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Path of Exile Content Update 2.6.0 Balance Changes

Path of Exile Content Update 2.6.0 will be released at noon on Friday March 3 (US Pacific Time). This is 9pm in the CET timezone and 9am on March 4 in New Zealand. The Legacy Challenge League will also start at this time.
This article does not contain the full patch notes for the 2.6.0 update. poe'll be releasing more details on specific features over the next couple of weeks, culminating in the final patch notes a few days before the update is released.

Path of Exile Content Update 2.6.0 Balance Changes

Elemental Conversion

Some unique items that converted elemental damage to other elemental damage types have had their conversion values lowered, to increase the opportunity cost of total element-to-element conversion. Converting spells to other damage types was so easy with Pyre and Call of the Brotherhood that it compromised elemental identity for many skills.

We've made it slightly easier to convert more physical damage to elemental damage for some attack skills. Frost Blades and Ice Shot now have 60% physical to cold conversion, up from 40%. Wild Strike now converts 100% of physical damage to a random element.

Unique Item Rebalance

Over 100 unique items have been rebalanced, with a focus on improving underused uniques that didn't have a strong role in the game. We've tried to make sure that all uniques either have a positive impact on leveling characters, act as a good item to wield when first entering maps, or have a defined role for end-game characters. We've got more changes coming in future, but we've managed to make changes to a significant number of older uniques.

One-Handed Weapon Damage and Weapon Implicits

One-handed weapons were seeing very little use outside of daggers and specific one-hand skills. To improve player choice, we've increased the base damage of many one-handed weapon types across the board.

We've also changed or rebalanced many weapon implicits. Here are some of the major ones:

Daggers now have a lower implicit value. This will also apply to already-existing dagger implicits. Previously daggers granted 40%, 60% or 80% increased critical chance. These values have been changed to 30%, 40% and 50%. This is to reduce the impact specific base types had on weapon choices, and lower the power of the standout critical caster weapon base type.

Lower level claw base types that granted life leech now grant life on hit, as life leech has very little effect at lower levels.

Maraketh claw base types (Double Claw, Twin Claw and Gemini Claw) now have separate life and mana on hit values, as they now grant more life on hit.

Maraketh thrusting swords have a higher chance to bleed, going from 8%/12% to 15%/20%. Other thrusting swords have a lower critical multiplier value.

One-handed maces now grant stun threshold at 10%/15% rather than stun duration at 20%/40%, to increase their ability to stun.

All staves have had their block values increased. Previously, staves granted either 12% block chance or 18% block chance. They now grant 18% and 20% respectively.

Almost half the one-handed and two-handed sword base types now grant flat accuracy, instead of increased accuracy. This should make them more desirable for characters that don't naturally have high accuracy rating from dexterity.

Area of Effect Changes

All sources of "Increased Radius of Area Skills" have been replaced with an increase to area. This means that rather than the area of the skill increasing geometrically as the player invests in the modifier to area scale, the radius gained per point of the stat will be lower and lower as heavy investment occurs, similar to diminishing returns. Many old radius increases that have been changed to area increases provide a higher numeric value to compensate for this change. The goal of this change is to make investing in the size of your area skills to be less rewarding the more you invest, so players don't feel like they need to gather every single point of area radius to reach their character's full potential.

As an example of how this change will work, the map mod that granted increased radius of boss skills previously granted 40% increased area of effect radius, but will now grant 100% increased area, which results in approximately the same increase to area.

As many lower level skills don't have as high a base area, they will now receive an additional flat bonus to radius at certain levels of the gem. An example of this is Blight, which gains +1 area radius every 5 levels of the gem.

All values of curse radius and aura radius were doubled when converted to curse or aura area size, to result in a similar change.

As another notable change, Melee Splash now gains significantly more increased area than it did increased radius as the gem levels, bringing it much closer to equivalent area skills.

Skill Balance Adjustments

A small number of skills have had their damage values adjusted. Damage increases have been applied to two skills that poewere satisfied with the mechanics of, but felt like they didn't deal enough damage.

Sunder now deals more damage with its direct hit, but less damage with its secondary area effects.

Ice Crash has had its damage increased.

A damage reduction has been applied to one skill that dealt significantly more damage than other skills of its type, especially after one handed weapon changes.

Blade Flurry has had its damage reduced.

Two vaal auras have been reduced in power.

Vaal Haste now grants slightly lower values of attack, cast, and move speed.

Vaal Discipline no longer grants any bonus energy shield.

Improvements to the Passive Tree

Various improvements to specific clusters and the locations of passives have been made, making areas which weren't taken frequently more efficient, and opening up some new options for builds.

  1. Some physical to cold conversion has been added to the passive tree near the Ranger area. This allows for skills like Ice Shot & Frost Blades to have more conversion to cold than ever before.
  2. A new weapon elemental damage cluster has been added to the passive tree near the Ranger. This now allows for dexterity aligned characters who specialise in elemental attack skills to invest more of their points into damage.
  3. The area between the Shadow and the Ranger has been made more efficient and less restrictive, while also improving the efficiency of clusters in that section of the tree.
  4. The Thick Skin cluster now attaches to the outside perimeter.
  5. Mana has been added behind Mind over Matter, allowing for those builds to be better than ever before.
  6. Some claw, staff and sword passives have received some special attention and should now be more powerful overall.
  7. The Vitality Void and Spirit Void cluster near the Duelist starting area that grants life and mana leech to attack damage has been rearranged, and is now also attached to the outside perimeter path.
  8. The sword critical cluster has been made part of the Ranger's large exterior sword cluster. The other path of the sword cluster has been significantly reworked to grant more power.
  9. The Master Fletcher bow cluster between the Ranger and the Duelist has been removed, and the Avatar of the Hunt cluster has been moved to its old location.
  10. Leech effects in the Shadow area of the tree now leech from all attack damage, not just physical attack damage.
  11. The lightning clusters Arcing Blows and Crackling Speed have been combined, and Arcing Speed has been improved.
  12. Master of Force, the physical cluster in the Scion area and Ash, Frost and Storm, the elemental cluster in the Scion area now grant a small value of reduced reflect damage taken of their type.
  13. Many other changes have been made to pathing, positioning, and values to improve underused passive skills.

 

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