Today’s dose of gameplay action starts off with a Demon Hunter and finishes with a full play-through from a Witch Doctor. The Demon Hunter clears the last 3 levels of the Cathedral, plus the Skeleton King’s two levels. He’s Clvl 12, and is played by someone who knows what he’s doing, which makes for a nice change. It’s pleasant to see a DH who doesn’t just frantically Bola Shot everything, usually putting 2 or 3 of them per target when one would do the job. This DH also enjoys Chakram, and this video really shows the power of that spinning ninja star when it’s aimed properly.
The most used skill though, is Evasive Fire, which seems like a fantastically useful skill for an archer. It adds damage to the DH’s ranged attacks, plus it causes a short Vault backwards whenever an enemy is near, enabling the DH to retreat while he keeps firing. That skill completely frustrates the Skeleton King and his Whirlwind attacks, and so long as the DH has open space behind him, it seems like a majestic tactic against any kind of melee attacker. I can envision smart DHs using this plus some Vault to completely vex melee attackers in the Arena, though of course a smart melee attacker would counter that with movement skills or something like Ancient Harpoon. I see your rock and raise you paper!
The video is about 20m and can be viewed in 1080 at full screen, so enjoy.
Click through for three more videos, showing a Witch Doctor going start to finish on a full beta clear.
The next three videos are to be watched consecutively, as Wafflectomy plays a new Witch Doctor through the entire beta. The videos are 23, 19, and 29 minutes, so it’s a bit over an hour for the full trip. The whole video is narrated (but not annoyingly), and the pace is leisurely, as he takes time to show off the interface windows, talk to the NPCs, explain what the skills are doing, etc. You might find this too slowly paced if you’ve watched about 10 full play-throughs already, but it’s thorough, and we don’t see that many WD movies so it’s informative as well.
Here’s part two, from Cathedral level 1 back to town, and into the crypts as he searches for the Skeleton King‘s crown.
Part three concludes things, as the WD pushes through the entire Cathedral, with a few edits to save time/repetition. The WD hits Clvl 8 just at the end of Cathedral 4, and he mostly does the entire beta with a very simple strategy; let the Mongrels tank and stand behind, shooting a lot of Poison Darts for his attack. The other WD skills vary in function and are better in some instances, but they aren’t just point and click targeting, and they cost more mana. In this video you can see that the WD is entirely out of mana quite often, pretty much any time he tries to use Haunt, or Corpse Spiders, or Zombie Charger.
Playing the WD at Blizzcon 2010, the last demo with runestones enabled, I found the WD greatly improved by runes; more than any other character. Just a level 2 rune was enough to turn Poison Dart into a machine gun and Firebats into a nearly-full screen inferno, and before adding those runes I found the WD very slow and underpowered (comparatively speaking). The class probably suffers as a result in the Diablo 3 Beta, as there are no runes to turn up his fairly slow and basic skills. He’s safe behind his tanking Mongrels, but kinda slow in the early going.