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One thing I must mention, I have played Diablo 3 as much as I have played Path of Exile, albeit I have played Diablo 3 to true endgame, and I shall tell all you fine readers as to why. To be honest, In D3's case, I enjoy it very much so. It is the true successor to D2, in my honest, humble opinion. But, it definitely needs "refinement."
EDIT: For those who are too damn lazy to read:
TLDR; The loot system, the trading system, the currency system, and and skill system, are all very limited, restricted, and boring. There is far too much scamming to be had, the combat is boring, spaztic and random, and can be quite boring, especially as the skills are all their own seperate thing, and have few valid syncings, that ironically will cost a massive fortune at end game, which is only more disillusioning. GGG even offers to give your skills more fancy effects to you...FOR REAL LIFE MONEY!....I wonder how much Blizzard devs laughed at this when they saw this/if they ever saw the news for this. Of course, without the pay to have proper skill decal effects, the combat itself is plain, uncreative, and lacks much to be seen as something distinctive. Oh, and becomes a constant pain that basically makes soloing impossible, especially for those who WANT to solo. Oh, the incentive to partying in POE compared to D3 ? You get to have a means of survival. Fail. You'll have more fun in a game of Chess, then this game.
Part 1. The majour stuff.
Which I feel RoS is going to deliver magnificently upon, and I shall be a Day One buyer. But, I have never gotten to talk about Path of Exile, and never bothered to, but I have seen people been using it to be the antithesis of Diablo 3. Therefore, as a owner of a level 58+ish Marauder or so, I shall use D3 as means of comparison to PoE, since they are of both the same genre, and have similarities. Am I going to play favourites ? No, I am simply here to explain why PoE is inferior.
And let me get this straight, I have had bare bones luck in this game. But I am not here to bash the game with mindless emotion, and make silly comparisons which do not affect either game, I am here to simply show what Path of Exiles major flaws are, for those who are curious incase you ever see the topic brought up. Now, If you are a PoE fan who cant' handle my opinion, you may as well stop reading at this point if you can't, and get off the internet. uninstall your hardware system and throw your computer out the window. Debaters are welcome, MINDLESS PoE Fan boy's are not (the Path of Exile youtube video's comment sections are good examples of my point).
And yes, I am a Diablo 3 fanboy, but you don't see me carrying a pitch fork and torch when someone goes and shows good evidence of what I love has flaws. Yes, D3 DOES have flaws, but they are going to be fixed soon, and solidly so. Path of Exile, thrives on it's issues, and is very much so, entrenched in them on the other hand, and I don't see them being fixed any time soon.
I shall explain why the trading and gameplay mechanics of PoE are silly, redundant, and downright POINTLESS, and hence why Diablo 3 is far more superior to that game, within my own opinion. I have been in Closed Beta, mates. I know what I speak off, and shall explain myself, as to why. To those who ask me, who am I to make such judgements, to they I say, I could ask and shall ask the very same thing. Now, to begin.
1#. The Skill Tree of PoE, compared to Diablo 3's current and future skill system.
The Skill Tree is indeed, insanely massive and very impressive to behold. However, it is all shine, and no rational substance. What does that mean ? Well, there is no sane means of respeccing your skills, in case you make a mistake, which is the first brutal issue of Path of Exile. Sadly, the idiots of its company decided to make it restrictive and redundant. Full explanation: While the tree gives you near limitless possibilities of builds and play styles, sadly, it's limitations are also the actual thing that limit you in being creative with your skill build. You can not have all the skill points in the end, (and I doubt you can own over more then half), as well as it is very easy to screw up a skill build into near uselessness if you want to be completely self found, and be forced to start a new one, rather then being able to reset all your skills at the click of the button, and make adjustments where reason and difficulty demands compensation in exchange to make your build more viable. Why ? Because that option doesn't exist. Well, it does...in a bastardized manner.
The sad thing is that you are very much so screwed if you spend too many points into the tree towards a goal in mind that turns out to be flawed and useless in the end, and will force you to make a new character. Once you level him back up to your doomed characters level was, you'll have to make the necessary adjustments where need be, give him your old characters gear, delete him, and try to not mess up badly this time around...hopefully. As progression increases, so does the difficulty, and with the difficulty, the altering of your build. Even more so, the developers made a stupid decision, and decided that in order to refund points, you would have to be able to buy certain gems that can only let you refund the points, they call them Orbs of Regret. And they are very bloody rare. And they too will cost a fare share if you are new, or not that lucky with loot drops. Which unfortunately, the latter was my issue.
To those who will scream at anger with me, I did look upon the web for build possibilities revolving around hammers for my Mara (since I like that sort of thing, massive axe/hammer builds are always fun), and I found something that did somewhat help me, but in the end, I was far too deep in to be able to fix my mistakes, and just got depressed and quit bothering all together. I had to wait for a serious revamping patch to make any major worthy adjustments, but since that is a one time until the next time only thing, it is just stupidly redundant, but most of all, pointless.
I do not have the time of all the world in my pocket, hence you can't blame me for not being able to want to farm for nine hours straight just to fix a couple of stupid mistakes I made. This is where Diablo 2/3 shines where PoE dims, the refund system for skills, and the tree itself, is redundant. Like Communism, nice on paper, bad in practice. Is the tree system bad ? No. Is it excellent ? No. Is it decent ? I suppose so, if you can have assistance from someone who has already mastered the game and shows you the ropes and what you should do, should you need assistance/advice. Still, it has some very major flaws, in my eyes. It comes down to personal taste, and in my opinion ? Its certainly a nice looking skill tree, but just because it is pretty, doesn't mean it is not pointless. Because it is, very much so.
In the end, the skill system is redundant, restrictive, pointless, and wastes your time on applying what is worth focusing on when it comes to managing your skills and stats. Diablo 3 completely outmatches it, PoE will be blown aside in the wind when ROS is released with the new Paragon stat system. Accessibility outmatches fancy redundancy, chaps! Diablo 3 gives me options, even if limited, to respec my skills on how I want, with few to no consequences, and I like it that way. I feel personally that's blizzards way of saying: The world is your oyster, you may do what you want to with your character, do what you want, but remember, you must work for what you desire! But don't worry, we won't limit you! :) Alright, endgame there was limited skill builds for all classes in D3, currently, but lets push that aside for the moment and look at what we got. And HEY! RoS IS giving us more accessibility and skill build options! Good guy Blizz, that's what I am looking at.
Guess what. Path of Exile doesn't have that. Not. One. Bit. Of course, it lets me invest points into my skill tree, if it didn't even have that, it would not be a true dungeon crawler RPG. It would be a waste of time...which it is, but either way.That's about as good as it comes. And before ANYONE claims D2 limited you in a same way, yes, it did, but guess what ?
There was a respec option. No, I don't mean wait half a stupid year to fix your mistakes or a month or so, I mean an actual respec option. Does PoE have that ?
Nope. Besides those horribly rare and expensive gems that are also necessary to bargain to buy loot from other players, and hence makes it painful to use them and feel super restricted when you are forced to use one, so you are not forced to start over again with a new character from scratch ??? Pretty much nope.
2#. The market system. You think the AH was a nightmare ? At least you could actually GET THINGS YOU NEEDED from it...
While this is a fun game to play, as a past time waiting for better games to come, it's loot system and classes are all tied into the trading system, which uses a bartering system that the community invented with the devs help. Essentially, IIRC, the devs could not decide on how to do a proper system of trading, economy etc, so they made a make shift very libertarian, liberal minded one, that has basically no regulation, which ANYONE with the money and time can abuse those who are not hard core traders and only want to proceed and farm in the game in a traditional manner where FUN is focused on, not MONEY. And with the lack of a stable currency, you are very screwed in expecting good loot any time soon. Since they decided to use the idea of special gems with magical properties that affects loot that drops, and NOT use gold, which was the biggest mistake, they basically remade a video game currency version of Bitcoin.
The "currency" is hard to find, has only certain value for individual tastes, but forces you to trade with them, even if you have good spare gear you don't need, and are willing to exchange for gear you DO NEED! And since the value of most gems are extremely low, but the endgame Chaos Orbs, etc, have absolutely INSANE value in comparison, the gear and rich/poor gap amongst players is increased to a disturbing amount. Basically, those who are in the mid endgame level that need to proceed since their drops are not outmatching their current gear, they are pretty much forced to do this, instead of having valid options:
1. Forced to farm upon months of ingame work, and that screws over those who like the game, but have lives of their own and need to focus on the real world, besides a computer game.
2. Forced to trade with others with what they have collected, and do the same thing over again starting with 1#, rinse and repeat, to the point of where you are not grinding for gear to proceed, but being forced to do a CHORE. Thankfully, the Blizz devs are moving D3 away from this kind of model with ROS, making grinding for gear rewarding, fun, exciting, intriguing and making you eager for the next good loot drop that could be hiding around the corner, with no black monkey sitting on your back, laughing at you as you are basically forced to grind away endless at the very games endgame locations, just to have a basic impact left upon your loot drop chances and xp drops to make a significant difference. I'm sorry, but I want to play and do some grinding. Not just grind, grind, grind grind grind and grind.
I could not get to 60 by that point, I was so worn out and tired of the repetitiveness of PoE, that I gave up. The constant grinding, the ugly gear, the horrid stat application means of fixing mistakes made, character remakes, the time, the hazard of having to deal with scammers, it was becoming nothing but a painful, stupid, redundant chore. This is something I had an issue with in D2 as well, albeit I still had plenty of opportunity, and those who were eager to help me, and play with me! In PoE, I had NONE of this. You were at the mercy of those who wanted to screw you over for money, and the games horrid loot drop system, which was basically null and void in my case. O(f course, the skill system brings no relief.
You may claim POE is a godsend compared to D3. It doesn't matter. I have both games, and in my honest opinion, Diablo 3, Vanilla and RoS, shall always outmatch it.
PART 2, COMBAT AND GRAPHICS. And the little side details that can also matter.
Alright, this is going to be a bit shorter, but I shall do it, nicely tight, wrapped up in a big black and red flamy bow. Yes, I am dramatic. Deal with it. And !@#$%^-, Amon Amarth can keep a man up.
The Combat of Diablo 2 and 3 have always been very fast paced in a nice means of getting from point A to B, and feels more like you are walking a road straight down to Hell, which you do so, and kick major *!@ while doing so. The action, while face pasted, is constant but orderly, presenting one new challenge the other, like a set of commands on a program being triggered, but each command is different, looks different to an extent, and the result of this commands being set off will result in progress, or AKA good loot drops. Even with the #$%^e loot drops in D3 vanillia, I still love to grind away, as the entire damn game to me, is basically an acid trip which makes me feel like a god, completely smashing my enemies flesh away, laughing to myself as I cut down row after row of demons, and finding loot to sell to repair my gear and be able to replace it. I could also choose the gender of my character.
In Path of Exile, of my personal experience, with the graphics being uninteresting, grey, colourless, and almost...clay looking, with polish and glaze being applied to the metallic pieces of the surrounding scenes and backgrounds (hell, the end game was the only nice looking set, the first two acts of the game were ugly, and had little to look at. I won't lie, the set pieces is basically the ONLY nice thing to look at), the experience was the complete EXACT opposite. I understand they were going for a dark undertone, but see, you are not supposed to have a LIFELESS dark undertone. You almost feel like your watching a clay animation cutscene, rather then an actual event taking place, even if it is cartoony and colourful looking. Even WOW strikes me as a lively, living world. Path of Exile ? Far from it.
The sad side, is that the gameplay is far from impressive, compared to Diablo 3. When I am supposed to be saving the world, I should appear like I am capable of doing it, and should be showing signs of making such progress. In Diablo 3, the Barbarian becomes a hulking titan of raw power, and moves like one. In Path of Exile, I get to make things explode in a cute little blaze of fire, and all I see are guts that go flying...they don't even land on the ground, they just hurl into the sky and dissipate. Not even the monsters are sent flying. "Watches my barbarian send a demon flying 6 feet across the map." "Then watches my Marauder hit a monster with his sweep attack, and it falls down in a pool of its own clay like blood. Nothing more." Wow...that's just sad.
Excuse me ? lolwut ? Aren't I supposed to be some kind of half demigod or something, and be stopping a great evil ? No, apparently not in the melee' classes case. In the witches case, she being the spell caster, she had the most nicest looking effects. The funny side to it is that, like almost every other "class", she was nothing but a physical template for using certain skills. This is what the game could not even pull off, the "Elder Scrolls Class System Syndrome." Where basically you could be anything you to be, and change back and fourth from a mage to a warrior and so on. In Path of Exile, this executes MISERABLY, and does not make me feel like I am my own unique, individual self. Even the skills, instead of being class specific, are placed within gems that replace emeralds, rubies and so on and so fourth, when it comes to slots for gear in dungeon crawlers, and the uses of those slots. Basically, the character your playing as is a present template designed for a certain purpose in mind, but can be altered away from that purpose. Once again, a pointless design. It DID work in Skyrim, as you had plenty of more important things to focus on, and the options offered to you are fun, interesting, diverse and not always the same crap. Path of Exile does the exact opposite. For instance, instead of being a holy warrior for god, the "Templar" can raise the dead to fight for him (didn't Christians hate the idea of Necromancy ?), and cast spells like Witches can. And ironically so, this is not an RPG, but a dungeon crawler.
Wow, way to take things out of complex and make them even MORE POINTLESS!
Hell, in Orwell's 1984, the citizens had more -*!@#$%ed identity then these so called "classes" do. And a funny side to my Witches' story, is that she died too often, since I had a cold element based build, and being level 34 didn't seem to agree with her on that point. Once again, total utterly failure. And could I fix these changes without a major revamp patch ?
Once again, nope.
But want to know what the failure is, in this game ? Besides the skill and currency system ?
1. The story line. It is confusing, is not explained properly, is impressive when shown off, but half the time I was like: wait, why is this like this ? So many answers, few to no questions left. It is mostly told in pieces in the end, and no, sorry, there is no Deckard Cain to help explain things to you, or a Tyreal. But there is random snipets here and there. Sad, isn't it ?
2. Remember when I mentioned the skill effects were being sold in the in game shop for money ?
Yup, that's right folks! They pulled a CAPCOM! In order to have a decent playing experience, you must pay them at least...5-10$ per skill effect, just to have some BASIC eye candy. And this is with real life money. No, I don't care they are an indie developer. That is just pathetically cheap. And no, I won't apologize for bashing them on this. Even in APB:R, you pay for more HONEST means of winning gun fights. But this ? For a graphic effect ? That's a whole new low.
In a video game about saving the world, and further more, being a dungeon crawler, you are meant to have an over inflated ego and be proud about your character, your progress, your loot, your hard effort you spent in this game, but most of all, you should be enjoying the entire experience.
That doesn't happen in Path of Exile. Instead, you get a bare bones experience of something that could have been, but was turned into a ugly looking, boring, uncreative grind fest that demands real life money just to make your chore actually look decent.
This is called being a cheap sell out to the next level, at least Activision gives us nice looking guns to use in Call of Duty. And I have never played Call of Duty before, and never will. But hey, comparisons always work when applied well, aye ?
Thats my rant for you folks, I hope you all enjoyed it. I know I did.
Debates are welcome, thanks for reading my rant all. I shall update my posts if anyone have points to help my side of the debate and/or things I should correct myself on.
I won't respond to pointless posts made by trolls, but serious posts and serious discussions are always welcome! See you guys ingame and in ROS when it's released.
Edited by DeathOrGlory#1736 on 12/23/2013 5:42 AM PST
I've tried PoE with a Witch, i reached lvl 26 then uninstalled.
This game, i can't explain well, but have no "appeal" or something like that, it's like a game without a soul, like a hot icecream on summer xD
For the record, D3 is full of things to fix we know that, but is fun at least, PoE is boredom for me, plus the skill tree is a total mess and level design is awful.
Edited by StIwY#2595 on 12/23/2013 4:59 AM PST
Agreed. Not saying that PoE is atrocious, just that I've never gotten into it. Grew tired of it really fast.
But hey it's free, so let's not complain :P
I agree. Leveled a marauder up to 36 and then got bored. D3 has too many flaws and is a "still to become" project but better than poe imho.
can you TLDR this TLDR for us?
What can you expect from a guy that NEEDS talking heads to tell him the game's story?! :D
There is a lot of nitpicking in there. There are plenty of people who don't want to respec and don't care if you do want to, people that don't mind paying for additional effects, etc. But the problem that I found with PoE was the core gameplay. The hitboxes and targeting were SO BAD. Granted I tried it six months ago, there may have been improvements to this, but how could you move on to tactically difficult fights when combat is so strained? It felt like a game I'd pick up on sale in 2002. I really dug the environments and art style and items, but all that doesn't save the game when the act that you perform most often, combat, is so unpolished.
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