path of exile

Path of Exile: Heist Flashback, Day 5

Made more progress last night on pushing a 2nd conqueror. Next up is my least favorite of the 4: Hunter. But I did upgrade some gear with a few lucky drops and my biggest purchase of the league: a 6 link chest.

Right now, I’ve been focused on building up a good sized map pool and leveling. I really haven’t done too many Heists since reaching maps as I wanted to level up my character a bit and possibly hit some trials. I have managed to accumulate a fair number of contracts and more importantly Blueprints (not a ton but enough to get started on higher level items)

I did hit two trials though but I ended up pussying out. One was a Burning trial too which probably is the easiest of the six. The thing is that I’m simply too focused on pushing maps. And that’s partly the bad design of elements like Heists, Trials and Temples in that your focus is led astray.

But my main reason for pushing maps at this time is to get a better understanding of the newer mechanic. Although I have figured out the basics of the newer Atlas re-work, I never really comprehended how the actual mechanics behave. So this time, I made it a goal to map slower and use a strategy guide step-by-step to progress.

And I believe I finally figured out what to do. So it did take a few re-watches of videos but things are slowly making sense. I guess the best way to summarize it is to:

  • Pick a section of the inner regions to start
  • Move as quickly as possible to the adjacent outer region
  • Unlock the Citadel by doing a T3 map
  • Run 3 maps in the outer region until the Conqueror spawns
  • Kill Conqueror and retrieve the first Watchstone
  • Place the Watchstone in the inner region adjacent to the Conqueror you’ve beaten (because you no longer need maps from that region leading to the Conqueror)
  • Work on the next inner region and move towards the outer region
  • Repeat these steps until you get the 2nd Watchstone
  • Build up your map pool of higher tier maps in the inner region you have placed your first Watchstone.
  • Once you have enough higher tier maps, move the Watchstone into another inner region
  • And keep doing this until you get enough maps and your four main Watchstones. Then only socket the Watchtones once you have enough maps and are ready to do the next tier of Conquerors

Honestly, this system is just stupid. It makes sense now but in writing all of that down, it really shows how silly and overly/unnecessarily complex this newer mapping system is. I really prefer the older one, which was pretty straight forward: just keep completing maps until you get everything you need.

The current system can be jacked up badly. The fact that maps have different tiers and you are allowed to shoot yourself in the foot in misplacing a Watchstone inadvertently just stinks of the same bad design as Sirus. I know some people think it’s better but I think it’s too much of a pain.

The core issue is just the natural instinct of using your Watchstones once you get them and then having the freedom to place them anywhere. The strategies telling people NOT to use the Watchstone is just counter-intuitive in terms of how the system has been presented. Also, you’re penalized for using maps not belonging to the correct tier. But the messaging just makes it more confounding along with how you end up building up your map pools.

At any rate, after getting a few key gear pieces, I moved things around. a bit and the build feels a little better. Currently, I’m closing in on 5k life. I spent a good 30c on a 6L chest piece, which didn’t have great stats, but was a good starter that allowed me to replace my Tabula Rasa. Another key piece was finding a reasonably rolled Stygian Vise where I could use a crafted Ghastly Eye jewel.

What I’m looking for next is a better Amulet. I did find a pretty decent Talisman with all the core resistance stats and life along with an enchantment. The enchantment though was pretty dogshit so I decided against using it. Also, one of my rings would be a good candidate to replace with my aim being a socketed one. With that I can add Convocation to the build, which should help with some life regeneration.

The next major step is trying to get chaos resistance into the build somehow. While I’m overcapped on resistance, my true weakness is chaos resistance. So part of how I’m handling that is leveling up my Jun crafts for anything containing some chaos resistance. I might replace my mana flask wiht an Amethyst flask just to have something with basic chaos resistance and I might eventually try changing out the one replaceable ring with an Amethyst one just to have a little more chaos resistance.

Then there’s the issue with having a decent weapon. The Clayshaper is okay for now but The Scourge remains out of price range. It’s still in limited supply at 2-3ex which is just outrageous. Instead, I’m going to aim for a gemini fist weapon (or perhaps any fist weapon just for some form of life leech).

Something I’ve been pondering is leveling another character. I did find a medium cluster jewel with the precious non-curse aura buff effect as well as the First Among Equals passive. So that makes two items required that I now have for the basic Carrion Golem Aura Stacking build. However, that’s really in the distance at this stage.

Truthfully, my only real motivation in leveling up a 2nd character is the joy of going through the Flashback story mode with a twinked out character. And I’m not being facetious here. The leveling process with all the mods is actually a lot of fun and rewarding. So having actual good gear for that experience would be pretty sick. Not to mention that all the trials have been completed outside of the stuff for Uber Lab.

That said, there really isn’t a lot of time to push out a 2nd character. I might not even been able to get very far given that all the content is quite overwhelming in terms of how I spend my time. And I don’t have plans to spend every second playing the game since I’ve given myself a deadline on my novel.

On the other hand, if I manage to find additional gear for a Necromancer, I would have to consider one. Another idea I’ve been toying with is a Raise Specter//Zombie/SRS build. I’ve seen a a couple some which probably do too much. But the idea is that I could use such a build to transfer towards a Carrion Golem summoner down the road. Realistically, I don’t expect to have the time to pull this off.

Since the Flashback league will get folded back into the normal Heist league, I might try leveling a necromancer anyway. Depends on how far I can progress with my Guardian. I’m already at level 84 and think I can get to at least 90 this league. I might even try to push to 95 depending on how far the Guardian can handle red tier maps.

But if things taper off, I’ll definitely consider the necromancer. I have a witch sitting in Heist that will probably get deleted at some point. I figure if I manage to feel somewhat satisfied and get gear for a 2nd character, I can just delete her and finish her in the normal Heist once Flashback gets rolled up.


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