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Demon Hunter Gripes on Bnet

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by Cymra, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Cymra

    Cymra Diabloii.Net Member

    May 9, 2014
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    I was reading over the complaints about the Demon Hunter Flux has collected as a news article and it hit me that the problem isn't about damage - it's about mobility. I thought I'd dig in a little further and expand on the concept somewhat.

    Now this applies primarily to people who are pushing higher and higher Greater Rift levels and shorter clear times. Although in the recent Tavern Talk all of the devs present were keen to stress that they do not use high level GR results as a benchmark of how to tune gear a lot of players do use them like this.

    Having a quick glance at the top tier leaderboards for Era Hardcore characters on EU shows almost all classes in the 43-45 range apart from Demon Hunters who have multiple 46 clears and a pair at both 47 and 48. If you take a look at the gear choices used by both the top two Demon Hunters and the top two Crusaders both are using roughly the same gear as the person next to them - Marauders for the Demon Hunter and Akkhans for the Crusader. There are some slight differences but overall they are in line. Why can a Demon Hunter clear 3 GR higher than a Crusader then? The fact is that when you compare the playstyles of the Demon Hunter to other classes the Demon Hunter is different.

    Class Breakdown:

    The Demon Hunter is a very squishy class that does not want to get smacked in the face because you will die. If we look at the builds being used they favor sentries and companions. The active skill of Evasive Fire is built to keep you out of harm's way and there is also Vault to keep you mobile. It's important to note here that Vault does not have a cooldown either - it's just a resource cost. In terms of play style the DH is collecting enemies in an area, dropping the sentries and then nuking them with companions, sentries and the occasional spender.

    The Crusader is much more tanky that the DH, having 30% damage reduction baked in because it is a melee class. However that being said it is a melee class - in order to damage things it has to get up close and personal (I know you can build a Crusader to not be melee but the top builds are using melee skills, Slash and Punish). The damage skill is mainly Condemn with the Vacuum rune, which is a small AoE around the Crusader that pulls in mobs.

    The big difference is the DH is constantly in motion *and* constantly dealing damage when the build is played correctly. The Crusader contrasts this nicely by having to hoover up groups of enemies and then has to chunk them down with Condemn. This means they are in motion *then* dealing damage.

    The Wizard is the proverbial fly in the ointment as it to can be continuously in motion with the Firebird's set. There's a bit more diversity in the top four Wizards (all at GR45) but they do have some similarities - the majority are not using the full 6p bonus and they are mainly using Blizzard, Black Hole and Hydra as their damage sources with Teleport for escape/mobility. One major difference between the Wizard and Demon Hunter is that Teleport does come with an 11 second cooldown. Because they are not using the DoT from Firebirds 6p the playstyle is mechanically very similar to the Crusader. You round up a set of mobs, pull them in with Black Hole and then drop Hydra and Blizzard to do the damage. Again this means they are in motion and then dealing damage.

    Prior to the Demon Hunter's ascendancy to the top of the leaderboards there was another class that was "top dog" for a very long time - the Barbarian. When we look at the build it used, aka "Spin to Win", we see that it's mechanically very similar to the current build the Demon Hunter is using. The Barb would be constantly moving with Whirlwind and constantly dealing damage at the same time.


    In terms of solutions I don't really have any - you can tweak up the numbers for the other classes to bring them up into line with the Demon Hunter or you can hit the DH with the nerf bat but that will cause complaints and nerfing a class is a cheap fix to a problem (you're not fixing the cause of the problem but the symptom).

    To break the cycle of motion=damage the only suggestion I can put forwards would be to change sentries to either focusing on your target (and you'd have to replicate that change to the other classes with pets) or stagger the damage from sentries so they don't start up until you've been still for a set amount of time. If you were going to do that though I'd pair it with a substantial survivability buff to the Demon Hunter as being still is probably going to equal being dead!

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