I’ve been playing Path of Exile for over 6 months now and I’ve enjoyed it quite a lot. After awhile though you start noticing various problems with any game and PoE is no different, despite still being in beta. There are some game aspects that are just frustrating or confusing and lately it’s been infuriating me on occasion. Here’s my top list of issues I have with this game.
No wonder it’s filled with people trying to trade.
For a game based so much on loot making trading with other players so inconvenient is a mysterious move in my opinion. It’s becoming increasingly annoying for me to try and trade currencies to other players. Usually it involves me spamming at least five different trade channels only to be replied by players who are just trying to take advantage of me, which amounts to borderline scam. For some reason everyone expects a 30% or higher profit yield in currency exchanges and even refuse to negotiate for a reasonable ratio. I often spend an hour or two just sitting idly in Sarn just waiting for someone to offer a regular trade ratio.
And I shouldn’t even mention trading items. Unless you have a valuable Unique or a GG item chances are you won’t sell it. Again even with somewhat valuable items that are worth a few GCPs you’ll spend hours spamming channels only to be replied by offers of 1 Alchemy and such. It’s no surprise that the public parties window is laden with people selling and buying items and currency, when there’s no alternative system in place to facilitate more convenient trades between players.
Furthermore making forum topics with shops and/or relying on 3rd party services to help you sell items is just ridiculous for any game. GGG has mentioned that some kind of a trading system will be put in place before the game’s release, and that can’t come any sooner. For those hardass players who are in favor of the current trading system, all I can say is Diablo II was released over a decade ago and it’s time for you to move on. Trading via forums or chat doesn’t make trading impossible, just inconvenient. GGG should encourage trades rather than hinder them, but that’s just my 2c.
The best solution would be to add an auction house, at least for the casual Standard league. It’s a proven system for trading in online games and it’s unlikely it would be a difficult implementation.
Dependance on Kaom’s Heart
Edit: fixed in patch 1.0.0. Base character health increased, Kaom’s Heart down to 500 health.
Luckily it dropped for me, otherwise I’d still farm for it after 6 months of playing.
Currently my build doesn’t provide much room to remove Kaom’s. By significantly nerfing health bonuses from the passive skill tree in a recent patch GGG has in my opinion made a huge mistake. Before you could have insanely high health and truth be told it needed to be reduced, but by reducing health nodes in the skill tree I am now even more dependent on using Kaom’s Heart. By removing it with my current gear I’m left with 2,700 health which is hardly enough for high-level map farming. And there’s no alternative: with the old health values in my passive I could have 4,000 HP fairly easily and using Kaom at that point wouldn’t be mandatory, in fact I’d gladly remove it.
It doesn’t seem okay that an entire playstyle is viable only because of one item. Anyone who plays melee builds very likely has to get Kaom’s or risk dying far too often. One solution would be to reduce Kaom’s bonus health by half but increase health nodes in the passive tree to the previous amounts. Likelihood of that happening though is extremely slim.
30 days of /played and I still can’t afford this.
This might come off the wrong way but I’ll include it anyway since it frustrates me beyond belief at times. First of all I don’t mind farming and grinding, in fact I believe it’s one aspect of the game that keeps me going. I’m always hopeful to get a valuable item or at the very least farm enough currency to buy one. However when you’re farming 30 hours a week and get nothing out of it but some low-value currency you start to get increasingly vexed by the futility of the time invested. Looting an amazing item is fun, it keeps me playing, but farming currency to hopefully be able to afford one some day kind of puts me off.
If you could get currency more consistently then playing for hours on end would feel more rewarding. A possible solution would be to make sure that for (example) every 5 thousand mobs you kill in maps your chances of getting an Exalted Orb increase exponentially up to the point where a drop is almost guaranteed. It would make farming more consistent in terms of value gained and make it at least a bit more bearable. Just this past week I did well over 100 68+ map runs and got nothing out of it; the most valuable loot I got is a couple of Regret and Chaos Orbs. Vendoring hundreds of rare items for Alterations and picking up every single Chromatic won’t get me near Soul Taker anytime soon.
Here’s something to put things into perspective for you. I have 40 days played (that’s 960 hours spent in game) and all I got to show for it is a total net value of 50 Exalted Orbs (half of which is due to one lucky drop). Barely enough to buy two GG Unique items for my build, Kaom’s Heart and Soul Taker. Is that a reasonable reward for the time invested?
Path of Exile has numerous character builds I’d love to try out but it’s so damn expensive. It’s not enough to simply level a character to 80+, you need to spend hours upon hours farming maps for specific items to make it viable. Farming hundreds of maps also brings me to my next two points.
4. Leveling past 85
Don’t get me wrong, leveling to 100 should be nearly impossible and unattainable to only but a few who can dedicate a gigantic amount of time and effort it takes. But getting stuck at level 85 or so (or 87 in my case) feels like I’ve yet to reach “high-level”. I like the fact that levels are always the carrot on a stick and it’s just one of the reasons why I keep logging in. But unless you have access to 73+ maps leveling past 87 is nearly impossible. I get less than 1% of my level for a full map run, and chances are every 10-15 runs I’ll do something dumb and die only to lose 3-4 hours of gameplay, experience wise. Getting to those maps requires either a huge amount of currency or friends with huge amounts of currency, neither of which I’m in abundance.
Getting plenty of 72+ maps to be able to farm consistently is an entirely different problem.
5. Sustaining map pools
All my 66 and 67 maps. I barely have any higher level though, and even when I do I quickly run out.
The only maps I always managed to have plenty of are 66s. A couple of weeks ago I spent an Exalted to buy sixty 68 maps just to try and get a bit closer to higher level maps, again. I managed to turn those 60 maps into about a hundred total but right now I’m almost out of 68s. I did get about fifteen 69s and six 70s but I quickly ran out of those. Sustaining a high-level map pool to me seems impossible if RNG isn’t in your favor. Frankly, spending 4 Chisels and a few Scouring + Alchemy Orbs to get 80+ quantity is a noticeable investment and then not getting a single map drop is irritating. Just yesterday I was in some public group doing blue 70 maps for an hour or so and the guy always got 1-2 level 70 maps in every single run despite extremely low quantity (usually about 20%).
I tried buying 70 maps, I rolled mazes and 100%+ quantity and whatnot and if the RNG doesn’t favor you it makes absolutely no difference. Sooner or later I fall back to farming 66 maps, hoping to get a few 67s or 68s, all the while spending currency to roll them which barely gets back my investment. From what I can gather most players start having problems with sustaining their 72+ map pools; I can’t seem to get even near that level. Considering I don’t gain any experience from < 72 maps farming them also feels completely futile, and I might as well farm Docks or Lunaris.
Basically, it doesn’t feel right that unless you have friends in high places you’re getting denied the full endgame experience.
6. Magic Find
I feel it’s unfair that having Increased Item Quantity & Rarity is exclusive to practically one build in the game. If this trend continues Sporkers are soon going to be played by half of the population, and the builds popularity is in no way surprising. It’s cheap to get started with and requires practically no defensive stats all the while yielding currency at a consistent rate. With every other skill tree build your gear must focus on defensive and offensive stats, and Sporkers only have to get IIQ/IIR and they’re more than ready for Merciless Docks. I hate to bring another game into the discussion, especially one so hated by the PoE community, but Diablo III had an interesting system implemented in a later patch where Magic Find was a base character stat depending on level rather than being exclusively gained through equipment.
Considering some of the other points I outlined above perhaps such a system wouldn’t be entirely wrong in Path of Exile either, because getting gear with health, resistances and damage is hard enough without having to think about IIQ & IIR as well.
7. Item Filtering
In some maps this covers the entire screen. Good luck finding valuable whites this way.
If you ever did Coward’s Trial you know why there’s a need for item filtering options. Sometimes there’s so much loot that you literally can’t even see or pick it up because it goes over your screen boundaries. Even in regular maps there are often dozens of monsters and a boss at the same place and you have to spend a minute just looking at the loot and see if there’s anything you missed.
I probably picked up more 6-socket items because someone missed it in the giant blob of text rather than having them actually drop for me. Before loot allocation options were implemented you could at least filter out white items, now it’s either all or nothing. A customizable item filter for white and blue items would definitely be a welcome addition to the game and I can’t possibly see anyone complaining about it.
In-game passive skill tree planning, more gem choices, useless currencies (Glassblower’s, Transmutation, Augmentation), accuracy stat (awful mechanic), clearer wording (“More” and “Increased”)… Those are just some of the other minor issues that may or may not be fixed, improved or implemented with time. The game is still in beta and GGG has said multiple times Path of Exile is aimed at “hardcore” gamers, but I can’t help but whine about some of the things that irk me on a daily basis. The 7 outlined issues I have with the game are more of a quality of life change rather than making the game overly casual, at least that’s how I feel about it.
A couple of years ago I asked Chris from GGG for a small favor and although he had no reason he was very forthcoming. For someone as busy as I’m sure he is to take the time of the day to accommodate me is unprecedented and just one of the reasons why I don’t feel bad at all when buying weapon effects and stash tab bundles. I’ve observed the way he and the rest of the company interacts with the community and I’ve grown very fond of the way they do business. I admire their patience and envy their well-deserved success. I’m not their targeted audience though: I’m a casual player and I’m sure some of my opinions differ from what the majority of the community feels.
It’s the small things that make a game great and Path of Exile is already there. But there’s always room for improvement and I’m certainly hoping that some of the peeves I have will be eventually addressed.
What annoys you in Path of Exile?