Path of Exile’s latest minipatch doesn’t address the sulphite pain

    
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Path of Exile will see another update today, this one intended to patch up some issues in the recent Delve League expansion. It focuses chiefly on bug fixes, map navigation enhancement, party visibility problems, and mods.

But as players note, there are no changes to Voltaxic Sulphite, a required component for Delve mapping. It’s been dominating the meta since the update as players are unhappy with where and how often it drops (and the fact that they need to farm kind of a lot to get it, with a relatively low capacity and no account-wide perks).

Meanwhile, the team’s been having fun making all the Vaal Architects fight in their very own battle royale. We’ve tucked that down below – some entertainment for ya while the servers are offline. Sooooo many particle effects.

Source: Patch notes
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BalsBigBrother

Hmm more changes coming

Shared Mines and Sulphite Rebalance

We have been keeping a close eye on community feedback, and wanted to describe some changes that we are planning to address concerns. We expect to make these changes by the middle of next week.

Shared Azurite Mine

Our initial plan for the Azurite Mine was that you would have a separate one per character. This way you would get a unique Delve experience with each character you create, and could Delve at depths appropriate for that character’s power level.

It’s clear from feedback and retrospection that we were wrong with this decision, and that the ability to have multiple characters access the same Azurite Mine would be an overall improvement to Delve.

We are implementing a change where your deepest Mine is shared across all characters on your account. Mines on other characters will be lost. If you have some encounters/rewards in your other mines that you have been saving up, we recommend you run these over the weekend because they won’t be available after we deploy this change.

Because the mine scales infinitely side-to-side, if you want to have a fresh Delve experience on a new character, just travel sideways off your current path and head downwards from there.

Note that we do not plan to share Sulphite between characters on your account. It is important that you are capable of earning the Sulphite on the character that needs to spend it.

Sulphite Rebalance

One of the goals we had when we were balancing Delve was that it shouldn’t be more profitable to just run Act 9/10 areas over and over again to farm Sulphite, compared to playing in maps.

The way we did this was was by having the amount of Sulphite increase drastically as you play higher-tier maps to make them more valuable. For example, the amount of Sulphite per deposit in The Quarry is 31, but in Tier 16 maps it’s 241. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to hit the correct balance here.

In order to correct this, we are going to rebalance both Sulphite gain from higher-tier maps, and Sulphite costs in the mine. Higher-tier maps will grant significantly more Sulphite, but their corresponding depths will cost more Sulphite than before.

We will also make map item quantity bonuses affect Sulphite gain. We want it so that playing harder content is always worthwhile.

In order to compensate for the larger amounts of Sulphite that you will have, we will increase the caps on Sulphite at all upgrade levels.

We will also cap the Sulphite costs per Delve past depth 1000 so that it doesn’t require exponentially more map play in order to progress as you delve really deep.

After these changes, playing high-tier maps will be way more efficient as a means of farming Sulphite, so grinding Quarry will not be the best way to get progress in Delve.

Source: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2217850

Hmm I am not sure that this is going to make things better and to me reads we are nerfing quarry farming but keeping a status quo in terms of sulphite costs.

The thing that worries me is that as a SSF player in every league I have always come to a point that my map sustain becomes a problem in terms of not getting the map drops. So tying increased sulphite to harder maps means I am going to eventually have an issue getting to sulphite to run delves if I decide to push them. That or I am going to potentially face an even worse grind than folks have now.

I am not going to flip tables or anything but if this was meant to reassure me then on that point it failed as its put worries into my mind that were not present before. As always it will depend on the numbers and actual nitty gritty details of the patch.

kjempff
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kjempff

Yeah increasing sulphite cost seem like the pouring petrol on a fire. First there is the problem with map sustain which is bad in this league. And also there are a lot of (more casual) players who mostly play to delve, and now they need to deal with the complex map system at high tier maps.

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Arktouros

Well Map Sustain should be less of an issue with the new Zana 7 mod that lets you upscale a map +5 tiers. That lets you take a T10 map and effectively “buy” it to become T15 without having to trade.

The bigger concern I have is the scaling costs vs amount increased. Getting 500 per node but still having equivalent Sulphite hop cost 500 isn’t going to resolve any of the issues. What I’m hoping is that 80% map quant plus running a T15 map will give you as much Sulphate as a base movement distance at level 1000. This way you don’t have to farm multiple maps per hop unless it’s a long one (especially because failures become a thing later on).

kjempff
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kjempff

They should make the amount of sulphite per node relative to your deepest delve depth (and something something to prevent going to 1000 and then just farm at 350).
But to depth 200 it is faily well balanced I think … run a few maps, run 3-4 nodes in delve.
It is the diversity in this league that makes me stay .. I usually burn out around level 7-8 mapping, but not this time.
The flare and darkness exploration doesn’t work very well in my opinion; I mean the idea is good but taking heavy damage by mobs in the darkness and having to throw a flare is kinda wonky – Would much rather have a torch mechanic.
And on that note … how about a real radical idea:
Free roaming in the darkness, searching for riches and the next “safe” spot. The longer you go away from your last spot, the nastier the darkness and mobs get (delve depth applies too).
When you find a new “safe spot”, you drag the cable to make it a “checkpoint” with light. Cable costs azurite too.
Maybe even find and secure unlimited mining nodes that the mad guy will harvest from .. maybe gain extra sulhite, maybe it is needed to keep the cables powered.

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

I love Delve, but I hate the sulphite/azurite mechanics. You spend azurite on upgrades, but it doesn’t really feel like your upgrading anything; you’re just spending azurite to stay afloat. Arktoutos goes over the sulphite issues quite well, below. And if you think farming sulphite is bad now, imagine how sparse it will be if/when the Delve League is merged into the core game, where you might see one sulphite node every 10-20 maps; or you’ll spend a few Chaos at Zana for a Delve map.

Personally, I think both resources need to be looked at. The azurite upgrades need to feel like actual upgrades, and not just a pointless resource sink. Maybe replace the cart radius with something that lowers sulphite use per Delve. The Flare radius needs to be swapped with something else as well, or combine with with the cart one for a general “light radius”; maybe even improve the lights along the track.

Like I said, I like the Devle overall, I like the darkness mechanic, and the use of flares and dynamite to get into all of the side areas, I just think the sulphite/azurite mechanics need a second design pass.

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Arktouros

The sulphite costs are very annoying.

So this is, more or less, how it works. If you do a level 81 map (T14) you get enough sulphite from the node on the map to do one short delve that has level 81 monsters in it. That’s depth 236-252. So do a map, get enough sulphite for a short delve. However as delve distance goes on, each ‘bend’ of the road on the map takes that base amount. So that 160-162 or so Sulphite for level 81 monsters can quickly become 320 or 489 or even 972 on really long treks. You can get multiple sulphites in a map but it’s all about an equal chance.

However Sulphite costs scale. For example at 253 the costs for a short jump from 162 to 183 because you broke into 82 mobs which is now T15 maps. However sustaining T15 maps is basically impossible without devoting a lot of currency towards it either buying maps or upgrading T10 maps to T15. But this is all kids stuff as you go deeper the mob levels keep rising but again so do the sulphite costs but there’s no higher maps to keep up with the amount of additional sulphite you need.

So after a fashion you have to decide whether or not to stick in the T15/16 map level areas of around 250-270 and just go horizontal or if you want to farm like mad in an attempt to keep pushing down, something the developers are recommending to resolve issues such as bosses not appearing around 270. As Chris said yesterday on reddit: “Go Deeper” in response to people being upset over not finding bosses for challenges.

This has prompted players, since you’re already going to get less sulphite than the delves require to simply find lower level, easier to farm areas and repeat farm them as much as possible. The most common area of which is The Quarry with it’s centralized map design makes it extremely efficient for finding the node and getting out. Either method is not ideal and it’s causing annoyances all around for sure.

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BalsBigBrother

Personally as I am not pushing the depths and going sideways more often than down so I have not had much problem farming sulphite, I can basically do a couple of mid tier maps or abuse the Act 9 quarry farm method if I really need to. This gives me enough for my needs.

That said I understand that the deeper you go the more sulphite your need to move about the delve like 1000 + per node and so the more onerous it becomes to farm it. The delves were billed as a way to test your builds to the limits but as with a lot of things with GGG it is also a test of patience and frustration tolerance.

We will have to see if folks make enough noise that GGG take a look at it.