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Game Review: Path of Exile (Video)

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the smashing-monsters-in-the-face dept.

Games 177

What ever happened to point-and-click action role-playing games? Blizzard set the standard for this genre around the turn of the century, and while a few companies have launched Diablo clones, it's been a pretty quiet market. Several years ago, a group of hardcore gamers decided to change that. They put together an independent game studio and began developing Path of Exile, an ARPG that would update and refine all of the characteristics that made the genre great. On 23 October, after a lengthy open beta period, they launched the game, opting for a free-to-play business model supported by ethical microtransactions. It's dark, freewheeling, unashamedly complex — and a lot of fun. In this video review (with transcript), we take a look at what Path of Exile has to offer.

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"Ethical" microtransactions? (3, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#45476235)

opting for a free-to-play business model supported by ethical microtransactions.

Anyone care to expound on that?

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (4, Informative)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about a year ago | (#45476275)

What they mean is that it's not pay-to-win, unlike many other "free" games. Almost all purchasable items are purely cosmetic (skins, special effects, non-fighting pets that follow you) and have no gameplay effect, apart from one: extra stash tab to store items. These are nice to have, but not necessary to roll a successful character.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (3, Interesting)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#45476503)

> Almost all purchasable items are purely cosmetic

In other realms of our lives we consider the cosmetics manufacturers to be quite unethical.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476611)

I'm assuming the in-game cosmetics won't be tested on the in-game animals.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (5, Funny)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#45476801)

In games, cosmetics that are not tested on in-game animals are considered unethical!

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476707)

The closest to that would probably be EQ2's model. Lots of appearance armor, non-combat pets, mounts, and house items, but unlike Rift where one can purchase raid gear in the store, one still has to earn their stuff.

Of course, experience potions can be controversial.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477657)

Even better than that, since the game is free you can make an additional account for the extra stash and character space. Slightly more annoying but a good free alternative to the only real beneficial purchase.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (1, Flamebait)

FileZilla (3434977) | about a year ago | (#45477901)

Sounds like bullshit to me. I occasionally play the original Neverwinter Nights game and still find new and interesting things about it. Why? Because people willingly make, for free, the things that other companies charge for. Skins, weapons, items - with something like CEP (Community Expansion Pack) there are hundreds of high quality thingies that people made and you can outfit your character(s) with.

Companies have successfully brainwashed the current generation of gamers into believing that cosmetic items are worth money. I suppose I can see some merit in paying a small amount of money for high-quality items, but I grew up during a time when companies still encourage user-made stuff (mods) in their main games. That's all but disappeared now, and gamers welcome that with arms and wallets wide open. Fuck modern gaming. It's all about taking advantage of as many naive kids as possible

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (1)

seebs (15766) | about a year ago | (#45478167)

Compared to a Zynga-style model, where players MUST spend money to be able to play successfully, I am totally fine with people selling cosmetics.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476305)

No pay-to-win. It's kinda like Valve and the skin/hat/sounds store they run.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (0)

Chalnoth (1334923) | about a year ago | (#45476363)

Hmm. I don't think that makes it ethical. If the business model relies upon so-called "whales", it's fundamentally unethical. And cosmetic-only microtransactions can do that just as well as other sorts of microtransactions: []

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (4, Insightful)

ZahrGnosis (66741) | about a year ago | (#45476517)

I don't think that's an accurate assessment. For one thing, you're sort of comparing the marketplace ethics to the ethics of addiction... any game can be addictive and destructive, does that make it unethical to create? The gamasutra article even mentions addiction, but it points out (even if implicitly) that the addiction is more towards actual game pursuits -- the example of acquiring rarer items by spending more time and money create a spiral. Cosmetic-only purchases may actually minimize that, since they don't affect gameplay, there's no driving reason to purchase them insatiably, other than maybe the same drive that causes someone to collect stamps or my little ponies. In that line of thinking, every "collectible" business model would be unethical... it's a hard argument to make.

Certainly, though, some of the things that DID make pay-to-win unethical in some people's minds is that it made people with more money more competitive, and advance quicker. The PoE model certainly ameliorates that situation, so it's a move in the right direction.

I've been playing the game for a while, due to a friend's recommendation, and I like it -- I particularly like the regular events and races -- but I'm also inclined to spend a few dollars customizing my character that I never would have spent in WoW or Diablo or other games, because I know it supports the creators and I feel it doesn't interfere with the economics or the gameplay.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476587)

I play Path of Exile and it is like a sort of fractal expression of a slot machine composed entirely of smaller slot machines.

However... although that hooks people in, the cash input is kind of decoupled. Feeding in cash is neither necessary nor strongly linked to success, especially short term success.

So I suspect the game has both "time whales" and "cash whales" and in fact the true addicts are probably more "time whales" which might be more palatable depending on your personal ethics.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (1)

Chalnoth (1334923) | about a year ago | (#45476623)

What makes the practice unethical is requiring some people to become addicted for the game to be profitable. The reason this is unethical is it provides an incentive to make the game more and more addictive. Not necessarily more fun, mind you, but designed to exploit psychology to promote or enhance addiction.

Please understand that I'm not accusing the game devs of being unethical here. I do genuinely hope that the game obtains more of its revenue from a broader range of players, instead of relying upon a few addicts. I do not have any knowledge one way or the other on this specific game. I'm just saying that relying on cosmetic-only microtransactions is in and of itself not sufficient for microtransactions to be ethical.

Re: "Ethical" microtransactions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476851)

Quite the leap you made there.

I'm a software engineer with kids, house, etc, that can afford to spend what I want on the game, yet can only play maybe 4 hours a week.

Bet you anything GGG makes more off of me than the average college kid or basement dweller who forgoes everything to play 12 hours a day..

Re: "Ethical" microtransactions? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about a year ago | (#45477139)

He's right though. It's unethical to make games so addictive that people can't help but spend money on the game to get another fix = Candy Crush

Re: "Ethical" microtransactions? (1)

seebs (15766) | about a year ago | (#45478171)

Except that no amount of "addiction" to this game requires you to spend even a dime. Ever.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477115)

Is this why masturbation is seen as unethical?

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476701)

any game can be addictive and destructive

Really? In a real world practical sense? Games like chess and "I spy"? Don't forget both addiction and destruction are defined as causing some kind of net meaningful harm (in the context of benefits which may also be associated with consumption of the allegedly "addictive" or "destructive" items).

does that make it unethical to create?

Yes, if it truly is addictive and / or destructive, and causes net meaningful harm.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (1)

XaXXon (202882) | about a year ago | (#45477615)

I've heard of something else that lets you buy stuff you don't need at any time.

It's called a store. There's a lot of them. They're not usually considered to be unethical.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476309)

Seems that it's based primarily on selling cosmetic upgrades, and not as much on Quality of Life improvements or flat out selling of high end items.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476323)

It's not pay-to-win. The micro transactions are for cosmetic items only. Stash tabs are the only thing that actually help in play that you can buy, but you can't buy XP, weapons, armor etc...

Re: "Ethical" microtransactions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476327)

Pets, cool effects on your weapons, character slots... absolutely nothing that can be used in game to gain advantage. It's one of the incredibly few non-pay-to-win microtransaction games.

Re: "Ethical" microtransactions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476337)

the only thing you can pay money for is to change the look of some aspect of your character, and extra stash tabs. Pay to win doesn't apply to this game, which makes it even better.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476353)

As opposed to systems where to "play to win" where microtransactions make the difference between having a viable or nonviable character, especially at later levels.

The microtransactions in Path of Exile are all *basically* cosmetic, unless you count the really high end stuff, like giving them upwards of $1000 and you can make your own custom unique item in the game, for example.

Re: "Ethical" microtransactions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477903)

But even if you give them $1000, you don't get the item. It just gets introduced into the game!

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476361)

Ethical as in no real advantage gained through real world money, I guess. The MTs involve cosmetic changes and quality of life (extra storage and such) changes.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476423)

I've played this game for a while. I'm surprised a review is being done so late. Maybe I misread but if you are wondering how
the ftp system is, then I can enlighten on that. This game did surprisingly well on it's in game purchases setup compared
to other ftp games i've played that require you to buy items to really progress anywhere. This game is not like that. The item
drops themselves are the only real currency in the game. Anything you can buy from the cash shop is only for personal preference.
These include extended storage space and costume/aesthetic items. Nothing you buy in the cash shop will make you any better
than any other player. You need to actually play the game to get better. You cannot simply buy your way to the top which is very
nice coming from games like ROM which force you to buy countless items to even reach a moderate endgame level. Just wanted to
clarify this for people interested in the game as it is a pretty good game. Anyone familiar with diablo will feel right at home
as it's pretty much the closest thing to a direct diablo clone as you will find. I've heard some people refer to it as
Diablo 3...done right. That's all I have for now.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (2)

Exeunter (1147233) | about a year ago | (#45476469)

Meaning microtransactions that do not give you any gameplay advantage and are mostly cosmetic in nature. This is opposed to the trend in recent years in marketing a game or app as "free-to-play", but once you start playing, you realize there are blatant attempts to handicap the game unless you pay. These are often 1.) in-game contents that are for-purchase only or would take hundreds of hours of gameplay to acquire, and not owning this content puts you at a major disadvantage in the game, and/or 2.) built-in limits in the resource generation of the game, hoping that people will pay microtransactions for the resource out of impatience...people who decide not to pay for the in-game resource usually find that the game grinds to a halt and they cannot take any actions for a while. In Path of Exile, a person who spent $1200 on a beta supporter pack has virtually no advantage over another player who has never sent a penny to Grinding Gear Games.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476491)

Did you even watch the video? The voiceover spent several minutes on the topic.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (1)

clustermonkey (320537) | about a year ago | (#45476505)

From the transcript:

As I mentioned earlier, the game is free to play and supported by microtransactions. Those tend to have negative connotations amongst gamers, who don't want to be forced to spend real money to be competitive. Fortunately, Grinding Gear Games has done this in a really ethical way. The majority of things you can buy are customization and vanity-related. Non-combat pets, sparkly item effects, dance animations, etc. The only quality of life purchases you can make are for extra stash tabs and extra guild slots. But you already start out with four huge stash tabs. Nothing you can buy affects gameplay. I don't typically care about the vanity stuff, so after I'd played for a while and wanted to send some money their way, just to support them, I couldn't find a single thing I wanted to buy. It was kind of a strange feeling, and the developers deserve recognition for doing microtransactions right.

Re:"Ethical" microtransactions? (1)

r1348 (2567295) | about a year ago | (#45477527)

Basically, you can buy only aesthetical enhancements, but it's not a pay2win.

niggers (-1, Troll)

TempleOS (3394245) | about a year ago | (#45476279)

C:\TAD\Text\PLATO.TXT because he awakens and nourishes and strengthens the feelings and impairs the reason. As in a city when the evil are permitted to have authority and the good are put out of the way, so in the soul of man, as we maintain, the imitative poet implants an evil constitution, for he indulges the irrational nature which has no discernment of greater and less, but thinks the same thing at one time great and at another small-he is a manufacturer of images and is very far removed from the truth. Exactly.

I play this game (3, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#45476313)

and it's a fun game, far better than D2
Obviously you need to like lick and kill games.

Re:I play this game (5, Funny)

lordofthechia (598872) | about a year ago | (#45476351)

you need to like lick and kill games.

Man, these next gen control schemes are getting out of hand.

Re:I play this game (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#45476375)

haha.. sigh. Obviously I mean lick and feel~

Re:I play this game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476573)

Man, these next gen control schemes are getting out of pants.

Re:I play this game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477057)

Finally a MMO a TSA agent can enjoy!

Re:I play this game (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#45476441)

I mean D3. For a moment I got Blizzard and Valve(Can't count to 3) confused.

Re:I play this game (4, Informative)

master_kaos (1027308) | about a year ago | (#45476523)

Coincedentially I just started playing this game this past weekend
I do enjoy it but there are a few things that concern me

No full respecs -- As a new player with no idea on how different skills work I find the 1300+ point skill tree extremely daunting. I don't know the best (or even a mediocre) path to take for my character. I realize you can get respec points, but I have no idea how rare/easy they are to get, and if I screw up something early my character could be heavily penalized. I don't want to have to fill out a giant spreadsheet before I even get level 2 to decide how my character should be built. Now some people enjoy this system, but I do not. You also have limited character slots (not sure how many) so if I get to level 50 and don't like my build I would be forced to delete him.

No option to hide white items. Annoying to see the screeen filled up with 80% white items and accidentally clicking on a few...

No floating names on other players. Hard sometimes to spot my group members when there name isn't shown, also hard to spot them when in a town and 40 other players there as well

Only the first item is a major concern for me, other 2 are minor things.

Re: I play this game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476705)

a lot of path of exile is the planning of a char. you'll have to get comfortable with making a few bad chars to get the feel of the game so you can plan better, and at least the stash is shared. Also white items are valuable for crafting! you might need certain types. Also there is an option to controlclick to pick up so you get less stuff you don't want.

Re:I play this game (1)

igny (716218) | about a year ago | (#45476807)

There is nothing in developing your character that could go so wrong that deleting the character and re-creating it would not be able to fix.

Re:I play this game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476813)

It is possible to do a full respec but it would almost certainly not be worth it, you get some respec points through quests, but most of it would have to come from orbs of regret which are not super easy to get a lot of. And I think you get 24 or 25 character slots without buying more.

Re:I play this game (1)

ADRA (37398) | about a year ago | (#45476847)

I don't see white items or even blues at all unless I hit ALT, so maybe you should check the options... it may also affected based on the level you're at.

Re:I play this game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476973)

If you hit 'Z' it toggles on always showing items. Much easier this way, but whites are annoying.

Re:I play this game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477201)

There is an option to only pick up while alt is held (default for the alt key is show items) so you don't accidentally pick up anything.

Re:I play this game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477073)

Actually... white items should NOT be ignored, depending on how you like to play. Item levels on those white items could be really high, despite it being a white. That means that using any number of enchant-up "currency" items on them can create incredibly useful results.

Re:I play this game (1)

master_kaos (1027308) | about a year ago | (#45477731)

ok, like I said I just started playing on the weekend so didn't know that (I did see you can convert white to magic items but wasn't sure how useful that is)
How do you tell what the item level is? I didn't see any level thing on it, but I didn't look closely Ill have to check again

Re:I play this game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477977)

There's *allegedly* a command you can type in chat to see what level an item is, but it doesn't work.

To see what it would be, type /help into chat.

IMO, the White->Blue converstion orbs and the White->Yellow conversion orbs are the most reliable way to get good gear. Fuck waiting for the perfect Magic or Rare item, just make it!

Re:I play this game (1)

qwe4rty (2599703) | about a year ago | (#45477265)

You don't want an option to hide white items since they can be used in crafting. You get more quality per armourer scrap/whetstone which is kept when you upgrade to a blue or yellow item. It's also cheaper to start your crafting on white items to get a couple of magic qualities you want on item before you upgrade to rare and use the more expensive currency. Lastly, 5 linked and 6 linked socketed items are really important later on. If you are only looking for rares, you are missing out on a lot of potentially well-linked items.

Re:I play this game (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#45477479)

a) respec points are uncommon, but not rare. At least not for me so far
B) It's actually hard to misspend points at first. I suggest looking at the tree a deciding what you ar going to to. I went dual wield, and if you look for the dual wield icon on the skill tree, you can find the optimal path to get there.
C) Getting a few wrong specs won't kill your game play. Don't sweat it.

"No option to hide white items. Annoying to see the screeen filled up with 80% white items and accidentally clicking on a few..."

excellent point.

Re:I play this game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477773)

Not merely a skill tree... It's a skill forest. Buwahahahahaha.

Re:I play this game (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477803)

Hi. I've gotten five different characters to at least level 20. I've learned a bit along the way. Some of this you may already know. Sorry for the redundant information.

You get at least five character slots.

You can easily get to the start of Act 2 without spending any Passive points. Passive points (what you call skill points) *enhance* your play style. That's why when I play a new class, I like waiting until Act 2 to spend them... I'm still figuring out how I want to play the class. Actual skills (fireball, leap, and the like) are contained in skill gems. Skill gems have Int, Str, Dex, and Level requirements. They don't have any Passive requirements. Skill gems can also be removed and replaced at will.

I have one character who's in difficulty level 2. I think he has 10->15 Passive Respec Points. There are also Orbs of Regret which, when used, give you another Respec Point. They can be made, or acquired as random drops.

Whites are *critically* important. Five of them provide one Wisdom (nee Identify) Scroll. The economy in PoE is rather quite a bit different from Diablo. Most loot gives exactly the same reward when sold, so the *primary* consideration is how much space an item will take up.

Last I checked, there is some sort of thing shown above party members.

Re:I play this game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477815)

Oh. I have like five Orbs of Regret.

Re:I play this game (2)

Salgat (1098063) | about a year ago | (#45477405)

My issue is that it's not as fast paced as Diablo 2. Perhaps I'm not far enough in the game to get to that point. I just remember how exciting Diablo 2 was with crazy skills like multi-shot with Faster attack speed filling the entire screen with arrows, or Frozen Orb that filled the screen with hundreds of shards of ice while teleporting around extremely fast.

Re:I play this game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477673)

That's one of the big things this game is missing, and why it's a failure in my eyes. It's not just the speed either: It's the feel of combat, or complete lack of feel in Path of Exile's case. The graphics, effects, animations, and sounds are all dull and unexciting. Even the monsters blend together into an amorphous mass. Why should I care about customization if the act of playing to accomplish this is so slow and boring?

Re:I play this game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45478231)

Ha. Yeah. You're not very far in the game.

As for the "crazy skills" like multi-shot with faster attack speed -- that's practically the default ranged character build. The rabbit hole only gets curiouser and curiouser from there. Yes, corpse explosion is in. Yes, your minions can explode. These are just the basics, though, kept in as a baseline to keep the game familiar to D2 diehards.

You can combine multi-shot with Ice Spears that split up when they hit a target to create a fractal tree of projectiles fanning out and covering a 100 degree angle far beyond your vision radius. And then you link that to a totem that spams this spell combo for you... so that you can drop blasts of ice which freeze things for eternity and shatter when your high-crit-chance ice spear spamming totem blasts over them.

And you're expected,/i> to be able to do this in order to deal with necromancers who will raise corpses ad infinitum if you don't. Or berserkers who run so fast you can't get away from them unless you're constantly snaring / freezing them.

Good thing there's a whole slew of curses to choose from which do various things and can themselves be augmented, eh?

Re:I play this game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477959)

Better than D2? Not quite.
Better than D3? Yes.

Although I don't really like the character design/animations and skill system in PoE.

What ever happened (3, Informative)

Grisstle (2798631) | about a year ago | (#45476335)

to point and click RPGs? You mean like Torch Light and Torch Light II?

Re:What ever happened (1)

rgbscan (321794) | about a year ago | (#45476457)

Or the whole Neverwinter Nights series?

Re:What ever happened (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about a year ago | (#45476493)

NWN is turn based, TFA is talking about ARPG's even though NWN (and others) have mouse based interfaces.

Re:What ever happened (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#45476741)

Neverwinter went F2P (dunno about P2W, but might give it a look see.)

I wished they could have done another NWN iteration allowing for persistant worlds and private servers. It sort of was a nice combination of the MUDs of yore with original stuff, coupled with (for the day) modern graphics.

Maybe it would be something that would succeed on Kickstarter, if someone proposed a NWN/NWN2 successor that was a single/multiplayer game, not a MMO.

Re:What ever happened (1)

doublefrost (1042496) | about a year ago | (#45476487)

PoE and Torchlight 2 are what Diablo 3 should have been. I happen to like PoE better than TL2 because PoE has more depth. I did spend $10 to get more stash space, but the other eye candy I don't care too much for. Its effectively an awesome game for $10!

Re:What ever happened (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about a year ago | (#45476745)

And Diablo 3? And Titan Quest or whatever that one was?

I get you need a hook for your article, but maybe not choose a hook that's 100% blatantly false.

Re:What ever happened (1)

ADRA (37398) | about a year ago | (#45477729)

Torchlight 2 had dreadfully broken multi-player. I tried with 3 friends several times to much comical and pathetic consequences. They talk about sync in this game, TL2 was Always out of sync (even game hosts were out of sync!)

No MacOS or iOS client (2)

Macgrrl (762836) | about a year ago | (#45476341)

Windows only, so not going to happen in my house. Pity, it looked kinda cool.

Re:No MacOS or iOS client (1, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#45476413)

Thanks for telling us. It allowed for some real insight into the game~

Re:No MacOS or iOS client (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476433)

It is. Have been playing it for about a week or so and am pleased by the gameplay. The combat is very diablo-like, but seems to work better ... and the skill tree is one of the most awesome things i've seen. Want to be a Warrior who picks up some spells? ok. or a Duelist who specializes in a bow? no problem.

My only problems with the game are (1) that environment artwork often occludes things on the screen making them difficult to target, and (2) sometimes creatures are difficult to re-target after you have moved your mouse off of them (they are usually outlined when the mouse is over them, but sometimes the outlining doesn't happen which makes it hard to know if you have a target).

Re:No MacOS or iOS client (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476577)

No Mac client, but it appears to work satisfactorily [] in Wine.

Re:No MacOS or iOS client (1)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about a year ago | (#45477049)

Yup. Some workarounds needed though. There is a practical 99-pages forum thread [] on that.

Re:No MacOS or iOS client (1)

spleendamage (971412) | about a year ago | (#45476821)

Didn't you read the stub?
It was created by "a group of hardcore gamers."

Re:No MacOS or iOS client (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477727)

How the hell is that comment flamebait? What if a company ever released a game that was only available for OS X? Would the Windows users not be allowed to write comments about how they only use Windows and can't play the game?

Torchlight 2 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476357)

Torchlight 2?
Titan Quest?

There have been plenty of good action RPG's. I didn't see anything that made me want this above the awesomeness that is TL2.

Re:Torchlight 2 (4, Interesting)

Rakhar (2731433) | about a year ago | (#45476475)

I have TL1 and 2, Titan Quest, D2 (and even that other abomination). PoE has a lot more variables in item stats, and you have a lot more influence on your items due to the "currency items". The game also seems to be a lot harder than most hack and slash games I've played before. High level monsters don't mess around, and there are bosses that will pretty much one-shot you. Reflect mobs remind me of the old iron maiden mobs in D2.

Overall the game feels very different than any of the other games listed. Whether the differences are good or bad is up to each individual. I do agree that the spin of the summary seems forced and comes off as pure marketing, but the game is worth trying.

Re:Torchlight 2 (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about a year ago | (#45476575)

Don't forget Fate, designed by the same guy who later did the Torchlights.

Being a console guy, sad to say, neither Fate or the two Torchlight's have hit the PS3. But the consoles have had their own such games over the years.

Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance I and II
Champions of Norrath (and the Return to ARms sequel)
X-Men Legends I and II
Justice League Heroes
The Bards Tale (the recent one, not the old 80's classic, has Diablo style gameplay)
Hunter the Reckoning
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
Dungeon Hunter: Alliance (also on mobile)
Untold Legends (two PSP games and one PS3 game)
Sacred 2
Marvel Ultimate Alliance I and II
Lord of the Rings: War in the North

Re:Torchlight 2 (1)

seebs (15766) | about a year ago | (#45478197)

I got this one because it was free. TL2 has DRM of some sort, and can't be gotten through GOG or whatever. Admittedly, server-based is sort of DRM-ish, but there's also the fact that this gets constant updates and fixes and improvements.

Faithful to Diablo 2 (4, Interesting)

duckgod (2664193) | about a year ago | (#45476419)

The thing that I enjoyed about Diablo 2 that Diablo 3 completely eliminated was my desire to create a new character build that no one thought of and make it the ultimate character. It is that pursuit of perfection that drained hundreds of hours away of my life for Diablo 2. I would get a character power leveled up to around 70. Try out a build. If it didn't work I had the punishment of having to do another series of power levels to try again.

Diablo 3 not only failed to replicate this excitement, but they took every possible step to ensure that I wouldn't. I got a few of the characters up to max level in a month. Then there is no reason to ever create another character of that class because there are infinite skill respec. Ok fine, Let me pursue the ultimate equipment. Oh wait I can spend a 100 hours grinding or dump $100 in RMAH and get it. There is no point. I might as well be playing Cookie Clicker.

That being said Path of Exile does a good job at giving this experience. Lots of skill combinations combined with deep leveling system works well. I feel like there is still a perfect build out there I can pursue.

Re:Faithful to Diablo 2 (1)

dkf (304284) | about a year ago | (#45476593)

I might as well be playing Cookie Clicker.

PoE got me off the CC addiction....

Re:Faithful to Diablo 2 (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#45478031)

PoE got me off the CC addiction

But can PoE run while you're at work, collecting trillions and trillions of cookies? Wonderfully moist, delicious, tasty... sorry where was I?

Re:Faithful to Diablo 2 (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | about a year ago | (#45476597)

Diablo 3 not only failed to replicate this excitement, but they took every possible step to ensure that I wouldn't.

Wow strung a chord with me, that is exactly how I grew to feel about WoW. Maybe the natural evolution of blizzard games? I'm not sure RMAH was ever implemented in wow, but basically "ultimate equipment" was removed when 10man gear = 25man gear.

Re:Faithful to Diablo 2 (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#45476845)

The closest I got to being able to find tune exactly -my- DPS style was the soul system in Rift. It was fun to actually fine-tune one specification just to excel at a raid boss.

Now that you can buy raid gear for real life money ($300 or so per item), I just threw in the towel, surrendered, and went back to EQ2, with all its foibles [1]. At least there is some custom tuning one can do with EQ2's AA specs, although not as much as in the past.

WoW used to have some customizability. Now, you get one class, three (or for the druid, four) talent trees, and a choice of some option (with Icy Veins having a good guide of which to take versus which to avoid). In reality, there isn't much freedom of how to play -- you do it the EJ way, or no way, be it spec, spells chosen, gear in what slots, enchants, and so on.

[1]: The "free" level 85 character is nice, as it allows one to figure out which class they might want take the time to finish leveling to endgame.

Re:Faithful to Diablo 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477145)

I can't really recommend playing it anymore since it is so dated, but when it came to character customization few things come close to Asheron's Call.

Support Gems Not So Novel (2)

thunderdanp (1481263) | about a year ago | (#45476473)

Sounds a lot like support materia in FF7.

Re:Support Gems Not So Novel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45478081)

But can you grind them until they duplicate so you can socket W-Summon+Knight of the Round/Quadra Magic+Knight of the Round?

Desync get worse. (4, Informative)

The Moof (859402) | about a year ago | (#45476495)

The only real downside I experienced is that the client will occasionally desync from the server, so your character will seem to be in another place than it really is. It doesn't happen too often, but it's an annoyance when it does

Early on, I had the same thoughts regarding the desync issues ("it's so rare, doesn't seem too bad"). However, as I progressed to higher difficulties with a lot more enemies on screen with a lot more going on, it got really bad. It's nice that there's a workaround if you suspect it's happening ('/oos' in the chat window), but on more than one occasion a boss/mob has murdered me while I was elsewhere in the map.

Re:Desync get worse. (2)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about a year ago | (#45477165)

I was of the same opinion as you in this. I think it is somewhat related to skill usage, in the early stages you are meleeing or using 2-3 skills and everything seems fine. When you have faster attacks and multistrike linked with say dual strike and are putting out 12-15 attacks a second, then it begins to desync pretty badly. This gets extremely compounded if you are using Blood rage for frenzy charges and link multistrike to flicker strike and are now teleporting all around the screen.

The real problem for me is that since death on merciless at level 70+ can mean an hour of exp lost, they really cannot afford to have death by desync happen. People in hard core leagues deliberately avoid use of certain gem combinations like those above, because they are known to increase of this kind of death. This problem has to be solved if the game is to keep my interest long term.

I've managed 180 hours since the steam release, and have discovered that going the summoner route is the way to go to avoid desync. This way you get to stand back safely while your minions take all the risk. Other ranged classes are great for this too, as melee can often be incorrectly positioned, facing the wrong way, while fighting a boss, and be attacking the air (a lot of melee classes use life leech to keep healthy, and only rely on potions for emergencies).

I'm overall quite addicted to the game, but I do see some serious issues that need immediate attention, or they will find players becoming frustrated and quitting.

Not that great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476507)

Having played the PoE beta, I can confidently say that Torchlight 2 was considerably better. I cannot stand playing a game like this that still makes me choose between leaving my quest to run back to town or giving up my loot.

Re:Not that great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476875)

Organize your bags better and/or be more selective in what loot you grab. After the first region you chould be swimming in so much crap that it's only worthwhile to pick up rare or better items, even to just sell off.

I play Path of Exile. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476509)

It is excellent if you like Diablo and can tolerate (thrive in!) a fairly complex ruleset.

The user interface is simple and slick. The graphics are nice looking. The gameplay is solid.

One thing I appreciate is that, although complex, the rules are very consistent and sensible. When I got "increased projectile damage" it worked on every single projectile I used, regardless or source (spell, bow, thrown 2H sword).

The character generation lets you pick'n' mix from potentially every class, but not without cost. It is easy to build a bad character, so for long term success you have to "win" the character building as well as the combat. It really delivers on multiclassing, but it is up to you to build a good character.

The microtransactions are all cosmetics and UI convenience. I consider myself quite discriminating about this sort of thing, and it doesn't bother me any. You have a limited inventory shared between all your characters, and it is possible to purchase more inventory. You could argue that this is a kind of pay to win, based on the statistical nature of the loot drops and the fact that a larger inventory could give an advantage in terms of retaining potentially valuable items. FWIW I dropped $20 and got max inventory and a cosmetic.

Probably the only downside to this game is a "feature" called desync, which is exactly what it sounds like: client and server worlds diverge, then the client gets suddenly and spectacularly corrected. IMHO this issue is neither frequent nor annoying. It seems to affect some powers more than others. If you are playing hardcore (one life) you might rage quit.

Re:I play Path of Exile. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477681)

You can always make additional accounts since the game is free to obtain more inventory and character slots.

ethical microtransactions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45476775)

In respect to the limited number of stash tabs without paying real money, don't forget that it's a F2P game with no account limits.

If you need a currency mule or something, just whip up another account and trade yourself.

My only real complaint regarding the visual effect microtransactions is that they're a bit on the expensive side - like $15 for a giant flaming effect on your weapon or a set of demonic horns that replaces the appearance of your headgear, etc. Clearly that price point is working for them though.

Why is this news? (0)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about a year ago | (#45476819)


Re:Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477131)

Slashdot does reviews of games ever so often. Are you new?

Re:Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477971)

especially Action RPGs like diablo.

Re:Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477329)

Because you're a troll.

Re:Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477585)

You know, I was wondering the same thing. Then I noticed the big link "games" in the main navigation bar for Slashdot, right underneath "Book Reviews."

That pretty much answered the question.

unhealthy (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#45477537)

Sometime over the past year, I've found that grind-y games like Path of Exile leave me feeling unwell. I enjoy them, and they will just consume time and attention like few other entertainment activities, but when I'm done playing, I feel a little bit sick. I don't know why or where this feeling comes from.

I noticed it most strongly playing the very enjoyable Drox Operative. I would start the game and a couple of hours would just fly by and then I'd feel physically ill. That doesn't happen with other types of games. Just ARPGs, for some reason. I get wrapped up in lots of games, from Saints Row IV to Need for Speed to Batman: Arkham Origins and lots of less well-known games. None of them cause this phenomenon.

I've never heard anyone else complain of this, and I'd welcome any opinions.

Obnoxious Ad (2)

wulfhere (94308) | about a year ago | (#45477929)

Yes, I know you can click the transcript, but making us wade through a 2 minute video ad (with horribly choppy sound for me) seems pretty obnoxious. I doubt anybody from Slashdot or Dice is actually in here reading these comments, but if you are, I thought you should know that I'll be avoiding these kinds of articles from now on.

Video Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45477997)

Does /. not support Youtube? The video quality is horrible.

I can't believe nobody has mentioned gold? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45478077)

I love the fact that this game has no gold. Maybe there are other RPG games out there that do something the same, but this is certainly the first I've played where this was done.

In Diablo 3 and Diablo 2, I often found myself wanting a piece of gear that was outside what I could actually afford. You don't have the gold? You don't have the gold. Everything is assigned a fixed monetary value and that was that.

Since there is no gold in PoE, everything gets bartered for using in-game items (that are genuinely useful) as currency instead. What I've found is that this makes the trading industry a hell of a lot more flexible and open if you don't have the exact amount of money that someone wants. For example, I'd often see stuff that I "couldn't afford" (in whatever item the person wanted for trade, ie, orbs of fusing, chromatic orbs, etc). I'd still contact that player anyways, and 9 times out of 10 we could hash out some kind of deal for a bunch of stuff in my inventory that I didn't need but was otherwise considered valuable enough to trade with.

Combined with the decent drop rates and the so-called "ethical" micro transactions (I never once felt the need to give them money- but I did anyways because I loved the game and felt they deserved my money), it's a very smooth RPG experience. The story is a bit convoluted and thin, but the gameplay is excellent and the guys behind it (GGG) have some pretty amazing technical support (you'll actually get a human if you email them, and it'll be a totally personalized response- not some canned robot thing that completely misses the point of your entire query).

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