Personally, I think Convention of Elements is a bit overrated. I don't debate that it is powerful under the right circumstances, but I do debate its overall usefulness in actual game play.
(All numbers and such based on a 3 minute rift clear on a 4 element class with CoE in Cube. 3 element classes will perform a bit better, and worn CoE will perform a bit worse.)
On paper, CoE looks pretty good. It could be seen as a general 50% increase in damage overall, or a 200% increase that is active 25% of the time. I think the flaw with this is the assumption of statistically perfect conditions, as well as the efficacy of CoE overall.
First, I think that in the majority of cases CoE is somewhat wasted on trash, as it either isn't needed because trash is already dying very quickly, or because trash is ignored (On my UE Multi trash explodes almost instantly, and on WW Bard I only kill trash around elites). Because of this, CoE's usefulness only comes into consideration on Elite packs and Rift Guardians. Assume in a 3 minute rift that you encounter 12 elite packs, and that the guardian lives long enough for CoE to gain full effect (4 seconds with proper element). On paper, CoE would be effective for 3 of those packs, and the guardian. Based on this, CoE is effective for a total of 16 seconds in a 180 second rift. That is an 8.8% uptime of the damage increase, equating to a 17.7% overall damage increase. So an entire accessory slot is used to gain a roughly 18% damage increase overall, or a 9% damage increase by time. A longer rift time or fewer elites decreases these number, while shorter/more increase them.
This gets even worse when you consider the random nature of the encounters in rifts though. It is just about as likely to find 2 elite packs while CoE is active on the proper element as it is to find 3-4 elite packs spread out and not have CoE active for them. Also, if the guardian doesn't live at least 16 seconds, CoE isn't a guarantee. I would even argue that if the guardian doesn't live at least 24 seconds, giving CoE a 50% chance to be active a second time, that it's use is even more debatable. Because of this, CoE's actual ingame efficacy is largely affected by RNG.
In my opinion, using something like Ring of Royal Grandeur in the cube and then equipping an item like Frostburn or Magefist would be more effective, both having a 15-20% fixed damage increase. Alternatively, if damage output is less of a issue than survival, an item such as Elusive Ring (on DH) or Unity (while solo) would provide a respectable toughness increase.
Just my thoughts on the issue, curious what others think and why.
Edit: For those thinking that CoE is useful for pushing, this post isn't about pushing high GRs. Part of the reason for that is the assumption that the players pushing high GRs have the knowledge and experience to know exactly why each piece of gear is there. My point is that I question CoE's usefulness in general play.
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© Post "Thoughts on CoE" for game Diablo 3.
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