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path of exile

Path of Exile: Gave Delirium League A Try

So I’ve been invested about a month now or so into Delirium. My trip has been a bit wild with twists and turns…not really. It’s my usual play style of focusing on a league starter then moving on. But I did this after many of the main updates were made along with a much needed suggestion from a friend that improved my overall experience with the game.

This league I decided to go with a Facebreaker Cyclone Champion. I had run Cyclone a few times before both as Slayer, although I did it on my Juggernaut last league but with Herald of Agony as the primary skill and Summon Holy Relic going into my 6-link after watching DatModz with his.

I wasn’t sure how good Facebreaker Cyclone Champion would be as I had tried it on a standard character with some of the gear. However, I was missing quite a few key items that would be hard to farm and I really wanted to see what the new cluster jewel hype was. So right there, I found motivation to give the league a shot.

The Facebreaker Cyclone Champion was something I had a strategy for because I knew the gear would be reasonably cheap. The main piece naturally was a decent Facebreaker gloves. From there the next major thing was to get a 5-link that could take me into early maps. For that, I decided to buy a low end Belly of the Beast and used a Jeweler’s Touch prophecy to get a cheap, easy 5-link going (ironically, I even got my own prophecy right after)

This setup would help start me off mapping while I began to build up my currency. Another major piece was getting an Abyssus to provide a huge damage boost as well as solid attributes. The next major pieces were a good shield and the Circle of Guilt rings.

I found an exalt early on which made me desire The Unshattered Will as my shield. There’s another one that provides a level boost to your socketed gems, which would make my Herald of Purity more formidable. However, the defenses on this shield as well as it naturally synergizing with Cyclone (channeling) and the high mana block gain made it something I truly wanted.

After that, I went after a Rigwald’s Curse so that I could obtain the claw wheel on the upper right hand side. After that, I think I started to save for either a 6-link version of my Belly of the Beast or I might’ve gone after a Circle of Guilt with both the reduced mana reservation and buff effect. Right now, I run one of those with my 2nd only having the mana reservation.

I was on the verge of pushing this character harder but ended up getting slaughtered during one of the trials which demotivated to play this character. I knew the biggest problem was the Abyssus but at that stage, I was starting to get burnt out. That said, I enjoyed the character right up to that point and I’m sure I could’ve handled the trial if I had Leap Slam. If not the other option would have been to replace the helmet with something with high attributes and tons of life + regeneration to tackle Uber lab.

But before I go into my switch to elementalist, I want to say that I had enjoyed this character up to that moment. The main thing was that pushing this character was not trivial. I had to balance and re-balance things constantly. But I actually enjoyed the progression because I felt I was still far away from tuning this character. For instance, I’m missing an exploding chest with mana cost reduction. Also, I was missing a 2nd Circle of Guilt with the increased buff effect and reduced mana reservation implicits. I think those elements along with my last ascendancy would have really boosted up this character. So I have yet to see its true potential.

As I was looking for a new character, I stumbled upon a Golemancer build which focused on Stone Golems. Now, the interesting part about this build is the very high life regeneration provided by the Stone Golems. I’ve run Golemancers in the past, but the main difference is that they had been buffed through the ascendancy as well as the new cluster jewels.

So I set out to create a new Golemancer and managed to get through the acts very easily. Trials were trivialized although I severely disliked using Leap Slam for the longest time here. Originally, I started off using a Clayshaper to get the extra golem. But my Leap Slam felt dreadfully slow and awkward. The main issue here was trying to cast a combination of Storm Brand to apply a Vulnerability curse, followed up by either Desecrate or Flesh Offering for a buff. The casting made Leap Slam very painful to use.

But as I predicted, Uber Lab was easy so it became just a matter of farming the remaining trials with this character until I got what I needed. Right now, I ran across a totally new issue: my build is just too squishy in red maps. I’m barely scratching 4k life with some energy shield. Part of the issue is that my skill tree isn’t optimized for the really high end build using the Brass Dome and adding cluster jewels rather than having dead zones in my passive tree. I did switch her weapons to dual Cold Iron Points but whirling blades hasn’t been much better.

A lot of the really high end builds end up moving their tree to the left side, adding more resistance and life along with using a Glorious Vanity to benefit converting Mind Over Matter. There’s other things to this as well but I ended up scratching a different itch that had been building up: Hollow Palm.

The Hollow Palm skill to me is the real star of the league for me. While people will argue it’s all the herald abuser builds, I feel like Hollow Palm wins just because it’s amazing for leveling. My first Hollow Palm character was an Inferno Blow chieftain. Of all the Hollow Palm builds, I felt this one would be severely underrated.

Now, the leveling experience for Hollow Palm and Inferno Blow was nothing short of amazing. Smooth, destroying large groups of monsters, tons of damage, easy scaling and easy to resistance cap by maps, this build surprisingly isn’t huge on the list over at poe.ninja.

But I can see why. Once you’re into maps, it becomes harder and harder to really get end game damage out of this build. More than that, you have very little wiggle room for gear and even skills. You pretty much need dexterity every where and there are a few build defining uniques outside of One with Nothing. You could get away with rares but those are super high end crafts and I’m nowhere near close nor motivated to go there.

I did end up getting an immediate itch to start another Hollow Palm build. The second one was a Raider Frenzy build. That came from Mathil’s video. But I probably won’t come close to the gear that Mathil had. Right now, I’m up to level 61 in act 8. Took me two days to get there. I would’ve progressed further but stopped and did something else.

I will say that Frenzy started off poor but slowly improved once I got a little weapon reach. But the mana issue is a constant pest and getting resist has been challenging as I am forced to compromise dexterity. Also, I find that being a raider makes this character very squishy.

My main motivation for doing a raider was that I wanted to get her fully ascended. I only had one other raider previously and that was Frost Blades. But once I found out that Blade Flurry ended up becoming a channeling skill, it pretty much killed my desire to play Frost Blades anymore. Nonetheless, I still wanted a fully developed Raider and Hollow Palm seemed like an easy way to get there fast.

Now, about the league itself. I have a lot of mixed feelings so far. Basic content-wise it’s okay. The reward system is about as good as previous leagues. I find leveling reasonable because of all the added mobs. But the real issue is visibility.

Even if the league feels squishier than ever, I find the lack of visibility to be the number most frustrating aspect. It’s impossible to navigate  terrain and figure out what’s blocking you. I mean even without the fog, I still would die. But the fog itself makes navigation supremely painful.

As for the countdown aspect, I’m indifferent. I think the Delirium concept is not good in general so they’ll probably end up retooling it or dumpstering it. The only parts they probably should keep are Delirius maps and cluster jewels. Even Simulacrums just look utterly boring. I haven’t done a single one and ended up selling mine off because they’re pretty good money. As far as I’m concerned, Delirium is just another version of Breach, except faster but visually worse in every way.

Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Stacking heraldry builds. It’s quite clear that they’ll nerf this somehow, probably enforcing a limit on the number of heralds one can stack. But I think it’s just a dumb move. The cost for making a build like this is astronomical compared to any other build as far as I know. I cannot see even an entry point for people who aren’t making a great deal of currency.

That said, I think they should keep it. The scaling min-maxing aspect of this type of build is what Path of Exile should be about. Even if a pleb like myself, will never be able to make one without some help, I really don’t care because the people doing this type of build are those that min-max in the first place. I feel that if you put the effort in (that includes the money), you should get what you deserve.

If it means, an unbalanced game so be it. It’s not like people on day 1 start of the league will be making these. Instead, people continue to play because they see a never ending quest in making the perfect end build. A game like this should celebrate that idea. It’s far better than just adding +5 main stat.

Also, I think it demonstrates the flaws of the game in general. For instance, the Sirus fight becomes utterly trivial with this build. And it should because the fight is stupid to begin with.  I mean if the developer is insulted that his creation is trivialized, then he’s doing it wrong in the first place.

But that’s where the game for me has been dying. I really didn’t like the way the atlas structure was changed. I still find it confusing and stupid. The problem with the whole conquerors concept is that there’s another gate on top of an RNG gate. At least before, you could just get away with plain map completion. I liked that because it was straight forward and didn’t force you to  deal with extra stupid bosses that GGG is terrible at making. I really wish they just scrap the whole conquerors aspect and make it something that spawns randomly like elder and shaper before this mess started. Then people can plug away when they want to fight the conquerors and not have to deal with a forced chase.

Beyond that, I’m not sure what I might do after finishing up this raider. The only things that have caught my eye besides the stacking herald build are Storm Brand Hierophant and VD Spellslinger Necromancer.

Storm Brand is something I’ve played in the past as an Inquistor. The main difference this time around is that they introduced the Archmage support gem. I’m a bit iffy on that though because the mechanics aren’t as smooth as I would like. Even the description is a bit confusing for Archmage. But it sounds fun and I might give it a try. I did try it on another Hierophant I had in standard. But what I was missing was all the gear. So if I give this another go, I’ll have to spend some money for the right gear.

VD Spellslinger Necromancer does sound fun but only because I’m not playing a summoner this time around. Most of the gear doesn’t look too outlandish by comparison so it feels more viable. Essentially, it looks like a Poet’s Pen type of build minus the Poet’s Pens. So it’s mostly me giving Spellslinger a shot. However, since I just did an Elementalist, I’m not enthused about making yet another witch.

That leaves Scion and Shadow as my only other non-base types that I have yet to create this league. Scion would most likely be a stacking Herald build. But the real issue is that I don’t have the money to pull it off. And that build is just so expensive and I have no idea how to level it.

My initial thought in creating a herald stacking Scion is to do yet another Hollow Palm to level the character through the acts then re-spec her. However, it would be such a massive re-spec since you end up not only changing her skill tree around, but her ascendancy too.

From what I can tell, the way people are playing Scion here is to go Witch as Necromancer and then Templar with Guardian. That way the Scion gets all the buffs from auras. Since Guardian and Necromancer can play as a summoner type, one idea is to do Dominating Blow with Hollow Palm for leveling just to get the ascendancies then start off buying the gear little at a time. I’ve seen people use Mjonir and the increased stat requirement gloves to level multiple gems. So I’m thinking to go that route to level up all the aura gems to be prepared for the switch.

I suppose Templar could be done as well with Guardian but the leveling process with Hollow Palm would be a lot harder due to the dexterity portions of the tree being off to the opposite side. That’s what makes me partly inclined to go Scion.

But Dominating Blow is pretty easy to level no matter what. So that’s not a priority. If I did commit to a templar, I would probably do Storm Brand because it seems easier to gear. But at the same time, I think the investment value and return are a lot lower than making an attempt at a Herald Build.

My only real concern at this stage is time. I think if I wasn’t working, I would devote the next month to really pushing a Herald build. But lately my energy levels and motivation haven’t been there. If I knew that the build wasn’t getting nerfed, I might make a partial attempt. I feel that in the end my efforts would prove futile as the time sink would be pretty high and the outcome is unknown. I do feel that if I can get it to a point where I’m able to generate good currency, the build will exhibit a very high return.

At any rate, I just want to finish up my raider then see how I feel from there. I feel right now it’s easier to level up a new character than ever so it’s a matter of choosing a solid build that motivates me in playing.

 

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