Arc

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MadBones wrote:
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


There are a few statements in your post that show that you are new to POE.

First is the statement about building power charges fast - arc is a fairly slow casting spell when taking a lot of other spells and attacks in to account. It also has a fairly low crit chance compared to many spells. All-in-all, there is just nothing special about arc when gathering power charges via power charge on crit. If you do think it is special (no idea if you do, but then there would be no point in the statement you made), it may be that you believe the chains can add power charges too - they can not (with this setup). Power charge on crit only adds one charge per cast, not per hit. So, you have a relatively slow spell, coupled with a relatively low crit chance - if speed in gathering charges is your goal then you are probably better off (or at least no worse) with just about any other spell (or attack).

You made a statement about arc doing its "job" at lvl 49 when facing 5-10 monsters. This isn't really difficult in any way - just about any gem can work at such low standards of requirement. The problem is, you'll find it will suck big time come soon. Regardless, dps is not really a subjective thing unless you are going to ignore all other possibilities (other spells/attacks).

When balancing spells/attacks, dps is relative - and arc has sadly relatively rubbish dps. Arc is poor against many mobs (it does not scale in potential damage past two or three mobs), and it is very poor against single targets. Even under optimal conditions (two or three mobs) it is only just about competitive (and some will argue at that). The base effectiveness needs increasing, especially since you can't use LMP/GMP with it and chain actually lowers the dps.

The statement about shock chance is somewhat right - it could do with being a higher chance per cast. However, the problem here goes far deeper than that. Stacking shocks (in order to benefit from said shocks with another spell) is largely only useful to others since it is too slow to be competitive solo - most other builds would have cleared a group already by the time arc has shock-stacked it, never-mind then starting to dps that group. Further, arc is really poor for shock-stacking bosses (due to low damage, chance, and cast speed); sadly this is the one area shock-stacking with arc before switching to another spell might have been useful if it had actually been decent at it. Basically, the statement you made about shock chance here is lacking as to what is really the problem.

"...you can't have one spell that does it all"; - this perhaps shows you up most as being new. To begin with, this spell doesn't even do one thing well; so it wouldn't exactly be amazing if it did gain something it could do. Beyond that, there are many spells and attacks that are viable in all situations; it is true that most spells and attacks have advantages and disadvantages (situations they excel and situations they do not), but most are still capable at being somewhat half-decent in their worse situations (or can be modified to be).

The mana issues are also something arc suffers with for no real reason - something that will likely only get worse for you as you start to outpace your gear more and more. The mana cost of arc needs lowering - at least at lower levels (godly gear and high levels can handle the mana requirement). Alternatively, there needs to some low-mana-cost supports added that work with it well.
Last edited by Aimeryan on Jan 18, 2014, 2:33:29 AM
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Lucid_ wrote:
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.

Yes, reworking the spell indeed does take time, but simply adjusting the damage values, or removing the 50% damage effectiveness (this way you could use added X damage as a viable link option) should be fairly easy.
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I was playing another build and stumbled onto something that I should have realised sooner regarding how Arc works, and what makes it different to virtually every other spell in the game.
Interesting! Looking forward to your post.
Did you have no option to triple penetrate the lightning resistance? (Wondering)
IGN - PlutoChthon, Talvathir
Ele Weakness most likely. EE is also an option, I guess.

(teeeechnically you can only Penetrate with the Support and High Explosives)
That's pretty much the experience with every other sub-par gem. It's not that the game is impossible with them, it's just it takes more patience, more time, and more luck(gear drops) in some cases to be on par with other more mainstream skills/builds.

So what was the revelation about arc you had?
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Lucid_ wrote:
So what was the revelation about arc you had?


From what he wrote he does not seem to be using added xyz gems, does not use CoC. He does use power charges; he is not using power siphon and he solos (not conduit, therefore), so he is using either Voll's or PCoC?

For either Voll's or PCoC he needs crit chance. Assumably, he is building high crit chance, maybe high crit multiplier, high +%lightning damage, probably high cast speed, maybe mana leech. He is probably stacking shock (crits). He is probably using conductivity.

He is thinking(?) about taking advantage of the good(?) power charge building speed, to manually cast discharge, which would be lightning damage. The crit chance/multiplier, +%lightning damage, and conductivity would all help with discharge too.

Or, I'm totally wrong :P.
Last edited by Aimeryan on Jan 28, 2014, 7:56:44 PM
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Half right. :)

Discharge is tempting but not the focus.


Heh! I assumed discharge was in there maybe for something akin to culling (one final burst to finish something off) - maybe with an culling gem as well?...

Anyhow, the current implication of Arc is stuck in a hardly-ever-optimal zone of not being amazing for single target (and by this, I mean one single really-tough target, rather than a single normal mob), yet being fairly awful for mass mobs too. The inability to shotgun this spell or hit many mobs with it, along with poor support of the 'added xyz damage' gems due to low damage effectiveness, is what really kills damage scaling with this gem.

Personally, I really think a large improvement would be a more normal-style 'chain lightning'; first hit is high damage effectiveness, unlimited/very high number of chaining (but can only hit one time per mob per cast), each chain loses damage effectiveness.
Last edited by Aimeryan on Jan 28, 2014, 10:55:39 PM
Storm Call should be the final dagger in arc.

Faster cast speed, higher damage, half the mana cost, hits all targets in a group instead of 3 max, and it's an AOE so can be better supported with passives and support gems.

You would have to be stupid to pick Arc over Storm Call.

I dare suggest that if CharanJaydemyr immediately switched his main skill to Storm Call from Arc, his experimental character would be twice as good (aside from the "Bam! Dead" possibility reflect poses).

My suggestion:
Change the quality to "+0.5% chance to generate an additional Arc on hit."

Each of the newly generated arcs would cast from the location of the enemy hit and would chain as normal and have a chance to generate further hits and further Arcs.

This would still provide good synergy with shock stacks, cast speed, etc., but would make the Chain support gem potentially useful, by providing further synergy by unlocking the potential of long chains from a single cast.

Another option would be to increase the chance to 0.75 or 1% per quality, and make the additional Arcs generated unable to chain.
It's worth noting that +2 maps are a dangerous thing.
They can cause players to get out of their depth -
playing maps that are too hard for the items they currently have. Herp Derp.
Last edited by RickyDMMontoya on Jan 31, 2014, 3:05:26 PM
I'm with ricky, except that now I totally wanna try Charan's build (except, you know, with a skill that doesn't suck monkey testicles). :D
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