Global Gem Levels

For a while, we've wanted to include modifiers on caster weapons that provide a multiplicative damage increase to spells, similar to how physical weapon modifiers affect the base damage of attacks. Previously this took the form of elemental penetration and modifiers that add a portion of elements as Chaos damage, but this patch we'll be pushing this further in the form of global modifiers to gem levels.

Staves were previously the go-to weapon for increasing gem levels, but their modifiers only applied to gems within the staff.

Caster oriented one-handed weapons will now be able to roll some new modifiers that grant +1 to all Fire, Cold, Lightning, Physical or Chaos Spell Skill Gems, not just ones socketed in the item (Sceptres will not have the Chaos Spell Gem mod available). Staves will able to roll a modifier that grants +1 to 2 instead, and have a rarer higher tier +3 modifier available. One handed caster weapons will be able to roll a very rare additional mod that grants +1 to all Spell Gems, and the Staff version of the modifier will grant +1 to 2 to all Spell Gems. These weapons will no longer be able to roll equivalent modifiers that only applied to socketed gems.

It's worth noting that these new modifiers don't apply to Support Gems.

Daggers and Warstaves that can't roll caster modifiers will still be able to roll the old local elemental gem modifiers, and all non-caster weapon types will still be able to roll any existing local gem modifiers like +1 to socketed Bow gems.

There are a number of consequences of these changes. Because the global gem modifiers are much more powerful than the previous local modifiers, we've removed the low level crafting recipe that added +1 to level of socketed Fire/Cold/Lightning/Chaos gems. This recipe has been replaced with a similar one that applies added fire/cold/lightning damage to spells and takes the rarity of the item into account to determine the mod's tier. There is currently no replacement for the Chaos recipe.

Essence of Rage, Sorrow and Spite now apply Fire/Cold/Lightning Penetration respectively to weapons.

Some uniques have been changed to apply modifiers to global gem levels. This is mostly the case on caster weapons, but some specific minion items like Bones of Ullr have also received this treatment. Bones of Ullr now grants +1 to all Raise Zombie gems and all Raise Spectre gems, instead of affecting the maximum minion count, as the additional maximum spectres modifier was too much power from a single item. Now, raising the level of these minion gems to a high enough level will grant additional maximum minions, so these modifiers are still useful. All of the changes will be shown in the patch notes.

Traps and Mines

We've made a whole host of changes to Mines that completely change how they behave and how you interact with them. As such, many systems that interacted with Mines and by extension Traps have been changed.

You can read more about Mine changes and new mine mechanics here.

The Shaper/Elder modifiers that granted +1 to Traps Thrown or Mines Placed will no longer appear. They provided too much of a damage increase for a single mod. To compensate, some traps have had their damage and area growth improved. We're also introducing changes to the Trap Support which now grants a higher value of Trap Throw speed and an increase to Trap Damage as the gem levels.

We've included a couple of new modifiers from various kinds of crafting to improve trap and mine itemisation. As an example, the Essence of Zeal now rolls a Trap and Mine Throw Speed modifier on Belts. Two Handed Incursion weapons with Trap Damage modifiers now have values higher than One Handed Incursion weapons, and the bonuses apply to Mine Damage as well.

We've also buffed some underutilised trap supports like the Charged Traps Support and Advanced Traps Support.

Damage over Time

We've made a number of changes to improve the itemisation and passive tree power for builds that use Ailments to deal damage, as well as damage multipliers for Burning skills.

We've replaced all non-ailment Chaos Damage over Time Multipliers with Chaos Damage over Time Multiplier, so they'll now apply to Poison as well. This is partially so that Poison builds have a few interesting new options, but mostly to make those passives and items less painful to read.

Perfect Agony has been changed significantly, and as a result, so have Ailments from Critical Strikes. Previously, Ailments from Critical Strikes dealt 50% more damage by default, similar to unmodified critical hit damage. The only way to modify this value was to take Perfect Agony. Now, Ailments from Critical Strikes have +50% to Damage over Time multiplier by default, which will be additive with Damage over Time multipliers from other sources.

Now Perfect Agony lets Critical Strike Multiplier also apply to Ailment Damage over Time Multiplier from Critical Strikes at 50% of their value, which is more potent than the previous value of 30%. This means that investing in Critical Multiplier is more rewarding for Ailment builds, unless you've already invested heavily in other sources of Damage over Time Multiplier. The intent of this change is to allow Critical Poison builds to have more potential for damage growth and make the keystone a worthwhile investment for any critical bleed or ignite build.

Many passives that increased Burning Damage, Poison Damage or Bleeding Damage now have equivalent Damage over Time Multiplier bonuses. They've all been rebalanced as a result. We've also added a new small cluster that gives some potent bonuses to ignites from Critical Strikes, and another that gives bonuses to all ailments from Critical Strikes.

There are also new item modifiers and crafting modifiers that apply to Fire Damage over Time Multiplier or Ignite Damage over Time Multiplier, to give Burning builds options closer to Cold Damage over Time and Chaos Damage over Time builds.

As a result of all of these Burning changes, we've reviewed all Burning Damage skills, and adjusted values. Righteous Fire in particular has received some mechanical changes. It now deals a smaller portion of your health as fire damage to enemies around you, but has an additional burning damage value that increases as the gem levels. The goal of this change is to provide more power for builds that don't invest as heavily in maximum life, and slightly less power in builds that invested the majority of their resources into getting large values of maximum life.

We've also rebalanced some supports that affect Damage over Time, like the Unbound Ailments Support, Poison Support and the Vicious Projectiles Support.

Minions

We've made a large number of additions and changes to Minions to improve build diversity and give players the option of having more control over their armies. You can read about some of these here.

Almost every system in the game that touches Minions has been reviewed and rebalanced or changed. Here are some of the more notable changes:

All minions have had their Accuracy increased. The result of this is that a level 20 Raise Zombie, Summoned Skeleton or Raging Spirit will have an 80% chance to hit a level 84 enemy, if you have no minion accuracy modifiers.

Golems have all been reviewed and adjusted, to make more varieties of golems have competitive levels of power. Chaos, Lightning and Stone Golems have been improved in various ways to make them more competitive with Flame and Ice Golems, as well as the new Carrion Golem. As an example, Chaos Golem has more Area of Effect on its Cascade, has 100% Physical Damage converted to Chaos, and its ongoing chaos storm now has "Spell Damage modifiers apply to this skill's damage over time", in addition to damage adjustments.

If you're targeting a monster when you cast Summon Raging Spirit, the Raging Spirit created will attempt to attack that enemy first. If it can't reach the enemy or the enemy dies, it returns to its standard behaviour. This is still overridden by the Deathmark Support.

The Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance Support has been changed to Elemental Army Support. It no longer applies to Totems, but lets supported minions apply a -10% Exposure based on their highest elemental damage dealt, and grants them More Elemental Damage. At higher levels it also grants more maximum elemental resistances.

Convocation's cooldown has been shortened, now that the Necromancer no longer has a notable that grants cooldown recovery to it. Its life recovery is now a percentage of maximum life, rather than a flat value, letting it scale to higher levels a little better.

Desecrate has had its cooldown removed, and now has a shorter cast time. It has a shorter duration and a lower corpse limit now, but this will make it a much more reliable tool for both Minion builds and builds that explode corpses.

Offerings are now more reliable and easier to manage. They now have a higher base duration, gain an additional second for each corpse consumed, consume half as many corpses, and they have an ongoing marker over the player rather than on the ground, so you'll always know when they expire.

The Dead Reckoning Unique Jewel can now turn up to 15 skeleton warriors into mages, up from 5 and is now limited to 1. Using multiple copies of the jewel was an unnecessary cost for the power provided, and this should make the build more accessible as well.

There have been many changes to crafting modifiers that affect minions, including:
  • A new Atlas-specific base type, the Convoking Wand, which has an implicit that lets it roll new Minion modifiers.
  • Essence of Fear has been changed to match other minion bonuses, which means it grants higher values of increased minion damage on weapons.
  • Incursion item Minion modifiers have been changed and improved.
  • A new Elemental Resistance and Minion Elemental Resistance crafted modifier has been added.
  • A new craftable Minion Movement Speed modifier has been added.

Mana for Spellcasters

In 3.7.0, we changed Warlord's Mark to only apply its leech effects to Attacks, as Mana Leech was one of the easiest ways to recover mana for Intelligence characters, outclassing most other mana recovery mechanics with very little cost. In 3.8.0 we've changed all remaining sources of Mana Leech, either replacing the stats or changing them to only leech from Attacks. This includes Enchantments, the Mana Leech Support, and unique items.

The general philosophy is that mana sustain for spellcasters should be something a player has to think about and find some way to manage, similar to Accuracy for Attack characters. However, we don't want the solution to be a huge investment, and we've tried to provide a few different and interesting ways to sustain mana recovery.

Mana Flasks have received a major review. Values have been adjusted, recovering more mana and having more uses available, so they're more reliable for longer encounters. We've introduced a selection of new modifiers for mana flasks, including a new "Enduring" modifier that lets the mana flask remain after reaching full mana at the cost of duration.

Passives that affect mana flasks have been added or improved, including the new Essence Extraction notable that grants Mana Flasks 1 charge every 3 seconds, as well as Mana Regeneration, increased Flask Charges gained, and removing 1 random Elemental Ailment when you use a Mana Flask.

Stats that subtracted from the final mana costs of skills made managing mana for certain channelled skills far too simple. We've split these mods into a channelled and a non-channelled skill version, with the channelled skill version granting a much smaller reduction.

The Reduced Mana Support has been reworked, and is now the Inspiration Support. In addition to reducing mana cost, it now grants an Inspiration Charge each time you spend mana with the supported skill, up to 5 charges. The supported skill gains more Elemental Damage and Critical Chance for each Inspiration charge. After spending more than a specified amount of mana, the Inspiration Charges are removed. This rewards you for investing in reducing the mana cost of your skills as much as possible to maximise the uptime of your Inspiration.

Clarity has also been changed to grant higher values of mana regeneration at higher gem levels.

A variety of new passive tree clusters have been added, including one that improves mana and Arcane Surge, one that gives curse bonuses and a way to recover mana after hitting or killing cursed enemies, and one that grants Spell Damage based on your maximum mana, up to a limit.

Melee

3.7.0 introduced a whole host of changes and improvements to a variety of melee skills. This resulted in a lot of people playing Cyclone.

Cyclone benefited from a combination of melee range and area modifiers in a way that let it surpass the area of effect of almost any other skill, alongside all of the other benefits that Cyclone has. Rather than punishing other skills that use melee range, we've changed how Cyclone calculates its area, making the increase granted additive with other area increases.

This has meant that we've been able to provide more melee range on the passive tree. Master of the Arena, Brinkmanship, Bone Breaker and Splitting Strikes now grant +2 melee range, up from +1. Cleaving, Flaying and Claws of the Pride now grant +1 melee range. This will improve the area of Strike attacks, making them easier to use and more effective at taking on packs of enemies.

Ancestral Call Support has had its damage penalty lowered, resulting in no damage penalty at level 20 of the gem. This is to further help the clearing capacity of Strike attacks.

We've increased the base damage of Multistrike, while lowering the bonuses for the second and third swing, so the skill is much less punitive if you only perform one or two attacks. Multistrike being cancelable is something we've decided to stick with, to keep melee characters more mobile. Multiplicative attack speed is very dangerous from both clear capacity and performance, so we're reticent to give a single support gem any more.

We've lowered the added physical damage on retaliation attacks, because of how high their damage output could be when used with Facebreakers. Their base damage has been increased to compensate.

Pulverise Support now provides Increased Area of Effect instead of More Area of Effect. The skill provided too much area of effect for heavily invested characters, so we've changed the values to be additive with other area increases. The support now grants more damage than before to make up for the loss of area.

Ranged

Tornado Shot has been outperforming other bow attack skills, while also having potent single target damage. This is partially due to the power of the Additional Secondary Projectiles enchantment. We've changed the enchantment to be from the Eternal Labyrinth only, and to grant +1 secondary projectiles, down from +2.

We've fixed a bug that meant that secondary projectiles from Fork could hit the target that they forked from with certain skills. For players, this only applied to Tornado Shot and Barrage. This provided a huge unintended damage bonus to these skills.

We've given added Lightning damage to Lightning Arrow and added Cold damage to Ice shot to help them scale better throughout the game, and improved damage and projectile scaling on Split Arrow.

We've also made some improvements to how all projectiles select targets when chaining. Previously, two projectiles from a single attack could attempt to chain to the same target, but only one would be able to hit. Now chaining projectiles won't attempt to chain to the same target unless no other targets are available, which significantly improves the clearing capabilities of Chaining projectiles when used with additional projectiles.

Other Spells

Contagion no longer gains radius as the gem levels. The skill provided too much clearing capacity over a large area at high levels.

Bodyswap has been significantly reworked. The most notable change is that you can target a living enemy to warp to their location, though the skill benefits from more area of effect and a corpse explosion when destroying a corpse. There are other mechanical damage changes that make it a more flexible and powerful spell, especially when teleporting around a single target.

Passive Tree changes

We've made a large number of changes to the passive tree in relation to mana, mines, bonuses for Damage over Time, Poison and more.

The Mine passives have been almost completely reworked, the Damage over Time and Poison clusters now have different stats and values, and there are a number of new Mana clusters found on the passive tree.

We've split the Flask Effect cluster that was near the Witch into four different passive clusters granting Flask Effect alongside other effects. These are spread over the passive tree, with a preference towards the Dexterity area of the tree, as the Ranger has the strongest flask association. Each cluster has less Flask Effect than the old cluster, but in total there is now more flask effect on the passive tree than before.

We've raised the base radius of all traditional aura skills, and lowered the bonus from "increased Area of Effect of Aura Skills" on the tree. This is because these passive stats will also apply to Mine skills, as they count as Aura skills. The passives are still great choices for Mine characters, being more powerful than other generic Area of Effect increases, but don't have values more than twice the numbers seen elsewhere. We've also giving Smite more radius as the gem levels, as its area of effect was balanced around the aura area of effect passives.

We've added a new Power Charge cluster similar to the Endurance and Frenzy charge ones added in 3.7.0.

Clusters introduced in 3.7.0 that gave increased attributes have been moved so they are no longer in radius of any jewel sockets, as these clusters skewed the power level of certain unique jewels too heavily. As a result, Tempered Flesh and Transcendent Flesh now have 7% Critical Strike Multiplier per unallocated Strength in radius, up from 5%. Tempered Mind and Transcendent Mind now have 125 Accuracy Rating per unallocated Intelligence in radius, up from 100. This should make them a tempting choice in more locations on the tree.

Changes to various Ascendancies

We've made a host of changes to a variety of ascendancies. Most notable are the Necromancer, Saboteur and Assassin to go alongside changes and additions to their standard skill archetypes. You can see these here, here and here. Other ascendancies have been touched to a lesser degree for a few different reasons. Below are some of the notable changes.

Our intent is to have fewer passives that take an underused skill or mechanic and give it the tools needed to see use. We're moving these effects onto the skills themselves as they level, and providing more generally useful bonuses that still keep the same theme. The Necromancer redesign is the most obvious example of this, and we've also changed the Guardian so he no longer grants specific bonuses to Herald of Purity and Dominating Blow minions, and have built the Crusade Slam effect into the minions themselves. We'll likely do this more as part of future reworks.

The Hierophant's mana path has changed as a result of a review of all Mana mechanics. It should be more offensively powerful for a character with heavy mana investment now, with its defensive power slightly reduced.

The Elementalist has had its Golem path adjusted, providing much more power to the player on an invested Golem character, while no longer being the only way for a character to get additional golems outside of unique items thanks to a new Golem cluster on the passive tree. It should be a more desirable path for builds that don't rely entirely on their minions as a result. Beacon of Ruin now grants increased effect of non-damaging ailments, to improve its overall power.

The Raider received some numerical improvements and one additional aura mechanic to make it more competitive, but will receive more changes in the future to give it more unique features.

The Occultist's Vile Bastion now also grants 40 energy shield regenerated per second at all times, granting more reliable recovery, especially at lower levels.

The Chieftain now provides +25% to Fire Damage Over Time Multiplier instead of 15% more Burning Damage, providing more power for Burning characters unless they're very heavily invested in Damage over Time Multiplier.

The Berserker and Slayer were a little too generically powerful for attack builds, so some nodes have had values adjusted. The Slayer's Bane of Legends node has had the value of attack and move speed granted reduced to 10%. Overwhelm has had its Base Critical Chance lowered to 7.5%. The Berserker's Crave the Slaughter no longer grants a chance to deal Double Damage, with this bonus being moved to War Bringer if you've used a Warcry in the past 8 seconds. Flawless Savagery now grants a lower value of Critical Strike Chance for Attacks, and slightly less critical multiplier.

The Trickster's Ghost Dance passive was providing a bit too much defense for a single notable, so the chance to evade, reduced damage taken and amount of Energy Shield recovered has been lowered.

The Ascendant has had passives related to many of the adjusted Ascendancies above changed. For example, the Saboteur notable now provides more Elemental Penetration than before, and the Necromancer node now penalises offerings on you less and grants additional area of effect if you've consumed a corpse recently.

Veiled Modifiers

We've made a number of changes to make unlocking Veiled modifiers easier.

Modifiers granted only by items from specific Syndicate members now require half as many unveils to learn to craft. They're also more likely to appear as one of the potential modifiers.

Modifiers only found on less common item types or that are limited to only one or two item types are much more likely to appear as unveiling options.

Flask modifiers unveiled only from the unique flask from the syndicate mastermind now only require a single unveil to unlock.

The intent is that it shouldn't be necessary for a character to learn every single crafting recipe each league, but we want to make it easier to get a specific modifier you'd like to craft. We'll continue to monitor the results of these changes.

Other changes

Packs of monsters that spawn with Rare monsters now have a single shared modifier from the Rare, as well as more life, damage, experience and item rewards. This will make a Rare monster encounter more rewarding, and able to provide a greater challenge.

Monster Accuracy has been lowered, as 3.7.0's accuracy/evasion calculation change resulted in monsters being noticeably more likely to hit a character with medium investment in Evasion. This change brings an evasion focused character back to the previous evade chance against monsters, though characters with low evasion will still be more likely to be hit than prior to 3.7.0.

We've also reduced the chance for a league mechanic that drops a random unique to drop a league-specific unique. This ended up being the most common source of league-specific uniques in some leagues!

We've increased the speed that the breach expands in the end-game Breach Domains. This lets you clear through a breach domain faster than before. We've increased the amount of time that you start with in Elemental and Physical breaches in the end-game breach domains to compensate for this faster expansion, so you'll have just as much time total to complete the breach. The amount of time that you start with in a chaos breach domain has not changed and thus will be slightly more challenging. We've improved life scaling on the bosses to be more consistent across levels, increased density of monsters in the breach domains, removed the increased life mod from the breach domains and increased the life of the monsters in the breach domains to compensate. This will even out the challenge in Pure Breach Domains. Prior to this change, the bosses of the Physical and Chaos breaches had less life than the Elemental breach bosses in Pure Breach Domains.

We've made adjustments to a large variety of unique items based on their use. For example Poet's Pen's triggered spell now has a cooldown of 0.15 seconds, down from 0.25 seconds. It now only triggers on finishing an attack, rather than starting an attack, because of animation canceling. Blasphemer's Grasp now gives +4% to Damage over Time Multiplier for Ailments for each Elder Item Equipped, instead of 15% increased Damage with Ailments.

That concludes all of the major balance changes we're wanting to discuss today. There are many other smaller changes that you'll be able to read about in the patch notes tomorrow. Hopefully you've enjoyed this look at the upcoming balance changes, and we look forward to playing with you all in the upcoming Blight league!
Posted by 
on
Grinding Gear Games
hype!
Yes
what a wall of text
Gimme them patch notes!
nice, keep it up =)
hyped!
Time for a night read!
YES
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Natalia_GGG wrote:
3.7.0 introduced a whole host of changes and improvements to a variety of melee skills. This resulted in a lot of people playing Cyclone.


For all the crap I give you guys, serious kudos for the deadpan tone here. There's no denying what happened, so you might as well embrace it and learn from it. ^_^
You're not Exiles. You're clowns! Toa thonna mondarr! Nocklith! Vohkbar! YOU'RE ALL CLOWNS! CLOWNS! CLOWNS!

Discovered the GF and my RL friends enjoy For Honor! BLISS!

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