Major changes are being made to damage over time effects in Path of Exile. In a recent post on the PoE forums addressing balance and design, the Grinding Gear Games team went into detail on why changes to these particular effects are needed and how they will be implemented.
According to the post, there are multiple issues with the current iteration of DOT effects — notably Ignite and Poison. The bulk of these issues have to do with the fact that the damage caused by the first hit of the ability that initiates the effect applies more base damage for it to scale off of. This results in a cumulative effect on the effect’s damage. Other issues include the fact that builds that don’t make use of these abilities end up needing a much higher investment in order to achieve the same damage values.
In order to make things more balanced, GGG has decided to change how skills calculate their DOT effect, having them treated as a separate damage value. Adjustments will be made to compensate for lost damage compared to the other system.
The new system will be tested before being hoisted upon the players in the live game. Those interested in the technicalities can read the highly detailed post on the Path of Exile site.