What the tittle says.
Dev's original design from my PoV
I believe the intention of the devs with the "low-life" attribute originally was designed to be used as a "temporary" buff to a character.(this explains the benefits of this particular buff, both on items and passives and is logical when viewed from this point)
However, it is quite clear the community decided to disagree with the dev's and utilize
"low-life" as a static benefit (either all or nothing sort of speak) because of this, i think it is time for the dev's to conform to the players on this point. And balance this attribute accordingly.
But low life is not unique gated?
In theory, this is true. However given the addition of high damage chaos monster types has shifted this balance to "unique gated only", i am thinking about the invasion bosses for instance, poison zombie's with map affixes and maps released with act3x having bosses that utilize high end dps chaos attacks.
I would agree that prior to act3x low life was not unique gated (i even have a char that does it without shavs/lorica(<- did not exist then) and it functioned within that game-state, however currently it can not like stated above the addition of new chaos oriented balance has shifted this)
What can be done to remedy the current state of low-life?
These are my personal suggestions and i hope you give them some thought before dismissing them.
1) low life attribute should be activated at 55%hp (a change of name could be appropriate in this case)
reasoning behind this :
The dev's have always stated no unique should be BiS for any build, however due to the new introduction of chaos mobs, shavronnes has become far better then any viable ES/+life hybrid chest that could be utilized prior to this addition to the game.
Simply put, it is BiS for a build oriented around this mechanic.
This makes it a unique that spits on the developers unique design philosophy within the current state of the game.
Making the attribute activate at 55% life would enable rares to compete with shavronnes.
The one benefit that would make shavronnes trully "unique" would be the additional aura's one could have compared to a "rare chest" user, but the "rare chest" user in return could reach higher EHP value's.
This removes shavronnes from BiS state, while still retaining it's usefulness. (= balance?)
2) Low life attributes should be nerfed, and quite harshly! (the benefits are actually "balanced" around not running around in this state all the time, as such they are far to rewarding in it's current state given the community decided it's an "all or nothing" attribute)
reasoning behind this :
Since in its current form low-life is gated, the rewards are far to extreme to serve its purpose. The ability to run "additional aura's" might as well be the only reward one gets from this attribute and it would still suffice to make these builds very powerful and balanced.
The reason why i suggest nerfing the benefits is in line with the thought about raising the low-life cap to 55%.
This would enable a higher variety of builds to utilize this property and make this property not unique exclusive, but also "rare item" viable if so desired.(heavy investment would be required, but so is getting a shavs imo?)
Keep in mind point 1) and 2) are suppose to co-exist to be balanced and not individually implemented.
I think this change is long due and is very "build crippling" and also prevents certain player-enjoyment. (in the sense that for fun build X one needs item Y and no other item will substitute item Y within the current game-state)
Some discussion about this would be appreciated.
And for all the shav users out there, sorry. :o)
But i think you guys know it from first hand that the benefits are just far superior to the downsides in a very unhealthy way. And the low-life state (at 35%) is actually very crippling for builds.
Not to mention i never see a shavs used for "full life build" for example (melee full life MORE gem) and the reason is simple, shavs is the go to item for low-life builds, while in essence it equally allows a "full life benefit build". Just that those benefits are
neglectable compared to "low-life" benefits.
tl;dr low-life mechanic was not designed around a static state but around a short period "buff", since the community decided it is a static attribute the dev's should balance it accordingly and enable more build diversity.
Keep it civil, i just want a better game state, i have no issue with shavs since it is the build enabler, my issue lie's within the "low-life" attribute and its benefits on top of benefits.