Diablo® III

Elemental Arrow - Ball Lightning overpowered?

I'm curious, does anyone else find this spell to be pretty much imbalanced? It only costs 10 hatred, deals 155% damage to multiple targets and can even cause multiple hits on a given mob meaning you can end up doing 310% dmg to several mobs each. Compare that to impale which does 250% to a single target for 25 hatred... So basically we have an aoe spell that outshines our best single target spell for less than half the cost. It also completely outshines other aoe spells such as cluster arrow due to its extremely low hatred cost.

So, does anyone else feel that this spell is pretty damn op with its current hatred cost? While its cool to have powerful spells it isn't fun when you have a single spell making others completely obsolete.

Edit: I think many of you don't realise the insane kiting potential this spell also has - it's absolutely spammable for high damage and you don't even need to aim at units. Just shoot in the general direction of enemies and the ball will destroy things even if they're off-screen.
Edited by Balsuun#1808 on 5/18/2012 12:48 PM PDT
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If you compare Multishot, Ball Lightning, Impale with overpenetration, Elemental: Frostarrow, then you will quickly conclude, that ball lightning is by far the weakest of the lot.

Maybe it isn't apparent at first, but everyone will get to that conclusion. It is okay if you always get the mobs to move alongside it otherwise it doesnt even stand a chance on inferno.

In the end you need an AoE that can go against all possible rarepacks as you do not want to lose your nephalem buff. And that skill just cannot cope with the amount of really fast mobs on hell/inferno. Just too slow projectile.

When you play alone you can cope with that and shoot in your movement direction, with other peoples it is already another story.
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Posts: 937
I like Ball Lightning a lot so far.
I like to reserve Impale for my stuns, so Ball Lightning seems to take care of AOE very well.
In Nightmare FYI.
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Interesting :)

I'm currently level 28 and still on normal so I can't really evaluate anything about how it fares as difficulty ramps up. I have tried impale/overpenetration but ball lightning seemed clearly superior due to its much lower hatred cost and wider area of effect.
Edited by Balsuun#1808 on 5/17/2012 8:21 PM PDT
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It is rather powerful, but it's important to remember that Impale does 250% damage base. With runes it can be made into a stun, line AoE, point blank AoE, or have its damage increased in one of two ways. Grievous Wounds can burst like nobody's business.

The projectile for Ball Lightning is also very slow, so there are some situations where it isn't ideal. The Serpentine rune for Chakram is very similar to Ball Lightning, costing the same for higher damage if Ball Lightning only hits once.

Other abilities that cost more generally have faster projectile speeds, and either higher damage, wider AoEs, or some utility on them. This isn't always the case, but the class isn't flawless. Also recall that Grenades, which generate Hatred, can be runed to be an AoE stun.

Ball Lightning serves as a reliable source of sustained AoE damage. While it has few disadvantages, the one it does have can be significant. It has its uses, but needs other tools to support it.
Edited by Acaelus#1262 on 5/17/2012 8:27 PM PDT
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100 Draenei Priest
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Posts: 1,224
Side note.

Ball lightning doesn't do 310% damage. It strikes targets twice (optimally) for a total of 155%.

Which is why it's so fail on Inferno.
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I've found Multishot far superior for large packs, especially with the cost reduction rune.

Maybe I would use Ball Lightning if I wanted to only have one hatred spender that was ok at both single target and AoE.
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Posts: 399
If you compare Multishot, Ball Lightning, Impale with overpenetration, Elemental: Frostarrow, then you will quickly conclude, that ball lightning is by far the weakest of the lot.

Maybe it isn't apparent at first, but everyone will get to that conclusion. It is okay if you always get the mobs to move alongside it otherwise it doesnt even stand a chance on inferno.

In the end you need an AoE that can go against all possible rarepacks as you do not want to lose your nephalem buff. And that skill just cannot cope with the amount of really fast mobs on hell/inferno. Just too slow projectile.

When you play alone you can cope with that and shoot in your movement direction, with other peoples it is already another story.


Have you ever used ball lightning? If you think you need the mobs to run along side it to get hit twice, you probably never even have used it. They can run toward you and still get hit twice. And if they are standing still they WILL get hit twice. And why do you think it would be worse in team games where ally's can tank? The aoe is actually pretty big, MUCH bigger than the ball itself.
Edited by Snowbird#1742 on 5/17/2012 10:06 PM PDT
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Ball Lightning is only good on Normal.
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90 Human Priest
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Ive used frost arrow ever since I got it. Big damage, big slow, big aoe if you aim it right, sounds cool.
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too slow for my liking, multishot owns it for me.
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One big, BIG aspect of ball lightning that nobody seems to understand is that it can be used IN CONJUNCTION with another skill, like Hungering Arrow. Since the projectile speed is so slow, you can fire off two ball lightnings + HA spam getting the DPS of both at the same time. If you were using Frost Arrow, Impale, Multishot, etc.. you only have the dps of one skill because of projectile speed.

So far in Nightmare ball lightning, used right, is still a great skill. I can't trust anyone saying it's bad in Inferno because more likely than not they aren't using it correctly.

Not to mention Multishot and Impale drain your hatred ridiculously fast. You get 4 maybe 5 shots and youre drained 100%. How strong is your dps then?
Edited by Vaux#1193 on 5/17/2012 10:24 PM PDT
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Posts: 16
05/17/2012 10:23 PMPosted by Vaux
One big, BIG aspect of ball lightning that nobody seems to understand is that it can be used IN CONJUNCTION with another skill, like Hungering Arrow. Since the projectile speed is so slow, you can fire off two ball lightnings + HA spam getting the DPS of both at the same time. If you were using Frost Arrow, Impale, Multishot, etc.. you only have the dps of one skill because of projectile speed.


I don't see how that's an improvement. All you're saying is, with Ball of Lighting, you're sacrificing early damage as the lightning travels so you can pile it all on in one fell swoop as the lightning is in motion.

So yes, you'll deal more damage LATER, but you're sacrificing what could be earlier damage from things like Multi-Shot.

End result: You're not attaining a net amount of extra damage. All you're doing is changing the priority of when you deal that total damage.
Edited by ReMeDy#1475 on 5/17/2012 11:12 PM PDT
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I prefer multishot + fire at will. It clears rooms far faster from my experience.
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Posts: 178
To slow did not use.
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Yes I used it the last time on Hell Act 2 against a rarepack of jumpers, which were so fast I had to shoot randomly around me to get hits with it off.
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If you have to shoot more than 2 multishots to clear 80% of the mob in the room, you need more dps.
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It's nice to see so many differing opinions on the matter. Guess I'll withhold judgement about its performance on the higher difficulties until I get there :)

Edit: I do wonder how many of those that deem it weak compared to other skills actually have tried it properly. The slow projectile speed can also be exploited for extremely effective kiting around corners and such.
Edited by Balsuun#1808 on 5/18/2012 3:23 AM PDT
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I find myself switching between ball lightning, fear, and ice arrow.
They are all equally awesome, some shine better than others depending on the situation.
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