Empowered Smite could use More Disruption, or More Charges

I was messing around with builds the other day and found that Warp Siphon basically always amounts to better damage and better disruption with Smite than Empowered Psionics does. That seems suboptimal to me, since Empowered Psionics only affects Blitzes while Warp Siphon affects all damage.

For what I’d want to change about Warp Siphon see that other topic I made about that but I think at least the effects of Empowered Psionics on Smite could use a rework too, and maybe also Empowered Assail. I dunno, I don’t use Assail.

Smite is primarily for disruption. It can kill hordes, but not very efficiently, and that’s fine, because the important thing is stun locking large groups of enemies. Empowered bumping it up to Basically Okay damage can make it useful for clearing a horde or a bunch of shooters, but it still doesn’t do enough damage to be like the preferred killing implement over a good staff or sword. Or Assail.

Here’s an important detail: Smite can’t kill elites that well. Brain Burst and Assail do. If part of the Empowered Psionics keystone lets you get charges on elite kill, that means Brain Burst and Assail can potentially be used to get chains of empowered hits by bursting/assailing groups of elites one after the other. But Smite can’t do that, because even while Empowered it doesn’t do enough damage reliably to kill most elites. That means that Empowered Smite doesn’t get to be your main weapon against priority targets, and it doesn’t refill often enough to be your main weapon against hordes, which relegates it mostly to being a panic button ability; something to save for emergencies. In other words, even empowered it’s still best as a big area disruption. That would be fine if it were stronger than it is, but like I said a Warp Siphon build does a better job, and warp charges don’t get used up by smiting.

So two different ideas here:
IDEA ONE, let Empowered Smite stay a panic button, and make it an actually good one by making it better at disruption.

Who remembers when the talent tree was first implemented and Empowered Smite was bugged to make it cost no peril and you could just Unlimited Power infinitely? I liked that a lot more than the current version. Like okay I acknowledge that it was really overpowered, but it was also like, really fun? So instead of being infinite, it could simply be something like, Empowered Smite generates no peril for up to 5 seconds. Or, Empowered Smite has 100% reduced peril generation when cast, which diminishes over time, so it generates no peril when you start it, then it ramps back up to the normal rate over five to ten seconds or so.

It could also be just something simple like 40% or 50% reduced peril generation, but the really nice thing about the bugged version was that you could cast it without fear even if you were already at critical peril. I’d like to have that aspect back even if it only lasts for a few seconds, because that was one of the key things that made it a great ability for emergencies.

It can lose the damage boost entirely; it doesn’t need it. The faster propagation is much more important. A range boost wouldn’t go amiss either.

IDEA TWO, make Empowered Smite able to keep itself refreshed as easily as Empowered Brain Burst and Empowered Assail, but against hordes instead of elites.

This idea would make Empowered Smite NOT a panic button, so it would be less effective than the extremely disruptive version described above, but it would be available to use much more frequently.

This version could keep the bonuses it currently has; it would just need one addition: A higher chance to gain a charge of Empowered on killing something with Smite. I’m not sure how the numbers would shake out exactly, but something like just an extra 5% chance might be enough, exclusively for kills with Smite or Empowered Smite. This would let players use Smite often without needing to care too much that they’ll run out of charges when they really need one. And, if they can keep it trained on some enemies long enough to score some kills with it, they can keep it rolling just like you can keep a combo of Empowered Brain Burst going across a whole squad of heavy gunners. If this much extra empowered smiting feels too strong, you can always tweak the damage bonus a little bit lower again.

Obviously I would prefer Idea One, but Two also looks like it’d be fun to play.

Oh yeah also I really wish they’d bring back the zap explosion effect on every kill with smite or the surge staff. At least with the surge staff. It was so much more viscerally impactful and satisfying, and made it really obvious the target was dead, instead of just zapping a guy and then his arm quietly falls off. It was so cool, why did you take it away? Critical kills don’t really need to be that much flashier, but if you really want that, give them a slightly bigger flash, or a different color, or just make it a bit brighter.

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Smite is primarily about CC, not damage. The damage is really just a “nice to have” sort of feature that softens things up a little, similarly to other DOT effects. It’s basically a spammable stun grenade.

Given that smite is a CC tool, the faster propagation you get from empowered psionics is actually pretty huge. And given that it’s not really a primary damage tool, there’s no reason to not use it in the interests of preserving your EP charges for emergencies.

The underlying message of your post is that you want to go full Palpatine and lightning everything to death. That’s fine, and it’s valuable feedback, but that isn’t what Smite is designed to do.

Also, yes, please bring back the smite death animation.

Have to try it. Empowered Psionics Smite build (with Creeping Flames) just melted hordes and elites alike when I tried it. If Warp Syphon is even more powerful I’m in for some even more braindead treat.

EP smite is capable of stunlocking and killing every in the game minus crushers and bosses in a gigantic aoe and the charges replenish themselves and you want more?
You can literally go through missions holding down smite with EP and you only stop to vent when your ult is down, and you’ll end the mission with 1m+ damage and 800+ kills and top elite + special kills, without ever touching your melee wep or staff, 0 skill or thought required. It needs a severe nerf if anything

What kind of teammates does it take to lose on special and elite kills, against a smite spammer?

The average auric quickplay team I guess. I was also surprised though. I was doing it for the penance and it turns out that EP smite just encompasses the entire screen and then some, kills it all, and refunds the EP charges more often than not. Then you just vent for 1.5 sec (it automatically vents at 100% btw, so you can’t blow yourself up) then repeat. If you’re smart you kill an elite or two manually first so the soulblaze talent cleans up the rest of them together with creeping flames shriek, but I’m sure I would’ve been top scoring if I had literally not touched anything but smite, too.

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er… no it wasn’t?

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