Grinding Gear Games is hard at work on the next patch for Path of Exile, 3.3.0, the major focus this time is on a variety of skill and playstyle revamps that enable new and more powerful class combos.
To quote GGG, their main goal was to offer new options for players in terms of main and support skills to increase complexity and variance in the end-game.
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Trap skills are getting a bit of a buff when 3.3.0 lands, one of the major changes is the removal of cooldowns from certain skills. Fire Trap and Lightning Trap are the two skills that have been announced so far in terms of having their cooldown removed. Fire Trap will deal additional fire damage as well. Lightning Trap will also get a higher base critical strike chance Bear Trap is also getting a new modifier which applies a debuff on enemies that increases the damage they take from traps and mines.
GGG are also introducing a new support gem for trap skills that has a chance to generate both Power and Frenzy charges when your traps are triggered while simultaneously giving you a Critical Strike Multiplier for each Power Charge and increased Throw speed for each Frenzy Charge.
The devs are working on a plan to increase the active trap limit significantly, but that’s undergoing more testing at the moment.
There are more changes to trap mechanics coming, but we’ll just have to wait and see what else is planned in POE.
One of the major changes coming in the next patch is a shift in the way Vaal skills work.
Here are some major changes to the Vaal skill system. These are intended to address some problems with the Vaal skill system, noted below.
- Vaal Skill Gems now grant the regular and the Vaal version of the skill. This is to remove the socket pressure that Vaal skills suffered from, so you no longer have to give up an Aura, Herald, Triggered Skill or a well-linked secondary skill, and you can justify using a Vaal gem in your best set of linked sockets.
- Unique and Rare enemies now grant souls to Vaal Skills as they lose life. Longer fights will generate more Vaal souls for your skills. We’ll reveal the exact mechanics once we’re completely happy with them. Most Vaal skills couldn’t be used more than a couple of times on bosses until this change, and couldn’t be used at all on stand-alone encounters like Izaro. You won’t be able to use them as frequently as in the past when killing lots of enemies, but they’ll still play a part and have an impact on boss fights.
- Vaal Skills now prevent gaining Vaal souls for a short duration when used. This change was made so that we no longer need to balance Vaal skills around their ability to generate their soul cost back again when killing many enemies. Because of this change, we can increase the power and reduce the soul cost of many Vaal skills.
- Vaal skills no longer have higher soul costs after your encounters with Kitava. With other changes, Vaal skills no longer need to get more expensive as you start encountering larger monster packs.
- Vaal Souls are now stored per skill, rather than per gem. This is to prevent you having multiple copies of the same Vaal skill gem and switching the gems out mid-fight.
- The Ancestral Call Support can no longer support Vaal skills. The same is still true of Multistrike Support and Spell Echo Support. This is something we’ll reassess in future, but at the moment duplicating Vaal skill effects causes too many technical, performance and balance problems.
These are some incredible changes on their own. The ability to no longer have to sacrifice a slot for a Vaal skill and combining in the generation of Souls when damaging certain enemies will make boss fights much easier. Although I’d expect GGG to tweak boss health and damage to compensate and keep the challenge up.
GGG also included some targeted adjustments to certain Vaal skills.
Vaal Storm Call now deals damage in an AoE, making it much better against mob packs in general. Both Vaal Double Strike and Double Strike now deal additional damage against Bleeding enemies.The appearance of these skills is also being made more distinct so they stand out more. Vaal Detonate Dead now destroys 8 corpses in a localized area, then repeats multiple times with a shorter delay on each repetition. This effect repeats until there are no more corpses within a certain radius. Finally, Vaal Arc had it’s skill’s chain count reduced to match regular Arc, but it now splits every time it chains, meaning that even with four extra chains, it can now hit more targets, much more rapidly.
Barrage is getting what amounts to a massive change in 3.3, with significant modifications to its damage scaling from multiple projectiles, such as increasing the base number of projectiles to 5, from 4. The base damage per projectile is being reduced to it isn’t too powerful. This is all being done because GGG thinks the damage applied per projectile from Barrage was too high.
What this means is that single-target damage on bow builds is about to get a pretty big nerf for some people.
Rain of Arrows is getting a reworked version rains down arrows that each deal area damage where they land, and they land over a much larger area than the original Rain of Arrows. The Vaal version will now fire more arrows, and repeat the initial fire several times. And rather than pinning enemies in place, the skill will now perform a powerful Maim, slowing enemy movement by 75%.
The Blast Rain skill will now convert 100% of Physical Damage to Fire. Ranger characters don’t have easy access to giving a skill full conversion to fire, so we’ve built this into the skill to let you take full advantage of Elemental interactions. That converted damage will also penetrate 25% Fire Resistance at max level.
All of this is just the beginning though, GGG have more undisclosed plans for bow builds in the future. In other words, probably nerfs for Lightning Arrow and Tornado Shot.
To go along with the Fire Trap modifications we mentioned earlier, GGG are trying to shift Ignition-based damage on the passive skill tree into a much more useful state.
The passive skills leading up to Breath of Flames have been changed to the following:
- 10% increased Fire Damage and Burning Damage
- 10% increased Fire Damage and 5% Chance to Ignite
- 10% increased Fire Damage and Burning Damage
The Breath of Flames notable passive skill is now:
- 20% increased Fire Damage
- 20% increased Ignite Duration on Enemies
- 20% increased Burning Damage
- 20% Chance to Ignite
The Holy Fire notable has also changed in accordance with the above changes so that it can be better used for both ignite and hits. It is now:
- 20% increased Fire Damage
- 40% increased Burning Damage
- 15% Chance to Ignite
Combining these new passives with the 25% more damage Ignite deals per second is a serious buff to builds that utilize the skillset. GGG are adjusting many different skills that previously didn’t take advantage of ignite DPS so that they now better leverage the increased damage. This is all part of a wider plan to attempt to bring burning damage into ranges where it’s comparable with Freeze and other elemental ailments.
Grinding Gear Games will also be debuting a new system on the forums that allows players to display their supporter packs with new Badges. Gone are they days where forum posts are cluttered with dozens of Supporter Badges that are far too big.
Certain skills like Charged Dash and other movement skills are being made easier to use. In that skill’s case, there’s going to be a lot less rapid clicking and much more tactical, but still fast-paced, movement.
If you’d like to get better prepared for 3.3.0, check out some POE 3.3 build recommendations we cooked up.