On my “to try” pile for a while has been Path of Exile. Oddly enough, it was a Guild Wars 2 subreddit thread that convinced me to give it a go. The thread was talking about developer communication and a bunch of folks were extolling the efforts of Grinding Gear Games. In my mind, if a dev team is so good at fostering strong community relations that the players testify about it in foreign lands, then it’s worth checking out.
Path of Exile is a free-to-play MMO/ARPG that took Diablo and said, “Hey, let’s make it a little darker!” And I don’t just mean the actual brightness (although this game isn’t really bursting with color and gamma), but the gore and tone. You start out as an exile that was kicked off a prison ship en route and have to make your way in a hostile land.
I fiddled around with two classes last night — the magic-using Witch and the nimble Ranger. I was speccing the Ranger to be heavy on evasion and to use melee weapons, which was oddly satisfying. But I’ll probably go back to the Witch and work on a summoner build if I can.
Of course, there’s this — Path of Exile’s notorious passive skill tree. If this thing doesn’t make your brain stutter the first time you pull it up, then you’re a better gamer than I. Considering that full respecs don’t exist in this game (or so I heard), choosing a path to pursue can almost be paralyzing.
I briefly browsed through beginner guides, enough to know that this is a fairly deep game with a lot to learn. It’s not exactly in lockstep with Diablo — for instance, there’s no gold, so the only currency I see is trading in gear for consumables. But I did rather enjoy my couple of hours in it. The flask system is pretty neat; you have five flask slots (health, mana, speed were the ones I found) and those flasks fill up as you kill monsters. It makes using health potions less of an issue — I don’t need to horde them, since I can refill them in the next fight anyway. And skills apparently come from gems, which means that any class can equip any gem if you have gear and the prerequisites to socket it.
The one down point was that global chat was less than helpful in doling out advice when I asked. Perhaps they’re sick of newbies asking after several years of operation, but hey, I’m not going to be afraid to put out questions. The inventory is also extremely, extremely limited in size — probably one of the smallest I’ve seen in a Diablo-esque game.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting back in! Going to need to read a few guides first, however.