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I don't like waiting for skill cooldowns. What can I do to decrease them? Certain item properties? Passive skills? Something else? How do my cooldown reduction options change between classes?

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Diablo 3 cooldowns, by design, are generally longer than Diablo 2 cooldowns. You have the possibility to reduce them slightly with various passive and runes.

Passive Skills that reduces cooldown

Barbarian

  • Boon of Bul-Kathos: The cooldown on your Earthquake, Call of the Ancients, and Wrath of the Berserker skills is reduced by 30 seconds

Demon Hunter

  • None

Monk

  • Beacon of Ytar: Reduces all cooldowns by 15%

Wizard

  • Evocation: Reduces all cooldowns by 15%
  • Critical Mass: Critical Hits have a chance to reduce the cooldown of your spells by 1 second

Witch Doctor

  • Spirit Vessel: Reduces the cooldown of your Horrify, Spirit Walk and Soul Harvest spells by 2 seconds (continue...
  • Tribal Rites: The cooldowns of your Fetish Army, Bid Bad Voodoo, and Hex abilities are reduced by 25%

Runes for Active Skills that reduces cooldown

Barbarian

  • The Mountain's Call (Earthquake): Removes the Fury cost and reduces the cooldown to 105 seconds (from 120)

Demon Hunter

  • None (there are runes that increase the duration of some abilities)

Monk

  • Sustained Attack (Seven-Sided Strike): Reduce the cooldown of Seve-Sided Strike by 7 seconds (from 30 seconds)

Witch Doctor

  • Desperate Grasp (Grasp of the Dead): Reduces the cooldown of Grasp of the Dead to 6 seconds (from 8)
  • Unstable Realm (Mass Confusion): Reduces the cooldown of Mass Confusion to 45 seconds (from 60)
  • Devoted Following (Fetish Army): Deacreases the cooldown of Fetish Army to 90 seconds (from 120)

Wizard

  • Cold Snap (Frost Nova): Reduces cooldown of Frost Nova to 9 seconds (from 12)
  • Force Affinity (Wave of Force): Reduce cooldown to 12 seconds (from 15)
  • Perpetuity (Slow Time): Reduces the cooldown of Slow Time to 16 seconds (from 20)

Items that reduces cooldown

There are very few items, all specific to Witch Doctor, that can reduce the cooldown of some skills.

  • Zunimassa's Attunement: Requires level 60. Reduce cooldown of Summon Zombie Dogs by 1-7 seconds
  • Visage of Giyua: Requires level 60. Reduce cooldown of Summon Zombie Dogs by 1-8 seconds
  • Homunculus: Requires level 56. Reduce cooldown of Wall of Zombies by 1-2 seconds
  • Uhkapian Serpent: Requires level 60. Reduce cooldown of Wall of Zombies by 1-3 seconds
  • Manajuma's Ritual Prize: Requires level 60. Reduce cooldown of Wall of Zombies by 1-3 seconds
  • Zunimassa's Ferocity: Requires level 60. Reduce cooldown of Wall of Zombies by 1-3 seconds

Finally, there are passives/runes that prolong the effect of certain abilities.

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Great post, but you're wrong about the items. There are several legendary/set items that will reduce spell cooldowns. Here's an example, and here's another one. –  bummzack May 21 '12 at 9:41
    
@bummzack Thank you for reporting, I will fix that part as soon as i can. –  Drake May 21 '12 at 10:04
    
@Drake, for the Wizard there's also Critical Mass, you could add that to your answer. –  Kappei May 21 '12 at 10:11
    
@Kappei Thank you, updated. –  Drake May 21 '12 at 11:39
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All classes have random item effects that can alter specific skills, and some lower cool downs. This is not restricted to witch doctors or legendary weapons. –  Beofett May 21 '12 at 12:17
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Skill runes.

Many skills have runes you unlock that reduces the cooldown for said skill.

Some skills and / or runes reduce the cooldown for other skills as well.

There also seems to exist items that reduce cooldown for certain skills but they are said to be rare. See At what point do items that alter specific skills start appearing?.

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Skill cooldowns are there for a reason. For example, the developers thought that Teleport was an overpowered skill in D2, since you could simply spam it and bypass whole levels with it. For this reason its D3 incarnation has a quite lengthy cooldown (even though you can rune it to spam it once again).

That said, you have some options to decrease your cooldowns:

  • as a Wizard, you can use the Evocation passive skill, that simply reduces all your CDs by 15%, and there's also Critical Mass that gives to your critical hits a chance to decrease the cooldown of all skills by 1 second;

  • as a Witch Doctor you have Tribal rites, that reduces Fetish Army, Big bad Voodoo and Hex CDs by 25%, and Spirit Vessel that decreases the Horrify, Spirit Walk and Soul harvest CDs by 2 seconds;

  • as a Barbarian, you have Boon of Bul-Kathos for Earthquake, Call of the ancients and Berserk (a 30 seconds reduction);

  • for the Monk, there's Beacon of Ytar, that's a whole 15% reduction all around.

Generally speaking, the cooldown decrease can be attained with passive skills, but there are also runes that reduce the waiting time of its specific skill (take as an example the Perpetuity rune for the Slow Time skill).

Regarding weapons instead, you're out of luck: there doesn't seem to be an attribute, at the moment, that reduces the cooldown of your skills.

If you're bothered with cooldowns, you should consider playing a Demon Hunter: if you're careful with Hatred generation you can spam your skills at will, without having to worry anymore about having to wait.

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I play Witch Doctor, and he has a few passives that help his cooldowns. Im pretty sure cooldowns can only be affected by passive skills, as well as a few runes that can help as well

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