Path of Exile – Finally the game it had the potential to become

I’ve been a Path of Exile (PoE) fan for a while now, dating back to whenever they asked for $10 to get access to the beta. I always thought it had some good ideas, but it never clicked with me to the point of really, really enjoying it. I think I last played it a year or so ago, with two buddies, and collectively we didn’t really enjoy it due to it simply being faceroll easy.

Time has been kind to PoE.

I grabbed the game when it was officially released on Steam, and I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I’m very, very happy with the game now. I think a huge swarm of small fixes and upgrades have all added up to a much improved game.

Oh, and has it been zoomed out a little? I swear it feels like it. That was one of my main issues with the game before; it felt like it was one zoom level too close and what you really wanted to see was JUST outside the field of view. That feels totally fixed now, and I’m loving it.

Another former grip that seems to be fixed now; you no longer look like a hobo at level 20. In the past, gear in PoE always retained that tattered look, so while you got new and more powerful gear, you never LOOKED cooler, and in a game all about getting loot, that’s a big deal. Now even at level 10 or 15, my character (Shadow) looked better, and at lvl 25, he looks geared and ready to throw down.

The same can be said for the ability gems (awesome system); the skills associated with them play better, look cooler, and seem to be more diverse. Along with getting loot, a major part of the game is building a character, and here PoE shines not only with its ability tree, but its gem skill system. I also feel like supporting gems are more common and are pushing me to come up with new and cooler combos.

So yea, PoE right now is a really good game in the action RPG genre (or whatever we are calling the Diablo-like genre now).

It’s also free with a fluff shop done right.

It doesn’t assault you at character creation, or at loading screens, or with NPCs. The game doesn’t limit your UI until you buy in crippling ways, or deny you the best gear in locked chests. It doesn’t sell power.

It does sell a giant pile of fluff, from non-combat pets to weapon effects to dance emotes. I think you can also buy character slots (you start with 6, which I think is plenty), bank tabs (you start with 4, again plenty IMO), and maybe something else? I’m honestly not sure because again, PoE doesn’t spam or gimp you due to it being F2P.

And thanks to that, I’m sure I’ll drop some cash on it soon, much like I continue to do with LoL, because the most important vote we have is our wallet, and I like supporting devs who do things ‘right’.

Highly recommended.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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13 Responses to Path of Exile – Finally the game it had the potential to become

  1. Mobs says:

    We should link up in POE, I have several characters with the highest being 36. I play every night without fail since it hit steam.

    • SynCaine says:

      For sure. Once I finish the campaign solo, I’ll start getting into replying with others and seeing what the higher difficulties are about.

      • Mobs says:

        I really like the idea of Leagues that they have too. Adds even more incentive to keep up with the game other then it just being fun.

  2. Sjonnar says:

    I call the Diablo 2 genre “loot porn.”

  3. Yep! This is a really good F2P title. Too bad it’s not an MMO, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from enjoying it! :)

  4. Adam D. says:

    PoE – I’d argue that the bank tabs are a bit of a limitation – As you get to higher level, you really need the excess bank tabs if you’re going to be combining the gear, either to try and chance that really nice rare, or to convert it into currency (which you will need if you’re going to try and roll nice maps to get good gear, etc etc)

    My lvl 85 Marauder – I kind of needed 10 bank tabs just to hold all the stuff I was getting, either for trade/sale/vendor… it gets a bit ridiculous, especially with those 400% magic/rarity find people joining a party. Makes D3’s “Loot Pinata” look tame by comparions.

    I wouldn’t call it “crippling” but it certainly makes it realllly tempting to take the plunge.

    That being said, I have been a big GGG supporter for a F2P game done right, and I’m happy to see the “little guy” score a victory every now and then.

  5. Larofeticus says:

    I am really enjoying PoE as well.

    My one complaint is going to town is like being trapped in a terrible asian rpg fashion show. I would pay money to *not* see other peoples cosmetic effects.

  6. Thf says:

    Actually, there is a tiny little in-your-face advertising…
    Other games tend to bind the map function to the M button… Here it is the Microtransaction (a.k.a cash shop).

  7. anon says:

    Stop playing lol and learn dota 2 its much deeper and tbh better gameplay. Same fluff shop as lol only u dont have to buy or grind new toons.

  8. Doone W. says:

    I was really pleasantly surprised too by the amount of polish the game had on release. They really did add up all those little updates throughout the closed/open betas into a really fun game.

    The mobs look better, effects look better, armor looks better, more sound effects (which are quite awesome — I was actually a tad creeped out in Merveils cave this time around) …it’s come a long way.

    Oh but D3 did spoil me. That game is damn beautiful to look at that its kinda hard for me to appreciate PoE’s art. However, the gameplay in PoE much more thoughtful and the economy is far more interesting.

  9. tithian says:

    After the Steam release I picked it up again, got a low level Marauder that was just there (level 16 I think) and just blew through Normal mode.

    It is true, the game has improved loads since open beta and the new areas in Act 3 are amazing, especially the final boss fight (which actually feels like an endgame boss now). Killing that mofo was just hugely satisfying for me. Now going through Cruel and it’s just great. Also the new skills are great and the remapping of the passive skill grid has greately revitalized the build variety.

    Regarding the microtransactions, the only purchase that can be marginally considered mandatory is the additional stash spaces, but only if you are really hardcore about the game and grind endgame map (i.e. level 75+). If you take a look at all the PoE streamers, all of them have 15+ stash tabs filled to the brim with loot and currency for trading.

    You can get around it by having extra accounts and trading stuff between alts, but really if you are playing at that kind of level, just throw the devs a bone and buy some stash spaces.

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