Path of Exile explains upcoming Energy Shield mechanical changes

There are some big changes coming to Energy Shield in Path of Exile’s next expansion, and as tends to happen with major system changes, the designers have penned a lengthy column explaining why these changes exist. It’s not that Energy Shield is inherently bad, obviously; the problem is that with high enough values and the right collection of relics, players can ultimately use Energy Shield to completely replace Life as a survival mechanic, which results in characters with enormous health pools without any investment in doing so.

To fix this problem high-end shield values have been significantly tuned down, and several different items have had their synergy with Energy Shield adjusted to provide a more tangible drawback. Vaal Pact, for example, will no longer provide any benefit to Energy Shield (whereas it currently allows almost an immediate refill of shields without any drawbacks). However, it will also be possible for players to craft better Energy Shield items earlier, so players can still try out the builds that made these changes necessary; they’ll still be potent, but they should no longer make you effectively unkillable.

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7 Comments on "Path of Exile explains upcoming Energy Shield mechanical changes"

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Dug From The Earth

Much needed changes, maybe the exact % and numbers can still be tweaked, but the concept of these changes were needed. Thankfully, its a patch to the beta, not live, and they can still adjust the values.


People got incredibly worked up with gnashing of anger teeth when GGG made changes to auras – and then the next release they broke all previous log in records. This will not be any different.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Currently, from my admittedly limited understanding, the only armors in the game worth wearing are the single armors, Energy, Evasion or Armor. Of these three, Energy and Armor are the ones most commonly used because they provide the strongest defense. Evasion is iffy and characters I’ve equipped with Evasion are definitely a lot squishy than either Energy or Armor builds.

That leaves the entire hybrid armor (Energy/Armor, Armor/Evasion, Evasion/Energy) spectrum ignored in builds because it is simply sub-par. One of the things the upcoming changes will allow is for builds to dabble more into the hybrid armors. I’m not sure this will work unless the values on the hybrids are significantly improved, but GGG can’t be ignorant of the fact that almost no builds use hybrid armors.

There is considerably gnashing of teeth on the PoE forums over this change. But I suspect, as usual, these are mostly from players who have successfully used the nearly unkillable ES builds to farm uniques and then sell them. The kind of fury one sees at the moment usually comes from players who realize their easy road to wealth has been blocked off.

GGG has also emphasized that the curtailing of Energy Shield overloading is only meant to affect players at the top levels (68-70) and should be relatively neutral for leveling.

Oh, boy. Beta, here we come.


Evasion builds also hit a truck wall since there is a hard cap on how much you can dodge. Leaving it better to just pick up the node that turned it all into armor anyways, since at least you’d still get damage reduction, a bit at the cost of diminishing returns.

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Well evade is capped at 95% and dodge at 75%, meaning that if you combine the two you get a 98,75% chance to either evade or dodge. I’m pretty sure the cap is not a problem.

And I never understood armor in PoE. It has this really weird damage formula that means that from low hits, you mitigate a high % of the damage, but for high hits, you mitigate a low %. Meaning that you mitigate most of the crappy hits from weak mobs, but when a boss hits you with an important ability, you barely mitigate anything and die anyway. I think that’s also why so many armor based people rely on high HP, fortify and endurance charges, rather than on the armor itself.

Chosenxeno .

Defense as a whole seems iffy in this game. I tried switching to the Convert Evasion to Armour Keystone today and it’s just like you describe it here. I dunno man. It just seems like defense is already wonky and they are going to change the only effective defense choice. I have been playing as life. People wouldn’t be going for ES only if Chaos wasn’t so hard to get and there was actually some true ALL resist in the game. I decided to stop today. Can’t take dying anymore because my defensive choice is useless and because build choice is kinda false because of defense.


This will end up shaking some builds up, will be interesting.