Deathstar2x wrote:
Chain directly increases Arc's multiple-target damage

Arc dmg = 100
Arc bounces 3 times

Arc dmg suported by chain = 100*0.5 = 50
Arc supported by chain bounces 5 times


Directly increases multiple-target damage my as$..

The little extra bit you get by almost lvl 20, due to increased dmg% of chain is sooo worth it for the extra 200% mana multi.

Last edited by Kadajko on Dec 14, 2013, 2:33:42 AM
Old Post
Chain directly increases Arc's multiple-target damage.
This fact cannot be disputed with the mathematics provided.

Saying if it is "worth it" or not is subjective and based on build choices. That is not related to my post at all. My previous two posts only aimed to provided objective feedback.

Even if I did use Chain, I would not be using it for the minor increase in damage. There are better support gems for damage increases. I would be using it for its ability to chain (aptly named):
These are just examples of course, and does not include comparisons to other Active Skills.
X% Chance to critical strike 5 targets (up from 3)
12% Chance for to Blind 5 targets (up from 3)
44% Chance to cause 5 targets to flee (up from 3)
Culling Strike applies to 5 targets (up from 3)
Shock Stacks and/or Elemental Proliferation
Edit 1: Thank you for bring the mathematics up for consideration. I will re-analyze my results from a non-theoretical source once I finish leveling up my Arc testing-character (61 thus far). I was eventually going to refine my suggestions with a Part 2; I'll keep item bonuses in mind as well. (Finding a way to increase Arc's single-target damage without breaking its multiple-target damage or its support gem combinations) Damn real life, it's going to be a while though. Until then.
Personal Item Filter(s):
Last edited by Deathstar2x on Dec 15, 2013, 12:59:25 AM
Your calculation assumes the player has a level 20 Chain and exactly zero Increased Damage elsewhere, which is a pretty stupid example. Generally, because the amount of Increased Damage on a character isn't known beforehand, one simply ignores the stat. Kadajko did this. Let's factor in that smidge of Increased Damage though, see who's right with a more reasonable theoretical character.

Level 20 Arc deals 281 average Damage per Hit, and 843 per cast. With 250% Increased Damage:
281 * 3.5 = 983.5 avg Damage per hit, 2950.5 per cast
Add in a level 20 Chain for 38% Increased Damage (288% total) and 50% Less Damage.
281 * 3.88 / 2 = 545.14 avg Damage per hit, 2725.7 per cast

Maybe we're poorly built and have only 150% Increased Damage:
281 * 2.5 * 3 = 2107.5 Damage per cast
281 * 2.88 / 2 * 5 = 2023.2 Damage per cast

281 * 1.5 * 3 = 1264.5 Damage per cast
281 * 1.88 / 2 * 5 = 1320.7 Damage per cast

Chain nerfs your damage unless you have a terribly small amount of Increased Damage.

Also, due to the terrible, terrible Damage per Hit, you won't be Shocking anything. Because Chain very nearly halves your Damage per Hit, it also very nearly halves Shock duration. You don't want that.
Last edited by Vipermagi on Dec 14, 2013, 9:00:06 PM
I still think it's nice that people want Arc to be decent. A few suggestions that are close to what I've come to but a little more simpler... The chain mechanics ought to change so Arc can actually be pretty good without being really overpowered. This would actually restore Chain support gem to how it was...

Arc Chains 2 Times
Subsequent Chains Deal 20% Less Damage
eg, first hit deals full theoretical damage 1-250, second hit (first chain) deals 1-200, third hit (second chain) 1-160.

Damaged Effectiveness has to change to at least 80%.

Chain also would change:
40% Less Projectile Damage (because nuking Arc in this way was a bad idea)
Chain +2 Chain
Subsequent Chains Deal 20% Less Damage
Gains +1 Chain at gem level 5, 12, 18, 22.
+1% Increased Damage per gem level

So if you support Arc with Chain, Subsequent Chain 2x20% Less Damage (yep, it stacks) for each subsequent Chain on with 80% damage effectiveness. First hit is still strong, other hits are much weaker but is more desirable to be supported rather than use some other skill.

Other builds that use Chain, their effective damage may got up or down depending on level of chain and total damage increases. I rolled a few numbers in my head and a lot of builds improve a little which is why I considered changing +1% Increased Damager per gem level to something else. Gaining extra Chains is your damage. Make it 0.5%, call it a day.

Could make it back to 50% Less Projectile Damage, but you're pretty much have to level Chain as it's initially poor. Still alright if per gem level trait is restored.
Last edited by YellowMage on Dec 16, 2013, 11:40:06 AM
Chain the support gem seems balanced around Lightning Arrow, a skill that applies every hit made into an AoE. The actual amount it should lower damage is closer to 0%, as the opportunity cost of the support is a cost unto itself. Clarification:

A good damage support is around +30..35% more damage. 1 (chain with 0% lowered damage) / 1.35 (the skill in question if you were using a raw damage support instead of chain) = .74, which is about the power difference between Burning Arrow and Split Arrow. A little stronger than Split Arrow actually, but reasonable considering it covers less of the screen in return.

MultiProj is kind of in the same boat - useless if you're not using one of the Chosen skills that can shotgun with it. Why half Chain instead of the lightning arrow forks, I dunno.

Arc, now. I'm confused about why this thing still has the 50% effectiveness on it. It has to be able to punch holes in things in order to compete with skills that cleanse the entire screen in a single cast.
Last edited by LimitedRooster on Dec 23, 2013, 11:24:05 AM
having played with arc for a bit, i have a few suggestions. (i also havent read the entire thread so i assume all of these have been mentioned before)
i am also fairly new to the game, so don't chastise me if my understanding is not as deep

1: more chains per lvl
at lvl 67 i dont mind the damage terribly, i havent even built full damage and it still kills most things fine.
but only hitting 3 monsters, it takes time to clear large groups and those that dont get hit still get to punch you in the face

2: let it bounce off the caster, prioritizing monsters
this would give it more single target damage without affecting its behavior against groups

3: penetration
as i understand one of the biggest issues people have is the 50% damage ratio(which applies to crits and shock, correct?). if you want to keep that but buff its late game damage, give it built in, or some other source of lightning penetration.

4: EXPLOSIONS! explosions are nice. and its new years. so theres that
Let's face it, arc is not a viable spell. It isn't good for single target and it isn't good for aoe. It is one of my favorite spells, though. Every game I play I try to find a 'chain lightning' spell and use it to its full potential. POE is the first game where a CL build has been a complete disappointment. I've done several different arc builds from cast speed, to crit, to pure damage and none of them seem to be viable. I'm trying my last arc build (3xtotem/arc/chain/prolif/culling/pen + auras) to see if it's a good support build but I seriously doubt it'll be a fast clearer.

Some changes I think would be GREAT for the spell to bring it up to par with other spells:
Huge emphasis on the first two.
1. This bugs me to no end. Arc seems to PRIORITIZE Urns and cairnes and other environmental objects instead of monsters. Bouncing off of these things is not a bad thing, but having the spell hit these objects instead of the horde of monsters coming at you is a bad thing. -make arc prioritize monsters-

2. Single-target bouncing. This is one of the major things i think would help arc out a tremendous bit without having to change its damage or mana cost. If cast in a group, it would prioritize bouncing off of multiple monsters. If cast on one target, however, it would bounce (read: strike) to that target 3 times, or 5 times with chain. This would at least make it a viable single target spell, while not making it as OP as spells that can shotgun (Why can certain spells shotgun while arc can't even hit the same target multiple times?)

3. 1-2 added chains base. Have the gem increase the number of chains say.. 1 (4) at level 15 and 2 (5) at level 20. This could increase the aoe capability of the spell.

4. Crit chance to 5%. This could help spread shocks easier, making the spell a little better.

Not every spell needs to be OP, but it would be nice of spells were at least usable. I just want to be able to make a fun build that can survive on it's own with arc, but that doesn't seem possible.
Last edited by TheKosken on Dec 31, 2013, 12:51:47 PM
TheKosken wrote:
I'm trying my last arc build (3xtotem/arc/chain/prolif/culling/pen + auras) to see if it's a good support build but I seriously doubt it'll be a fast clearer.

You have more DPS with Faster Casting in place of Chain.

Not every spell needs to be OP, but it would be nice of spells were at least usable. I just want to be able to make a fun build that can survive on it's own with arc, but that doesn't seem possible.

Arc is indeed a sub-par choice at the moment.


Why does this have the 50% damage effectiveness, while this spell is already very inefficient compared to other spells such as Storm Call and Fireball (AoE spells)? These can potentially hit more targets. Furthermore, the Arc is less flexible, having less support gem options. The positive is of course the inherent shock chance and shock in general, but still it would only be similar efficient to fireball at 3 shock stacks (not taking burn in consideration).

Average damage at level 20
Arc - 281, 4% crit, 32 mana, 8.8 damage/mana
Fireball - 460, 6% crit, 32 mana, 14.4 damage/mana
Storm Call - 329, 4% crit, 18 mana, 18.3 damage/mana

What is the reasoning behind this?
Last edited by Baelrog on Jan 4, 2014, 11:11:04 AM
Baelrog wrote:

What is the reasoning behind this?

Spells were created at different times, and balanced around what the game was like at the time

A LOT of spells need to be reworked, but that takes an awful lot of time to do. I mean changing arc to work with stuff like lmp, fork, etc would be kickass, but it would mean completely redoing the spell from scratch.
As to why the damage isn't balanced, I don't know. It would have to take some serious mistakes with math for them to accidentally buff a spell to be too good.
I'm currently playing a lightning based witch (lvl 49) with focus on crit chance/dmg, cast speed and energy shield and I must say that Arc is a must for me.
Compared to storm call you don't need to wait for the spell to cast and if you have high crit chance then you will interrupt enemies in their attacks/casts and it builds power charges pretty darn quick.
Currently I have 3 support gems on it: crit chance, cast speed and power charge on crit and it definetly does its job on pack of 5-10 monsters.
For bosses it is a pretty lame spell but that's how it works, you can't have one spell that does it all, it would be OP.
Shock chance is decent with high cast speed but it could be a bit higher nontheless.
All in all I'm quite please with it and don't plan on changing the spell for this build for now, maybe on merciless when I get pounded multiple times by normal mobs :P

P.S. It's a pain in the a** to play it like I do if you have low mana pool, be prepared to abuse the flasks :D

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