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Gearing up for the upcoming release of The Fall of Oriath expansion for Path of Exile, the folks at Grinding Gear Games have, over the past few weeks, been introducing the new active skills they'll be adding to the game. These new skills are Storm Burst, Charged Dash, and Dark Pact. Each one of them comes with a preview video and a short description.
Let's start with the videos:
And here are the skills' descriptions:
Storm Burst is a new channeled lightning skill. The skill fires bolts of piercing lightning while you channel, doing small amounts of damage. When you stop channeling, the bolts detonate, dealing a large amount of area damage around them.
The skill is very flexible, having high single target damage at close range if used in short bursts, or covering a large area if held down over a long time.
Additional projectiles will be added sequentially, letting you fire a much denser stream of projectiles when using Greater Multiple Projectiles. Increasing the skill's area increases the size of the explosions, which will then overlap for even more damage. Slowing the projectile speed also results in more overlapping damage, while reducing the speed that the skill reaches further targets.
As demonstrated in the video, careful positioning and timing can let you control the areas of detonation… Or you can spin around wildly, firing projectiles all over the area for maximum spread.
The skill also has interesting synergies with Cast while Channelling, letting you double down on Lightning Projectiles or letting the projectiles trigger Elemental Equilibrium alongside cold or fire projectiles to tear away enemy resistances.
Charged Dash is a new channeled lightning attack that can be used as a movement skill. When you start channeling, a mirage appears in front of you. Continuing to channel will move the mirage forward in the direction you're facing. As soon as you stop channeling, you teleport to the mirage (or as close as you can get if it is over an abyss) and deal area of effect damage multiple times along the way. The area of effect grows based on the distance you travel.
The skill scales in a few interesting ways; The speed the target mirage moves at is based on your player movement speed but slightly increased. This lets you use the skill as a movement skill to cross gaps and boost travel time. The number of damage areas is based on attack speed; The faster you can attack, the more damage areas you'll create as you travel. The further you travel, the larger the area, up to the skill's maximum distance, so boosting movement speed also increases how quickly you'll reach maximum area size. This results in these areas of damage overlapping quite substantially, making it great for dealing high damage to further targets that the mirage is aimed directly at.
The skill comes with inherent risks - you can't adjust your target location once you've started channeling, so you might find yourself dashing into a tough situation that requires an equally swift escape.
The skill interacts well with Cast While Channeling, as you're able to set up enemies for the burst of the damage from Charged Dash. Alternatively, you could channel to trigger damaging spells, then release to move further through the map. This would give you swift progress through an area without remaining in one location for long. The skill converts a portion of damage to lightning, allowing a full elemental lightning build with the Physical to Lightning Support. Because it applies areas of damage in quick succession, it can shock an enemy with one damage area then benefit from the shock damage boost with subsequent hits.
Dark Pact is a new Chaos spell that sacrifices your life or the life of your skeleton minions to do area chaos damage. If you have skeleton minions summoned near where you cast, the skill will chain between them, sacrificing a portion of their life to do a large amount of area damage around them. If you've got no skeleton minions or they're a long way away from where you cast, you instead sacrifice your own life. If you do so, the skill has a bonus to radius and damage.
Because the damage dealt by the skill is based on life, the skill has a unique build setup, involving specializing in minion life or player life and maximizing chaos and spell damage. The skill also works well with Minion Instability and the Necromancer's Beacon of Corruption, as you're able to forcibly cause your skeletons to reach low life.
The skill doesn't do damage to you or your skeletons, it instead instantly removes life, so the skill does not work with Cast when Damage Taken and other self-damage setups and cannot be mitigated. Instead, the caster must use leech or other forms of life recovery to sustain their own life when used on themselves, or resummon their skeletons if they die.