Joined 01/23/2012

I'm an Engineer and built the video game community Cheerful Ghost and text based mini-MMO Tale of the White Wyvern.

2532 Posts

Ive been trawling the internets for better builds for my Witch Doctor in Nightmare mode and beyond. I had a pretty good pet / acid rain build that was fine but wasn't really working out too well in Nightmare mode so I changed it. This is how I play my Witch Doctor now at level 39 based on recommendations from people can can solo Inferno.

First thing is you need the best weapon you can get. This often means the best two hander you can find. This might not make sense as you might think the Witch Doctor needs a shield or the special shaman carriable shrunken head totems. All your spells, pets and skill damage per second is based off your attack so to hit the hardest with everything you need the best weapon you can aquire. I also recommend going to the auction house if you have a hard time finding a good weapon through grinding. I can't stress enough how much you need a good weapon that deals a ton of DPS. Don't worry about taking more damage, if you have good enough armor and are kiting well damage shouldn't be too much of a problem in most scenarios.

That said, this build takes some time to perfect so don't expect you will master it on your first try. It took me a bit to get used to how to use it. After I learned it I was destroying mobs with ease.

My current build is as follows:

1. PRIMARY: Poison Dart w Splinters Rune. Hits pretty hard and with it you can focus on baddies when you need. Pretty much useful in most cases.

2. SECONDARY: Grasp of the Dead w Unbreakable Grasp Rune. Seriously, this is one of the best abilities WD has. Slowing your enemies down to 80% is epic. If you are not using this in any build of your WD you are really harming yourself. Often times there is a choke point in maps, dumping this on it and backing off to pick off enemies is magic. Seriously, learn to master this ability it is very good.

HOTKEY 1: Fire Bats w Dire Bats Rune. I never understood how powerful this ability is until I understood that it goes all the way across the screen. Being able to be at a distance and send this at 5 guys charging for you can kill them in a one shot if everything is in your favor. Coupled with Soul Harvest this is insta-death to mobs. Ill explain more about that next.

HOTKEY 2: Soul Harvest w Whatever Rune you want. Soul Harvest coupled with other skills is insta-death to certain mobs. Basically it allows you to "Feed off the life force of nearby foes" which basically gives you 88 int * bad guys nearby. So if you harvest from 6 foes, thats 88*6=568 int for 30 seconds. I am using a Rune that ups that to 60 seconds. So sending out dire bats can in certain situations one shot mobs and drop yellows in Nightmare in a few hits.

HOTKEY 3: Big Bad Voodoo w Rain Dance Rune. Basically you drop a AOE totem that lasts for 20 seconds that returns you 98 mana per second. Practically speaking that means if you have the right passive abilities turned on for 20 seconds you will not run out of Mana. Coupled with Soul Harvest and Dire Bats ive been able to drop things in seconds.

HOTKEY 4: Fetish Army w Fetish Ambush. Fetish Ambush rune causes all 5 fetish folk to deal 250% damage on spawn. So if you get ambushed or rushed, I cast this and it deals everyone a fair amount of damage and then I nuke.


Spirit Vessel: This reduces the cool-down of Soul Harvest.
Jungle Fortitude: This reduces the damage you take by 20% Useful because I don't roll with a shield or carriable, just epic two handers.
Spiritual Attunement: Max Mana increased by 20% and it regens 1% faster.

This build is epic fail for mobs in Nightmare so far. I am not saying its perfect, but its a pretty fun build. I wish some kind of pet build was as good as this, but so far they are not that viable for me in Nightmare. If you know of any, id love to see them.

Can't take credit for this build, its based on this post and tweaked some to fit my style:



DoTA 2 will be Free to Play. Yup. Awesome. From the horses mouth:

"Today we’re announcing that Dota 2 will be free to play, and contain an in-game store where you’ll be able to buy fancy gear to customize your heroes. From the forum threads we’ve read over the months since The International, it’s pretty clear that this won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone out there. There are a variety of smaller details that we’ve decided to put together a FAQ to help with, but we wanted to address the two most common concerns right away:

Dota 2 will not be a pay-to-win game. All the items in the store are cosmetic, and don’t affect gameplay.

All of the heroes will be available free of charge. We believe restricting player access to heroes could be destructive to game design, so it’s something we plan to avoid."

This really makes sense for this kind of game to be free to play. Having a large user base makes these kinds of games fun. Seems like they made money when Team Fortress 2 went free to play and DoTA 2 sounds like it could do very well too.

What do you think is this awesome or something else less great? Now if only Borderlands 2 goes free to play.... Hmmmm...

Its as if someone heard that I like soundtracks in collectors editions and decided that the optimal number of collectors editions soundtracks was 11. Because if 11 soundtracks for a collectors edition is your magic number then HELLO Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collectors Edition!

Which includes:

Street Fighter X Tekken (including all character and Swap Costume DLC), Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition (with all costume DLC), Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition. PLUS a documentary BluRay, Street Fighter II The animated movie, all episodes of the Street Fighter animated series. A Light-up Ryu statue & art book & certificate of authenticity.

This pack seems compelling to me because it contains Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix available on a game disc as it was previously only DLC. Oh and its $125 dollars as well. Seems like everyone is getting into the HD re-release collectors edition mood lately. Oh and its planned to be released September 18th.

When I saw the news today that iD will be releasing "Doom 3 BFG Edition" I was extremely excited. Few games get the "HD/re-release" treatment and I just didn't figure Doom 3 would be one of the lucky few games that get it. Add in the Doom 3 expansion, the original Doom and Doom 2 and new content and my mind was blown.

But enough of my hyperventilating nerdery, here are some words from the masters of doom themselves:

"A number of companies have done these 'retro projects,'" says Willits, using the company's code name for Doom BFG, "but we're trying to do something with new content. We have all the games. We tried to make the offering the best we can."

Doom 3 BFG Edition will be the final say in Doom content to date. The package will include Doom, Doom 2, Doom 3, Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil and a brand-new, "lost" mission for Doom 3 with seven new levels, a new boss and two-to-three hours of content."

Doom BFG Edition will be released on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC and I will get it the second it drops. Owning all the games and the new content sounds awesome. I can't say enough about how great Doom 3 really was and this is a change that people can get it in a more modern format.

More from the article:

"Also, it will be available on PlayStation 3, which marks the first time in history that the original Doom will be available on a PlayStation platform. (While a version of the game was released for PlayStation, its levels were modified from the PC version and some were missing entirely.)

But perhaps most importantly, Xbox 360 players will be able to use their flashlight and gun at the same time, something that was not possible when the game was originally ported to the console, and which fans let id know was a problem."

And finally:

"I ask again if it is also a sign that Doom 4 is coming soon, and Willits just smiles."

Seems like a great plan. Step 1: release all old Doom games into modern awesome sweet package. Step 2: Doom 4.



I've been thinking of dedicating a day of the week to a game topic close to my heart. I think Tuesday works because its a pretty boring week day in need of some love. I hereby dub Tuesdays "Retro Tuesdays and as such, each Tuesday I will write about a sweet game of yesteryear that I love or hate and was iconic for me in some way. I would be awesome if others grabbed some good or ill feeling out your mind and posted it on Tuesdays as well. See how that goes.

Without further ado..... "RETRO TUESDAY POST NUMBER A!"

Super Mario Brothers 2 is a game I will never stop loving. First off if you compare it to the rest of the original Super Mario Brothers games its a total odd duck. It did things in a Mario game few games continued and compared to Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario Brothers 3 and Super Mario World. Some of us know Super Mario Brothers 2 is actually Doki, Doki Panic rebranded. For more information on the history of Super Mario Brothers 2 read this(I heartily recommend it, its quite interesting):


Nintendo released Super Mario Brothers 2 as we played in the USA because the original was seen as too difficult. Whatever the reason I am glad they shipped the game as I played it because the game is wonderful. The art style is very good, the music is iconic and the story is the best from my memory for a Mario game. Super Mario Brothers 2 shrugged off the princess saving in favor of saving the world of Subcon from the evil Wart. Right, Super Mario Brothers 2 didn't feature Bowser as the badguy.

Super Mario Brothers 2 went so far as to allow you to jump on a bad guy(which didn't kill them) pick them up and toss them as a weapon. I also loved the magic potion that allowed you to enter a special dark world where you could find mushrooms to allow you more life and collect coins and enter warp zones.

Super Mario Brothers 2 also allowed you to pick what who the main character was. In Mario games typically you could only be Mario unless you were player 2 or in later Mario games 2-4. Super Mario Brothers 2 allowed you a choice between Mario, Luigi, Toad and the Princess. This is the only game to my memory where Mario was the worst character to chose as all the others were better in some way. To my memory Mario was kind of average, Luigi could jump very high, Toad was fast and the Princess could float. The character I picked 99% of the time was the Princess, she was mad overpowered and the game was so much easier when you played with her.

I recently went back to Super Mario Brothers and played the Super Mario All Stars version.


Basically, All Stars is Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario Brothers 2, Super Mario Brothers 3 and Super Mario Brothers the Lost Levels. The SNES style graphics really make those games shine plus they add a save feature the original NES versions lacked.

When I think about awesome games that I love Super Mario Brothers 2 often comes to mind. I've played it recently so I know it still holds up well for me now. I often wish a modern Mario would pull elements from Mario 2 but it seems that Mario 2 will be off on its own which is just fine to me. I know others share my love for this game because of its uniqueness but we are a rare breed. A few years ago I took my love to another level and purchased this shirt. Yeah, I love the game that much.


Ruh roh!

What can I say about Diablo 3 that hasn't been said already? Is it a fantastic game? Yep. Is it beautiful? Yep. Do I think they improved on the hack n slash game formula they already solidified in Diablo and Diablo 2? Yep. Is the story great? Its fine. Do you feel like a bad-ass in the game? Yep.

So that ends my formal review of the game. I guess it goes without saying that I don't like formal reviews of the game that go over how I rate certain aspects of the game. I think its more interesting for me to know what actual people think about a game and if this site is proof, people seem to really love Diablo 3.

That all said, there are a few things I haven't seen talked about too much online so ill bite. Someone has to do the good work of talking about every nuance of great games and I don't mind batting clean up.

People say that Diablo 3's online requirement is DRM. I becry foul. If it came with a monthly fee no one would claim it has DRM. Yes its annoying to have a server outage but its awesome to have a game as connected to your friends and the world as Diablo 3. One such feature I love is that my games travel with me. This weekend I went to Idaho to visit family and I took my Macbook. My Diablo 3 character travelled with me and I didn't miss a killing beat.

The auction house seems a little overpowered. For instance, a few days ago I purchased 4-5 perfect square gems for around 2k a piece. These gems are WAY outside my range to craft and I purchased them to increase my gear attributes. Seems a little out of balance to do be able to do that. Then again, I chose to purchase and socket my weapons. You could take a more pure path. All that said, I haven't purchased any gear at the auction house but I imagine its just as easy to get great gear too. I wonder how the real money auction house will change things after it drops?

My second play through is more interesting than I thought it would be. Finding myself taking even more time and spending it grinding or trying out new Witch Doctor builds. Currently I am way less pet focused and more spell focused. Its an interesting style that is doing pretty well. Seem to be levelling much faster in Nightmare too. Appreciating how much more challenging the game is and how much more gold drops. Blizzard did a good job with repeatability, I can see myself playing this game much more than the typical faire.

Dungeon Twister is an awesome 2 player board game. Recently I heard it was coming to the PS3 and am pretty interested in checking it out. I am not sure the game will translate well to a video game as the trailer makes it look pretty complicated compared to the board game which is fairly simple. At least thats what hit me about watching that video, playing it might be different.

Dungeon Twister stands above your average dungeon crawler board game because its basically a two player head-to-head experience. The goal is to acquire the most points and you can do that by killing the other players characters or having one of your characters exit the dungeon. Nothing is random and everything is strategic. The game omits dice and does so to avoid any random encounter.

My wife and I play it often and are adapting new strategies to outwit the other. Very fun to play and can be done in an hour or so per game.

I am going to pack a few things into this post. I couldn't go too long without talking about Diablo III!

"Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that as of the first 24 hours of Diablo® III’s release, more than 3.5 million copies had been sold, setting the new all-time record for fastest-selling PC game. That number does not include the more than 1.2 million players who received Diablo III as part of signing up for the World of Warcraft® Annual Pass promotion. Altogether, more than 4.7 million gamers around the world were poised to storm Sanctuary on day 1 of Diablo III’s release -- representing the biggest PC-game launch in history."

Wow. Thats pretty impressive. I guess all the PC haters that said it was a dead platform are all wrong as 4.7 million purchases is huge for any system. Thats just the first week as well, Blizzard games often sell way beyond their release date. I wonder when stores will stop selling the Starcraft battle chest? When it stops selling I imagine.

Oh and I beat Diablo III last night. Woooohooo and all that. It was a fun moment. Act IV was the best paced act in the game and it was a fun way to end it off. I didn't really think the ending story part of cinematic really left me with a epic sense of closure but it was better than the Borderlands ending for sure. I am going to save my "Diablo III" review for a later post, but I felt it worth noting that I beat the game. It took me about 29 hours to complete as the Witch Doctor class.

Have you beat D3 yet? How did you feel the ending was if you did? Try to keep the comments spoiler free if you can. You on to nightmare now or are you giving yourself a bit of a break?



I first heard about Kingdom Rush in an episode of the Totally Rad Show about games they were playing on the iPad. They mentioned that Kingdom Rush started as a Flash based browser game and I kind of shrugged it off as I don't typically play browser games. A week ago I decided to give it a try and I was blown away with how good of a game it was.

We have mostly all played Tower Defense games like Plants VS Zombies or DoTA. Kingdom Rush is a game similar in nature but has its own spin on the genre. One thing I really latched on to was the unique art style of the game. Another rad thing it does is allow you to upgrade the kinds of towers you want to use. Many bad guys require certain towers to kill, but if you want focus your play style some, you can.

The game is also challenging. Its not frustrating but it will challenge you. I love Plants VS Zombies but really didn't feel like it was very challenging. In Kingdom Rush you can't stick with the same strategy you must adapt to new bad guys the game tosses your way. I guess ultimately Kingdom Rush does very similar things that most other tower defense games it just does it so well it stands above some others ive played.

If I ever get an iPad I will pick this game up but until then I can play it for free in my browser. Yay!


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