Elephant in the room: Defenses in POE

Witches and Shadows need to take Chaos Inoculation if they're going spell-heavy. I see three reasons for this:

1. The high amount of chaos damage in Act 2:
Viper Strike on spiders and squids
"Damage over time aura" on bears in waterfall cave
Vaal Sharpshooters (they can lance you in packs from huge distances in some rooms, and are very mobile)
"Deals Chaos Damage" modifier for Thralls and some other human enemies
Poison Arrow on skeleton archers and some human archers

2. The low amount of +life nodes for witch and shadows compared to the plethora of +energy shield nodes; the low amount of +evasion nodes for the shadow; it is much easier to find gear with +energy shield than +life

3. The increased cost of traversing the tree (compared to the old tree) has made travelling to Marauder or Ranger space to grab +evasion or +life difficult.

I don't know GGG's mission statement when it comes to class identity and survivability, but I think all 6 classes should be able to acquire some healthy degree of defense should they choose to. The Marauder is no more a tank than a witch, in theory. In practice, a Marauder should perhaps more defensive options available to him, but a Witch should not be synonymous with "squishy glass cannon", not with such a large passive tree in this game.


1. Move Blood Magic a little bit closer toward the middle. I think one of the stronger reasons for a Witch/Shadow to take life is so it can be used to cast spells.

2. Add 1-2 evasion clusters to the Witch and Shadow.

3. Add 1-2 life clusters to the Witch and Shdaow. One node should add +30 flat life.

4. Remove Chaos Inoculation and concentrate chaos damage in Act 2. I love chaos damage as it adds challenge and difficulty - but if I cannot resist chaos damage at all, it should be concentrated into one zone, like the waterfall cave, rather than spread out over act 2, requiring me to build in a certain way with every character. Chaos damage as a whole punishes players who don't stack life or energy shield.

5. Add a new energy-shield releated keystone.

6. Increase the breadth of survivability options for the shadow and witch. It's okay to have a few +armor clusters I think, off the beat and path. Either that, or you need to retool the entire middle section and make it more accessible - and put a wide array of interesting defensive clusters there.

7. Consider some flat +life regenerated per second nodes for the witch. It would certainly be interesting for Witches to have high energy shield, low life pools, but have good life regeneration to combat chaos damage.

8. Consider "tuning up" this area of the tree:


It could use some love. If you're going to use pain attunement, it's going to require a lot of thought. How about putting a few +life regen or +max life nodes here? Or perhaps a good evasion cluster? Having low life with a lot of evasion would be a great strategy. A small armor cluster might be a good idea too.

Oh and one small note, getting that "bloodthirst" node is really kind of expensive. You can get the same amount of +crit chance for one less point by taking that cluster of +crit left of it. I guess you could get both crit clusters but... erm it just seems a bit silly is all. Like there's too much critical chance in the area when there could be some defense clusters the Shadow desperately needs.

edit: *sigh* Another dead hardcore shadow :/, was level 24 with 200 ES and 200 life, one server hiccup and I'm toast, even when I'm building as bulky as I can
My Keystone Ideas: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/744282
Last edited by anubite on Aug 10, 2012 4:15:52 PM
+1, I agree completely. Wish i could add something smart, but it is as it's said above.
Forgive me for diverting from the subject a bit, but it seems connected -

One of the bigger problems the game currently has (IMO) are 'vanilla' character builds that are superior to other creative builds and force players to lean on them in order to 'not fall behind'.
One of these builds is the CI Witch build, which I have already observed being implemented on Shadows and Templars.

Why is this build so popular? There is a simple answer and the OP already stated it - the MASSIVE amounts of chaos damage in act 2, and CI being the best (only?) counter.

I think that, in order for us to have more diversity, players need to feel less forced to use a certain build just because the game progresses like it does at the moment.

More to the subject - I do not think that spell heavy builds require CI, but they grab it because that area is flooded with ES nodes and it only makes sense to take CI.


Currently running double-sword Duelist
Chaos damage is really annoying for the moment, because of the whole or nothing. If you havec CI you take 0 damage else it's 100%.
But don't forget that chaos resist will come, and at this moment CI will not be an obligation to prevent chaos damage.
I believe Chaos resistance should be able to spawn on items just like any other resistance.
Disregard witches, aquire currency.
I don't necessarily agree, then Chaos damage loses its draw.
My Keystone Ideas: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/744282
Completed 16 Challengesanubite wrote:
I don't necessarily agree, then Chaos damage loses its draw.

It still pierces Energy Shield either way.

When a monster dealing Chaos damage hits you, you have no way to prevent it except by using CI (and I thought there was 1 unique with Chaos resist?). Physical and Elemental damage can be reduced, Crits can be mitigated, status effects can be avoided, but Chaos damage always hits home, and always pierces Energy Shield. Yeah, that is 'what it does', but because it's all over the place in A2 it's plain agitating if you ask me.
I am a proponent of Chaos resist.

That, or removal of like half the Chaos damage that exists in A2. Maybe more.

re OP, point 2:
The Witch has four Life clusters close to her starting area.
-Fitness to the right; 8-8-10% Life and +20 Strength
-Divine Toughness to the top left; 8-18-8% Life
-Three 8% Life bonuses right near the ES cluster
-Four 8% Life bonuses above Fitness (+30 Strength en-route).
If you take everything, you get 116% Life and +50 Strength. Divine Toughness is also like 5 steps from another Fitness; 10% Life and +20 Strength. It's not really that hard to get more Life on your Witch.
(coincidentally, you'd be 0-1 steps from every Minion node; link)

For the Shadow it's similarly possible to get a good chunk of Life. 140% Life, 100 Str.
I agree with the OP that chaos damage can be over the top in act 2. I'm a full Energy Shield witch with no life nodes. I don't have CI, I find that having some life is good as a warning that I'm about to die and it's time to run... it's like a safety cushion.

However, I believe Chaos Damage is a pretty awesome mechanic and it shouldn't change. No CD resist, please.

I would remove it completely from bears though. They're hard enough as it, especially the Yellow ones.

Also maybe reduce the damage of the Vaal Constructs/Sharpshooters since the projectiles are so fast and hard to dodge, and they tend to focus fire you pretty well.
Last edited by Thalandor on Aug 12, 2012 2:00:46 PM
Chaos damage should definately stay as is, it is a unique mechanic that the game should not lose.

There is, however, a need to decrease its span over multiple types of mobs. As a non-preventable damage it should definately NOT be as spread as it is currently.


Currently running double-sword Duelist
Completed 16 Challengesanubite wrote:

8. Consider "tuning up" this area of the tree:


It could use some love.

This is probably where the new claw keystone that makes claws work with energy shield instead of health will be located.
Last edited by Lactose on Aug 12, 2012 3:26:32 PM

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