New players in Path of Exile, and I think it is excellent, at least in my opinion. The build diversity of this game is staggering. No two characters are going to be exactly the same. The skill tree is fun and makes intuitive sense when you learn how to navigate it. Here is what I think is unique about PoE.
1. Flask system
At first these were hard to remember and handle, and I didn’t quite get it. Seemed a lot of trouble to go through for some life and mana regen. Then as I encountered more diversity of flasks I realised I had to readjust my thinking. It’s a whole separate ability bar, they’re just all buffs. After that I understand and utilize them much better. I’m still working on using them consistently, but I’m getting there.
2. The Labyrinth and Ascendency system
Hey, EA, this is how you give someone a sense of pride and accomplishment in a video game! Really great way to finish a character. And the fact that you not only need to be strong but also good at your micro adds an extra level.
Leagues and Races. Great way to keep people engaged. I love that leagues have mechanical themes that then get incorporated into standard. Basically a strictly more interesting version of D3 seasons.
3. Maps. Oh my gawd maps
This is a dream of an end game. I feel like you will never run out of things to do. You feel real progression working across the Atlas. The diversity of the maps and their modifiers keeps you so much more engaged. And I’m only starting to learn about the Shaper and the Elder and all the things still to come. I’m sorry D3, but you can keep your endless rift grinds on a tiny map pool. This is what will keep me playing PoE indefinitely.
4. Prophecies, master crafting, the Pantheon, the Beastiary
There are all these interesting adjunct systems that you can take advantage of (or not) to refine your build and add some play diversity. They take an introduction to work out how to use, but they all add value. In fact, I often keep an eye on poe currency buy.
5. My overall opinion: diversity is king
There is so much to do in this game. There are so many ways to make a character. Hell, there are so many ways to make the SAME character, with different support gems, unique choices, skill tree pathings, etc. I like D3 a lot, but there just isn’t a whole lot to do in there that you haven’t already done a thousand times.
6. The trade off is learning curve
I felt the need to research hard before starting. And I still plan and research constantly during my builds. I’m discovering new mechanics all the time to take into consideration. It is a daunting task, but it is not as daunting as I feared. There is so much third party content out there, wikis, youtube tutorials, build guides, trade portals, path of building, everything! The community is active and friendly and really really into the game.
And honestly, if you’re complaining that this game doesn’t have enough diversity, you probably need to take your nose out of the leaderboards and look around at every other competing game in this gen.