Path of Exile: Synthesis Patch Notes

Hey Shadow, welcome to the community!

As an absolute lover of this game who has played it since release, I think I might be able to shed some light on justified reasons why people are SO angry.

Some of these balances, as you noticed . . . GGG didn't really handle them or their unveiling/context all that well.

On the one hand . . . they buffed the SHIT out of some really underused or anemic skills . . . which is great! They also seem to have put an immense amount of work into the new gems, whose damage numbers look rather BUSTED. Which touches on the issue.

I know the devs like changing up the meta, which can be a very positive thing. But there has, for a long time, been an issue of messaging and magnitude. Chris Wilson has mentioned several times that (perhaps due to a bit of overzealous tuning) they've become acutely aware of how upset people are when their fun and the way they want to play is compromised. He's mentioned, repeatedly, that they take pains NOT to do that. The issue is that, in one breath, you have that view . . . then you get something like dumpstering/halving the fundamental interesting way that dual Poet's Pen works (by triggering TWO potentially synergistic spells on attack). You have comments about buffing self-cast to bring it in line with all these other ways to cast spells. Except, in many cases, that involves lowering the base damage and upping the cast speed, which merely keeps self-cast in line by lowering the damage of other methods. Which, well, isn't fun.

Then you have an issue like the plight of melee enthusiasts, who do indeed understand that the devs will get to those skills next patch, but are frustrated because there wasn't a delay in hurting their builds. Tombfists, for instance, were too easily a BiS item. They arguably needed nerfing, yes-- but should it be in a patch where pretty much nothing POSITIVE was done for melee? Would it have been so difficult to wait just one more league, until there are actual positive changes to counteract a significant nerf to an important item?

This sort of easily foreseeable backlash to tone-deafness is frequently the issue here. Perhaps the best example is Chris stating recently in an interview that the changes for this league were all buffs. Sure, he no doubt said that somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but it was bizarrely almost identical to the LAST time where GGG stated, with all sincerity, that the patch notes would be mostly buffs, then featured a number of rather savage (and some very questionable) nerfs . . .

Speaking of which, it's a little hard to tell just how boned your Slayer would actually be. They gave it a very small and utterly pointless damage nerf that defies comprehension, but if your build deals a lot of small hits, the overleech might still do its job, though it's supposed to last only 5-ish seconds per instance now (which is probably still fine). If your character DOESN'T hit fast, it could be a problem, as GGG seems to have crippled slow, high-damage attacks by capping the amount leeched per hit at 10% of your health pool. So it looks as though they essentially told a whole cross-section of heavy-hitting stun builds (perhaps unintentionally) where they could stick their 2-handers. It might behoove you to go Scion with Slayer Ascendancy on a good caster build. Should be fine.

Best of luck, and again, welcome to the jungle!

Last edited by ReginaldClovis on Mar 7, 2019, 10:22:34 PM
I'm at a complete loss - the build I just discovered and was looking forward to trying out for a whole season, and maybe getting through the whole atlas, sounds like it's been nerfed into oblivion. It was going to be an Ascendant Slayer/Elementalist ArcPoet with cold damage on Power Siphon to trigger the Arc, and alternate elemental damage for EE. I don't even see a way to save that build concept at all.
Last edited by GrumpyDog114 on Mar 7, 2019, 10:21:01 PM
Really upset here about the last minute stealth change to Shadow's Resourcefulness node wheel.
I liked it as it was and try to plan builds in POB, now everything will be broken with the next update, not amused.

Using Reddit should certainly not be the way to properly share important news with the community.
Last edited by Psykrom on Mar 7, 2019, 11:03:03 PM
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GrumpyDog114 wrote:
I'm at a complete loss - the build I just discovered and was looking forward to trying out for a whole season, and maybe getting through the whole atlas, sounds like it's been nerfed into oblivion. It was going to be an Ascendant Slayer/Elementalist ArcPoet with cold damage on Power Siphon to trigger the Arc, and alternate elemental damage for EE. I don't even see a way to save that build concept at all.

So you planned to play a spell build around one of the most if not THE most popular and overused spell in the game, when they announced that a SPELL balance overhaul is coming and will most likely fuck ARC over. Yet you still feel disappointed?

Well ofcourse noone expected this ludicrous nerf to poetspen but you should've seen the nerf on arc coming from 10 light years away.

Arian Targaryen of G3
Last edited by Pelagoth on Mar 7, 2019, 11:02:30 PM
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Kastion2000 wrote:
If you're going to nerf Arc radius at least test it first and realize how ridiculous lowering it from 50 to 25 units is - it is ludicrous. Something a little more fair would be around 35.

Just look at this:

https://gamepedia.cursecdn.com/pathofexile_gamepedia/7/7c/Range_visualized.jpeg?version=49006ed0016640a83fc8d84185f2d082


That's chain radius which has been reduced, not cast radius.

When you initially cast the spell, Arc will have exactly the same range as before. It's the chained hits that jump from enemy to enemy which have had their radius cut in half. This means normal use of Arc won't be noticeably different, but you won't ever be finding your hits chaining all the way to enemies well outside the visible screen.

Of course that renders mines pretty useless, but that seems to have been the point.
Last edited by Pobatti on Mar 7, 2019, 11:10:14 PM
ty for not ruening srs was hoping to start with it, ty again
why you had to nerf Arc ? ;(
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L1feless wrote:
why you had to nerf Arc ? ;(

Arc isn't as badly nerfed as some people seem to think (see my previous post). A lot of the "Arc is dead" beliefs seem to stem from the image posted on the previous page and on Reddit which showed a massive distance reduction.

That distance reduction only applies to chained hits, and not the initial cast of Arc itself. I can't tell whether people simply saw the image and seriously thought it meant that Arc is only usable within melee range (!) or if we have a few anti-Arc players mingling-in and spreading disinformation and cause panic intended to make people not want to use Arc for some reason.

But those who've analyzed the changes all seem to conclude the same thing: Arc is just a little weaker than before, and should work just as well as before, except it won't occasionally go ricocheting off enemies so far away that it hits enemies that you didn't even see or know about, well outside the visible screen area.

Arc Traps are pretty heavily hit, because the majority of their usefulness is tied to the chain range. However, the average Arc user is probably an Enki's Arc Witch build or similar which has always primarily hand-casted - so the changes won't affect those players all that much.
Last edited by Pobatti on Mar 8, 2019, 12:25:54 AM
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Pobatti wrote:
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nickwch wrote:
The problem is not about technicality challenges to achieve this, it is rather about they are completely lost touch to their player base and understand what are their main concern, another Blizzard in the making.
All the strategy is evolving around "more hype, get more Youtuber to lure more new players, let's nerf and buff whatever and whenever we like so that our investor would think we are making progress since the new players wouldnt notice or understand anyway". Existing loyalty players? Heck care, there will always be some complain and whining in every new release coming from this group of players. Well, they can either take it or leave it, we got new players anyway.

-RIP my Leech Slayer-

I'll agree that it looks like that, and there's a real genuine risk that GGG could get to that point if they are not careful, but I also don't think they're there yet.

The problem here is a problem we see *everywhere* in modern society in 2019, and what happens when you mix the impossibility of pleasing everyone, the sense of entitlement that seems to be rampant at the moment, and a product achieving widespread popularity.

Back when PoE was young, the game had it's dedicated fans, players and supporters, but everyone respected the fact that the game was niche, developed by a snall independant studio, and had a certain amount of respect for the game because of that. Because the community was small, and everyone shared the same kind of respect for the game, they also tended to respect each-other's opinions.

I'm not saying arguments and debates won't have broken-out, but in small tightly-knit communities around niche indie titles players are usually more open to being rational, tolerant, understanding and patient with their fellows, and usually at least took into consideration differing viewpoints.

That meant it will have been much easier to eastablish a concensus on what the community wants or thinks about certain things. To that end, it won't have been as difficult then as it is now for GGG to make sound decisions based around player feedback.

These days PoE is still an indie game, albeit GGG is now owned by Tencent, so part of the community has started to consider PoE a AAA title and forget that GGG are still just a comparatively small studio with zero experience of the industry outside of their singular game. And people seem to casually expect GGG to be able to behave like other developers: be it for better or worse.

The explosion in popularity of PoE, coupled with the rampant sense of "entitlement" gamers in 2019 seem to have (especially the younger generation), mean that there's no longer clear and definite feedback, but a conglomerate of different voices each trying to be loudest, each with their own unique opinion, each believing their own opinion to be better than everyone elses to the point where people with diametrically opposed views are verbally attacked and insulted. In other words WE as a community can't reach any kind of group concensus on anything without devolving into bickering and fighting, and no progress is ever made.

So what do GGG do? They can't take every vocal opinion into consideration when making changes to the game otherwise they wouldn't be able to make any changes to the game. If they didn't make any changes to the game, there would be people angry about that. So all they can realistically do is use vocal feedback as a whole to gauge general player sentiment, and rely mostly on internally collected statistics to paint a more reliable picture about what's really going-on in the game, and what needs to be changed.

That means you won't always see balance changes in line with the dicussions taking place on the forum, because GGG have to also consider the non-vocal majority (who do not post on forums or make their feelings known otherwise), and the non-vocal majority don't necessarily agree with the vocal minority, or play in ways that lend weight to the claims that are often made by the vocal minority to back-up their arguments or make a case for balance adjustments being made in their favor.

That means, from our perspective, balance changes might seem to come-off as somewhat random, and we have difficulty understanding how GGG reached the conclusion it was a good idea to make those specific changes - which in turn leads to a sense that we're being ignored and our opinions don't matter: that's the go-to attitude to have when our own individual wishes aren't being catered towards, but made worse when people get the opposite of what they wished for (ie. a skill they enjoyed using being nerfed, or a skill they hated being buffed, or feeling funnelled into playing in a manner they don't enjoy).

So we're left with a sense that there's a disconnect between the players and GGG, when that couldn't be less true - the truth of the matter is that GGG is very connected with the community who play it's game, but that includes all players of all types and styles - not just the elites or vocal minorities who analyze every little patch-note and immediately form an opinion on every little change. The silent majority isn't quite so reactionary, so their opinions don't become known until content is actually released and GGG can begin to analyze their behavior patterns.

However, there is no obvious way to distinguish between that attitude and the one shown by companies like Blizzard, because moment-by-moment they look nigh on identical. It takes a disaster of some magnitude before the truth of the matter is revealed. Despite the reputation Activision Blizzard has garnered over the years, it took the Diablo Immortal travesty before the reality became irrefutable - and that Blizzard really had lost touch.

So I understand why people are fearful about GGG. People have learned to not trust anyone or anything that appears benevolant or "good", because it's usually just a mask worn by greedy corporations because it helps customer relations and establishes a good reputation which helps bring-in more money. It really is impossibly hard to find genuinely good people and good companies in this industry (or any industry). People feel that GGG's mask could slip at any time, and because of that it's easy to interpret every little thing (even unpopular balance changes) to be an early-warning sign of that.


You sir, I like you. I am glad to know there are still well-educated, logical and analytical players in this game.

There are many complaints based on "GGG knew it, but why did they still nerf/buff it?" Let's take a step back to say, what if they actually also HAVE NO CLUE at all? There could be many sub-teams in-charge for different areas (eg, characters, unique items, monsters, skills, and etc etc), are they all working in silos? Take PP as example, this "OP and nerf" process wouldnt have had happened if the unique item teams and skills team did a sync-up before it was released (or maybe they are simply too dumb to foresee it will be OP when people dual-wield it).
That explain the whole picture, they only focus on creating more contents, more skills, more uniques (and thus more hype to lure more new players) but nobody in the team cares what will be end-result like when all of these factors gel into one, and thus here we are today, endless loop of "OP, nerf, too much nerf, and buff", and a group of furious and upset players.

Suggestion:
Take a step back, nobody here is begging for 10+ uniques 3-6 new skills every 3-4months. Rather, give us the matured and finished products, which the permutations are all have been well simulated before it is launched.
Last edited by nickwch on Mar 8, 2019, 1:03:55 AM
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nickwch wrote:
There are many complaints based on "GGG knew it, but why did they still nerf/buff it?" Let's take a step back to say, what if they actually also HAVE NO CLUE at all? There could be many sub-teams in-charge for different areas (eg, characters, unique items, monsters, skills, and etc etc), are they all working in silos? Take PP as example, this "OP and nerf" process wouldnt have had happened if the unique item teams and skills team did a sync-up before it was released (or maybe they are simply too dumb to foresee it will be OP when people dual-wield it).

I've seen a few videos recently where Chris has mentioned bits and pieces about the "technical debt" side of things, or brought-up the weird way in which some features of the game are implemented.

It's really quite shocking that GGG have used some of the solutions that they have, because the pitfalls of those solutions are plain to see, and later manifest as weird and unusual limitations that make it harder to achieve a thing which would ordinarily be much more straightforward.

Let's take Action Buttons for example.

Chris was recently asked if there were plans to give us access to more Action Buttons, so that we could have access to more of our abilities at a time. Chris made it clear that he thought the idea was a great one because it would expand the scope of what players could do in big ways and would be a significant improvement to the game. But it's very difficult to add another button.

The reason: because the button you have an ability assigned to is stored on the gem itself. That is why you're able to unequip gems, the re-equip them and have the ability go back into the same slot. But it means that in order to add one extra button GGG would also need to either manually edit every gem, or alter the gem base type so that it's able to store that additional button.

So if you propagate that rationale, that GGG are prepared to do otherwise simple things in long-winded or complex ways in order to achieve some optimal result then and there, at the cost of making the code or feature much harder to maintain, alter or plug-into in the future, then it suddenly becomes clear that we players cannot assume that what appears simple *is* simple, or an easy fix *is* an easy fix - because that would depend a lot on how those features were initially implemented.

So in the case of running two "copies" of server rules that are maintained individually, such as Standard keeping it's Atlas or item/ability balance while at the same time allowing Challenge Leagues to have their own rebalanced game and brand new Atlas with the update, doing that could quite literally involve an extensive rewrite of a hefty chunk of server or client code to make it feasible.
Last edited by Pobatti on Mar 8, 2019, 1:03:24 AM

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