Path of Exile’s upcoming nerfs to Harvest crafting sets the community on fire

    
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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.”

sources: official site, Reddit, thanks to GreaterDivinity for the tip!
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wjowski

Grinding Gear Games remains, as ever, one of the most accurately-named dev studios in gaming.

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Greaterdivinity

I’ve expressed my extreme salt over this previously so I’ll save repeating myself.

But I enjoy that “close your eyes and exalt” is becoming a bit of a meme within the PoE community now.

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Chris Hammerberg

I’m just pointing out that the average player never has the opportunity to actually craft like this. I feel like it actually balances out the Uber players to the average player. You come along a harvest and get a rare craft and you have the opportunity to make some currency. Or to actually craft something for yourself.

It still takes a fairly large community action in order to culminate this into something that’s a true detriment to the game. If anything this has been the driving force behind making the game more popular this league. It’s certainly not the ritual mechanic.

I’m an average player, which means that I’m still 99% clueless even after six leagues. Influence about making power currency. I’m clueless about the effects of crafting. I can’t afford to do all the experimentation because it’s hard to make currency for an average player.

The average player just likes to play the game likes to level up and likes to try out some of the mechanics we like to see other people’s builds and we like to try and duplicate them or expand upon them. And all likely would we never actually get the top end gear because average players don’t do that.

The harvest craft system well that allowed us to make a little extra currency which allowed us to get some of the harder to find gear that we normally wouldn’t get and that’s great. The harvest craft system the way it is known currently doesn’t overly cater to the middle of the pack which is what you should be aiming for and not the 1% that can already do it. The 1% that farms 50 headhunters during the league because there’s some people like that in the guild I am not in.

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Bryan Correll

“basically unlimited medium-power crafting,”

Yeah, we can’t let just anyone have access to medium power crafting.

Priorities set right from pathofexile

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Greaterdivinity

Man, remember when we got jebaited with the whole “skill balance overhaul” that largely just ended up nerfing the shit outta alt-quality auras?

Those were good times.

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Arktouros

Booooooooo.

GGG always comes up with these silly monkey’s paw wish solutions to everything. Are you overwhelmed with the amount of crafting options in Harvests? Well say no more, we’ll just make them entirely pointless by not allowing you to craft the only items we moved all the good/decent mods onto!

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

So, while both crafting and trading lead to the same outcome, one is bad and one the game is “designed around” (so they can defend their abysmal drop rates). OK.

Drops are one area in which POE absolutely fails, and their decision to nix crafting while humping the leg of their half-assed trading system, while not putting any actual effort into said trading system, is the main reason I got bored with the game. I have a slew of builds I’d love to try, but they require uniques that I have never seen drop *10 years*. I was able to play two very fun and interesting builds for two seasons, because I forced myself to do trading, which was some of the worst experiences I’ve had with the game. The builds were quite fun, but they were not worth the hassle that it took to get the items I needed. And these were not FOTM builds, one was a Death’s Oath build and the other was SkeleMages.

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Dug From The Earth

This really just points to a bigger issues that GGG seems to either be overlooking, or is ok with the possible negative customer outcome.

At a certain point in game design, you will reach a stage where as the developer you have to make a choice between sticking with your vision of what you want your game to be, or changing it to keep the masses happy. You have to ask yourself “Am I building this game for me, or for the people who will be playing it?”

Over the past several seasons GGG has seen the player base for POE reach epic levels of concurrent players and total players overall. Much of this can be attributed to how the game has become more accessible on many of its previously hard and overly complex systems. Harvest added a way for the non – 0.1% players to actually craft items reliably that werent garbage.

PoE’s crafting system has always been one of the crazy mechanics that has been a huge brick wall for many players sticking with the game or not, and Harvest (among other updates) helped lower that wall.

Apparently, from GGG’s post, they dont want that wall lowered. Their vision is for the game to not be as accessible. Which is fine, its their game. However, I think this change will come with repercussions to the playerbase. I think there will be many who leave over this. More importantly, future players who MAY have stuck around to keep playing the game after they reached mapping, may not stick around anymore.

As long as GGG is cool with this, IE: upsetting players, and possibly losing customers (both current and future ones), then I dont see a problem with this. I started the game when crafting was ridiculous, and still managed to find fun elements. It going back to it being ridiculous is disappointing, but the fun is still there for me. If not, ill simply stop playing.