Author Topic: About Path of Exile...  (Read 1278 times)

Offline Misery

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About Path of Exile...
« on: December 22, 2016, 02:05:16 AM »
So, I've been playing this a bunch recently... for whatever reason this genre (what there is of it... there sure doesnt seem to be very many of these) is interesting suddenly.  I suppose it reminds me of roguelikes in some way... yes, repetitive, but always different (somewhat) and a whole lot of min-maxing and gear/item stuff to deal with.  And it doesnt try to shove the story up your nose.  You get right into the thick of things fast, in these.

One thing bugs me though:  The combat.  I often hear how this game is what D3 should have been... so very deep and challenging and complex and whatnot.  But from what I've seen of later content, this isnt entirely true.  Alot of the game (like, 95% of it) seems to be zooming around at high speed, hitting the Win Button over and over and killing everything on the screen all at once... rinse and repeat. Usually using just one skill.  It rather looks like the player doesnt even need to distinguish one monster type between another, or really pay much attention to modifiers... a group of powered up blue monsters is going to go splat the same as normal ones.  And even when an actual threat DOES present itself, you'll either take it down quickly somehow, or it'll splatter YOU in the same way that you were crushing those screens full of weak things.  The game seems to give you all this content, but you dont interact with most of it in interesting or deep ways.

And I know that some would say "Well the point is the skill tree and working out your build and crafting and such", but the simple fact is that while that is true, you absolutely will spend MOST of your time screen-clearing the monsters over and over.  Now, I dont mind high levels of repetition, but... usually that repetition, in the games I'm so familiar with, is repeating content that remains challenging and complicated throughout the entire duration of it, as most roguelikes do.  Or the absolute non-stop difficulty that goes with a typical shmup.

Now, it's not like I'm not enjoying the game... it has alot of interesting and very unique game mechanics, such as the whole currency+crafting thing (finally, someone makes crafting INTERESTING), the whole mapping thing, the skill tree, and all sorts of other ideas... but yeah, that bit with how the later bits of the game work does rather bug me.  I mean, for a game about depth, mindlessly splattering things with a quick keypress doesnt sound too interesting/deep/challenging.   Bosses, yes, but you only fight those every so often, and the battles with them are short.

For those of you that might play this, I'm curious as to what you might think about all of this, and what your experiences with the game are like.

The main other thing I have an issue with is trading.... but that's because I absolutely hate dealing with people in general.  Also I'm used to having passive ways to sell/buy rather than it only being possible if both parties are logged in at the time.

Yes, this is the same thing I posted on my Steam feed.  I'm lazy, sue me.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: About Path of Exile...
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2016, 09:37:46 AM »
It's been a couple of years since I played...but once my characters hit Cruel difficulty I was never really bored with the combat. At the same time, I can see your point that a big part of these games kind of is just battering wave after wave of trash mob without too much thought. For this reason, I can only really play these games in Hardcore mode, this changes the experience quite a lot for me (I believe you also play in this mode)? Having the constant threat of death around sharpens the senses so that when those moments occur in which it seems like the enemy should splatter you, you may actually be able to react using knowledge, tactics, and skill to survive the moment. These moments are where I derived most of my enjoyment from the game, and POE on Cruel and above seemed to provide those moments regularly enough.

For example, there was a miniboss (I can't recall the exact name) that was a summoner that I used to dread. Knowing that I may be encountering that boss shortly, that would set me off creating a plan of action. Twice myself and a friend had to retreat from that boss -- a couple of the very few forced retreats we ever had to make in the game. Eventually we used a pure Decoy Totem plus constant Whirling Blades approach to take the guy down in a very dicy battle. It's fighting and surviving encounters like these which gives the most satisfaction. I think on Cruel mode and above you always have to be somewhat wary of the dangers. One rare mob with a particularly nasty set of modifiers will probably flatten a player unless they're aware of what's going on.

So, yeah, the game is probably not so much about the moment to moment challenges, but rather the overarching challenge of survival, and creating a build that can help you survive those dicy moments. There's certainly no constant difficulty in these games, they really are mostly about just clicking and watching things explode for the most part, but in POE I would say that there are regular moments where you can use knowledge, tactics and some skill to overcome certain challenges. In the time between those moments I'm usually preparing, tinkering around with my build, experimenting with different approaches etc.

As far as trading goes, I only used to trade with the friend I was playing with. Self found is simpler, and makes the game a bit more dangerous, so that seemed fine to me.

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: About Path of Exile...
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2016, 04:23:25 PM »
Hack and Slay games are simply just this: Hack and slay. You kill dozens of enemies endlessy, there is not much of a challenge int here except the bosses.
Compared to traditional rpgs, where you fight smaller groups of monsters at once but these have about your strength values, hack and slay games provide you tons of tons of monsters but everyone dies on one hit. It isn't about how tactical you defeat these monsters, it's simply about customization. Traditional RPGs have normally a very limited set of abilities that fits to their character. Exceptions are The Elder Scrolls and games that are similiar, but these are RARE.
In Hack and slay you can design freely a personal set of skilsl and then kill your monster waves in cool new ways.
This matters of course more in boss fights than with the normal mosnters but the point is, you do it how you like it. This generates a satisfying feeling to the player. He created something for himself and it worked out good. This satisfying feeling is, what people draws towards these games, even if it's actually just mindless creep massacring. It's simply a pschological feeling. This feeling gets even stronger if you defeat bosses with your build because this is where your build actually matters, where you cannot simply win by mashing one button.

I said once i couldn't defeat Merveill, but I could now because I foudn a build that worked for me. This felt really good and put me ina  good mood. That's what you want to achieve with these games. And as logn as it's fun, whats bad about the mindless slashing part?

Another exampel are, how items are handled. They are most of the time randomly generated with different properties, so you are happy if you got one that has good properties. than there are set items that have set properties, these are most of the time the strongest items in the game and very rare. You are happy to get them. Collecting stuff like this is also a good measuremnt for fun in this genre. I LOVE to collect things. Ever since I've been a little shild I have collected all kinds of different things. Marbles, stickers, trading cards, litttle figures. I kept this behaviour when I started to play video games. Games like Super Mario 64 and Banjo-kazooie where highlights in my life because they allowed me to collect tons of useless junk. Abot the theme of junk, Junk Jack is another good example, it has tons of crap you don't need but you want to get anyway.

If you like this genre, you may want to check out "The incredible Adventures of van helsing". It's a good game in this genre and was well praised. There are 3 parts and a definitive version that combines all three parts in one game.

Offline Misery

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Re: About Path of Exile...
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2016, 10:35:58 PM »
It's been a couple of years since I played...but once my characters hit Cruel difficulty I was never really bored with the combat. At the same time, I can see your point that a big part of these games kind of is just battering wave after wave of trash mob without too much thought. For this reason, I can only really play these games in Hardcore mode, this changes the experience quite a lot for me (I believe you also play in this mode)? Having the constant threat of death around sharpens the senses so that when those moments occur in which it seems like the enemy should splatter you, you may actually be able to react using knowledge, tactics, and skill to survive the moment. These moments are where I derived most of my enjoyment from the game, and POE on Cruel and above seemed to provide those moments regularly enough.

For example, there was a miniboss (I can't recall the exact name) that was a summoner that I used to dread. Knowing that I may be encountering that boss shortly, that would set me off creating a plan of action. Twice myself and a friend had to retreat from that boss -- a couple of the very few forced retreats we ever had to make in the game. Eventually we used a pure Decoy Totem plus constant Whirling Blades approach to take the guy down in a very dicy battle. It's fighting and surviving encounters like these which gives the most satisfaction. I think on Cruel mode and above you always have to be somewhat wary of the dangers. One rare mob with a particularly nasty set of modifiers will probably flatten a player unless they're aware of what's going on.

So, yeah, the game is probably not so much about the moment to moment challenges, but rather the overarching challenge of survival, and creating a build that can help you survive those dicy moments. There's certainly no constant difficulty in these games, they really are mostly about just clicking and watching things explode for the most part, but in POE I would say that there are regular moments where you can use knowledge, tactics and some skill to overcome certain challenges. In the time between those moments I'm usually preparing, tinkering around with my build, experimenting with different approaches etc.

As far as trading goes, I only used to trade with the friend I was playing with. Self found is simpler, and makes the game a bit more dangerous, so that seemed fine to me.

Actually I don't play on Hardcore... I don't know enough about the game yet to do that.  It'd just end in derp sooner rather than later, though.  I just play in normal Breach League (no reason to play Standard league, it's always going to be outright missing stuff from whatever the current special league is).


Either way, you both make a good point here.   The more I think about it really, the more the whole idea reminds me of the Musou games (Dynasty Warriors).  Ten gazillion dudes everywhere, and you'll clobber like 15 of them with a couple of swipes of your weapon.  But then there's lieutenants interspersed in those piles, and they can do some big damage if you're not careful.   Though, those games spice things up by doing things to add to the situations... I suppose that's part of what's missing here.   That and the lieutenants in those show up often enough that you don't go all that long without seeing them.   Special threats in this game really could show up a bit more often than they do.


For trading, yeah, I might go self-found too.  Though the only problem with that is it's known to make progress quite a bit slower, and late-game content much harder to access (since it's very, very hard to go after specific uniques for your build when it's super random to get them).

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: About Path of Exile...
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2016, 08:44:29 AM »
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Actually I don't play on Hardcore... I don't know enough about the game yet to do that.  It'd just end in derp sooner rather than later, though.  I just play in normal Breach League (no reason to play Standard league, it's always going to be outright missing stuff from whatever the current special league is).

I find these games a bit boring unless I'm playing on Hardcore. On Hardcore I get super invested in my build and there is always that sense of danger that focuses my attention. I used to record videos of the runs, too, so I have some derpy/tragic/heroic/moronic rips or moments to replay from time to time.

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Either way, you both make a good point here.   The more I think about it really, the more the whole idea reminds me of the Musou games (Dynasty Warriors).  Ten gazillion dudes everywhere, and you'll clobber like 15 of them with a couple of swipes of your weapon.  But then there's lieutenants interspersed in those piles, and they can do some big damage if you're not careful.   Though, those games spice things up by doing things to add to the situations... I suppose that's part of what's missing here.   That and the lieutenants in those show up often enough that you don't go all that long without seeing them.   Special threats in this game really could show up a bit more often than they do.

Yeah, that sounds about right. Certain leagues have been better than others for introducing these types of threat. I'm not sure what the current leagues are like. There was a league called Invasion which was good.

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For trading, yeah, I might go self-found too.  Though the only problem with that is it's known to make progress quite a bit slower, and late-game content much harder to access (since it's very, very hard to go after specific uniques for your build when it's super random to get them).

If you're into exploring all the content you pretty much have to trade, yeah. I wasn't really interested in seeing everything myself, though. To be honest, if we'd continued playing it probably would've been unlikely that we would've gotten to even see the maps end-game as we would've most likely ripped before then, heh.

Offline Misery

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Re: About Path of Exile...
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2016, 12:06:15 PM »
The current league has these "Breaches", which start out as this freaky hand sprouting out of the ground.  Touch that and this dark circle appears and spreads out from there; inside that circle you get spectral enemies of various types, they can only exist in there and sort of "walk in" from the edges (the effect is pretty cool).  As you keep killing them, the timer extends and the circle keeps getting bigger.  For max rewards you want to keep it going as much as possible, but also find the funky special chests (which also look like hands) that appear.   When the timer runs down, the whole field gets sucked back into that starting point and it takes the monsters and chests with it.   There are also these "Breach Lords" that can appear, which I guess are like bosses but they don't really do much during the event; if you find one you want to hit it as much as you can (the more damage you do, the more loot it'll spit at you).  You cant kill them though.  They're apparently special bosses that have their own unique areas, you gather these splinter things (from the breaches) and need enough of them to go and properly fight the bosses.

There is also a special type of equipment (so far I've only seen rings of this sort) that have their effects doubled while you are inside an active Breach.

The difficulty of the things seems to vary wildly.  Sometimes they'll go berserk and summon 2000 evil monkeys or whatever... other times they might spawn in a really bizarre spot and fart out 3 and a half spiders and that's it.  They sure drop a lot of rewards though when they're loopy enough.  Getting the splinters for later seems to be the core goal though.  Overall the Breaches are pretty fun (and profitable), you just gotta be ready to make a run for it if the game decides to go bonkers at you.  I've had some close calls in those.   Running away SOUNDS easy since monsters in there cant cross the barrier (normal monsters from the level you're in, though, can get inside) but when things go bad there's such an outright stupid amount of them that it's hard to even move.


Now as for the other stuff, from what I hear from looking around, it's not *that* hard to get to the mapping content with a self-found build... it's mostly about knowing enough about what you're doing and finding/crafting some good equipment to fit it.   The problems apparently begin past that point;  there's ALOT of stuff to be done with the mapping, and the whole Atlas of Worlds thing added a whole new mechanic to that, so there's a looooooooong way to go in there.  There's some sort of super boss called the Shaper; the end goal of the Atlas is to fight that guy.  Which also requires going through four other particularly crazy bosses.  Getting to that point is a long process, and managing that is a major thing that self-found builds have trouble with (because of higher-tier maps).  Which is similar to how it was before the Atlas, self-found builds would tend to have trouble as maps came at higher and higher levels.   Though, even with that, this is PoE.... there's STILL a ton of stuff to do within that mechanic and even a lot of fully traded-for builds aren't going to make it.

I will say though that the whole Atlas mechanic looks pretty darned cool.  The mapping mechanic was already interesting, but the way the Atlas works seems like it'll add a lot to it.  It also adds four new types of currency (that only work on maps) to go with it (this being AFTER the Essence League added about 20 squillion others).  So there's even more stuff of that nature to do too.  Looking forward to trying that whole aspect out though I intend on taking my time and not rushing to get there.


Gotta say, I'm impressed at the amount of time and effort these devs put into this whole thing.  Always with these big updates full of cool stuff.  As always it's good to see a developer that actually cares about the product they're making.

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: About Path of Exile...
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2016, 12:36:00 PM »
http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1804597

Path of Exile gives away a free cosmetic box until tomorrow. I just came across this because I was curious if there are some price reductions during the Holiday sale.

Dont forget to grab your box.

Offline Misery

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Re: About Path of Exile...
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2016, 02:12:05 PM »
Yeah, grabbed mine.  Got an electric skull.

...and then went and randomly bought some more boxes.  THEIR PLAN WORKED.

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: About Path of Exile...
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2016, 02:32:33 PM »
Damn, I wanted one of those, all I got was a Plague Mask.

Offline Aklyon

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Re: About Path of Exile...
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2016, 02:48:28 PM »
I got some random hideout decoration. Still better than what i got from the previous free box.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: About Path of Exile...
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2016, 03:06:40 PM »
Cheers! I got an arcane essence drain effect -- not exactly sure what it is, but sounds cool, though, heh. :)

Offline Aklyon

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Re: About Path of Exile...
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2016, 07:53:21 PM »
Cheers! I got an arcane essence drain effect -- not exactly sure what it is, but sounds cool, though, heh. :)
It lets you have an ok-looking blue ED projectile instead of the normal chaos-purple one. You stick it on the gem and can take it off if its not what you want.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: About Path of Exile...
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2016, 10:23:03 AM »
It lets you have an ok-looking blue ED projectile instead of the normal chaos-purple one. You stick it on the gem and can take it off if its not what you want.

Ah yeah, seems good. My first cosmetic DLC. The only things I've bought so far are stash tabs.

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The current league has these "Breaches", which start out as this freaky hand sprouting out of the ground.  Touch that and this dark circle appears and spreads out from there; inside that circle you get spectral enemies of various types, they can only exist in there and sort of "walk in" from the edges (the effect is pretty cool).  As you keep killing them, the timer extends and the circle keeps getting bigger.  For max rewards you want to keep it going as much as possible, but also find the funky special chests (which also look like hands) that appear.   When the timer runs down, the whole field gets sucked back into that starting point and it takes the monsters and chests with it.   There are also these "Breach Lords" that can appear, which I guess are like bosses but they don't really do much during the event; if you find one you want to hit it as much as you can (the more damage you do, the more loot it'll spit at you).  You cant kill them though.  They're apparently special bosses that have their own unique areas, you gather these splinter things (from the breaches) and need enough of them to go and properly fight the bosses.

Sounds cool.

Quote
Gotta say, I'm impressed at the amount of time and effort these devs put into this whole thing.  Always with these big updates full of cool stuff.  As always it's good to see a developer that actually cares about the product they're making.

Yeah, this game is always moving forward. There was a time when it looked like there may never be any fixes for the desync issues the game used to have, but eventually that got sorted. Content updates seem to be regular and of high quality. I still haven't experienced Act 4 yet, either. I might have to consider getting back into it.




Offline Aklyon

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Re: About Path of Exile...
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2016, 08:37:41 PM »
They've been pretty consistant with their 'New big patch every ~3 months, alternating challenge league w/patch and expansion w/smaller league'.
Next up (after breach ends, in feb/march-ish) is Act 5 IIRC, and with that dropping from three difficulties/4 acts each to two difficulties/5 acts each.

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: About Path of Exile...
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2016, 07:25:52 AM »
I just don't understand how people can keep playing this game for hundreds of hours. I grew sick of it about 80% through Merciless. I mean, no matter how much you spruce things up with random stuff or awkward rules, it's still the same mindless slaughter of tens of thousands of mobs.

What keeps you guys going?

PS: I absolutely DESPISE the -Elemental resistance penalty these types of games put on you for getting to higher difficulties. That's just artificial difficulty bullshit right there. Kind of like adding 300% HP to enemies. The solution to more difficulty is not making things more spongy or hit harder...
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