Path of Exile writes a development manifesto for game balance changes arriving in Ultimatum

    
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Path of Exile fans know that the devs of Grinding Gear Games love to write their development manifestos, and with the Ultimatum League arriving later this week for PC players, there’s a recently released manifesto that’s all about balance plans for the expansion.

The post calls out a variety of changes for life-costing skills and damaging Vaal skills, explains several Atlas and general passive tree adjustments, discusses some general skill balance changes, and lists overall game balance changes that it notes are all nerfs. As usual, it’s an in-depth post that regular players will want to root around in.

If you’re looking for more Path of Exile coverage, make sure to check out our insider look at the Ultimatum League as well as a summary of Path of Exile 2 reveals.

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Dug From The Earth

How has ED not been nerfed?

How has fortify not been nerfed?

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Bryan Correll

Maybe the streamers like them too much.

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Arktouros

Not much here that would affect me personally or what I play typically.

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Greaterdivinity

Lots of good nerfs in there, honestly. I’m just waiting on the patch notes to see if any of the skills I want to play have finally been buffed enough that they won’t be miserable to try to map with.

Pls pls pls buff Spectral Throw and/or preferably Spectral Shield Throw. I JUST WANNA MAKE A BLEEDSPLOSION GLADIATOR THAT THROWS SHIELDS : |

As a major benefit of these changes, reservation skills no longer have an associated cost by default, so you don’t need the current mana available to reserve a skill.

Small, but HUGE QoL improvement. Accidentally disabling auras on a character without mana flasks/regen and having to wait for mana to slowly recover or zone elsewhere and back was always a bloody nightmare.

Now it opens up some funsies for things like quick-swapping auras in combat, which should be interesting.

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Vanquesse V

I miss spectral throw too, and would also like SST to be a viable skill even if it’s just for one league.

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Greaterdivinity

They just have to figure out how to give it some single target. Even without gladiar bleedsplosion the clear is pretty bloody fantastic, my brother has a few he’s made over the years and if anything the clear might be too dang good on some of them. It’s just that trying to use the same character for bossing is…painful to say the least. And this is even on his ranger character doing full cold conversion with insane gear for the build.

I’m hoping they’ll actually deliver on the “over 40 skills buffed!” nonsense after we all got jebaited last league. Still salty about that but hey, at least it forced me to finally tinker around with an ancestral warchief chieftan which…sucked for clear and didn’t have quite as much defense as I wanted, but was STUPIDLY strong for what was very minimal investment. Not SSF friendly, but holy hell was it easy to make strong very quickly. And fun too, turning the totems into elder tentacles and just watching them slap things to death.

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Arktouros

There’s just too many skills to ever have all of them actually be meta viable. Like there’s just invariably going to be something that just works better. It’s a big reason why people who talk up POE’s complexity with it’s massive passive tree or tons of skills miss the point that it doesn’t matter if you got like 80% of the player base on the same build/skills.

The best you can hope for is at some point in the future with POE2 that side skills become viable so you can have a 6L Shield Throw for mapping then have an actually useful skill for single target bossing.

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Greaterdivinity

Oh I don’t have any illusions that balance is easy or that they can reasonably have even say, 10 skill gems around the same level of power/popularity.

But there are a ton of skills that functionally nobody uses because they’re either straight up garbage entirely, or are barely viable even with insane investments and makes them pretty unattractive as you can get 2-5x the performance out of another skill gem build for the same cost, if not far cheaper.

And seeing the patch notes now…outside of some of the vaal skills and Anger, it appears to be nerfs all the way down this league. Still super salty after how they talked up the skill gem buffs for Ritual and that ended up being a bunch of extremely minor improvements that had minimal effect.

I’m not even talking about like, lolmeta skills where you’re one shotting bosses or clearing the screen instantly. I’m hoping POE2 helps in that regard and we can have some nice “clear skills vs. single target skills” options, but it doesn’t help at all in the short term since that’s not coming until 2022 at the earliest : /

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Bryan Correll

I JUST WANNA MAKE A BLEEDSPLOSION GLADIATOR THAT THROWS SHIELDS : |

I played that in Heist league. SST is a good clearing skill if you have the ‘Dive and Conquer’ threshold jewel. Pretty crap for bosses though.

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Greaterdivinity

Sadly, yeah. Same goes for if you build ranger (I think raider? I forget) and do something like elemental conversion. Great clear but the single target almost justifies the time needed to log over to another character to kill the boss.

Notes are up now and it’s just more nerfs, only buffs were to vaal gems specifically and Anger (a bit). Really bummed that this league has little in the way of regular skill gem balance.

But hey, at least some of the new bleed gems/mechanics might make for some interesting potential builds. Could always go bleed bow gladiator or something but just…mmmeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. New skills just don’t appeal to me too much, though at least hopefully means a bit of a return for the poor, poor juggernauts (and maybe some slayers).

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Arktouros

This league perfect time for me to try out an old build I’ve always wanted to do, Vortex/Cold Snap Occultist. No big nerfs and no big buffs make it pretty middle of the road tried and true character.

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Greaterdivinity

Haven’t played myself (not too appealing to me), but my brother has a few of those that he’s played in league and has one he still plays on SSF every now and then. IIRC it’s not too bad to gear starting out, and it’s definitely strong with plenty of room to grow. Not a bad choice at all if you’re looking for a strong, but not insane/OP, build.

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Dug From The Earth

or preferably Spectral Shield Throw.

oh yes please