Vaal Spark

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Allnamestaken wrote:
It really isn't, wait till you get to merciless - then sparks' low inherit damage will show itself and oneshotting some bosses will get harder. Plus 96 souls aren't that easy to get. All in all that is what vaal skills should be - crazy nukes.


Its 72 souls, but that is not the point. The point is that the game should not be balanced solely around end-game. If I can one-shot act bosses with a mediocre build and selffound gear as a sub-average player, you turn what could be an interesting leveling phase into a plain time sink. One of the nicer things about Dialo 2 imho was that for some build you really had to suffer early level.

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Allnamestaken wrote:
P.S. You can oneshot bosses with some regular skills too - Flameblast (unless the nerf was too severe, haven't tested after it), discharge, puncture.


All of these require a more or less significant investment. Flameblast with enough spell damage, dual curse and ignite works quite well, but you'll be spending quite a few points for it (and, being solo, have to stand still for some time). As for Puncture, you'd need a really good crit and a boss that is moving around a lot, and discharge would at least require you to build charges and invest in the respective passives. With vaal spark, on the other hand, you could as well be naked and not spend any points. The combination of the skill's crazy projectile modifier with GMP and the fact that spark ricochet makes it a lot stronger while being easier to pull of, at least in my book.
If they nerf it it will become useless akin to other high soul requirement skills - do you know anyone using vaal arc?
IGNs
GroovyBeard
JooJooFromTheWell
Last edited by Allnamestaken on Mar 23, 2014, 11:44:38 AM
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vezuial wrote:
If I can one-shot act bosses with a mediocre build and selffound gear as a sub-average player, you turn what could be an interesting leveling phase into a plain time sink.

Self-found a rare gem, yes. GMP is a late A3 Merc Quest reward normally.

Your 'mediocre build' that makes Vaal Spark work really well consists of:
A Trap Support granting %More Damage (probably Quest reward?)
A really lucky GMP drop, increasing effective Damage by 150%
Bunch of Increased Damage (maybe Spell Damage, inevitably Trap Damage)
Actually getting Vaal Spark to drop

I don't see the problem? It's not like you just cast it without any sort of investment, and you cannot guarantee you can get this setup whatsoever, unless you twink. In fact, you are quite invested into making it really powerful. Should that not have a good pay-off?

You say 'you could as well be naked', but have you actually tried that, or are you exclusively using this setup that buffs Vaal Spark a whole bunch more than a naked character ever could?


re Souls: you need the listed amount of Souls in Normal, +50% in Cruel, +100% in Merc, hence the 96 souls. That said, monsters are more numerous in Merc anyways so w/e.
Last edited by Vipermagi on Mar 23, 2014, 1:13:28 PM
Not asking for an overall nerf, just saying that the skill might need some rebalancing around content level 40. On my current level, it is guaranteed to clear the entire screen, including orange colored mobs. You could lower the overall damage output and still have a powerful nuke.

The real issue, imho, is the projectile multiplier. A normal spark fires 3 projectiles, the vaal variant fires 1, just 150 times. With GMP (+4), that becomes 750 sparks.
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Vipermagi wrote:
Self-found a rare gem, yes. GMP is a late A3 Merc Quest reward normally.

Your 'mediocre build' that makes Vaal Spark work really well consists of:
A Trap Support granting %More Damage (probably Quest reward?)
A really lucky GMP drop, increasing effective Damage by 150%
Bunch of Increased Damage (maybe Spell Damage, inevitably Trap Damage)
Actually getting Vaal Spark to drop


The mediocre build referred to a sub-optimal skill tree, that makes no particular investment towards spell or lightning damage other than the few starting nodes in the shadow tree. It does invest in trap skills a bit, but still does not cover all the respective nodes.

The trap support is indeed a quest reward. The GMP I actually got quite early thanks to a gemcutter's strongbox - those aren't exactly rare, I've actually found several gems that I would not have access to otherwise. Anyhow, in this scenario LMP would not be that far behind (110% rather than 150% increased damage).

Vaal spark actually dropped a couple of times, along with other vaal gems, and in any case I don't see the point here. If a gem is indeed OP, does it improve the situation if it only drops for 20% of the population?

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Vipermagi wrote:
I don't see the problem? It's not like you just cast it without any sort of investment, and you cannot guarantee you can get this setup whatsoever, unless you twink. In fact, you are quite invested into making it really powerful. Should that not have a good pay-off?


We may have different ideas on what an investment towards a skill may look like. For instance, I have so far not added any increased damage / lightning pen supports to it, I've not focused on spell/ele damage in any way, I am not using a +gems setup and don't use a single curse.

Yes, an investment should have a pay-off, but again: If you're one-hitting act bosses with what I maintain is a small investment, maybe the balance is off. I'm not arguing to remove the gem, just saying it performs a lot better than pretty much everything else in the game I am aware of, and might need some careful tweaking.
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vezuial wrote:
For instance, I have so far not added any increased damage / lightning pen supports to it

Except GMP and Trap, both of which improve Damage output. Trap also puts the emitter in a far more potent place to boot, again improving damage output. A three-link is pretty standard for Cruel, especially for a secondary, but a four-link isn't uncommon. Five-links are entirely out of the question.

Other Supports simply are not as powerful. LPen might equal GMP against bosses with very high Lightning resist, which are far from common in Cruel; it always loses against anything without high Lightning resist. LMP is a more accessible option (but still limited access) losing out slightly to GMP, but Trap is pretty much insurmountable. An Added Lightning/Cold Support provides considerably less Damage than GMP (~25% as opposed to 150%), roughly similar to Trap Support but doesn't displace the emitter.
What else are you going to link?

I wouldn't be surprised if you have close to 100% Increased Damage from gear and passives, which again is far from bad in Cruel (and close to 100% more than a naked character). The two starting nodes alone are 32%, Saboteur is 29%, the Chance to Shock node adds 16% and is gated behind 8%, GMP adds another bit...

You are severely understating the value of your setup. Your character uses two of the most potent Supports one can have for Vaal Spark, and has a basic investment in Increased Damage for it, which alone nearly doubles its output. Yes, it's powerful. It kills bosses. That's what Vaal Skills are made to do, especially if you support them well. You're not making a very strong case for it being too powerful.

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Gemcutter's Strongboxes being common or not is, again, luck-based. Gemcutter's are one of the rarest Strongboxes, and finding multiple in just the first two difficulties is not going to be standard practice (I know I haven't found that many on average). Additionally, they are only this common in Ambush; they don't exist anywhere else yet, and will be far less common if/when implemented into the game proper.
As such, I still consider GMP a rare drop, because it being easier to obtain is temporary.
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Vipermagi wrote:
What else are you going to link?


My next candidate would be added chaos damage (which I also found in gemcutter's strongboxes).

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Vipermagi wrote:

You are severely understating the value of your setup. Your character uses two of the most potent Supports one can have for Vaal Spark, and has a basic investment in Increased Damage for it, which alone nearly doubles its output. Yes, it's powerful. It kills bosses. That's what Vaal Skills are made to do, especially if you support them well. You're not making a very strong case for it being too powerful.


That is subjective, as I have listed a number of easy ways to increase the damage output quite a bit. So let's cut the discussion short: Should you be able, at any point, to one-shot an act boss at level before he is able to do anything about it?

Excluding extreme twink chars that have completely optimal gear, I would say you should not. That would be my idea of a game, these fights should be at least a bit of a challenge. You may of course think differently, but then again this forum is meant for feedback.

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Vipermagi wrote:

Gemcutter's Strongboxes being common or not is, again, luck-based. Gemcutter's are one of the rarest Strongboxes, and finding multiple in just the first two difficulties is not going to be standard practice (I know I haven't found that many on average). Additionally, they are only this common in Ambush; they don't exist anywhere else yet, and will be far less common if/when implemented into the game proper.
As such, I still consider GMP a rare drop, because it being easier to obtain is temporary.


While I assume that strongboxes will make their way in normal play, that is a fair point, I would not have gotten to GMP without it. Vaal gems and the trap support, however, appear rather frequently, and as I said, LMP does the trick just fine (and yes, I did test this).
Yes, nerf-philia is real! How else one would explain teh need for nerfing a skill after only witnessing its performance in cruel? I mean, you can get to merciless in hours if you really want to - most bosses are pushovers that die to regular skills in seconds and you are complaining that Vaal Spark perform like it should and is not trash like half+ of other vaal gems.
IGNs
GroovyBeard
JooJooFromTheWell
An ideal target to use this skill is the Stagnant Canal boss... Too bad collecting enough souls in such a short map is impossible.

This skill is very useful if you lack a strong AOE in early to medium gameplay... And I assume you'll not lack such ability in late gameplay.

p.s. Boss killing in earlier stage is a trivial factor considering the existence of overpowered uniques like Searing Touch etc.
Two-handed - Mop
Dual Wield - Slippers
One-handed & Shield (close combat) - Brush & Basin
One-handed & Shield (ranged) - Hair Dryer & Mirror
Main-hand & Off-hand (evil witch) - Sponge & Soap
This is an extremely powerful Vaal skill — so powerful, in fact, it might be OP. Good Vaal skills do one of two things: either help deal with powerful threats by killing them quickly, or help deal with them by providing some form of defense or utility. This definitely doesn't provide utility, but the damage potential against both single-target and groups is actually mind-blowing; I like using it with Trap support, throwing at a dangerous monster or pack of monsters, and just watching them all melt in a flurry of sparks.

You can easily one-shot act bosses throughout most of the game with this skill in a 4L. That might be too good.
A shining light in a sea of stagnant bong water.

Last edited by Rachel_GGG on Sep 31, 2018 0:61:72 PM

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