With the release of the Incursion league just around the corner, we're going to go over the last of the skill changes we've been making, including changes to previously announced skills that have changed during development!

Cold Snap and Vaal Cold Snap

  • The first prototype that we mentioned in Skill Revamps Part 1 was too powerful for early leveling and looked unimpressive.
  • We've reworked it so it instantly hits for damage in a medium sized area, and creates an area of cold damage that expands to twice the radius over a few seconds. This area chills, and deals cold damage over time.
  • The skill now has a chance to give Frenzy Charges when you kill an enemy in its radius, and you can spend Frenzy Charges to bypass its cooldown. The goal is to make it function well as a utility skill even if you're not building it for damage. It provides Frenzy Charges for spellcasters, which fits well within the cold gem theme.
  • Cold Snap is now a level 16 skill, alongside other charge skills, and requires Dexterity as well as Intelligence.
  • Vaal Cold Snap now creates a growing aura around you that expands in size over its duration, growing very large. If any enemy dies in its area, it always generates a Frenzy Charge for you. As long as there is an enemy in its radius, it also generates a frenzy charge every second, which is great for keeping your Frenzy Charges active during a boss fight.
  • If you prefer generating Power Charges, the Winter's Bounty threshold jewel will cause Cold Snap and Vaal Cold Snap to generate Power Charges instead of Frenzy Charges, and have the cooldown of Cold Snap be bypassed with Power Charges instead of Frenzy Charges.



Vaal Righteous Fire

  • In order to have the skill benefit from all of the same bonuses as Righteous Fire, the skill now provides a larger and more powerful version of the Righteous Fire aura that lasts a short duration.
  • It also grants more spell damage while active, multiplying with Righteous Fire.
  • It now sacrifices 30% of your maximum life and energy shield when cast, dealing a large amount of burning damage per second based on the amount sacrificed.



Vaal Earthquake

  • We've changed this skill from our original plan quite considerably; it originally created multiple chasms that released aftershocks, but this just felt like a bigger Vaal Ground Slam, and the effects of Earthquake covered up too large an area for too long.
  • Our reworked skill now performs an Earthquake attack with lower hit damage but much higher Aftershock damage, then gives you a skill effect that makes your footsteps crack the ground, repeating the Earthquake effect as you walk. You can only have one Vaal Earthquake crack at once, so you'll get regular aftershocks based on the skill's duration.
  • The skill has a limited number of aftershocks, so you don't have to walk the entire time you have the skill effect to get the most out of the aftershocks. You could alternate between moving and attacking to create as many aftershocks as possible, or activate it and then rush through an area, leaving a path of destruction behind you.

Charged Dash

Charged Dash can also be fully controlled while channelling. The marker can be directed by rotating your cursor around your character. It'll turn the marker in the direction of your cursor from your character. This sounds unintuitive at first, but when you focus on direction of the cursor rather than the location of the cursor, we've found that most people find moving the marker becomes much more intuitive, as it moves just like you would if controlling your character.

With this, you can easily control its movement to create a wider area of damage, navigate a path between spread out monsters to hit them all, correct your path if trouble appears or navigate over gaps and around corners.

This skill now has new damage behaviour to let it deal damage while channelling, and has more consistent ongoing damage, which is great for tough fights where one burst won't always kill everything.

  • While channelling, before the marker has stopped moving, the skill gains a stage every attack time just like before (and the skill has 60% more attack speed, so you'll gain stages quite quickly).
  • When you release, the skill now deals 75% more damage for each stage beyond the first. There are no more overlapping damage areas, it's just dealing one big damage hit.
  • While channelling, the skill frequently pulses damage along its length, every 2 attack times.
  • When the marker stops moving because it has reached its maximum range or hit blocking, you'll stop gaining stages. Instead, each wave that occurs while channelling will deal 150% more damage.

The goal of these changes is to make sure the damage you deal while charging up the skill and while the skill is fully charged is roughly equal, so you don't feel like you need to rapidly teleport when fighting a boss to do the most damage. Movement speed is important for faster traveling and covering a larger area, but doesn't increase the skill's damage.



Power Siphon

  • We've made significant changes to both the visuals and the stats on this skill to increase its power and area capacity to bring it closer to Kinetic Blast.
  • The new effects are much more powerful looking while also having better performance when killing enemies. It has a streamlined version of the old kill effect on Rare and Unique enemies, but a new effect on other kills.
  • Power Siphon now has a chance to generate power charges on hitting rare and unique enemies, making it useful for sustaining charges on bosses.
  • The skill now has powerful critical strike chance and critical strike multiplier bonuses per power charge, further rewarding charge investment and a critical-based build.
  • Fires projectiles directly at enemies in a frontal 180 degree arc, and has 4 extra projectiles at gem level 1, up to 7 extra projectiles at gem level 20.
  • We wanted to compete with Kinetic Blast if possible, but even after our changes we're not fully happy with the balance between Kinetic Blast, Power Siphon and Elemental Hit. We're likely to revisit wand skill balance in the future, improving the mechanics as well as fleshing out the skill options available.



We've also made some numerical changes to many skills to make them more competitive. You'll be able to see them all in the patch notes tomorrow, but here are a couple of the more extreme changes:

Ball Lightning

Ball Lightning now has higher damage, hits more frequently while traveling, has a larger area of effect, and travels faster in the same amount of time. The speed change will make it better for taking out larger groups of enemies.

Storm Burst

Storm Burst has significantly more damage, especially from the projectiles. We also increased the area of effect by 10%. Projectiles now deal 183 to 275 lightning damage at gem level 20, and the explosions deal 65% more damage. We're planning more mechanical changes as we're not entirely happy with the mechanics of the skill, especially with how tricky it is to use on bosses and when used by totems, but 3.3.0 will only feature damage changes.

ZiggyD has also created a video that previews Lightning Spire Trap, Lightning Trap and Bear Trap! Check it out below.

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Grinding Gear Games

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