Content Update 3.2.0 and the Bestiary Challenge League will be released at the end of the week. We're preparing to post the patch notes within a few days, and have come across a few balance changes that we wanted to talk about in more detail (and earlier than the patch notes, so there's time to explain and discuss them).
As you know, we have substantially buffed most Ascendancy classes and have been introducing many powerful new items. The metagame has already shifted quite a lot due to these changes, so various larger changes have had to take place elsewhere. We've called out a few in this article.
The balance changes mentioned in this article are absolutely not a conclusive list, they're just a bunch of important ones.
Zana doesn't have Breach this league
Ever since we introduced the concept of different Zana levels adding league mods to maps, we have been cycling the mods in and out. While we occasionally run some back to back, we often take crazy ones away to let other ones have time in the spotlight.
We have decided not to run Breach as a Zana mod this league. It is still available from Sextants and still spawns naturally in 10% of maps. Also, it's similar to Abysses which now spawn on Sextants and also spawn in 10% of maps (and can stack with Breaches). You will certainly be able to play Breaches and Abysses, just not as reliably as last league.
Speaking of Zana, the marathon to reach Zana Level 8 is shorter from 3.2.0 onwards, as quite a lot of Zana's quests now grant additional reputation for her when they are completed.
Monster Rarity Damage Modifiers
This one is a little complex, but the TL;DR is that your mods like "monsters deal reduced damage" now actually work properly in a lot more cases. In addition, monster damage is now scaled up more correctly by things like map mods and monsters are slightly more dangerous now in situations where they were intended to be.
The full explanation:
In Path of Exile, there are many things related to the rarity of monsters (Magic, Rare, Unique) that increase the damage of those monsters. For example, a map mod might increase a boss's damage. In addition, the rarity of a monster itself adds an intentional bonus to its damage (which is why rare monsters do more damage than magic, and unique monsters do more damage than rare). Historically, these damage bonuses were always intended to be multiplicative (so that they actually had a decent effect), but were implemented as additive.
The most obvious way that this affects players is with the "monsters deal reduced damage" mods or skills. For example, If a monster skill has +200% damage (so it's dealing 300% of base), and you reduce monster damage by 10%, then it would reduce the monster's bonus to +190%, rather than the +170% that would be more correct (reducing 10% of 300% total damage).
The additive rules also diluted the impact and intentional difficulty that was meant to come from a boss having a damage aura stacking with its boss damage bonus. When stacked additively, it's harder to feel the additional damage.
In 3.2.0, these bonuses are multiplicative. We have done a full balance pass of reducing damage in various places to compensate for unintentional increases in danger that have come from this change. We want to stress that it is intentional that stacked damage mods actually work correctly, so there are some places where monsters are more dangerous.
We can't easily make a list of what does more damage than before because it honestly depends so much on map mods and other situational bonuses. Overall, it's hard to notice and is unlikely to have a gigantic impact, but we felt it best to pre-warn players and explain in detail what changed. We're happy to embrace making the game a little harder when fighting bosses, especially because of the continued power creep over time.
Oni-Goroshi is a whole lot harder to find
Needless to say, people with Oni-Goroshi can level up very quickly. At its 3.1.0 spawn rate, a popular strategy is to farm the Twilight Strand for four hours to get the sword, and then having an easier time with the playthrough.
We're happy with people doing this if they want, but it's going to take longer than four hours. We've both made it spawn a lot less often and also added a high degree of variance to it. It can spawn at lower levels than before, but it can swing up a lot higher than before. It's a very powerful item for levelling, so we both wanted to make it less common and also for its spawning to be less predictable (like other unique items).
Oh, and have fun with the 3.2.0 Uber Hillock fight when you do find him
Bisco's Collar Nerf
The increased quantity of items from slain normal enemies has been reduced from 50-100% down to 35-50%.
This sounds like a huge nerf, but with the way that diminishing returns work for item quantity, it's not as bad as it sounds.
Even after this change Bisco's Collar is still the best magic find amulet if you're taking advantage of its normal monster condition properly (for example, using Sextants to add Breaches or Abysses). The amulet is still comparable to The Ascetic for regular gameplay even when you're not taking advantage of it properly.
New Sextant Rules
You'll see the following change in the patch notes:
There is now a limit to the number of Sextants you can apply to your Atlas. The base maximum is 1, but this limit is increased by completing bonus objectives and Zana's quests, up to an absolute maximum of 5. Adding Sextants above this limit removes the oldest one. Existing Atlases will keep their Sextants, though applying new Sextants will still remove the oldest one. You can see which Map has the oldest Sextant by hovering over the new Sextant display on your Atlas.
Preventing the Sextant spam and extreme Sextant blocking that was prevalent in the last couple of leagues was the one of the most requested change requests we received this year. We also agreed with it, because the amount of abuse we were seeing was getting ridiculous. By stacking Sextants correctly, rolling the right mods on the map and applying the right Zana mod, some players were able to receive 30x the item yield of the equivalent white map. And that was solo!
While a handful of players are going to be disappointed that they can't make insane wealth anymore, everyone else will be on a much fairer playing field this league.
Full Patch Notes later this week
Those are the topics we wanted to discuss today. There's a lot to chew on, and we're always keen to see what you think! We believe that these changes will help create a much fairer league with many more options for players. You'll be able to see the the full list of balance changes in the patch notes within a few days.
Posted Mar 1, 18
· Last edited Mar 1, 18by Smiff
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