What Can Make PoE Better
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Path of Exile is a great game. Unlike regular MMOs where sometimes they’re mostly the same, PoE doesn’t shy away from the dark and gritty. It also has different systems from other games, which is unusual for the genre. It’s no wonder players can’t help but play it. From farming maps or PoE currency to the heart-pounding boss battles, it hits differently from other MMOs.
Unfortunately, it’s currently plagued by some problems. Players are getting annoyed and discouraged from playing. If something doesn’t change soon, more and more players might quit.
Here are some of the problems and solutions the players want.
Sure, getting lucky can be an addictive feeling. However, if the odds are too stacked against the player, it might deter them from playing more than make them keep playing. Throwing them a win or two motivates them to keep playing until they get a jackpot. When they do get a jackpot, it motivates them that they can do it again.
With all the RNG-based systems in the game, it’s getting hard to play because the so-called ‘jackpot’ is too hard to win. Losses keep on piling up, and that’s frustrating for the players. They can’t craft their own items, and trading is a pain too. It leads to a standstill in progress since they need new equipment to move on.
Again, RNG-based systems aren’t bad on their own, but maybe increase the success rate a little bit. That way, players can feel that their efforts weren’t too wasted and they’ll continue playing the game.
Stackable Currency and Looting
Having less to click while looting would also make things more convenient. Picking up each and every single stack of currency is tiring and time-consuming. Letting them drop in a stack would certainly make everything more convenient and efficient.
There’s also a bit of RNG in item drop rates, so tweaking the numbers from 90% trash to about 70% trash might be good. Again, letting players win once in a while lets them think that they will win again sooner or later. That makes them more eager to play.
This way, they also wouldn’t have to rely too much on filters to see what’s really valuable in the loot piles from killing hordes of enemies.
Skill Variety and Balance
Nerfing popular skills isn’t a very good way to promote balance. Why not try buffing weak or underused skills? There must be a reason why players avoid using those skills. Maybe they don’t have good synergy with support gems, or they’re lackluster in some aspects. Variety is good, but there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken. Instead of dragging down what’s popular, why not elevate what isn’t?
Just nerfing one side isn’t balanced, and it never resolves the problem of players not using certain skills. Until whatever problem becomes resolved, players won’t use that skill. Otherwise, it could be a matter of experimenting being a little too risky.
To experiment with builds, players have to make new characters and go through the campaign all over again to level up. Sure, they might be able to see the build evolve and grow, but what they usually want to test are endgame builds.
Experimentation being risky means that if a build doesn’t pan out, they have to go through everything all over again just to try out another one. Nobody quite has that much time to do so and having to repeat things too many times gets boring. This doesn’t help in promoting variety in skills, since it’s very hard (and expensive) to discover what works and what wouldn’t.
Providing a feature to start at a certain level (it doesn’t have to be max level) would help players. It would let them save time and effort leveling a character to try out a new build. That can also potentially solve the variety issue since more players experimenting with skills means more builds for niche skill gems.
Reworking the PoE Trade System
Yes, trading shouldn’t be the focus of the game, but with crafting the way it is, more and more players rely on it to get their gear. At any rate, it’s a tedious process of looking for an item outside of the game, messaging the seller, and then trading. The problem lies in whether the vendor is busy or offline. There’s no indication on the site that lets them look for items on sale.
So, players message a handful of players, hoping that one of them will answer back. That creates another problem in itself when more than one seller replies back. Of course, the buyer has the choice of which is the better deal, but they inconvenienced other players to do so.
Some kind of automated vendor service could be good. Not an auction house, since the devs are against it. Maybe a vendor NPC in the hideout where players can put items they’re selling. Other players can then visit their hideout and buy the item from the vendor. The owner doesn’t have to be online for the PoE trade. This method can also help players earn more PoE currency for crafting passively.
There are many other problems in the game, but these are the most important ones. While the devs want players to keep playing, all the systems they’re adding keep on missing what players want. It leads to them losing more players than keeping them.
Still, even with all these problems plaguing the game, some players can find something to enjoy. Here’s to hoping for a better Path of Exile in the future. Having fun shouldn’t be a chore, and playing a game should be frustrating. That said, enjoy PoE in whatever way you find to do so!