I have been playing a great deal of Path of Exile recently and have been enjoying the basics. I haven’t really pushed the game because of various bugs and just lack of motivation. Nonetheless, I wanted to see how things were going due to the league mechanic as well as the expansion portion. Here are some thoughts thus far.
If anything, I’m honestly not happy that the league included the expansion. I felt it was a bit confusing since the reworked map system felt like such a huge deal that it should’ve belonged separately. But I suppose the relative simplicity of metamorphs made it reasonable to work in conjunction with the expansion.
The metamorph portion is pretty lackluster to be honest. It’s described as something meant for a new end game. The thing is that it’s just more looting with a big boss thrown in. There’s really not much special about it outside of potential high end loot. Considering the last few leagues’ focus on loot, I don’t see the mechanics being all that interesting. If anything, the black on black aspect was pretty annoying along with more performance inhibiting issues.
The expansion itself I think is pretty bad. Some people enjoy it because of the new end game bosses. But I found the mechanics to be confusing. I really didn’t care for the new bosses since they just add more performance issues to the struggling game. Also, the Sirus boss fight was just downright horrible. There’s no redeeming qualities from that boss, much like Catarina from Betrayal.
I’m sad that the old elder and shaper stuff are gone to RNG. I know it’s still possible to fight both but it’s hidden away in that new map mess. Of course, the only real thing worth grabbing from those influenced zones was the elder/shaper influenced stuff but now you just use your metamorph to hopefully get what you want.
The other major notable was the fact that this was supposed to be a major bow league. I tried a few things like Explosive Arrow and Ballistas. Explosive Arrow just turned out to be dogshit compared to other skills and I haven’t heard many positive things about Ballistas. Perhaps, it’s just because I’m such a low level in using either but they should’ve been that disheartening.
Necromancer continues to dominate with skeletons/zombies being the standout skills/builds. The other part is miner with Pyroclast Mines. Now, I just managed to get my miner into map and have been enjoying him 2nd to my Necromancer. Although the 2 button setup with mines can be a bit bad on the wrists, the build itself just destroys content. The most notable piece is the new Astral Projector ring which helps convert nova skills into targeting the area they are placed.
Other things I’ve tried are Scion Poet’s Pen Volatile Dead and Juggernaut with Sweep. The Scion turned out to be horrifically lackluster. A while back I saw a scion version of this and I thought the Necromancer part would compliment the Pathfinder portion. Turns out that the damage is quite mediocre especially against bosses. I found it impossible to scale my damage and there’s too much filler nodes with garbage in between. The potential seemed to be there but it just doesn’t play out well in practice.
The Juggernaut Sweep build was something I saw on a site. Also, I recall one of Mathil’s videos/builds where he used an Ascendant to do an elemental sweep build. It made me curious since Sweep looked like a one hit version of a cyclone. Unlike the scion, this build started out really strong but tapered off as I got into higher levels since I didn’t have any good weapons.
Right now, I’m sitting at level 70 with this build and found a Terminus Est which has improved things quite drastically. The build is supposed to use a Starforge but I’m looking at using an Atziri’s Disfavor instead since it’s about half the price as a 6 link. I imagine the Starforge is better but I’m still unsure which way to go since it would wipe out a good chunk of my currency.
But the real debate is whether to do axes or swords at this stage. I think both would work but Starforge gives some very nice life bonuses and that would work well with an Abyssus whereas I mostly get a gem level boost from Atziri’s.
Of course, the real purpose behind the Jugg is to run all the trial stuff that I absolutely hate. I’ve pretty much kept myself from progressing since I lack the trials and being able to complete uber lab. I’ve just felt lazy and unmotivated this entire league and anytime I see a trial, I just ignore it. I figure if I can get someone to do my trials, it might as well be a juggernaut.
The only class type I haven’t played is some sort of Templar. I was pondering doing another Guardian with Herald of Purity and/or Dominating Blow. I’ve tried a few times in the past but never got far with one. The difference this time around is the massive minion rework which may change how I play this type of build. And I saw a guide that seems to have better thought out gear for the Guardian with this build, which intrigues me. Not sure if it’ll compete with a Necromancer but I doubt anything can at this stage.
Outside of that the only temptation for another build is another scion since the Poet’s Pen one felt like a massive failure. One idea I’ve been toggling is another ballista build using a hierophant for the +1 totem and maybe a champion or ranger. The only thing is that I feel Scions aren’t in a great place which makes me less motivated to play one.
At any rate, the league itself is okay. Just nothing spectacular. I am fearing the nerfs which inevitably will come next league. But I think GGG should be examining how to make certain classes and skills NOT suck while improving performance problems and getting better designers for things like Metamorph coloring.