome, and, ultimately, went unheeded.  The game was released, flopped (and flopped for many of the reasons I/we reported to the devs during beta), and the company folded.  Lesson learned (for me, anyway): no matter how good your testing team, if the devs are obstinate, and in love with their failures, all the testing in the world won’t do crap.  I’m not saying anything about D3 here, just commenting on testers in general.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a corner to go weep in.

  5. @Flux:
    I think the Demon Hunter will only have one skill at level 1.
    Why? Because I checked all other classes on the page and ALL of them start with only one skill at level 1  now. They get their second and third skill at level 2.
    Oh, and you might want to mention that all wizard and witch doctor skills now scale with weapon damage. The same is true for the DH skills that formerly had fixed damage. The Monk is now the only class with skills that deal damage independent of weapon damage. If I had to guess, I’d say that’s about to change soon, too.

  6. Flux, ALL of the classes beginning skills have changed: They get 1 skill to start and then get 2 skills at level 2. For instance the WD doesn’t get Zombie Dogs till level 2 now!

    • That’s not really a big deal.  From the videos you are Level 2 before you leave town for the first time.

  7. Expected to be released “early 2012”. Bah… too much buzz for nothing. The beta will change millions of times, e are still far from the “final” game. How to kill the hype in 1 second.

  8. Hey Flux were the news about wizzy and wd skill changes posted (weapon based damage) ? If not i’d like to see it plz.

  9. What are your thoughts on having the demon hunter’s hatred to be more like the barb’s fury where it generates if you get hit or do any kind of damage but depletes over time?

  10. Wow, blizzard actually updated their website before the game itself? That’s different… Also how the hell do they justify caster classes having their spells based on weapon damage? And now that all the wizard skills are weapon damage, spectral blade looks even more unappealing since they made other skills have higher weapon damage percentages… also wouldn’t this make magic weapon a must have for all wizards now?

    • yeah I wonder when these changes go live.  it will give me a reason to watch some more live streams.

  11. Well, Spectral Blades still hits 3 times for a total of 105% weapon damage. And it’s the signature spell that can hit more enemies at once than any other (barring rune effects). Oh, and it deals physical damage so its damage might or might not be effected by Magic Weapon skill.   I’m not saying the spell is great, but I think it will still work decently.

    • Well compare it to electrocute’s 150% weapon damage that can jump… also charged bolts aka shock pulse can hit 3 enemies at once and does 95% weapon damage, not to mention the fork magic missle does 55% weapon damage with each missle and that goes up to 8 missles at the highest rank…

      • Shock Pulse is a bit random. Electrocute reduces it’s damage by 30% for each additional target. And if you you use a level 7 rune to show why magic missile is better than Blades, I’ll just point to the Indigo Rune effect of Spectral Blads (increases range to 20 yard and damage to 3*72=216%).
        Really, I agree, that SB is probably the worst of the signature spells, but I don’t think it’s useless. If nothing else, it’s at least is independent of any elemental resistance or immunities that the enemy might have.

      • Look at and compare all the skills to each other.  Some things make no sense, especially the base armor skills.  As presented, no one will use anything other than Storm Armor.  Anyone that attacks you, melee or ranged, takes lightning damage in the amount of 127% weapon damage.  Cold Armor only gives a 50% increase in armor and a cold damage aura that slows down and deals 10% weapon damage to those in 10 yards (as I recall).  Now after testing it may be debatable whether or not a 50% armor boost, slowdown, and 10% damage effect is comparable to a 127% retaliation attack, but there is no debating that Energy Armor is completely worthless compared to its counter parts.  Energy Armor grants a 20% armor boost at the cost of reducing your maximum arcane power.  That’s a big WTF.

        • Energy Armor increases Defense by 20%, not Armor, that is a big difference. I agree Storm Armor is nice but it requires you to get hit (unless you use Alabaster runestone) and doesn’t increase your survivability. It is an offensive oriented armor while Ice Armor and Energy Armor are defensive.

          • Not only that, I’ve made a few Power hungry builds, and I use the Power Tap (increase max AP by 40) rune for Energy Armor. Get extra AP, get a nice little defense bump (that’s good against physical and elemental), good times.

          • OK, you are right.  One says 50% armor the other says 20% defense.  So obviously based on the numbers, 20% defense is significant in some way.

            Anyone know what the relationships between armor/defense/damage reduction are?

            To me, increasing your armor would increases your defense which would in turn increase your damage reduction.

          • I just did more research on this.  Everything I read on items, armor, and defense uses the terms Armor and Defense interchangeably.  In other words, for example, a shield with an Armor rating of 78 is said to have 78 Defense.  If these terms can be used interchangeably and mean the same thing, then a stat that boosts Armor by 50% is vastly superior to a stat that boosts Defense by 20%.

  12. Am I wrong, or wizard was reworked as well? I don’t remember armor skills to be only one available at a time and signature skills with decreasing cost.

    • Signature skills always decreased in cost as you level.  And the armor skills have always been “you can only activate one at a time”.

  13. “Blizzard has listed plenty of other changes and bug fixes as “known issues” that they say are fixed in the final game, but won’t be patched into the beta test client.”
    This is an asinine way to run a beta test.  But what do I know, I don’t work for Blizzard.

  14. From looking at the new Demon Hunter I can say this it was my first class from start before and now its even more my first class, they improved it so much now its even more powerful I really like the changes alot, now we can spam bola, hunger, evasive and entangle 😀

    Hope they patch in this in the Beta so we can test it

  15. I want a green resource for the Witch Doctor now that Blizzard has all this extra time.  It would go way better visually for the Witch Doctor than mana because of the look and it would have a stranger than more familiar feeling than mana has.

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