Path of Nerfs
As developers, we're not afraid to nerf game elements that are too powerful and are harming Path of Exile. Unfortunately, patch notes are not the best way to communicate these nerfs, because their format and information density makes it hard to include sufficient explanation.
In today's manifesto, we have highlighted and explained most of the significant nerfs in 3.1.0. Of course, there are plenty of buffs in 3.1.0 as well, but we'll leave those as pleasant surprises in tomorrow's full patch notes.
Vaal Pact Keystone
Being able to leech instantly meant that many threats were completely mitigated by high-damage fast-hitting characters with minimal leech investment. Vaal Pact has been changed to no longer grant instant leech, but instead doubles your character's leech rate and maximum leech rate. This was one of the most heavily-requested nerfs in the history of Path of Exile.
The keystone is still powerful, but now really benefits from investment in leech.
Atziri's Acuity has been changed to instead grant Vaal Pact if you've performed a critical strike recently, giving it a slightly different use when compared with the Vaal Pact keystone. It now fills a different role to its previous one and acts as a way for you to avoid some of the downsides of the Vaal Pact Keystone
The Brutal Fervour Ascendancy Skill no longer grants Maximum Life Leech Rate. Hematophagy and Vitality Void now only grant +3% to Maximum Life Leech Rate (from +5%).
As a result of the changes to Vaal pact, other sources of leech were also examined. Brutal Fervour was identified as a problem, moreso after the changes to Vaal Pact, as it was the next-closest thing to instant leech. We didn't want to change what made the Slayer the Slayer, but were okay with it taking a small hit, given its dominance over the 3.0.0 ladders.
Mind over Matter
The mana bonuses granted by the passive skills behind this keystone have been reduced. The mana granted was very high, especially at lower levels. The keystone is currently at a power level where further mana investment is still worthwhile.
Vulnerability, Despair and Wither
Vulnerability is now a Strength gem, focused on Physical Damage, Bleed and Maim.
Despair is a new Intelligence gem that will replace existing copies of Vulnerability. It reduces Chaos Resistance, increases Damage over Time taken, and grants added Chaos Damage to hits against cursed enemies. (This gem isn't counted as one of the ten new ones in 3.1.0).
Wither now has a lower max stack limit (15, down from 20) and slightly lower damage taken effect per stack (6% per stack, down from 7%).
Wither increased Chaos Damage taken by enemies much more than was reasonable for an easily totemifiable non-damage skill. We've split some of its damage bonus off into the new Despair curse, taking this opportunity to realign Vulnerability as a Strength-based curse as was more appropriate for a physical-damage-improving effect. As mentioned previously, old copies of the Vulnerability gem will become Despair with the release of 3.1.0.
Witchfire Brew now applies Despair.
Dark Pact cast using your life no longer has bonus radius, and the damage bonus has been reduced from 95% more damage with hits and ailments when using your life to 76% more damage.
Own-life-spending Dark Pact builds were dealing too much damage over too large an area, granting an already very defensive build very high clear speeds.
Barrage no longer has the additional projectile enchantment available in the Merciless Labyrinth. The equivalent Endgame Labyrinth enchantment now grants +1 additional Barrage Projectile (down from +2). Existing helmet enchantments are unmodified.
The additional projectile made this skill and enchantment combination the superior choice for bow/wand users. We want to ensure that there are several viable options for these characters.
Doomfletch and Doomfletch's Prism
Doomfletch: Now adds 100% of Physical Damage as Damage of a random Element (down from 110%). It no longer has increased Critical Strike Chance, and instead has (12-16) to (20-24) added Physical Damage.
Doomfletch's Prism: Now adds 100% of Physical Damage as Damage of each Element (down from 110%). As Doomfletch has no Critical Strike Chance value now, none is inherited here.
Doomfletch's Prism was providing some of the highest damage numbers of any bow in the game, so has been reduced. It's likely still the best bow.
Queen of the Forest
Now has 200 to 240% increased Evasion Rating (down from 240 to 380%). The movement speed bonus this item can provide has been capped at 100% for all versions.
Changes to evasion basetypes in The Fall of Oriath both pushed the evasion rating of this item too high, and took the movement speed this item granted to an extreme. We never intended for a single item to be able to provide so much movement speed. Over time as more movement speed and evasion became available this item has become unreasonable. The movement speed players were attaining was not something that the game was designed to handle. This cap is unlikely to affect average use of this item.
Rise of the Phoenix
Maximum Fire Resistance granted has been reduced to 5% (from 8%). Life regeneration has been increased to 15 to 20 per second (from 6). New versions now also grant 40 to 60 Life (this cannot be divined).
This item granted too much maximum fire resistance, more than any other shield provided for any other maximum resistance type. This made it far too easy to max out fire resistance on a Righteous Fire character. Other bonuses on the item have been added or increased to have the item remain useful for other builds.
Experience changes for high-level characters
Each league, the race to 100 is over more quickly than the previous one, as players become more efficient and the experience available gets larger. We receive overwhelming feedback (including from top racers) that this process should be made longer. We're going to be careful though, and just adjust it a bit at a time. In 3.1.0, this takes the form of small additional experience penalties at levels 95-99 that have the following effect:
Well, there's the list of significant nerfs. Hopefully we didn't forget any important ones. We have a decent list of buffs to go with it, which will be posted tomorrow in the full patch notes!
Last edited by Chris on Dec 4, 2017, 9:19:39 PM
Last bumped on Jun 16, 2020, 10:55:45 AM
on Dec 4, 2017, 6:41:17 PM
Grinding Gear Games
For everyone thinking the lack of Slayer nerfs was too good to be true, you were right. An unnamed designer just walked in to my office, tricorne in hand, to confess that a nerf was missed out when writing the article. I have updated the thread now.
on Dec 4, 2017, 9:20:07 PM
Grinding Gear Games