Witch Doctor 1.0.8+ Pet Guide submitted by Peter.
This section contains the basic information needed for beginners to understand pets and to form their own builds.
Note: This section is not conclusive and is still subject to theorycrafting. Numbers provided are rough estimates.
1. Armor/Resistance: Aim for good amounts to reduce damage, maybe 7000 armor and 700 resistances, or other variations such as 6000 armor and 800 resistances.
2. Vitality/Life %: Aim for 25,000 to 30,000 player life.
3. Life Regeneration: Aim for decent amount to heal your pets, about 1500 to 2000. The more damage reduction you have from armor and resistances, the less you need.
1. Intelligence: Aim for 17,000 damage. Also boosts your resistances.
Since 1.0.4, pets are currently more durable than you, thanks to their Force Armor. However, due to the nerf to CC procs, more mobs are now going after you. Bosses who used to be stunlocked to death, will now use their abilities more often. You will take more damage, and you will die more often than your pets.
This means that this time, more effort should be done to keep YOU alive instead of your pets.
Vitality is now a more important stat, primarily for you. Pets also benefit from Vitality.
Armor and Resistances are still important, but not that important due to diminishing returns at high levels. Armor and Resistances can be lowered to make way for Vitality.
Life Regeneration is still the only stat that heals your pets.
Others stats like Life on Hit and Life Steal may be a better stat to keep you alive than Life Regeneration, but we don't know and this needs to be investigated.
The idea is to get just enough survivability to keep you and your pets alive, then focus on getting as much dps as possible for faster farming.
This section contains more advanced information for extra reading.
Patch 1.0.4 gave Witch Doctor pets a buff called Force Armor.
What it does is it caps the damage taken by your pet at 10,000 in a single hit. This means that even if a monster does 100,000 damage or 1,000,000 damage, your pet will only receive at most 10,000 damage. This damage can be further reduced by your armor and resistances.
Maximum Damage Taken = 10,000 base damage x (1-Damage Reduction % from Armor) x (1-Damage Reduction % from Resistances)
Damage Reduction from Armor: 45%
Damage Reduction from Resistances: 30%
Maximum Damage Taken by a pet = 10,000 x 0.55 x 0.7 =
Damage Reduction From Armor: 70.58%
Damage Reduction From Resistances: 74.78%
Maximum Damage Taken by a pet = 10,000 x 0.2942 x 0.2522 =
As you can see, for someone like me who dedicates his gear to make pets strong, they will only receive at most 742 damage.
For a lazy Witch Doctor that half-heartedly pays attention to his armor and resistances, his pets take 3850 damage per hit.
Despite the good news of Force Armor, there are some problems with it.
This sample build should allow you to defeat Diablo quite comfortably, thanks to high defenses and Spirit Vessel to save you from death once every minute. Most of Diablo's attacks will barely dent your pets and you should survive one or two hits.
Only 3 things will kill your pets during the Diablo fight.
With the amount of life and damage reduction, your pets cannot survive the Flame Circle. However, they can reduce enough damage so that if you quickly Spirit Walk away, your pets will respawn away from it and survive.
Use a combination of Spirit Walk and resummoning your pets in order to keep pets up most of the time.
Diablo will cast 6 Bone Prisons if not interrupted with CC like stun or freeze. Be careful with them, and use Spirit Walk if you must. The Spirit Vessel passive skill is a nice cushion to avoid death if you are careless.
For the clone in the Realm of Terror, it depends on what skills he use. Use Horrify to keep him off balance and kill him ASAP. Resummon your dead pets if needed.
For the final phase, Diablo will cast more than one Flame Circle at a time, cast Bone Prison quickly, and will also use the Chain Lightning. Again, use Spirit Walk and resummoning pets to keep your pets alive. Everything will be more hectic, so be alert.