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Critical Mass is a Wizard passive that causes a chance of reducing cooldowns by 1 second everytime a critical hit is dealt. The in game explanation is, well, extremely poor and rather unintuitive as a result. There's little indication what DOES and DOES NOT proc this passive skill, and what the best skills are to utilize this ability. I've done some research into this skill by smashing high HP zombies with a toothpick, 2.0 Attack Speed and a 33% Crit Rate. I used a timer to time cooldowns for Diamond Skin and Slow Time.
Will it Proc?:
Magic Missile: YES!
Shock Pulse: POORLY! I tested Living Lightning and the default Shock Pulse. This skill is extremely odd - it does proc critical mass but it does so very, very rarely. With my setup, it procs 1 to 2 times every 20 seconds - give or take.
Spectral Blade: YES! Furthermore, the DoT on Deep Cuts rune ALSO procs. This makes this skill arguably the best one to proc Critical Mass.
Electrocute: POORLY! Tested Lightning Blast, Arc Lightning and the default version. Works very similarly to Shock Pulse and its variants, but seems to proc a bit more often. I get between 1 to 4 procs every 20 seconds.
Ray of Frost: YES! Yup, the beam move procs - meaning it crits. Try it out for yourself, it's actually the skill that arguably procs the most but is limited by AP.
Arcane Orb: YES!
Arcane Torrent: YES! Arcane Mines also procs the way it's supposed to.
Disintegrate: YES! The main beam procs, also relatively quickly. The AP cost means it's hard to get more than 2-5 procs for a beam that drains all AP, but testing with a group of 5 zombies got 16 procs in one beam (w/ Chaos Nexus). As noted, the mini-beams from Chaos Nexus also proc.
Wave of Force: YES! Not very helpful though.
Energy Twister: POORLY! I threw up a Wicked Wind twister (doesn't move) and for the 6 second duration I saw between 0-2 procs, and the 2 procs is VERY rare. These stack though - 3 twisters in one place gave me 4 procs once.
Hydra: NOPE! None of the Hydras proc. So sad - but increasing crit rate increases DPS and Hydras draw damage straight from the DPS stat.
Meteor: YES! The meteor strike, the molten leftovers and Meteor Shower all proc. At best, I've seen a single meteor proc 3 times. I blasted a mob with 3 Star Pact meteors at once and got 10 procs.
Blizzard: POORLY! Blizzard can indeed proc - but it seems to again do so in the same manner as Energy Twister. It usually procs about 1-2 times per storm, and Blizzards don't stack.
Ice Armor: YES! This surprised me. The Frozen Storm rune will, for its 3 second duration, proc. By continuously using the rune, I got it to proc 4 times in 10 seconds.
Storm Armor: NOPE! The Storm Armor's built in counter, Reactive Armor, and Shocking Aspect all do not proc. Shocking Aspect, as another proc ability, was extremely difficult to test, so I am not 100% sure. After testing, I am reasonably confident it does not proc.
Magic Weapon: NOPE! Venom was nerfed for a reason.
Familiar: NOPE! Again, a shame.
Explosive Blast: YES! But not likely to be a useful proc tool.
Archon: YES! All Archon abilities that do damage will proc.
Best Proc Ability?:
My procedure was that I activated Slow Time against ONE enemy, then started spamming the skills that were reasonable contenders for the best proc ability.
Spectral Blades w/ Bleeding Rune: 9.27 second cooldown (originally 20 seconds).
Spectral Blades w/o Bleeding (since Healing Blades is very useful): 14.46 seconds (originally 20 seconds).
Ray of Frost (Tested with the 12AP Rune and Arcane Presence; INCLUDING time spent recharging AP): 8.8 second cooldown (originally 20 seconds). Best time was 6 seconds long.
Conclusion: Spectral Blades w/ Bleed is the best w/ multiple enemies. RoF for single targets.
Is Critical Mass worthy of Inferno?: I lack the gear to try to craft a new critical mass build that will survive later parts of inferno, thus I present this examination of Critical Mass for others to look at. Personally, the best way to generate as many procs as possible is to spam Meteor, Ice Armor (Frozen Storm), and either RoF or Spectral Blades. Blizzard and Wicked Wind work well to marginally increase the # of procs one receives as well.
I hope to show that Critical Mass is a skill that isn't just for gimmick melee wizards. There is benefit to using Critical Mass to speed up cooldowns for builds that kite with a beam, for example.
I would really like to stop using Meteor to proc CM, but if I were to, I'd want to use SLeet Storm or Entropy, and they both make me tank stuff like using meteor does.
That is my build, tested throughout Inferno Act 1, the beginnings of 2 and 3. High CM proc rates on non channeled spells refreshes DS before it wears off, for the most part, and sometimes I'll get lucky and perma freeze something with Nova.
30 AP on crit, 42.5% crit chance, 20k DPS. Unfortunately, the build requires me to tank, so I'll probably end up losing some DPS for all resist and health.
Edited by elbicnivni#1106 on 5/30/2012 8:32 PM PDT
This is what surprised me the most since I was testing Blizzard and CM before and it never procced, but I just went to try again and it's working. I must have been extremely unlucky before. :\
trying out http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#WdhYOX!gfY!accYYa
seems to work pretty well
Posted by Ignatius
Not to mention it benefits from Cold Blood dmg boosts and also slow enemy attack speed, enabling you to tank longer. Though if you are not careful you will run out of AP channeling it. lol
trying out http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#WdhYOX!gfY!accYYa
just want to update this is hilariously good in hell, demolishes act 1, and if my resistances were better I'm sure I would be doing well in A2 (and using prismatic armor instead of force armor)
Don't share the build, don't try it, I don't want it nerfed ;) It's definitely not overpowered I think.
Not sure it's the most optimal build but I like it a lot, considering replacing explosive blast with meteor shower to give at least some ranged damage.
theoretically you could get enough crit to switch the FN rune, probably to the extra damage one imho. the lower cooldown one is viable too but i think crit more important. also might test replacing EA with IA Frozen Storm, because that might lead to enough built in procs to keep DS up almost permanently.
Edited by plasmat#1875 on 5/31/2012 4:28 AM PDT
After the nerf this isn't even viable in any build.
Sad truth right here.
Bad programming led to exploiting a mediocre passive. Mediocre passive then got nerfed to absolute trash passive. Evocation is better in all situations because if you want to reduce cooldowns it means you aren't spending much time doing damage, and you simply won't have room for two CD reduction passives.
The only way to make this passive better than Evocation is to be constantly DPSing with high hit rate spells like Electrocute and ArTor ... but if you're using those spells and spending a lot of time on DPS ... then what do you need cooldown reduction for? The only cooldowns of note are defensive. Requiring a significant amount of offense to marginally reduce defensive cooldowns just isn't realistic.
Was just a horrendous idea from the start as a passive. The potential for exploit with any such mechanic is extremely high, which results in it being crap for everyone who isn't.
Edited by qbert#1174 on 5/31/2012 6:52 AM PDT
I loved the frost lawnmower for awhile (but hated how mobs just seemed to run from me when I used it). I've just given up on being able to tank for now after playing inferno mode... I really liked going with blood magic and healing blades to stay up close with energy twisters and explosive blast going. If arcane orbit wasn't such an awkward cast, I'd probably have tried to get that into the mix as well.
I found this very interesting, are you sure about this? Are any other spells drawn from dps rather than just your damage? Meteor/blizzard would obviously then be much better with ias but I am pretty sure this isn't the case. When I tested ias with hydra I really wasn't thorough in my testing and only noticed it wasn't shooting faster and never even bothered to look if it was doing more damage/killing faster.
Rate this CM build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#kZYRfX!gWY!ZYZbaa
Ice Armor could be swapped by either Magic Weapon (more DPS) of Force Armor (even more survivability) I just wanted to add more synergy with the Cold Blooded passive, also is Force Armor is used then it's either use the Energy Tap rune or the Astral Presence passive. I just thought about melting faster than getting hit.
PD: Ofc to try out this build a lot of crit is required in the gear, along with some VIT and obviously INT (derp)
EDIT: You can use Blizzard instead of Ray of Frost - Sleet Storm to kite better but since it doesn't proc as much it's pointless
Edited by Kusanagi#1433 on 5/31/2012 8:02 AM PDT
Each spell seems to have a unique proc rate for critical mass when you critical. It seems difficult to get the exact proc rate directly, but I was looking at Dekkar's "Life on Hit" % testing for each spell found here:
Life per Hit (Inferno)
These %s seems to correlate fairly well with the OP's observations as to which spells work better.
I went out and tried to test a bit with Magic Missile, which has 100% return on life per hit. CM proc'd 100% of the time I critical hit. With a bit more testing, it seems possible to show that the CM proc rates per spell are the same as the % "life on hit" %s.
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