Thursday, December 12, 2013

Path of Exile: Traps!

I've been toying with the idea of making a trap dude for a while now because I read in a forum post somewhere that it was a safe way to kill lots of enemies. I like killing lots of enemies and I like being safe! Yesterday I was cleaning out the guild bank gem stash again and found we had many extra multiple trap gems lying around. So I went searching for a trap build to see if they were actually of much use. I found one that wanted to use two copies of the multiple trap gem so I decided I'd give it a go. Clean out the bank and try something fun at the same time! As an added bonus the build makes use of the elemental equilibrium tree node and I've really wanted to find a use for it.

Today we did some maps and got wrecked by the boss of the villa map. This is an enemy that casts a ton of traps himself and I have no idea how to deal with it other than die. With the hope that using traps myself might provided some insight I went to start leveling my trap dude. Sceadeau suggested I just level up with some awesome low level smashing gear we have in the bank but I wanted to actually get a feel for how traps work. I still used a bunch of low level health items, of course!

I played around a bit with traps and discovered a couple things. Traps have a weird cooldown mechanic. They work like Akali's ult in League of Legends in that you have a small supply of traps on hand and they recharge slowly over time. So I can quickly throw out 3 fire traps but I need to then wait 3 seconds between each subsequent fire trap. Interestingly each type of trap has it's own small supply so I'm able to bust out 3 fire traps and 3 bear traps. This explains why elemental equilibrium could make sense here. Normally you have one best spell to cast and you just want to spam it as much as possible. I'm sure I'll have one best trap but the game prevents me from spamming it. So alternating elemental damage with the EE node could be awesome. (Doing damage of one element makes the enemy resist that element but become very vulnerable to the other ones.)

Looking around the skill tree there's a node for making your traps immune to damage for 5 seconds. But then I was throwing out traps and the enemies weren't attacking them. Why not? It turns out traps have 1 health but can't be targeted. But if they happen to get hit by an AE spell they will take damage and die. This makes me wonder if running frost nova or something for the trap boss would be a good idea. Spam it and take out the traps as he casts them?

Traps are also interesting in that they are neither attacks nor spells so you can't speed them up with attack speed or cast speed. There are a couple nodes that increase trap lay rate though. I'm not sure how much that will matter. There are nodes that increase trap damage and one interesting one that makes trap damage penetrate 10% of enemy resistances. This seems particularly good since it's an extra multiplicative source of damage while most sources of damage in the game are additive. In fact it's the only node in the entire tree with any sort of penetration of any kind. I guess EE is a second kind if you're willing to swap damage types. I can start to see why traps might actually work out reasonably...

There are also two unique items that deal with traps. One is a set of boots that increases trap lay rate, gives you a speed boost after laying a trap, and supports any gems inside it with the trap gem (which lets you lay traps that use any spell). These boots seem awesome and we had a copy of it in the bank that I yoinked. The other is a belt that increased trap damage, decreases trap duration, but makes traps trigger when they time out. Normally you need to wait for an enemy to actually walk on the trap but this belt will let the traps explode on their own. Seems like it could be pretty good with the right trap? The guide I found wanted to use it with lightning nova and ice nova. I don't know how that'll work out but I figure it's worth trying out. Along with the actual fire trap that covers all three elements for EE! We don't have any of those belts, unfortunately, but I figure I'll buy one if I hit level 37 and want to keep playing this character. It's been interesting so far!

Traps are also apparently invisible after they've become armed, which is good to know when fighting the trap boss. Also frustrating that the game works like that. Need to remember where they all land!

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