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Currently, my primary methods of getting stronger are:

  • Gain XP and level up
  • Buy better equipment at the auction house

However, I know that past a certain part in the difficulty curve, I won't be able to rely on the first anymore - I'll be at the level cap. Also, it seems like the supply of truly awesome "top tier" items in the auction house is likely to be limited.

I also know that the game gets hard - mega hard. I'm playing Witch Doctor, and I've been told that this means my road is likely to be even harder than some other classes.

What should I be doing to grow stronger once I'm at the level cap and past the point where I can buy my way out of danger with the auction house? Should I be attempting to farm a particular item or item set? Is there a skill or set of skills I (as a player) should be practicing that makes the game easier?

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I've actually heard a lot of negative things about the Witch Doctor, most notably that there is really only one specific build that is survivable at higher difficulty levels. My boyfriend has one, and is hoping they patch some of the WD abilities soon to make it a better class at high levels. –  Rachel May 23 '12 at 17:42
    
@Rachel As a 60 WD main, I couldn't agree more. Vision Quest is mandatory. –  StrixVaria May 23 '12 at 17:50
    
Pretty much. There are some other ways to do stuff that work a lot better in groups, but the one build you're talking about is just too strong to not use =/. Wish the DoT build was a lot more viable. –  Klokworkk May 23 '12 at 18:00
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Doing act 4 hell and farm gear is a good idea. If you can manage you can also try act 1 inferno but there you are more likely to lose your nephalem valor buff because you just have to switch around skill/runes to get past some rare/champion packs.

Act 4 hell can be done without spec changing with a versatile build and so you can keep your 5 stacks of nephalem valor up until you reach diablo which results in 2-3 rares (never had fewer rares) and 5-6 magic items and with some luck you'll find a great upgrade. Also you wont die as much and with 5 stacks of the buff you find a lot more gold which allows you to go shopping in the AH.

Grouping up with more people at the level cap (you only get the buff at maximum level) could also help since 4 people get 2-3 rares and chances are that you get something for another class and vice versa - just make sure no one changes their skills/runes so they have 5 stacks at diablo.

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The biggest thing you can do at level 60 to progress and make things easier for you is to upgrade gear.

With the Nephalem buff farming is pretty easy, generally what you'll want to do is go into the highest level act that you have no problems clearing, start at the very beginning of it, and just clear out the act. You'll get a full stack of the Nephalem buff in no time doing this, and items tend to drop pretty easily. At this point I'd suggest selling items that are decent (but Witch Doctors don't use) on the AH for around 10k to 25k. You'll get a decent amount of gold so that if you can't find any upgrades via farming you can always find some on the Auction House. Just remember that leaving the game, going to a new act, or swapping your skills out will cause you to lose the Nephalem buff.

The two best builds to clear stuff with a Witch Doctor is (IMO) either the Kite/DoT build or the ZomBears AoE build. I personally prefer the ZomBears build because it is an insane amount of damage and gives you room for a lot of survivability cooldowns. The extra abilities are just my personal preference, anything can fit in the builds. For ZomBears though you just got to keep at least 4 abilities on cooldown so you have Vision Quest up so you can spam ZomBears and not go OOM.

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