Path of Exile: My Newbie Adventure Begins

Did you know that I haven’t played Path of Exile? Well, that might not be entirely true. I originally played Path of Exile during its earliest phases of … beta, I think? I played back when Act 1 was the only act available, and act 2 had just come out. It’s been a while.

I thought it would be fun to present my opinions on the game from a complete newbie’s perspective. Patch 3.0 just came out which apparently added a ton to the game and revamped a whole lot. As a newbie, I’ll have no idea what changed… but I will be able to judge the game for what it is right now.

I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I have no idea what the classes even do. I just learned 30 seconds ago from a friend what a chromatic is and why I should start picking them up.

As a Diablo 3 veteran — one that actually does like the game and currently played a Necromancer in Torment 12 — I think I can provide an interesting perspective. From all the Twitch streams and general consensus out there in the PoE community, D3 sucks and PoE is so much better. I’ll be the judge of that.

I’m a few hours in now, and my opinions are already starting to form.

PoE is much more complicated

Where D3 streamlines and polishes that user experience to the point of being almost too straight forward, PoE goes the other direction. As a newbie, there’s so much they don’t teach you. Like I said, I didn’t know what a chromatic was (3 sockets (1 of each color) linked together on a single item). There’s also a tree of passive skills that will blow your mind.

Passive skill tree necromancer PoE 3.0

Compared to Diablo 3, the PoE passive tree is way closer to D2 — and dwarfs it 10 fold.

Passive skill choices are permanent, which is both awesome and horrible. You can respect your passives using respect points the game sends your way, but you really shouldn’t make too many mistakes otherwise you’ll be living with them.

The story is a little dry so far

I’m not enthralled by the story. I don’t know that I necessarily should be at this point. This is an ARPG, so I don’t expect the story to do much more than pretend to give me a reason to go on the the next fight.

I get the gist of what’s going on. We’ve been exiled to this island off the mainland where an empire lives (Oriath?). We’re helping the people who settled here get inland more because there’s probably food there and other people.

I guess that’s as far as I’ve gone? I’m sort of figuring out this gem stuff and think it’s experimental or something. We’ll see.

Playing a Witch as a pet class

I’m going the route of a witch that summons lots of pets. I got a tip to use something called “SRS” which I discovered means “Summon Raging Spirit.” It’s not actually as good as my frost gem I picked up that sends of a pulse of frost (that might actually be its name).

Speaking of gems, I also learned about gem linking. There are support gems that augment a gem they are linked to. Linking is when the sockets in an item are linked by a path — it’s not enough to just have socked on an item; They must be linked.

Nicely tuned difficulty

The difficulty is obviously pretty balanced right now. Compared to D3, it’s hard. I feel like as a newbie in D3 I can still melt everything. PoE makes me kite some harder mobs. Though at level 12’ish right now I feel like I’m getting closer to being safe. Interestingly, no deaths yet.

I want the game to feel hard–ish. I don’t want to ever feel frustrated by the difficulty, but it’ll be nice to hopefully have some challenge. This is all ignorant prediction. It may very well turn into lasers pew pew melt everything like D3.

I can’t do the meta min/maxer powergamer crap

I caught a glimpse of some streamers I watch playing PoE. Shout out to Shortyy, Lirik, and Waffle. They’re occasionally fun to watch. These guys are using something like “Builder” which is program that somehow tells them their builds and exactly what to get and what to do. That feels so… bleh. Why bother?

I think the most I’m willing to do right now is download a loot filter and read a guide on how to generally play my build (which I did.) The loot filter takes the crap in the game and helps highlight stuff that isn’t garbage. My guide is basically helping me understand my stats and which passives are generally good for a pet build.

Casual play goooo

I don’t know what I’m getting myself into. Is this a long game? Is it short but turns into a grind like D3? ::shrug:: I’m here for the casual adventure. I’d like to keep you guys updated on my thoughts as I continue. Not a bad time to start PoE since this is also only day 7 my 31 days of blogging!

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