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path of exile

Path of Exile: Harvest Brief Thoughts

Okay, so I ended up playing some of the Harvest league since I have downtime and wanted to get some game time with my main rig turning into an overpriced paper weight. In short, I got bored and needed a distraction for a week or two and figured why the fuck not.

I finally managed to get my farm setup. I don’t think anyone really enjoyed doing that. It’s pretty silly too because the configuration is pretty one dimensional in the end. I don’t understand why GGG wanted to add the so-called customization aspect when it really has no value to the game. The fact that people figured out optimized layouts should demonstrate that it was pointless and mindless at the end of the day.

The UI for the farm sucked too. It just was very non-intuitive. Has the UX/UI team finally gotten fired from GGG? If not, they need to either hire real professionals or find a replacement for that team/individual.

I think the way the farm part should have worked was being unlocked either through materials or through completing different parts of the game. So the layout could’ve been better done as a content gate where it gradually opened up. Stuff like Pylons, etc. had no business being in the game.

Now, let’s address the big elephant in the room: Quarry Farming. Honestly, they shouldn’t have called this league Harvest league. It should have been Quarry League because that’s where people would spend their time. I have a sneaky suspicion that Quarry farming was almost like Blood Aqueduct farming for a Tabula Rasa since it’s right at the end of Act 9 where you need to amp up your damage and defenses before maps.

Now, I say suspicious because I found farming Humility cards in Blood Aqueducts to be ridiculously painful this league. I think GGG wanted people to have self-crafted gear and level up new characters via their farm’s crafts rather than depend on traditional unique items. I mean so far the rewards outside of Harvest have been severely underwhelming.

The crafting part itself…it’s still dull to me. The best parts were the socket crafting and defense modifiers. I heard some people like the Divination card flipping. I think the only other semi-interesting part is being able to convert unique items. That way if you have duplicates or really shitty items, you can at least make an attempt to get something better.

Another thing that I think is silly is that there are monsters that you kill on the farm to get higher tier seeds. I think they need to eliminate that part along with the 4 levels of tiers for seeds and just base the seeds on ilvl. A better approach would have been to just designate monsters in the maps that you kill to get the seeds. That method seems more rewarding than just picking stuff up and repeating Quarry all day long.

I think the Farm itself should have been smaller with only a few plots that are upgradable with special seeds or items that one could use for those upgrades. You could have different fields still with specializations to give the farm flavor but all the bullshit with the storage, dispersers and consumers really had no purpose outside of making a more interactive base-like design.

As for the rest of the league, it’s pretty meh. You’ve got enough prior league content where Standard is almost a better option. The real experience is just using the Harvest to develop a single character I think.

I’ve heard people praising the self-crafting option allowing them to kill Sirus A8, etc. GGG’s response seems that the crafting was too powerful and won’t be included in the future. However, the whole deterministic crafting aspect was pushed to the team.

I think the lesson for GGG is that the game really is too RNG based and that a more generous level of determinism might helped player enjoyment. For myself, the crafting aspect just never was kicked into high gear for me because the stuff I want to play require specific uniques that are expensive from the early game efforts. Also, the things that I am interested in specific to this league mostly are from the adjustments of previous league content such as Cluster Jewels.

The new stuff from this league just never hooked me. The various war cries, for instance, just seemed painfully bad. Like I’ve seen triple war cry builds. Something like that seem as though they should be linked to a skill gem like Spellslinger. When you already have piss poor designed fights that are meant for a non-isomorphic game, adding more buttons to push just make the experience that much more intolerable.

I still want to play the game just to see where I can go. The current end game content has no enjoyment for me when it comes to boss fights. But I do want to see how gear and builds feel once you obtain the right stuff. Otherwise, the game really needs better designers who aren’t trying to turn this into a stupider version of WoW.

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