Bit of pet feedback, mostly on a bleed/phys centric build.

So bleeding pets got pushed into viability, but they fall just barely short of what I feel like they should have right now.

The key note for this is Primal Spirit. Primal Spirit is the big carry of bleed pet builds. So when it’s down, the build feels really rough for the time that it is down, and if you use beastcaller’s set, you’re just short of having the downtime be acceptable. Simply adding a 4% CDR roll to Heart of the Sand King (as well as the Mythical variant) will make this feel substantially better, 6% if feeling generous but i think 4% should be all it needs. Alternatively, returning the Bound Spirit offhand to be +duration to Primal Spirit instead of flat CDR, since +duration results in better returns compared to flat CDR.

On top of this, the amount of weapons for pet build users that have CDR is quite low. Adding it to a few more would be nice. I could come up with a few examples later, but a few that came to mind were blightstone invoker, black hand of sanarsiin, and salazar’s.

On another note: Nosferratis. This belt feels very… weird. I think the stun res is pretty unnecessary and would rather see it replaced with other things. The only places I’ve seen Mind Control be a concern is Bolvar Fordragon and Loghorrean so far, there might be more though. And unfortunately, this belt is substantially worse than Shadowfiend Cord in all other situations. The pierce/vit res is way too important, and the damage feels just worse. There’s other ways to address this, but I think it doesn’t have to be entirely addressed on the belt itself. Adding some %all damage on Nosferratis would help, then maybe looking at other external sources of Pierce/Vit/Bleed res additions to pets would be helpful to reduce reliance on Shadowfiend Cord for pet builds that aren’t Cabalist. Just thinking about it. I don’t have a 100% set in stone solution right now, all I know is it feels weak – weak enough to make me not want to use it, but I feel the need to put it on when I need it (like if i run into bolvar in SR or something).

Also on the note of Mind Control. This shit was fucking obnoxious to deal with while leveling pets when I had to fight Loghorrean and he mind controlled my pets. Briarthorn would instantly die to my other pets and its just like … ugh why. Bolvar is also obnoxious with this, I had him mind control my bird and my bird lightning striked me to stun me, which is hilarious looking back on it, but kinda annoying cause it also hurt a bit. Would like to see this addressed in the lower difficulties at least, when you have NO way to deal with the mind control. Unless I’m missing something?

Briarthorn Ground Slam feels like it could be a little better. Adding a bit of %passthrough to enemies would help. I kinda want to say 100% but it’s probably safer just making it faster and going from there. I think most of us playing pets can agree ground slam feels like a weak point right now though.

EDIT: Sigatrev had the suggestion to change the Internal Trauma on Briarthorn to Bleeding damage, as there is absolutely no gear support for Internal Trauma on pets. I agree with this.

On top of this, I feel that Beastcaller’s set seriously lacks +briarthorn skills. I think it deserves +3 Summon Briarthorn on the 3 set bonus, just like most of the new sets having +3 to a skill on their 3 set.

I’m very hesitant to suggest too many buffs to pet builds at this point though, especially ones that could help familiars which clearly don’t need the help. The heart of the sand king suggestion would help so much though.

Meanwhile physical pets : :cry:

Aren’t vitality skeletons, aka Lost Souls builds in a worse state? Or does physical flat damage stack the same way for pets as for players?
This would make stacking flat physical pet damage problematic. Combined with the lower base damage as compared to players I could see it being a problem vs highly Armored foes.

Though fixing this could make physical melee builds rather overpowered…

Until very shortly before release Kaisan had Mind Control too, including in SR and Crucible. It was single target (unlike Sentinel’s Mind Control), but the controlled pet would always just die instantly. Considering how long it takes to kill him, it was awful. As you noted, the resists on Shadowfiend’s Cord are too important to pass up otherwise, especially in SR where you don’t have guaranteed buffs, so I was keeping Nosferratis in my inventory and any time I saw Kaisan I was literally swapping belts mid combat. It was pretty lame, but there really wasn’t a better option.

I actually still do the belt swap thing for Sentinel and Karroz at higher SR shards, ever since Sentinel controlled all my pets at once, I got stunned by Ground Slam, and died a second later.

I pretty much agree with the rest.

Briarthorn is far from OP right now, some +skills on Beastcaller’s set would be nice (probably drop the Bonds of Bysmiel bonus to 3p, add +3 Briarthorn at 4p?). Beastcaller’s builds are doing pretty well right now so I don’t think it’s critical, but it’s not the base damage of Briarthorns that is carrying the strongest of them.

Ground Slam pass through would be nice.

I think one of the biggest problems with Ground Slam is that the itemization for it doesn’t really synergize with Beastcaller’s set at all, compared to the way that Emberclaws and Lightning Strike itemization goes with Lost Souls and Trinkets respectively. The damage on the skill is decent, but it’s a hard sell to invest both for Beastcaller’s builds where you have few skill bonuses, and for other builds where you only have 1 Briarthorn. I’ve never found it worth investing in the pet damage skills when you only have 1 of the pet.

I think the big problem Bleed pets face is that there is no conversion to Bleed damage, you only have flat damage sources. The added attack damage caps out at ~150 per second which is really not that much. You pretty much need to rely on Briarthorns + Primal Spirit + Celestial Powers to get the base damage, and that gets a bit clunky.

One other suggestion, related to both of the above, would be to change the IT on Ground Slam into Bleed. Making Ground Slam a huge source of Bleed would actually be pretty cool. Unlikely to be OP, and it would give a much bigger incentive to invest for some builds than there currently is.

First rule of Lost Souls set is that we don’t talk about Lost souls set :stuck_out_tongue:

But yeah, that is probably in a worse state atm.

As for Physical dmg, I am not sure about if it works the same way as for players or not, but I can say that Armor does pose a pain in the butt. Maybe pets could use some armor shred.

You know, that’s kind of hilarious. I don’t think there’s like anything that specifically scales internal trauma for pets on any gear.

So the best way to scale the internal trauma on ground slam is to convert it. Which is done by the elemental build, and bysmiels mindweaver has electrocute/burn/frostburn damage and duration. Wow is that awkward. Even Vitality decay has scaling through spiritbinder glyph, and a lot of things scale poison damage… but i can’t think of a single thing for internal trauma on pets.

Yeah, I think it’s totally fair to make Ground Slam a bleed though. Though it’s also really annoying that there’s barely ANY gear with bonuses to ground slam. I think less than 20 if you get rid of all the non-mythical variants of items. Maybe add a bonus to Nosferattis then maybe?

In regards to the numbers on the flat bleed on gear, perhaps we need a pet that can do really high weapon damage… hm.