What is the point of Drain Essence when we have AAR?

Lol, sometimes I wonder…though…what’s the point of FS when OK has RF… :stuck_out_tongue: Because FS is such a skill-hog…

Which reminds me…FS needs slightly better scaling on overcaps.

Savagery and Fire strike are equal in power even without fancy sets etc.

Drain Essence is in a bad shape dps wise compared to AAR from a “budget” perspective.
I am not saying that DE dps should be the same as AAR, but consider changing some item skill modifiers/conversions on legendary faction gear (Hex Launcher, Reaver’s Hunger) so that Drain Essence become on par with ARR builds that are using the legendary faction gear for AAR (Hexflame, Aetherbolt pendant)

Yes, especially static strike IMO


Its not like Savagery has more than double DPS compared to FS with similar budget gearing.

But ok, lets keep Drain Essence at 50k DPS until you get Urobooruk set or go Retaliation with the amulet :slight_smile:

And its not like 100% conversion on Hex Launcher will break anything since Urobooruk DE gets 100% conversion anyway, and similar with vitality Drain Essence … it will not create a monster, it will make Drain Essence feel a bit more powerful for someone who is pretty new to Grim Dawn.

This is a pretty hard blanket statement to make.

Even if you’re excluding sets, where do you factor in Might of the Bear for Savagery and how it overall works well with 2-handed weapons (due to the large % weapon damage it can attain) + the great stat bonuses it provides. Or the large amounts of Fire/Lightning/Chaos damage Fire Strike can put out on DW melee/ranged builds and how it pairs incredibly with multi-target/projectile WPSes?

It makes more sense to say that Savagery and Fire Strike both have their niches that they are strong in if you want to try and compare the two. Drain Essence is arguably similar - built-in life steal (not requiring/locking out specific item slots to achieve in the case of AAR) and AoE that is more “wide” than “straight line”. AAR’s AoE in theory should work better than Drain Essence in tight corridors/interiors but in open areas/exteriors, Drain Essence should do better at handling big groups that clump around you.

I have testplayed several budget Savagery and ranged Fire Strike builds with similar tier of gearing, they both performed similar, but in a different fashion.

Maybe, but is more than 50% lower sheet dps compared to AAR “worth” it? Perhaps I just have hard time to see the differences in AAR vs. Drain Essence…

What do you think about my suggestion for increasing conversion on Hex Launcher and changing item skill modifier on Reavers Hunger from Bone Harvest to vitality Drain Essence?

It could be, but you have to focus on the retal rather than DE at that stage.

On FS vs savagery, it all depends on the context. Ranged DW firestrike is better than savagery without the sets because of the synergy between brimstone, explosive strike, static and the inq WPS. On melee savagery is sooooooo much better because fire strike’s weapon damage is total shit so it’s less synergy with WPS.

I’m no expert as I’m still in the process of getting all of my characters (like 24 of 'em) to Elite before I start pushing that difficulty in earnest (it’s just the way I play), but I’ve made an Aether/Vit Spellbinder that uses both AAR and DE (I just wanted to make a full channeler build) and to me, they are two very different skills, and each fulfill a different role. Though, take what I say with a grain of salt, as I’ve not played that character much since the addition of piercing to AAR (and the associated damage nerf).

To me, DE is a clearing skill. Depending on the environment you fight in, enemies won’t always line up for you to be melted by AAR. But you can be almost certain that enemies will do their utmost to close in and surround you (plus, many just spawn right on top of you), which is where DE excells. Where AAR will be killing monsters one at a time (bar the occasional ranged monster caught in the line), DE fulfills the AoE duties at close range perfectly. DE also has a fairly significant DoT component which AAR lacks (unless you scale Electrocute), and due to the random nature of the “AoE scatter” DE has, the skill’s DoT will affect many more monster than its max target cap would suggest. Seeing as the DoT is fairly significant, a single lash of DE can apply enough DoT to just kill a trash mob outright. So with a brief channel, you can easily down 10 monsters with DoT in the next few seconds. AAR then fulfills the DPS function when more resilient monsters like bosses come around. The two skills can also function fairly decently when comboed together for this reason, as you can just quickly apply the DoT from DE and then channel the rest down with AAR to enhance your DPS.

Another important aspect is sustainability, accessibility and survivability. It takes a hot minute for a new character to get to AAR. It takes a bloody eternity for AAR to become sustainable for a new character. At lvl 75, I still can’t keep AAR going too long before I run out of Energy, despite a hefty amount of regen. Using AAR as a clearing skill at that point simply isn’t suistainable, while DE not only provides better AoE but isn’t as much of a resource hog either. In addition, both skills require you to stand still in order to get your DPS out, and both incentivise the use of caster gear. That means you won’t be particularly tanky (low armor, no block and shield synergies, etc.) and will make for an easy target for ground-target abilities. AAR had my health getting dangerously low if I channelled a little too long in one place, where DE allowed me to just stand there and tank it all up front without a worry due to its built-in lifesteal and offensive ability debuff. Overall, it just makes for a much better facetank clearing skill than AAR.

Obviously, I imagine that if you were to make an AAR-only or a DE-only build, the comparison would probably look very different and there, DE might really lag behind in terms of damage. But when put next to each other, they really seem to me to fulfill different functions and excell at different things, so much so that I put them both in the same build and it didn’t feel redundant. It is possible that once my character is fully equipped with lategame sets and gear, I might just have to choose one over the other, as I won’t be able to properly support both, but I’d wager that DE will still make for a better clearing skill through sustainability, convenience and fire-and-forget capability than a fully supported AAR would.



Aether focused DE will have no DoT.

Then you are doing something wrong, I have played with maxed AAR and disintegration from level 36 and have never had to pop an energy pot.

This is also very gear dependent, perhaps you felt more tanky with the DE build because you had higher armor or something. As I calculated above, DE has about 50% higher life steal potency than AAR.

I might do a fresh start DE build when I am “done” with my shieldbreaker just to compare it with my AAR build diary I made for my guide. I’ll probably go with Vitality DE and Cabalist.

Yeah I fixed the DoT damage type already while you were answering. The fact that it’s electrocute makes it even worse to me in terms of DoT, because AAR does Fire and Aether up front, but then asks you to scale Electrocute if you want DoT. You can easily support Vit + Aether in one build to scale both parts of DE where you’d have to scale 3 to get the most out of AAR (if we count lightning and electrocute as one damage type, which they technically aren’t for scaling).

And again, I’m playing AAR and DE in the same character. I didn’t feel more tanky because of higher armor, I was using both skills on the same build. Clearing with AAR had me nervously gazing on my health bar looking out for big nuke spikes where DE’s lifesteal + OA debuffing had me sitting comfortably in the middle of hostile ground effects, getting hammered on from range, and healing to full constantly from the melee mobs I was killing.

You use conversion items of course, there are plenty of Aether to Light/fire conversion gear and vice versa. Also there are two excellent faction items that are end-game BiS that grants 100% conversion.

Look I am not talking about DE vs AAR at level 55… but rather at level 100 with similar g1-g2 gearing.
If I would mean “compare DE vs AAR on all levels” then one could use the argument that DE is ready to go from char level 2.

My suggestion is that we could let Hex launcher having 100% conversion and Reaver’s hunger amulet changing its skill modifier to DE (grant 100% aether to vit conversion) rather than its current Bone Harvest modifier. Neither of these two changes will “break anything” since Aether DE already has Urobooruk set which grants 100% conversion to aether and vitality DE… I am not worried about that we will crate a sub 5min cruci and SR 100 monster with that :stuck_out_tongue:

And Mageslayer FoI is still trash. :stuck_out_tongue: It’s basically 90% DoT, 10% flat damage. Channeling skill btw.

I guess that is a skill that deserves its own topic :wink:

Flames of Doom

I feel that the other channeling skills, DE and FoI has fallen behind AAR now. AAR is fine, but DE and FoI could use some love and romance. Sure DE has chillwisper set now, and retal do attack, but what about the good ol Vit/Aether DE?

Could it have to do with the amount of skill points required to rank up these abilities? AAR requires less skill points then DE and way less then FoI.

Chaos FoI was doing pretty damn good if you knew what you’re doing back in and before 1.1.3 when I still played. I made a build, chaos build that is, that did tick for enormous amounts of damage, but I didn’t care about energy because I just wanted to see if it’s okay or trash if it comes to damage. I think it ticked for stable 150+k at some point (sheet DPS was almost 300k or something), but so did your energy. :smile:

I remember calling it the strongest channeling skill back then, because it out-damaged every channeling skill I’ve played/seen.

Reminds me of this “What is the point of Grim Dawn if we have PoE”-Threads, and while i get your concern about how one skill perform compared to another Skill, i’d say the best Answer is still:

DE still play’s differently than AAR while they might share similiarities, and as long is that is given and the Skill doesn’t underporfm as much that it is practically useless(which it isn’t, it’s simply not as strong as AAR) i don’t see any point of this topic.

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My claim is that Drain Essence is underperforming and is practically useless compared to AAR, unless you have 1) Urobooruk set 2) Chillwisper set or 3)

I thought the point of all the balancing; nerfs and buffs was to bring everything closer. Then one might ask “what is the point of reducing damage of RoH at point blank by 30%” xD If we should not be concerned about how skill x performs compared to skill y, then why bother about balancing in the first place? :stuck_out_tongue:

And in case you did not miss it, I got some good replies:
a) players feel tankier playing with DE
b) You do not have to use a specific item in off-hand
c) a bit better QoL if you get swarmed by mobs
d) For leveling, easier to scale all damage types that DE deals compared to what AAR deals

Now, I ask, does this justify
a) Having 40% less sheet dps of a budget AAR build?
b) Having worse budget item support than AAR?

But please, instead of just repeating of what other people have said, why don’t you share your own experiences with g1-g2 DE and AAR? … I do not seem the point of you replying to this kind of things, since you never share builds or detailed in depth knowledge and insights about the game. Just these holistic replies once in a while. Show me your g1-g2 Drain Essence build and tell me how it performs

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Well the thing is, i’m an fundamentally different type of gamer, due even for ARPG’s i rather prefer to play the actual game, than play around with numbers like mathjunkies and their “theorycrafting”. Don’t get me wrong, i understand the appeal of it and to a certain dagree i myself wrap my head around numbers and / or use grimtools, hower i experienced if you go full route there are also the issues which comes with it. So even if i might or might not know “detailed indepth knowledge”, you won’t see me arguing here in that way anyway, due for me practically playbility is more important for me than “mere” numbers, so the only thing which i can you offer is a different perspective.

You throw out a statement like “but DE perform 50% less than AAR” which sounds based on Numbers pretty whack, but if you actually play the Game, 50% doesn’t neccessary mean something, because while it might show that AAR is the much stronger skill, it doesn’t mean that DE is underperforming and bad. Viability isn’t and shouldn’t be about how efficient you can clear content, but rather if you are able to clear said content at all (MAYBE within a reasonable time) and if it offers something for different playstyles, and from my experience DE is pretty playable and not useless. He only underperforms compared with AAR - not on it’s own.

And nah, and sorry to “repeating” something someone else brought up already in this or other topics brought up, but i’m not inventing an wheel if someone already brought the perfect Argument which i agree with: homogenous =/= balancing.

And i’ve to point out, my issue with this topic wasn’t your whole arguments about how well DE perform versus AAR, maybe with suggestions and such(buff as example?)… if that would my hangup you would see me at other topics, but rather they way you handled the topic with your title plus context of your post itself. I remember the days pre-aom, where i struggled with my AAR-Sorc pre-AoM / pre-FG and really felt like underperforming due i wasn’t really able to clear much of the endgame content…thats not how i felt so far with DE. The Skills differ from AoM enough to give you a different feel of how it plays, and that’s something which i’d argue is important if you throw out such an statement / argument of “What is the point of DE when we have AAR”)

/edit: But as it seems (and i can see already your next answer) i’m not allowed here to state my opinion about this topic if i don’t go into “detailed indepth knowledge” , i will say farewell to this topic and not waste more of life on this where my opinion doesn’t seem welcomed, and i also don’t want to bother here anyway.

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As whole, not fan of channeling spells and probably at most of the time they sucks.

But AAR escape from suckers league with recent changes. So why not buff DE?Probably is tanky, especially vitality and retal versions. But still have much more potential than now. Plus Necro as class doesn’t have many builds, where Necromancer is the leading class, except pets.

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