Discussion: Elemental Boon

KholdStare88KholdStare88 Posts: 27
edited March 2013 in Embermage Discussions
I've been lurking in these forums quite often, and there seems to be quite a few very different opinions about this skill. Some people will max it on builds (proven builds too) while some say it's absolutely useless. Now why is this? After a lot of messing around with Elemental Boon, here is my conclusion.

The most common argument against this skill is that while it looks good on paper, the damage increase isn't that great and you're better of putting 15 points into somewhere else. Now depending on your build and playing style, I find this somewhat hard to believe. I personally play best when I only cycle between 3 main damaging skills or so, disregarding utility skills like Frost Phase, Tangling Shot, Onslaught, etc... So getting another active skill would be messy and may be even less efficient! If you're someone who likes getting as many skills as possible, then I don't have much of an argument against that. But cluttering up my hotkeys with damaging skills I use equally as often is, from my experience, not that great of a choice.

Next we move on to passive skills. Here the selection isn't that great either. Unless you go Prismatic Bolt build, you don't really need to max all 3 brands. Prismatic Rift is...nice to have, but still very chancy and annoying for your allies. Most already get Charge Mastery and Staff Mastery or Wand Chaos. So maybe using the 15 points, you can max Frozen Fate (what most people call a 1-pt wonder and not max it), or Elemental Attunement (which most recommend to leave at 5 or 10). Therefore, honestly, I don't buy the "you can do better with 15 points" argument. I've played with the skill simulator quite a bit, and most of the time getting another skill instead of Elemental Boon that you won't use as much as your main skills doesn't sound very promising, especially if it's in another skill tree and weaker than your other skills because of the lack of that brand.

Although I'm quite happy with the points above, it still comes down to playing style, and maybe the casual player would rather have more skills to increase the "fun" factor instead of being more efficient and boring. Let's consider the other side of Elemental Boon then, the 36% elemental defense and 69% resist to slow/immobilization. These numbers do not look very impressive, but for me it's a godsend. I look at it this way: I am definitely not the best TL2 playing out there. Usually everything 2-shot me in Veteran and half of the time 1-shot me in Elite, and I'm not an expert at avoiding attacks. That said, I'm quite decent at it, and most of the time physical attacks do not hit me, what with Frost Phase and Ice Prison. What does hit me and kill me are mostly ranged elemental attacks from the middle of nowhere. Therefore, I love running around with maxed Immolation Aura + Elemental Protection, with a burst of maxed Elemental Boon when things get rough. And because its cast time is so fast when maxed, I can activate it while in the middle intense fighting and keep going.

For the casual player, it's a much needed safety net to fall back upon, because for Embermage, just a tiny bit of defense is the difference between surviving a hit and Frost Phase out or dead. It's perfect for those players who want to take the next step up to Veteran or Elite. It's probably useless for those pro players who have played the **** out of Embermage and are using glass cannon builds because they know how to not get hit. I mostly use Elemental Boon defensively, not offensively, although the offensive boost is nice. The mana regen you get at 15/15 is great too, which allows you to use some high cost skills consecutively (and this may even be more useful than the elemental damage boost). Finally some say that it's such a short duration, but I think of it as a short boost that you don't need to have on all the time. Since it also affects allies at a large radius, I love to use it on my allies so they can attack the boss from behind while he has aggro on me or vice versa.

All in all, Elemental Boon is useful in so many situations. Is it the best spell, worthy or 15/15? Not for everyone. But it's definitely not a "huge mistake" to max like some people seem to think. It lets people like me play TL2 more casually, without being all serious business and just having fun with friends. Most of the idealistic builds seem to 1) forget that not everyone can dodge and just allocate skill points into offensive efficiency, or 2) forget that the process of getting from lvl 1-99 needs to be considered too. Elemental Boon is the exact opposite--it helps out on all levels for the casual player and is more forgiving if they fail to avoid a hit, especially nearing the middle of the game where elemental attacks become more prevalent. Therefore, I love it. It's a team skill that benefits my friends when I play and helps me survive on higher difficulty. There's nothing more I could ask for.

What are your thoughts about this skill? No theorycrafting here, I would love your input from playing experience.

EDIT: Here's my conclusion and main point after all the posts.
[EB is useful when you're not level 99 and fully geared.] I have accepted the facts and considered the additive bonus, ADR%, and caps. I stated many times how small EB's effects are endgame. My entire point was for a casually geared character and the process of getting to endgame. I have posted how EB increased my damage by 1.5x midgame (numbers are ~4424 to ~7217) while testing on a dummy. My conclusion was: An attack that boosts my damage by 50% for 15 seconds, along with boosting my defenses, along with also buffing my allies? DEAL!


If you're interested in the build I used to test this out, feel free to click on the spoiler.
[LINK DELETED]

This is what I call a user-friendly build. It's not the best one, but pretty much anyone old or new will excel at it! There are two points:

1) Put everything into Focus. Attack with Prismatic Bolt or Ice Wave.
You're good here, no need for more offensive skills to spam. The occasional Blazing Pillar is for style points and Hailstorm to start out the fight or re-stun as necessary.

2) Everything else goes into survival.
Because of high focus and Prismatic Bolt/Ice Wave/Blazing Pillar giving you all of the necessary offensive tools, there's no need for more. Elemental Boon and Immolation Aura is for defense, and also get Elemental Protection spell. Ice Prison is an incredibly useful skill that allows you to build a wall and attack behind it. Hailstorm and Death's Bounty is for slow/stun/freeze, further impeding your enemies and allowing you to survive. Elemental Boon of course resists stun and immobilization. 1-pt wonder into Prismatic Rift for a last ditch effort at surviving, but you can go without it. Of course, this build uses wand + shield.

As for hotkeys, that's easy.
LMB - Prismatic Bolt
RMB - Ice Wave

12345 = Elemental Boon, Immolation Aura, Elemental Protection, Elemental Overload, Dervish
(basically all buffs go here)

Rebind Frost Phase, Blazing Pillar, Hailstorm, Ice Prison, and Death's Bounty somewhere close to the WASD area. You're set. I hope some will find this useful, because for a casual player, this bulky defensively-minded build helps me solo my way through higher difficulty more easily than the glass cannon builds that others propose.[/spoiler]
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Comments

  • TomneTomne Posts: 34
    I don't like Elemental Boon. I never needed the mana regen (I never drank a mana potion on Elite, the charge goes up way too fast for that), and I already max my res. I'm better off choosing something else than a 70 focus boost on damage.

    And being a fire mage, I need more than 3 active skills, to deal with different situations. Here's [LINK DELETED].
  • VorodarVorodar Posts: 691
    Obviously not all builds will use up all the skill points. And you can have an effective build even with subpar skill choice. That's the thing, though, why would one willingly go with a subpar choice? Let's examine all the features EB offers:
    - increased elemental damage - It looks good, but it's almost insignificant, compared to the other bonuses you'd have. One would likely not even seen a big increase in damage output. The average damage with and without EB active would be almost the same in both cases.
    - elemental damage reduction - this is good, but actually it has two major flaws to make it great: 1. a lot of the big one shotters are physical. Elemental damage reduction would not help against these. 2. Following from 1. you'd need physical damage reduction, but since it's a bit of a waste to only get that, you'd likely go for the All resists bonuses. Which means that you might comfortably get, for example, 50% damage reduction normally, which, if you include EB (rank 15) goes to 86% for elementa damage. And here is the problem - anything over the 75% DR cap is wasted skill points. So where do you stop? At rank 10 (26% EDR)? But htne what happens if you get another 5% DR - you'd need to go even lower. And you can hit 75% DR, especially with IA on...which means that EB is completely unneeded there.
    - Tier 1 - immobolosation/slow resistance - it's good bit it's also not a common enough ailment to need so much protection. Especially considering that the Emage is likely to blast enemies from afar and use FP to get out of their reach. So, while good, it's not much of a benefit for a long ranged characters, immobilisation/slow resistance is better had by melee characters - most of the Emage's builds are ranged in nature, though.
    - Tier 2 - mana regeneration. The bonus is so small, it's hardly worth the mention. A level 100 character, with max EB gets 20 mana regenerated over 10 seconds. An amount easily matched by Void Ember from Act 2/3 in NG, also some equipment. 20 mana doesn't even cover the casting cost of 26, which has the Tier 3 bonus. Speaking of which
    - Tier 3 - increased casting speed (of EB only) and lower mana cost (again, EB only). By the time you can get rank 100 in EB, you'd not even register the mana cost as something hindering you. The casting speed is slightly more relevant, but by that point, you wouldn't be too bothered by it, either.

    So, some of the bonuses are useful, some not as much. Where is the problem in getting it "just because"? The cooldown time. It means that even if you're attracted by some bonuses, you will use around 50% of the time(I'm talking about in battle), if that much. Compare this with using the points for a passive skill (100% of the time) or an active skill (closer to 100% than 50%).

    So what can one get instead of EB? Immolation Aura. if there is one skill that can be taken instead of EB, it's IA. It does damage reduction better, and while it lacks the slow resistance, it is at least active 100% of the time. You do have IA in your build but I'm not discussing that, I'm talking in general. Then comes Thunder Locus, I noticed your build doesn't have it, so I'll mention it. TL is more useful, since it dispatches enemies for zero mana cost (OK, there is only the initial investment). At low levels it can be used to kill champions/bosses without much trouble. Well...it may get tedious, but it certainly helps more than EB ever will. At high levels, it's less relevant, but still the best fire and forget about it, skill the Emage has. Then there is Ice Pillars, if the build doesn't have it and Death's Bounty is another contender. As for passives - Frozen Fate - it's a 1 point wander, yes, but any skill points added are not a waste. At rank 1, you need to kill 5 enemies to freeze 4, at rank 11, killing 5 would freeze between 4 and 12 enemies (technically, you could end up with the same 4 frozen over and over again, but that would be really rare, and not of much consequence. You're more likely to have some overlap, though). Another good passive to max, or at least add points to, is a brand or two. Preferably from a tree you have an active skill in. Especially useful if you're playing lots of coop (I'll return to that, though)with people who have other elemental effects - a fire Emage usually playing with a Tundra Berserker, can benefit a lot form getting Ice Brand, even if the Emage doesn't have any Ice attack skill. It's absolutely free damage boost.

    I'd like to point out that I'm not saying "don't take EB ever", just that there is strong reasons to not get it. As I said, you can have an effective build even with it. Heck, you can have a 6 point build, that I'm pretty sure can get you through NG, at least on Veteran (probably Elite, too). Technically, it can even be a 5 point or even 4 point build - PB, the three Brands, then the extras are FP and FF in that order. But returning to why take it - it can help your allies. That's what I had in mind witht he point in coop above - if you play with other people, then the party is benefiting more from that skill than you yourself ever will. Then again, it's not going to be a gamechanger - it's a nice bonus, but not overpowering. For solo play though...it's sort of an OK-ish bonus but nothing you really need or suffer without.
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  • Vorodar wrote:
    I'd like to point out that I'm not saying "don't take EB ever", just that there is strong reasons to not get it.
    This is all I want to quote because my original post is about the same thing, which is EB is not a "complete waste" of skill points. Thanks for your input so other people can sift through the arguments and decide for themselves.
    Vorodar wrote:
    Heck, you can have a 6 point build, that I'm pretty sure can get you through NG, at least on Veteran (probably Elite, too). Technically, it can even be a 5 point or even 4 point build - PB, the three Brands, then the extras are FP and FF in that order.
    I would like to say though that I'm not a fan of this continuation. My argument was that EB is nice to have as a safety net and lets you play more relaxed. So in short, I don't really care about very skilled players showing that it's possible to use a minimalistic build. My point was that if you're a casual player, EB will make a difference because you're going to make mistakes and EB can be a lifesaver. You keep talking about hitting the cap implying we use some ideal equipment with the perfect slotting, but what if we're not going to bother with micromanaging that? We just want to play the game without stopping to think and add up DR%, and that's where EB shine.
  • ChthonChthon Posts: 1,855
    I think Vorodar basically covered it, but I'm going to try do it a little more succinctly.

    The benefits of EBoon (see below) simply fail to outweigh the costs -- skill points, cast time, mana.

    Benefits (and the reasons to be discontented with them):

    1. Up to 36% elemental damage bonus, half the time. However, this bonus is additive, not multiplicative, so it's a lot less great than you'd initially think. Its potency is identical to 72 Focus (half the time) or "+36% to Elemental Damage" (half the time). So basically, a full 15 points is roughly as strong as a single good item mod.

    You're probably better off using the cast time (not to mention the skill points) for another shot of one of the multiplicative damage boosters, or another cast of your big damage spell.

    2. Up to 36% elemental damage reduction, half the time. This effect is basically worthless because it's rendered redundant by the "% all damage reduction" you're going to need to bring to cover physical damage and elemental damage during the half the time EBoon isn't in effect.

    3. Resistance to slowing and immobilization at tier one. So what? You're a ranged character, and you can teleport. Marginally useful if you're trying to support a team or run a summoner.

    4. Mana recharge at tier two. After deducting the casting cost, less useful than a single cast of rank 1 Death's Bounty or a a single gem.

    5. Mana cost and cast time reductions at tier three. Only serve to make a bad deal a little less bad.
    my original post is about... EB is not a "complete waste" of skill points.

    No skill is a "complete waste" of skill points. There are no skills that do nothing or affirmatively hurt you. Every last one of them will do something to help you. The proper question be be asking is whether a skill costs resources (and that's not just skill points; mana and cast time matter too) that could be spent elsewhere for better effect. Maybe my imagination is too limited, but I cannot think of any situations where EBoon is the best place to spend your resources.
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  • Chthon wrote:
    The proper question be be asking is whether a skill costs resources (and that's not just skill points; mana and cast time matter too) that could be spent elsewhere for better effect.

    If you read my first post, it's exactly what I discussed first. I went through the list of active skills, and I found that nothing really helps me. I already have 2 skills I spam, so I don't want/need another. I already have Hailstorm, Immolation Aura, Ice Prison maxed so what else is there? I'm not maxing Frost Phase or Astral Ally. Then I went through the list of passive skills, and here once again I can max Frozen Fate or another brand. I'm not interested in a 2-elemental build nor relying on Frozen Fate/Prismatic Rift chance. So for skill points wise, I considered all other skills I have not gotten and came to the conclusion that I'm good. An emergency defensive boost for survivability is better for me than going for aesthetics.

    Now you mention mana and cast time. Mana isn't much of a problem for most Embermage who max or 4:1 Focus. Cast time is already fast, and by maxing it EB takes no time to cast at all. Again, through practical testing, I can put up a quick EB and survive much more easily while killing things faster, what's wrong with that?

    You talk about resources that could be spent elsewhere, and I agree. I find it more beneficial to focus on buffs and passives after you get a handful of attack skills. I just think EB is much better than any of the remaining passives I can take in most of my builds.

    ___________

    To summarize, I know exactly the mindset of most people here when they go through their skill builds. At endgame, you can get all the resistances you want so EB's additive bonus becomes small. You can use gear to replicate the bonuses. But what about the process of getting there? And more importantly, what about those who play the game casually and not wanting to worry about every stat or calculation that their gear give? Then the EB's additive bonus makes a big difference. Why are we ignoring the fact that on one of my characters around level 50, EB 10/15 increases my ice % from 34% to 62%? It's not all about endgame. People play to have fun, not creating the most overpowered character for NG. That's my entire argument all along. I did not say anything about how useful EB is with everyone geared up at level 100 with all the best gems. In fact, I said what happens if that wasn't the case for casual players, and EB is indefinitely useful then.

    And I still don't get what people's problem is with the 15 seconds duration. I don't want EB on all the time. What's the point in that? It's just a boost when I see a group of enemies, and the fight basically ends in less than 15 seconds later most of the time. Do I want a boost that's equivalent to +72 Focus for 15 seconds! **** YES! If I'm level 50 and all I've been doing is pumping in Focus, then with casual gear I would be at ~200 Focus, and a +50 Focus boost during tough time is somewhat overpowered. You guys talk about EB being unneeded because you can hit the cap without it or that it's redundant. That's nice, but I don't recall hitting any cap in Act II or Act III, and my elemental damage/defense isn't that high either. Once again it's not all about endgame. If I'm planning for an HC character, then there's no doubt in my mind EB is the first thing I get to 10/15.

    If you're not in the mindset that this is a great safety net for a casual player without high resistances, without high elemental %, and not an expert at the game, then your mind will never change about EB. Even though I'm not one, it's still amazingly useful trying to get to endgame, and when I reach endgame it still allows me to boost other players. I bind it to "1" on my keyboard; that's how much I use it. There's no point in creating this thread if I don't use it.

    We both made our points. I just hope people will chance upon this thread in the future and decide if EB fits their situation. It's much better than the usual pompous build thread where someone just states, "EB is a waste of skill points don't get it" without any further explanation.
  • VorodarVorodar Posts: 691
    You talk about resources that could be spent elsewhere, and I agree. I find it more beneficial to focus on buffs and passives after you get a handful of attack skills. I just think EB is much better than any of the remaining passives I can take in most of my builds.

    I feel I should point out that a possible alternative is to actually focus on all other skills you have, instead of getting EB. As you said, it's not about the end game - not all builds will have every skill at maximum possible rank all the time, so instead of going for a 132 spread, you can happily cut it down to 117 by removing a skill entirely. You can distribute those "free" points throughout the rest - you have less skills to maintain, so you can do it more efficiently. And you yourself said, there was nothing else to put the points in - that's the question then, why bother? I have only one level 100 character, and I use him to test stuff with the console (that's how he even got to 100 in the first place) - I've had...about a dozen other characters, none of them has hit max level not max fame.
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  • The "why bother" part was my point.

    If you can play without EB and not die frequently. Why bother indeed. Go with your build that doesn't use all skill points.

    If you struggle at dealing damage or surviving on hard difficulties, then EB about doubles your elemental prct% and resistance prct% around level 50. So yes, I bother.

    Because my 12345 are all buffs, all I do is press them all before going into a group of enemies. It's not like that's difficult to manage. EB, Dervish, Ele Overload, Immolation, Ele Protection. The first 3 has a short duration so I recast those 3 together when they run out. Again, if you're really good at the game, then you don't need these buffs period. But if you're not so good casual player, then they are all good safety nets.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that Immolation Aura 10% reduction bonus is at level 59 and of course way way later for 15%, so it will be quite a while before it will "shine" and gets you to whatever cap people claim it hits. EB saves my **** a few times when you think you're safe phasing between Ice Prison and a group of enemies and then get hit by some poison/fire attack with DoT when you're lagging from LMB spam.
  • TomneTomne Posts: 34
    The only threat you're really facing in Elite is a one shot crit you can only prevent with %DR. You can't predict when you're going to eat that crit, so EB is pretty much useless in that case. By the way, early in the game, if you're serious about HC, get some Grell's eyes. It doesn't take much time to farm them when you're at the end of Act 2, and it's the real life saver. Immolation aura is just icing on the cake, you don't need the 10%DR at the beginning, it'll shine when it's truly needed, later in the game, when you need more stable %DR to stand to those heavy crits.

    I never needed EB with Death Bounty anyway, and never had the points in the early game either.
  • GraeystoneGraeystone Posts: 1,545
    Here's another thing about EB - unless a player gets used to using EB a lot, they will forget they even have it. Quite a few times I'd tear through a Boss only to realize I never used it. EB isn't like Stone Pact or Death's Bounty where a player constantly has their finger over near the key on the keyboard. Elemental Overload(Spell) is EB Lite and suffers from the same issues.
  • Graeystone wrote:
    Here's another thing about EB - unless a player gets used to using EB a lot, they will forget they even have it. Quite a few times I'd tear through a Boss only to realize I never used it. EB isn't like Stone Pact or Death's Bounty where a player constantly has their finger over near the key on the keyboard. Elemental Overload(Spell) is EB Lite and suffers from the same issues.
    That's possible. Although I think this is the third time I'll say this, all of my buffs are in a row (12345) so I can never forget to use it without not using my other buffs. Death's Bounty is not on this row because it's not a buff.

    I know many people who just use 5 keys because that's all they want to remember for. This is legit. I also do this. I just add in the 5 extra buffs in a row so so I press them all at the same time but it's just *one* more thing to remember. So I get the benefit of these spells that people don't normally use because they don't want to use more hotkey slots, like EB and Overload. For those who says the buffs just waste mana, yes, but if you are doing a max Focus or 4:1 Focus build (like you should for ranged mage), then the buffs don't even dent your mana pool.

    On my QWERT main keys: Hailstorm, Death's Bounty, Frost Phase, Ice Prison, Thunder Locus/Blazing Pillar (not in order).
  • elemental boon is important in the early stages of the game, when All Damage reduction gears are rare, and farming grells/limoanys takes forever, forcing you to use +% phy reduction chaos gems in the meantime. When you reach the 45%ish ADR range though (mid-late game) most of the bonuses of the 15 second buff becomes cumbersome to even bother turning on every 30 seconds so it becomes more of a dead-spell rather than a useful cantrip that scales well in the late game.
  • elemental boon is important in the early stages of the game, when All Damage reduction gears are rare, and farming grells/limoanys takes forever, forcing you to use +% phy reduction chaos gems in the meantime. When you reach the 45%ish ADR range though (mid-late game) most of the bonuses of the 15 second buff becomes cumbersome to even bother turning on every 30 seconds so it becomes more of a dead-spell rather than a useful cantrip that scales well in the late game.
    I think the first thing a casual player will see upon reading this post is, "Oh, you can farm all damage reduction gear/gems?!?" My lvl 50 character has maybe around 10% ADR because I don't go out of my way to farm stuff, same with most people. I find that the level when you get 10/15 EB seems to work best because the additive bonuses effectively doubles damage and resistance with casual gear. So really, there might be an argument to not go to 15/15.

    I still stand by my stance that I'm arguing not for those who carefully plan out their characters and know exactly what to do gear-wise and gem-wise. I play with friends, and I look at their equipment. They stack what they think is good, HP Regen, Fire Damage, etc... It's not immediately obvious how important ADR% is. Also what's with this lingering idea that you have to buff EB every 30 seconds? Just because you have a skill that doesn't mean it has to always be active! I never got into a bad situation while using it, because I know to use it before jumping into the fray...
  • elemental boon is important in the early stages of the game, when All Damage reduction gears are rare, and farming grells/limoanys takes forever, forcing you to use +% phy reduction chaos gems in the meantime. When you reach the 45%ish ADR range though (mid-late game) most of the bonuses of the 15 second buff becomes cumbersome to even bother turning on every 30 seconds so it becomes more of a dead-spell rather than a useful cantrip that scales well in the late game.
    I think the first thing a casual player will see upon reading this post is, "Oh, you can farm all damage reduction gear/gems?!?" My lvl 50 character has maybe around 10% ADR because I don't go out of my way to farm stuff, same with most people. I find that the level when you get 10/15 EB seems to work best because the additive bonuses effectively doubles damage and resistance with casual gear. So really, there might be an argument to not go to 15/15.

    I still stand by my stance that I'm arguing not for those who carefully plan out their characters and know exactly what to do gear-wise and gem-wise. I play with friends, and I look at their equipment. They stack what they think is good, HP Regen, Fire Damage, etc... It's not immediately obvious how important ADR% is. Also what's with this lingering idea that you have to buff EB every 30 seconds? Just because you have a skill that doesn't mean it has to always be active! I never got into a bad situation while using it, because I know to use it before jumping into the fray...

    when you reach higher difficulties and beyond NG, plot boss battles take longer than 15 seconds and rebuffing elemental boon becomes a liability due to the sheer damage you can take if you get unlucky that even just going for tier II bonuses is negligible if you go for Willpower spell tomes instead.
  • I don't have any problems hitting my buffs while strafing...
  • ChthonChthon Posts: 1,855
    I don't have any problems hitting my buffs while strafing...

    I think miniminionette's point wasn't that it's hard to hit EBoon, but that you're stuck in place for its cast time -- something like 2 sec -- which is likely to get you killed if you're not careful with it.

    Now, you can be careful, but that further erodes EBoon's already questionable benefits by lowering the uptime ratio and requiring you to sacrifice positioning and/or cast time to set up a safe cast for EBoon.
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  • Here's something we can agree with. EB would be useless if its cast time is 2 seconds. But in fact it's just a fraction of a second, which is why it's possible for me to hit all buffs 12345 easily. I don't think people have enough field practice with EB and are just endlessly theorycrafting.
  • Here's something we can agree with. EB would be useless if its cast time is 2 seconds. But in fact it's just a fraction of a second, which is why it's possible for me to hit all buffs 12345 easily. I don't think people have enough field practice with EB and are just endlessly theorycrafting.

    The problem with EB is for fifteen seconds every 30 seconds, you gain abysmal increase of damage, elemental resistances for an already capped character (assuming you do gear up well), immobilization resistances which is a debuff rarely encountered and can be compensated w/ a willpower 6 spell tome and a mana regen that's laughable compared to the smallest light mana potion.

    And you trade these bonuses for a 15 second buff duration that technically roots you on the ground with cast delay for almost a second that blocks other more important, situational and generally more powerful spells like frost prison, frost phase and haste that might save your life if you play on NG++ and beyond and **** elite.

    TL:DR when you reach NG++ and beyond and is playing **** elite, the burst damage is too high on most encounters that rebuffing 1 - 3 buffs for more dps might kill you when encounters become too bursty even on trash mobs. There are a lot of these fights than can turn from suddenly calm and peaceful to "oh **** why the heck did i just wanted more dps just this moment?" on higher difficulties that mobility and Crowd Control are more important than raw damage, the only thing that makes EBoom worthwhile.
  • I think you skipped some of the earlier posts. Pretty much everyone here knows that EB's additive bonus will not be great when you manage to cap yourself at endgame. But around level 50 or so on a casually equipped player, 10/15 EB basically doubles ele damage % and ele res. That's certainly not abysmal. I'm not interested in what happens when you equip yourself fully. I'm more interested in a new player searching these forums and taking on an "endgame" build that leaves you crippled for the first 3 acts. EB is one of the best buffs mid-game. Near the end, you can Rapid Respec out of EB if you want and max some passive like Frozen Fate for minimal benefit. Or you can just keep it to buff allies, which I am doing.

    Tested on my casual act 3 mage, EB 1.5x my damage output.
  • I think you skipped some of the earlier posts. Pretty much everyone here knows that EB's additive bonus will not be great when you manage to cap yourself at endgame. But around level 50 or so on a casually equipped player, 10/15 EB basically doubles ele damage % and ele res. That's certainly not abysmal. I'm not interested in what happens when you equip yourself fully. I'm more interested in a new player searching these forums and taking on an "endgame" build that leaves you crippled for the first 3 acts. EB is one of the best buffs mid-game. Near the end, you can Rapid Respec out of EB if you want and max some passive like Frozen Fate for minimal benefit. Or you can just keep it to buff allies, which I am doing.

    Tested on my casual act 3 mage, EB 1.5x my damage output.
    elemental boon is important in the early stages of the game, when All Damage reduction gears are rare, and farming grells/limoanys takes forever, forcing you to use +% phy reduction chaos gems in the meantime. When you reach the 45%ish ADR range though (mid-late game) most of the bonuses of the 15 second buff becomes cumbersome to even bother turning on every 30 seconds so it becomes more of a dead-spell rather than a useful cantrip that scales well in the late game.

    I think I constitute as one of those everyone you mentioned. :lol:

    When you start bumping difficulties you'll understand the need for Crowd Control and Mobility, rather than the not-so-bursty and not-so-bulky bonuses Eboom provides.
  • >.>

    My highest character isn't in Act 3. That's just someone I have to test. I know about CC in Elite. If you look at the build I posted in the first post, it has maxed Hailstorm and Ice Prison, with of course Death's Bounty for CC. I find that even then, EB is useful because I still find time to cast it. If you just spam buffs randomly while surrounded by enemies, then of course you'll get killed. The problem with EB isn't higher difficulty, but endgame where the additive bonus becomes small. But my point was I have no problem with that, because I value more about the process of getting to endgame, not endgame itself. And EB is ever so useful in that process.
  • ChthonChthon Posts: 1,855
    Here's something we can agree with. EB would be useless if its cast time is 2 seconds. But in fact it's just a fraction of a second,

    I call ****. Show me a video with EBoon casting in "a fraction of a second," please.

    Anyone can test this by making a new character, consoling "levelup 99," dropping a point into EBoon, putting it on a hotkey, and then hitting the button. Here's what you'll see: The embermage spreads his arms at waist height and says "oooh," then he claps them over his head and says "ahh," releasing the spell effect. And the time it takes to do this is looong. If it's not a full 2 sec, it's pretty close. It's definitely not "a fraction of a second." (Even with faster-cast-speed items and the tier 3 cast speed bonus, it's probably still not "a fraction of a second.")

    I'm not sure why you decided to appoint yourself the designated defender of one of the worst skills in the game, but I, and several others, have tried to explain in a logical and reasoned manner why there are few (and quite possibly no) situations when it's a good choice. However, that kind of discussion requires a shared commitment to getting the facts straight (as best we can determine them empirically) and then using the facts as a starting point for a reasoned discussion. When someone starts ignoring the facts because they don't support his or her position, there's no possibility for useful discussion.
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  • Don't worry, I'm about to give up. I believe I established what I wanted to do, which was give people an alternate point of view of EB, where you're not level 99 and fully geared. I have accepted the facts and considered the additive bonus, ADR%, and caps. I stated many times how small EB's effects are endgame. My entire point was for a casually geared character and the process of getting to endgame. I have posted how EB increased my damage by 1.5x midgame (numbers are ~4424 to ~7217) while testing on a dummy. My conclusion was: An attack that boosts my damage by 50% for 15 seconds, along with boosting my defenses, along with also buffing my allies? DEAL!

    I tested the duration of EB again. If you are just using the spell while standing still, yes it DOES look like it takes a long time. However, in battle situations, I tried hitting EB while holding down left click, while attacking and while walking, and it lasts less than a second (without Tier 3 bonus, 12% cast speed). I don't have the means to make a video about it, but I encourage everyone to try walking and casting EB and see the amount of time you stopped.
  • armisarmis Posts: 489
    On the way to 100, EB is even worse IMO. Every points you're putting in there is one you're not putting in PB or Blazing Pillars or Ice Prison or whatever - something that'd help you in the offense or defense department way more than the piddly bonus from EB. I mean, I use EB on my main, but a) I use a mod to extend its duration to 5 minutes, and b) I stayed away from Fire skills for thematic purposes. Those 10 points I dumped on EB would have been far better spent on some kind of fiery goodness.

    As for boosting your damage by 50% mid-game, I hardly see how that's possible aside from very weird armor shenanigans on the dummy. Even at rank 15, (which requires like level 96) your damage is only boosted by an additive 36%. Even if you had zero focus, your total damage would still only get a 36% boost. With focus, it's far less. My guess is you had a lucky crit, or a brand procced or something.
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  • VorodarVorodar Posts: 691
    armis wrote:
    My guess is you had a lucky crit, or a brand procced or something.

    I'm thinking armour, actually. The target dummy has some crazy armour and we know it subtracts a variable amount. That actually threw me off the first time I played, as I was testing PB and it was coming up with different numbers. If you test a skill with variable damage, it will vary even more.
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  • armisarmis Posts: 489
    Vorodar wrote:
    armis wrote:
    My guess is you had a lucky crit, or a brand procced or something.

    I'm thinking armour, actually. The target dummy has some crazy armour and we know it subtracts a variable amount. That actually threw me off the first time I played, as I was testing PB and it was coming up with different numbers. If you test a skill with variable damage, it will vary even more.
    Doesn't work. The dummy's armor follows a graph, the damage from PBolt follows a graph too, so you can map the damage range the dummy can take across all levels subject to Focus assumptions. Even on Elite, the dummy armor at "midgame" is too low to give you that kind of variance. Observe:

    EB.jpg
    (focus from 0 to 1000 in increments of 50, levels from 1 to 100)

    As you can see, the only overlap is at very low Focus and very high levels. On lower difficulties it's even worse, there's no overlap at all. PBolt tier has little impact on the overlap zone. In other words, unless I'm mistaken about how the game works, I call BS.

    But whatever: either way you look at it, even if he did get those numbers, it definitely wouldn't be due to EB.
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  • This is not my problem. I just did this again. First of all, I ignored all critical hits. I'm using PBolt. I have a slightly different set of equipment from last time.

    The numbers without EB range from 4610-4771
    The numbers with EB range from 6684-7104

    Focus: 305
    Elemental Damage Bonuses without EB: 41%, 15%, 8%, 13%
    Location: Imperial Camp

    I took care not to count the numbers during max charge bar.
  • armisarmis Posts: 489
    Level and difficulty? edit: PB rank and EB rank too? Something weird's going on there.
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  • I did it both on Veteran and Elite, about the same damage. Level 49, PB 5/15, EB 10/15.

    Now I thought I might be inaccurate at aiming all 5 bolts at the dummy or something, so I did this using Frost Phase. No confusion there.

    No EB: 514, 530, 534, 513, 532
    With EB: 699, 690, 733, 790, 763

    As you can see the average now is 1.4 times. However, weird things happen. Sometimes, I would get 2880 damage without crit. I don't get it either.

    EDIT: This is weird. I just tested like 100 times each.

    No EB ranges from 450-650.
    With EB goes from 650-770 some of the times, then 1750-2800 damage some of the time?!? However, crits occur at 1300, what's happening?

    (This is not because I'm standing next to the dummy when teleporting so it gets hit twice. When that happens, the damage is 3400.)

    Well I'm pretty much done arguing about this anyways. There's enough information for people to look through this thread and make the decision ourselves. From looking at other threads, Vorodar and I have pretty much the same idea on the priority of key skills. And we're arguing a stupid point about what our leftover skill should be after we get all of the main skills: Elemental Boon, Thunder Locus, or something else. So it's basically just...style points.
  • armisarmis Posts: 489
    Well I'm pretty much done arguing about this anyways. There's enough information for people to look through this thread and make the decision ourselves. From looking at other threads, Vorodar and I have pretty much the same idea on the priority of key skills. And we're arguing a stupid point about what our leftover skill should be after we get all of the main skills: Elemental Boon, Thunder Locus, or something else. So it's basically just...style points.
    Possibly, but now I'm curious. The numbers without EB match my theorycrafting, but those without really don't - yet I remember testing it way back when and the damage increase was along the lines of what I expected. I'm going to have to do some testing myself.

    As for your damage spikes, sometimes the game aggregates consecutive hits if they're quick enough; since FP hits once as you port out and once as you port in, maybe that's what you were seeing? Or maybe you have Ice Brand mucking up your numbers.
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  • removing brand procs help in getting things more consistent.
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