According to the devs of Path of Exile, the crafting mechanics introduced in the Harvest league, even after adjustments made in update 3.13.0, made getting good items way too easy. Grinding Gear Games put out a lengthy dev blog that discussed what the team considered to be unintended effects of the system, as players made “ridiculous” items at the endgame level, gained access to “basically unlimited medium-power crafting,” and felt compelled to join Discord channels for crafting trading to get the best gear.
GGG reasons that this behavior runs counter to the design philosophy of Path of Exile, explaining that players should get items via random instead of deterministic methods and that getting extremely good items, or even perfect items, should be hard to do or practically impossible respectively.
“We feel that the current state of Harvest Crafting runs against both of these important philosophies. We know that many players would love us to keep deterministic crafting in the game because it enables them to complete their items far more quickly than they otherwise would. But then there would quickly be nothing left to achieve. It was an interesting experiment, and we understand that some players will likely be attached to this level of incredibly easy crafting, but it’s just not the Path of Exile we set out to make.”
With that all in mind, update 3.14.0 will make a wide variety of changes to Harvest crafting, like removing mods with “overly-deterministic behavior,” making the Heart of the Grove encounter a map fragment that sometimes drops from Tier 4 Harvest bosses instead of randomly appearing in place of a normal Harvest grove, and making some seeds in a patch grant an instance of that seed’s craft instead of all seeds granting a craft.
The announcement as well as the explanation has absolutely set the game’s Reddit on fire, with players stating that the adjustments would only benefit a very small number of players, expressing frustration at the game’s “gambling systems,” and calling out GGG’s ignorance of the Discord trading problem. Another post worries that the devs are losing touch with the playerbase, writing, “I feel the Lead Devs, mainly Chris and Jonathan, are completely out of touch with their main and core player base and their own game that all have formed and evolved over the years to become what it is today.”