Path of Exile shares the balance manifesto and Ascendancy class changes for Echoes of the Atlas


The informational hits just keep on coming for Path of Exile as it continues to talk up the incoming Echoes of the Atlas update. This week, we’re being given an overall look at what balance is going to look like for the multiplayer ARPG and a closer peek at adjustments to Ascendancy classes.

On the subject of balance, Grinding Gear Games outlines plans to nerf aura stacking builds, the Impaler Keystone, Call of Steel builds, and Raised Spectres and Golem minion builds. It’s not all bopping things with a nerf bat, though; over 40 “underrepresented” skills are going to be brought up in order to make them more competitive, along with plans to reduce the internal cooldown of effects that grant Flask charges on critical strike, rework the Elementalist, Inquisitor and Deadeye, and adjust Ascendancy classes.

To that final point of Ascendancy classes, there’s a full outline of these planned changes for every single one in the game, so those who are looking to plan their builds ahead of the Echoes of the Atlas release can now do so. And for more on Path of Exile’s upcoming content, make sure to check out MJ’s recent Wandering Wraeclast writeup.

sources: official forums (1, 2)

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Looking at those gem changes…fuckin lol, “mandate to buff skills” and “buffed 40+ skills!”

It’s mostly minor tweaks, many of which do little, and a ton of alt-quality aura nerfs that hurt non-aurabots harder than aurabots.

It’s a sham that this rolled out this way, because outside of them pissing the community off with this it’s been a solid as heck lookin update.

Vanquesse V

This patch is signalling a change of direction imho. For the last 2½ years poe has revolved around narrow archetypes and over time builds have been forced into one specific ascendancy. The rework makes ascendancies easier to comprehend and build for while supporting a larger amount of skills/builds.
GGG nerfs are, almost always, a response to popularity, not power, so after necro being top 3 ascendancy for any league for at least a year straight it shouldn’t be surprising that nerfs were incoming.
I don’t like spectres being nerfed in viability when it’s the top end that’s the issue, but that skill needs a massive rework.

General observation: Kinda funny to call back to dec ’18 and the people cheering at the difficulty of poe2 any time people cry at losing the tiniest bit of power.

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Another round of Path of Nerfs or at least that is how a lot of folks are seeing this from what I have read.

A couple of builds I like to play in particular Necro minions has been slapped about a bit in this round.

I really need to see the full patch notes for 3.13 and I am just hoping that the these changes are all they are doing and it’s not going to be a double slap with skill gem changes too

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It sucks a bit but…the nerfs are needed and especially for necros. Necros have been way too strong for way too long and largely continue to dominate leagues every time.

As to the broader nerf, it needs to happen across the board. They need to move away from “shapers-per-second” DPS and the only way to counter players largely being one-shots. Also opening up more builds that aren’t just “GO REALLY FAST”.

Still trying to figure out what I want to play this next league now…

Dug From The Earth

Yup, in a game with so many skill builds, its a shame when only a small amount are viable because of how OP they are.

The more skills are balanced, the more choice we ultimately have to play.


This is a PvE game. Just because some builds are meta and OP, doesn’t mean other builds are not viable. There are tons of build that can tackle end-game content.

Dug From The Earth

So then let me rephrase.

Data collected by GGG shows that the majority of players play builds that are more powerful.

Does this hurt anything? No
Does this affect other players if you play an OP build? No

So why do they care?


They designed a game with LOTS of skills. They dont want 90% of the skill never to be used because they are garbage. That is BAD game design. They want every skill to feel like a worth wild choice. Choices are GOOD in games, and can be fun. But they need to be meaningful choices.

Otherwise, they should just remove the 90% of skills that are rarely/never used.

Choices only matter if they are meaningful. And its not a meaningful choice to have to pick between a weak gimpy skill vs a strong OP skill.