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Path of Exile is a online co-op hack and slash.
A quick overview first:
| Amazing skill tree |
| Group content |
Graphics and Aesthetics - 9
Graphics are hardly breath taking, but they do their job well which is most important. it's obvious there is a certain vision of the world that was developed - the graphical style is consistent and not cartoony which is quite important in creating the grim atmosphere of the place. All areas are unique and actually manage to feel "epic" despite the fact it's a top-down fixed camera that you can't rotate. The animations are good, i've yet to find one that would make me cringe.
Group Content - 3
This is one of the weakest features of PoE.
First of all, and this is probably most important - the difficulty does not scale well with the size of the group. The normal mobs are pretty weak when compared to single-player. This means that "grouping" actually means constantly spamming AoE by everyone in the group and watching whole rooms of mobs die. In PuGs nobody talks and all normal mobs are a haze - you won't be able to see what you are killing since everything will die in a storm of AoE of effect particles that you can NOT turn off.
The AoE spam also makes melee characters useless - there is nothing to tank or melee if everything is dead before you get into melee-range of it. And no - Ground Slam is NOT melee, thank you very much. There are some bosses that are possible to tank but most are not tankable and require both melee and ranged to dance around the boss - which again places melee characters at a disadvantage. PoE boss encounters are quite fun however and one of the stronger points on the game while grouping.
Last issue PoE group content has is looting. There is a 600-page long thread about it on PoE forums but basically... you have 1 second to pick up your loot. This means that if you are in a pick up group with randoms and somethign valuable drops everyone in the group rushes to try and ninja it - and you need to rush as well or you'll never see the drop again. Having to stop fighting mid-combat so that your loot is not ninja'd is an unexcusable mechanic in combat orientated games like hack'n'slashes.
Classes and Flexibility - 7
Every class can use any keystone, gem and skill. The only difference between classes is the starting place on the "grid" of skills - this means that rangers have easier access to bow skills, but nothing stops a witch from getting those same skills. The main issue is with the current system is the fact I mentioned above which makes melee uunderpowered. However, other then that there's very few issues - the skill tree is huge and provides a lot of flexibility. There are many possible combinations, every skill gem can be boosted by support gems to get any combination you want (Example: you can set a trap that will spawn totems that will shoot spells for you)
Polish – 8
There are some people who experience desyncs, but except one 5 minute long loading screen while teleporting to a boss room that killed my templar I have not experienced any game breaking bugs. The servers do sometimes crash which is possibly lethal but it's rare. There are also no "broken" skills which, with the sheer amount of possible combinations is quite amazing.
Social - 3
Again, just as with group content - some very doubtful design decisions. The trading is done through forums and while spamming "WTB ........ paying well! " is quite nostalgic, there is a good reason why we have market places. There is also no guild content which would be very useful with such vile pick-up-groups.
Innovation - 7
The game is "old school" so by definition not very innovative, but just for the way the skills and gems work it deserves that "7".
GAMEPLAY – 8
The content has some amazing replayability. Different classes do feel different and struggle in different places. The Hardcore league (when you die you get demoted to default) provides additional challenge and motivation to improve. If the AoE spam issue is adressed, an easy "10".
Value - 10
The game - believe it or not - is free. OK, ok....! Not totally free. *SPOILER*Santa does not exist -kids - sorry*SPOILER* The game has a cosmetic cash shop and sells some extra bank space (that you can do without if you really need) and sells additional character slots. You can however make 24 characters without paying a cent (or whatever it is they use in New Zealand). The cash shop is reasonably priced which is another plus. You can even pay (a hefty sum) to create a unique item that will be added into the game.
Originally posted by nethaniah
Seriously Farmville? Yeah I think it's great. In a World where half our population is dying of hunger the more fortunate half is spending their time harvesting food that doesn't exist.