Firstly, I’d like to apologise, and explain the reasoning behind the lack of new content on the website at the moment. As many of you know, World of Warcraft has taken a turn for the worse in the last few years, and a lot of people who used to enjoy the game no longer do. That, and the consistency of tournaments being reduced has led a lot of players to stop playing and find enjoyment in other games. Because of this, nobody has any real content that is worth posting about World of Warcraft or arena in general, that doesn’t just make our blood boil with anger.
For those of you who watch Hydra’s stream you’ll already know that not only is he back on twitch (yay!), but he has also been streaming a lot of different games.
We’ve been trying out a game that is new to me, Path of Exile.
The game itself is very similar to other ARPG games like the Diablo and Torchlight series. It has gained a lot of popularity in the NA scene over the last few months and now it is getting a lot more popular in EU as well.
You start with 6 classes; The Marauder, Templar, Witch, Shadow, Ranger, Duelist
Each of these classes appear to have a different play style at first sight and I would reccommend picking one of the non-hybrid stat classes as your first.
The gameplay is of course very similar to other ARPG games in that you have a handful of skills, and must pick and utilize which ones are best for you and your playstyle or character.
The biggest difference however, is that you dont accquire skills through levelling, they are accquired through gems. Gems are obtained through quests, drops and can be traded between players.
Gems are inserted in to sockets in your gear at which point, you are able to put them on your skill bar and use them.
Sockets can be linked, which also allows for certain gems to link up and create more powerful skills. This means that almost every single character late game will have a different skill set up to every other player in the game. The more links there are on your socketed gear, the more support gems you can use to upgrade your skills.
The next big difference that makes the game so diverse and for me, more enjoyable than Diablo 3 right now, is the passive skill tree. An online skill tree can be found here.
As you can see, it is massive and provides a lot of diversity in build choices. Due to the nature of the passives, it also means that you can change the norm on the play style of your select class. For example, the Templar is primarily seen as a melee, physical damage dealer but there are passives very close to the Templar’s starting point that provide a lot of good use for spell casting, and as such, wand Templars have become very popular in the game.
The maximum level in the game is 100, you tend to reach end game by level 60, so to any player who has played a lot of ARPG’s you’d assume this means a lot of grinding of the same mobs over and over until you reach the level cap.
You’d be wrong.
In PoE, once you have done every boss on every difficulty, and completed every quest, you unlock the “Endgame” difficulty, at which point you can create your own maps.
Using orbs in the game that allow you modify prefixes and suffixes on items you can create your own maps that tailor to your individual or group needs, these maps can contain anything from extra items dropped, to no life or mana regeneration inside the maps. This makes the game somewhat more challenging than I first imagined it to be, especially if you are playing on the Hardcore difficulty (When you die, your character is dead forever). Inside these maps you can higher level mobs, which drop better items (including better maps which leads to even higher level monsters!). I personally love the idea behind this because it means you can, to some extent, tailor what endgame means for you and how you enjoy it.
There are many different leagues in PoE As well. Of course you have your standard “default” league. Where you just play through the game at your own pace and I’d reccommend this for any first time player just to get a feel of the game or what classes you enjoy the most.
There is also a “hardcore” league, where as explained before, if you die once, you’re character goes to a legacy vault, where it essentially becomes a default league character not on the hardcore server any more.
Up until yesterday night, there was a “1 week race hardcore” ladder, where the players with the most total XP earned at the end of the league receive in game rewards. I think this is my favourite part of the game as it promotes people to come back to the game week after week to not only beat their previous score but also earn rewards. You can create as many characters as you want in this league, but it is obviously advised to stick to one to try and get as much XP as possible on that character. If it dies you can restart, but obviously you start from level 1 again. So try your best to not die in the last stages of the race!
The final league is a cutthroat league, which is essentially a PvP league. You can enter anybody’s zones, anybody can enter your zone, PvP is enabled in every zone except the cities. If you die, you lose all of your items except gems and flasks, and what was in your bank. You also lose 30% of the current EXP you have earned on that level. If you kill somebody, you have the chance to loot their gear, as well as gaining the EXP that they lost. This sounds like a very fun game mode and I can’t wait to try it! Look out for future videos of Hydra’s shenanigans in this league when it does get opened again.
The final thing I’d have to say I like about the game is the lack of common currency. In every other online game I’ve played, gold has been the currency and the standard norm by which items are traded. However, in Path of Exile there is no gold. Items are traded for other items so you determine your own value for each item. For example; A good bow might be worth 5 Orbs of X and 4 of Y, however you are running low on Orb Z and thus, you’d be willing to trade it for that. It makes the game’s trading system feel fresher and it actually promotes trading because the items you gain from trading will always be able to help you out late game in some way or another.
The only downside I find in this game is that due to the complexity and diversity of the game, you need to research a little bit before you play in order to not struggle on your first play through as there are a few things that aren’t explained (such as vendoring certain items at the same time to get better rewards).
If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably quite interested in the game and wondering where you can pick it up and how much it costs?
Well, for starters, the game is only in beta phase, and the developers are keen to smooth everything out before it goes live (Blizzard could take some massive tips here).
That being said, you can sign up to the beta at www.pathofexile.com
There is also an option to join the beta instantly for $10 which is roughly 7 Euros. I personally jumped at the opportunity to buy in to the beta for 7 Euros. I enjoy it much more than Diablo 3 currently, and I’ve definitely had my money’s worth out of the game, with much more play time left for me.
Open beta is coming towards the end of January, so if you don’t want to spend the small amount, you can wait just over 3 weeks and have a chance to play the game then.
Feel free to add me in game. I’m on the default league under the name “Sobadx”
In the next few days I’m hoping to start a hardcore character and if anybody wants to level with me just message me and I’ll try to not get you killed in game.
I’m hoping I covered everything in the game. We’ve only been playing for a few days and still haven’t reached end game status yet. So I’ll update you on that in the future.
Any feedback is appreciated – Again, I’m sorry but I have stopped playing World of Warcraft and I know most of the people on this site have as well, there really isn’t anything to talk about :(
Check out some of the footage at www.Twitch.tv/Hydramist and see if you enjoy it.
Hope you all have a good new years! Peace.