Which skills are DOA and plan to be reworked in the next patch?

Call me impatient for thinking about the next patch only 2 weeks after 0.8.5 came out, but all that the dungeons accomplished is raise the skill floor that’s the minimum required for a build to feel “viable,” while there was very little in the way of reworking skills in order for them to be viable in the first place.

Being able to beat Empowered Monoliths used to be an okay standard, but with Julra and the other dungeons, people are now saying “only 300 corruption builds are now viable (since they are the ones capable of besting a T4 Julra fight),” which heavily restricts what skills and equipment are worth using. There are a lot of interesting Uniques and idol slots out there, but they simply do not have the damage multipliers or synergy necessary for a build to get the DPS required to handle the tougher fights without dying, especially since getting to that corruption required health, health and more health (It’s easy to have <1000 Health at level 100, but you need at least double that with equipment bonuses just to survive in deep monoliths, heavily restricting the equipment + idol slots)

I’ll provide some of my own ideas in a future post, but since I’m biased toward pets, I’m going to be approaching it from a pet-centric framework. What skills do people think may as well not be in the game, and how would you rework it for them to be viable in future patches?

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Dont have the time to go in-depth to actually answer your questions specifically, but wanted to add to this re skills… it sort of indirectly speaks to your concern skills no-one is using from a different perspective - skills used in the same way no matter the build.

Perhaps I am wrong but I am seeing a lot of skill stagnation when viewing builds posted in the last few patches… By this I mean that if someone is using a particular skill, it almost doesnt matter what the build is, they are designing the skill in a very similar way to everyone else…

Sticking to examples I know, Sentinel Lunge, Sigils, Holy Aura all tend to spec’d in the same way with maybe 2 or 3 nodes difference… Vengeance skill - used often but with the same nodes - I dont think I have ever seen anyone use Vengeance with the Iron Blade specialisation and its more than half of the nodes on the Vengeance skill - if this is not an indication of a problem then I dont know what would be…

Pretty sure that the same is true in other classes and other skills…

So to me its not that a skill may be DOA but the issue for me is that Skills have entire branches that I dont think anyone is bothering to use - so either the skills are badly designed, offer little value or bonuses no-one wants or anything beyond the default skill setup is just not viable so there is no point in building anything using other nodes on a skill…

This is something that I find Dammits website to be interesting for, but its only builds that people post - it would be fascinating data to be able to tell what skils & skill nodes are acutally used by players - this would likely be invaluable for the devs trying to see what skills work and what need changing but I suppose there is nothing that can be done about this until the online version of the game is live…


They cant rework skills yet imo.

I do agree, skill balance is a bit whack right now. But I think thats because there is much work needing to be done on many fronts.

Druid just got a massive overhaul, and it is night and day how much more useful its mastery passive point options tend to be vs like shaman or even beast master. They cant rework skills, because reworking a class without reworking skill trees is sometimes enough to cause those skills to become good.

To follow on that theme, same thing with the missing masteries, adding a 3rd mastery to acolyte might make skills like rip blood which feel boring/out of place suddenly work well as you might get access to more mechanics to work with that make them flourish.

This means imho, they need to get all the classes passives/masteries sorted. Then they can worry about fixing the skill trees if things fall into place in a less then favorable manner.

Funny you bring up the Druid remake, because the Spriggan pet is one of those skills that I feel is already going to be stagnant and going to be little more than a buff-bot with that juicy +8% Crit and huge Crit Avoidance aura.

I find the Spriggan pet’s Vines (the Spriggan pet, not Spriggan Form Vines which are clearly a great skill) and the Ensnaring Roots to be DOA abilities. The cooldowns are too long to make good use out of them, and even if the cooldowns were shortened tomorrow, AI abilities are too random that we wouldn’t want to invest points in them if they’re not going to bring a guaranteed outcome (guaranteed healing for survivability or simply more damage).

Where the Spriggan does get interesting is the node that grants its Spirit Thorns a 2.6X more damage against immobilized, stunned, or frozen enemies. Assuming you have the flat damage from the passives, the numbers can be tweaked enough so that you can build around providing these conditions enough for the Spriggan to do comparable DPS to other minions like Raptor. That’s the carrot, the stick being how to bring about those conditions to give the Spriggan enough DPS for tough fights.

Minion freeze condition with War Cry is ultimately not in a good place because the freeze multipliers are not there compared to, say, a Mage freeze build, but that’s something that can be fixed through number changes. I like that the Spriggan has a freeze aura that raises your chances of your minions freezing the opponent, and in return, the Spriggan’s autoattack does enough damage to justify being used on a team.

This is the sort of feedback loop that is sorely missing in a lot of skills. The carrots are either way too convoluted to be worth using (The Abomination with its standard decay is the most obvious example), or there are no carrots at all and the skills are just bland effects that aren’t worth putting in a build. And don’t get me started on the “you create X stacks of “insert random name here.” Release these stacks for a miniscule benefit” that seems to creep into every Unique / new skill tree out there.

When a person can predict that half of an entire skill tree that was designed LAST PATCH is going to be worthless in standard monos, much less a T4 Julra fight, that’s something that needs to be discussed. Much less stuff that was designed 2 years ago and not bothered to be updated at all (not even reducing things that have 8 node points to be worth 4 points) since they were initially released.


Well I mean look at thorn totems, a new set dagger and spriggan forms rework has made thorn totems a real build, where as before that they just kinda sucked. they didnt need to rework the skill tree, they just needed to add tools around the skill tree to make synergies happen that made them good.

I mean stagnant isnt always a bad thing. That just means spriggan is good enough as a pet to have around. And as you pointed out has enough interesting build options that it can be a dps pet, a buff pet, or even a hybrid option.

I think what is sorely missing is support options for the skill trees that seem useless. There is a severe lack of options for example minion cooldown outside of their own trees. The spriggans ensnaring roots are a 20 second base cooldown, so with its own tree it can get 60% CDR, which results in about 12.5 sec cd. But then you cant do anything else. There is no minion CDR idols as far as I know for primalist.

This honestly feels a bit like a problem with pet builds specifically. Pet design tends to be hard to please everyone and to make the pets distinct from one another at a base level means you cant really make their trees that complex or it takes away from their base identity.

And ill say it ropes back to support of items/affixes. Minion builds are some of the most simple and boring to build because you have so few options for affixes. Where is my minion poison chance? My minion shock chance? stuff like that. Minion attack/cast speed on items at all?

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Even if you were to get minion CDR for the Spriggan, why would you want to? More importantly, why would you want to invest gearing and a lot of skill points for a temporary root that you have no control as to when it’s going to be used? I know you’re just saying that as an example, but there are tons of effects in this game that are just useless. Take a look at Scorpion’s Acid Lob. It’s on a 6 second cooldown, doesn’t create a Poison Pool, and you were better off just using its movement and attack speed to inflict Poison itself rather than spending time for the Scorpion to cast the Acid Lob. And that’s one of many poor skill node designs out there.

Specific things like Minion Poison Chance come from Uniques like Serpent’s Milk. I like that there’s some creativity with the Uniques so that you can use the skill trees for something outside the standard scope. Your previous example of Thorn Totem worked because the skill was sound before the new set, but the set gave it the numbers necessary to go from underperforming to great. The core concepts need to be there, and with a lot of skills, the core isn’t there at all.

There is no “entrapment” build that you can use the Spriggan’s Ensnaring Roots to get yourself enough damage. Stuff like Freeze and Ignite are already underperforming, and the devs should be making the time tweaking the numbers to get those to work before jumping onto new abilities with long cooldowns.

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How dare you, All biulds are viable for all content.

Just ask in chat, its the only correct answer if you dont wanna spoil the fun for others.

I am always a fan of overhauling or revisiting balance of skills.

But I disagree with the premise here:

The difficulty jump from T3 to T4 is quite significant for all dungeons, but T4 dungeon completions not required for anything other then some very high end things or simply better chances for more LP etc.

I think the term “viable” is very subjective and will range from completing the story from doing 500+ corruption and possibly even totally other goals or milestones.

I think balancing in LE is actually not that bad and while there are some skills or builds that are over the top powerful, that doesn’t make the other build “not viable”.

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Spriggan pet used to have a super awesome build – look up Boardman21’s “Machine Gun Spriggan”. But, it suffered the same merciless beating at the hands of the Nerf Bat™ that all other fun and/or pseudo OP builds face. Well, other than those 3 or 4 Sentinel ones that is.

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Well the problem with ‘viable’ in LE, is that there are (for now at least) a few “endless” mechanics in place. Endless arenas, and endless monolith corruption. Are classes that can push 400+ corruption, or 500+ arena simply labeled OP because of that? Are classes that can’t push higher than 100/200, respectively, considered “viable” or under-powered?

With concepts like that in the game, it seems like the game would have more of a tendency for allowing builds to push higher. Instead, the opposite seems true, and anything that can push upwards is considered OP, and therefor castrated. It just doesn’t make any sense. “OH, you have a build that can take advantage of the open-ended end game mechanics we created? Let’s fix that for you. NERF BAT WHACK!

That leaves out the obvious bit that any build that can clear 300+ corruption will ROFLstomp the story content, and the story is only going to get harder as Chapters 10-12 are later introduced into the game.

Like it or not, there are certain interactions that provide multiple orders of damage multipliers, and any similar interaction that doesn’t bring those multipliers are effectively dead in the water. I’ve been poring through Necromancer / Lich builds, and a lot of Lich’s power has been stated multiple times to come from the interaction between Reaper Form and Death Seal. Necromancer doesn’t have anything that comes close to the multipliers that come from those two skills; ideally, this would be balanced out with idols or unique affixes that bring in the same level of power, but the power just isn’t there.

There’s a whole bunch of Necromancer skill nodes and idols that are dependent on interacting with Minions, but the numbers don’t give nearly the multipliers necessary to be able to complete much more than the story. There’s Harvest creating Blood Spectres on kill, but the Wraith time is much too short and the conditions are too fickle. There are skills on the Abomination tree that would be lovely to use, but can’t because the straight damage nodes are a much better investment in the long run.

I want to discuss which skills are angling for a buff and how we can have creative synergies that allow those buffed skills to become a unique build that stands out from bog standard, “let’s push the damage numbers as high as possible.”

I know, double post and all, but it’s about time I actually create a list of skills I think are effectively dead and need a massive redesign to understand their philosophy:

  1. Soul Feast - I’m sure Necromancer and curses in general are going to be looked at once the Warlock gets dev attention, but outside of some light Damned application and that nice Soul Feast recast node, this skill has nothing going for it. What is this skill’s niche supposed to be, and how is it any better than Rip Blood, which also generates ward?

  2. Drain Life - this move just doesn’t do any damage. Even with all of the damage multiplier nodes, there’s just not enough damage to justify taking this skill, and this is from someone who’s using this skill up through normal monos. Especially the node investment for the explosion that happens when you kill an enemy with it. Trash clear is already covered by other skills, we need this skill to help us survive against boss monsters.

  3. Infernal Shade - It’d be more interesting if it were a Curse as well, but outside of Abomination / single minion builds, I haven’t seen this skill used in a Necro build, ever. Maybe if Fire/Ignite were reworked enough so that Necromancer can viably use this as a damage type, but the whole Shade aspect just seems really weak compared to the other skills.

The whole Fire damage Necro might also be DOA, but I’m waiting to get the right equipment before I make a judgment on that one. I have some build planners designed for it, but Necro appears to be too lacking in passive support for fire damage to be viable. I can’t wait to see a Necromancer passive revamp, but it sounds like a pipe dream that won’t happen until the Warlock reveal.

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I agree but I think it is kinda broken atm for regular damage. I had tested using it with Hellfire node(can put it on ground without a target) but it still autotargets enemies so you can’t even put them on the ground if an enemy is near the area you are casting. It will always just overwrite the one that is on the enemy.

I then tried using the explosion nodes with max decreased duration to give some clear for deathseal/fire hungering souls but it just felt clunky and might as well have just used another support skill for HS.

I found out on my poison Hungering souls lich that AoD heals minions based on your % of missing health so it synergizes well with Death seal. Only other way I see to play it would be proc only on minions + golems or skeletons with maybe deathseal+HS on minions only or maybe something with Dragonflame edict. Haven’t tested yet as keeping the minions in AoD
all the time would be a pain (hold A and pray it doesn’t get aggro’d).

All these I tested on Lich tho, Unlike beastmaster there is not really much player damage or support in Necro. I think this needs to be changed first like maybe Moonlight pyre and blades of the folorn apply to players as well and some new passives such as “damage per minion” or “increased player dmg but limited to x minions”.

The skills that are a bit weak in my opinion

  • Avalanche: Since they nerfed it and the associated set due to autorunners it is too expensive to reliably build around, killing both the autorunner version and the normal version of avalanche builds
  • Ice Thorns: While not useless, it is usually only run for the autoproc extra armor - it isn’t very good by itself as a damage option
  • Maelstorm: Very hard to get good damage on due to how you have to cast it over and over(only totem version seems all that decent at late game damage)
  • Summon Bear, Summon Scorpion, Summon Raptor, Summon Sabretooth: Outdated skill trees and limited to only one of each despite them being companions, thus people usually just go wolves or crows
  • Swarmblade form:The weakest of the beast forms, it requires a lot of setup to use its cool effects for not much reward
  • Flame ward:The ward is not enough, does nothing when off cooldown - people just autocast this for a tiny bit of extra tankyness
  • Static: Only run in lighning blast builds for the autocast, never run as a source of damage by itself due to it not doing enough damage and not clearing enough of the screen to make up for its usage condition
  • Black Hole: Very inconsistant as a crowd control due to physics interactions. Damage is not that impressive. Also most importantly IT DOES NOT DEAL VOID DAMAGE - IT DOES COLD! MY IMMERSION IS RUINED!
  • Focus: Too risky for most builds and the ward generation is way too weak to make up for standing in place
  • Meteor:It may be VERY powerful, but sadly is VERY expensive, if focus was buffed it would be no issue(as mana strike generates enough mana but sadly needs you to get in close)
  • Lunge:The worst movement skill in the game, and why sentinel has difficulty dodgeing big boss AoEs - it needs a target to work
  • Shield Rush:The SECOND worst movement skill in the game, requiring too much mana to be viable for that use
  • Javelin: even when maxed out is not an effective boss melter or group clearer - it also does not leech health due to being a throwing attack
  • Rebuke: This is a channelled ability where you do nothing for a few seconds, it does not do massive damage
  • Multistrike:Needs a specific unique to be good, even then is used to proc smite instead of do its own damage
  • Healing hand:does not have a skilltree
  • Judgement:damage is just a little weak, created aura is a little small
  • Infernal shade:not a great damage option, also single target dot, also you can only attach it to four enemies at a time
  • Assemble abomination:A pain to setup, also slowly loses life
  • Summon Waith:Not as good as the volatile zombies, which compete for the temporary minion slot
  • Soul Feast:Requires setup if not cast in cone form, does not do tremendous damage when setup(as it compares with hungering souls for dps as it needs to do MORE in order to be better than just recasting the hungering souls you need to use this - sadly Soul Feast is not especially high damage
  • Ballista: powerful skill, but doe to mana cost is hard to setup while running through monos
  • Dancing strikes: Used to support other builds, damage is WEAK for rogue(it does not melt packs by itself, which is the norm for every other rogue skill, when this is close to single target and does not do anywhere near the same dps)
  • Cinder strike:Rogue has better single and multi-target skills, this skill does not have a large enough AoE for third hit or burst on third hit to be worth it

Everything else in the game is very much viable(if sometimes weaker than other options). I suppose I should finish on a positive note and mention a skill that people sleep on: Smelter Wrath - it has a huge aoe and does decent damage

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no, completing harder content needs either a really decent build or very very impressive gear. Juhra t4 for instance is very tanky and can one shot lesser builds.

It isn’t even true that all builds are viable for the base story - especially considering the difficulty of the latest act. I played javelin when that came out and it was a slog, most of the other builds would have not had too much trouble with it.

I find it silly to nerf the flavour of the month skill when there are many other skills that can clear about as fast at high corruption, I hate it the most though when it is a rather inventive or fun build. Hammerdin will never be the same, shadow daggers used to be cool. :frowning_face:

It is even more silly when you consider that players will always find some way to break the game with an OP build. If they want players to play something else raise the power floor and don’t collapse the ceiling.

Just my opinion on some of these which I have used.

Is pretty strong endgame with werebear str stacking and is also a pretty good single target boost for my cold spirit thorns shaman. The 80% more dmg with 60+ attunement is not too hard to get for most primalist spell builds. Not to mention it is pretty much the best support skill for frenzy/haste/dodge/slight healing/lightning bolts.

Its basically a must have for all mage’s I’ve seen and is meant to be used for big hits since it also gives a bunch of DR.

The locust swarm version was kinda op from what I saw though idk how it is after the patch. Both flat damage and Dot(poison/frostbite) Swarmblade are also good though DoT might have a bit of rage sustain issues.

I’ll agree with these two but I pretty much always use Volatile reversal(with the movespeed nodes) on my sentinels. This is the only workaround as of now as even Smite(teleport) needs a target.

This is pretty decent imo there are both flat damage like mine Paladin, Level 95 (LE Beta 0.8.5c) - Last Epoch Build Planner or DoT versions that are good. It is common for throwing skills to have lesser sources of leech than melee but there are still sources like the blessing, tome of elements relic, avarice gloves and prism wraps chest. Javelin’s main draw is it converts all flat dmg to lightning which I don’t think any other throwing skill gets.

Is basically a skill where you build for QoL than for dmg as the dmg should be good in most versions I’ve seen. Its the brainless summoner build for me as all you do is build it and let it go ham. I heard dunking on T4 Julra is so hot right now (Abomination Necro) : LastEpoch

It gets pretty good aoe with the throwing daggers and shadows. I had an ignite build based around them and did pretty well as the mana cost is actually pretty minor.

Its a taboo to say some builds are not viable. If you wanna be popular and friendly, say all builds are viable.

While balancing skills to be “viable” in endgame already is a very huge task, I also feel that some skills or specific skillnodes need balancing towards their initial impact.

An example that comes to my mind is Summon Wraiths, especially the nodes that decrease decay rate or increase hp. The plan is to use these nodes to increase the lifetime of your temporary summons. But taking these nodes early/midgame has no noticeable effect on the lifetime of Wraiths.

You can’t really tell a difference and it has no impact on your gameplay. Even if they scale well into late game, these nodes do nothing when you discover them for the first time.

The haste on Shift node on the Rogue has a similar behaviour. You get 0.5 seconds haste after using shift, which is barely noticable at all. The node is ok when you have finally maxed out (2 seconds haste I think? Not at my PC currently…).

So I’m here to advocate making skillnodes more impactful/noticable on their first skillpoint investment. Make it that you actually feel “wow, that’s a difference”. If nodes scale well if maxed out, but not on the initial investment, it feels underwhelming.

It’s still good. 150k dps when fully invested with gear, and skill buffs., and it has AOE, and shotgun. I was the first to min max it patches ago, and it’s still holding strong now. its previous version, while top tier at single target damage, 300k a second, could still only hit one target.

I will not lie for the sake of popularity

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