One of the few aspects of Diablo 3 that didn't get much attention with all the recent patches and the introduction of new difficult arenas, like the Nephalem Rifts and the Greater Rifts, is player pets. Blizzard is on the case and is looking into ways to make them more viable against the new challenges.
Pets are mainly the speciality of the Witch Doctor class but other classes can spawn them as well based on their skills. As it stands, pets get punished when the monsters you're facing unleash attacks that are easy to avoid for the player, but not so much for the pets, since you can't control them individually.
To counter that, game designer John Yang posted an update on the Diablo 3 forums outlining some of the changes Blizzard is working on to address the issues. These changes are not final, however.
"Pets should scale with your survivability stats. They currently scale with most of your stats but not all of them. This is being worked on," he began. "Pets should derive their Toughness from yours, and if you skip out on it, your pets’ survivability should be noticeably lower as a result. On the flip side, they should be noticeably tougher if you’ve increased your own Toughness. You shouldn’t skimp on Toughness just because you have pets."
Based on that, the developer is looking to divide the type of attacks that face pets into three categories:
- Full damage to pets - Basic melee/weak projectile attacks, not expected to be always avoided by a player.
- Reduced damage to pets - Special attacks such as fireballs, which typically deal more damage than a basic attack, are pretty bright and visible, and can sometimes be avoided by the player. Good example are Perdition’s volley attack or Agnidox’s fireballs.
- Drastically reduced damage to pets - Persistent AoEs for which the player is intended to move out of quickly or highly-telegraphed attacks for which the player is intended to avoid altogether. Examples are Thunderstorm monster affix, Mallet Lord’s arm attack, or Morlu meteors.
What do you think? Have you been having trouble with your Witch Doctor?