My first chance to play a wizard was the open beta, and as someone who is planning to start a wizard first, I took the opportunity to max a wizard and try out some of the skills. I really liked everything I saw and tried except arcane torrent. I'm wondering if I'm missing something. I found the skill ineffective because it seemed like the range was short, the speed slow, and enemies moved out of the area of effect (which seemed small) before being damaged. The spell description reads like an AoE spell, but from my experience it acted more like a single target spell. I really wanted to like this spell because I had fantasies of teleporting in to mob, freezing them, then unleashing an arcane torrent runed to Death Blossom and killing a bunch of tightly packed baddies with 670% random arcane damage.
Can others who've had more time with the Wizard give me some perspective on this skill? should I keep it on my radar? I realize the beta isn't the best test bed, but my killing efficiency with Arcane Orb was much greater than Arcane Torrent.
I really like Arcane Torrent, more than Arcane Orb. Its projectiles can definitely hit multiple enemies, but they have to be tightly packed. It can hit enemies everywhere on your screen, minus the upper left and right corners if you're playing in a widescreen resolution. It's amazing if you want to attack specific enemies in a crowd, like a Grotesque or a Tomb Guardian. You can't do this with Arcane Orb.
It has a few quirks though, most notably that it's animation can be misleading. Also, the impact of the projectiles seemed to have a fixed delay, which is unaffected by distance.
The problem with the animation is that the projectiles can't follow two paths. The spell almost behaves like a beam spell as far as the animation is concerned. For this reason, it won't always be clear where the projectiles will hit if you're looking at the animation, you actually have to know how the spell works.
For example, if you do two attacks (meaning you press Arcane Torrent's hotkey twice) in quick succession, one to the right, the other to the left of your character, then the projectiles will start going towards the first point and then change direction towards the second point, without ever reaching the first. However, the spell will still hit both points. If you do the same thing, except you only press AT's hotkey once at the first point and quickly move your cursor to the second point while you still keep the hotkey pressed, then the projectiles will only hit where they should based on the animation.
This takes some getting used to, but it does allow you to quickly hit different enemies on your screen that are far from each other if you press AT's hotkey multiple times.
I didn't get any sense of the range just playing around with it. Between the animation and everything moving around, it never seemed to hit anything. it seemed like enemies evaded it but then died to something else so I was never sure of the timing. In theory it could be useful as it packs a punch on paper. using it seems like it will take some practice, though.
I'll keep it in my back pocket since I don't have any concrete builds yet. About the only thing I have decided is I want to use Force Wave runed to Exploding Wave if only to see it cascade across the screen just once I live to torture my graphics card.
I'm a huge fan of arcane torrent. There is one annoying thing and that's the long travel time before first projectile hits. It's definitely strong as AoE spell. Just use it like a paintbrush and it wipes mob packs clean like nothing even in 4 man games.
In beta, arcane orb (especially with rune) felt much stronger (both due to raw damage and AOE radius), and also allows you to dump your AP faster leaving you with more time to move and/or use shock pulse and do even more damage.
AO is more DPS, there's no question about it. You can maintain AT longer though and you can aim it wherever you want. It's like a precision strike.
a runed AO was certainly more impactful, my problem with Torrent was I seem to have missed both its range and precision nature. when the full game is available I'll give it another shot with an eye toward better targeting. I was originally keeping an eye on it so I could use the Death Blossom rune version (one of the better skill names IMO) - since the chaos of randomly throwing around that much damage appealed to me. However a skill that could reliably take out Tomb Guardians and similar successor monster is worth learning how to use. Thanks for the insights
It's definitely a unique skill that takes some practice when you want to use it optimally. I think its hit delay is about 1-1.5 seconds, which makes it impossible to kill fast enemies from a range. For example, don't even think about using it against an Elite scavenger group. By the time the projectiles would reach them the whole pack will be breathing (or rather gnawing) down your neck.
Because of it's ludicrously high damage, Death Blossom indeed looks very attractive. I'll definitely try to incorporate it into my PbAoE oriented builds.
I feel like Arcane Orb and Arcane Torrent had very different uses. Ray of Frost is more of a competitor to Arcane Torrent and I'd say Ray of Frost outshone it. Although, this comparison is not exactly fair, since Ray of Frost had a rune unlocked and Arcane Torrent did not.
I really like arcane torrent, even if I found the old animation better.
Still, it's a fairly low cost ability that can be both used for AoE damage, surgical strikes and boss fights.
While it doesn't offer the single target utility of Frost ray, the AoE of Arcane orb, it is a very neat allround skill in my oppinion.