Ignivar's Head - Thoughts about the relative influence of items, skills, and passives on damage

Consider poor Ignivar, who’s probably still looking for his head.

Not only does Ignivar face (insert “Dad joke” groan here) the challenge of finding something while not having eyes. But, he also has to compete in his efforts to find his head with Every Single Person In The Universe who wants to do a disintegrate build. Even if Ignivar lucked into finding his head one day some eager player would probably take it from him shortly afterwards.

Poor Ignivar will probably continue failing at keeping his head on his shoulders because his head has a transformative effect on the damage ceiling for disintegrate builds. No alternative build to an Ignivar’s Head build comes remotely close when using the disintegrate skill.

This state of affairs may not be bad only for Ignivar himself. It may also be bad for Last Epoch. Consider not only the disintegrate skill, but also the more general question of how to divide up the relative influence on each skill’s damage of passives, skills, and items.

Currently, damage for disintegrate needs to be balanced as if everybody using it has Ignivar’s Head. Otherwise Ignivar’s Head + disintegrate can be pretty badly busted, at least until Ignivar’s Head gets hit with a pretty big nerf hammer. Thus, the effect of Ignivar’s Head in its current incarnation is to cap damage from the disintegrate skill at a relatively low level for the purpose of making any disintegrate build not involving Ignivar’s Head.

Consider further that it can’t help to improve new player retention when certain skills are balanced around the use the of one or more items that serve as the primary engine for determining the damage ceiling for that skill. For example, disintegrate is a kind of iconic skill many new players may be drawn to try out. They can picture themselves saying “Eat this, you evil #(&#(&#)(##@@%” while their character sprays their Hose of Electric, Burning Justice all over the BBEG^. But, new players probably won’t know about Ignivar’s Head and the performance of disintegrate without it has a good chance of disappointing them.

^ Don’t say this sentence out loud in your workplace with coworkers nearby. They will not understand what you really meant to say. Trust me on this.

Finally, perhaps a good unique that makes a skill much better can be capped at about 25 – 35% “more” damage beyond builds that don’t have the same unique, as a general rule of thumb. Have fairly high minimum levels for such items so skills can scale up a bit higher in the levels before the unique becomes usable. Also, perhaps items that have a transformational effect on a skill can do that by changing how a skill functions in an interesting way. For example, instead of just re-arranging passives and skill points to produce a higher damage ceiling, Ignivar could have been corrupted at some point and using his head can change disintegrate’s damage type to void or necrotic damage. Damage boosts could also be transformed such that spell damage, fire damage, and lightning damage all contribute to damage in proportions that make sense for the skill.

Hopefully there’s an interesting and potentially helpful thought in here, even if much of this ends up seeming off the mark.

Its not just ignavar, there are other items and interactions like that. I began a thread some time ago…

I’m brand new to the forums and didn’t see the earlier post. I gave the earlier post a like, after reading it. Your earlier arguments are on point and they tackle the issue in a broader and meaningful way.

Thinking about the new player experience would be another reason why crutches are bad. Boring or frustrating new players with underwhelming skills doesn’t help the game. To minimize these problems fix underwhelming skills instead of creating “crutch” uniques to paper over such problems.

Also, responding to ideas in that earlier thread, looking for broken mechanics can indeed be a healthy and fun part of an ARPG. But, there doesn’t need to be underwhelming skills in the game to have (and find) broken item / skill interactions. Those are separate issues.

I think Ignivar’s is actually fine… right up until Gambler’s fallacy and crit chance over 100% plays a role. I think it would be fine if you just capped Ignivar’s at 100% crit chance (though you would still need to buff disintegrate a lot).

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I tried and edited reasonable gears I can think of to make disintegrate 15m dps (offline mode, which is very very hard to make it online) while channeling, but it just barely kill T4 boss with full of my mana, the dps shown is ridiculous