path of exile

Path of Exile: Delirium Almost Done

Delirium is ending on Monday PST around 1pm. That means if you really want to push any last minute stuff, you have tomorrow and some of the morning on Monday remaining. So what’s my status in all of this?

I actually managed to get to level 96 on my Scion. I think if I no lifed tomorrow, I could hit 97. But to make the real big progression requires major investment and with the league this close to finished, I simply do not have the currency to kick my build into super high gear, which is a major shame.

I think if we had another two weeks, I could have been able to sell my helmet and a few other items which would have put me close to getting the last bits configured. However, for whatever reason, the league is being pushed up, despite the slight delay from the whole COVID-19 scenario.

Recently, I saw a video from Mathil critiquing the league. He had some decent points such as the terrible color choices and non-stop pushing of the basic mechanic. However, the one I have contention with was his argument on too much loot.

His point of view suggests that the meaning behind the loot has been devalued. While I can see what he’s saying, I do not necessarily agree. On the contrary, I feel that the high amount of loot is what continues to attract or retain players. Legion had a similar situation where the loot was quite good and that league had a positive retention.

However, Mathil said that Blighted Maps were those that he hated the most because of the loot explosions and that he dreaded doing them just from the sheer amount of loot from one. In my view, Blighted Maps had other issues, namely that the mechanic worked well with only certain builds. They were fun if you had say a summoner or something that had a broad AoE attack. The loot itself wasn’t terrible and you could ignore stuff if you didn’t care for it.

If there’s a real issue with loot, it’s not in the quantity. It’s the quality of loot that I have major issues with. There’s too many items that just are crap. It’s like Diablo 3 when it first came out. It required a major overhaul to the loot system to where loot felt somewhat meaningful.

The bulk of the loot in Path of Exile is worthless. This is a major known issue acknowledged by everyone. Hardcore fans of Path of Exile don’t think that there are truly “set” type of items in the game. But there are except that they aren’t really called “set” items. They are specific configurations that allow one to min-max a build.

However, what makes this aspect of the game frustrating is that there’s no easy way to acquire the items you need for high end builds. Sure, trading comes to mind but the experience in trading is a major issue in itself and should be addressed by GGG rather than constantly refuting arguments against it.

Now, some people probably think I’m just griping because the league has come to an end and that I wasn’t hard core enough to get what I wanted. Maybe but the real issue I have more than anything is the blatant lie that the game is designed to be played forever.

You cannot make such a boldface lie when you have a set period for these leagues. The majority of the player base are here only for leagues because that’s where all the new features are. But the resets put a major damper when you have to rebuild up everything from scratch each time.

The main problem I have with GGG themselves is that I feel their upper management just don’t realize when their shit stinks. There’s a certain arrogance about companies like this when they reach a certain level. Sure, they might address certain smaller issues in the community but the bigger picture is where GGG make Path of Exile at times insufferable.

And usually in Path of Exile, I have the majority of my fun towards the end of the league. And it’s because I finally have managed to find a build that allows me to push hard as well as gathering enough currency and items. Then all of that is swept away because these leagues are far too short.

The irony to me is that Path of Exile and Diablo 3 should swap when it comes to league/season duration. Diablo 3 is good for a short period. Two weeks tends to be the perfect amount for a single character and maybe an additional 2 more weeks to push. On the other hand, the gambling-like system inherent in Path of Exile makes longer leagues more appealing to me. Yes, there are some that manage to push hard and fast. But they simply have too much time on their hands.

I really feel that GGG desperately needs proper UX people. They need better people at game design philosophy who understand UX to make the game more sustainable. They may have their niche, but for a game that is this old, it feels like they are stagnant. Even with new league content, it’s all variations of the same thing. The game itself needs a major paradigm shift to get away from the Diablo 2 roots that the founders seem to relish.

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