Posted in Music, Path of Exile, Podcast

Battle Bards Episode 131: Path of Exile

It may be a fairly grim MMOARPG, but Path of Exile features a surprisingly, well, grim soundtrack. Guess that wasn’t that much of a surprise! This episode, the Battle Bards wade into the fracas of this rather expansive soundtrack to see what audio treasure has been dropped by the zerg of mobs.

Episode 131 show notes (show pagedirect download)

  • Intro (feat. “Main Theme,” “The Overseer’s Tower,” and “The Ascent”)
  • “Fall of Oriath Theme”
  • “Four Guardians”
  • “Solaris Temple”
  • “Hunter or Prey”
  • “The Grand Arena”
  • “Templar Courts”
  • “Elder”
  • Which one did we like best?
  • Listener mail from CJ and Loopy
  • Jukebox picks: “A Distant Journey, Soaring on the Battlefronts” from Granblue Fantasy, “Main Theme” from Spider-Man 2018, and “First Steps” from Celeste
  • Outro (“The Aquaduct”)
Posted in Devilian, Isometric Monday, Marvel Heroes, Path of Exile

Devilian: Speak softly and carry a big gun


Trion’s newest import isn’t the most original or the deepest entry into the gaming pool, but darn it if Devilian isn’t viscerally satisfying.  So far it isn’t stressful in the least, letting auto-run take you to the next place that you’ll right-click your way to victory (with the occasional assortment of special skills). I totally dig my Cannoneer’s whump-whump-whump of her massive gun. Seriously, if the class wasn’t right up my alley, there’d be no way I would play a tiny girl.

But what else would I choose? The ninja-chain guy who’s an elf? McMagic Bosom? Swordy? Nah, sometimes you just want to pew-pew through crowds of zombies and then call down artillery as an additional insult.

I’m still on the opening map (they get a lot of mileage out of it, I’ve found), having recently attained level 19. And I know that the auto-run thing might get some snotty mocking, but it really does help when you jump into a game and don’t exactly recall what you were doing last. Just hit that button and you’re on your way without any stress.

I had a few credits in my account, so I splurged on a weird big-eared pet that would automatically pick up my loot for me. Let me tell you, this thing is wonderful. He not only gets regular loot but dropped quest items too. It’s like that donkey from Dungeon Siege. Do my dirty work, dude!

Posted in Path of Exile

Path of Exile: Clicking in the dark


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.