I look at Path of Exile again!

While I already wrote some words on Path of Exile, a while ago, its recent re-release on Steam had me curious and I went back and tried it. I was supposed to write about Risk of Rain, but I spent most of this week and last week playing PoE. They've added some things, fixed others, and left most of it like it was before. My issue number one with the game - how floaty and unresponsive it felt - isn't a problem anymore...

Yeah, this game is still kinda crazy

They've balanced quite a fair bit since the last time I had played PoE, added a bunch of new items - amulets and rings that grant different stats, giving you more options of how you build your character - they also changed the cost of auras, added a new seventh class, completed the third act put random enemy encounters and shrines to spice things up. You're still almost a one-trick pony, find one good gem or piece of equipment you like and then try to create a build all around that one thing (or two) but it's still fun enough to try all the options you have that I won't knock the game too hard with it. They've added some cool 'trigger' gems too, allowing you to cast spells automatically on critical hit, when you get stunned, even when you die.

This is destroying my life send help

Also, if you don't want to play the main game, there is a season event where you rack up points doing races and you get unique items from getting a bunch of them. Usually, races consist of getting the most experience in a 1-2 hour span, with unique particularities. Most of the time though, you're on 'hardcore', you die, you lose. It's so frustrating to have lost 2 hours of racing because of a stupid mistake, why not still let you continue but reduce the number of points you'd get? Sometimes the enemies will be very fast, sometimes you're in a special map with unique items and chests. Most of the races, however, are just a 2 hour run through the game. I did it a faire number of times, but now it's just too boring to do the same race over and over, I know this would be the perfect time to 'plan' strategies and do progressively better, but I'm not that kind of player, I can't run the same places forever with similar builds...

Welcome to zombies of die!

There's plenty of different things you can do in Path of Exile, the gem system, the currency and passive systems - although still confusing and overwhelming for a newcomer - allow you to make the items you want, customize your skills the way you want and build your character how you want. A totem that shoots three fireballs that home on enemies and split before exploding in a huge area of effect? Sure! A tank-like character that shoots ice novas, encases himself in fire armour and taunts enemies only by taking damage? You can do that! Throwing spectral versions of your weapons? Why not. Unique items are truly unique with abilities you won't find on any other item, and that's always great. *Cough* Diablo 3 *Cough*

Watch out for these fireballs and these scarab things!

Playing with friends is pretty fun and there's enough variety in the main game - even though I don't like act 3 very much, I never enjoy the end of action rpgs, they're always full of annoying enemies with special attacks like reflecting damage or becoming invincible. Even though I fear that the game still suffers from some problems, like how cookie cutter builds are preferred over trying random fun stuff, I've sunk so much time into the races - and trying different strategies for the main game - that I can't not recommend it. Maybe someday I'll hit a wall on all my characters and none of them will work, that's probably when I'll stop.

That being said, the weirdest problem this game has right now is the desync problem. Your character will sometime lose sync from the server and appear to be somewhere else than where you actually are. It's pretty terrible, I've lost many a race because of it. I know that all online games have that potential problem, but I've never experienced that in Diablo 3, or Titan Quest, or even Diablo 2. It's not the end of the world except if you lose a race because you suddenly start taking tons of damage and then appear half a screen to the right, in a bunch of monsters, and immediately die.