Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Witch Doctor (One Bad Egg)

It’s with mixed feelings that I am writing this review. As everyone who reads these reviews knows, I am a huge fan of everything OBE have made, and I had thus very high expectations for the Witch Doctor. Anyway, On one hand, the Witch Doctor is a brilliant concept, full of gems (Class abilities like the Masks, Evil Eye which is just perfect for a controller, close wall attacks) and an all-around awesome “feel” to the powers (not to mention some really cool powers, like the Mojo-line, where you draw power from the enemy making a save, or the “Poison Pill” power, which just made me laugh). On the other hand, the implementation is just not good enough. The initial description of the two type of Witch Doctors (Resolute and Tempest) make it sound like you either go CHA primary and CON secondary, or the opposite. But woe to the one who does that, since all powers are based on CHA and there are a whooping 2 powers that key off CON. In fact, you are much better off grabbing WIS or INT, the other two stats which have powers that key off them (around 5 each). Now, this is not game-breaking, merely an annoyance. The powercreep comes in the shape of at-wills dealing ongoing damage, encounter powers which are sustainable, encounter utility powers that last the whole encounter, encounter powers which cost you a surge to cast. Each on its own, these breaks from the core concepts might or might not work, but all together, it becomes too much. Towards the higher level powers, we get dominate as an encounter power, we get big AE that turns people to stone after two failed saves (no save after that) and a few other things that seem broken at first glance at least. Overall, I have to say that the Witch Doctor doesn’t feel like a controller (way too few powers that control well), but I am not quite sure what it is. Perhaps it is pseudo striker-leader-controller. It however look like a fun class with a great feel, and I (despite all the issues) still want to play it. It will just take some work to balance it.
Rating:* * *

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