ARCANE TORRENT ANALYSIS AND IMPROVEMENT TIPS

Wizard
Hi all, I'm glad that the design team is preparing to buff wiz in 1.07, well, finally I'd say. However, I haven't seen Arcane Torrent mentioned in the patch preview, so I'm gonna point out why such a beautifully designed spell receives such a low rating despite a damage buff in a recent patch, and that it deserves a TIMELY improvement.

Arcane Torrent is simply my favorite wiz skill. Arcane energy flows out from your body to bombard the enemies, matching the theme of the wiz perfectly. But many of my wiz friends say "yeah that's a cool spell, but it's just so hard to use, and i feel it's not worth it." So why is it so hard to use?

Concisely, Arcane Torrent is a channeling skill and at the same time has a cast delay. Channeling skills (Arcane Torrent, Ray of Frost, and Disintegrate) require the caster to stand still while channeling, hence being vulnerable to the surrounding enemies. However, coupled with the cast delay, it makes the situation much worse. Unlike Ray of Frost and Disintegrate in which cases the caster either slows down the enemies or simply takes them down quickly, the cast delay time (around 1 second) of Arcane Torrent allows enemies to get close freely. As a result, it is extremely annoying to use Arcane Torrent as a farming skill since the caster cannot damage enemies the moment he casts the spell AND constantly has to endure the risk of being hit.

The fact is, if the design team sincerely advocates for build diversity, then they should buff this skill right away. At the moment I can think of two independent methods: (i) removing the cast delay time; (ii) buff the damage to at least 280% (subject to change in PTR). Let me explain a little here about the pros and cons. Removing the cast delay time may solve the gameplay problems as neatly as possible, but it contradicts the theme of this unique skill (arcane energy flowing out to bombard enemy), and it resembles the Disintegrate mechanics to the degree of redundancy. On the other hand, buffing the damage may be a straightforward solution. Taking into account that Disintegrate with the Chaos Nexus rune deals a total 214% damage and it has no cast delay, I'd say Arcane Torrent deserves the damage buff to 280% or maybe even higher.

Thank you for reading this post and please let the design team aware of this issue.

P.S. An advice for the design team: do not hesitate to make changes, or nobody even cares about this cool skill. I know that there are lots of things going on and you guys need to fix this and that, but please do fix this issue properly for the next patch if you think the posts makes sense. Thanks a lot.
Still no replies... I thought my reasoning was legit. Nobody cares about Arcane Torrent now?
i like the idea of different skills and builds are better in different situations. i would like if a spell whose missiles fly high over the ground could hit on other side of one-meter walls :)
Changing this "cast delay" you speak of is actually redoing the whole animation for arcane torrent -- it's a spell animation delay, and yes, they should change it, but there are so many things they need to fix.
i would like if a spell whose missiles fly high over the ground could hit on other side of one-meter walls :)

WD's Spirit Barrage works the way you suggested.
01/14/2013 10:34 AMPosted by jenpeezey
Changing this "cast delay" you speak of is actually redoing the whole animation for arcane torrent

Yes, I did mention it, and I agree that this unique aspect of the skill should not be altered with little consideration.

Removing the cast delay time may solve the gameplay problems as neatly as possible, but it contradicts the theme of this unique skill (arcane energy flowing out to bombard enemy), and it resembles the Disintegrate mechanics to the degree of redundancy.

However, my point is the mechanics of Arcane Torrent is so crappy that if they do nothing about it in the upcoming patch, no wiz will consider putting it into a skill slot. Yes, they do have lots of things to do, and handling them well timely is what they are expected.
another way to make AT good in its own way is to reduce ap cost by very much. all the secondaries eat lots of ap with similar dmg. except for AO.
01/14/2013 11:02 AMPosted by pencil
another way to make AT good in its own way is to reduce ap cost by very much. all the secondaries eat lots of ap with similar dmg. except for AO.

True, but the Power Stone rune would be remade in that way. At the moment, maybe buffing the damage is the easiest way to fix this, and the amount should be decent.
01/14/2013 11:05 AMPosted by Milton
maybe buffing the damage is the easiest way to fix this, and the amount should be decent.


making it a high dmg but high exposure spell. good for those with tankier gear and low dps, a little like me. tho this could be op as this is how every1 gear in hc.
01/14/2013 11:12 AMPosted by pencil
tho this could be op as this is how every1 gear in hc

Plain damage buff would not be op, since AT has low farming efficiency compared to other secondary skills.

btw, I forgot to mention in the post that AT is good for two-handed weapon (Skorn), since it's the only wiz skill that does not scale with attack speed. So as you suggested, if you're tanky enough to use a double-handed weapon in HC, then it should be an interesting build.
I've played around with AT. The best thing about AT is that you can setup a build + gear to have AT to be free to cast. The cast delay sucks balls. If the devs are going to buff or change this spell I would suggest the following:

1) Buff the damage to 300% weapon damage as arcane for runeless AT
2) Reduce cast/impact delay by 50%-75%
3) Leave the arcane power cost as is

Change Disruption rune to "Inner Flame":
- works similar to monk's exploding palm (instant attack, no missile, no cool down)
- debuffs a target to take 600% weapon damage as arcane over a 12 sec duration
- debuffed targets also take 15% additional damage from arcane attacks
- if target dies while debuffed, target explodes for 30% of target's max life as arcane
- the explosion damage is applied to nearby enemies
- the attack can be done from range... does not require melee range
- targets debuffed by Inner Flame will have a big purple glowing palm above their heads (or an icon that looks like a glowing star amethys... use the same animation rendering as the exploding palm icon)

Leave Death Blossom as is.

Change Arcane Mines rune to "Arcane Feed Back":
- work similar to WD gruesome feast passive
- mines are cast and arm the same
- explodes for 485% weapon damage as arcane
- each enemy killed by the explosion grants a stacking buff for the wizard that stacks up to 5 times and lasts 10 seconds
- stacking buff grants +1 Arcane power regen per second and + 4% Intel
- max stack grants +5 AP regen per sec and +20% Intel
- no cooldown

Change Power Stone rune to "Incendiary Contagion":
- work similar to the Inner Flame Disruption rune change
- if the target dies while debuffed, it explodes and spreads the debuff to nearby enemies
- nearby enemies debuffed by the explosion take 75% weapon dmg over 3 seconds as arcane
- if nearby enemies die while debuffed, they explode and spread the debuff thus chaining it along

Change Cascade rune to be the new "Disruption":
- uses the missile mechanics described above for the runeless Arcane Torrent
- targets hit with this new disruption are debuffed to take an additional 25% weapon damage as arcane
- targets hit have movement and attack speed reduced by 30%
- targets killed by this new disruption have a 100% chance to cause an arcane explosion that deals 225% weapon dmg as arcane and stuns nearby enemies for 1.5 seconds
They could have made this usable by designing it like Frozen Orb. ie, shoot a big blue ball out and little arcane shards disperse out of it. But as it stands....it sucks.
01/14/2013 02:03 PMPosted by BossDogg
The cast delay sucks balls.

01/14/2013 02:37 PMPosted by Ryoka
But as it stands....it sucks.

I'm relieved that there're wizs out there that share my thoughts.
1) Buff the damage to 300% weapon damage as arcane for runeless AT
2) Reduce cast/impact delay by 50%-75%
3) Leave the arcane power cost as is

I agree with most of what you said here. I believe the damage should be buffed to 280% (to match that of the Sleet Storm rune of RoF), but hitting 300% might just crosses the threshold. Thanks for the advice on the rune changes, but I believe the design team would not change them that greatly. And yes, AT build is nice to try if you get "reduce AT AP cost" on helm, as you mentioned.

01/14/2013 02:37 PMPosted by Ryoka
They could have made this usable by designing it like Frozen Orb. ie, shoot a big blue ball out and little arcane shards disperse out of it. But as it stands....it sucks.

Haha, Frozen Orb is awesome, my favorite spell in D2! The thing is, I really like the underlying theme of AT mechanics, and it looks cool, but it's just pain in the !@# to use it. Oh, I couldn't find a second skill that I love and hate so much at the same time.
My suggested rune changes would give players a reason to use AT because it would be much more varied from what we have in the other spells. We have red laser (Disintegrate), mode based purple pill laser (Archon), and freeze ray (ray of frost).

Arcane Torrent in its current form is just a "wanna be". Its a laser that wants to be a missile attack but doesn't do enough damage to justify mobs smacking you around while you channel it. ATs lack luster CM proc coefficient won't allow you to keep DS up and tank damage while you channel (even with evocation passive).

Death Blossom offers more reward for the risk of stand and cast while in groups because of its damage output. For solo low MP farming the shoot and scramble, or fire/forget and teleport methods seem to be more time efficient. For solo high MP play AT isn't attractive. For AT to be really attractive its going to need some "wow factor" added to it and more damage. Right now its stuck on limp d_*_ck DPS with an equally wimpy cast animation/mechanics.

The design team can tweak the numbers. If we got twisters and Barbs got twisters, we should get a modified/slightly lower damage based range exploding palm attack. If we have Blizzard and Witch Docs have Acid Blizzard with secondary damage effect runes, then we should get an active/modified gruesome feast.
For solo low MP farming the shoot and scramble, or fire/forget and teleport methods seem to be more time efficient. For solo high MP play AT isn't attractive.

Yes, this is the problem of AT now. In no MP or low MPs, this is not efficient enough; in higher MPs, damage is not that great, plus surviviability becomes a problem. Also, the proc coeff is nothing special to proc APoC or CM or LoH compared to other ones.
lol, why do we need AT in the arsenal of wiz? And the most annoying thing is, it is highly likely that they just leave it as it is for 1.07, ridiculous. I have the right to be angry, right?
I have been using AT a lot! I love death blossom...one shoting elites is wicked fun. I am using disruption at the moment. I have to say I like it a lot more than meteor. With a high crit hit rate I can spam the hell out of it and it pummels the opponents. A buff to it would be cool.
I like how the spell looks, like the idea, but it's annoying to use. My playstyle includes movement even if I use channeled spells. I prefer to move towards the enemy to progress further the level or to get closer to benefit from Chaos Nexus rune or to damage more foes simultaneously with Disintegration Wave or to back off a bit to dodge powerful ovehead attacks and whatnot. That's why I can't stand using runes that intensify damage overtime and Arcane Torrent in general.

Everytime I select AT I feel that I have to stand in one place even if there's only a single weak imp left on the screen, because if I move I'll have to wait another second for the missiles to land and this stupid imp will bash my wizard all this time. In the end I waste more AP when it's not needed and don't have enough when new enemies emerge.

Meteor skills also have a delay, but the payoff is so much greater it's not even comparable. The upside of AT over Meteor is that you can adjust where the missiles land , chasing the moving enemies, but I'd rather aim more carefully with meteor or freeze enemies beforehand than just stand and take the beating. If you could freeze or Wave of Force enemies and proceed channelling AT, it'd be more or less ok, but everytime you attempt to save yourself you have to wait another second before AT is dealing damage.

Using AT is too troublesome, slow and inefficient. There should not be this kind of delay. It is only usable in groups on high MPs if you have a tank, but for that AT doesn't have enough damage to stay competitive. You'd be better off chain-casting Molten Impact meteors and regenerating AP with Living Lightning - clearly a higher damage route, plus more CM procs to provide the group with +15% novas or 20% Slow Times or whatever.

The delay ruins the spell for singleplayer mode and low MP groups. For other cases the damage is low. Arcane Mines gameplay is too slow - D3 is not a TBS - and Powerstone's usefulness is beyond me. The spell needs major tweaks.
I like how the spell looks, like the idea, but it's annoying to use. My playstyle includes movement even if I use channeled spells. I prefer to move towards the enemy to progress further the level or to get closer to benefit from Chaos Nexus rune or to damage more foes simultaneously with Disintegration Wave or to back off a bit to dodge powerful ovehead attacks and whatnot. That's why I can't stand using runes that intensify damage overtime and Arcane Torrent in general.

Everytime I select AT I feel that I have to stand in one place even if there's only a single weak imp left on the screen, because if I move I'll have to wait another second for the missiles to land and this stupid imp will bash my wizard all this time. In the end I waste more AP when it's not needed and don't have enough when new enemies emerge.

Exactly! I cannot agree more.

01/15/2013 12:50 AMPosted by Найтмус
Meteor skills also have a delay, but the payoff is so much greater it's not even comparable.

The advantage that Meteor has over AT, aside from damage, is that it's not channeling, and you can kite freely. Well, a channeling skill with cast delay is simply unbearable.

01/15/2013 12:50 AMPosted by Найтмус
Using AT is too troublesome, slow and inefficient.

01/15/2013 12:50 AMPosted by Найтмус
The spell needs major tweaks.

Yep!

01/15/2013 12:50 AMPosted by Найтмус
It is only usable in groups on high MPs if you have a tank, but for that AT doesn't have enough damage to stay competitive.

Back to what I said, we need a considerable buff to AT damage, or if they wish, re-design this skill.

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