~ Ultimate PvP balance thread ~ HLD & LLD

What's up PvP community !

You guys probably already know me as an experienced pvper, i posted many various threads and ideas/suggestions over time on this sub-forum and i think it's now time that i share my biggest contribution to the community in hopes of giving GGG more tools to understand PvP and balance it properly without affecting PvE.

The thread is all about compiling balance data thoughts, ideas, suggestions and changes that should be made in order to make PvP more healthy. Keep in mind that when you post suggestions, try to make it so it doesn't affect PvE or barely does. If GGG has to make it worse for PvE in order to make it better for PvP this is ofcourse not a good solution for them, so be intelligent.


The way this thread will work is you will have 1 main post, in which you can post your actual thoughts about balance and edit/construct it the way you want to. If you wish to comment on someone's post PLEASE make it so it doesnt turn into an arguing fest, keep it simple, keep the salt away and remain on topic.

Everyone has to make use of '' Spoilers '' on his main post, since we have only one main to share what we think it will create big walls of texts and we can easily avoid this by putting them seperately into spoilers. The reason why there is only 1 main post is because if we dont do this all the information is going to spread out and we will lose track of all the good ideas. I will also put links to everyone's main post in a spoiler after the first page is fully used.

State in which current patch# your balance thoughts are based on by putting it next to the spoiler and name it reguarding what you are talking about, this way we dont get fooled by old, changed or fixed mechanics. Also state in which PvP platform your text is about, wether it is HLD or LLD.

Be precise, and what i mean by this is give numbers, facts and not only things that came off on top of your head. It is your task to make your main post organized and constructed to make it easy for people to read it and understand what you are trying to explain, no one likes to read biased content written in a non intelligent way.

Do not make spoilers to whine about something, you should give ideas and suggestions instead of trying to bring down something because you either failed against it or your character is not optimized properly. Why i am saying this is because i see a lot of people complaining about certain things when most of the time it's not the skills fault but the fact that their characters are not tweaked enough to deal with the issue or to stay competitive against it.

I strongly suggest that every PvPer takes the time to construct their main post and start compiling their data on it. You can reserve your main post place for later, but dont take too long to post in it.

Exemple of how you can construct your main post:

Joblo's post
Write what you think here

( How to name your spoiler = [Xspoiler=Joblo's_Main_Post]topic goes here[X/spoiler] without the X's )

stay on topic and keep the thread clean !

Thanks a lot guys !
IGN:Hauntworld - ICU Omniscient PvP guild
PvP Low life crit caster / Gear -->/1829851
HLD PvP tournaments -->/1576295
Last edited by hauntworld1 on Jan 14, 2016, 8:31:51 PM
Last bumped on Sep 7, 2017, 8:37:50 PM

A lot of people think the matchmaking system is really not optimal, you end up waiting hours just to get a match with someone in the high ranks. GGG Should implement a simple instance system, in the pvp tab it should have an option to create a pvp instance and you could choose which game mode you create the instance on. Other players could be able to see your instance and who created it and decide either if they want to join the game or not. The bet system could then be decided to be used or not. This could also be used to create 2v2 3v3 4v4 5v5 or 6v6 instances, and even capture the flag. You could see if there is actually someone waiting in an instance for a match instead of having to blindly guess that you will get auto-matched against maybe the same opponent for 20 times in a row. There could also be a stats tab shown when you put the mouse on the player displaying win/loss. A simple system that will bring a lot of good things.

A bet system should be implemented in order for players to have an option to gain some sort of currency from challeging another player. The system would be really system and would create a lot of amusement. You could simply challenge someone and there could be a box to enable bet system or not, if you enable it you have to enter which type of currency you are betting and how much. The opponent then agrees to the bet and places the same amount of currency. At the end of the match the winner gets the lot, if the match ends in a draw the currency goes back to the owner. There could be a treasure chest in each pvp match, when a match ends the winner only can open the chest and the bet currency drops and gets available for pickup.

It would be cool to have our seperate channel so we can talk freely with other pvpers, it would be much easier for new players that want to get into pvp to ask questions and get quick responses. It would also make it much easier to make up matches and get in touch with others to organize events.

Sarn was a great addon for pvp, however it gets very monotone and the layout colours are so bright it hurts my eyes after a bit. I strongly feel like we need more than only one open arena. We need more darkers areas and gore theme ones, sarn really doesn't give that aspect at all and looks very rushed in design. There is absolutely nowhere to hide in sarn, the layout favors ranged builds by a lot because there is so much open space. It would be cool to have an open area for pvp in each of poe's town and it could use that theme, for exemple act 2 would have a forest theme, act 1 a dune theme and so on to act 4 which could have a gore theme.

More variety of 1v1 maps, we need more areas to play in competitively, there needs to be more medium sized maps in my opinion. Current maps flavor aoe builds that can control the area a lot because they are so small but also if maps are too wide it will then favor high movement builds. Medium sized ones are the best to use because they keep things rounded and no one is favored in these.

I think its really important to change the way map switching works because sometime someone has great advantage in a map and can keep the advantage for multiple rounds until it changes. It would be better to make it change after every round so each opponent has the chance to receive a map that he has the upper hand on and give more competitiveness and excitement.

Refer to this old thread about the issue, it explains my worries about what's upcoming with Ascendancy and how it will affect pvp. https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1490355


Namelocking plays a huge part into winning a pvp match, you can either lose or win the game due to a good or bad namelock. There are currently 1 skill that is capable of breaking namelocks and it is blink arrow, i think this gives them a strong advantage over others and each class should have its own type of namelock break. Lightning warp should break namelocks if bink arrow can, and one should be implemented for melee as well. This is mandatory in order to not give anyone a bigger advantage over others.


I feel this subject has to be brought because some builds have a lot more utilities than others when it comes to moving around the arena efficiently. I'am going to talk about problematic ones obviously.

Melee builds:

Whirling blades. It is way too fast, can literally be used on any type of build linked to increased attack speed support and will outspeed all the other movement skills with minimal investments. Some builds are impossible to catch if they start to just whirling blade around the arena, it is easier for bow builds due to projectile speed but extremely hard for a caster. It should be reduced for pvp.

Spell casters:

Lightning warp. It is too slow, many casters are currently switching to a dagger just to be able to use WB. I think this completely defeats the purpose of each build type having their own perks. I should not be forced to use a melee skill in order to move faster than my casted invested skill, WB 2L outspeeds my XXX% increased cast speed and 3L LW as a caster.
It needs to be increased.

A crit build should have more damage than a 2h build but have less defenses.

IMO, crits should remain the strongest damage output in pvp, but not to extreme measures like some builds have at the moment.

The two extremes went too far on each bridge, defense oriented builds have too much defenses and are impossible to kill, DPS oriented builds have too much damage.

And some builds ''overpowered'' have both combined, and i'm targetting EA here, too much defenses paired with too much damage will ofcourse beat any build out there.

Take another exemple with two players, rupenus with his crit LA can almost 1 shot my 9k es, which is an exemple of dealing too much damage at once.

Aegis tank builds are literally impossible to kill with their defenses, rumi flask, granites, all of these provide insane boosts to aegis and these builds are only prone to dying versus hard hitting crits. For the most part block is balanced in itself right now, the problems lies within the legacy aegis shield and the use of broken flasks, block isnt the problem here because we cant stack it as much, flasks and the item is the problem.

These tanky builds are almost impossible to kill with current spell,. The only way for me to bypass so much defenses is by either using flameblast or molten shell ( again here why am i forced to use 1 shot mechanics to defeat these ? ) which imo should not be the only answer, and then again flameblast is very easy to move away from. The only type of builds that can defeat these quickly is 1-2 shot mechanic builds, bow is best suited for this.

People with 2h rt have the same problem, rounded dps/tank builds being uncapable of killing full immortal builds, it's totally understandable since the opponent has not enough dmg to kill him, but also they dont have enough damage to go tru the opponents defenses. Who's at fault here ? the 2h rt not dealing enough damage or the immortal having one perk at extreme levels ? The immortal build is at fault and his defenses should be decreased. The immortal should be the one who's punished for trying to build as a onesided mind state ( all def no dps ), not the rounded build.

1-2 shot builds should not be the only answer to kill tanky builds, defenses are too strong while some offenses are too powerfull, the two has to be balanced out with the ones that are more '' rounded '' between the two.

The meta is not hard to understand atm, it's either all DPS or all DEF. Rounded builds are the ones being punished more than these two, this needs to change and rounded builds should be much better than builds that maximizes on only one perk.

Immortal +- < rounded builds ( most matches ends in draw and the rounded build is incapable of killing the immortal, which is terrible )

Immortal < full dps ( the immortal sees his defenses completely bypassed from 1-2 shots, which is again terrible )

rounded build < full dps ( the rounded build would be better off as full dps against this one since the medium investment into defenses from the rounded build serves completely no purpose, so who has the advantage ? the full dps build. )

As a conclusion, who's at fault ? Builds that focus on only one perk and that is capable of boosting it to extreme levels.

Projectile speed is way too efficient way stacked in PvP, some builds can utilize high projectile speed numbers to make use of unbalanced mechanics.

There are two type of builds that can utilize this mechanic to have an unfair advantage.

Bows: If someone has a lot of projectile speed, you can offscreen people in sarn arena. Killing players who arent even in your screen and the projectils go so fast you cannot see anything or it becomes invisible after some distance. You can literally kill players when they are not even in your screen, i think this is unacceptable because someone can utilize the map in order to aim where you are and you arent going to be able to do anything against such range because you simply dont know what they are doing and wont be able to see it coming.

Spark: This is an issue with projectile speed right now, the duration of sparks is too long and paired with a lot of projectile speed you can literally flood 1v1s arena to the point where there is absolutely nowhere to go in order to stay in a safe position. The projectiles go so fast that it only takes a few casts to get an arena flooded and there is nothing to do against that. In sarn arena, the sparks can become invisible at some point because they are going too far, you arent seeing anything and you're getting damaged from invisble projectiles.

Projectile speed should be capped in PvP to remove the ability for bows to be able to utilize offscreen as an unfair advantage. It would limit the flood issue of spark too and make it more manageable, spark duration should be somewhat lowered as well.

Crit is among's pvp strongest perk in order to do damage, it can be utilized to boost the damage of almost any builds to extreme levels and sometimes achieve 1 shot damage potential. However people tend to generalize crit too much and want it reduced the wrong way. There are different types of crit specs, physical crit, elemental crit and dot crit.

Caster elemental crit: caster elemental crit is not the problem, if we look at current spell's state the majority of them are currently weak and you can hardly get more than 500% on most casters. Some spells need crit in order to do damage, and there are plenty ways to reduce dmg taken. Nerfing the crit too much for casters would make it impossible for them to kill tanky builds and top ones, i even have a problem killing them with firestorm and it's one of the strongest spells atm, especially aegis tank builds or high regen ones. In the current meta, i dont think there is any self casted spell beside flameblast that can two shot a good build right now, there are exceptions of course like very squishy builds at full dps, but we cant base ourself on that. Now if we take a look at a spell like arc for exemple, which used to deal too high damage with crit. Arc got nerfed some time ago and it now deals reasonable damage a step before being too weak, you need atleast 3-4 arcs with crit to kill a good build now, and even more when facing a really tanky one. If we look at fireball, considering how hard it is to hit with this skill now and it cant even shotgun, it takes many fireball hits in a row with crit to kill someone, even worse since most of the time you will be missing the target.

Casters also have generally low critical chance, people dont realize this but most of us have between the 30-45% chance mark, where as bow and melee can get so much more. Because of that, crits on casters need to hit hard because there are less chances to proc it. Hard hitting crit should be part of why casters are strong and its imo the nature of how spells are in most games.

There are a few broken things reguarding crit on casters though, which are quite easy to point out by most of us. Tempest shield and cwdt spells.

Tempest shield: The thing with this skill is that it stacks very well with crit and block, the more block you have, the more hits youre going to get in via how much APS or CPS your enemy has, if someone is using cyclone for exemple, he is going to eat a lot of damage due to the APS. I would reduce the lightning dmg dealt, but without destroying it and it needs to remain effective against fast hitting skills as a counter to them, it needs to have it's own purpose without doing too much damage to people without high speed. However i would not touch the damage effectiveness of this skill, we can link added chaos to it and this serves as a punishment for people who are not capped chaos any % lacking is a +more modifier. I would also reduce the crit % of tempest shield in pvp to make it crit less often. Rumi's concoction remains a problem with tempest shield, but that's not tempest's problem, the flask is at fault.

CWDT spells: I see this the same way i see tempest shield, it needs to have a bigger damage reduction to emphasize main skill using, some builds rely 100% of their cwdt's to beat the opponent and this creates really bad gameplays and boring ones. Considering how many skills you can link to this and how often they will detonate depending on your setup, they do too much damage and especially when paired with crit, make it so there is more pvp damage reduction to cwdt spells.

After fixing the two underlying problems with automated setups and tweaking the spells that are currently underground will make them a lot more balanced, without destroying their crit properties because spells need it.

Bow/projectile/physical/elemental crit: This is a problem in the current meta, these builds generally do more crit damage than most. You can do many crit builds with bow from elemental to physical, if we look at the physical portion of bow crit, its the most damaging crit output of pvp right now and you can easily 2 shot pretty much any build nowadays except really tanky ones. Now the real problem with these is the fact that they have generally way higher speed than most out there and much longer range paired with high arrow speed. Physical crit is unmitigated unlike elemental crit, you can mitigate it via deceiver or the nodes, but you cant mitigate it via talismans, yes ofcourse there is lightning coil but it's not very good and doesnt provide a rounded build for pvp. Immortal call was once a good counter but has been fixed and now no ones uses that. I personally think physical crit bow builds do too much damage, you can literally 1-2 shot others from off the screen and nothing else in the game offers that. You can also achieve more crit multiplier with bow builds and its much easier to get.

Bow builds have a lot of options to choose in term of skills to use, their skills dont rely that much on the type of gem but more on the type of weapon you use, you can literally use any bow skill with harbinger and the damage is going to be there, where as caster scale a lot more via how the gem is balanced damage wise. With a bow you can use puncture which will do the initial hit damage of split arrow for exemple but will also add a dot which will be also increased by crit and it will do insane amount of dot damage, it is countered by flasks and thank god we have them but i still think crit dot dmg is way too high.

They also scale really well with converted damage and still stacking physical %, there are a ton of skills that convert and gems as well, theres a lot more possibilities.

My conclusion:

It's pretty hard for a caster to bypass 500% crit multiplier 45% crit chance, most of the spells at the moment are relatively weak. (As a fact with BiS gear i barely break 500% mark)

It's easy for a bow user to bypass 650% crit multiplier 65% crit chance, most of the bow skills at the moment are relatively strong.

A lot of people might think this is biased due to the fact that i'am playing caster, but that's really how i see things right now.

But what about melee haunt ? I didnt talk about it because i think melee crit is fairly balanced right now, considering how many builds punish them for being close up.

If a builds crit multiplier reachs over 600% multiplier, it enters the dangerous zone, what this means is that much multiplier will certainly lead to a 1 shotting main skill. Since we want to avoid that as much as possible, i think crit multiplier should have a certain cap.

Multiplier could be capped at 550%, this could be a great start and 5 times the damage doesnt soon as bad as builds having 650+. Now for crit chance, since some types get easily get over 75% using a high chance main weapon, crit chance should be capped as well to reduce the amount of crits proced. I think if we cap crit chance to 60% it would be a good start.

If crits are capped, skills that are too strong with crit will get a nerf which is a good thing, but skills that were weak even with crit will need revision of their damage in order to increase it back to make them balanced in pair with the ones that did too much that are now nerfed with the cap. Melee skills that are potent with crit will also need revision if they become too weak.

Applying a slight cap would be a good start for balancing crit, we can then see how it performs and adjust further after by reincreasing it or reducing it even more.

I personally think ''avenger'' ( Recharges 3 charge when a critical strike is taken ) is too strong in pvp. When you look at PvE the flask mod is balanced because monsters will rarely crit and you arent getting charges all the time. But when it comes to pvp, some builds are focusing on critical damage to kill their opponents, and with divination flasks having over 2k life per charge with avenger mod against a crit build it's pretty much a hard counter. If your life is enough you can keep utilizing flasks like you want and its pretty unlimited. Such advantage is very game dedicing because lacking flasks can be dangerous in any matchup, i dont understand why ES builds have no flasks at all when life based builds can regen 2k life instantly nowadays and have unlimited flask charges against a crit build. I personally think the amount of charges gained should be lowered to 1 for pvp not 3.

This is amongs pvp biggest problem right now, the fact that many builds can utilize it to do twice the damage they are capable of doing with their main attacks.

Here is a list of skills that can abuse frostwall to achieve shotgun or aoe explosion effect.

LA : You can have a lvl 1 cwdt fw , The bolts explode behind the wall and if you use LMP with pierce for exemple you're going to be hit by 2-3 arrows in one single hit which is comparable to shotgunning, unnacceptable.

EA : You can have a lvl 1 cwdt fw, the ea stacks will explode on the wall and most of the time the damage is instant due to frostall detonating too much with low cwdts.

AB : Overlap effect aoe shotgun when having cwdt lvl 1 fw, it will shotgun the opponent that has a fw next to him due to the cwdt setup.

Iceshot: Same as LA, when using LMP the bolts will explode in a cone behind the wall, and the fw is ALWAYS cast in front of you when the opponent uses it on cwdt.

It also serves a purpose to anyone in pvp that has it linked to cwdt, it's way too easy to proc and anyone can abuse of it in some way. These builds that i stated all abuse frostwall to achieve 1-2 shot damage potential. Frostwall needs to be disabled for low cwdts setups and needs to become breakable. There might be more builds than can abuse of it, but i stated the main problematic ones.

To extreme measures, frostwall could maybe be disabled for cwdt and only used in self cast.

This is an unintended bug by GGG, sparks will become invisible in a wide arena if you have a lot of projectile speed and duration, it is most seen in sarn arena where you can get hit by sparks without seeing antyhing on the screen.

Refer to my projectile speed cap post for an idea on how to fix this

I think this is a problem with bow builds and can be easily abused especially in sarn arena, some skills provide a ton of projectile speed and if you stack it even more you can kill enemies without even having them on your screen from really far away, which is not fair in my opinion. For exemple in sarn EA arrows are extremely hard to see and we often get killed from nowhere offscreen, the same with LA or puncture. I personally think bow projectile speed should be capped in pvp, this way no one is capable of using offscreen as their advantage. Take for exemple a melee that tries to fight a bow build with more mobility than him and 100 times the range, it's literally impossible to catch the ranger in this case and you take damage without even seeing where the enemy is. There should be really minimal offscreening, that means that bow builds should still be able to SLIGHTLY shoot further than the screen but not too much, right now it is just way overkill and somewhat broken

Fireball: It was a very strong spell before shotgun removal, quickly felt behind after and was lacking damage by a lot. However in 2.1, they introduced this gem
Which pretty much makes fireball viable again by making it possible to overlap the explosions when striking ! Finally fireball is back !

Flame surge: Became powerfull after it's AOE increase, however it's still not comparable to some of the strongest spells, it is mostly used on cwdt setups and rarely as a main. I would increase its scaling to 5% more damage.

Firestorm: It is in a very good position, one of the best spells that offers great control and damage. The current scaling is pretty balanced, there are many available ways to survive against it. However the MTX effect decreases the performance of everyone in pvp and this can be abused to gain advantage, disabling the MTX in pvp would fix this.

Molten shell: It deals too much damage, as a fire based caster i can get it up to 45k-65k X-Y Flat fire damage ( not tooltip ), and paired with crit it will 1 shot over 15k life/es. It's current pvp scaling is : T overriden to 1.2 seconds, i think this should be adjusted in order to decrease the damage dealt.

Flameblast: Relatively slow to cast but 1 shot possibilities, this skill is efficient in team matches but not so much in 1v1s. Not the best, but not the worst.

Righteous Fire: It became pretty bad after the nerf in 1.0, it was an extremely strong build that would decimate enemies in seconds. The skill was too strong, but the damage of it has been decreased so much that no one uses it anymore. I feel like this is pretty sad considering how unique that setup was and fun to play. They did an adjustement to it and here it is : 1.0.0 Adjusted the PVP scaling of Righteous Fire and Searing Bond. These have only been conservatively adjusted. A more thorough adjustment to PVP scaling of skills will be ongoing throughout 1.1.x., there has been no updates on a more thorough adjustement for pvp and nothing has been changed. It needs to get increased in damage because it is very terrible at the moment, it deals literally no damage anymore. Adjustement of the T is needed.

Incinerate: Felt behind a lot with the recent shotgun removal of spells and the gem nerf, it needs to be adjusted via a % more damage scaling. It's very weak right now when compared to other spells.

Magma orb: This skill can overlap using AOE and lmp setups, however it is not the fastest spell and is difficult to hit with so to that counterbalances it. I personally think this skill should get a pvp damage increase to make it better.


Ice nova : Way too weak in pvp, requires too much AOE investment to reach decent range and be able to chase opponents correctly. It needs to do deal more damage in pvp.

Arctic breath : Arctic breath is not in a bad state due to many perks it has in itself, it has ground chill and can freeze the opponent. A single hit is not damaging enough, however Arctic breath has the possibility to make the explosions overlap by increasing the AOE, this can then be abused with frostwall impact explosion. I often found myself getting 1 shotted by this and imo if fireball needs investment to overlap, arctic breath needs it too without getting the overlap for free.

Glacial cascade : It is pretty damaging, i dont think this skill needs to be touched right now, the damage is nice, the range is nice and it has quite a bit of aoe, its definatly on the list of good pvp spells. This skill can overlap when increasing the AOE a lot this giving a multiple hit effect in a row.

Whispering ice : The effect of ground chill lasts way too long, paired with increased AOE and duration you can get any 1v1 arenas entirely covered into ground chill which is a total pain in the ass to deal with. Duration and aoe might need to be decreased a bit, dont touch the damage, it might actually need a damage buff if the aoe and duration is decreased.

Ice spear : Does not need enough damage from medium range, the damage is only potent when reaching second form due to more crits landing. However with how fast players move right now and how easy it is to reach your opponent the damage upclose is way too low and should be increased.

Freezing pulse : Was one of the best PVP spells to use when shotgun was available, totally went to the abyss after and deals terrible damage now. The damage definatly needs to be increased, it's unusable.

Frostwall : Good thing about it is the damage addons like +added chaos or +added cold doesnt work that well anymore, you cannot spam it offscreen on someone to take him out. However it is abused a lot right now and should be breakable, should not work with lvl 1 cwdts setups.


Bladefall: I think this skill does strong reasonable damage in pvp, it will punish you for standing still but is also easy to avoid as a counterbalance. There is one perk about this skill that is quite OP, the fact that it has 120% damage effectiveness ( which is the first time i see on any skill ) makes a gem like added chaos extremely powerfull and a bit broken for anyone that doesnt have capped chaos resist. One weird issue is that compared to firestorm if you right click far away to cast the character has to move forward and then start casting. With firestorm the character remains in its position and doesnt move forward to cast, this is really annoying and force using shift right click.

Ethereal knives: I personally think it has become too weak in pvp, the damage is not high anymore and takes too many hits to kill an opponent. It's almost impossible to kill tanky builds nowadays with EK, it was a counter to tanky builds before because of the high damage and it should be in that position again. In fact i think EK is one the best spells to use in PvP and should be the strongest, it has perfect aiming, good range and allows for a lot of movement.

Blade vortex: This skill definatly needs adjustement, if someone utilizing crit has 40+ blades around him you will die under a second, which is considered a 1 shot. The damage of this needs needs a reduction for pvp, too many hits per second.

Here are really simple tweaks that would balance explosive arrow without destroying it.

Make it so they are forced to use BCR gem like before, people dont know but pre 1.3 PVP EA builds had to focus on getting the arrow stacked on the players to kill them since wall per hit damage like wall explosions were not as damaging. The damage scaling of the skill was nowhere what it is now and in 2.0 you can increase the damage of the explosion a lot more which leads to wall explosions being stronger than the player damage explosion. The way EA works is that when you shoot an arrow on someone they have a chance to either block it or dodge it. If the arrow gets blocked there will be no detonation, if it is stacked on the wall the block/dodge mechanic is not rolled and the arrow will detonate.

The way i think we can get explosive arrow balanced further in pair with other skills is make it so the explosion damage can be either blocked or dodged. Atleast people will be able to avoid some damage instead of eating it all in the face. This is pretty similar to old caster shotgun spike damage, you would hit 3-4 hits in a single one which is pretty similar to EA detonating many at the same time. Since they can put BCR gem away it gives them an option to put another powerfull gem unlike others who have to keep a green slot for it and limiting their output. This would tweak ea damage down by removing them a powerfull gem possibility.

I will also share an old idea brought up by an ICU member Dullahan a very long time ago, make it so they have charges to spend. What that means is that you could have a fixed amount of explosive arrows that are spent by shooting and recharged by getting kills or waiting for the cooldown recharge. This way it would lessen the spam factor and give an opportunity for the opponent once the EA character has spent all his explosive arrows to get a few hits in. We all know EA currently is all about right click spamming in every direction and this simple mechanic would fix this issue a lot. It would also not change anything reguarding PVE since you can get kills very easily.

Shotgun mechanics have been removed for caster, it was considered OP back then to be able to shotgun utilizing freezingpulse, fireball and many other ones. There are still a couple skills that were left behind this change and can somehow bypass this mechanic using either frostwall or a lot of aoe. Arctic breath can bypass this change by stacking AOE and if you utilize GMP on objects it will be huge enough to overlap and shotgun which leads to a lot of damage and 1 shot potential. I compared myself the same AOE on fireball and there is absolutely no way for them to overlap, if you then equip AB with the same settup they can overlap and seem to have a much bigger aoe. I think if fireball cant overlap AB should definatively not overlap, this issue should be fixed by decreasing AB's aoe range.

There are currently two bow skills that are able to still shotgun and opens the door to a lot of 1 shot damage outputs. If we look at LA's primary damage when struck on a player the damage is calculated and reduced, however the explosion damage after hitting a frostwall just like EA wall explosion bypasses this and receives no reduction this making the secondary damage extremely strong. Now for some reason when a LA player has a frostwall on you if they shoot at it you will get struck by a comparable to shotgun effect paired with and that secondary effect is not reduced. Considering these builds can crit this is unnaceptable, there are no reasons as of why they should be able to still utilize the shotgun mechanic when fireball which is suposed to be an AOE skill cannot even shotgun anymore, and i'm pretty sure LA crit has more x-y damage than fireball does so this is nonsense. The problem mostly is frostwall, make it so it becomes breakable and reduce the secondary damage of these skills, it is too damaging.

The same mechanics applies when an opponent casts a frostwall on you with cwdt or selfcast. The initial hit will hit the frostwall, lets say they shoot 3 projectiles, the projectiles will explode on the wall and deal aoe damage behind it in a cone like ice shot does. That is secondary damage and does not receive the pvp reduction correctly and it applies the shotgun mechanic in some way.

Refer to this picture showing where the secondary damage is dealt, the initial hit is marked with x's, the cone damage from ice shot and LA is shown with lines.

This is the reason why we get 1 shotted by these bow skill builds, it uses mechanics that has been removed for spells, which was considered OP back then.

I'm almost certain that new released skills like blade vortex do not have a PvP damage calculation as of now, which would explain why they are dealing so much damage right now. Considering this skill can crit and how many times it can hit per second it deals way too much damage. This skill should receive a damage reduction pvp modifier in order to be balanced. Players dont realize that this skill can be used as a secondary output, which means that you dont have to focus on this skill as your main. You can link increased duration to it and spam it before going into a fight and utilizing another main skill while having vortex around you. A skill that can be used as a secondary output should not deal so high damage, a good 30% pvp reduction would be needed.

So i got this idea since it is pretty obvious that 2handers will be falling apart with the upcoming patches since the removal of sword bcr cluster which was really helping the majority of 2h swords to be competitive.

Their damage is considerably lower than other types of two hand wielding items like bows which can crit and have more range paired much with a much easier access to dodge.

I feel like without introducing such nodes they will really be left behind, seeming as they were already struggling against the majority of pvp builds due to being handicaped for being 2h.

The '' reality part '' of this idea is that in truth 2h weapons are heavy, maces and axes technically should have chances to go tru an enemy shield due to how heavy they are and their crushing properties. While sword is a sharp weapon that in reality can easily be used to go around an enemy shield using the sharp tip of it.

This will also lead to having more options when it comes to playing 2h in pvp, one of the most common was 2h rt sword build, and i have seen 2h rt axe build doe pretty well too. With the removal of BCR for sword is decreasing the efficiency of the most common one by a good amount. When you think about maces and staffs which are quite unviable in PVP, i myself once tried a 2h phys staff build and i really felt handicaped compared to others. I dont even wanna think about mace which are quite inexistent.

It's extremely easy and rewarding to use this mechanic, you link cwdt lvl 1 with arctic breath 1/20 paired with LMP or GMP and you can abuse the fact that this will slow down your opponent a lot with minimal investments. Many think this is too strong and myself think it offers too much for what it takes. ANY pvp build can abuse this mechanic and they should do something to atleast limit the beneficial output. I personally think they should apply a cooldown on it so it doesnt trigger on every minimal damage taken, right now it can detonate in many times per second with a lvl 1 cwdt. Or they could make it so it can only be used with a certain lvl cwdt to make it detonate less often. I think the same should be applied to frostwall, the fact that they added a cooldown to it is great, however it can still be abused with a lvl 1 cwdt setup, making it only usable with a higher level cwdt would fix this issue.

I think there needs to be a way to deal with chaos degen especially with the new released poison mechanic. I often find myself getting hit by physical crit damage and even if i kill the enemy it's likely that i will be eating a chaos dot and end up dying few seconds after with no way of dispelling it. If we can dispel burning status, why cant we dispel poison status ? A simple new mod to dispel poison status would be enough. Or a nice new pvp flask that gives chaos resist and dispels the status

To be added

100% X Elemental damage converted to X elemental damage offers a great option for people that wants to mitigate elemental damage. It removes a portion or all damage addons made by penetration gems. While this offers a great way to deal with EA builds that are problematic atm, it also decreases the output damage of many currently took weak elemental spells, melee elemental builds using AOF and so much more. Let's not forget that pen gems offer a % more damage multiplicative and there is no way for current weak ele builds to make up for that big loss.

Physical builds are going to have the upper hand once again since there is still no way to mitigate it really, where as elemental can now be countered with a simple amulet, which is imo a way too easy to achieve counter. Physical builds can convert their damage in every elemental type possible and even chaos via gems and auras. There are conversion gems available for elemental like cold to fire, aof, call of the brotherhood ring, fire to chaos. But we need more than that, especially fire who has nothing to convert the damage in order to counter the talismans a bit. There needs to be a gem like cold to fire that applies to fire like fire to cold or lightning, that way we can put both penetration gems and counter the talismans a bit.

I really think this is an issue because this was implemented into PvE without looking at the drawbacks in pvp, there are many elemental spells like fireball,magma,icenova,balllightning,stormcall,incinerate,tendrils,freezing pulse that are way too weak in pvp right now and this makes things even worse, something will need to be done in order to increase their damage since we can now reduce by a lot with talismans.

The same thing for melee builds that converts their physical to 100% fire with AOF, they are ''hardcountered'' by a 100% fire dmg taken to cold talismans and this reduces their damage by a ton, there is also no way to convert it to another elemental due to how AOF works..

Balance is needed reguarding those, and people would have liked a better way to deal with EA than this without touching many other builds that didnt need a nerf.

Cyclone got nerf by too much and has affected the majority of 2h players and most of them were relying on it to stay competitive, it is lacking damage and needs revision in my opinion. Compared to some builds damage right now, it is beyond too weak.

IGN:Hauntworld - ICU Omniscient PvP guild
PvP Low life crit caster / Gear -->/1829851
HLD PvP tournaments -->/1576295
Last edited by hauntworld1 on Feb 8, 2016, 9:55:55 PM
It's hard to remember what you have forgotten
Why are police looking for missing people? None of them were missing last time I saw them
Im new to pvp scene, maybe you think im not the one who is qualified enough to talk balance, but since im new, im still very enthusiastic about pvp and hungry for further balance. Mulla was explaining that, problems are in HLD so big and so visible that you dont have to think twice before making changes or nerfing skills. this inspired me to write everything i have in my mind

I'll start with
Whirling blades
*Its too fast, and it should be slower, designing WHOLE game meta according to races and racers is nonsense.

Lightning Arrow
Remove the Secondary damage, or nerf it. I can hit 8K with one arrow too, that means, LA does not shotgun, its something different than shotgun. the secondary damage has no pvp damage reduction or damage output is higher than initial arrow hit for some weird reason. the secondary damage deals a lot damage.

Ice Shot
Secondary damage problem same as LA

Explosive Arrow
the most important problem of HLD, very high aoe, shotguns, cant be blockable, dodgeable, evadeable. Its no spell, no attack, deals more damage than my 2000ex build with 10ex investment to higher area then anything else. fuses stack on frost wall, to ground... you cant escape anywhere because of 'less duration' buff of warped timepiece. The biggest problem, the biggest cancer of pvp.

Arctic Breath Chill
Have you ever seen 2H cycloners confess that how OP is? maybe mulla, others? no. cause its OP. just lvl 1 arctic breath with 5-10 damage chills you for very long time. Chill time should be scaled with damage dealt.

Aegis Legacy
I dont know how this can be fixed. Armor values might be reduced for pvp for 20%-30%. Armor is only good for aegis in pvp so nerfing armor would only nerf aegis builds which is fine. one aegis buid with 20K+ armor is x10 times tankier than a 20K ES build.

Frost Wall
Give melee a chance, make them breakable or give melee a skill where they can ignore frost wall and keep attacking. There are more issues about frost wall and we have a big thread about it.
[Tempest Shield]
very high damage output, attacks for 3 times for some weird reason, and one shots me from 5.5k health sometimes. Its broken, not because of the damage, because it deals so much damage for such low investment. the only thing that gives me nightmares in pvp is tempest shield.

[Molten Shell]
10k damage when proc'ed? Are you serious? i dont wanna even talk about it. it should be nerfed.

[arctic breath aoe]
arctic breath + aoe shotguns and deals like 5-6k damage per volley. Not fair, its because of lack of vision of programmer in pvp while programming this skill.


PvP arenas

these areas which overcrowded with obstacles favor, area control spam skills like spark, EA, whispering ice only. you spam an area skill around you behind a wall, and you simply, win.
these areas dramatically punishes every else builds in the game, you cant micro, you cant put a strategical handle to anything at all

[flame dash + cwdt]


initiation is what pvp is all about. punishing initiation is what some builds are for, like firestorm, my LA build, whispering ice, and you give the rest of the builds who try to make their builds around area control a big f*cking punishment. this setup requires no investment at all.

get a leg kaoms, spam EA with cwdt + flame dash. get top 3 in HLD. even a non AI bot can do that.

cast when damage taken

i think its going to be better to make it like 40%-30% chance to cast socketed gems when X damage taken


i feel like it needs pvp damage reduction and when proj speed stacked it can deal damage to everywhere even in biggest duel areas. EA's throne is shaking, with LA or flame dash point blank barrage, EA is not an issue anymore... im telling you... spark gonna be new cancer. just wait a bit more.
"You have great power. You're right to be proud. It's unfortunate you have to die now, but I will honor you with 45% of my strength."
Last edited by Rupenus on Jan 16, 2016, 8:34:32 PM

Effort post coming sometime

Shit post version

For starters

Frost wall bye bye

EA dmg too high

automation zzz

High Priority


Barrage is, and i am saying that as a bower, probably the most broken, fastest killing, selfcast skill at the moment. There is not much that needs to be done here other than reducing the dmg. The only counters to it are whirling blades (as long as it deals good dmg) and cws frostwall but it is kinda unreliable since you can shoot through it sometimes and the cws itself is not that reliable vs it.

Blade vortex

The dmg of that skill is way too high at the moment and i believe no one has ever tried a crit version yet. It outweights the disadvantage of pre casting by far. It is quite easy to obtain a number of blades that is killing someone in a (split-)second just while whirling around and casting it.
There are currently only 2 real counters to it, smoke mine and blink arrow. The problem here is that you need to get hit first in order to make sure that your opponent does not follow you with flicker cause that is pretty much a death sentence.
And here comes the biggest problem: Multistrike. If your opponent is using multistrike he straight up follows you regardless what you do, giving you no chance to avoid vortex in any way and leaving you with no possible counter left.

Weak elemental spells

Every elemental spell but spark is lacking dmg. Compared to the dmg potential of bowers and melee the dmg is just way too low. The introduction of controlled destruction was a big step into the right direction.I really love that gem cause it buffs non crit caster without giving crit caster too much of a buff.

Cast when stunned

That topic is a little bit more difficult. A straight nerf would make casters unplayable since there is not much they can do without it due to weak spells.
The solution is to make caster itself viable even without having this. CWS spells deal way too much dmg and kinda take the fun out of pvp. If there are 2 casters fighting each other it kinda turns into a cws fest with one spell triggering another cws proc. I gotta admit though that this is really amusing to watch but not fun for the players.
I do not want it to get removed out of lld completely since it is a nice strategic feature but it should not deal the main dmg of a character.


Idk if this should exist in pvp at all. I am abusing this by myself and if someone cannot break the namelock, which is only possible with blink arrow, you can basically hold down your main attack button and do nothing else in MOST (not all) situations.
Please give us more chances to break namelock. Flame dash should do that as well for example. Or simply make arenas a bit bigger so that there is a chance to get away from that.

Low Priority

Whirling blades

Even in lld wb too fast. You can kite every build that is not using wb pretty easily. The decision to make wb faster was a good one, it was just a bit over the top. Right now almost every build is using it simply cause it is by far the best movement skill and those who don`t, are missing quite a lot of potential.



This is a mechanic that can win duels so why is it so easy to stun in lld? Every skill with enough dmg can stun and even stunlock from time to time. In my opinion someone should invest into stun and therefore sacrifice something else for it to get such a strong effect.
At the moment it is just for free. I do not have any problem if anyone sacrifices a gem slot for the stun support. Or loses phys dmg/life on the belt for some stun duration.
But i have absolutely no stun duration increases and stunlock people from time to time just because i got high attack speed. I wanna fight and not hit helpless opponents.

Blast rain

Blast rain:

Some might see this as a bigger problem than me. I think this skill is not completely over the top but it should get reduced its dmg by a bit. The killing time is just a bit longer than barrage while being a ranged skill.
It`s harder to hit than roa but has way more dmg, which is what i really like since it is better in some situations whereas roa is better in other situations. When talking about the mechanic itself the skill is in a good spot.
The dmg though needs some adjustments.

Last edited by Heelon on Jan 17, 2016, 5:36:19 PM
IceDeal's main post - V2.1


Explosive Arrow
PvP main culprit with his insane secondary damages AOE stacking mecanism. The single target damages was nerfed enought but it didn't resolve the main problem.

The fact that you can reach incredibly high attack speed with quill rain allow users to stacks a massive amounts of fuse on walls and with less duration and warped timepiece it explode immediately.

There is no way to avoid the damages as it's secondary damages and with enought AOE a simple frost wall is enought to stack fuse at speed of light. Either nerf this skill damages to oblivion (like you did with RF) or remove it's secondary damages.

It's the NUMBER 1 reason people are not enjoying 1vs1 and it's been like that for almost 2 years now.

Secondary Damages
This is mechanic is probably the biggest offender in PvP right now, be it Explosive Arrow wall explosions stacks or Lightning Arrow and Ice Shot Weird second effets, Bear Trap and to a certain extend, Minion Instability and SRS.

No skill should be able to deal unavoidable damage in pvp because players will always find a way to abuse it. I know that those skills and key stone are really old and that this mechanic is not implanted in recent skills anymore but to the sack of a fair and balanced PvP, this has to be entierly removed as it give it's user an overwhelming advantage against any other build.

The new pvp cancer thanks to the skills beeing greatly buffed since the last patch and the addiction of controled Destruction. It's mostly abused in 1vs1, the caster can just stand at the start position and fill the arena with great amounts of unavoidable projectiles. Worst, if the projectile are fast enought (tree and support), they become invisible. Combined with Stun or Knockback, you can't even get close of your opponent. With good projectile speed and duration you can hit the ENTIRE sarn arena from the middle and most of your projectiles will turn invisible. Pvp damages should receive a important nerf

New Skills
All the new skills introduced with 2.1 doesn't have a proper pvp damage reduction. Most of them beeing fast hitting (Vortex, Blade Fall and Blast Rain) or Chaos based (wich is pretty hard to build proper resists again), they do tons of damages and are unfair compared to the balanced ones.

Damages over Time
They should have their damage reduced by 15-30% in pvp, especially bleed and poison. It's too easy to scale those with tree, gear and crit to unreal levels designed around monster life pool and not players.

Supported Trap and Mines
Reduce or Cancel the dmg buff by supports when a player is using a spell or ranged attack. It's strange enought that you can put any ranged attack or spell in a trap, why boost them with a "more" multiplier on top of it as you can already stack them and "shotgun" people with a stack. Regular Traps (not spell/or ranged attack) are fines as they fit the "trap" mechanics and are not a stacked amplified autoaim delayed attack.

It's too easy to stack immense amount of crit and multiplier in this game. Crit pvp dmg and/or chances should be reduced by 15-30% in pvp. Crit reduction mechanisms like deceiver or the cluster on tree should be adjusted around this change.

Cast when Stun
There is no reason that spell casted using that support don't suffer the same pvp dmg reduction as those cast with Cast When Damage Taken. An easy fix really.

Cast when damage taken
The pvp damage reduction is fine but this support is mostly used as an utility technique with curses and Arctic breath.
Adding a smal reduce effectiveness to curses and ground effect would make it still interesting while beeing less potent,forcing people to level it past lvl1 to impact the game.
Right now a classique VERY effective combo is Cwdt lvl1 + Temporal chain + enfeeble + enhance. and/or cwdtlvl1 + arctic breath + GMP + increase duration.

Chaos Damages
Before 2.0, chaos damages was something quite rare that you add to build on either using Caustic Arrow, Added Chaos and Crit/Area damage or some weird stuff like Ming's Hearth.

2.0 introduced the Consuming Dark and more conversion possibility. It start to become harder but still manageable.

Now with 2.1 and support like Void Manipulation , Controlled Destruction and Poison it's out of control. Every single build can go full chaos now and the fact that Void double Dip with poison is even worse.

Sur CI is a hardcounter to it but for everyone else it's pretty hard to stack huge amount of chaos resistance especially when the damages are now so high.
Most good pvp players know how to do that but everyone else got shredded by FOTM build like Voltaxic Blast Rain/Lightning Arrow, Bladefall/Vortex poison and traps Bladefall/Firestorm/Blast Rain trap and poison. It's literally everywhere.

Temporal Chains
It's still way too strong with enhance and now with the use of Blasphemy/Curse on Hit. Even using the specific rings designed against TC and Curses, you can be permanently slowed down during the entire game.

Molten Shell
This joke as been around for too long, this spell is already doing monstrous damages by itself, add the power of crit to it and it's just the nail in the coffin for melee players who are mostly gonna one shot themself. It must have an important pvp damage reduction.

Frost Wall
This skill create way too much problems when used with triggers and totem. It shut down single target melee and ranged without pierce while also giving more detonation surface to Explosive Arrow and creating some really weird interaction with Lightning Arrow and Ice Shot when those pierce (They both go straight to their second form).

Personally I would like to see it deactivated entirely for pvp but I guess self cast only (No trigger and totem) would work great as well.

Animated Guardian in Sarn
An old trick still used today, animated guardian in sarn can be used without limitation as you can recast them as soon as they are dead. There is a few tricks than you can do with thoses but the main one is punishing melee physical dmg users by making the guardian wear Bramblejack to reflect the physical damages and Abyssus, Oro and other items to amplify the damages taken. Most people using pure physical damages one shot themself on those.
Another trick is to give them Shackles of the wretched to get frenzy charges on the guardian death.
A simple fix would be that guardian in sarn interact the same way as they do in 1vs1, you can't call them more than once until you leave the area or die.

Rumi's Concoction
yes I said it, this flask did massive dmg to pvp balance once it was introduced. People didn't have to build for block anymore, they just use that flask and burst other players during it's effect (especially now with Faminebind and the Retch). Everyone can use it an gain superiority if their opponent is not using BCR wich created a meta where litteraly everyone is using BCR as their six link. Some players even run 3 or 4 of those.

1vs1 ranking system
Draw match shouldn't give or remove points according to th players ranking. The actual system is actually rewarding immortal trolling tank build and Troll runners. I don't mind those kind of builds but denying the fight before it even start shouldn't be rewarded. Simple fix as well.

1vs1 Arenas
Most of them are WAY too small, I don't mind having some like that because it give some builds advantages over others but give us some bigger one as well. I've seen some pretty cool arenas for 3v3, just put those in the 1vs1 rotation as well, no need to creat new ones.

Let's be realistic, Leo was a huge failure. Instead of pushing people to play PvP, it "force" them to do something they don't want because they still want the rewards, creating a huge gap between pvp and pve players.

PvE players usually swarm Sarn litteraly begging for kill assists without even trying and obviously they got angry when people refuse or kill them, resulting in insults and a really bad athmosphere.

Let's just admit it was a nice try but it obviously didn't work. Remove him, scatter his mods and decorations on other masters benches and everyone will be happier. (as for the HO, either give him to Vaggan or leave it as a legacy thing for people who spent the time to level Leo).

More to come...

If I agree with something already stated I probably won't write about it in my post, I hope this topic will not turn into a factions war between users of some mechanics against others.
Last edited by IceDeal on Feb 22, 2016, 10:54:15 AM
Tremere's main post

PvP and PvE

Balancing PvP in a PvE game

Balancing in PvP isn't just about avoiding overpowered builds. It's about making sure that anyone that comes in PvP has a decent experience so that they will be glad to come back again later, rather than try to avoid PvP at all costs. The current environment fails drastically at this.
Because PoE is a PvE game, one that gives a lot of freedom when it comes to building a character, which means that players may come with a vast variety of mechanics their builds focus on. And if one mechanic is way too powerful, it may not be possible to coherently fix it without cripling a huge amount of builds.
Because players can come with items that can no longer be obtained by other players. It is a huge issue that players can bring items that have been deemed too broken for the game in a match.

What can be done in order to solve these issues?
That's actually fairly simple, and is being done by almost every single PvP-focused game : limit the diversity of characters that can play in PvP.
Yes, this means that you should only be able to play a limited amount of GGG-created characters in PvP, which may then slowly increase the diversity allowed in PvP as their builds prove to be enjoyable in PvP.

If players would rather bring their custom characters to PvP, then PvP will have to remain a place for veterans, where fresh blood will not come often.

Mandatory content

PvP content should not be mandatory in a game with a main focus placed on PvE. (Let's note that the same is true for PvE content in a PvP game.)
But what about Leo?
PvP content should not be mandatory in a game with a main focus placed on PvE.
But can you really consider him mandatory? It's not like you have to level him in order to beat the game.
PvP content should not be mandatory in a game with a main focus placed on PvE. You don't have to open any strongbox in order to beat the game. The advantage they offer though makes it a mistake not to open them, so yes, they are mandatory. The same way, the stuff Leo vends (especially currency) and his exclusive crafts make him mandatory, even if not for as many players.
But you have to give an incentive for people to participate in PvP. If there's not any incentive, nobody is going to play PvP.
PvP content should not be mandatory in a game with a main focus placed on PvE. You may have PvP give rewards, but these rewards must be lower than what a (normal) player would get by spending the same amount of time within PvE areas. You must also make sure that there is no way to "game" the reward system, with players having aberrant behaviour in order to maximize loot.
But what about...
PvP content should not be mandatory in a game with a main focus placed on PvE. Just keep that in mind while making your decisions, and we should be fine.
PvP content should not be mandatory in a game with a main focus placed on PvE. Never. Ever. No buts, no nothing, now just shut up.
Special message for the devs : Please, just remove that pain in everyone's ass that is called Leo. Don't allow him to be a vendor, and give all his crafts to other masters. Then give him crafts that exclusively work in PvP. Everyone will appreciate the change, even PvP players.

Resource management in a company

Okay, I am not going to get friends on this one.
On another topic, I noticed some players saying that they were very few using a specific build, while some others were complaining that a mechanic of that build was way too powerful.
I also noticed in Sarn Arena, while doing my dailies, that some names tended to be there a lot, with builds that were far above others (if I recognize a name, then I'd better simply stay away from it, as it's a veteran with a build I won't be able to fight against).
This brings important questions : how many actual PvP players are there (people that are there outside of Leo's dailies)? Within that community, and the builds that are supposedly overpowered, which builds are overrepresented, and with how many players playing those builds?

Why am I asking those questions?
Because a developper's time is valuable, and spending it on a change for a fistful of players isn't wise.
If the number of actual PvP players is extremely low, then it is better to be honest about it and ask for the time to rework the system from scratch so that a broader audience can enjoy (emphasis on "enjoy" rather than "get forced into") PvP when it is completed.
If there is a decent PvP audience, but an extremely low amount of players using the builds that cause issues, then a quick negociation with said players so that they correct their builds can be done, and if that negociation is going nowhere, then the quickest patch that completely crushes the build should suffice.
If there are both a decent PvP audience, and a decent number of players on the builds that cause issues, then spending time to get a good patch out is the best thing to do.

Put simply, don't spend hours for a fix for a few players. Sometimes, a botched job is a better choice.

Specific skills and items

Cast When Damage Taken

While some monsters do happen to deal huge amounts of damage in a single hit, this is quite rare for players. This makes the gem way too powerful in PvP, as players will often trigger it for each hit, or every time the gem's cooldown is reached. It probably wouldn't be a major issue if the spell cast was a buff or an attack spell, but it's usually a powerful defensive spell that isn't meant to be cast automatically at high speeds.
I'd suggest a specific timer against players, at about one cast at most per second per player.

Explosive Arrow

Not much to be said about this one. A wall of death from out of the screen, with a huge area of effect. Definitely not fun.

Márkusz' main post

I copied my thoughts from the other thread. Will improve over time.

EA is overused

I feel I have relatively low playtime in hld, I started pvp about a year ago, but the one thing I see permanent and overused is EA. IMHO the fact that so many people are using it shows that it's problematic, and imbalanced. Matching the same thing over and over is frustrating and it scares away most of the people who would actually disagree with the wide poe community's opinion that hld is bad and such, and actually tries it for fun, where I also started.

My idea and suggestion to change EA would be to apply a penalty to the secondary damage of the arrows which didnt hit any actual target (stuck in the walls), and it could be even buffed if it is shooted into opponents, so this way of using it would be much more competent and skill requiring than just spamming the walls.

HLD popularity

Talking in more general what pvp and hld need is more people playing it, which is affected by the below things that came in to my mind:

Gearing and cost of builds including legacy gear in standard is problematic, and creates margin between players. I recall that GGG's opinion on legacy gear is that it's the feature of the league so I dont see this changing in any way for pvp, but felt Id mention it, because it is greatly part of the balance, so maybe someone has a good suggestion in this.

PVP getting more attention, and good balance changes is heavily affected by it's popularity in the game. I don't see it as negative as some people do, because it may only take some good ideas to greatly improve the state of pvp from where it is right now. A good example of this is the duel video posted recently on reddit, where much more players see stuff than on the official forums, and many people enjoyed watching this based on the comments. We should create more content like this, because this is an easy way to increase the popularity of hld, and let new players have a view of this part of the game.

Many people have good enough gear in standard to try hld, who quitted the game or barely playing because pve got boring for them, but they don't dare to try pvp because they don't know where to start, how to learn, or just afraid to try, these people are the unexploited fuel for hld. Among us there are some who are very helpful to new people in hld, so I'm asking your opinion on this, what could we do to get this people into playing pvp?

IGN: Márkusz
My builds: thread/1600072
( •_•)>⌐■-■
This is the real state of PvP. Honestly I know it would take an unreasonable amount of resources and time to balance this part of the game. Ascendancy helped a lot of problem areas in my opinion. Helped melee in a lot of ways and made lesser builds more viable. While also amplifying others, but what was too strong before is still too strong now.

PvP damage calculations + penalties

There should be a stickied thread with the current penalty values and a calculator for easy number crunching within the PvP sub forums. This information is outdated on the wiki and it's vital for everyone interested in this part of the game.

Critical damage and passive tree:

It's hard to balance a game when critical multipliers are in excess of 200% or 2x damage. Games of the past required you to build a strong base line character then crit acted as a nice bonus. Generally at a <30% chance and around 200% damage. This made balancing things relatively easy because there was a damage ceiling near that of raw non crit characters. In this game fully optimized non crit characters are barely equal to that of mediocre crit ones with just a bunch of crap thrown together. That's how much of an impact getting 4-6x your damage ramped up on average has.

At first I thought we needed a cap on crit chance/crit multiplier in PvP. Somewhere in the realm of 30-40% chance and 300-400% multiplier. It's an option but I feel the better one would be to provide a passive 20-30% critical damage reduction to everyone in PvP. This will avoid confusion and not mess with anyone's current gear/tree. I don't feel Unyielding nor Belt of the Deceiver should be altered upon this change. If you were to change these two things while implementing a passive reduction you're changing nothing and we're back at square one. This would basically be the easiest way to approach balance in PvP right out of the gate.

Lets be real here, crit builds aren't giving up anything but trivial stats like regen/armor. Which mean dick in PvP for the most part anyways. They have the same x-x base damage output of any non crit build + are pushing 400-600% multipliers on top of it. They like to claim without crits they do no damage, yet...again are pushing numbers equivalent to non crit per hit. Regardless of crit chance on average a top geared player has 40-80% and hits those crits so often it's not even debate-able. 99.9% of the 1-2 shot kills in PvP are because of the critical damage ceiling being too high. If at any point in time you want PvP to require any amount of skill, you need to lower critical multiplier potential.

Explosive arrow:

This skill should do pre nerf single target damage. It should require and reward a player that can aim + stack fuses to a target (player, not object). While still retaining it's unique wall explosion mechanics just at a nerfed damage ratio, another 25-30% reduction at the very least. After constant nerfs to the wrong area of this skill it is straight garbage if used in any way but spraying walls. This situation should be the exact opposite of what we currently have. You should also look into how buggy it is at elevation. You can find sweet spots on maps where you can instantly create the secondary damage, this is abused often especially in the smallish/cramped PvP queue arenas. Otherwise mechanically I'd leave it alone. Even currently though it is not the strongest PvP skill damage wise. Mechanically (wall spraying+improper balance of the secondary damage) paired with small arena's is why it's so problematic but it still doesn't kill you in 2-3 shots like a handful of other skills can. Duration based so you can actually see things happening around you + move accordingly. Other skills simply kill you and you had no real option to prevent it.

Lightning arrow:

Secondary damage or not, the damage output is so broken it literally makes Explosive arrow wall spam look balanced. Add the ever abused Cwdt Frost wall for cheesy secondary damage spam and it's 1hit kills all day.

Blast rain:

Hasn't been properly given a PvP coefficient. Currently one of the laziest 1-2 hit kill skills in the game. Hold the button, watch the rounds go by.

Spells new and old/state of caster:

It's obvious the newly implemented skills haven't been properly tested nor adjusted for PvP much like Blast rain.

Talking older skills though, like Ethereal knives, Fire storm, Glacial cascade etc. All of them are dealing respectable amounts of damage when spec'd properly even in non crit form thanks to Controlled destruction and smart tree/gear choices. Within this very thread you have people telling you that spells are weak...if you watch PvP you'll see that is not the case. You'll see CRIT casters 2 hitting 10k+ life players from a far and from melee range. You'll see Tempest shield and Cwdt set ups automatically killing people for hands free wins. You'll watch them face tank top geared/experienced players by simply having 8-15k+ ES/block and a self casted spell that can kill in 2 hits. If casters are weak in the eyes of some because of their "limited" available crit chance (40-50% average) and crit multiplier (400-500% average) yet are still this dominant....then I don't know what to say. Lowering Tempest/Cwdt damage is not going to change the above. Again this is a crit damage ceiling issue more then a strong synergy/mechanic problem.

Right behind bow is caster/dagger tied for 2nd most viable class in PvP thanks to crit damage. So don't let anyone bull shit you into thinking casters are weak. They benefit from the same things all ranged builds benefit from plus get their own unique defense options thanks to synergy with traps/cwdt that no one else can. Controlled destruction/Iron will casters are in a good place right now while crit based low life casters have always been the top tier choice for obvious reasons.

Frost wall cwdt:

Should be destroy-able. It can retain its "wall" effect allowing secondary damage to activate off of it but it should be destroy-able by both players.


Was recently buffed literally 100% or so. Dominates in tight corridors i.e queue arenas and slightly less in FFA. Mechanically it's very strong, paired with end game crit its game breaking. Others have already touched on this skill enough, It's quite obvious it needs attention.

Cast when damage taken:

Should re consider gems you can link to this skill. Flame dash and Lightning warp would be a good start. Why are you letting people automatically move/avoid damage? Frost wall is another skill that should be self cast only. This gem should also lower effectiveness of curses equipped to it until its higher level. Level 1-5 CWDT set ups are stupidly effective in PvP. Require people to level these up to reap the benefits.


Traps in general have too many "more" damage multipliers. From a pure trapper perspective I can understand it. In non crit form they are still potent but I feel again crit is what's allowing them to ultimately push numbers that 1hit kill anyone and anything instantly. They have cooldowns and lack other forms of attacking. With Clever construction now halved in effectiveness for PvP I deem these balanced....in pure trapper form.

Now, here's where that trend comes into play. Bows using traps, too much synergy, too much damage, too much space control. These should be used on a bower for utility, as a get off me tool and additional space control. Instead they have 1 hit kill power equal to that of their main bow attack and can be set up easily. While traps are set up either on or off screen and quickly become invisible to the opponent. You're left sweeping the floors trying to avoid a unsightly 1hit death....all while the bower is firing at you doing stupid amounts of damage and DoT. Again why is there this much synergy and this much damage...you can't have both if you want to balance this game.


Melee using this weapon and Discharge do retarded amounts of damage + induce equally retarded levels of lag. Something about this weapon + Discharge and PvP damage scaling isn't meshing right. It's not very common but still should be considered for balance.

Molten shell:

Skills balanced as far as I'm concerned. With the implementation of viable physical to elemental conversion gems this skill is not the problem it used to be. It forces smart counter play in an other wise button mashers paradise. Do not touch this skill, seriously. If someone refuses to swap gems, use a ranged option or stall out its duration to beat it they are just lazy. This is just about the only skill you can counter play properly that is deemed a problem in PvP. The other problems in PvP have very few counter plays and actually require you to build your character differently to beat them, not get hit by them or simply be using them yourself.

Tempest shield:

Way too much damage output in crit form on a caster. Naturally augmented by spell damage and requires a simple 4link and some block chance. Stand alone it's broken but paired with cast when damage taken spells and main spells cast by a caster this defense option is overkill. It can kill you in just a few blocks instantly when paired with crit.

Damage over time:

In crit form they are too strong. In non crit form they are 100% perfectly balanced. Crit again...the problem here.

Chilled ground/Curses i.e Temporal chains:

Cwdt arctic breath is both a lag inducer to the point of screen freezing and a free 30% reduction to movement/attack speed for anyone in PvP. There are a few ways to counter it but they mostly require you to be on the eastern side of the tree (hmm...interesting). Flasks are effective for only so long and if your games having seizures from constant arctic breaths automatically flying out of someones ass...flasks mean nothing. You need to re-evaluate this area. Temporal chains itself is fine, paired with chill effects its redundant, abused. Discharge falls into the same category. Paired with Mjolnir it's a game freezing mofo and often heavily abused for this very reason. Goes back to the whole CWDT topic basically.


Ok block has been a problem since the beginning. We had block reduction for swords only. I felt it was in poor judgement to make it sword only, so smart move removing it. I posted years ago regarding a block reduction gem, pointing out how its fair to sacrifice a gem slot to obtain this...you added it, smart move. Now that's all we're left with and for most weapon types and spells that's fair. Aegis and Tempest shield builds are abused daily with great results and 0 effort. You can't have a mechanic(s) that fully heal you or fully kill the attacker while you stand there if you want a balanced PvP. There are soft counters to both but for what it is they are too powerful.

The ability for some builds to have block in general does in fact soften some of the balance problems we face. Thing is not all builds get this benefit. Nor should they, giving everyone the same stuff is a baaaad way to balance a game. Not everything should be blockable/dodgeable as its only "defense" against it. That's another suggestion everyone likes to make..that everything should be block/dodged. Not thinking at all about universal balance and other builds in the game.

Animated Guardian:

Only a problem in FFA Sarn. Since it's not abuse-able in structured queue based PvP I don't see it balance worthy.


You can tell if someones using it and if they decided to build around this flask let them. It's not balance worthy because you can simply starve them of the flask and they gave up a smarter flask set up in favor of trying to get cheap kills on face tankers that won't move/stall long enough. Now when paired with Tempest shield, you could be dead by simply getting blocked while the flask is up...but that's a problem with Tempest and not the flask.

Drawing matches:

Don't let draws reward nor reduce points when literally 0 rounds were won on either side, simple as that.


I personally don't care if we are rewarded for PvPing but many do. So I'll throw out this one suggestion. The PvP ladders, some how provide a reward for the top 3 placers per month or season perhaps? This would have to apply to all leagues though, you can't simply bastardize permanent standard/hardcore leagues. It couldn't be currency and alt art would be taxing to produce. Maybe some form of already designed MTX or Leo reputation points I dunno...I'll leave that up to you.

GGG, the ADA of gaming....huuuur i gotz mai skilz.
IGN: MullaXul
Last edited by MullaXul on Mar 6, 2016, 7:48:42 AM

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