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Path of Exile review
by NafaryusDestiny

For a free game, Path of Exile delivers in spades. It has tons of build variety, a cool skill tree, an interesting "your skills are socketable gems" system, and some interesting Unique/Legendary equipment. Up to level 80-90, through the main campaign, through many of the maps, and in much of the end-game content, it's an exceedingly well done Diablo clone.

Then it gets really bad. Your damage falls off really hard with no clear avenues for improvement. Your survivability becomes nonexistent with, again, no clear ways to fix it (getting one-shot by offscreen monsters is a regular occurrence at level 80+). The game becomes balanced around "best-in-slot" gear for only the most meta builds, creating an unenjoyable power creep for casual players. The only fix for this is to look up a build guide, invest a bunch of currency in respeccing and acquiring hyper-specific gear, then completely dominating the game for no apparent reason. For those not intimately familiar with Path of Exile's specific mechanics, there's not much chance for you to make it to the highest tiers of content on your own.

Then there's the paymodel. The game and all it's content is free. You have to pay for extra stash space. The starting stash space is woefully inadequate, with absolutely no way for you to effectively participate in trading, or even effectively store your currency. To get the minimum tabs to get started, it would likely cost $10. I consider this the price of the game. Apart from tabs, there's a host of cosmetics. There's no other gameplay affecting microtransactions.

The economy in Path of Exile is completely and utterly ♥♥♥♥♥♥ beyond repair (in Standard League). This is a real shame, because their barter-style economy had the potential to be extremely effective. Each currency item can be used to upgrade and modify items, in addition to being traded between players. These money sinks aren't enough, however, and end-game farmers make everything good prohibitively expensive for casual players. This is an inevitability for this type of game.

For all it's shortcomings, PoE still provides enough fun to play, but it has no clear avenues for progression at high level end-game content. Unique/Legendary items are trivialized by increasingly powerful Rare equipment, and only certain builds can participate in all the end-game content PoE has to offer. You'll frequently be asking yourself "What am I doing wrong?" when you die repeatedly.

How to fix the game, in order of importance:
1. Make changing your build easier. The puzzle of finding something that works is only enjoyable when you aren't heavily punished for finding a wrong answer.
2. Either remove one-shot mechanics entirely or increase visual clarity. Also, zoom out the camera so you can actually see the monsters that attack you at a range.
3. Provide every player with a currency stash tab.
4. Make every unique have a level 70 variant. Having the coolest effects stuck on the worst equipment severely limits build variety. This might help make Unique items worth using again.
5. Add in damage numbers, death recaps, or anything that makes it easier to determine if you're doing things right.. Most of your build choices are pure guesswork, especially if you're a minion build.
6. Add in more currency sinks to help fix the economy, or limits on the amount of currency that can be acquired quickly.

Other reviews5

If I need a guide to build my character you're doing too much
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
To say one thing in advance, Path of Exile is the best Diablo-like action hack & Lay-game I've ever played. Actually, the Diablo comparisons don't even have to be, because in my Eyes PoE is now in a lot of levels above it and is just the better Game! And also to address the Elephant in the Room: Yes, despite Free to Play! Because it's one of the best and fairest Funding Models ever. At no Point has I been forced to buy anything Once and even what there was to buy is mainly made up of cosmetic Things that I have had no Need for until now. I would like to buy a larger Inventory, but there is not even that in the Shop. And nothing you could buy from, of which you could buy any playful Advantages. Even if one might think how it pays off for the Makers, the Answer would be: Obviously quite good! In the meantime, so unfathomable many Extensions and patches have appeared, which offer more scope than certain full Price titles, that one can't help but pull your hat off before Grinding Gear Games, because they have been so well maintaining the Game for more than four Years now and Develop that-without wanting to be lofty-it has become the best Game in its Genre. And it is far from over! Until the next Expansions see the Light of day is only a Matter of Time. Of Course, what "is missing" in such a Game is the Staging, but if you want to indulge in pure Gameplay fun without clogging in opulent Cutscenes, nothing will be missed. A Story is also present, but it is irrelevant. All The Fun Is drawn from the Mechanics and it really has in it. Not only will a skilltree missing the overview demand a great deal of Slavery (seriously, googlet after that!), which only has passive skills in place, but you can assemble your attack and Support skills almost by Almost every Piece of Equipment provides Plinths that can be provided with a Skillorb (which, however, also want to be found or earned). And even these Orbs can still be leveled. Whether they are connected or not, there are a number of Possible Combinations to Try out, resulting in a barely identiable Number of Variations of Character builds. You can see ... What kind of Genre-defunning Players could only be a Clicking Away of the Opponents becomes for Others the Circumference monster with a considerable Depth of play, which you will not have fully grasped even after hundreds of hours. The World itself is very varied and also looks very good-especially many of the Effects in Combat can be a real Eye Candy. Above all, you always have enough to do, explore and collect-and even this can be started anew at will in different Leagues with other Game Modes (Autark, Hardcore ..) with other Characters at Will. Personally, but I am already busy enough with a Run. The Only Shortcoming that struck me would be mainly the Monetary System, which is composed of Louder different Scrolls-which, on the one hand, I have not yet looked through, but on the other hand, it has never been an Obstacle. Anyone who knew how to have their Joy with a Diablo will lose themselves in this Game and has no Apologies As to why you have not already stepped in. And even everyone who has meandered around this Genre so far is allowed to risk a Glance, costing it does nothing. Path of Exile is Looten & Levels in its purest essence. While a Game that has clearly scaled back in Terms of narrative, I think it doesn't need that, nor does it really want to. You rely on pure Game Mechanics and it works terrific. Oh, I was just talking about the Solo Experience. I haven't even looked back into the actual Multiplayer part yet. ;)
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Wrote a review for PC GAMER long time ago. Finished it when it war very different from PoE that is now. People say that it's better slasher than Diablo and maybe they are right. Path of Exile is THAT game that I want to play all the time. Of course, I prefer to play something new all the time, but when I think about slasher genre the first thing that comes to mind is Path of Exile.
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
Awesome game. The depth of the game is great and the developers are very active with new leagues and mechanics every few months! The only cons are the pvp and the insane amount of hours that will go into this game when you start...