New Reaper of Souls Class Skills Demo’ed


Blizzard has posted short videos showing the New Reaper of Souls Class Skills. Each of the original five classes gets one new skill at level 61, with rune effects coming in on the levels leading up to 70, and they’re quite tasty, for the most part. Unfortunately, these videos are just a tease. Only the Demon Hunter’s is longer than 10 seconds, they all show off base skills instead of runes, aside from the Witch Doctor’s Bogadile. On the bright side, they’re all recorded in Act Five so you get a nice little preview of some of the cool areas coming soon.

Here’s the Demon Hunter in her spectacular machine gun action with Vengeance. I played a lot of DH during the beta and while this skill is not the single thing I miss the most, it’s definitely in the top five. Vengeance adds massive piercing ordinance to the Demon Hunter’s normal attacks, greatly boosting her damage for a short burst. Vengeance also grants an immunity to all forms of enemy crowd control, much like the Barbarian gets from Wrath of the Berserker. Pop this and for 15 seconds your DH can not be Frozen, Jailed, stunned, etc.

The character in this vid is clearly Vaulting around just for fun, but like every other skill, Vault triggers Vengeance. Each time you Vault, or drop a Caltrops, or cast a Familiar, or cast any skill at all, Vengeance fires. And if you use Personal Mortar or Side Cannons they will auto-target anything in range, including destrutibles. It’s a lot of fun to go Vaulting along with Vengenace in effect, trying to reach some more enemies before the duration ends and watching all destructibles on the screen get nuked like you’ve engaged some sort of mutated, super strong DiabloWikiAction Shot.

Click through for short vids of the other four new class skills you’ll gain access to in Reaper of Souls, plus some comments about how they worked during Reaper of Souls beta testing. (Quick summary: DH and Wiz skills = fantastic. WD’s = powerful but misunderstood. Barb’s and Monk’s = meh.)


Barbarian

Avalanche.

This one was not so great by itself, but had potential if enabled by or paired with legendary items that could cut the cooldown time, proc it, etc. It’s a good blast of damage, and some of the runes provide useful crowd control, but I couldn’t find a version of it that felt essential.


Monk

Epiphany.

Like most Monk changes in Reaper of Souls, I was underwhelmed by this one. It’s got a great visual effect and it seems cool, granting the Monk the ability to instantly teleport to his next target while in effect. But the only other effect is basically a big Spirit regen boost, and the teleport to target is only useful if you’re quickly killing a lot of weak enemies. It’s amazingly fun if you’re one-shotting trash mobs and blinking around the screen like a Diablo 1 character using Telekill, but using it against a boss does nothing but grant the big Spirit regen plus the less-than-overwhelming secondary effects of damage mitigation, added fire damage, etc.

I can understand that the Bliz devs didn’t just want to give the Monk a Saffron-flavored version of WotB, (though the DH is delighted by her bat-flavored version) but that would certainly have been a big upgrade over this ability.


Wizard

Black Hole.

An extremely effective skill, this found its way into most Wizard builds during the beta. It deals good damage, creates a small area of targeted DiabloWikicrowd control as it pulls enemies in, and grants various cool proc effects and bonuses. During the beta I loved to pair the Absolute Zero rune effect — “Each enemy hit increases the damage of your Cold spells by 3% for 10 seconds.” — with Frozen Orb: Glacial Spike.

Not only did Black Hole boost the damage of my follow up cold attack, but it held enemies in place so more of them were hit by all attacks. The Wizard is in a great place in D3v2, with numerous awesome skills and builds, but Black Hole will take her even further.


Witch Doctor

Piranhas.

The hardest part of this skill is spelling it correctly. Remember, A before N, except after H. When I demoed this skill in the beta I wasn’t real impressed by it because 1) I played very little WD so didn’t experiment much, and 2) I was thinking of it as an attack.

It’s actually a very powerful skill, and all hail Bogadile and his mighty chop, but the most effective rune effect is Piranhado, which works just like the Wizard’s Black Hole. It pulls enemies into it, holds them for a few seconds, and debuffs them so they take increased damage from attacks.

Witch Doctors who paired Piranhado with skills that did huge damage in a small area, such as Cloud of Bats or Zombie Bears, (Plus DiabloWikiSoul Harvest: DiabloWikiVengeful Spirit for more damage and DiabloWikiGrave Injustice to melt away the cooldown time) were devastating in the Reaper beta, killing faster than an other class or build that I saw during the test.


You guys eager to try out these new toys? I can’t wait to get Vengeance back; I’ve been basically running my DH with 5 skills all D3v2, since I’m going to add Vengeance back in the second it’s available. It’s not like I’ll ever really need Smoke Screen anyway.

Comments

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  1. I love the fact that the Epiphany video is 5 seconds long. And 2 of those seconds are pure running and 0.5 seconds is a fade to black effect.

    That leaves us with 2.5 seconds of pure awesomeness.

  2. Thanks for the tip with the Witch Docotor. I remember you showing these earlier with commentary on uses. I would have like to have seen more skills from Blizzard added but Demon Hunter’s skill sounds the best so far :).

  3. The problem is, the new skills do not fit into any popular metabuilds whatsoever. They may be fun to mess around with for a while, but then you are going to switch back to your “vanilla” builds.

    For example, Black hole is completely useless for my Blizzard/Frozen orb Wizard. So are the additional passives, because now I have Prodigy, Dynamo and Glass cannon, and since I use electrocute as my signature spell, at level 70 the Paralysis is going in.

    My only problem D3X so far. They should really taken the inïtiative and add skills that correspond to each class favorite playstyle and builds, instead of slapping random situational (at best) skills.

    • You could also (gasp!) create new builds!

      In fact, you already did it once (Blizzard/Frozen Orb didn’t exist before 2.0), so why not do it again? Before skills are released, no skills fit into any popular builds — that doesn’t mean that new builds aren’t created after release, nor that these builds change as people discover effective uses of skills vis-a-vis others.

    • Avalanche and Piranhas could be great skills I find lacking in my current builds. I couldnt find the right balance for my hc heroes and these prob fit the bill.

    • Gathering enemies together is great for wiz in general because a lot of builds don’t have a big aoe like frozen orb. Any builds using disintegrate, ray of frost would love it.

      I’m currently running a close ranged build that absolutely melts trash mobs and elites. Moonlight Ward + Arcane Orbit + Disintegrate Entropy, Pox Faulds. With a cyclone monk it becomes way more deadly because of the pulling effect. Now with Black Hole, I don’t even need a monk.

      • Exactly. Black Hole is your pocket Cyclone monk. Same for Fishnado (stacking everyone on the Grasp to pop globes for Gruesome Feast? Yes please!) All ranged characters love Cyclone monks, some more than others.

        Speaking of Fishnade and Doctors, I have a bad, bad feeling Grave Injustice is going to get nerfed/destroyed like Critical Mass. It’s so much better/easier to use it and radius than trying to stack CDR; CDR conflicts w/ Life%, XP gain, CC, CD, IAS, and all the other primary stats on gear, while there aren’t a ton of super awesome amazing can’t miss Doctor Passives. Radius is secondary, to boot. It’s a no-brainer, just like CM was. I’m scared they’re going to cut it.

        • AFAIK, it is nerfed/changed a bit already.
          Check out the patch 2.0 release notes.

          • 2% health/mana to 1% health/mana. It’s still enough; most of my mana comes from Gruesome Feast. Grave Injustice could dump the health/mana part and I’d still use it.

  4. When it comes to the new skills, and me being almost exclusively a DH player, I find that Vengeance presentes a very interesting dilemma.

    On one hand, it grants immunity to CC’s as well as remarkably better DPS output for 15 seconds. On the other hand, it’s usefullness as a pure DPS booster is greatly overshadowed by the wolf pet, which grats 10% bonus to damage every 30 seconds, to your DH, AND your entire party.

    Basically, that 90 sec timer is a tad too long to prefer Vengeance over the wolf, though with some cooldown reduction gear, it could be shortened considerably.

    During the last few days of the beta, I was running a build which actually included both the wolf AND Vengeance, and enjoyed it a lot.

    I am still voting for Black Hole as the #1 level 61 new skill among all classes, but there simply IS something about Vengeance which makes it irresistable to me. It pretty much takes that whole PEW PEW PEW archtype feeling and… dare I say… doubles it! 😀

  5. I predict major buffs to Epiphany in the month after RoS debuts. It reminds me of how nobody liked Wave of Light initially, so Blizzard buffed the living crap out of it until it seemed foolish not to use it (naturally, now WoL has been nerfed back down). Even though it seems uncreative to just give every class its own Super Sayan mode, you can’t blame them, as everybody is a sucker for those skills. The Monk’s needs to be better though or nobody will use it as is.

  6. I miss the good old D2 days where team play was important, where stacking auras with curses and buffs really made a difference. Yea, those nu skills gonna make some better game there.

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