With Kritika down yesterday, I decided to give this game a shot. I had avoided it years ago because click to move is usually death to controllers. I use a controller because heavy mouse usage is just asking for repetitive strain injuries. But someone on this forum recently insisted that the game is perfectly fine on a controller, so I decided to give it a shot.
Movement is decidedly awkward. It's a click to move game, and playing it on a controller felt like click to move always does on a controller: really awkward. It didn't get me killed, as you don't need to move much during combat at the low levels. I'm not sure if that's just because the low levels are easy, or if the whole game is built around standing there and blasting away, and only moving either to flee or to go to the next battle.
Attacking was less bad than I expected, but still far from good. Mobs basically just stand there and attack, letting you blast away in return. I'm not sure if that's again just a case of the low levels being easy, or if the whole game is like that. If mobs want to run around a lot, they could be very, very difficult to beat with a controller.
The boxes to click on to attack a mob are fairly large, which helps. But if you click and miss, then instead of attacking, you run to the spot you clicked. I'm aware that you can assign a button to shift to stop moving, but that uses a scarce button. I'm not sure if you need quick access to all of the skill slots, but it sure looks like you do for all five flask slots.
The lack of control configuration options was definitely a disappointment. The game doesn't let you assign skills to combinations of keys, which means that you've got however many buttons you've got and that's it. Logitech's software does let me assign one button to toggle between two independent mappings of all other buttons, and without that, the game would be unplayable. But that's something that ought to be built into games rather than relying on external software, and Logitech's software limits that effect to just one button. Also problematic is that it is hard-coded and unchangeable that your base attack must be mouse left click.
I'm not actually worried about the inventory tetris side of things. I could see that being a huge problem if you try to play exclusively on a controller, such as on a game console. But I have no problem with using a mouse now and then. The problem is aggressive mouse usage for an hour at a time, which is why I want to use a controller for most of the game.
The game itself didn't seem bad. If easy, precise controls of movement and/or attacking become important at higher levels, then the game will become very awkward to play on a controller. And if not, then the combat will get highly repetitive and boring.
Ultimately, Kritika is back up today, so I'm back to playing that. I'm not sure if I'll ever give Path of Exile another shot. I certainly would if the controls were more comfortable. Is there anything that I missed to make the game more controller-friendly? For example, a way to switch to WASD movement? I see that there's an Xbox One version and a PS4 version coming, but I can't imagine why anyone would want to play those if it's as awkward as using a controller on the PC version--and without the option to grab a keyboard or mouse now and then when you really need to.