Path of Exile’s Scourge launch sees concurrency numbers near its all-time highest point

    
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When Path of Exile’s Scourge expansion went live this past Friday, we noted how the previous expansion didn’t exactly light fans on fire and lead to lower concurrency numbers for the MMOARPG. It would appear that Grinding Gear Games was paying close attention to those numbers as well, as the studio announced that the Scourge launch saw its player numbers hit a 254,570 player peak, which is 96% of the game’s highest record.

The post goes on to talk about the launch of the expansion overall, calling it a smooth release with the exception of item linking in chat causing crashes for about 10% of players, though that was mitigated by disabling item linking temporarily. Item linking features are expected to be restored with the next realm restart patch.

In the meantime, GGG is taking in feedback from players and planning to make adjustments such as making the transformation progress bar on Scourged items visible at a glance on the Crucibles Panel and making the Blood Crucible’s resource bar more obvious when it’s full. The devs are also preparing to launch Scourge on consoles as well, and there will be another Twitch Rivals esports event coming soon. Overall, it looks like this expansion is doing pretty well.

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SmiteDoctor

Is this an Expansion or a League?

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Greaterdivinity

Both, it’s a new league but every year there’s an “expansion” of sorts that updates a lot of the core game (i.e. atlas updates). This is that league and it came with some big changes to the atlas (100 maps vs. like 160, 4 regions vs. 8 etc.)

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Dug From The Earth

and pretty big changes to the passive skill tree

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Arktouros

I don’t believe this is an expansion, next league is the expansion that usually overhauls the Atlas mechanics more like last year’s Winter expansion we got the Maven etc.

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Dug From The Earth

So I think Ive narrowed down why krangled items feel so bad…

Originally Chris talked about getting something good, for something bad… and that it was up to us to find something where the bad mod didnt affect our build negatively.

Here is the problem… a large majority of the bad mods are “global”. By this I mean they dont simply affect a small select set of builds. The affect most to ALL builds. -20% to global defenses affects ALL builds. -2 to skill gems affects ALL builds. -50 max life affects a large portion of builds. -(any resist here) affects nearly all builds.

This makes finding a bad mod that doesnt hurt your build SOOO much harder than finding a good mod that benefits your build. The end result, most krangled items are crap.

PoE has a CRAP TON of junk items. The difference being, they drop in heaping piles from all the enemies you kill, so you can filter them out and never have to deal with them. With Krangled items, you get ONE (maybe 2) every few scourges. That would be like if you set your loot filter to only show good things, and when 30 minutes of junk goes by being hidden, suddenly getting something that your filter decided to show you…. and it TOO is junk.

Its just feels bad man….

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BalsBigBrother

I wonder how quickly that will drop off this time around. Probably not as bad as the last league, which was a bit of a disaster in terms of retention (lost nearly 45% of players within the first 7 days).

Still think I might give it a look on the console launch on Wednesday. Probably only be playing for a week at most but it should be enough to get a good feel for the changes they made.

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Greaterdivinity

QoL changes will have better retention for sure, especially since everyone didn’t get a huge blanket-nerf this league (at least not an obvious one, the skill tree change sorta stealth nerfed a lot of builds though) combined with garbage mana changes and the awful flask rework.

But I’m wondering how long it’ll last since right now the league mechanic is seeming…pretty not great. Basically only good if you’re REALLY gonna focus a lot on it to make use of the krangled currency to actually try to craft krangled items…but based on the early reactions I’m seeing from players (and personally) I’m thinking that without some big changes it’ll be more or less ignored by a lot of players. Too RIPPY, rewards too bad, krangled crafting itself feels fundamentally flawed in how grossly unbalanced the positive/negative mods are.

Most of the time they feel like, “Small increase to damage/defense” paired with “This can literally brick your build/item” which…doesn’t seem remotely balanced : |

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Greaterdivinity

QoL changes are absolutely fantastic so far and are carrying the league hard.

Scourge itself is a disaster of a mechanic. Well designed gameplay system of dropping in/out of the alternate reality, which is genuinely fantastic stuff. But everything else (minion scaling, rewards, the entire krangled crafting system, krangled currency) is a joke and barely worth engaging with, if at all.

I remember Chris talking up finding krangled items while leveling that were “better than leveling uniques”. I mean…I got a low level belt with 22 life and -11% global defense that was good for a few levels while I had no defenses, and a garbage weapon with mana regen on it and I can’t remember the downside and that’s about it.

Seriously, this may be one of the most unrewarding leagues they’ve ever done. The beneficial krangles are like “+24 to cold damage!” and the detrimental one is like, “Deal no cold damage” or “-2 to all gem skill levels”.

They shoulda abandoned the league mechanic and just spent that time focused on more QoL. Because Scourge ain’t carrying this league, and at this point I desperately hope it gets the Synthesis treatment and never goes core.

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Bryan Correll

The beneficial krangles are like “+24 to cold damage!” and the detrimental one is like, “Deal no cold damage”

I legit got a weapon where the mods were “+x-y physical damage to attacks” and “Deal no physical damage.” Almost any other negative mod would have given me a pretty nice Slayer weapon.

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Greaterdivinity

Yeah…you can always re-krangle and hopefully un-brick it at least. But it just feels…awful. Like, it’s SUPER easy to brick an item or make it beyond useless (OH YEAH, I TOTALLY WANT -25% GLOBAL DEFENSES FOR 20 LIFE! THAT WILL WORK WITH ABSOLUTELY NO BUILDS EVER YEAH!), but nigh impossible to get a combo with something remotely beneficial and a negative roll you can ignore or that doesn’t do huge damage to your build in some way.

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Bryan Correll

The best negatives are the +Str/Dex/Int requirement ones. As long as you actually have the stats to use it there is no actual downside.

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Dug From The Earth

I had HOPED that the best negatives would have been mods that didnt affect my build. Picked a toxic rain build? “Deals no fire damage” would be a GREAT negative mod to have… only… for some sadistic reason the game likes to drop the following:

+40-50 Chaos damage
Deal no Chaos damage

Its like a sick joke.

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Bryan Correll

Speaking of chaos, I seem to get an excessive number of decreases to chaos resistance. Which is just nasty.

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Greaterdivinity

Man…played a bit more and I dunno how long I’ll last. League mechanic is AWFUL in so many ways, and choosing a caster as a league starter seems like it was a mistake given that half the bloody mobs have proximity shield so I’ve gotta get into melee range if I wanna damage them (instant RIP) and have no time to wait it out.

This mechanic seems like it was designed back in the pre 3.15 zoom zoom “clear the screen instantly before mobs can hit you” mentality and I hate it. Building tankier just slows your progress considerably for no real reward since it’s just as rippy with 100+ stacks of the debuff equaling 100%+ MORE (not increased…MORE, which is multiplicative vs. additive) damage taken.

I love the QoL changes, but with how slow progress is even when engaging with the mechanic I may as well just be playing standard where I have some currency and gear : /

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Vanquesse V

The changes in this patch are pretty good overall, though some archetypes got the short end of the stick in terms of mastery options (bleed, bows, totems and mana come to mind).
The league has fun gameplay but I’m not feeling the rewards at all. (level 35 in the league, and I just killed my 3rd conqueror).

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Dug From The Earth

All the system changes = good (or at least much better than last league)

The new league mechanic = a hard “Meh”

Another league that primarily benefits the no lifers, the hardcore streamers. Everyone else wont really be profiting much from this. Dont expect to get much currency. If you are a player who struggles to build up currency (such as Chaos, or Exalts) this league will not change that.

Its just more RNG on top of the existing RNG, but at a ridiculously slower pace. Factor this… its already a long drawn out process to find an item with good stats on it… now… you have to put it through another process that is 100x slower, in order to improve it slightly more at the same risk of completely turning to the item to garbage.

The “xp” or whatever the items needs to be scourged is a large part of the problem. You should be able to just slot an item into your scourge window, do the scourge event, and BOOM, item is scourged.

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Arktouros

The league is….ok?

The league mechanic, the Scourge realm, is kinda fun and kinda not. As usual there’s just completely overtuned guys in there who deal bonkers damage (lightning guys) and the rest is dangerous but okay. I mostly dip in to check for a boss then dip out if I can’t see one and check elsewhere. Killing too much just creates issues like you’re zooming along and then all of a sudden you’re at 120% more damage taken and a lightning guy just one shots you. This creates a lot of balance/consideration and I’ll be honest and say most times I just don’t want to think and just zoom along and collect loot.

The “Krangler” as people been calling it, actually terrible. Reddit broke it out and it’s something like 5% chance to get an item that’s good due to weighting of the mods. The risk vs reward factor is basically non-existent and it’s like 95% risk so why bother? The only use I’ve found for it is to throw janky white maps in there that I can then fish for mods like scourge rares drop X item then go farm it for X items otherwise it’s entirely useless.

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Dug From The Earth

yeah… starting around act 6, the scourge event itself turns into an “instant and unavoidable sudden ambush bomb right in your face”. 50 enemies all lunge and attack you at once as soon as you start.

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Greaterdivinity

When you change dimensions you knock everything back and stun it for a quarter second or so. Gives you time to assess and move around a bit (which is very necessary) or start laying out some damage.

The bigger issue is the scourge minions (many have near instant leaps that seem to either stun or otherwise disable you for a moment) and the insane frequency of haste auras that seem to give 100% bonus move/attack speed to enemies : /

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Greaterdivinity

This honestly feels like they took the idea behind Chris’s “masochist mode” and put it in a league mechanic.

I’m still wondering what the hell “leveling krangles” are even remotely close to the power of leveling uniques. Because Chris talked about how stuff they were finding/making could be far better than leveling uniques but like…I’ve yet to see anyone actually share any one of them anywhere : |