Arc

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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.


The problem is that arc is still a crap spell, and a 20% quality wouldn't be as good as more shock chance - the only thing arc has going for it.

But spells shouldn't be balanced around their quality - quality should make a spell BETTER, not just USABLE.

I agree with the storm call point though

The problems are: low damage, high mana cost, inconsistent damage (htiting debris), bad big group damage, bad single target damage, unsupportable by damage gems, and - imo - pixelated and low quality effects.
You know I wasn't insulting you when I said that. I only meant that It's such a no-brainer to decide between Storm Call and Arc.

I actually levelled up a hard caster Arc user before you did. Have her at level 63, and she can run content.


(And yes, my build needs a crap-ton more defence. But she's been so destructive, it hasn't really held her back yet).

I just run double Moonsorrow:


My Arc is linked like so:


So I break the cardinal rule. I use Chain with Arc. But with Curse on Hit, E. Weakness and Conductivity, my moderate chance to crit and my high chance to shock, enemies are almost never taking its base damage, but are being critted, shocked and cursed to take many times the base damage, even though I haven't invested in ginormous Crit Multipliers. Chain is useful because it creates more hits, which creates more chances to shock, more chances to curse, more chances to crit. Against enemies with massive lightning resistance, I do switch to Spark with increased crit, increased crit damage and lightning pen, but only after they've been double cursed.

My build was created before Storm Call, I'm not sure if it would be better with Storm Call in place of Arc, but I have a suspicion that switching to Storm Call with Increased Radius would be better than Arc + 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 Feb 3, 2014, 5:17:43 PM
Have a Damning:


Hex Master is just so they last forever on bosses.

My Arc is doing 45-854, chains 4 times, with 12% chance to crit with a mere 255% multiplier, a 45% chance to shock, a 43% chance to cast Elemental Weakness, and a 43% chance to cast Conductivity.

You're right that I use Curse on Hit for mana reasons. The interesting thing to note is that if the curse triggers, the enemy will take damage as though they were under the effect of the curse before they take the damage. They can also trigger independently or stack if they both trigger on the same target. If conductivity triggers, it can shock that enemy with higher chance.

Basically, every cast, every enemy hit gets at least one of the following:
Elemental Weakness;
Shock stack; or
Conductivity.

If it gets one of the above, on the next hit, it gets another, and dies.

If it gets at least 2 of the 3, it often dies to the first hit.
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 Feb 3, 2014, 8:11:14 PM
I would love to see a clip of either of your builds (though CharanJaydemyr's is of more interest to me, being pure arc) - it is hard to judge based on text alone!

As for your suggestions CharanJaydemyr, cast speed would help totem users too. Extra chains would help both totems and CoC as well as hard-casters, indeed. Lowering mana cost would help totem users somewhat (initial cost of summoning the totem), but would help hard-casters a lot, lot more.

A possibility - how about some sort of stacking buff for using Arc multiple times in quick succession, similar to how incinerate does it with its stacking buff? If the buff was to reduce the mana cost and add x% more cast speed to Arc, it would only help totem users a little (it would not effect the initial cost of summoning the totem), and it would not help CoC users at all. It would target a lot of the weak points of Arc - having to keep using it over and over because it can only hit a few targets. Would also help against durable single targets.

It would make some logical sense as well - the air between the target and the user would be more accepting of transferring a charge once the first strike has hit, reducing the effort and time needed to strike again.
Last edited by Aimeryan on Feb 3, 2014, 11:00:48 PM
Great discussion here. This skill may not be dead after all.
Last edited by Blasted on Feb 4, 2014, 10:01:22 AM
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So you can handle single targets with that setup? Interesting. One of the biggest factors that inclines me to crit multi for Arc is that it endows the spell with a very good chance of nailing a single target on the first hit. This means it's acceptable for larger loners, including some bosses.

I found it deeply ironic that the boss I had most trouble with wasn't a big loner, but part of a huge and constantly replenished crowd (The Weaver). In hindsight, it makes sense, but my misgivings were all about how Arc would stand up against single targets, given how much people had said that using Arc against single targets is 'wrong'.


Don't even remind me about the Weaver. I almost gave up the build then and there. Barely slowed down through Act 3 Merc but hit a total wall at the Weaver in Act 2. Something about the tight confines of the area, constant streams of little enemies not even worth attacking, and a big boss with energy shield makes it really difficult to kill with Arc.

The build does handle single targets quite fine. Can finish them with Arc alone in a handful of shots, or switch to Spark and do it in half the time. Mana cost is still fairly high, because whatever saving I'm making by using Curse on Hit, I'm burning on Chain (and then some). But with Clarity and some Mana on Kill, I can usually keep up a steady stream until a group is dead, and be topped to full and ready for the next one.
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 Feb 4, 2014, 10:19:56 AM
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My next question is, would a clip of Arc demolishing Merciless Docks mean anything to anyone? Although I feel I've done 'something' unusual, I get the sensation that the reaction would simply be 'anyone can clear merciless docks'.

This isn't a cry for attention (like I need to cry to get that!) -- it's a genuine concern that my minor achievement is a bit like that special kid who can finally tie his own shoe-laces when everyone else is already running around the track. I realise that's a bit unPC but it's how some of my builds feel, because they start kinda gimpy to begin with, thus their threshold for 'worthy achievement' is a lot lower than, say, any of the 'successful' builds out there.



You would be right that (pretty much) anyone can clear merciless docks, but it would help establish some sort of baseline never-the-less.

There are a lot of variables here, though - things like: gear (some things NEED gear, some can do fine without but do better if they do have gear, while others don't scale that well and get left behind regardless), number of mobs (some things scale with mob numbers, some don't), resistances (some things have major problems with resistances due to lack of options, some can manage it in some way, some have no issues to begin with), types of mobs (fast - those that rely on pinpoint attacks have problems here, durable - those that need to keep killing fast have problems here, ect), and so on.

To some extent, situations where a skill/support/whatever is good or bad tend to get found by the masses/testing and get reported in these types of threads or in a particular build's thread. Arc has been reported as lacking by very many in several areas: single-target life-regen/fast energy-shield regen rares, constant streams of mobs, many ranged mobs at once, etc.

So the real question I guess is, can you show a clip that shows that Arc can work well in these situations (with your build) without needing things like special circumstances (shrines?), godly gear, etc?

Also, I guess people do like benchmarking against known fights that are difficult for many builds (as this is what tends to break those builds, if anything) - of different difficulties based on current progression, with maps most likely being most difficult: piety, dominus, certain rogue exiles, certain map-only uniques, etc.

Lastly, map modifiers - a lot of builds have a few map modifiers they can not do. However, a skill that has a lot of map modifiers that it can not do is likely going to be rated poorly and in some need of a "fix" (buff) to make it competitive. So, this is something else to establish, I guess.
Last edited by Aimeryan on Feb 5, 2014, 4:56:33 AM
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Blasted wrote:
Great discussion here. This skill may not be dead after all.

Sorry to say, but it is.
Got a 76 self caster, he's an epic fail. Because of the skill, not due to gear, or poor planned build.

This skill was born dead and probably will never be fixed.
This is a buff © 2016

The Experts ™ 2017
I can't be much objective about progression to high level, as I took advantage of the latest respec to build this char.

Current situation is as follows :

Built a crit arc, it appeared to be the only semi-viable way to deal some damage; it deals good damage only when it crits and is a joke when it doesn't. It's because of the high fluctuation of min/max damage. Arc is even terrible on a non crit build. The problem is the low crit chance. I used skele totem to distract, it appeared to be not enough, because of the low clear speed, followed by mobs overwhelming you. Then replaced skellies with an 4L arc totem, it appeared to have better performance - besides distraction it deals some (low) damage and spreads shock. What breaks the skill are all of the lightning/ele res mobs, which are great in numbers. Damage of arc is that poor and clear speed is that low, that you are in a risky situation almost every time you fight. I can do 66/7 maps with efforts, everything higher is almost impossible, if there are resistant mobs. It's about solo. According to parties, you just waste the slot. It's only viable as a MF culler that spreads shock. You can't kill anything by yourself.

To sum it up, there's nothing already not mentioned in this thread :

-poor damage, fluctuating a lot
-low crit chance
-damage reduction when arc jumps completely devastates the damage dealt
-terrible damage effectiveness, that cuts the damage of supports, like added lightning
This is a buff © 2016

The Experts ™ 2017
Last edited by torturo on Feb 5, 2014, 8:07:02 AM
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http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/784864 -- Video thread. I probably don't show the gear all that well but I've linked to most of it a few pages back. It's pretty crap. :)


Watched the clip. Hmmm. I did like when things evaporated rather suddenly. However, general clearing speed felt slow to me at times - but that could just be my opinion. I wonder if more links would actually be able to help? When you crit you did nice damage, but when you got unlucky streaks of no crits Arc just tickled the mob(s). More damage seems therefore a little pointless - you would overkill if you got crits and do nothing still if you didn't. So increased crit damage and lightning pen wouldn't help here (at least with what we saw - durable rares on the other hand it might do). Faster casting would help, but the mana...

Survivability seemed low as well. That could be hindered a lot by the gear, but inconsistent life leech will likely be a major hindrance in more difficult scenarios that comes specifically from Arc itself (double for relying on crit). The lack of ability to add significant (or at least, reliable) cold damage will also mean no help there. Futher, because of Arc's hard limit of 3 mobs per cast, the bigger the pack the more the incoming damage you will take purely because of the skill not dealing with this.

I'll run docks solo to answer this next question my self, but does grouping increase mob count/density? It seemed like you never ran into a pack of more than like half a dozen mobs, which given Arcs stated problems regarding mob numbers was a little disappointing (from a testing point of view!). I know I often run into packs of like 20 mobs when doing dock runs (group).

Torturo probably has a point regarding lightning resistant mobs; although lightning pen would help counteract that against otherwise-normal mobs, rare durable mobs would likely become hell - especially if they had life regen. I guess you could just try to avoid mobs like that (or in group, let others deal with it).

Still, the crit damage did pay off against targets when it procced - which occurred a fair amount of the time. I do worry about how it would scale though, both against more difficult mobs and just more mobs at a time.

Constructively, in regards to buffing the skill, after seeing your video faster cast times and more chains would make a lot of difference here I feel; both because the binary crit/no-crit would be less of an issue, and because it would scale with mob numbers better. Mana might hurt, but if the skill was worth building around that could be solved.

P.S. In regards to torturo's comment about low crit chance, I think he may have been referring to the relatively low 4% base crit chance of Arc. Considering you have built around crit multiplier and crit chance, your build would be a fair bit better off if Arc just had normal base crit chance. It is almost like the developers foresaw that someone might try to make Arc good by building around crit chance and multiplier and so they decided to ruin that too.
Last edited by Aimeryan on Feb 5, 2014, 6:56:10 PM

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