[3.11] Enki's Arc Witch - a beginner & SSF-friendly Lightning Caster

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Ratsneve wrote:

I am very much a Beginner and interested is SSF reaching into the endgame Maps. There is no way I can play this game as a Hardcore Gamer. Ultimately I have only finished Act 10 once and that was only possible by a huge abuse of resurrection to the last save point in the final Act 10 boss battle.


You really shouldn't play SSF or especially HC in this game the first time through, it's just too complex now, and not balanced for HC play at all. Top streamers lose multiple characters every league. If you can't enjoy it without that, just move on. SSFHC is only for the masochists and the truly experienced players.

Elementalist is probably the weakest ascendancy in the game right now and in dire need of a revamp, which it isn't getting next patch either (though necro, another witch ascendacy, finally does).

You don't get any respec points when your character is moved to standard. But orb of regrets aren't that expensive once you've reached endgame currency gains.

@Ratsneve: That approach just won't really help you in this game. Sure, you can get things done with those self-imposed restrictions, but it goes directly against this games design and makes you miss out on powerful synergies.

I have to disagree that this guide isn't beginner-friendly, the amount of people who "get it" far outweighs those that don't. PoE simply has a harsh learning curve, and with all respect, if this guide is already too much then it may not be the right game for you.

That isn't to say that I couldn't improve things, so if you or anyone else reading this has some suggestions or wants something specific explained better, just let me know and i'll consider it if patch notes don't kill this build.

About the passive tree resets, each character gets one with each big patch, regardless of which league they're in. This is also mentioned in the patch notes.
Still waiting for much need Selfcast buffs and Elementalist rework.

twitch.tv/enki91
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Ratsneve wrote:
e "Beginner" in PoE means one has built a dozen builds and not 10 dozen yet? Tiger Hooks are swords requiring 119 in both strength and dexterity and no intelligence at all--that is not a witch.

I'm just very disappointed I still cannot find any successful direction for a real beginner SSF witch build that at some point doesn't turn out hardcore complicated.


Maybe you should actually try playing all the way to end-game rather than making quick assumptions here? Because you can actually get away using wands FYI and mostly stick to int-based gear... The only gear that may stand out as not being int-heavy or required as a gear is your boots. I already asked about the Tiger Hooks and I found a viable enough alternative with Profane wands as suggested earlier. And I didn't even go the path of crafting these wands, I literally found them on maps and stuck with them. They may not be optimal but they were enough to clear the stronger encounters in the game and high level enemies in delve mines.

Aside that everything else can easily be heavily int-based. My own character pretty much is heavy on int gear as it is on the PS4, adding to that I was able to clear end-game content.

And I am not sure how much you've actually tested because Essence Drain / Contagion / Bane builds are pretty common league starters for the witch class that can get away with a full int-based gear (as you rely on energy shields). And none of these are even remotely complicated to gear up.

Frankly, the only way to really know how difficult a character is to gear up is actually playing on softcore and learning the ropes of the economy, there you'll see which gear are rare or difficult to come by based on prices. Alongside that is again actually experiencing end-game content and seeing how difficult / rare certain encounters are with the gear they drop -- meaning how attainable X / Y is for your build. You need to actually experience more plain and simple.
Last edited by Chaplin1108 on Aug 21, 2019, 7:26:57 AM
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Enki91 wrote:
@Ratsneve: That approach just won't really help you in this game. Sure, you can get things done with those self-imposed restrictions, but it goes directly against this games design and makes you miss out on powerful synergies.

I have to disagree that this guide isn't beginner-friendly, the amount of people who "get it" far outweighs those that don't. PoE simply has a harsh learning curve, and with all respect, if this guide is already too much then it may not be the right game for you.

That isn't to say that I couldn't improve things, so if you or anyone else reading this has some suggestions or wants something specific explained better, just let me know and i'll consider it if patch notes don't kill this build.

About the passive tree resets, each character gets one with each big patch, regardless of which league they're in. This is also mentioned in the patch notes.
Thank you Enki. It is true I was hoping by playing a witch I would not be forced to play out of bounds and ignored the obvious looking through your builds progression. And if only I had satisfied myself finishing Act 10 the one time and left or at least kept the character and stash to continue learning with a new character.

I haven't done any trading but it seems SSF is limiting and unnecessary. SSF or not doesn't change what you might find and pick up does it? Also, SSF doesn't mean crafting won't be essential at some point will it?

I keep trying to make the game simple for me while so many of you have largely patiently made it as clear as you can that there is no easy way with PoE. And this is also so clear when you look at the Trophy percentages on the PS4. You might be interested but probably already know that only around 30% kill Merveil and it drops steeply down to only 4.5% completing Part 2.
Last edited by Ratsneve on Aug 21, 2019, 6:00:49 PM
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Ratsneve wrote:
I haven't done any trading but it seems SSF is limiting and unnecessary. SSF or not doesn't change what you might find and pick up does it? Also, SSF doesn't mean crafting won't be essential at some point will it?


Crafting is absolutely essential in SSF. It's the only surefire way to get halfway decent gear for your build, you can't rely on items dropping with the right mods once you hit maps, the variance is too high.

It's a complicated game and the console releases have additional performance and trade issues with the much lower player base that make it even worse. It should never have been released to console, it just looks like a greedy move to sell more MTX.
Last edited by ScaryAtheist on Aug 21, 2019, 7:27:56 PM
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ScaryAtheist wrote:
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Ratsneve wrote:
I haven't done any trading but it seems SSF is limiting and unnecessary. SSF or not doesn't change what you might find and pick up does it? Also, SSF doesn't mean crafting won't be essential at some point will it?


Crafting is absolutely essential in SSF. It's the only surefire way to get halfway decent gear for your build, you can't rely on items dropping with the right mods once you hit maps, the variance is too high.

It's a complicated game and the console releases have additional performance and trade issues with the much lower player base that make it even worse. It should never have been released to console, it just looks like a greedy move to sell more MTX.
It will be interesting to see how the console game might evolve differently or not? I certainly am stuck there.

There is no "built into the game mechanics" advantage to playing SSF or not is there?

I've just started a new Legion League (default--non-SSF) witch. Contrary to what I was trying to "bend" Enki's build to I'm giving up on those pure intelligence wand only desires and Bluitch will be wearing and using whatever. I will be following this build as close as I can but if and when I question or complain maybe about something in the build you guys can deal with it. Just don't be silent--push me in some direction please.

Q: Playing the league games make various differences in Acts 1-10, but the endgame maps and Atlas never change? Are there "things" that can go wrong with a character in the Endgames that force one to play a whole new different character from scratch again in order to succeed correctly in the Endgames?
"3.8 Update: No Elementalist rework is bad, Patchnotes now decide about this builds future.
If I decide to continue, i'd appreciate your opinion on a potential Leveling Section change!"

I do not understand, "No Elementalist rework is bad" or "Patchnotes now decide". Oh, maybe I get it? You were hoping GGG would rework the Elementalist and didn't and GGG's patch notes will detail where that leaves you?

Well, there goes 3 respecs if I have to switch from spell damage to cast speed. :) It is complicated because I would like to pick up both strings and Energy Shield on the other path out too. On second or multiple thoughts I think I'll just strike out on my own build and see how bad it all looks when [3.8] starts. You have changes to make and or abandoning the build--it never gets worse when you can just start over again. We'll all get the 1-time respec anyway.

Last edited by Ratsneve on Aug 21, 2019, 11:51:24 PM
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Ratsneve wrote:
I'm giving up on those pure intelligence wand only desires and Bluitch will be wearing and using whatever.


You can use wands... I am using Profane Wand, as you can see in my profile, for the build and having tested it out against the end-game encounters I can say it is viable. And again majority of the pieces can end up being int-heavy. The only one that likely will not be "caster" themed would be your boots and unique chest Inpulsa.
@Ratsneve: SSF has no increased droprate or other benefits, it's just for the added challenging aspect. You have to approach the game in a completely different way than you'd do in a trade league, which includes starting with a relatively gear-independent build and planning its passive tree to be flexible enough to make up for potential gear deficiencies. And that's an aspect i've always tried to design this build around, sometimes more, sometimes less successfully. The current version is pretty good in that regard, but still requires you to plan ahead about things you just can't know yet as an absolute new player. That's why i'd recommend trade leagues to start out, even withe the horrible market situation on consoles you'd have an easier time with your first endgame experience.

To clarify my note about 3.8: Elementalist is one of the worst Ascendancies currently. It's not bad in itself, but bad compared to all other Ascendancies and its only identity right now is for golem builds, which is honestly kind of meh for what is supposed to be the master of the elements. And to make it worse, GGG even nerfed Elementalist in 3.7 by lowering Beacon of Ruins base shock value from 20% to 15% and removing the proliferation (status ailment spreading), without giving anything in return.

Arc has also been butchered in 3.6, the chain length (= distance it can choose targets within to chain to) got halved which pretty much completely killed this skills identity. And that came only a few months after Arc has been buffed to finally be an all around good skill, after years of being too weak on its own for the majority of endgame content.

To keep the tradition going, I wouldn't be surprised if dodge gets nerfed this patch and with that killing off the last reliable defense for builds that get no defense from their Ascendancy, such as Elementalist. And if that should happen without any reliable alternative turning up, then this build is done for good.
Still waiting for much need Selfcast buffs and Elementalist rework.

twitch.tv/enki91
Last edited by Enki91 on Aug 22, 2019, 3:22:58 AM
New notable passive next league that allows an additional golem...depending on placement, perhaps could be utilized in this build to run all 3 (elemental) golems for additional damage from buffs? We'll have to see.

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