Alongside the new Skills and Supports we’ve talked about recently, we're also reworking three bow skills, including Explosive Arrow, Shrapnel Shot and Burning Arrow, and making a number of mechanical and balance adjustments to other skills.


Explosive Arrow
Previously, Explosive Arrow could have up to 5 arrows in a target, refreshing the duration each time an arrow hit the target. Now, there is no limit to the number of Explosive Arrows in a target, and the duration can't be refreshed. This lets you keep firing into an enemy, and you'll have regular explosions rather than having to halt firing to wait for detonations. The radius of the explosion is now +2 larger per arrow on the target, up to a maximum of +10 at level 1, up to +19 at gem level 20.

The skill no longer deals Secondary damage with its explosion, which greatly limited support and passive options as many specific damage modifiers wouldn't apply. Now, each arrow's explosion will deal a portion of your base weapon damage, with a large added fire bonus and the full effect of any other added damage. This still makes scaling the level of the gem useful, as you'll be boosting the fire damage of the explosion, but now stats like increased Bow Damage will apply to the entire explosion.

The explosion consumes all explosive arrows on the target and deals the combined damage of all arrow explosions, letting you build up a very strong Ignite, and the skill deals more damage with Ignite for each explosive arrow in the target.

The Barrage Support is an efficient way to quickly stack up arrows in a target, great for dealing high damage to bosses with a large explosion afterwards.

Overall, the skill is much simpler to build and use (with a lower mana cost to match), while retaining the core mechanic that made it interesting.

Shrapnel Shot
Shrapnel Shot is now called Galvanic Arrow, making the Lightning theme more obvious and differentiating the skill from the new Shrapnel Ballista. The skill still has a damage cone, but its projectiles are now limited range, traveling a base distance of 40 before projectile speed modifiers (which is about twice the range of Cleave). The skill now comes with two additional projectiles, giving a close range focus to the skill. It also has added lightning damage that grows as the gem levels.

The skill has a new mechanic that lets Projectile Speed modifiers apply to its Area of Effect, making it much easier to scale up the skill's damage cone while simultaneously increasing the range of its projectiles.

Overall, the skill, is now focused on being a close range skill at lower levels, and a powerful and sizeable damage area at higher levels. Adjustments to its damage mean that the Collateral Damage threshold jewel should no longer be required, so we're stopping the jewel dropping. Existing copies will deal 50% increased damage with the cone, rather than giving a 50% chance for double damage.

Burning Arrow
Burning Arrow has a new mechanic that applies an additional stacking Burning effect whenever it ignites, dealing a portion of the ignite damage. This can stack up to 5 times, and lets you get more damage against a target that survives multiple arrows. The goal of this change is to improve the skill's single target damage. The new stacking burning effect can't proliferate, as it doesn't count as an Ignite.

The stacking burning damage and the More Damage with Ignite of the skill also grow as the gem levels. Because of these changes, the Sudden Ignition threshold jewel is no longer required to have the skill be competitive at higher levels. Sudden Ignition and Pitch Darkness will no longer drop, and existing copies of Sudden Ignition will disable the new stacking burning effect of the skill.


Tornado Shot
Tornado Shot has been a ubiquitous bow skill for some time now, with its mechanics allowing both high single target damage and large area spread, while being very flexible in how it is built. We'd like to keep the flexibility, while making sure the skill doesn't excel in every aspect.

To that end, we're making the secondary projectiles into limited range projectiles. This will mean the secondary projectiles won't travel as far from the target location unless you've invested heavily in Projectile Speed, giving the skill's high area more of an opportunity cost.

Ice Shot
Ice Shot is having its chilled ground removed, as changes to calculations of Chill and Shock will make it much easier to apply Chill to a target equivalent to the slow that was previously granted by Chilled Ground. The chilled ground was only applying to a very small area, so now the skill will have a more reliable chill over its full area of effect. We'll also be adding new stats to the skill that make its chill more powerful and reliable.

Blast Rain
The number of Blast Rain explosions is now affected by the number of projectiles the skill fires. This means that additional projectiles are now a significant damage multiplier, similar to how additional projectiles affect Barrage. This will make its focussed damage much more competitive with other bow skills.

Its enchantment is being buffed as a result of this change, granting one additional projectile instead of a chance for an additional blast.

Scourge Arrow
Scourge Arrow's base weapon damage has been lowered, but the skill now deals added Chaos Damage that grows as the gem levels. The skill was often used with builds adding elemental damage, so this change is intended to give it a greater reward to Chaos damage based builds while also improving its usability while leveling.

Split Arrow
Split Arrow now has added physical damage on the gem that grows as it levels, with slightly lower base damage. This makes it more powerful while leveling, being less dependent on having a powerful bow.

Other Bow and Wand skills have received numerical tweaks, which you'll be able to see when we provide the full list of skill gems.

Visual improvements

We've added an arrow 'surge' to many bow skills, as well as a burst of energy released from the bow as you fire. This makes arrow skills feel much punchier and easier to see at lower levels.

Check out the reworked skills below:

There will be more changes that we'll be making as we finalise bow changes, including enchantments, passives, unique balance and more. You'll have to wait until the Balance Manifesto and Patch Notes to hear them!
Posted by 
Grinding Gear Games
Can't wait!
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Wishing it was the 13th.
Good work!

reworked bow skill gems? you must be kidding.
Don't force yourself to play hyped builds.

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