Wandering Wraeclast: Musings on Path of Exile’s Metamorph


At the close of Path of Exile’s Metamorph league, I’ve been sitting back and musing on the league that brought about more changes for me personally than possibly any other. I think back to the eccentricities that made it different from previous leagues I have played, from building my own conglomerate boss to enticing me to finally stop playing Witches exclusively. I recall how I started a first impressions piece multiple times, only to be derailed by my focus on playing the Ranger. I couldn’t stop yammering about the fun I was having, but I couldn’t really pull apart whether that was the league or simply the Ranger.

And now here we are. The league is ending next week, and PoE is gearing up for Delirium. So the time for Metamorph is over. But the changes it has inspired me in have not.


Perhaps the most notable feature of Metamorph was the whole Build-a-Boss mechanic where your creation comes to life with a flurry of murderous attacks — as opposed to the more benign Build-a-Bear that doesn’t instantly try to eat your face off (we can’t vouch for once you go to sleep, though!). I can understand how it wasn’t a favorite feature for some; I heard the complaints about it filling your visual space with black goo that made finding the target harder to find, especially amid other particle effects. I just didn’t agree. Leave it to me to go against the grain!

Personally, I loved that aspect of the metamorph. From having to follow the dark tendrils ooze around to watching the mass return to blob form then spring out in a different shape brought the fun feeling of living through Saturday morning cartoon. I seriously loved seeing what it would pop up as next. Silly? Likely. But that’s OK. I enjoyed it. (The fact that I just plain love black as well as giant gelatinous ooze critters might also come into play here.) I can’t forget how much I appreciated that I controlled which attacks my metamorph had, and could choose which items I wanted as drops. I liked it being my creation. MJ Frankenstein, at your service!

I also preferred the less insane numbers of mobs/adds that came with this league. I know many love the rush of massive foes filling the screen with a timer counting down how long you can fight, but that has never been the situation I enjoy as much. This made Metamorph more my speed: some intensity, some adds, and a big baddie to beat down, no matter how long it takes me. Yup, I get that this league may not go high on many players’ lists of favorites, but I think it will go on mine. All the more reason to appreciate Grinding Gear Games and how it alternates different playstyles in its leagues and expansions.

As much as I enjoyed this mechanic, it wasn’t the only thing I that puts this league near the top of my favorites. Metamorph actually changed me as a player!

Ditch the Witch

That’s right, Metamorph morphed me. Way, way back during the Perandus league, I discovered that I liked Path of Exile’s league setup more than I thought I would. It was still hard starting over and over and over and not feeling like I got very far all the time, but even with limited time I became more familiar with the game as new leagues came and went. (More familiar with the Witch specifically!) Bestiary came along and enticed me into playing even more. But it was Metamorph that really changed me. That and the Conquerors of the Atlas expansion have really knocked me out of my status quo.

With the new ballistas and the impending Path of Exile 2 pets for the class, GGG finally found something to pull me away from my Witches. Just about every update up to this point gave me a new reason to try out Witch in a new way; there was never real reason to branch out. I know I was missing out on many other classes, but my attempts to try others just didn’t work out. I couldn’t gel with other classes. Even my Scion was played as a Witch, with a smattering of Ranger abilities. Now, however, I had the real drive to try to become familiar with a Ranger since that is what I want to play in PoE 2. The ballistas were the deciding factor to make the time now.

So I ditched my Witch and made a real, dedicated bow wielder. How did I like it? Well, how many times have I actually managed to move beyond ACT II in other leagues?

Ranger Danger!

The real danger of the Ranger was how much fun I had playing it! I had not played much with a totem build; I tried it once but didn’t like the melee class and so didn’t have a positive experience with totems. The ballistas, however, changed my mind. Dropping them was fun, and then barraging mobs with the arrows was easier while my targets focused on those ballistas. I have almost exclusively preferred ranged classes, and I really like having those few extra moments that the ballistas give me to look at my surroundings and plan my next moves.

The ballistas also helped me to get more involved in the synergies of building my skills. I was having enough fun that I wanted to delve more deeply into that aspect of the game to make those ballistas and my arrows work better. I still have some favorite skills that I would hook up, but I got much more involves in seeking out the right skills on the passive skill tree. I started deck building as it were. And that, my friends, is a mighty change indeed! How many years have I been playing and I haven’t cared too much about passives? Sure, I spent the points (usually), but I hadn’t really delved in looking for what I thought might work best. While I was coming around to it slowly as other leagues came and went, Metamorph definitely spurred a quicker, deeper change here.

One thing that hasn’t changed is how much I enjoy setting things on fire. And the Ranger allowed me to do that with burning arrow and more. So I am sold on the Ranger, and I look forward to continuing this one in the standard league. Even better, I get to continue Metamorph in standard! I can’t wait to keep building stronger and stronger metamorphs and testing my build against them.

Unfortunately, one negative is that Metamorph has made the wait for PoE 2 a little more unbearable. With how much I love the Ranger, I want the one with pets NOW! I also want to stop gem-swapping in gear; Metamorph may have helped me try upgrading and finding the perfect gear more than other leagues, but I still seriously dislike having to swap out the gems.

Bring on Delirium!

And now Delirium is going to be starting up next week. I will take what I have learned in Metamorph and see how that translates into a league style I am not as comfortable with. Will I enjoy this better because I am a changed player? Tune in here and OPTV to see!

What if your world changed every three months? What would you do differently? Path of Exile does, and MOP’s MJ Guthrie explores and experiences each new incarnation in Wandering Wraeclast. Join us biweekly for a look into each new challenge league and world expansion — and see whether MJ can finally reach the end of one world before it ends!
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