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Major Witch Doctor Nerf Mere Hours Before Season 7 Begins

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In a surprise hotfix, right before the start of the new Season, the damage bonus from Ring of Emptiness will no longer affect pets.

This is a bad day for anyone planning to roll a Witch Doctor for the newly started Season 7. The hotfix to Ring of EmptinessRing of Emptiness has rendered the Helltooth Gargantuan build (and its Zunimassa variation) useless. This was the best DPS build for Witch Doctors and, as it was apparent in the PTR, it dominated in the end-game meta both solo and in groups. People reported that the Jade Harvester build is also affected, but this is most probably a false alarm. As a result, more and more disappointed potential WD players are saying that they will be picking up another class for Season 7.

Nevalistis explained that the aim of this nerf was to promote Witch Doctor build diversity:

Blizzard LogoNevalistis

Now, I think blizz intended to make jade and maybe arachyr more competitive with gargs by boosting roe.

This was certainly the intention.

I forgot to add a suggestion to this ring. The ring should apply the 300% dmg only to you and not your pets.

And this is a great suggestion - one we've seen from a lot of great Witch Doctors who gave feedback, and it lines up with the change we have in store. The Helltooth/Gargantuan build surfaced during a time on PTR in which we were already submitting our final builds to the production line. This means changes we could make were limited for the actual deployment build, so an adjustment didn't make the patch launch.

The good news is we've been working on a hotfix instead. Ring of Emptiness now only works on damage dealt directly by your Witch Doctor and not your pets. This hotfix should hit servers momentarily, well before the launch of Season 7.

I do want to thank the community for your discussions and testing. Your passion, dedication, and pursuit of fair play are a valuable contributor in making Diablo III the best it can be!

(source)

The main aim of Patch 2.4.2 was to promote build diversity and to "kill" the end-game group meta. However, as many people pointed out after this hotfix, the facts show the opposite. The PTR and the Non-Seasonal leaderboards after the end of Season 6 are proof that the 3-support, 1-DPS setup in 4-player is far from dead. The only change was that now some 4-man groups take 2 DPS, but 3 supports are still an option.

This hotfix will just result in another season of 2 or 3 supports helping 1 or 2 Wizards do all the damage. It is true that without the hotfix the only difference would be that Witch Doctors would have replaced Wizards. However, Ring of Emptiness promoted a more active playstyle for Helltooth (as opposed to just letting the Gargantuans do all the work). Moreover, Wizards have gotten away with Energy Twisters for two Seasons and the notorious Firebug in Season 6, while the Witch Doctor problem was dealt with just before the beginning of Season 7. At this point, players are exasperated of Wizards dominating the DPS field since the start of 2016.

It looks like Jade Harvester is going to be the best build for Witch Doctors after the nerf.

Here are some interesting Reddit discussions you might want to follow:

In r/diablo:

In r/diablo 3:

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Damn it. GG Blizzard, you just screwed up a class that really didnt need anything done to it. I was a generator monk and UE DH last season. looks like Ill have to do that again or continuing leveling my WD with the T&T setup from last season at least. Thats was the only reason why I went WD this season so I didnt have to resort back to doing the other 2 classes. 

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On 7.8.2016 at 2:34 AM, Garutar said:

Damn it. GG Blizzard, you just screwed up a class that really didnt need anything done to it. I was a generator monk and UE DH last season. looks like Ill have to do that again or continuing leveling my WD with the T&T setup from last season at least. Thats was the only reason why I went WD this season so I didnt have to resort back to doing the other 2 classes. 

You know that, wd is still viable ? :P Many people are overreacting alot, but it was indeed a dick move of blizzard. The only thing i hated about this nerf was, that it happened not even a day before the season started, so in my eyes they screwed up. But WD is still viable, even in group setups. The only reason of nerfing the Ring is, to keep the wizard in the group meta and i know .. that it sucks xD but nvm. They should better tweak weaker classes like DH now and barb as DD for grouping instead of nerfing like shitz.

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Im still using the WD even after the ring nerf. I am using last season's setup. so far Cleared GR63 with gems at lv 28. My paragons havent even broke 500 yet. so that means something. 

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