• Things I Hate About Path of Exile

    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.

    1. Trading

    Public Parties window

    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.

    2. Dependance on Kaom’s Heart

    Edit: fixed in patch 1.0.0. Base character health increased, Kaom’s Heart down to 500 health.

    Kaom's Heart

    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.

    3. RNG

    Soul Taker

    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

    Maps

    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

    Loot

    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?

  • Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Playing Path of Exile

    Like every other game Path of Exile has its intricacies, perhaps even more than other games in fact. Even after months of playing the game and leveling several characters and classes there’s still a ton of stuff I need to learn. I still remember how some “basics” were extremely confusing for me when I started playing PoE so I decided to make a list of things I think new players might find useful to know. It’s by no means a comprehensive list but I still hope you find it helpful.

    1. Follow a skill tree build

    The first thing you should do when you make your first character (or preferably just before) is to find a good skill tree build and follow it. I know we all want more damage but in Path of Exile building a glass-cannon character simply doesn’t work in endgame. A majority of your points usually need to be in defensive talents, because simply put a dead character isn’t dealing any damage.

    If you’re confused with picking a class you can take this as a basis:

    • If you want to play a ranged caster mage pick a Witch
    • If you want a ranged archer pick a Marauder or Duelist
    • If you want a tank pick a Marauder or Templar
    • If you want melee DPS pick a Marauder, Templar or Duelist
    • If you want a melee caster pick a Shadow
    • If you want a dual-wielding melee beast pick a Duelist

    Also worth noting is that having good weapons will increase your DPS more than having a majority of damaging skill points in your passive tree, so once again, focus on building defense via the skill tree. Additionally having 3 or more support gems linked to your main damaging ability will immensely increase your DPS.

    2. Don’t throw away skill gems with +Quality

    They are valuable and can be traded to other players, or even vendors in bulk for very valuable currency items called Gemcutter’s Prism. Most gems with less than +12% quality are best to simply sell to vendors (in bulk for Prism, not single!). The recipe works the same way as other +quality items: sell gems with a combined quality of 40% and you’ll get a Prism. Anything over 12% quality should be either used by you or traded to other players.

    3. Don’t spend currency on low-level items

    And by low-level I mean anything below 60. I know it’s tempting to turn those “useless” white items into rare (yellow) ones when you’re level 30 or 40 but you will out-level them very quickly. Orbs of Alchemy and Chaos Orbs are much better used for high-end items so save them, you will need every single one.

    Blacksmith’s Whetstone and Armorer’s Scraps on the other hand are fairly easy to come by and if you find a decent piece of gear you will use for awhile feel free to improve its stats, but don’t go overboard. Just remember you’ll replace those items pretty quickly.

    4. If you don’t know the value of an item, don’t trade it

    I still don’t know the value of a lot of items and sometimes it’s hard to determine it, but if you think something is really good don’t just sell it for an Alchemy Orb. A good example is the aforementioned +Quality gems: high-level characters often prey on lowbies in Normal difficulty and try to buy out their gems for Alchemy Orbs. If a gem is 6% quality or less you can trade it away for an Alchemy Orb, but anything above that is more valuable (look above at tip #2).

    Once you hit the endgame knowing the value of items becomes even more important. Check out some of the trading sites like poe.xyz.is or poexplorer.com and search for an item with similar stats to yours to get an idea of how much it could be worth.

    5. Pick up all orbs

    I must admit I haven’t made this mistake myself (I still pick up most Wisdom scrolls even though they are pretty much useless), but don’t skip picking up any orbs that drop for you. All of them can be traded for higher valued currency items and once you figure out what their value is you’ll start probably need as many as you can get your hands on. In fact even Wisdom Scrolls can be traded, but if you’re building a high MF character you might even need to buy them off of other players.

    Even common currency items such as Orbs of Alteration and Chromatic Orbs are worth picking up. Once you get your hands on a 6-linked item you might end up spending hundreds of Chromatic Orbs to get the socket colors you want. Even lower-value orbs like Chance can be used much more efficiently at endgame so don’t skip picking them up.

    Another thing I’d like to say is that you should never use Divine or Exalted orbs before endgame. They are extremely valuable and hard to come by and best used on the highest quality gear, or even traded for decent items.

    6. Pick up items with linked 3-color sockets

    If you see an item drop that has 3 LINKED gem sockets of different colors pick it up and sell it to a vendor for a Chromatic Orb. Even though Chromatics are fairly easy to come by chances are you will need a lot of them, and of course you can trade them for something more useful if you have extra. If you don’t pick them up, you won’t have any extra.

    Once you approach level 50 or so and start grinding Merciless be sure to re-read this loot guide and remember all items you need to pick up. Never forget to pick up items with 6 sockets (even white ones), and you better click like a madman when you see one with 5 or 6 linked sockets. They are extremely valuable.

    7. Grind experience in groups

    You get more items, more experience and you’ll kill monsters quicker. Path of Exile was built for playing in groups so take advantage of it. If you need advice on where to grind experience read my leveling guide. If you’re having trouble picking up your own loot in groups and hate ninjas just find a group with Permanent loot allocation, or create your own.

    Grinding in groups is also helpful when you’re undergeared or underleveled for a particular area so just hit up that Social panel if you’re having trouble.

    8. Be prepared to spend money

    Although it’s admittedly not a very helpful tip, I’d just like to point out that you will need to spend a few bucks on this game after awhile. You can’t buy items or anything like that, but you will need stash tabs. If you intend on leveling multiple characters you will run out of inventory space in your stash fairly quickly so be prepared to spend about $20. I know a couple of people who loathe spending money on online games and this is a deal breaker for them, which I honestly think is sad, but to each its own.

    I currently have about 80 stash tabs — it’s way, way above what an average player will ever need but I’m a hoarder. 20 stash tabs should be more than enough for an average player, but fortunately it’s not overly expensive.

    9. Not all areas have waypoints

    Before you search the same area three times looking for a waypoint, you might want to take a look at my list of zones which have waypoints, it might just save you some unnecessary searching. In most cases you don’t even need to bother finding waypoints (in Normal and Cruel difficulties) as you’ll simply progress further quite fast and won’t really have a use or need for them later on. Just remember to always try and get to a waypoint before you finish playing as it’s the only way to save progress.

    For the completionists out there who always want to fully clear an area before moving on, remember to use the /remaining command in chat. It will show you how many monsters are left in a particular area before you move on to the next. Also you can type /help for a full list of slash commands.

    10. Trade low-value currencies with a vendor

    Vendors are more than just bots where you dump your trash. They can actually exchange (some) currencies for you so you don’t have to bother spamming the trade channel if you’re missing a few Fusings. You can take a look at the table below for some of the trading ratios:

    Sell: You get: Note
    Jeweller’s Orb x3 Chromatic x1 Not worth it unless you desperately need one or two Chromatics.
    Augmentation Orb x4 Alteration x1 Worth it when you end up with tons of Augmentations after awhile.
    Alteration Orb x2 Jeweller’s Orb x1 Same value.
    Orb of Fusing x1 Orb of Chance x1 Not worth it as 1 Fusing is worth 4 Chance Orbs.
    Jeweller’s Orb x4 Orb of Fusing x1 Market value.
    Orb of Regret x1 Orb of Alchemy x1 Player trade value is around 3.5 Alchemy for 1 Regret.
    Orb of Chance x4 Orb of Scouring x1 Market value.
    Orb of Scouring x2 Orb of Regret x1 Market value.

    This is actually one of the basic ways how low and mid value orb prices are determined on the market. If a vendor exchanges 2 Orbs of Scouring for 1 Orb of Regret it’s a reasonable assumption players won’t exchange them for a different ratio, unless someone is trying to take advantage of your lack of knowledge about the pricing system.

    As you may notice some trades are definitely not worth doing at vendors since you can trade with players with a better ratio, but if (or rather when) you find yourself with hundreds of Alterations rather than bothering with finding a player to trade with for something more valuable you can exchange them at vendors for Jeweller’s or Orb of Fusing: they are also more sought after and thus easier to find players to trade with, not to mention you might need them yourself as well.

    You can take a look at my other post for the currency values to get a better understanding of them, but do note that the in-game prices among players vary often and can be either higher or lower, so it’s more of a guideline than a rule.

    11. Check vendors for items

    Chromatic Orb from Hargan

    One Chromatic Orb won’t make you rich, but it’s still a good trade.

    Vendors sometimes sell items that can be sold back for Chromatic Orbs (see tip #6) for a measly Orb of Augmentation which has a much lower value. Even though a Chromatic isn’t a very valuable orb, it’s still a good trade. Also pay attention to items with 6 sockets and as previously mentioned more importantly 5 and 6 linked sockets, as you can trade them to other players for a whole lot more than they cost. Do note that vendors sell these rarely, but if you check it every once in awhile you may come across one.

    Other resources:

    • http://www.reddit.com/r/pathofexile/wiki/faq – really helpful and organized general information about the game
    • Item mods spreadsheet – probably better for more experienced players, you don’t need to pay attention to this until endgame
    • Accuracy and Evasion table – how much hit percentage you have with a certain amount of Accuracy (quick tip: consider Resolute Technique passive node and you’ll never miss)
    • Currency values – current trade ratios for various forms of currency in Path of Exile
    • Official forums – you might want to take a look at it from time to time, there’s often useful information you can find or even ask other players
    • PoExplorer – if you ever want to buy an item this is the place. Also useful for determining prices in case you want to sell something.
    • ExaltingPoE – when adding additional stats to an item with Exalted Orb this helps you figure out what mods you can get

    If you have any of your own tips or resources, by all means you’re welcome to share them in the comments below.

  • Leveling Areas And Tips For Grinding XP

    The Ledge - Path of Exile Screenshot

    In the easiest difficulty grinding experience is pretty pointless. You’re gaining levels extremely fast and can finish it quite easily without any item or level grinding required. By the time you get to Cruel (second) difficulty you should be over level 30 and you can start farming the first few areas of Act I without much trouble.

    Afterwards, you should always try to be at the very least the same level as monsters in a particular area otherwise progression might get difficult, especially if you prefer playing solo and not in groups. Some skill tree builds also aren’t as strong until level 50 or so (dual totems or Freezing Pulse for example) so it’s highly recommended to stay a few levels above the mobs in the zone you’re in. You can take a look at the table below for a quick overview of the monster levels in every zone.

    Zone Normal Cruel Merciless Waypoint*
    Act I        
    The Twilight Strand  1  33  52 Yes
    The Coast (Terraces)  2  33  52  
    Tidal Island  3  36  58  
    Mud Flats  4  34  52  Yes
    Fetid Pool  5  39  58  
    Submerged Passage  5  34  53  Yes
    Flooded Depths  6  37  58  
    The Ledge  7  35  53  Yes
    The Rocky Climb  8  36  54  Yes
    Prison  9  36  54  Yes (Lower)
    The Prisoner’s Gate  11  37  55  Yes
    The Ship Graveyard  12  38  55  Yes
    Ship Graveyard Cave  13  39  59  
    The Coves  13  39  55  
    Cavern of Wrath  14  39  55  Yes
    Act II        
    Old Fields  16  41  57  
    River Crossings  16  41  57  
    The Den (Cave)  17  42  61  
    Crossroads  17  42  57  Yes
    Fellshrine Ruins  18  42  59  
    Blackwood (Dark Forest)  18  42  57  Yes
    The Weaver’s Chambers  20  43  58  
    Western Forest  21  43  58  Yes
    Crypt (Church Dungeon)  21  43  60  Yes (lvl 1)
    Chamber of Sins  20  43  58  Yes (lvl 2)
    Broken Bridge  21  43  58  Yes
    Vaal Ruins  21  44  58  Yes
    Wetlands (Pools and Streams)  23  45  59  Yes
    Dread Thicket  24  47  60  
    Caverns (Waterfall Cave)  25  46  60  Yes
    Act III        
    The City of Sarn  26  47  61  Yes
    Sarn Slums  27  47  61  
    Crematorium  28  47  61  Yes
    Warehouse District (Warehouses)  29  49  61  Yes (sewers)
    Marketplace  29  49  61  Yes
    The Catacombs  30  50  67  
    Battlefront  30  50  62  Yes
    Solaris Temple  31  50  62  Yes (lvl 3)
    The Docks  32  50  62  Yes
    Sewer Waterway (Sewers Aqueduct)  32  51  63  
    Barracks  32  51  64  Yes
    Lunaris Temple  33  51  65  Yes (lvl 2)
    Imperial Gardens  33  51 66 Yes
    The Library  33  51 67 Yes
    The Sceptre of God  35  53 67 Yes

    I included the waypoint information just in case you need to know which zones have them. If you’re looking for specific quest walkthroughs read this article.

    Where to grind levels?

    Below are my absolutely favorite areas to grind experience, so if you’re looking to gain some quick levels I suggest you do it here.

    Act I: The Ledge

    The Ledge - Path of Exile Screenshot

    Probably the best of all areas, The Ledge is really straightforward. Monsters include mostly Skeletons which are slow and really easy to mow down either one by one or with AoE skills. There’s also a waypoint in the middle of the zone so you don’t have to spend too many Portal Scrolls if you wish to clear your inventory.

    Tip: the “sharp” tip of the waypoint always points towards Kuduku and the next area (Rocky Climb).

    In The Ledge I recommend you simply run from one end to another and clear everything along the way. Reset the instance and repeat. Really easy, fast, and like everything else in Path of Exile best done in groups.

    Act II: Fellshrine Ruins

    Fellshrine Ruins - Path of Exile Screenshot

    There are actually a few areas which are equally good for grinding levels in Act II, but Fellshrine Ruins is probably my favorite zone. Take a waypoint to Church Dungeon Level 1, and take the exit to Fellshrine Ruins immediately next to it. In Fellshrine I found it best to simply follow the road, and once you get to Crossroads exit just reset the instance. Rinse and repeat. If you don’t have Church Dungeon waypoints go to Crossroads and just follow the road east.

    Monsters in Fellshrine mostly include skeletons and zombies which are both extremely easy to kill, and when you come across Hulking Titans you can easily skip them if you find them hard to kill.

    Alternatively Church Dungeon, Western Forest, Pools and Streams and Pyramid are all just as good for farming, so take your pick.

    Act III: The Docks

    The Docks - Path of Exile Screenshot

    Without a doubt The Docks is the best area for experience grinds in Act III on any difficulty. Another area littered with skeletons and zombies who won’t cause you any trouble. There’s plenty of room for kiting, and ranged classes will certainly enjoy killing monsters from safe spots over ledges.

    If you’re level 30 or so after finishing Act II, press the magic “S” button and find a group for The Docks. You’ll be level 35 in just a bit over an hour, making progression through early Cruel difficulty much easier. If you’re trying to go on Merciless, you can easily farm this zone until level 60 if you wish and still get plenty of experience.

    Docks may be my favorite Act III grinding spot, though it isn’t the most optimal. The typical progression players do (especially in Merciless) is City of Sarn > Catacombs > Library > Lunaris. In Cruel and Normal difficulties I tend to over-farm in Act I & II so I can completely skip XP grinding in Act III.

    Endgame Leveling

    If you really wanted to you can finish Merciless by the time you hit level 50, although there’s not much point. You can just open up Docks and farm there until you’re level 74 with ease. It’s one of the easiest area to farm, has decent drops so you can upgrade your equipment, and you can even get quite a few maps there to get you started. If you’re around level 62 you should still be getting almost 20% of your level by doing just one full Docks run which takes no longer than 10 minutes in the worst of groups. At level 73 if I remember correctly you’ll get about 8% of your level with one full run which is still a decent amount.

    Before doing level 66 maps I would recommend you try and hit at least the same level in non-map areas: it’s extremely easy and even though it’s a grind, that’s what Path of Exile endgame looks like so you might as well get used to it. As for equipment and defenses you should try and max your elemental resistances and get at least 2,000 health (or 3,000 energy shield), otherwise you might end up dying far too often to continuously get experience.

    Leveling really slows down after you hit 75, in which case you’ll want to do maps at least level 67, or find a group for Lunaris Temple. By the time you hit level 80 I’m sure you’ll already know what your preferred way of leveling is. Realistically you shouldn’t expect to hit level 100 anytime soon as it takes a tremendous amount of time and effort, but in case you’re planning your character skill tree build you can expect to be level 90 at most.

    General leveling tips:

    1. Try grouping up with other players if you’re having trouble progressing, or find a group that just grinds the same area over and over again and farm experience. Once you’re 3-4 levels above the monster’s level in a particular area you should have no problems clearing it alone.
    2. Farming experience in groups for a couple of hours may be boring, but it’s definitely better than dying constantly. Remember that dying on Cruel and Merciless difficulty levels will decrease your experience by 5% and 10% respectively, meaning you’ll eventually have to farm that XP anyway.
    3. Also it doesn’t really matter what level you decide to go grind for experience, you will have to catch up in levels sooner or later. Simply progressing through quests in harder difficulties won’t give you enough experience points and you WILL have to grind. I suggest you do it early while you’re about the same level as monsters in order to maximize your experience gain and loot.
    4. On Cruel and Merciless difficulties try not to have a full XP bar before you engage bosses. In fact I recommend you go attempt to kill bosses just after you gained a level to make sure you lose as little as possible if (or rather when) you die.
    5. It’s always best, fastest and safest to do maps with a full group. If your defenses or damage is lacking don’t be afraid to run in and out of fights and play more passively and safely. Once you figure out you gain 1-3% XP for a full 66 map run dying and losing 10% of your experience is a significant amount of farming.

    I do hope this post helps you at least a little bit to powerlevel your characters as quickly as possible, or at the very least make sure you know where to catch up with levels. If you have any other great areas for farming you like or other leveling tips be sure to post them in the comments below.

  • Path of Exile Quests & Rewards Guide

    Quests in Path of Exile are very simplistic, as we are already accustomed to from similar online game. This article will give you an overview of quest objectives just in case you missed something in game. It’s always best to finish all possible quests within an act, as some give out rewards you don’t want to miss out on, such as skill gems, respec points or even permanent stat bonuses and passive skill points. Some missions can also be completed in more than one way and may have different rewards, so if you’re ever in doubt be sure to find your quest in this guide and read about it.

    Path of Exile Act 1Act I

    Enemy at the Gate

    • This quest is given to you upon meeting Hillock at the end of Twilight Strand; Defeating him will grant you access to Lioneye’s Watch (first NPC hub).
    • Talk to Tarkleigh in Lioneye’s Watch to claim your first skill gem as reward.

    Mercy Mission

    • This quest log is given to you by Bestel in Lioneye’s Watch.
    • It requires you to travel to Tidal Island (entrance located in Terraces -> Tidal Island) and locate then kill Hailrake the Scavenger
    • His corpse will contain the quest item Medicine Chest.
    • Return to the Lioneye’s Watch and talk to Nessa to receive a (difficulty based) unidentified magical flask as well as Tarkleigh for a skill gem as your reward.
    • This is an optional quest and you might want to skip it in Cruel and Merciless difficulties until you get a few more levels.

    Breaking Some Eggs

    • This quest is given to you upon discovering your first Glyph within one of the three Rhoa Nest (appearing a bright green dot on your map) located within the Mud Flats (entrance located in Terraces -> Mud Flats).
    • Once you have collected all three Glyph proceed to the Strange Glyph Wall which will open up the way for you to progress to the Submerged Passage LvL1.
    • Tip: All three glyph locations are connected by the same water stream.
    • Talk to Tarkleigh in the Lioneye’s Watch to claim your skill gem reward.

    A Dirty Job

    • This mission is given to you upon meeting with the unique necromancer boss Kadavrus the Defiler within the Fetid pool (entrance located in Terraces -> Mud Flat) -> Fetid Pool).
    • Defeat him in order for your quest log to be updated ; You will now be requested to eliminate all monsters within the area.
    • Once you have done so, retun to the Lioneye’s Watch and talk to Tarkleigh to receive 2 respec points.
    • Optional quest which is pretty hard in Cruel and Merciless — you can skip it and come back later when you gain a few more levels.

    The Dweller of the Deep

    • This quest is given to you by Tarkleigh after completing the previous quest Breaking some Eggs.
      It requires you to travel to the Flooded Depths (entrance located within the Submerged Passage) then kill The Deep Dweller (unique giant crab).
    • Retun to the Lioneye’s Watch and talk to Tarkleigh to receive 1 free skill point as reward.
    • Optional quest, although not hard to complete. Be sure to pick up the waypoint in Submerged Passage if you intend to go back!

    The Caged Brute

    • This quest is given to you by Tarkleigh upon accessing The Ledge (entrance located at the exit of the Submerged Passage LvL 2) or alternatively by meeting with Brutus in the Upper Prison
    • This is one of the longest quest to complete as in order to get to Brutus and slay him, you will have to travel all the way from The Ledge, then to the Rocky Climb, the Lower Prison, The Prison proper and finally the Upper Prison (which is thankfully empty otherwise).
    • In Upper Prison just follow the blood trail to get to Brutus.
    • Once you have defeated him, proceed further and exit the dungeon through the Prisoner’s Gate (The waypoint will always be just outside, down from the stairway).
    • Retun to the Shore Encampment and talk to Tarkleigh to receive a skill gem as your reward.

    The Marooned Mariner

    • This quest is given to you upon finding the corpse of the Slave Girl (containing the Allflame quest item and appearing as a large green dot on your map) while traveling in the Ships Graveyard (entrance located at the end of the Prisoner’s Gate ).
    • Once the AllFlame within your inventory, travel to the lower part of the Ships Graveyard to find the wrecked ship of Captain Fairgraves.
    • Tip: if you’re in a group you don’t need to have the All Flame to kill Fairgraves and finish the quest.
    • Upon starting a dialog with him he will turn into a unique undead and spawn several skeletons that will immediately attack you.
    • Once he has been defeated, return to the Lioneye’s Watch and talk to Bestel to receive your reward of 1 free skill point.
    • This is an optional quest!

    The Siren’s Last Cadence

    • This quest is given to you by talking to Nessa in Lioneye’s Watch after entering the Cavern of Wrath or alternatively upon entering Merveil’s Lair and requires you to kill Merveil (entrance from Ship Graveyard -> The Cove -> Cavern of Wrath -> Cavern of Anger -> Merveil’s Lair.
    • Note that Merveil can be somewhat hard to kill if you encounter her unprepared as she use both melee & ranged attacks while in siren’s form (her ranged attack include both Fireball & Cold Snap).
    • If necessary equip gear with cold resistance for this fight.
    • Once you have defeated her for the first time, she will then transform into her real form and spawn several monsters to assist her.
    • Kill her again and proceed further to Act II.

    Path of Exile Act 2Act II

    Contrary to Act 1 where progression is quite linear, Act 2 requires you to complete quests at several locations starting on either side of the Forest Encampment (Old Fields & River Crossings respectively).

    The Great White Beast

    • Upon reaching the Forest Encampment for the first time, speak with Yeena to learn about a beast inhabiting The Cave located in the Old Fields.
    • Find the entrance of the cave (appearing as an orange dot on your map, fairly random location in Old Fields) and make your way through it until you encounter The Great White Beast ; slay it then return to the Forest Encampment and claim an unidentified rare ring as reward from Yena.
    • This quest is optional!

    Deal with the Bandits

    There are 3 different bandit leaders which you can either side with or kill in order to get different rewards. You will get this quest after you finish Through Sacred Ground and Intruders in Black quests.

    • Kraityn: Located in Broken Bridge (entrance located in Old Fields -> Crossroads -> Broken Bridge)
      • Reward for siding with him is a permanent increase of +8 to all elemental resists (excluding chaos resistance).
      • Cruel and Merciless difficulty rewards are 8% attack speed and 1 maximum Frenzy charge, respectively.
      • To get to Kraityn’s location you can just follow the road. He’s far east or northeast of the map.
    • Alira: Located in Alira’s Camp (entrance located in River Crossings -> Western Forest -> Alira’s Camp).
      • Fairly easy to kill bandit, summons zombies and uses Corpse Explosion.
      • Reward for siding with her is a permanent increase of 30 Mana.
      • Cruel and Merciless difficulty rewards are 4% cast speed and 1 maximum Power charge, respectively.
      • To get to her just follow the road until you get to a torch, which marks the start of a mud road that leads directly to her camp.
    • Oak: Located in Pools & Streams (entrance located in River Crossings -> Vaal Ruins LvL-1 -> Vaal Ruins LvL-2 -> Pools & Streams).
      • Note that access to Vaal Ruins require completion of ‘The Weaver’s Needle’ and ‘Delving into Sin’ side quests.
      • Reward for siding with him is a permanent increase of 40 Life
      • Cruel difficulty reward is 18% physical damage,  and 1 max Endurance charge on Merciless.
      • Following the river in Pools and Streams will lead you to the waypoint and Oak’s camp.

    And finally you can choose not to side with any of the bandit leaders and simply kill each of them. If you choose to do so, simply turn-in the 3 amulets pieces to Eramir in the Forest Encampment. Reward for killing the three bandit leaders is a free skill point (on all difficulties). My recommendation is to take the free passive skill point if you’re in a dilemma as it’s usually the most valuable reward, at least on normal difficulty. At this time there’s no way to change bandit quest rewards later on, but GGG has mentioned it will be available in the future.

    No matter if you’ve sided with one of the bandit leader or if you’ve killed them all, completion of this quest will provide you with the quest item Apex which you will use on the Dark Altar in Pyramid to summon the last boss Vaal Oversoul and open the gateway leading to Act 3 (note: be sure to exit the Vaal’s chamber through the exit once you’re done, not through a portal, or you will have to kill him again).

    The Weaver’s Needle

    • This quest is given by Silk in Forest Encampment.
    • It requires you to venture into The Weaver’s Chambers (entrance located in River Crossings -> Dark Forest -> The Weaver’s Chambers) and kill The Weaver (a unique giant spider) in order to retrieve the quest item Maligaro’s Spike.
    • The reward for completing this quest is a skill gem.

    Intruders in Black

    • This quest given to you by Greust in Forest Encampment requires you to travel to Chamber of Sins LvL2 (entrance located in Old Fields -> Crossroads -> Chamber of Sins LvL1 -> Chamber of Sins LvL2 -> Chamber of Sins LvL3), save a pretty girl and locate the Strange Device containing the quest item Mysterious Skill Gem.
    • It is guarded by a unique boss-type monster named Fidelita the Mourning whom you are not required to kill in order to complete the mission.
    • Return to the Forest Encampment and talk with Greust to receive a skill gem as reward.

    The Cathedral of Bones

    • This quest is given upon discovering the entrance of Vaal Ruins in River Crossing; completion requires you to complete both previous quest The Weaver’s Needle & Through Sacred Ground.
    • Talk to Greust, Silk & Yeena in Forest Encampment.
    • Once you have Maligaro’s Spike & the Mysterious Skill Gem in you possession, roots (in River Crossing) preventing access to Vaal Ruins will be cleared allowing you to progress further.

    Through Sacred Ground

    • This quest is given to you by Yeena in Forest Encampment and requires you to travel to Church Dungeon Lvl 2 (entrance located in Crossroad -> Fellshrine Ruins -> Church Dungeon Lvl 1) and locate the Altar containing the quest item Golden Hand.
    • Once you have acquired the Golden Hand simply return to Yeena to receive 2 free respec points.

    Root of the Problem

    • Go to River Crossings and find an entrance to Vaal Ruins. It’s guarded by magic roots for which you will need a specific item obtained with other quests.
    • If you intend to do any XP grinding I recommend you do it before you start this quest, as it turns day into night in every area which makes it harder to farm (less sight radius).
    • You can find the entrance to Vaal Ruins by following the road in River Crossings; once you find two pillars/stones follow the dirt road and you’ll reach the roots.

    Shadow of the Vaal

    • The quest requires you to kill Vaal Oversoul. From Pools and Streams go to Waterfall Cave through which you need to proceed to the Pyramid. After combating countless skeletons you’ll meet up with Vaal himself, for whom a bit of lightning resistance is recommended.
    • He also spawns additional monsters and has a nasty melee punch that may one-shot you instantly so group up if necessary. After you’re done take the exit to City of Sarn (if you use a Portal back to Forest Encampment you might have kill Vaal again).

    Path of Exile Act 3Act III

    Lost In Love

    • Upon arriving to the encampment of Sarn, speak with Maramoa to receive this quest; Clarissa & Tolman have gone missing and you must investigate Sarn Slums to find more of their whereabouts.
    • You’ll know your nearing your objective when you’ll be attacked by a group of Guards and their commander. Talk to Clarissa and learn that Tolman has been captured by Piety and taken to the Crematorium.
    • Locate the waypoint within Sarn Slums and enter the nearby Crematorium. Proceed to the level 2 and at the very end you’ll meet with Piety and her remaining guard escort.
    • Note that Piety delivers quite a nasty jolt with her lightning abilities and that you should probably get some resistances before you fight her on your first playthrough.
    • Once you have damaged Piety to half of her health bar she will escape.
    • Investigate Tolman corpse to obtain his Bracelet, talk to Helena nearby and head back to Sarn to claim a skill gem as your reward from Maramoa.

    Victario’s Secret

    • Upon completion of the quest Lost In Love, talk to Clarissa who has now returned to Sarn and she will exchange you the Bracelet for the Sewer keys.
    • Once you have the keys in your possession, you will be able to open the sewer grate and access the sewers located in the Slums, the Warehouse or the Marketplace. It is not important which one you access first as all sewers are interconnected. I recommend you start in Slums Sewers and continue from there (entrance is roughly in the middle of the zone).
    • Your next task consist in finding a large room containing a Stash (appearing as a green square on your map) which will contain a Golden Bust in each of the 3 locations listed above.
    • Once you have acquired all 3 Busts return to Sarn and speak to Hargan to receive 2 free respec points as well as 1 passive skill point.
    • Progression basically looks like: Sarn Slums > Slums Sewers > Warehouse Sewers > Marketplace > Marketplace Sewers. Before you leave Warehouse Sewers be sure to take the waypoint, you will need it later.

    The Gemling Queen

    • You receive this quest from Grigor in Sarn immediately after completing Crematorium (Lost in Love).
    • Quest requires you to find Lady Dialla in Solaris Temple. You’ll have to fight through 3 levels of carpets and/or window blinds to get to her, but it’s well worth it in terms of rewards and necessary to progress as she will give you the following two quests as well.

    Fiery Dust

    • Fiery Dust requires you to use the Infernal Talc to get past the Undying blockage in the Warehouse Sewers (just west of the waypoint).
    • You can obtain it in Docks (if you don’t have a waypoint just join a public group, there’s always at least one).
    • Bring the quest item from Docks to Lady Dialla.

    The Ribbon Spool

    • Lady Dialla wants you to grab her a Ribbon Spool. You’ll find it in Battlefront next to a named boss (roughly the center/southwest of the zone).
    • You don’t have to kill the boss if you find it too difficult, simply loot the chest, take the Spool and run.

    Sever the Right Hand

    • This quest requires you to kill General Gravicius, a nasty boss located in Barracks for which you may want to get your fire resistance up a bit.

    Piety’s Pets

    • Take a waypoint to Barracks and find an exit to Lunaris Temple.
    • Lunaris Temple has a waypoint at level 2, and it’s quite long so be prepared.
    • Piety might be hard to kill on Cruel and Merciless so group up with other players if necessary.
    • Reward for killing Piety are 2 skill points.

    A Swig of Hope

    • Given to you by Captain Fairgraves in Docks (next to the waypoint)
    • You need to find Decanter Spiritus and Chitus’ Plum in Imperial Gardens and The Hedge Maze
    • Reward is a rare item

    A Fixture of Fate

    • Given to you by Siosa in The Library (ghost right next to the waypoint)
    • Find the entrance to Archives in The Library and look for four Golden Pages
    • Return to Siosa and receive support skill gems as a rewards

    Sceptre of God

    • Find and kill Dominus, the last Act III boss

    Be sure to check out this article to find out the locations of all waypoints throughout Wraeclast.

  • Game Systems Overview For Beginner Players

    Path of Exile does contain plenty of features we’ve seen in other Action RPG games, but many of them are slightly or entirely different. The passive skill tree for example is incredibly intimidating for new players, paired with flasks or skill gems or loot system it can be quite confusing and overwhelming for beginners. This fairly long guide written by Malice should help you get a quick grasp on some of the basic features and systems of Path of Exile so if you’re waiting for the game to download or patch I recommend you read it.

    Main contents:

    Skill gems & socketsSkill gems and sockets

    Sooner or later you will get your hands on some skill gems.

    • Gems must be socketed in your gear to grant access to the skill.
    • A gem will only go into a socket of matching colour
    • Gems can be socketed and removed from sockets as much as you like. Right click a gem to remove it from a socket
    • Sockets appear randomly on items. The rarity of an item does not affect how many sockets it has.
    • Sockets can be linked. The links are shown as gold bars between the sockets. Support gems affect any skill gems in sockets that they are linked to.
    • Gems you have socketed in gear you are wearing will gain experience and level up, even if you are not using the skills they grant.

    General gameplay tips

    • Flasks recharge slightly every time you kill an enemy. So don’t be afraid to use flasks that are full to keep your life and mana topped up – your flasks are only replenishing their charges when they aren’t already full.
    • Items with great stats might seem like the best choice at first, but don’t neglect sockets. As long as they are socketed, skill gems gain experience whether you are using the skills they grant or not, so keeping them socketed will mean they get more powerful sooner. A good socket arrangement on an item with mediocre stats is sometimes a better choice than a great item with bad sockets.
    • Spend some time looking at the passive skill web, it can appear daunting at first, but it will soon become familiar. Skill points can be refunded, but refund points are hard to come by, so choose wisely.
    • If you’re just starting out and are unsure how you wish to play your character, try to avoid specialising too heavily. For instance, stay away from skills that improve one handed weapon damage if you feel you might end up liking to swing a two-hander.

    SkillsSkills, abilities and spells

    Skill Types

    Skills currently come in two main varieties: spells, and attack skills. Any skill that uses your weapon damage counts as an attack skill, and everything else counts as a spell.

    • Attack skills – Attack skills are dependent on your weapon, and so are affected by attack speed, accuracy, etc.. Bonus damage from rings and other gear is applied when using an attack skill.
    • SpellsSpells do not draw their damage from your weapon in any way. They are affected by % cast speed, %fire/cold/lightning damage, %spell damage, and critical strikes. Integer damage bonuses on gear are not added to spells.
    • Traps – Traps are very similar to spells, but are not affected by cast speed or spell damage mods. They are affected by % trap laying speed, and relevant damage mods. Integer damage bonuses on gear are not added to spells.

    The only exception to this is Town Portal, which is not affected by attack speed, cast speed, or anything else.

    Support Gems

    Support gems only affects skills where it makes sense. For instance, skills that do not already do damage (such as Temporal Chains) will not benefit from Added Cold Damage. Skills that do not already have an area of effect will not benefit from Increased Area of Effect, etc.

    Skill gem experience gain

    • Gems get experience equal to 10% of the experience you earn.
    • The number of gems you have equipped has no effect on the rate of XP gain. So having less gems equipped does not cause them to gain XP faster than if you had many gems equipped.
    • Gems are not affected by the experience penalty when facing enemies below your level.

    ClassesPath of Exile Classes

    The main difference between the classes is their stating location on the passive skill tree. Classes also start with different amounts of attributes at level 1:

    • Marauder: 30 STR, 14 DEX, 14 INT
    • Ranger: 14 STR, 30 DEX, 14 INT
    • Witch: 14 STR, 14 DEX, 30 INT
    • Duelist: 22 STR, 22 DEX, 14 INT
    • Templar: 22 STR, 14 DEX, 22 INT
    • Shadow: Dex/Int: 14 STR, 22 DEX, 22 INT

    Life/mana per level

    All classes begin with the same base stats, and gain the same amount per level:

    • 50 life, +6 per level
    • 40 mana, +4 per level
    • 50 evasion, +3 per level (including level 1)

    Attributes

    Attributes are required to equip gear and skills. The three attributes also grant some passive bonuses:

    • Strength grants +0.5 life and +0.2% melee physical damage per point
    • Dexterity grants +2 accuracy and +0.2% evasion per point
    • Intelligence grants +0.5 mana and +0.2% energy shield per point

    Therefore the +10 attribute passive skills effectively grant:

    • +10 Strength: +5 life, +2% melee physical damage
    • +10 Dexterity: +20 accuracy, +2% evasion
    • +10 Intelligence: +5 mana, +2% energy shield

    Life and mana regeneration

    All classes have a base mana regeneration rate of 105% of their maximum mana per minute. For example, a character with 100 maximum mana will regenerate 105 mana per minute, or 1.75 mana per second. “Increased Mana regeneration rate” modifiers modify the base rate. For example, 20% Increased Mana regeneration rate would result in 105 * 1.2 = 126% per minute. Characters do not begin with any life regeneration, but it is available from gear and passive skills.

    The regeneration rate of life gained from life leech is capped at 20% of maximum life per second. If you have 1000 maximum life, and leech 600 life with a single attack, it will take three seconds for that life to be applied to your current life. You always get the full amount of life leeched, it is only the rate at which it regenerates that is capped – if you leech a large amount of life during a battle, you may find that the regeneration continues long after the battle is over. Similar to flasks, the regeneration from leech will stop if you reach maximum life. The same is true for mana leech, although the cap is 12.5% of maximum mana per second.

    ItemsPath of Exile Items

    Attribute requirements

    Most gear has attribute requirements that must be met in order to equip the gear. These requirements come from the base item type and are unaffected by magical modifiers, quality, or number of sockets. A complete list of gear and attribute requirements can be found here.

    Level requirements

    Some items have a level requirement that must be met in order to equip the item. There are two factors that affect level requirements:

    • The level of the base item type. This is the level that the item starts appearing (and is separate from the itemlevel that affects which magical modifiers can spawn on it). See the item data link above for a list with all item levels. Some of the very low-level base items do not come with a level requirement.
    • The level of the magical modifiers. The level requirement for magical modifiers is equal to 80% of the level of the highest-level magical modifier on the item.
    • The highest level requirement of the two listed above is the one that appears on the item.

    Drop rates

    There is a penalty to the chance of currency items (scrolls, orbs, etc.) dropping in areas with a monster level more than two levels lower than your character level. For each additional level that you have compared to the area’s monster level+2, the chance of a currency item drop is reduced by 2.5%. So if you are level 30 in a level 20 area, you will see 20% less currency item drops on average:

    2.5*(30-(20+2))=20

    A level 30 character in a level 28 area will see no penalty. Currency item Drops are not increased or decreased in this way when fighting in areas above your level. For the purposes of this penalty, your level is never considered to be higher than 58. Therefore a level 70 character receives no penalty in a level 56 area.

    There are two modifiers that affect drop rates in the game, increased item rarity, and increased item quantity. There are three potential sources of these modifiers:

    1. the player (skills, passives, gear etc.)
    2. monsters (such as bosses and champions)
    3. party bonuses

    Modifiers from the player stack additively with each other, and are subject to diminishing returns. Modifiers from the party bonus and monsters stack additively with each other, and are not subject to diminishing returns. The total player bonus stacks multiplicatively with the total party & monster bonus.

    Increased Item Rarity

    Increased Item Rarity % modifiers increase the chances of an item being magic, rare, or unique. For example with a total of +100% increased item rarity, you’d get twice as many magic items, twice as many rares and twice as many uniques from normal enemies. This modifier has no effect on the number or type of currency items, scrolls, or gems that drop. When in a party, only the modifier from the player who lands the killing blow on an enemy is counted. If one of your minions gets a kill, the minion’s IIR is added to yours and the total is used. Magic, rare, and unique monsters have an Increased item rarity modifier for drops.

    Increased Item Quantity

    This modifier increases the average number of items that drop from monsters and chests. It does not affect the type, quality, or rarity of item dropped, only the chance that something will drop. There is no cap on the usefulness of this modifier, as monsters can drop more than one item at a time. The base chance for an item to drop from a normal monster is 16%. This varies between monster types, and special monsters have higher drop chances. When in a party, each player in the party after the first gives the equivalent of +50% item quantity modifier on drops.

    Quality

    All weapons, armour, flasks and gems can randomly receive between +1% and +20% quality. This value can be increased by Whetstones, Armour Shards, Flask Quality Upgrades, and Gem Quality Upgrades, but is capped at 20%. The effect of quality depends on the item:

    • On weapons, increased physical damage
    • On armour, increased Armour rating, Evasion, Energy Shield, and Shield Block Chance
    • On flasks, increased life and mana recovery
    • On gems, the bonus is specific to each gem. For instance, Frenzy gets increased damage, while Cleave gets increased attack speed.
    • On maps, increases the item quantity bonus from monsters in the map area.

    Modifiers

    Modifiers are split up in to two main groups, prefixes and suffixes. A magic item can have only one prefix and one suffix, never two prefixes or two suffixes. Rare items can have up to six modifiers, it is unknown if there is a limit on how many of these can be prefixes/suffixes. A randomly generated rare item (from a drop or Orb of Alchemy) receives between four and six modifiers randomly, with the following odds:

    • 1/12 chance of 6 mods
    • 4/12 chance of 5 mods
    • 7/12 chance of 4 mods

    All modifiers have a level associated with them, and will only appear on items whos item level is greater than or equal to the modifier’s level. Lists of available magical modifiers are available in the item data section. The “Culling Strike” modifier (found on some unique items) causes monsters to die if you strike them down to 10% or less life.

    Modifier Stacking

    In general, integer modifiers are applied before percentages. Percentage modifiers using the words “% increased” or “% reduced” stack additively with one another, while “% more” and “% less” modifiers stack multiplicatively. When dealing with weapons, some modifiers that are listed on the weapon itself are applied first, before mods from other pieces of equipment, skills, and so on. This includes anything affecting physical damage, such as increased physical damage, added physical damage, quality etc., and also attack speed, critical strike chance, critical strike multiplier, and accuracy. It does not include elemental damage mods.

    Similarly, when dealing with armour, evasion, and energy shield on armour, any modifiers affecting those stats that are listed on the piece of armour are applied first. This includes quality and any other mods directly affecting armour, evasion, or energy shield amount. It does not include mods affecting the energy shield recharge delay or regeneration rate, only the amount of energy shield.

    Imagine I have 100 life, and two passive skills that increase total life by 15%. The total bonus will be 30%, resulting in 130 life. Now imagine I am wearing boots that give +40 life, and have a passive skill that grants +20 life. The integer bonuses are applied first, giving me 160 life, then the percentage bonuses are applied to that subtotal, for a final total of 208 life.

    Quality behaves differently on armour and flasks than on weapons. On armour and flasks, it stacks multiplicatively with other modifiers on that piece of equipment. Quality on weapons stacks additively with other % modifiers on the weapon.

    Sockets

    There are three types of sockets:

    1. Strength (red)
    2. Dexterity (green)
    3. Intelligence (blue)

    Sockets appear randomly on most equipable items. Higher level items can appear with more sockets than lower level items of the same type. The maximum amount of sockets that can appear on an item also varies by the type of item:

    • Two handed weapons and body armour can have up to 6 sockets
    • Wands, shields, and one handed weapons can have a maximum of 3 sockets
    • Everything else can have a maximum of 4 sockets

    One exception to this is the starting weapon that appears on the beach at the start of the game. Its item level is 1 but it always has one socket of each colour.

    • Items are more likely to receive sockets that match their attribute requirements. So an item requiring only dexterity is more likely to have green sockets than red or blue sockets.
    • You can only put a blue (intelligence) gem in a blue socket, red gem in a red socket, etc.
    • Sockets can be linked. The links are shown as gold bars between the sockets. Support gems affect any skill gems in sockets that they are linked to.

    Additionally, two skill gems of the same type can be used in separate socket groups, resulting in more than one usable version of that skill. Skill Gems are only affected by support gems in the same socket group. For example, imagine a piece of armour with 5 sockets. The first two sockets are linked in one group, and the remaining three sockets are linked in a separate group. If you put Cleave and Faster Attacks in the first group, and Cleave, Added Fire Damage, and Added Cold Damage in the second group, you would have two different versions of cleave available – one cleave skill that attacks faster, and another cleave that does bonus fire and cold damage. Small letters appear over the skill icons for each support gem you have attached to that skill. This allows you to differentiate between the different versions if you have more than one of the same skill gem equipped.

    Item level

    Each item has a level associated with it that is equal to the monster level of the area it dropped in. The monster level is shown on the map overlay. Rare and unique monsters have +2 to their level, and will yield items with an itemlevel two levels higher than other monsters in the same area. You can check an item’s level by picking it up on the cursor and typing /itemlevel in the chat box. This item level determines which modifiers it can receive, and how many sockets it can receive.

    Vendor Item levels

    Items obtained from vendors can have an item level up to character level + 1, but will not exceed the following maximums:

    • Normal Act 1: 16
    • Normal Act 2: 25
    • Cruel Act 1: 31
    • Cruel Act 2: 35
    • Ruthless Act 1: 43
    • Ruthless Act 2: 48
    • Merciless Act 1: 50
    • Merciless Act 2: 50

    Item level needed for number of sockets (research ongoing)

    • 1 socket : 1
    • 2 sockets: 1
    • 3 sockets: 15
    • 4 sockets: 28
    • 5 sockets: 35
    • 6 sockets: 50 (lowest seen so far)

    CombatPath of Exile Combat

    Level scaling

    1. Effect of level on PvP Damage

    Level itself does not affect any combat calculations outside of PvP. Damage in PvP is scaled based on level as follows:

    damage multiplier = 1/(1+(attacker_level/8))

    For example a level 30 character will have their PvP damage reduced by 79%, while a level 60 character will have their damage reduced by 88%.

    2. Effect of level on experience

    Level also affects the amount of XP you gain from killing enemies. There are two penalties that are applied, one when in a party, and another based on the relative level of the player and monsters. Both of these are applied at the same time if you are both in a party, and too far above or below the monster level.

    The multiplier for XP while in a party is players share (Level+10)^2.71 divided by the total of all players shares. For example, if a level 10 player was partied with a level 30 player:

    • Level 10 player’s share: (10+10)^2.71 = 3355
    • Level 30 player’s share: (30+10)^2.71 = 21957
    • Total Shares: 3356 + 21957 = 25313
    • Level 10 player would receive: 3355/25313 = 0.132 = 13.2% of the XP
    • Level 30 player would receive: 21957/25313 = 0.867 = 86.7% of the XP

    The player also suffers a penalty to XP if they are too far above or below the monster’s level. There is a safe level range where no penalty is applied, which is equal to three, plus one for every sixteen complete player levels. Any additional level difference in excess of this safe range is called the Effective Difference.

    The formula then applied is:

    ((PlayerLevel +5)^1.5) / ((PlayerLevel+5+(EffectiveDifference^2.5))^1.5)

    So a level 24 character has a safe band of 3+1=4 levels. So from Monster level 20 to 28, there is an effective level difference of 0. At Monster Levels 19 and 29, the Effective level difference is 1. The Effective Difference matters in either direction. Here are graphs of the experience multiplier by monster level and by effective level.

    3. Effect of level on currency item drops

    See the drop rates section above for details on how level affects currency item drops.

    Dual wielding

    Dual wielding grants a +10% attack speed bonus, and a 15% chance to block. The attack speed bonus is applied multiplicatively with other attack speed modifiers. The default attack and certain other skills will alternate between each weapon, striking with each hand in turn. Some skills (such as Cleave and Dual Strike) attack with both weapons at once, while others only use the main-hand weapon.

    Hit & damage calculation order of effects

    There are a number of steps involved in deciding whether an attack hits or not and how much damage is done:

    1. Avoiding the hit:

    • At this stage there is a chance to evade attacks (accuracy vs evasion)
    • Any chance to dodge from acrobatics or phase acrobatics is also checked here

    2. Avoiding the damage:

    • Blocking is checked

    3. Mitigating the damage:

    • Physical damage reduction and resitances are applied

    4. Taking the damage:

    • Non-chaos damage is removed from energy shield until it’s depleted.
    • Any remaining damage (including all chaos) is removed from life.

    Stuns

    Whenever a player or monster takes damage, there is a chance they will be stunned. A stun interrupts whatever that creature was doing while a brief animation is played. The default length of stuns is 350ms. The duration of stuns can be altered by reduced block and stun recovery, increased stun duration, and similar modifiers.

    The formula used for determining whether or not a stun occurs is:

    stun_chance = 200 * damage / defender_effective_max_life

    Where defender_effective_max_life is the maximum life of the creature being hit. Increases to monster life from a party of more than one player do not affect defender_effective_max_life. For a player with Chaos Inoculation, their defender_effective_max_life is whatever their max life would be if they did not have Chaos Inoculation. Reduced stun threshold modifiers reduce the value of defender_effective_max_life.

    For example, 25% stun threshold reduction means you treat their maximum life as only 75% as much as it actually is, meaning you stun them easier. If the stun chance would be less than or equal to 25%, it’s ignored, so you need to deal more than 12.5% of effective maximum life to have a chance to stun.

    Accuracy

    Accuracy is compared to enemy evasion when determining if an attack hits or misses. The complete formula is below:

    chance to hit = attacker_accuracy / ( attacker_accuracy + ((defender_evasion/4)^0.8))

    Chance to hit can never be lower than 5%, nor higher than 95%.

    Evasion

    Evading an attack prevents all damage and other harmful effects from the attack. Only attacks and attack skills can be evaded. Spells cannot be evaded.

    Blocking

    Blocking an attack prevents all damage and other harmful effects from the attack. Usually, only attacks and attack skills can be blocked, but there are some passive skills that allow you to block spells. Chance to block is capped at 75%. When an attack is blocked, the game first calculates if the attack would have caused a stun were it not blocked. If it would have caused a stun, the blocking animation is played, stunning you briefly. If it would not have caused a stun, then you get a “free” block with no animation. Faster Block and Stun Recovery and Increased Block Recovery modifiers reduce the length of the blocking animation.

    Armor / Damage Reduction

    Damage Reduction reduces physical damage taken. Elemental damage and damage-over-time are not affected. The amount of damage reduction depends on the defender’s armour total, and the attacker’s attack damage:

    reduction = armor / (armor + 12*damage)

    The amount of reduction is capped, it cannot be more than 95%.

    The fact that damage reduction scales with the amount of damage means it is difficult to know exactly how much damage is being reduced. An easy to remember rule of thumb is that to achieve 50% damage reduction, you will need an armour rating equal to twelve times that of the damage being dealt. For example, to achieve 50% damage reduction against a 100 damage hit, you’ll need 1200 armour.

    Here are two graphical representations of the armor formula:

    1. Effect of X Armour on Damage
    2. Effect of Armour on X Damage

    Energy Shield

    As long as you have greater than 0 Energy Shield, you have a 50% chance to avoid stun. Energy Shield acts as an additional hit point pool on top of life. If you have any Energy Shield remaining when you take damage, the damage is subtracted from the Energy Shield first. Damage is only applied to life once all Energy Shield is depleted. The exception to this is Chaos Damage, which ignores Energy Shield.

    Energy Shield will recharge if you do not take any damage for a certain period of time. The default delay is 6 seconds. This time can be reduced with reduced energy shield delay modifiers from passive skills and gear. The formula for the recharge delay is:

    100 / ( 100 + reduction )

    So 100% reduction is halving the delay, not removing it entirely.

    Critical Strikes

    Whenever you use a skill or attack, you have a chance to deal a Critical Strike. Critical Strikes are rolled on a per-action basis, not per-monster. So each time you use a skill, the Critical Strike roll is made once and only once. If you roll a Critical Strike, you will deal Critical damage to all enemies hit by the skill.

    Critical Strikes do more damage than normal, based on your Critical Strike Damage Multiplier. All characters have a base Critical Strike multiplier of 150%, meaning a critical strike does 150% of normal damage. This multiplier can be increased with various skills and modifiers on items. For instance, with a multiplier of 250%, if you deal a Critical Strike with attack that normally does 100 damage, you will instead deal 250 damage.

    The chance to deal a critical strike is taken from the weapon used to perform an attack or attack skill, and in the case of spells, each spell has it’s own critical strike chance, which is listed in the skill gem’s description.
    This value can be increased by increased critical strike chance modifiers from spells and gear. For example, if you are using a weapon with 5% chance to crit, and you have 50% increased critical strike chance, you will have a 7.5% chance to score a critical strike.

    Critical chance can not be less than 5% nor more than 95%. Critical Strike Chance and Critical Strike Damage Multiplier are calculated separately for each spell and weapon attack. All weapons and damage-dealing spells have a base Critical Strike chance listed on them. This only affects your chance to critical for attacks made with that weapon or spell. For instance the critical strike chance on a wand does not affect your chance to critical with a spell.

    Damage Types

    There are currently 5 main types of damage, they are Physical, Fire, Cold, Lightning, and Chaos. Fire, Cold, and Lightning are collectively known as Elemental Damage. Damage reduction from armour only affects physical damage. Each of the elemental damage types has it’s own resistance value (eg “Fire resistance”) which is viewable in the character sheet. Resistances reduce damage taken, and are capped at 75%.

    Fire damage

    If you land a critical strike with an attack or spell that deals fire damage, the enemy begins Burning. Burning causes damage over time. Humanoids, Monkeys and Sea Witches will flee while burning.
    Burning lasts 4 seconds, and the amount of damage over time is 1/3 of the fire damage dealt per second. So a total of 4/3 of the original damage, over 4 seconds.

    Cold damage

    Hitting an enemy with cold damage can cause the enemy to be Chilled. Critical hits with cold damage can also cause the target to be Frozen. Chilled enemies move, attack, and cast 30% slower, while frozen enemies cannot do anything except drink flasks.

    Lightning damage

    If you land a critical strike with an attack or spell that deals lightning damage, the enemy becomes Shocked. This can be stacked up to three times on one target. In this state, monsters or players take 40% additional damage per instance of Shock. Shock stacks additively with itself, for a maximum of 120% with a stack of three. The damage multiplier itself applies multiplicatively with your final damage, since it it increasing the damage the enemy takes, rather than the damage you deal.

    Chaos Damage

    Chaos damage ignores energy shield, reducing life directly.

    Burning, Chilled, Frozen, and Shocked are collectively known as Status Ailments. The duration of the chilled, frozen, and shocked statuses is related to the amount of cold/lightning damage dealt.
    If the duration based on the damage would be less that 300ms, it’s ignored entirely.

    Charges

    Some skills grant Endurance (strength), Frenzy (dexterity), or Power (intelligence) charges. Each charge lasts a short duration before it disappears. Gaining a charge resets the duration of all accumulated charges.

    • Endurance charges are related to the strength attribute and grant +5% physical damage reduction, and +5% to elemental resistances (fire, cold, and lightning) per charge. The physical damage reduction stacks with the damage reduction from armour, so that they are both applied at the same time. For example, if a monster deals 100 damage, and you have 10% DR from two endurance charges, and enough armour to prevent 30 of the 100 damage, the incoming damage would be reduced by 40.
    • Frenzy charges are related to the dexterity attribute and grant +5% attack speed and +5% cast speed per charge.
    • Power charges are related to the intelligence attribute and grant +50% critical strike chance per charge.

    By default characters can have a maximum number of 3 active charges of each type at one time. This maximum can be increased by certain passive skills.

    PartiesPath of Exile Grouping

    The maximum party size is 6 players. In order to play with your friends, you’ll first need to finish the first zone called Twilight Strand (takes about 5 minutes). To group up with random players use the message board in towns, or open the social window (“S” hotkey) and click the “Public Parties” tab.

    Monsters in party

    Monsters gain 50% extra life for each additional party member after the first. For example, against a party of 3 players, monsters have double life. The original life amount is used for the purposes of determining the length of stuns and status ailments from elemental damage – this means monsters will not be harder to stun/ignite/etc. when fighting in a party.

    Loot in party

    Each player in a party after the first gives the equivalent of +50% item quantity modifier on drops. So a party of three will see twice as many drops as a lone character. Increased Item Rarity & Quantity modifiers are only counted from the player who lands the killing blow.

    Experience in groups

    For a description on how experience is shared between players, see the level scaling section above. Only party members actually in the instance count toward getting XP. If one member is in town he gets no XP. Experience is only shared with other players who are near you (roughly two screens). Monsters are still made harder by players elsewhere on the level. Being in a dungeon with a party member grants you a 30% experience bonus. Monsters give +50% base XP for every party member after the first.

    Flasks in groups

    Only the character landing the killing blow on an enemy will gain flask charges. The same is true for all +life and +mana gained “when you deal a killing blow” modifiers. Flasks have a +75% charge recovery bonus for each party member after the first.

    InstancesPath of Exile Instances Waypoint

    All areas in Path of Exile are instanced. When you enter an area, a new instance is created. Once you leave the area, the instance will remain in its current state for 15 minutes – if 15 minutes passes with no players entering the instance, it will be closed. Entering the same area again will create a new instance with a new randomly generated map. Areas without side areas attached (any area with two or less exits) has a shorter timer, and will only last 8 minutes while empty.

    Instances you create are private, and cannot be entered by other players unless they join your party. However, once a player has entered an instance, that instance remains associated with the player even if they leave the party. So it is possible to share an instance with non-party members in some circumstances. The exception to this is towns, which are always public, and cut-throat leagues, where all instances are public – meaning anyone can enter your instances at any time.

    Some areas have waypoints. Once activated (by clicking on the waypoint), waypoints allow you to travel instantly to any other waypoint you have activated. Ctrl-clicking on a waypoint destination in the waypoint menu, or an area transition will bring up the instance management screen. This screen lists all available instances of the area you ctrl-clicked on, and the time remaining until they are closed. It also allows you to create new instances, and enter existing ones.

    Using the instance management screen you can have more than once instance of the same area open at one time, and choose which available instance you want to enter.

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