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’.