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Will we have a ton of spells be AoE again?

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One of my major gripes with PoE is the amount of AoE that is available. Most casters have a huge amount of it. Get ready for a wordy post, and I apologize if it isn't very well laid out. My Computer is on the fritz, and i had to do this on my tablet. :/. Ryzen can't come soon enough. Lol


So what do each of the caster classes have that are AoE?


Priest - heals, buffs, debuffs.

Wizards - debuffs and Damage.

Druids - lol

Chanters - almost everything, but they make sense as AoE monsters.

Ciphers - they have some too.

Pally - Auras

Barb - Carnage

Monk - Torment' Reach and Rooting Pain

Rogues, rangers, and fighters - not much.

Scrolls - a lot.


I may have missed some. Obviously, these have varying degrees of AoE size.


So, we have some changes in classes, scaling being added to abilities via Power level, reduced party size, Empowering spells and abilities is a new mechanic, and Vancian is going away. I bring these points up because I think that these changes could be used to tone down the sheer amount of AoE, and allow more single target abilities. Now, this isn't saying that there aren't single target abilities in PoE1, but that the first game has a great deal of AoE, imho. Maybe too much. But that could just be me, and some might prefer how much there was.


First we need to look at why PoE had so much AoE:


A). Justifying Intellect. Intellect effected AoE and Duration. So abilities that were over time, AoE, or both were common. It is a ramifications, in part, of the attribute system.


B). The amount of enemies in the field were often equal to or larger than the 6 man party. This justified AoE because of enemy numbers.


C). IMHO, (and I could be wrong) if you scaled the enemy stats too high you ended up with PotD type stat bloat (which is great on PotD, but could be agitating for those on lower difficulties), and I think that the easier option was adding enemies vs finding that sweet spot in enemy stats for each difficulty increase. This isn't to say this is impossible to fix, but that it is what it is in the first game.


A quick note: I asked if attributes were changing in the Fig comments, and Feargus (I believe) said that they were planning to keep attributes the same. This is something we should keep in mind because whatever debate is had we must try not to reduce any attribute's value. So, in this case, Intellect will still govern Duration and AoE, and we don't want to create a dump stat. Also, unrelated, but info I've had answered on Fig are that racial bonuses should stay the same, and each class still gets equal number of skill points.


I've got a few ideas that I'd like to discuss in this thread.


One thought I've had is a ramification of moving away from Vancian, adding the Empower concept, and adding scaling is that we could have less AoE at lower levels. Perhaps, those lower level abilities could become more potent with scaling or Empower usage in terms of damage/rebuff/buff strength, but lack the AoE component. This means you can AoE with a higher level spell but have a more marginal effect, or you can use a lower level spell/ability that has scaled to do a stronger single target effect. What these buffs/debuffs would effect/target would be the same , but the single target would have a greater effect numerically (example below). This would still allow Intellect to play its part on Duration early on, and AoE in later spells/abilities.


Example: Level 1 spell that debuffs reflex by 2 and movement speed by 10 for 10 seconds. This single target scales with the power level (Arcane for Wizards, for instance). A level 4 AoE of the same spell does the same amount of debuff statistically (reflex -2 and MS -10 for 10 seconds. However, just to cast that spell it requires Arcane level 15 (arbitrary number) so it doesn't scale yet. However, the level one version has scaled a bit by this time, and it will give reflex -4 an MS -20 for 10 seconds. However, when your Arcane level is 30 the AoE variant is now scaling, but it still isn't as potent as the single target.


Add Empower to the mix and you could increase Duration, accuracy, or add another effect (root for 5 seconds or -x recovery speed). This sort of system would tone down on the AoE porn by shifting some importance to Duration, while keeping AoE important/useful for later levels. Intellect would grow in importance to casters as they level, it still wouldnt necessarily be a requirement. Side effect would be Multiclassing into caster classes might get away with minimal intellect, but that may be a good thing for build diversity.


Empower "could" add an AoE component to some things, but I don't know if that's wise. But it's worth discussing. So, please do.


Also, this will obviously effect different classes differently. Chanters will most likely retain heavy AoE abilities through out, but scaling could make their lower level chants more viable over time and reduce the need for higher level chants requiring longer cast times because they haven't scaled yet. Thus fixing their issues of building phrases potentially. Just a thought.


Where a Wizard/Priest/Druid/Cipher would start more focused on single target abilities and build into AoE as examples above if that's their design. Ciphers could become even more single target focused to differentiate them from the rest of the pack of casters.


5 man parties will reduce enemies on the field to an extent, and this means single target abilities could be a better focus and durations strength could benefit here. This is by proxy of reducing the weight of importance of AoEs. Depends on how you look at it, I guess.


Scrolls - they need more variety anyway, but they would likely be changed if a system like this was implemented anyway. More single target abilities means more scrolls based on those abilities.


Non-caster classes: Rangers, fighters, and rogues aren't AoE focused, and would be largely uneffected by this as far as I can see. Barbs can have carnage's AoE grow as they scale in power, and via intellect. Pallys would be similar with their auras. Monks have a few AoEs, but I havent put much thought into them. So, ideas are welcome.


Anyways, this is all hypothetical, but I find it an interesting topic for discussion. Do you think this would negatively impact the value of intellect on some classes? I don't think so, but I'm sure there are things that I've over looked. You could also have Intellect effect the Duration on single target abilities slightly more than AoE if you feel that change would be needed. This would give some choice and consequence to spell casting that I felt was missing in the first game. Do you hit that big guy with a hard debuff, or blanket everything with a smaller one? Anyway, I hope this topic interests you as much as it does me and we can discuss it at length.

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So what do each of the caster classes have that are AoE?

Priest - heals, buffs, debuffs.

How could you forget the best aoe damage in the game :)

Shining Beacons being affected with both Might and Intellect, scale tremendously, and stack with themselves.


Also I just realized. After the first playthrough, I've never taken rogue or fighter in my group. Partially because they lacked hard-cc / passive party buffs, to really justify their place in my party. And partially because they lacked AoE; and there are tons of enemies on PotD.

Maybe that was one of the reasons to reducing party limit to 5? As it will also reduce amount of enemies thrown at us, and indirectly increase the value of single-target damage.

Edited by MaxQuest
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I knew I forgot something! Ugh. Sorry.



Yeah, I would bring fighters/Eder a lot. Knock down is useful, but yeah no rogues. I agree with their lack of disable too. However, the lack of AoE on these two is noticeable. At least with Rangers you get the pet, and that makes things interesting.

Edited by Ganrich
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