Path of Exile’s Expedition league sets off next week

    
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The show’s over, folks, but the journey has just begun! Grinding Gear Games just concluded its reveal livestream for Path of Exile’s 3.15 expansion and challenge league that starts July 23rd. And this one has players going on an Expedition! GGG Managing Director Chris Wilson not only unveiled the new Expedition league and its introduction of the all-new Kalguuran culture but delved into GGG’s efforts to shake up the metagame and make POE more challenging as a whole.

Highlights of the stream reveal included new mechanics, numerous new skill gems, and an all new defensive gear stat called ward. Players will string explosives across a dig site to unearth treasures and monsters as you help the Kalguuran investigate the fate of their lost ancestors. Additionally, they can experience new ways of doing business with NPCs, such as haggling, gambling, and upselling. On the gem side of things, 19 new gems are being added, inspired by each Ascendancy class (as opposed to the usual handful focused around specific builds).

Many systems will feel the touch of a rework for this expansion; the flask system changes help eliminate the “piano-play” spamming flasks, and a rebalance of support gems reduces damage by up to 20-40%. Movement and trigger skills will also be tweaked.

Stay tuned for our upcoming Wandering Wraeclast, which will deep-dive Path of Exile’s Expedition league!

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Arktouros

Over all I like the changes for sure. Slowing things down sounds good in theory, so long as the enemies are also slowed down as well. Every character I make feels like it needs to stack 2-3 types of defenses (IE: Evasion cap + dodge cap + %damage mitigation on first hits) just to not die instantly. Literally 50% the whole reason the maximum damage meta occurred was because if you didn’t kill the enemy before it kills you then no amount of defenses will save you typically.

However there’s nooooooooo fucking way I’m going to be playing POE anytime soon, possibly not for a league or two. Things are going to be super fucked and no one is going to have any idea what’s going on. POE is already such a hugely complex game utility tools like Path of Building are pretty much mandatory to play on any experienced level (not like tool tips are even remotely useful). Chris was all giddy with excitement at this prospect on the interview but I’m just sitting there like :|

Also big laugh at Hammerdin and Sorceress Winter Orb skills taking a direct swing at Blizzard’s Diablo 2 Remaster.

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Axetwin .

GGG: “…….wait, we were supposed to nerf mobs too?? FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUU”

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Dug From The Earth

So Im torn…

PoE stands out from many other ARPGs because of the gameplay it has developed over the years its been out. Namely, being able to clear entire screens of enemies super fast with all sorts of different skill builds. Followed by solo, raid like boss fights.

Now, it seems they are wanting to drastically slow down combat and make the normal area clearing to be much slower and much tougher. I dont know a single PoE player who thinks, “I cant WAIT to play through the campaign again!!!”, and yet, these changes are going to make that process take even LONGER.

PoE has reached some all time high player counts, and IMO, I attribute that to 2 things:

1. Adapting a much more approachable starting experience for newer/casual players. Not being punished as much early on and combat being fast even without a 5 Link main skill.

2. More rewarding much earlier on for newer/casual players. I remember when it was super rare getting 1-2 chaos orbs before you reached end game mapping. Now, an inexperienced player can acquire a LOT more currency during the campaign play through, which ultimately draws in players more.

These new “changes” to the game are seemingly destroying everything about #1. This isnt Dark Souls. I cant think of a single person that has ever said that is what they want from this game. Making the starting experience slower, harder, and more punishing, is just going to push new and causal players away.

But then.. maybe they dont care about that… they have always catered to the hardcore streamers, last season showed this in their ridiculous blunder of allowing streamers to skip the login queues.

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Vanquesse V

Flasks have been a major issue for the game for a very long time: If you flasks are up you are pretty much immortal, if you let them expire for just a second you’re likely to be obliterated before you even realized you were in any danger.

The game has grown a lot over time in almost every aspect except for defensive options. Not only are defensive passives way worse numbers wise than offensive options, but they’re usually also in bad spots on the tree, and defensive power creep over time is almost nothing while our clear speed and boss killing potential has gone through the roof.

How do you design a challenge for characters that blow up full screens of enemies at once, are immune to aliments and curses and can recover their life pool in a few seconds?

The massive nerfs to flasks is really great because flasks were too generically powerful – you had to use them to properly function at high levels and there was very little choice involved in the flask setup. On top of that keeping up flasks were annoying and unhealthy long term.

But you can’t expect to remove the only protection from random out of nowhere one shot deaths in high tier mapping to go over well if you don’t also remove those cheap unavoidable deaths at the same time, and it sounds like it’ll take a year and a half before they have retuned all of the enemies.

The general nerf to support gem damage multipliers is far worse in my opinion. People at top end will likely not be too hurt by only having 3.5 shaper kills per second of dps instead of 4.2, but people playing non-meta skills, homebrew unoptimized builds or ssf will notice it for sure.

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Vanquesse V

I looked at poe.ninja at top 14k characters in regular ultimatum and found 27 regular damage skills that had 0.0% usage as 5 or 6 links. No vaal skills, no alternate gems, no item skills, no utility skills. 27 skills that were designed to be used as a main damage dealer are so bad that basically nobody uses them. I get that reworks are no where near as sexy as new stuff but there are so many skills that could be removed and most people wouldn’t even notice. And some of these skills include ones that have gotten a rework (not just numbers tweaks) or came out in the last 12 months

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Greaterdivinity

They added a spectral blessed hammer (from D2), and I’m rolling on the floor laughing that it will probably be as completely, totally, utterly useless as spectral throw/shield throw.

I’m all for some new skill/support gems witch each league, but I’m with you and I’d love to see some absolutely GARBAGE skills get a big pass so that they can be remotely viable for higher end play.

Like, sure you CAN use them now, and many are “fine” (Shield Throw has some fantastic AoE clear speed builds up to a point), but when you look at what’s required for that and the overall performance (AoE clear, single target, tankiness/sustain) there’s just so little reason to jump through the hoops and deal with the headaches to try to make one of them work.

Was really hoping this would be the patch it happens, but alas we wait. I get that they can’t achieve anywhere close to “balance” given the nature of the game, but a lot of these skills have been useless and abandoned by players for years.

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Jeremy Barnes

I think they should do it somewhat like FFXIV where they remove skills and then you get new ones leveling up.

POE should do something similar, add a skill & remove a skill and keep a number that you can reasonably manage. Then they can take time to rethink skills they removed and evaluate them as to rework and re-add them (thus removing a different under performing skill) or let them stay buried.

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Greaterdivinity

POE should do something similar, add a skill & remove a skill and keep a number that you can reasonably manage.

Kinda goes against the “core” of the game, which is all about tons of variety and flexibility. I’m under no illusion they can achieve “balance”, and I don’t think they should try, but when you have some skills that haven’t been viable in YEARS then maybe they should get a pass : /

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Jeremy Barnes

putting a limit on something doesn’t mean there won’t tons of variety and flexibility. As you stated, many are utterly useless and not getting updates.

It’s really just semantics saying add/remove over “We’re going to give 10 skills every patch a once over”. Add / Remove is superior in my view because then people don’t have to figure out the last time a skill received a pass and is bad or still bad after changes? They know if it was one of the worst 10 then it was removed. There’d at least be confidence that any skill remaining wasn’t one of the worst ten by whatever metric you want to use be it number of builds using it in a 6 link or whatever.

10 is an arbitrary number I used for illustrative purposes.

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Vanquesse V

While your suggestion would work for most games it’s a really bad fit for PoE. Certain skills work fine if you spray it enough with the exalt orb hose and others work well for utility purposes.
Having old useless skills isn’t even the biggest issue, because they keep adding new skills that either do not function when actually playing the game, or they aren’t the best skill in the game for any particular purpose and at that point you just pick something else. This also happens to skill reworks.
A good example is firestorm. This was a skill that had fallen out of favor and was only used by very few people. They rework it, but end up making it worse and now less people are using it because while they buffed most aspects of that skill, they nerfed the one thing it was the best at.

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Dug From The Earth

Spec Shield Throw was actually decent in 3.14/3.13. You just had to build a bleed version of it.

It was super tanky too, had moderate clear speed, and could handle most bosses. I played it as my main in 3.14

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Bryan Correll

I’m one of those pigheaded types who likes to grab underused skills and find someway to make them work in at least a half-ass way. Sure, I may get my ass handed to me by Sirus, but it’s more interesting than just running cyclone every damn league.