This is one of the new defensive legendary gems that many of you guys insisted would never be worth using. The gem is Esoteric Alteration which provides a full time resistance buff to all non-physical damage types, and at rank 25 tacks on a giant 75% damage reduction when you drop below 50% life.The way the reduction is displayed is a little confusing, since the tool tip shows your normal resistance + the extra resistance from this gem as a way to emphasize the added resistance, but without showing the actual total value. There’s a two-step process, so (for example) if you’ve got 1700 resistance to fire, the tooltip shows 80% reduction to fire damage + 43% reduction from the Esoteric Alteration. That’s not added together for a 143% reduction, but is calculated in a two-step process. So you’ve got 80% damage mitigation from fire due to your other resistance gear and skills, and then the 43% bonus provided by the LGem is applied to the 20% of damage that gets through. So 43% of 20 is s 8.6%), so your total fire resistance is 88.6%. And the 43% gets a 75% increase once you’re below 50% health, which isn’t complicated at all!
The video is useful though, since he shows how his toughness and resistances are jumping up when he equips the gear, and the bigger jump that goes when he drops below half health. Legendary Gem Video Tutorial: Esoteric Alteration:
Note that the gem’s defensive bonuses apply only to non-physical damage, which means all of the dangerous Elite Modifiers like Arcane Enchanted, Frozen, Molten, etc… but it won’t help against the few physical attacks, such as when Mallet Lords judge you harshly by dropping the gavel. Player skill is thus required to get the full benefit from this gem, and it’s going to be more useful for non-melee characters, who can generally stay back out of hand-to-claw range.
I might actually give this one a try next season on Hardcore, though the real killing danger of something like being Vortexed into a Mallet smash just as four Moltens blow… would probably still prove lethal. Anyone else curious to try it out? Any rethinking of your defensive LGem prejudices?