Path of Exile’s latest patch introduces a mid-season nerf to an overpowered notable

    
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Notes taken.

So there’s a new patch on the way for Path of Exile, and like other updates to this multiplayer ARPG, it’s another particularly beefy one. One line in the laundry list, however, perhaps sticks out to members of the community regarding the Purposeful Harbinger notable, which now grants a 10% increased effect on Aura Buffs from Skills (emphasis ours) for each Herald affecting the player. The distinction is important because, according to a separate dev post, the notable in question was applying too much power originally.

Purposeful Harbinger originally applied a 10% increased Effect of Aura Buffs on player characters for each Herald affecting them, which unintentionally applied for anything in the game that was classified as an Aura. The notable soon swept the meta and became the single strongest build in the entire game. Normally this would be cause for worry, but Grinding Gear Games stated that it would not be nerfing the notable until the start of the next League. However, that announcement was made before the devs were able to take a closer look at just what Purposeful Harbinger was actually doing, and so that brings us back to the latest patch making the change to the notable mid-season.

“Once we realized what was going on, and that this passive skill had become one the most unintentionally and counterintuitively powerful mechanics to ever exist in Path of Exile, we realised that there was no option but to fix it,” explains the post.

The devs are extremely aware of how much anger this change can invoke, especially considering the amount of time and investment players have made around building characters around the notable, and the devs have stated that discussions about what went wrong are being made to prevent this matter from ever happening again.

source: official forums (1, 2)

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Arktouros

Even after the nerf the build is still basically the strongest possible build in the league you could go for in the current league/meta. Really the way they did the nerf was pretty savvy from a design perspective as it left it in an incredibly powerful state (that is 100% confirmed already going to see more nerfs after this league) but fixed it from being just outright full stupid.

It was clearly and obviously beyond busted to a level that far exceeded basically anything in the past. Like exponentially stronger. There was no way they could not adjust it the build because I could see 2 more months of that build having an impact on standard’s economy even (which is saying something).

For anyone who wants to see it in action, notice the amount of Energy Shield by the end of the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzjW8FhyT64

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Bryan Correll

Energy shield? Look at the sheer size of the character! Anyone who didn’t think being able to completely ignore incoming damage required a fix was nuts no matter what GGG had said earlier.

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Arktouros

LOL yea whole thing is crazy, every time they kill a rare mob you can just see everything jump up stupid levels of power. There was no way they couldn’t fix all those buffs being considered auras and giving boosts. Just no way.

And if it was just incoming damage, they have ignored that in the past as there’s been a number of leagues where you can obtain partial or total damage immunity (such as immune to elements or immune to physical). However this build is literally everything. Damage, reduction, health, speed like actually everything. It’s just stupid scaling with things it was never intended to scale with. It had to go.

What still irks me is it’s still SO good. Like so good. Easily still the best build in the league by far but people still act like it’s useless now.

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Greaterdivinity

I’m glad. I play a guardian, though not one that even used, much less abused these. Everyone should have seen this coming, this wasn’t just “Oh, it’s cyclone summoners from last league” broken, it made those characters look kinda weak by comparison.

Wish GGG would be more flexible, and I’m glad they realized that their “NO MID-LEAGUE CHANGES” line is dumb and paints them into a corner. I like that Bex wrote the big apology letter but IMO it wasn’t warranted. And the vitriol and hate is DEFINITELY not warranted. Even if I’m currently enjoying the hell outta the salt.

kjempff
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kjempff

This game is broken beyond repair. Either you accept what the game is (broken) or stop playing. Personally I just don’t find it to be a fun game anymore, hoping PoE2 can simplify and find the old charm again.

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Greaterdivinity

It’s really not, though. The meta is fucked and GGG keeps reinforcing the “SPEED CLEAR BUT ALSO LOTS OF TANK AND MOBILITY AND ALSO YOU GET ONE SHOT A LOT EVEN IF YOU ARE TANKY” meta, but some people really enjoy that. I’m not a big fan and I have PLENTY of gripes about it, and regularly take breaks, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed.

If they want to, they can definitely slow things down with PoE2. But I don’t think they will, even if I’d love to see a slower game allowing for more build diversity, because too much of the community likes the current meta.

It’s likely not going to simplify, PoE has never been a game about simplicity even in the early days before they started layering mechanics and complex, obtuse stats on top of each other. I still struggle to figure out the difference between “increased” and “more” >.<

kjempff
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kjempff

Well, that is what I mean by “broken”. Also the stacking of mechanics on mechanics leads to these kind of broken meta builds every league, where you can choose between a fun build or one that is litterally 20 times stronger; I call this broken. But I disagree that they can fix it, because too much content is based on this speedclear meta.
Also the defense meta is broken, it is not like you can adjust your defense by sacrifising dps, because the most efficient survivability is dps; I also call that broken. Not unplayable, some find it fun, but still broken.
One of the things that looked particularly interesting about PoE2 is that they reduced the pace and it looked more tactical – Remains to be seen in reality though.

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Jeremy Barnes

“I don’t like this.” != broken

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Bryan Correll

The reddit and official forum nerd rage is extreme on this one.

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losludvig

If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. Considering how strong this was combined with how counter-intuitive it works in relation to the otherwise pretty rigid rulesystem of poe it shouldn’t have come as a shock for anyone that this happened.
That we got told it wouldn’t be touched before next league sucks though

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BalsBigBrother

Yeah that was pretty messy and to a degree it’s understandable too.

Folks were told it was not going to be touched so felt safe to invest a not inconsequential chunk of time and in game currency to get this to run.

That said a mid league nerf is thankfully a somewhat rare occurrence and there is still a long time left in the league. So its not unrecoverable by any means and folks have plenty of time to put another build together if they wish.

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Greaterdivinity

Sorta kinda. GGG was dumb with their “NO MID LEAGUE CHANGES EVER!” stuff, but it was PAINFULLY obvious that this was broken as hell and not intended, and it basically broke the game.

I view this as the same kind of SUPER OBVIOUS exploit/bug as stuff like the Lich King progression glitch where the guild was abusing bombs to ignore phase mechanics.

Where’s the old Daglar “good advice duck” meme when you need it.