Content Update 2.6.0 Balance Changes

2.6.0 includes a long list of changes to game balance. Our primary intent is to better enable a larger selection of powerful build types and skill choices. Many of the more extreme changes to core systems have been held until The Fall of Oriath's Beta, while 2.6.0 will have a stronger focus on improving underused passives, weapon types, unique items and skills (with a focus on their Threshold Jewels). These changes will all combine to create a large selection of new builds to try out.

Improvements to the Passive Tree
Various improvements to specific clusters and the locations of passives have been made, making areas which weren't taken frequently more efficient, and opening up some new options for builds.
  • Some physical to cold conversion has been added to the passive tree near the Ranger area. This allows for skills like Ice Shot & Frost Blades to have more conversion to cold than ever before.
  • A new weapon elemental damage cluster has been added to the passive tree near the Ranger. This now allows for dexterity aligned characters who specialise in elemental attack skills to invest more of their points into damage.
  • The area between the Shadow and the Ranger has been made more efficient and less restrictive, while also improving the efficiency of clusters in that section of the tree.
  • The Thick Skin cluster now attaches to the outside perimeter.
  • Mana has been added behind Mind over Matter, allowing for those builds to be better than ever before.
  • Some claw, staff and sword passives have received some special attention and should now be more powerful overall.
  • The Vitality Void and Spirit Void cluster near the Duelist starting area that grants life and mana leech to attack damage has been rearranged, and is now also attached to the outside perimeter path.
  • The sword critical cluster has been made part of the Ranger's large exterior sword cluster. The other path of the sword cluster has been significantly reworked to grant more power.
  • The Master Fletcher bow cluster between the Ranger and the Duelist has been removed, and the Avatar of the Hunt cluster has been moved to its old location.
  • Leech effects in the Shadow area of the tree now leech from all attack damage, not just physical attack damage.
  • The lightning clusters Arcing Blows and Crackling Speed have been combined, and Arcing Speed has been improved.
  • Master of Force, the physical cluster in the Scion area and Ash, Frost and Storm, the elemental cluster in the Scion area now grant a small value of reduced reflect damage taken of their type.
  • Many other changes have been made to pathing, positioning, and values to improve underused passive skills.

Elemental Conversion
Some unique items that converted elemental damage to other elemental damage types have had their conversion values lowered, to increase the opportunity cost of total element-to-element conversion. Converting spells to other damage types was so easy with Pyre and Call of the Brotherhood that it compromised elemental identity for many skills.

We've made it slightly easier to convert more physical damage to elemental damage for some attack skills. Frost Blades and Ice Shot now have 60% physical to cold conversion, up from 40%. Wild Strike now converts 100% of physical damage to a random element.

Unique Item Rebalance
Over 100 unique items have been rebalanced, with a focus on improving underused uniques that didn't have a strong role in the game. We've tried to make sure that all uniques either have a positive impact on leveling characters, act as a good item to wield when first entering maps, or have a defined role for end-game characters. We've got more changes coming in future, but we've managed to make changes to a significant number of older uniques.

One-Handed Weapon Damage and Weapon Implicits
One-handed weapons were seeing very little use outside of daggers and specific one-hand skills. To improve player choice, we've increased the base damage of many one-handed weapon types across the board.

We've also changed or rebalanced many weapon implicits. Here are some of the major ones:
  • Daggers now have a lower implicit value. This will also apply to already-existing dagger implicits. Previously daggers granted 40%, 60% or 80% increased critical chance. These values have been changed to 30%, 40% and 50%. This is to reduce the impact specific base types had on weapon choices, and lower the power of the standout critical caster weapon base type.
  • Lower level claw base types that granted life leech now grant life on hit, as life leech has very little effect at lower levels.
  • Maraketh claw base types (Double Claw, Twin Claw and Gemini Claw) now have separate life and mana on hit values, as they now grant more life on hit.
  • Maraketh thrusting swords have a higher chance to bleed, going from 8%/12% to 15%/20%. Other thrusting swords have a lower critical multiplier value.
  • One-handed maces now grant stun threshold at 10%/15% rather than stun duration at 20%/40%, to increase their ability to stun.
  • All staves have had their block values increased. Previously, staves granted either 12% block chance or 18% block chance. They now grant 18% and 20% respectively.
  • Almost half the one-handed and two-handed sword base types now grant flat accuracy, instead of increased accuracy. This should make them more desirable for characters that don't naturally have high accuracy rating from dexterity.

Area of Effect Changes
All sources of "Increased Radius of Area Skills" have been replaced with an increase to area. This means that rather than the area of the skill increasing geometrically as the player invests in the modifier to area scale, the radius gained per point of the stat will be lower and lower as heavy investment occurs, similar to diminishing returns. Many old radius increases that have been changed to area increases provide a higher numeric value to compensate for this change. The goal of this change is to make investing in the size of your area skills to be less rewarding the more you invest, so players don't feel like they need to gather every single point of area radius to reach their character's full potential.

As an example of how this change will work, the map mod that granted increased radius of boss skills previously granted 40% increased area of effect radius, but will now grant 100% increased area, which results in approximately the same increase to area.

As many lower level skills don't have as high a base area, they will now receive an additional flat bonus to radius at certain levels of the gem. An example of this is Blight, which gains +1 area radius every 5 levels of the gem.

All values of curse radius and aura radius were doubled when converted to curse or aura area size, to result in a similar change.

As another notable change, Melee Splash now gains significantly more increased area than it did increased radius as the gem levels, bringing it much closer to equivalent area skills.

Skill Balance Adjustments
A small number of skills have had their damage values adjusted. Damage increases have been applied to two skills that we were satisfied with the mechanics of, but felt like they didn't deal enough damage.
  • Sunder now deals more damage with its direct hit, but less damage with its secondary area effects.
  • Ice Crash has had its damage increased.

A damage reduction has been applied to one skill that dealt significantly more damage than other skills of its type, especially after one handed weapon changes.
  • Blade Flurry has had its damage reduced.

Two vaal auras have been reduced in power.
  • Vaal Haste now grants slightly lower values of attack, cast, and move speed.
  • Vaal Discipline no longer grants any bonus energy shield.

There will be many more changes to skills coming in 3.0.0 as part of The Fall of Oriath's Beta.

Changes to Existing Threshold Jewels
For the majority of Threshold Jewels, the opportunity cost of having to take otherwise inefficient passive skills made the jewels too costly for their effect. All Threshold Jewels now require 40 of their chosen attribute to be available in the area, and no longer require it to be allocated. Many have a maximum number of jewels of that type that can be socketed, letting us be more generous with powerful effects that would be problematic if you could fill a large portion of your tree with them.

Some existing Threshold Jewels have had their values adjusted, some now have additional effects. We plan to make further changes to Threshold Jewels as part of the Beta.
Here are some examples:
  • Heavy Strike's Threshold Jewel now grants a 20% chance for double damage, and is limited to 2.
  • Viper Strike's Threshold Jewel now also grants a 10% chance to gain Unholy Might on hit per poison stack on the enemy, and is limited to 1.
  • Vigilant Strike's Threshold Jewel now grants allies Fortify for 20 seconds, up from 3 seconds, and is limited to 1.

We'll reveal the full patch notes and skill tree for Content Update 2.6.0 a few days before it launches on March 3rd. Due to the number of changes being made, all players will receive a one-time full passive reset at that time.
Balance & Design
Last edited by Rory on Feb 22, 2017, 5:53:25 PM
Last bumped on Feb 27, 2017, 5:10:41 PM
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Yiiir boii
Yay the manifesto.
Harvest sucks! But look at my decked out gear two weeks in!

Labyrinth salt farm miner.

"But my build diversity" , "Game is too hard!" - Meta drone playing the same 1-3 builds for years.
I'm pretty sure theres a huge revamp upcoming in many mechanics like armour, evasion, big changes to the tree and with that also mob damage, skill rebalancing and life/es changes.

It's to be expected, buffing life before an huge expansion is released in just a few months would skewer the upcoming balance, its much easier to rebalance it all for 3.0.

This is a filler league, a fun one that i'll play, but it's mostly here to buy time come 3.0.

For the people moaning about "huge nerfs" and "oh you killed x", at least have the decency to wait and see the numbers before you overreact to something. (Vaal haste was -slightly- nerfed = waaah VH is now useless). BF damage was reduced due to weapon damage going up as well.

I'm confident 3.0 will revamp everything, especially the armour/life/es/evasion balance, it just needs to be done in one go, so we'll have to wait.

Oh and shadow leech buff tells me VP is definately on the way out in 3.0 :D (Also RIP Life Leech gem 2010-2015)

tl;dr: Patience, young padawans.
Last edited by krilox on Feb 22, 2017, 7:23:33 PM
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