Not happy with Thorns of the Invoker set!

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I’m not sure where I separate the fantasy from the play style. So here is the play style (active) that I’m looking for. I want to charge into packs of baddies. Maybe the fantasy is letting my thorns help take out the trash while I go after elites and bosses with enough proactive damage to kill them in a reasonable amount of time.

So what’s needed in my opinion is a way to translate the passive thorns damage into proactive targeted damage. Since greater rifts are timed dealing damage and killing demons fast is critical to any ‘build’. To attract a wider audience thorns builds need to deal more damage faster. What I am suggesting does that.

Let’s start with the weapon Hack. It currently adds 75% to 100% of your thorns damage to each attack. I’m not clear on the math, but in my play testing (crusader and barb) the additional damage appears to be negligible. So my first suggestion is a meaningful buff to Hack.

I agree those that view the mechanic as lending itself to tank builds. So let’s add a shield. Again I would like to see something translates thorns damage into proactive damage. Something like this, every time you block an attack gain attack speed equal to 0.1% of you thorns damage for 5 seconds, this ability can stack up to 3 times. Just a first thought. Maybe this could be done as a change to an existing shield.

So it’s pretty simple. No change to the way thorns works. No change to the invoker set. No need to wait for a major patch. Just a weapon and shield that translate passive thorns damage into proactive targeted damage.
My quick-fix suggestion would be to have the TotI set to do X% of weapon damage, because the fixed 4000 thorn damage of the two-set bonus is only good enough to make a significant impact on normal difficulty, i.e. it's extremely weak on torment difficulties.
I know my weapon damage numbers may be a bit low, but it just wouldn't be right to make this set so powerful that attacking enemies will be dropping like flies on T6.
TotI(2) - Ranged and melee attackers take 450% weapon damage per hit.
Totl(4) - Being hit with a ranged or melee attack triggers an explosion centered on the attacker that does 300% weapon damage to all enemies within 15 yards.
In both cases, the damage type shall be determined by your highest +X% elemental damage from your items.
Ive been playing thorns build crusader since launch of RoS and I 100% agree with Rich above.

I play with 3 set bt, 4 set invoker, thorns bracers, thorns sheild, faithful memory mainhand and depth diggers.

I would love to see "reworked" thorns build being spender free and tanky as hell, while being able to play (solo) rifts/grifts utilizing existing legendary gems and gear.

I think there is absolutely no need to change thorns mechanice, as changes to existing single legendaries would make the Invoker set insanely powerful as is.

Changes to 2 existing items is all that is needed :

1. Simply add thorns secondary and buff "thorns added to attack" value (maybe rework to add % of thorns dmg as weapon dmg to generator attack) to the legendary weapon "Hack".

2. Change VoToyias Spiker effect to something that reduces iron skin cooldown by X% on thorns dmg dealt OR thorns dmg is increased by XXX%.
Honestly, thorns isn't as passive a play style as you would assume. It's potentially as much work trying to constantly stay inside damaging effects and take as many hits as possible as it is avoiding them.

Maybe another solution is to cause Thorns to drain your health in the process, adding the dynamic of healing and sustaining rather than just tanking it. Or maybe increase thorns damage as your HP drops, so you have to really pay attention to your play.

Regardless, as a barb, I think it's silly to say thorns is that much more passive a play style than Whirlwind. God knows it's less mind numbing than Raekor's.

Edit: The concept of "no, no, you just think you want to play that way, but we know how you REALLY want to play the game" is maybe the worst I've ever heard, in a industry where customer focus is above all else. As an Industrial Engineer and someone who makes a living off of structuring management to cater to customers, it's almost insulting how little the consumer's satisfaction is considered. Somewhere along the line the theme seems to have shifted from "what can we do to make this more fun for our players" to "how can we improve the game". It's a small distinction with a profound impact on the people who actually still play Blizzard products.
Thorns is one of the stats that has been ignored since the implementation of the game.

It has always been a flat damage skill which by definition does not scale at all.

So it was designed to be a dead skill with no ability for implementation.

As of right now its just a useless skill that adds some level of diversity with no impact on game play style.

The fantasy of the set is a character that has the capacity to take damage long enough to redirect to the point where the damage does not hold back the group, but still requires you to be awake when playing.

items like thunder gods vigor which causes up to 130% thorns damage is what all thorns should be. Not 130% but just some percentage.

Others like Blackfeather show how thorns can be used for ranged characters, but at the end of the day, if your a glass cannon getting hit all the time, your not really doing your job.

This is why philosophically, Thorns is a tank centered attribute.

Thorns can only work in prolonged battles, so for boss fights, its a given that it would be expected ot put out decent damage.

Like others mentioned before, around 50% of everyone's damage should be enough so that you aren't slowing down the groups DPS.

But as others mentioned, dealing with trash is difficult given that for the most part, trash is killed in matters of seconds. So thorns dealing with trash is probably not significant enough to make any major changes to designs.

Elite and champion packs should be where they shine, as this has the most to do with controlling monsters as it does thorns damage, because lets face it, if they aren't attack you, the entire point of the build is gone.

I can't think of how to make changes to this set, or implement it, but the most obvious fix first is to change thorns from being a flat damage to a percentage, much like was down with Bleed damage on weapons, being changed to 350% damage over several seconds.

The idea would be for tank characters to focus on skills and abilities to enhance defense, control monsters, and boost fellow players.

its a tank build centered around reflecting damage as the means to deal damage, while focusing on utility skills to be benefit the group.
04/20/2015 03:51 PMPosted by Tyvalir
04/19/2015 12:37 AMPosted by SlackerRhys
And do check out this thread... "A Game of Thorns"... There is a bunch of us who have been playing thorns for some time...

Already got your back. :) That thread is definitely a bastion of feedback and we’ve been keeping an eye on it for some time.

04/21/2015 02:07 PMPosted by Tyvalir

If you have any thoughts, please feel to share them!

It's great to see that Thorns are finally getting some notice.
I've been running the "A Game of Thorns" thread for a long time now, so seeing this has made me happier than anything. Ironically, the final post (500th post) on the topic 4 days ago was SlackerRhys stating that we've finally been noticed. I'm either going to have to restart the topic to keep discussion going on it, request that the limit be extended if possible, or let the next generation take up the gauntlet...

For those wondering what "A Game of Thorns" is, here's the link.

I don't consider myself an official on thorns, but I will say that my thorns build is the only reason I keep coming back to play D3.

My build:

SlackerRhys stated a lot in his post about about our findings there when testing the ins and outs of the thorns mechanic, so I might be repeating a little. I'm going to break this down into pieces, because there is a lot to say... (2 posts worth)

My Vision of Thorns
My vision of Thorns is that instead of basing your skills and equipment on offense, your defense becomes your offense. How this would work changes depending on the class. For melee classes Monk, Barb, Sader, and melee Wiz, the fantasy is being in the center of battle, pulling all the agro. My mental image is one of a warrior clad in heavy armor covered in spikes/thorns. The more thorns on the armor, the more the enemies must hit through those thorns in order to even deal damage. For WD and DH, my fantasy is one of the pets and summons being the ones in the fray taking the agro and wearing the thorns while there masters play support with skills like hexes or traps. WD had a passive that gave pets thorns, but sadly that was removed.

What I envision thorns to be is an alternative damage type that has little to nothing to do with weapon damage, crit, or crit chance. If I'm to be completely honest, unless you have a thorns themed weapon, having your thorns damage increase by how powerful your sword, axe, wand, bow, etc. is makes no sense.

The Mechanic
The mechanic of thorns itself has a few issues, mainly in its inconsistencies, sporadic damage flow, overall non-scaling damage output, and lack of synergy in items.These issues should be considered when revamping a thorns set or looking at a thorns mechanic tweak.

What enemies can and can't be killed with thorns is a major learning curve for those who first start testing the build. For example, out of all the elite affixes, only electrified, fire-chains, frozen, jailer, and mortar proc thorns (the large orb of orbiter does proc Reflect Skin). Many boss skills also do not proc thorns. I understand that a lot of this came from the Gohm nerf where the atmospheric damage of his poison gas would proc thorns too much, but removing the proc removes any hopes of damaging these types of enemies. I think the path taken with the frozen affix is a simple (comparatively) fix to the problem. Frozen procs thorns rapidly, but the coefficient is low, about 8-10% damage a tic. The damage is not substantial, but it is still damage. All environmental/atmospheric damage types from enemies should be treated this way.

Sporadic Damage Flow
It was already stated often, but thorns builds can only really kill enemies quickly that actually attack. Depending on the enemy, it could take forever to kill it, even if it is rather weak. Some you can't even kill (gobs, those cultists with a staff that do nothing until they transform). If they don't attack often, some can be provoked to attack. If their damage type is one that doesn't proc thorns, you are out of luck and have to move on. This is one of the main reasons that even if you can farm T6 with you thorns build, you may not be able to clear a rank 20 rift in time. In my opinion, the best way to address this issue is through items.

Non-Scaling Damage Output
Thorns damage is rather static. It gets thrown into a calculator based on your thorns and primary skill. The problem with this is that it does not scale well at higher difficulties because enemy health increases far too fast. Unmodified thorns damage with perfectly rolled gear will only net you about 3 mill a proc. That's abysmal. One idea people have been stating is that thorns should scale with weapon damage that way it can scale well enough to be competative, but I disagree. That makes no sense to me. What would make sense it to have it scale with other attributes, like armor, block chance, and block amount.
  • Thorns - Weapon damage equivalent. The more you have, the more damage you do in general.
  • Armor - along with your primary stat, this gives the modifier to thorns damage. With weak armor, the thorns all over it will be weak as well. As some builds can get buff armor into the millions, this would only count non-buffed armor.
  • Block Amount - Shields should play a pivotal role in any tank class, thorns included. When you block, your shield's block amount can be added to your thorns, scaled by your thorns value. If you have no thorns, none of your block chance gets added. Blocking would essentially be a thorns crit.
  • Block Chance - If blocking is a crit, block chance would be similar to crit chance. The difference here is that blocking only gives a strait increase determined only by your shields block chance, and that increase can go no higher than that, and it only works on blockable attacks, so it would be weaker than your normal crit chance, which people can get upwards of 3-5x damage. On the flip side, block chance is not too hard to get up to the 75% cap, much higher than crit chance.

  • My Idea For Thorns of the Invoker

    First off, if this set is to stay niche and not be competitive, it needs to be craftable. If combined changes to the thorns mechanic and rework of the set and other thorns items makes it semi-competitive, then I'm fine with it being part of the drop tables. I don't expect thorns builds to be front line competitive, but I would like them to at least be feasible in higher rifts.

  • Invoker should be a tank set above all else.

  • Being a major part of "A Game of Thorns", I've seen many different thorns builds people have posted for many classes. With this in mind, the set needs to appeal to every class, possibly even bring back thorns play styles lost. (Thorns WD)
  • 6-piece Set: Head, Chest, Shoulder, Gloves, Shield, Bracers.
  • The head piece will have a secondary effect of its own, similar to how Krelm’s Buff Bulwark items do: Pets gain the effects of your thorns
  • Each piece should come with thorns automatically but at a higher tier than other armor. For example, max thorns roll on a shield is 3495 (4550 Ancient). This value should double. I believe this would be a much better option than giving a static thorns increase as a set bonus, and the idea that "the more of a thorns set you wear, the more thorns bonus you get" just makes sense to me.
  • Set Bonuses:
  • (2) Piece - Thorns damage is also dealt to all enemies within a 15 yard radius. No conditions. Same as old set bonus.
  • (4) Piece - Whenever a non-offensive skill is cast, decrease all damage received by 5% for 4 seconds, stackable 5 times.
  • (6) Piece - I agree with SlackerRys on the 6 piece bonus:
    04/19/2015 12:37 AMPosted by SlackerRhys
    Invokes all enemies within 15yard radius to go berserk and attack the wearer increasing the affected monster's attack speed by X% but reducing their damage by X% against the wearer (passive or skill spender activated)
    I will also add that this taunt/provoking should not make the enemy reposition themselves after every attack.
  • 04/23/2015 08:27 PMPosted by MightyMidgit
    I've been running the "A Game of Thorns" thread for a long time now, so seeing this has made me happier than anything. Ironically, the final post (500th post) on the topic 4 days ago was SlackerRhys stating that we've finally been noticed.

    This made me tear a little... haha... 499 posts since its start on 25 May 2014... And now here we are with some possible "game changing" updates incoming for the thorns of invoker set or the mechanic itself as a whole (hopefully)...

    I remain openly optimistic but cautious as i look forward to these changes till it hits live...

    How does your thorns build actually perform? Is it even semi viable for GR? If I could even play around the mid 30's with a thorns build I would be ecstatic.
    04/24/2015 06:12 AMPosted by Skirpnasty

    How does your thorns build actually perform? Is it even semi viable for GR? If I could even play around the mid 30's with a thorns build I would be ecstatic.

    GR are a bit difficult with thorns builds at the moment. The biggest reason is time. There are just too many enemies and attacks that don't proc thorns enough or at all. And unless you are running a Reflect Skin build (like mine) or a hybrid (using thorns as supplementary damage and not the main source of damage), you are not going to get far.

    My build is definitely not passive. It's a game of knowing where to place yourself and knowing when to pull the trigger on your abilities, especially Reflect Skin. If you don't take advantage of very specific openings or enemy orientations, you aren't going to be very effective. Saying this, the thorns build is my favorite build to play! It's so much more dynamic than those fire-and-forget builds, spam-your-skill builds, hide-while-your-pets/sentries-do-the-killing builds, etc.

    The highest I've personally gotten with my thorns build was 26. Some people from the "A Game of Thorns" thread with better equipment than me have gotten into the upper twenties, but I don't think anyone has made it yet into thirties, at least not solo. Even when in the 20's it's all luck. One bad set of thorn immune enemies and you might not make your time. Even worse if it's the RG.

    To be honest, it wasn't until a few months ago that we figured out how to even make thorns T6 viable... And that viability doesn't even need the invoker set. I only use it for the 4k extra thorns...
    04/23/2015 08:28 PMPosted by MightyMidgit
    One idea people have been stating is that thorns should scale with weapon damage that way it can scale well enough to be competative, but I disagree. That makes no sense to me. What would make sense it to have it scale with other attributes, like armor, block chance, and block amount.

    I agree with MightyMidget on this matter, it would indeed be weird if thorns scaled with weapon damage however unfortunately most of the game mechanics scales around weapon damage in order to be competitive at high GRs.

    However if the developers were to really put their efforts into this mechanic and make it right, it would be much better served as being scaled off toughness / armour / block etc... However i understand there are resource limitations on the devs and i remain hopeful but i can forsee it will be a tough mechanic to balance without affecting the current gameplay...

    Anyway i came up with another idea for the possible thorns of invoker rework, but i must state that it is not my favourite suggestion as it would relegate thorns to a support class only set but given the time availability and resources of the devs my worry is that this will become a last minute band aid of sorts:

    Thorns of Invoker (6) Piece bonus:
    Upon spell (spender or generator) cast, enemies within a 15 yard radius are bound with thorns binding, damaging them for X% of players thorns damage every second for 3-5 seconds. Enemies also receive Y% additional thorns damage when damaged by other party members or Z% additional thorns damage for a successful critical. (Similar to gem of efficacious toxin).

    For this 6 piece bonus to work, it should also be triggered by thorns reflect damage itself (proc itself) which may allow the players to effectively double their thorns damage... Currently thorns does not proc itself, pain enhancer, gem of efficacious toxin and area damage but if the devs could somehow work it in... then maybe such a playstyle might work...
    "Thorns of the Invoker

    This set now only drops for Crusaders"

    2 months later and a couple of well thought out suggestions, threads and discussions and this is what we get for the Patch 2.3 PTR? Frankly it is just disappointing...

    I can understand the invokers set is ideal for crusaders and that the mechanics needs alot of work to be made usable. Perhaps this is something that requires more work and will be worked on in the future. Take your time we don't mind the wait frankly...

    But this move right here to me is just a slap in the face to all the contributors from this thread, myself included... as well as many other threads...

    Tons of testing and interesting ideas from all the various classes and then you drop the ball (bomb) like this... Are you for real?! All that has been done is open up another can of worms for people to jump in and say remove it entirely or remove the mechanic altogether...

    If you are just going to make it a set for the crusaders you might as well remove the secondary affix from random pool altogether because no other class is going to appreciate it anymore especially if there is no set or legendary that would make it even remotely usable... Same can be said for the demon's set...

    If your wory was to appease all the whiners that it was taking up their space/chances for better loot than all you had to do was make it a craftable set so that it wouldn't drop... this is just plain ridiculous...
    This set now only drops for Crusaders.

    WTF! This is the change that we are waiting for months???


    Diablo 2 best game evah
    Since the plan seems to be to make Burden of the Invoker a Crusader-only set, I'm not going to discuss other classes here.

    The thorns mechanic, whether reflecting less than 100% of damage received back at the attacker or doing a fixed amount of damage to the attacker, is simply not viable in D3 as it stands - or in any other game for that matter. Browsing these boards I see "ultimate thorns builds" that are "T6 viable". Pardon me, but so what? As crusaders we should equip an entire set and several specific items, plus use at least 1 passive and 1 active skill just to be slightly above the level of other crusaders who are wearing whatever they found during the story line? T6 is the new "normal" (as per 2.2), and if that's the sum total of our aspiration for a thorns build we're wasting our time, aren't we? Roland's set Sweep Attack Crusaders clear GR60+, same set Shield Bash a few levels lower. We're happy to get near GR30 for some reason...

    There are a few things quite obviously wrong with Thorns:
    1. The damage itself isn't high enough. The best output from a dedicated Thorns build is well under 100m damage - like closer to 10m. You think a GR40 Rift Guardian with 40Bn health notices that extra damage even when added to a weapon like Hack? Nope. What about GR60, then, a mark the top players aspire towards? 930Bn hit points on the Rift Guardian - at 1Bn DPS you can't kill the thing in 15 mins, even if you don't die and never mind the other enemies in the rift that you have to kill first for the privilege of the battle. Where's your tens of millions of thorns now?
    2. Mobs do not attack often enough that this damage has any DPS/DoT value. The proc rate is simply too low - better if you're proc'ing damage as an area effect, but only at 100% rate rather than Sanguine Vambraces' mere 10%.
    3. If you're reflecting damage you need to be reflecting 10s of thousands of percent of the incoming damage before the enemies notice it, as their health tends to exceed their damage by several orders of magnitude in order to not one-shot you while not being one-shot killed by you.

    1. Fix the damage multiplier. There is no logical reason Thorns damage is Thorns * 25% of the damage bonus from primary stat. This makes no sense from either a mathematical or an RPG perspective. First base it on Total Armour - this makes armour and bonuses relevant as it accounts for at least 1/3rd of your final armour rating for Str-based classes, and makes sense as that is what is getting in the way of the incoming blow (not one's intelligence). And not 25% of a hundredth, please. 1%. Now you're multiplying that 10s of thousands of thorns by a number in the 1000s rather than a number in the 20s - we're beyond 10s of millions of damage and we haven't started pumping it yet, just like the damage from your weapon which is still going to be dealing damage faster (higher DPS + crit, esp now with Hack containing a relevant factor from Thorns).
    2. If we want the Invoker set to be viable into the GR50s, then it needs to be a 6pc set or it's just too easy to assemble (add Chest and Pants). It needs to also be in line with other 6pc sets: eg 2pc bonus: add 1s to the duration of Iron Skin/Defensive Skills each time you deal Thorns damage to an enemy, max 10s added. 4pc bonus: Thorns damage is increased by 500%. 6pc: Enemies damaged by thorns are Provoked by you (Hit Me rune) and increase their attack speed by 300%. Now we're talking - 100s of millions of damage with thorns, longer up time on Iron Skin, enemies provoked with Hit Me (some way of wording it so that this doesn't act as a Wrath generator as well, though that's not bad in itself - like Golden Flense doesn't break the rules regarding Wrath). Enemies will now go absolutely ape on you, turning Thorns into a true DPS skill, so you will need extreme mitigation measures that will get in the way of you having a build that ALSO generates Bn's of damage in weapon/skill DPS. That's the balance. If we want Thorns to be good, then we have to make the monsters attack us more and that means we're going to die a lot unless we are careful. Alternatively have Thorns proc a "bleed for x% of (max) health over y seconds" as the 6pc bonus; now you'll kill everything equally fast as long as it procs your thorns regularly, but devs tend to not like that kind of scaling (any D2 players remember Static Field?).

    I really don't think procs of 500m Thorns to individual attackers every other second will break the bank while players elsewhere attack for 1Bn DPS. Yes, if you open thorns up to dealing AoE damage it might need tighter control, but one-to-one it's fine like that if we want the skill to be relevant. Consider this: a 6pc set (5 pieces plus Vambraces plus RoRG) plus Hack plus Vo'Toyias Striker is a great deal of specific gear to invest in. Why not push it so we can get to at least GR45/50, or further as a zDPS support/tank build? Make the Crusader diverse!
    it looks like we're going to have to integrate a Taunt effect or something into it. Ideally, it would be like D2 where you're getting a pet to be Taunted.

    Dear devs,
    If you guys are looking at creating some sort of pet or avatar to taunt and invoke attacks onto itself for crusader, could you please also look into making sure that it would proc the special affix on the blood brother sword? That would really make it finally more useable.

    Thank you for the hard work!
    The active and passive thing mentioned is basically shield and sword gameplay where the player wins by just beating the enemy with its powerful defensive capability. Thus to fix the invoker set it must be based on how defensively setup the player is. High health, high armor = high thorns damage (multiplier).

    Thorns is an enabler for slow heavy hitting builds as well. I don't know how that could be used to power thorns damage sorry. But I think ratio based builds of 50:50 active:passive or 40:60 is the answer. Not 100% passive builds, that would be very boring don't we agree on this? But yeah, a ratio would need to be established to make an invoker set work and that ratio must at least be balanced with the slots consumed by the set.

    Skip Thorns. Seriously, stop wasting time. The Crusader has enough skills that are cool but far too weak.

    I'm for making Invokers a Set for Heavens Fury + Fist of the Heavens (Change its name, rework it, give us new pieces, change lore)

    Why would we still want Thorns? Its just a boring playstyle and its very time intense to be fixed. SKIP THORNS, give us an actual CRUSADER SET!

    My try on a Invoker Rework:
    hey just throwing this idea. (and sorry for my bad english)
    what about making invoker work with fist of heaven. Using invoker would make fist of heaven always cast on urself, giving you FoH dmg scaling with thorns. Casting FoH would also give u maybe dmg reduction. The idea behind thorns is to return dmg so, casting FoH on yourself would be a cool thing the light of heaven droping on you empowering you with resistance and dmg.
    You could also make an additionnal item (like bracers, belt, whatever) that proc FoH when you deal Thorns, pretty much like the Ivory Tower procs heaven's fury when you block.
    Idk i think the concept at least seems cool, being in the middle of mob tanking and damaging with that cool light coming from the sky, empowering you...
    Just an idea that came to me and wanted to share. It could also be crap, but who knows, if you do this you could name the new bracers (or whatever item) name the Furious' Gun. Lmao
    Anyway keep up the good work boyz !

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