GGG devs, please give us some info on Ball Lightning mechanics - questions inside

In order to make the best Ball Lightning build, I need to know how Ball Lightning works. There's already a lot of discussion about what Ball Lightning can and cannot do. So here are my questions:

We know that each ball cannot hit one target more than once every 200 ms.
1) Does that also apply to all 3 balls cast from one cast when using LMP (and supposing we don't use spell echo)? I.e. of the 3 balls, can only 1 of them hit a single target every 200 ms, or can each of them hit the target once every 200 ms?
2) When using spell echo (and no LMP or GMP), does the 200 ms limit also count for both balls together, or for each separately?
3) Is there a limit to the amount of targets a single ball can hit at one time? I suppose the answer is yes. If so, what is that number?
4) Related to the former question, is it sensible to use LMP (with echo, ofc) for better AoE clear, or is using just 1 ball with echo superior to it?

I would really appreciate a reply from Mark or someone :>
1H+Shield High Block&Spell Block Tank: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/868995
Ice Crash Crit Staff AKA "The Shaterring Karui": https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1289037
Tanky Block+AR+EV Ranger Crit Reave Dagger/Claw: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1301888
Last edited by ComradeSerge on Jul 3, 2014 4:58:42 PM
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In order to make the best Ball Lightning build, I need to know how Ball Lightning works. There's already a lot of discussion about what Ball Lightning can and cannot do. So here are my questions:

We know that each ball cannot hit one target more than once every 200 ms.
1) Does that also apply to all 3 balls cast from one cast when using LMP (and supposing we don't use spell echo)? I.e. of the 3 balls, can only 1 of them hit a single target every 200 ms, or can each of them hit the target once every 200 ms?
2) When using spell echo (and no LMP or GMP), does the 200 ms limit also count for both balls together, or for each separately?
3) Is there a limit to the amount of targets a single ball can hit at one time? I suppose the answer is yes. If so, what is that number?
4) Related to the former question, is it sensible to use LMP (with echo, ofc) for better AoE clear, or is using just 1 ball with echo superior to it?

I would really appreciate a reply from Mark or someone :>


its impossible for you to make the best lightning ball build, because I will be the one who does that....





all kidding aside though, the only question i'm not sure on is #2, the rest are easy enough to test


1. Yes, 200ms cooldown is shared with all the balls cast by LMP or GMP. Both those gems are massive DPS losses.

2. I suspect each cast is separate 200ms cooldown but I don't know for sure. I do know that casting them faster did -seem- to make the mobs die faster but I might have still been below 200ms limit.

3. If there is it is a high enough number that it doesn't matter, and there is no way to increase/decrease this so there is no point optimizing for it. a crowd of enemies seemed to die just as quick as a few.

4. LMP and GMP do increase your aoe but the DPS loss is too massive. Best option to increase AoE is... incrased aoe gem


Chain, conc effect, and pierce all do nothing
IGN: OldManBalls (Warbands)
But on my 3rd question, and your reply, it doesn't seem to me that one ball can hit an infinite number of enemies at the same time. Therefore, just one ball isn't as efficient against big packs of mobs as LMP with 3 balls (and a negligible DPS per ball decrease). Simply increasing AoE won't help one ball hit 20 enemies more often, but having 3 balls will help in that regard.
1H+Shield High Block&Spell Block Tank: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/868995
Ice Crash Crit Staff AKA "The Shaterring Karui": https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1289037
Tanky Block+AR+EV Ranger Crit Reave Dagger/Claw: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1301888
Last edited by ComradeSerge on Jul 3, 2014 6:46:22 PM
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demivion wrote:
1. Yes, 200ms cooldown is shared with all the balls cast by LMP or GMP. Both those gems are massive DPS losses.

3. If there is it is a high enough number that it doesn't matter, and there is no way to increase/decrease this so there is no point optimizing for it. a crowd of enemies seemed to die just as quick as a few.

4. LMP and GMP do increase your aoe but the DPS loss is too massive. Best option to increase AoE is... incrased aoe gem


Chain, conc effect, and pierce all do nothing


Unfortunate that the skill, at least according to the wiki, shows that it does such little damage and cannot benefit from hitting targets multiple times from the same hit. I suspect this skill will prove to be weaker than all other lightning spells due to this.

Arc can do up to 854 damage to a target at least once.

Ball Lightning, again according to the wiki right now, can do up to 170 every 0.2 seconds.

So it would have to hit a target roughly five times to deal the same damage as Arc, and Arc can cast faster than one second.

As to Chain not affecting it, I see this is another prime example of GGG trying to use "secondary" effects and traits to limit the effectiveness of gem synergy. No reason Chain shouldn't make the lightning from the Ball Lightning chain. Unfortunate, to put it nicely.

"
2. I suspect each cast is separate 200ms cooldown but I don't know for sure. I do know that casting them faster did -seem- to make the mobs die faster but I might have still been below 200ms limit.


I hope to God that Echo doesn't cause both casts to be limited by the same cooldown.
1) LMP/GMP obviously don't help much because the 200ms timeout is per cast.

2) IDK yet, I pray to RNGesus that Echo will bypass the timeout.

3) As far as I've seen, the only limit is how many targets can you fit inside the AoE.

4) If it had some sensible target damage that you could afford to loose some of by way of LMP/GMP, yes. But it doesn't. (However others might disagree - read below!)

Chain doesn't work because essentially you've got a projectile that always pierces. Keep in mind the fact that the little lightning bolts are just visual effects, not actual projectiles. There's just one big projectile that does AoE damage -- kinda like Glacial Cascade but less cool.

But here's the funny part, and another example of LTD (lying tooltip display): A ball zaps a target three times as it passes by it. So multiply the tooltip damage by 3 and go fish an Added Chaos Damage gem.

And the icing on the cake: It seems the ball can zap consistently off-screen even with 0% projectile speed increase.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/03/grinding-gears-wilson-talks-f2p-ethics-in-path-of-exile/

"WE'VE BEEN CAREFUL WHEN DESIGNING THE GAME SO THERE'S NO PAYING FOR GAME CONTENT OR ADVANTAGE IN THE GAME", he explained. "WE'VE PURPOSEFULLY DIVORCED ANY GAME MECHANICS FROM THE MONETIZATION."
"
1) Does that also apply to all 3 balls cast from one cast when using LMP (and supposing we don't use spell echo)? I.e. of the 3 balls, can only 1 of them hit a single target every 200 ms, or can each of them hit the target once every 200 ms?
This is per volley - all balls launched at the same time from the same "firing" strike as one - the same as the non-shotgunning restriction against hitting the same target on Ethereal Knives and projectile attack skills.
"
2) When using spell echo (and no LMP or GMP), does the 200 ms limit also count for both balls together, or for each separately?
Each is fired separately, they have their own check.
"
3) Is there a limit to the amount of targets a single ball can hit at one time? I suppose the answer is yes. If so, what is that number?
No. It hits everything in range.
"
4) Related to the former question, is it sensible to use LMP (with echo, ofc) for better AoE clear, or is using just 1 ball with echo superior to it?
That depends on all kinds of other factors.
"
Mark_GGG wrote:
"
1) Does that also apply to all 3 balls cast from one cast when using LMP (and supposing we don't use spell echo)? I.e. of the 3 balls, can only 1 of them hit a single target every 200 ms, or can each of them hit the target once every 200 ms?
This is per volley - all balls launched at the same time from the same "firing" strike as one - the same as the non-shotgunning restriction against hitting the same target on Ethereal Knives and projectile attack skills.
"
2) When using spell echo (and no LMP or GMP), does the 200 ms limit also count for both balls together, or for each separately?
Each is fired separately, they have their own check.
"
3) Is there a limit to the amount of targets a single ball can hit at one time? I suppose the answer is yes. If so, what is that number?
No. It hits everything in range.
"
4) Related to the former question, is it sensible to use LMP (with echo, ofc) for better AoE clear, or is using just 1 ball with echo superior to it?
That depends on all kinds of other factors.


So basically every 0.2 seconds it damages all targets within range?
"
Natharias wrote:
"
Mark_GGG wrote:
"
1) Does that also apply to all 3 balls cast from one cast when using LMP (and supposing we don't use spell echo)? I.e. of the 3 balls, can only 1 of them hit a single target every 200 ms, or can each of them hit the target once every 200 ms?
This is per volley - all balls launched at the same time from the same "firing" strike as one - the same as the non-shotgunning restriction against hitting the same target on Ethereal Knives and projectile attack skills.
"
2) When using spell echo (and no LMP or GMP), does the 200 ms limit also count for both balls together, or for each separately?
Each is fired separately, they have their own check.
"
3) Is there a limit to the amount of targets a single ball can hit at one time? I suppose the answer is yes. If so, what is that number?
No. It hits everything in range.
"
4) Related to the former question, is it sensible to use LMP (with echo, ofc) for better AoE clear, or is using just 1 ball with echo superior to it?
That depends on all kinds of other factors.


So basically every 0.2 seconds it damages all targets within range?
I'm pretty confidant each thing still has a random time offset. the 0.2 seconds is per target, so that not everything is being hit at the same time. And of course because both the balls and the targets move, it wouldn't anyway, but this means they aren't even for things that start in range.
This makes it look better, perform better (not playing all the effects at the same time) and reduces burst damage from reflect auras.

Any given thing will be hit once every 0.2 seconds while it's in range of the ball (or any ball in the volley, in the case of multiple projectiles). But not every thing will be hit at the same time within those 0.2 seconds.
Last edited by Mark_GGG on Jul 4, 2014 1:21:15 AM
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Mark_GGG wrote:
I'm pretty confidant each thing still has a random time offset. the 0.2 seconds is per target, so that not everything is being hit at the same time. And of course because both the balls and the targets move, it wouldn't anyway, but this means they aren't even for things that start in range.
This makes it look better, perform better (not playing all the effects at the same time) and reduces burst damage from reflect auras.

Any given thing will be hit once every 0.2 seconds while it's in range of the ball (or any ball in the volley, in the case of multiple projectiles). But not every thing will be hit at the same time within those 0.2 seconds.


Ah, many thanks Mark.

Time to plug this in to my Cast on Crit character and have it ROFLSTOMP everything :D
Thanks a lot for the reply, Mark!

I'm still not sure what to do with the LMP/no-multiple-proj dilemma. Evidence seems to speak in favour of no LMP/GMP, but I'm still not completely convinced. For big packs, LMP just seems better...


EDIT: Mark, could you please shed some more light on this, cause it really bugs me now. I even saw someone on the poe wiki added "Lesser Multiple Projectiles and Greater Multiple Projectiles support gems are direct dps loss", which is silly, since it's a truism. LMP/GMP is "a direct dps loss" for every skill, simply because both gems have a "x% LESS projectile damage". But you still use them on numerous skills despite of that. So essentially, this doesn't clarify anything. What is the issue here is if LMP/GMP is worth taking for area clear, which is a completely different thing.
1H+Shield High Block&Spell Block Tank: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/868995
Ice Crash Crit Staff AKA "The Shaterring Karui": https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1289037
Tanky Block+AR+EV Ranger Crit Reave Dagger/Claw: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1301888
Last edited by ComradeSerge on Jul 4, 2014 6:16:19 AM

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