Arcane Orb is an Offensive Wizard skill unlocked at Level 8, which explodes on touch, delivering Arcane damage.
The Wizard summons a glowing orb that upon touch will deal great damage to all foes and objects in its range.
The following is a very quick list. See the Arcane Orb rune effects page for a more thorough summary of rune effects, or any of the individual rune pages for numbers, screenshots, blue quotes, and much more.
|| Celestial Orb
The orb will pierce through targets, damaging any enemy it passes through dealing 146% weapon damage as Arcane.
Increase the potency of the explosion to deal 292% weapon damage as Arcane.
|| Arcane Nova
Modify the orb to deal 205% weapon damage as Arcane to all enemies within 16 yards.
|| Arcane Orbit
Create 4 Arcane Orbs that orbit you, exploding for 176% weapon damage as Arcane when enemies get close.
Note: Information is based on a level 60 character and rank 7 runestones.
A glowing orb of energy travels about 10 yards, before bursting in a nova of destruction. The spell looks something like the D2 Sorceress' Frozen Orb, but without the spray of ice spears as it flies across the room. It works like the Fireball of Diablo I.
This one very quickly became Flux's skill of choice for ranged attacks. It dealt substantial damage with a big AoE splash, and had a reasonable mana cost. He is dubious about the listed 1-2 AoE damage, since a few of these into a group of enemies left no survivors.
The drawback to Arcane Orb is that it moves very slowly; more slowly than any other Wizard skill and this makes it very hard to hit moving targets, or back row enemies. It was not very useful against Dune Dervishes, since those monsters move side to side a lot, and when they're not walking they're spinning around in their Whirlwind mode, in which they reflect most projectiles off at odd angles. They certainly reflected every Arcane Orb fired at them, though that could be fun since my shots weren't neutralized, just redirected, and the bounces would often head right into some Fallen or other targets.
Arcane Orb benefits from the following Wizard passives:
Arcane Orb was first shown at BlizzCon 2008 when the Wizard debuted, on the Arcane Skill Tree at Tier III.
By BlizzCon 2009, the damage had been ever so slightly tuned down, and so had mana cost. Flux talked about a missed opportunity:
There was one scenario area in the desert (shown in the gameplay movie) where about five Dune Dervishes burst out of the ground at once. I didn’t think to try it at the time, but in retrospect I wish I could have herded the Dervishes into a cluster, and then tried throwing in some Arcane Orbs. Just to see if my Orbs would have been bounced around like pachinko balls.
Arcane Orb was available in the BlizzCon 2010 demo, but wasn't one of the Wizard's starting skills. Skill tiers were removed for the July 2011 Press Event, and Arcane Orb became a level 8 skill.
See the Wizard skill archive for more details on previous versions of Arcane Orb and other Wizard skills.
Or see Arcane Orb (BlizzCon 2008) for the original version of this skill.
In Other Games
Arcane Orb seems to be a spiritual successor to Diablo II's Sorceress skill Frozen Orb, which also features a slow-moving globe floating across the screen, but includes a spray of ice spears.
Arcane Orb can be seen in action on video here:
You can find pictures in the Diablo III screenshot and picture gallery:
Arcane Orb just exploded.
Skill animation sequence.