With every league release, we review and rebalance many aspects of Path of Exile to update and reinvigorate old mechanics while trimming some power from strategies that stand too far above the rest.

This time around, our changes are far more thorough. As part of the Expedition League announcement, Chris has already talked about a number of changes, but we'll go over them again quickly here with a bit more of a discussion of their consequences and some associated changes we've made as a result.

Over time, the introduction of new mechanics, updates to existing balance and improved collective understanding of the game has caused the damage of characters to be way too high. Many players are able to complete mid-difficulty boss fights in a fraction of a second, without any interesting interaction. Our ability to create interesting boss fights and monster combat is removed when players are routinely killing those monsters or bosses before they have used a single ability.

Because of this, we're significantly reducing player damage at higher levels to greatly increase the challenge of endgame content, and are raising monster life at lower levels to make the levelling experience in-line with our vision of how Path of Exile should be.

Many of these changes are intended to affect every character in the game in some way, but we're still going to continue our tradition of making changes to the most powerful and least powerful mechanics to improve build diversity.

Information already provided in the announcement livestream has been reproduced in italics.

The Great Support Gem Reduction

Relevant section from the livestream:
"For a while now, we have been concerned with the power gap between support gems. There are gems that grant huge multiplicative damage bonuses and there are gems that do a bunch of stuff you don't really care about. When you're building a character, by far the correct choice is just to stack on all the multiplicative damage bonuses and ignore all the interesting utility support gems because their opportunity cost is just too high.

We are reducing the damage bonuses on the support gems that are clearly just all about huge damage boosts and trying to give them impactful and appropriate downsides. For example, the Controlled Destruction support gem now penalises critical strikes multiplicatively.

Overall, this works out to a total of somewhere around 20%, potentially as high as 40% damage reduction for a character using a fully six-linked skill with entirely damage support gems. There's much less impact for characters that used utility support gems or who didn't have a six-link setup.

This achieves two goals for us. Firstly, the gap between the "good" and "bad" support gems has been narrowed, creating more interesting build opportunities. Secondly, player damage output in the end-game is reduced, which is a goal for this balance pass. As I mentioned, we want to iteratively restore challenge to Path of Exile. It's worth clarifying that we haven't buffed unused utility support gems as part of this balance pass. It's fully intentional that it's a reduction of power for the most damaging ones."

Damage multipliers between Support Gems have been standardised following these rules:
  • Gems that provide a useful benefit in addition to damage usually grant less than 25% more damage at gem level 20.
  • Those that provide only a damage bonus or have only a very mild restriction or penalty grant around 30-35% more damage.
  • Those with downsides or restrictions grant between 38% and 48% more damage, depending on how severe the cost of using the support is.
  • A couple of existing supports have had a downside added, allowing us to keep the damage multiplier relatively high. As an example Melee Physical Damage now grants supported skills 10% less Attack Speed. Certain builds, such as Earthquake Bleed are barely affected by this downside. Because the damage multiplier hasn't changed, the support is almost as strong as before. Minion Damage causes minions from Supported Skills to have 25% less Life, so you might want to consider other supports if your minions scaled damage from their Life or if they're not tough enough when supported.

This change provides more choice for builds that can be supported by a variety of support gems and lessens the relative damage loss incurred by using a support gem that doesn't provide direct damage, like Chain or Ancestral Call. There are now builds that will benefit more by using far more interesting support gem setups that were previously balanced around using only high-damage support gems.

A number of projectile and bow support gems like Barrage, Greater Multiple Projectiles and Chain haven't been changed, so builds using these more interesting projectile support effects will have lost much less damage than other builds. This has caused certain bow builds to be strong relative to other skill setups at late game. With our buffs to skills like Barrage (15% damage increase at gem level 20), Lightning Arrow (15% damage increase at gem level 20), Split Arrow (10% more Attack Speed at all levels), these add up to really help bring bows up in power relative to other builds.

Many Trap support gems haven't been adjusted, so Trap builds will not suffer much of a damage loss compared to using other skills at high levels. The Trap Support, Cluster Traps Support, Multiple Traps Support, Charged Traps Support, Advanced Trap Supports and Swift Assembly Support are unchanged. This has caused traps to be stronger relative to other skill setups at late game, and they'll have more of a reason to use the special Trap support gems instead of generic damage support gems. There are buffs to the cooldown trap skills Lightning Spire Trap (25% more damage at all levels) and Seismic Trap (40% more damage at all levels and a drastic increase in area of effect). We have made their wave and strike frequency now scale with Trap Throwing Speed instead of Cast Speed. Yes, this does mean with the Architect's Hand or Slavedriver's Hand unique items you get immense bonuses even if you're not a trapper. You can see how Trap builds are going to be very powerful.

Certain builds that were balanced around having very powerful Support Gems have lost more damage than others as a result of these changes. To counteract this, a broad selection of skills have received a notable boost in damage at high levels. This won't bring their six-linked damage back to where it was before the reduction to support gem power, it just makes sure they're not punished more than other ones by the changes. This predominantly affects skills that use Melee weapons, but there are others affected too. In general, skills that use Melee weapons have had a 25% damage increase at gem level 20, and are unchanged at gem level 1.

Here's an example of a melee attack that has had its damage increased at gem level 20:

This has the nice side effect of making gem level for these attack skills matter more, and the potential for a four-linked secondary Melee skill like Ancestral Warchief to have barely lost damage. An Ancestral Warchief supported by Melee Physical Damage Support, Pulverise Support and Multistrike (which now applies to Totems) has only lost 2.5% damage after the damage buff. At the same time, we realised that Slams have been overperforming relative to other melee builds for a while. As a result we have changed Seismic Cry to no longer provide more damage to exerted attacks. Warcry-empowered Slams were incredibly powerful, as Slams received a damage bonus from Seismic Cry that non-slam melee skills didn't have access to.

This brings slams more in-line with other skills when enhanced by warcries, though they still have the advantage of some slow slam specific mechanics like the Fist of War Support Gem.

The support gem changes affect six-linked skills far more than they do those with fewer links, because of how each support gem compounds with each other, so the damage loss won't be felt much in the early- and mid-game. As support gems were generally nerfed far less or not at all at gem level 1, there will be cases during the campaign where buffed skills will have more damage than before, especially for players that struggle to find or craft five- or six-link items early in the league.

We've numerically buffed the Increased Critical Strikes Support, Increased Critical Damage Support and the Nightblade Support as they were seeing relatively little use for builds that were invested in Critical Strikes, making sure their effect is more in-line with other support gems for a build invested in Criticals.

At the top end of character progression we found that Awakened Support Gems provided too significant of a damage increase over the regular support gems. If you had 5 Awakened Support Gems, your six-link damage could be as high as 50% more damage compared to having regular support gems. The quality of Awakened Support Gems is now the same as on the base support gem. In some cases, such as Awakened Generosity's Level of Supported Aura Skill Gems, we have added the quality stat as a reward for levelling the gem to 5 instead.

We have also taken this opportunity to make mana multipliers on support gems more consistent. In general, mana multipliers have gone up slightly, but several gems have had mana multipliers lowered as a result of this pass.

Archmage has had its damage based on the mana cost of the supported skill lowered (60% of mana cost from 108% at level 20).

It now also sets your spell's mana cost to be 5% of your maximum unreserved mana, instead of 6%, as support gem mana multipliers were generally increased across the board. This will be a significant reduction in damage, as mana builds using Archmage were very strong, both offensively and defensively.

We've changed the Quality bonuses for a variety of support gems that didn't make a lot of sense for the base gem. For these, we focused on those that provide speed. For example, Greater Multiple Projectiles now gives Projectile Damage instead of Attack and Cast Speed. Chain now gives increased Chaining Range instead of Projectile Speed, with projectile speed becoming its Anomalous Quality instead, at a lower value.

Faster Projectiles now grants a further increase to Projectile Speed instead of Attack and Cast Speed, with the Divergent quality becoming Increased Damage instead.

There are lots of individual changes that have been made to Support Gems which will be revealed in the patch notes tomorrow.

Flask System Rework

Relevant section from the livestream:
For quite some time, Path of Exile players and developers have been keen for a big rework to its flask system. In the end-game, flasks grant really powerful buffs for a number of seconds after use, and these buffs allow the player to kill monsters quickly, filling the flasks up so that they can be used as soon as they run out. With five such flasks equipped, the correct behaviour was to spam the 1-5 keys repeatedly to keep all the flasks up constantly without any downsides. This flask piano playstyle was popular enough that players were improvising devices to hit all those keys at once.

Spamming the same keys repeatedly to get a set of powerful buffs that rival the power you get from your entire set of equipped items is not a fun game mechanic. It's unbalanced and certainly isn't nice on your wrist. It prevents us from balancing the game well for players who aren't smashing their keyboard constantly and seriously restricts the design space we can use on flasks. In addition, certain unique flasks completely outclass other ones in terms of raw damage output. It was pretty clear to us that Path of Exile would be a lot better if we did some serious work on flasks to make sure that their incentives were aligned with fun rather than with spamming blindly.

Most utility flasks and unique flasks have been rebalanced. Expect a lot less permanent power from flasks. Flasks that provide raw defense or raw power are the ones with the biggest nerfs. Some flasks have been selectively buffed a bit if they were underpowered or less popular.

In the Expedition expansion, there are now three ways that you can use flasks. You can either continue to use the rebalanced ones the traditional way or you can apply one of two new types of currency item to your flasks. The Instilling Orb and Enkindling Orb drop as part of the regular drop pool from regular monsters and chests.

The Instilling Orb will cause a flask to be used automatically upon a specific condition being met. For example, when its charges become full, or when you become affected by ignite). This means that in cases where you would previously want to time a specific flask usage, you can now rely on it happening automatically, with the only tradeoff being that it may consume charges that you otherwise wouldn't intend it to. There are a variety of different conditions and a random one is enchanted onto your Flask, overwriting the others, each time you use an Instilling Orb on it.

The Enkindling Orb prevents Utility Flasks from gaining charges while active but provides a big boost to their effect, duration, or various ways they interact with their charges. There are various different types of boosts, so you can use more Orbs to reroll for the one you want.

When a flask removes a curse, it no longer applies a period of immunity to curses. Flasks that remove ailments now only provide a period of immunity to that ailment if they actually removed it. So if you get ignited, use a dousing flask to remove the ignite and to gain immunity for a while. You now can't just spam the flask before you're ignited to be permanently immune. If you want permanent mitigation of ailments, there are other options for your build. Note that we have rebalanced ailment mitigation in general so that there aren't a few options that completely outclass the rest.

Monster density in Path of Exile gets a lot higher as you play through the game. When we initially balanced flask charge generation a decade ago, we did not anticipate the levels of monster density we would reach by 2021. Monsters in Acts 6 through 10 now generate fewer flask charges and monsters in maps generate even fewer still.

So now there's a lot more strategy involved with flask use. Flasks don't gain as many charges, so are a little harder to constantly spam and aren't designed to provide such a powerful slew of permanent buffs. But you can control which provide larger than normal effects and which are triggered automatically as part of your build.

We have reworked existing flasks such as Basalt and Aquamarine Flasks and have introduced new Corundum and Gold Flasks.

The flask rebalance has mostly affected Utility Flasks. Some have been reworked. The most notable change that hasn't been announced yet is to the Diamond Flask. It previously granted "Your Critical Strikes are Lucky". This single effect provided a massive boost to your critical strike chance, more than any one source in the game. Because flasks no longer provide that much power, it has been changed to provide 100% increased critical strike chance instead, more in-line with the power of other flasks. Note that this can now be affected by increases to flask effect, and the ability to roll the Surgeon's prefix on this flask type has been restored. With the changes to the Diamond Flask, we didn't want the Sulfur Flask to be the best critical strike flask, so enemies on Consecrated Ground no longer have additional base chance to be critically hit.

We have also improved some underused Utility Flasks, such as Ruby, Topaz and Sapphire flasks which now have a base duration of 5 seconds (from 4) and consume 20 of 50 charges on use (from 30 of 60) so they're able to be used more and this has naturally improved the Unique Flasks that use these base types.

Unique Flasks have all been reviewed, and many have been rebalanced or reworked. In general those that multiplied damage or provided massive defence have had this damage bonus reduced significantly. Certain Unique Flasks have instead received penalties to flask uptime instead of reducing their powerful stats. For example, Dying Sun still grants 15-25% area of effect and 2 additional projectiles, but now consumes more flask charges and has a lower duration. With an Enkindling Orb that provides Flask Effect, you can get 3 additional projectiles and when combined with the Pathfinder Ascendancy (or items) and some passive skills that can become 4 additional projectiles relatively easily. With an Enkindling Orb that provides Duration, you can offset some of the uptime penalties on the flask.

The introduction of Enkindling Orbs in combination with Unique Utility Flasks has opened up some interesting new interactions. Coruscating Elixir is on the Ruby Flask base type which, as mentioned above, had its base duration increased from 4 seconds to 5. When combined with the duration Enkindling Orb outcome, it now has a duration of over 15 seconds.

We have also added 45% increased Flask duration to the passive tree, lowering the amount given by Cluster Jewel notables as a result. This combination of mechanics has implications with a certain unique belt *cough Soulthirst cough*. Replica Rumi's Concoction has a huge duration reduction, but with the duration Enkindling Orb effect you can nullify this, providing massive defence if you can cancel out the slowing effect while you have enough flask charges.

We've also taken this opportunity to review flask passive skills. Flask Effect is now mostly found around the Ranger area of the tree, and some new passives have been added.

The Enduring Mana Flask no longer penalises duration, so you have to press the button less, but it causes the flask to provide much less mana than before. Especially now that using a flask slot for a Mana Flask is a smaller loss of power, it has been rebalanced to provide a more appropriate level of mana recovery.

The "Adrenaline" modifier on flasks now gives far less movement speed (6-8% increased Movement Speed, down from 20-30%), putting more of a focus on enhancing a Quicksilver Flask's effect (with associated costs) rather than rolling a single modifier that granted almost as much speed as the Quicksilver Flask itself.

The "Iron Skin" and "Reflexes" suffixes have also been reduced, granting 40-60% increased Armour or Evasion (down from 60-100%).

Player Ailment Mitigation

Relevant section from the livestream:
Flasks that remove ailments now only provide a period of immunity to that ailment if they actually removed it. So if you get ignited, use a dousing flask to remove the ignite and to gain immunity for a while. You now can't just spam the flask before you're ignited to be permanently immune. If you want permanent mitigation of ailments, there are other options for your build. Note that we have rebalanced ailment mitigation in general so that there aren't a few options that completely outclass the rest.

In addition to changes to how flask modifiers protect from ailments, we're also reworking how players mitigate ailments in other ways. The intent here is there shouldn't be a simple low-investment option for any character to mitigate every single ailment. You should focus on mitigating the effects you're most threatened by, and just reducing the effects of those you can probably handle. For example, the change to Aquamarine flask to specifically reduce the effect of Freeze will let you continue to act while Frozen without mitigating it entirely. If you craft your Aquamarine flask to maximise flask effect, it can reduce a freeze to the point of it being mostly ignored.

We've made a number of changes to mechanics that protect against all Elemental ailments at once. Most Ascendancy skills that mitigated all ailments now provide partial or no mitigation. For example, the Raider now grants 50% chance to avoid elemental ailments while phasing instead of full elemental ailment immunity while phasing. This change means Raiders don't trivialize Elemental Ailments from the get go, but can still get full mitigation with a little bit of investment elsewhere. The Hierophant and the Pathfinder retain some level of Elemental Ailment mitigation, while the Inquisitor and the Elementalist no longer have any at all, as we felt that the Ascendancy passives that provided the Elemental Ailment mitigation (alongside other properties) were sufficiently powerful without it. Modifiers on gear that mitigate all ailments have also been reviewed and generally lowered in power, so it's a much higher gear and passive skill investment to gain immunity to every ailment at once, making it more reasonable to focus on mitigating the specific ailments that are most problematic for your build.

We want to provide new avenues for players to mitigate Bleed, Corrupted Blood and curses, given how common Bleed and Curse removal flasks were. As a result we have added extra support on the passive tree to mitigate Bleeding, Corrupted Blood and Curses, through new stats on existing notables or a new passive cluster. We've also made some minor changes to Pantheon Powers. The upgraded Soul of Ralakesh now grants you cannot gain Corrupted Blood while there are at least 5 Corrupted Blood Stacks on you and the upgraded Soul of Yugul now grants 20% reduced Effect or Curses on You, replacing their previous bonuses.


Poison now inherently deals 50% more damage.

We didn't like that Poison builds felt pigeon-holed into playing Assassin due to the extremely strong poison-related bonuses, and relied heavily on the Coralito's Signature unique flask in the late game.

We've reduced the power of the Assassin's poison notable passives to be more in-line with the kind of damage increases an Ascendancy usually gives. Noxious Strike no longer has +30% to Damage over Time Multiplier for Poison and the increased Poison Duration for each Poison you have inflicted Recently is now capped at 100%. Toxic Delivery now has "Poison you inflict with Critical Strikes deals 25% more Damage (from 50%)".

Coralito's Signature has been reworked to more directly benefit poison builds dealing critical strikes, rather than any poison build.

The Pathfinder's Master Toxicist notable has received a smaller nerf, now causing poisons you inflict during any Flask Effect to have a 20% chance to deal 100% more damage (down from 30%) while keeping its poison spread mechanic.

The overall result is that poison builds should feel far better earlier on and now allow for a wider selection of viable Ascendancy choices, such as the Occultist.

Poison builds were also guilty of having a particularly uninteresting array of support gems, with most purely providing an unconditional more damage multiplier. We have reworked the Poison Support Gem to now be called the Critical Strike Affliction Support. This support gem provides Damage over Time Multiplier to damaging Ailments from Critical Strikes, so it can also be used with Ignites and Bleeds too. The Lesser Poison Support has been renamed to Chance to Poison Support.

Note this change affects all monsters as well, as in general we felt poisons applied from monsters were unthreatening compared to other damaging ailments. However, we have lowered the Poison damage of certain monsters that had significantly powerful poisons already, such as the Al-Hezmin, the Hunter, such that the overall result is no damage buff compared to before.

Ailment Thresholds

Now that player damage has been reduced, we've reviewed our Ailment Threshold calculations to compensate for the lower damage of fully-supported skills. It's now much easier to apply stronger non-damaging ailments on enemies with less damage, especially on skills less heavily-supported.

We've also lowered the Ailment Threshold of particularly tough endgame encounters so that Chill or Shock investment is worthwhile on these encounters. Their threshold is now only slightly higher than regular map bosses.

As a much requested quality of life change, players can now see the effect of non-damaging Elemental Ailments on enemies and themselves, so you can finally determine how powerful your Shocks are on enemies and thus know what benefit they are giving you. This also applies to ailments applied to you, and the buff granted to you by the Cruelty support.

Trigger Effect Costs

Relevant section from the livestream:
When we're designing skills for Path of Exile, the mana cost of the skill is a mechanism to allow us to have large impactful effects. Bigger skills should cost more mana to cast. Unfortunately, this entire mechanism is currently bypassed by triggering skills as this skips their mana cost. This basically means that we can't design really powerful spells.

In 3.15, triggering skills through support gems will require paying their mana cost. In fact, sometimes it now costs more than casting the gem by hand. Thankfully, this isn't very hard with well-constructed characters. Certain support gems that were originally disabled from supporting triggered skills, like Arcane Surge, now can be used to support them.

Builds that use triggered skills are some of the most interesting characters in Path of Exile, and are often the best representation of the craziness that our character customisation system allows. We're confident that they are still just as powerful as before but we now have more interesting design space to explore with future skills.

As mentioned on the livestream, most triggered skills now cost mana. This was changed to add an additional opportunity cost to Trigger builds, as they already bypass various restrictions like Cast Time. Some triggers have higher costs than others, most notably Cast on Damage Taken, which previously had no cost at all, outside of taking up sockets.

Some positive results of this change are that Archmage can now apply to triggered skills, and Reap now gains Blood Charges when triggered. Spells triggered with Mjolner or Cast on Death don't require you to pay the costs.

Flame Dash, Dash, and Smoke Mine

Relevant section from the livestream:
As you know, most interaction with monster behaviour is essentially bypassed if you're using an extremely effective movement skill. This is okay if you have specialised deeply into customising that skill, but it's currently the default state for any character if you use Flame Dash, Smoke Mine or Dash without any further investment. These skills have been rebalanced to be more in-line with other movement skills. These are not huge numeric nerfs, but do mean that there is scope for improving the performance of these skills by specialising around them.

Many patches ago, we greatly buffed certain travel skills that were cooldown-gated, most notably Flame Dash, Smoke Mine and Dash. They provide a huge amount of mobility and travel speed with little opportunity cost, so we've lowered their values to be more appropriate for their investment.

Smoke Mine has been most-heavily affected. It now gives a one second burst of speed. The speed starts at 20% and scales up to 29%, so its speed growth isn't as extreme at no cost. Its smoke cloud size has been increased. It now has a cooldown of 5 seconds, rather than 2.5, and has no cooldown recovery as it levels. Chris mentioned in the livestream that the changes to these skills are not huge numerical nerfs, Smoke Mine is an exception. However despite that it is still very good at achieving the purpose of giving the player mobility and utility benefits, it is still very good for evading damage, and traversing across areas.

Dash's cooldown time is now 2.5 seconds (from 2) and has 0-19% increased cooldown recovery rate (from 0-57%).

Flame Dash's cooldown time is now 3.5 seconds (from 3) and has 0-19% increased cooldown recovery rate (from 0-47%). Its cast time is now 0.8s (from 0.7s), but it still retains its cast time bypass if not used in rapid succession.

The Second Wind support gem has been changed to have a much higher mana multiplier, and a penalty rather than a boost to cooldown recovery speed, so it's now a choice rather than a support gem you'd always use on a skill if you had a socket spare, and doesn't provide such a growth in uptime for the above skills.

Arcane Surge

Arcane Surge now provides increased mana regeneration rather than a percentage of mana per second, and no longer provides an increase to cast speed. This means it now provides slightly more mana recovery at low levels before you've invested in mana regeneration and works better with Clarity, but doesn't multiply with increases to mana regeneration at high levels.

Fortify Effect

Fortify is intended to be a natural benefit of playing a Melee character, not a primary defence to invest in. Over time we've introduced larger values and more sources of Fortify effect, to the point where it can almost completely mitigate damage from hits. We're aiming for having "40% less damage taken from hits with Fortify" being on the upper end of defensive power achievable with heavy investment, so you can't rely entirely on Fortify. Hence all sources of fortify effect have been reviewed, almost all significantly nerfed or replaced with something that is okay to be stacked.

Damage over Time Multiplier

Reviewing sources of Damage over Time Multiplier, this powerful damage bonus for damage over time skills has benefited disproportionately from Cluster Jewels, taking importance away from other sources. We've replaced all sources of the stat on non-notable Cluster Jewel passive skills with the standard damage increase to be consistent with other Medium cluster jewels with damage bonuses, and lowered the values or replaced the stat entirely on Cluster Jewel Notables.

To put more importance on weapons, we've changed the large type-specific Damage over Time Multiplier modifier on Weapons to be a Suffix rather than a Prefix, with no reduction in power. This makes it more in line with its intended equivalent, Critical Strike Multiplier. You'll now be able to obtain a better damage over time weapon than ever before.

Veiled Mods

After the rework to the Veiled item system in 3.14.0, we've reviewed how the Veiled Chaos Orb and Aisling crafts from Betrayal Safehouses work, and have made some changes to make crafting less deterministic in the outcomes, as the Unveiled modifiers can be very powerful additions to an item.

Veiled Modifiers no longer count as Crafted modifiers, so you can't easily remove them if you add the wrong modifier type while Aisling crafting. This has the advantage of now being able to ‘block’ modifiers you do not want to unveil, by crafting a mod you don’t want to unveil on the item prior to unveiling. By restricting the pool of mods you can unveil you have a higher chance of unveiling the mod you want.

Aisling's crafting bench that adds a Veiled modifier now first removes a random modifier, so it is riskier to use as a later step of item crafting rather than being an obvious final step because of its very consistent modifier pool.

Veiled Chaos Orbs can no longer be used to get multiple Veiled modifiers on an item. Previously this was possible taking advantage of meta-crafting modifiers, or fractured modifiers.

Dual-attributes modifiers can no longer be rolled with other modifiers that grant flat amounts of attributes of the same types, the exception being those that grant all attributes. We didn’t like that veiled modifiers felt mandatory to get the highest amount of flat attributes of a specific type on an item.

Other Changes

There are a host of other smaller changes, which you'll be able to read about in the patch notes. Here are a few specific ones that justify a brief explanation:

  • Focus's cooldown no longer expires while it's active, as players were able to keep Focus effects up almost permanently, which provided a huge amount of powerful benefits. You can invest in keeping it up more, but you won't be able to keep it up constantly. This is especially important as it's now one of the few sources of "Your Critical Strike Chance is Lucky" from a specific Focus modifier.
  • Golem Elementalist no longer provides increased damage per golem. The golem buff effect bonus on Liege of the Primordial now always provides 100% increased Effect of Buffs granted by your Golems rather than scaling with Golem count. This Ascendancy path was providing too much power and defence compared to other high-investment Ascendancy effects, so is now more heavily focussed on the buffs granted by golems rather than generic effects. By changing the buff effect on Liege of the Primordial it creates less of a reliance on having many golems and makes it more powerful in cases where players want to use just a few instead of feeling forced to invest into maximum Golems through various Unique Items.
  • The Raider's Ascendancy node "Rapid Assault" no longer provides Onslaught Effect. The Onslaught path was too easy a choice relative to the higher-investment Frenzy Charge branch. We've also replaced Movement Speed on the small Phasing passives with Elemental Damage, as there was already plenty of speed available on that Ascendancy.
  • Abyss Jewels can no longer roll the modifier that grants a chance to gain Onslaught on Kill. This low-opportunity-cost modifier was a no-brainer, providing strong attack, cast and move speed values that devalued all other sources of Onslaught and were too strong for a single jewel modifier.
  • Spectral Shield Throw was used almost exclusively with its threshold jewel, Divide and Conquer, at high levels. Because of this, we've changed the skill to naturally have behaviour similar to what Divide and Conquer applied. It will release all projectiles each time it chains (making it far stronger than before with sources of additional projectiles), and comes with a number of chains. While reviewing this skill, we've made changes to all skills that deal damage based on Shield Defences, greatly boosting their damage. These skills no longer gain critical strike chance per energy shield, a mechanic that was used very rarely. Instead, the Divide and Conquer threshold jewel has been reworked, and is now called Seething Fury. Seething Fury provides bonuses to critical strike chance and multiplier to Shield Charge, Spectral Shield Throw and Shield Crush, based on the Energy Shield from your Shield, making this an option for builds that do want to use Energy Shield based shields with these skills.
  • These mechanics have all been significantly reduced in power simply because they were too strong: Fire Burst was reduced in damage and has a slightly longer cooldown. Hollow Palm Technique now gives 40% more Attack Speed down from 60%. Vaal Ground Slam has had its damage adjusted and changed to having reduced Enemy Stun Threshold to match Ground Slam instead of always stunning. Blade Blast has had its area lowered and no longer Unnerves on Hit, but has had its area multiplier with Blade Vortex increased to compensate.
  • We have changed all existing unarmed unique items and stats to specifically work with melee skills. The upcoming skill Explosive Concoction was designed to work without any of these items so Facebreakers, Doryani's Fist, Rigwald's Curse, Hollow Palm Technique and Martial Artistry have been changed.

Buffs to Underperforming Skills

As well as the aforementioned buffs to almost all skills that use melee weapons, a few bow skills and cooldown traps, we've made some numerical buffs to a number of skills that weren't measuring up to their counterparts:

  • As usual, we've buffed Firestorm. It now deals 20% more damage at gem level 20, and its first impact now deals 325% more damage, up from 250% more damage.
  • The strike frequency of Lightning Spire Trap now scales with increases and reductions to trap throwing speed instead of cast speed. Lightning Spire Trap now deals 25% more damage at all gem levels.
  • Seismic Trap now deals 40% more damage at all gem levels. Seismic Trap's small bursts now have radius 9 (up from 7, i.e. 28% more radius). Seismic Trap's large bursts now have radius 18 (up from 12, i.e. 50% more radius). The wave frequency of Seismic Trap now scales with increases and reductions to trap throwing speed instead of cast speed.
  • The rotation speed of Flamethrower Trap no longer scales with increases to cast speed. It can no longer be modified.
  • Shock Nova's ring no longer deals 50% less damage. It now deals full damage so enemies in the ring take twice as much damage.
  • Explosive Arrow now deals 5% more damage with hits and ailments per Explosive Arrow on the target (up from 3%).
  • Artillery Ballista now deals approximately 10% more damage at all gem levels.
  • Icestorm (granted by The Whispering Ice unique item) now deals 3-5 cold damage per 10 intelligence (up from 2-4 cold damage per 10 intelligence).
  • Bodyswap now has a base radius of 14 (up from 10), but only 200% more area of effect if consuming a corpse. This results in a radius of 24 (up from 20) when consuming a corpse, so it is still higher.
  • Spark now deals more base damage and has reduced growth. This results in it dealing approximately 40% more damage at gem level 1, 10% more damage at gem level 20, and less beyond that (it deals less damage than it did before at gem level 40, but higher or the same at all other levels).
  • Barrage now deals 47% of base attack damage at gem level 1 (up from 40%) and 54.6% of base attack damage at gem level 20 (up from 47.6%). This is approximately 17% more damage at gem level 1 and 15% more Damage at gem level 20.
  • Storm Burst's base radius now increases faster with levels, resulting in +4 to base radius at gem level 20 (up from +2).
  • Soulrend's base damage has been increased and growth has been slightly reduced, resulting in it dealing 20% more damage at gem level 1, and 10% more damage at gem level 20 (and lower at higher levels), it never deals less damage than it dealt before (even up to gem level 40).
  • Storm Call's growth has been increased resulting in it dealing approximately 25% more Damage at gem level 20 (and more at higher levels).
  • Lightning Tendrils' strong pulses now deal 100% more damage with hits and ailments (up from 50%).
  • Lightning Arrow no longer has any increases to shock effect. As a result, it now has a higher value of "Shock as though dealing x% more Damage" as the gem levels, dealing 290% at gem level 20 (with no change at gem level 1). Lightning Arrow also now deals 130% of base attack damage at gem level 1 (up from 110%) up to 154% of base attack damage at gem level 20 (up from 134%). This is approximately an 18% damage increase at gem level 1 and 14% at gem level 20.
  • Rolling Magma damage growth per level has been increased and it now deals 20% more damage at gem level 20 (and more at higher levels).
  • The amount of cold damage dealt per frenzy charge on discharge has been raised to match fire damage per endurance charge. This is an increase of approximately 22% more cold damage dealt. The minimum amount of lightning damage dealt per power charge has been slightly increased, and the maximum slightly reduced. This results in the same average damage as the other two elements, but deals approximately 5% less overall lightning damage per power charge.
  • Split Arrow now has an attack speed of 110% of base (up from 100%)
  • Flameblast now deals 130% more spell damage for each stage (up from 110%)
  • Vaal Flameblast now deals 140% more spell damage for each stage (up from 120%)

There are plenty of other smaller changes to be found in the patch notes, most of which are self-explanatory.

That wraps up this Balance Manifesto. As you can imagine, there are so many significant changes to the feel of the game as a result of mechanical changes that affect all players, so we'll be keeping a very close eye on feedback!

  • Corrected the note regarding Seismic Trap to say "more radius" rather than "more area of effect".
  • Corrected the numbers of Bodyswap's radius from "42 (up from 40)", to "24 (up from 20).
Posted by 
Grinding Gear Games
You will never be able to nerf bob
hype! Can't wait to see the full patchnote of nerfs!
Im hyped to revisit the difficulty we had back in the days. This seems to nerf builds more toward the beggining of the Awakener patch (wich would be nice) but maybe it will be more like the era of Act 3-4 then once we achieve getting those awakeners Gems we'll feel the reward of achieving late game content and that would be absolutely POGGER.

Good luck on the release!

[Removed by Support] If you don't like playing the game while leveling and the process of gearing yourself... maybe you just don't like the game and you just want a trophy without actually playing the game.
Last edited by Kane_GGG on Jul 19, 2021, 9:50:01 PM
Nice. Can we get a sale on the Transcendence Herald Effect?
Excellent news! Can't wait to play Explosive/Seismic Trap! I love Traps <3

vi von
Last edited by 0flip on Jul 19, 2021, 8:50:21 PM
any chad shield skill enjoyers

edit: nevermind they lowered the numbers for shield crush already Sadge
bad at the game
Last edited by xhongi_ on Jul 20, 2021, 4:11:03 AM
That manifesto is krusty-based Oo

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