2000 opinions on Hateforge in 3.15

I asked my Youtube viewers their thoughts on if and how Hateforge should be available in 3.15. Here’s the results:

I’m in a minority here (I advocate putting it with The Feared 8-mod, which is why that option appears). I think it would be a cool reward for an over the top difficulty encounter and provide a way to target farm the item.

I think there’s a bias toward 24/40 challenge players in my reach on Youtube. So this could be seen as more indicative of the opinions of 24/40 players than of the playerbase as a whole.

A lot of comments indicated some people who voted T0 want the item to ‘almost not exist’ while still being there for the obsessed. I’m not a fan of extremely powerful items being balanced by rarity in general, but clearly some people are.

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Ultimatum Challenges Spreadsheet

as mentioned on the YT vid

http://www.sirgog.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/UltimatumChallenge.ods

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The Endgame Flowchart – A Summary Of Many Endgame Activities

POE’s endgame has a lot of possible activities in it.

This flowchart isn’t a guide to endgame, more an outline of what activities are available, a rough estimate of the difficulty of each, and partial information on prerequisite chains to access activities. Difficulty isn’t something players will all agree upon – for example, many people believe I overstate the difficulty of the Cortex encounter and understate the difficulty of Uber Atziri.

Activities become more challenging the further down the list you get.

You’ll need to open the flowchart in a new tab. It kinda doesn’t work otherwise.

Not mentioned: Delirium, fractured mapping and more. Actually mapping in general is really glossed over here – it’s the glue that binds everything on this chart together.

Feel free to download this, distribute it and create derivative works. Use it in any way you see fit except claiming authorship.

Guides to some encounters found here:

The Elder: https://youtu.be/Ct8WMU6WqKE

The Shaper: https://youtu.be/9mmoGPh_1fI (this is an old guide, this will show, it’s still accurate though)

Uber Elder: https://youtu.be/q8AX8hHCwKY

Conquerors of the Atlas:
Al-Hezmin guide: https://youtu.be/hqlV5WooyLE
Drox guide: https://youtu.be/PdDWQ_fg9tc
Veritania guide: https://youtu.be/uWc3j1wVCYA
Baran guide: https://youtu.be/I_raBI0KpQA
I don’t have a Sirus guide. I recommend Twitch streamer Don The Crown’s guide instead, it’s outstanding.

“Low Effort” Heists:
https://youtu.be/wPUA8DXG3Ms

My main Heist guide:
https://youtu.be/UkeAdPlWBA8

My main Delve guide (embedded below):
https://youtu.be/Ai9ojFjMLT8

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3.13 (Ritual) Challenge Guides

This is the spreadsheet version. Full detail to follow in later videos

It will open with most spreadsheet viewers (it’s a Libre Office file but Excel understands the file type)

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Mayhem Theorycrafting

This is an Excel doc from a Twitch brainstorm session

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Divination Card Stories: The Price of Loyalty

Inspired by https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2978293/page/1

As a teen in the 90s I’d been obsessed with traditional RPGs like Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy 6 – then when I got a PC, I fell in love with the faster pace of Diablo and Diablo 2.

By the early twenty-tens I’d moved on to Dungeons and Dragons Online, but was looking for something new – and heard of a spiritual successor to Diablo 2 and thought I’d check it out.

I took the Path of Exile plunge during the Anarchy league, and went in blind. I knew the game was complex, but I jumped in at the deep end, creating some monstrosity of a Shadow using Viper Strike and no life nodes. My build was terrible, but I had a lot of fun muddling through, full clearing monster level 47 zones over and over at level 54 before finally meeting a boss I simply could not beat. I then followed guides and reached maps in Torment league.

From Incursion onward I’ve been solidly at endgame, getting 36 or 40 challenges in each league (except Legion which I didn’t enjoy much and stopped at 24).

I also created a now very outdated video guide on Youtube on the strategies I’d used to trade for a Headhunter in Incursion league, which got unexpectedly popular and sent me down an unexpected path – working in aviation technical records by day, while making POE related videos in my spare time. These are mostly aimed at ’24 challenge a league’ players who aspire to improve to the 36 or 40 challenge level. This also got me to the point of trying to learn streaming, and I go live two or three evenings a week (AU TZ) on Twitch.

Inspired by Betrayal’s “The Nurse”, I purchased a divination card commission originally planning to make a divination card for The Fiend, which would have been named Deadly Sins. But then Synthesis league came out just before I submitted the design.

I fell in love with the newly added divination card Arrogance of the Vaal after trading for and turning in 20 sets of it on day 5 of Synthesis. Arrogance is my favorite card, surpassing the two I have commissioned (and my third which is in the pipeline).

I like Arrogance because it is high variance, super high maximum payoff but low expected value (like a lottery), and because it adds strange, unique and cool treasures to a trade league economy that otherwise would not exist. Threshold jewels with two powerful corruptions, levelling uniques that get enough of a boost to work into endgame, and more. As someone with a maths background, the two “hardest” math related problems in statistical inference related to POE are working out the expected value of Arrogance of the Vaal turnins, and Stacked Decks – and this makes me love both of them.

After seeing Arrogance I considered a two-implicit krangled power unique like Zerphi’s Heart or Headhunter, then realised I’d enjoy something with higher variance more, to capture more of the feel of turning in Arrogance of the Vaal.

The design coalesced in my mind when someone in global chat linked a two-implicit Tabula with two +2 gems mods and I snarkily replied “shame to waste those corrupts, they would be amazing on Skin of the Loyal”.

At this point I knew my original plan for an influenced, ilvl 86 atlas base was out the window, and I was going to change the commission to a double corrupted Skin.

I quickly decided on ilvl 25 as Skin is an all-offense piece of armour, so you do not want the weak defensive corrupts that become possible at ilvl 45, nor the very strong one that comes online at ilvl 80. 20-44 is basically always the “correct” choice and so rather than penalise players that do not know the mechanics of how to influence the ilvl of items sourced by divination cards, I just set it at a number arbitrarily chosen in that range.

I also find it poses an interesting puzzle for builds. If your build usually uses 4 blue gems and 2 red ones, can you use a 3 blue 2 red 1 green Skin if it has good corruptions on it? Is that better than using a crafted chest without the incredible corruptions, but with the ‘perfect’ colours? These sorts of build puzzles appeal to me.

Thoughts then turned to the card flavour. Given that the card reward deals with three intersecting horror themes – the Vaal’s ruthless cruelty, the name ‘Skin of the Loyal’ and the otherworldly, almost Lovecraftian horror themes of Chayula, I knew I wanted to design a self-contained horror story.

This made me ask questions.

  • Who was skinned?
  • Why were they loyal, and what to?
  • Who skinned them?
  • Why?
  • Did their loyalty matter?
  • Did they regret it?

I settled upon answers of “a useful idiot”, “an idealised version of Chayula that they believed would grant them power”, “someone Chayula didn’t regard as useless – perhaps Zilquapa, Architect of the Breach or someone under his command”, “to stop power-hungry petitioners pestering them”, “no” and “noone alive will ever know”, respectively.

I wanted the flavour text to convey both the horror and a sense of utter contempt for the skinned cultists. This wasn’t a High Cultist making a human sacrifice in an important rite, this was someone taking out the trash because they were told to do so. When I initially submitted it the quote was attributed to Zilquapa, but this did not fit cleanly at certain resolutions so the attribution was removed. However, the card does drop from Zilquapa.

I came up with the following art directive for the commission

About three cultists (of diverse appearances) in identical garb stand in a line, staring blankly into the distance.
A fourth cultist is using a ceremonial dagger (the Chayula unique United in Dream) to skin one of the three cultists alive. The victim is not reacting at all to the mortal wounds and neither are the other two cultists who will be next. The victim has a chunk of skin hanging loosely to their side.
The soul of the dying cultist, instead of escaping, is being drawn to this skin. As it leaves the body it is white, as it enters the skin, a sickly red.

which Shaun did a phenomenal job of.

I did have a few other ideas in mind when submitting The Price of Loyalty, which I ultimately decided against. These were:

  • a card named Entropy for a 19% quality double-corrupted timeworn unique
  • a card named Prehistoric Remnants for 6 of the same “ultra rare Delve fossil” with flavour text ‘In a bloodstained tangled hollow, the faceted glyphic fractured’; the shortest English language sentence
  • a card that was functionally similar to Nook’s Crown, which was probably commissioned at the same time as mine
  • an Eternity Shroud inspired card for a random unique that can be created by chance orb, except with Shaper influence
  • a card for an ilvl 86 Shaper Hubris Circlet with a random Eternal Labyrinth enchant on it

If people are interested in commissioning a divination card, email GGG support. It’s not cheap as you are buying a professional artist’s time at enough of a markup that it also helps fund POE2 development, but The Price of Loyalty cost me less than my gaming monitor.

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Heist League Challenge Guides

These are the notes for the Heist league challenges (Videos as they become available)

Spreadsheet download:

Video for 12 challenges

Video for 24 challenges

Video for 36 challenges

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How to Research Leaguestart Builds

This is advice for before leaguestart, rather than after it. It isn’t a build guide, although I intend to produce one for Glacial Cascade Mines and possibly something else. It’s the first step to building your own.

Unless you are Ghudda or Jousis, the first step in designing a build is usually to find a starting point – a previously proven build that has many similarities to the build you want to play, then treat that build as a template to modify.

This can be done unless a new interaction completely transforms the way a skill plays (e.g. when Archmage was added, non-Archmage builds couldn’t transform to Archmages easily)

The single best resource for this is the build indexer at the website poe.ninja

It keeps downloads of the top builds – both by character level achieved, and also by solo delve depth – from the most recent league. It tracks trade league, SSF, HC and HC SSF.

Importantly, it also keeps older versions from early in the league, when items are scarce and character power is weak.

You can get useful information from looking at what worked in both the league ruleset you wish to play, but also from stricter ones (e.g. if you intend to play trade-enabled hardcore, also check out HC SSF)

If you intend to play a brand new skill, you’ll need to look at the most similar skill gems that actually exist now. For example, Crackling Lance isn’t Arc, but it’s closer to Arc than anything else.

This will help you discover the most popular combinations of support gems, Ascendancy choices and overall ‘textures’ of passive trees.

I highly recommend looking at the historical data from days 2-6 of the league. At this point, even top end players won’t have bonkers gear – they are likely running 5 links or bad 6 links.

Builds that reach 500 Delve depth over a league in Hardcore are especially solid choices to investigate, although if you play SC you should definitely adapt them to do more damage. Likewise, HC SSF builds with multiple boss uniques (e.g. Crown of the Inward Eye on the same character as a Watcher’s Eye) indicate a very strong bosskiller.

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Leaguestart Economy Strategies – Heist Trade League

This article is also available in podcast format on Youtube, see below:

Day 1 of a new league provides unique challenges and opportunities. Everything is fresh and new, and there’s not yet the mid-league phenomenon where every item save the very, very, very rarest is in extreme oversupply.

Some new build-defining items will be super common – but that information won’t be widely known. If you get these items early they sell; get them late and you might not pick them up.
Items that would be 2-5c late in the league can sell for an exalt or more.

It’s also a time where a small minority of players get a single, very big drop that they just want to sell off to buy gear. There’s more people selling exalts than there are people with the capital to buy them; ditto for Doctor cards, etc etc.

If you have any goals in Heist that require a lot of currency, this is the best time to set yourself up. Going hard and smart on day 1 can result in you getting ten to twenty times as much wealth as playing that much later in the league.

Five universal tips:

  • Don’t be in any public chat channels while levelling. Levelling fast is your goal, and chat channels are super distracting.
  • Preplan your build (you can do this from patch notes day). If trying something experimental, have a worked-out backup plan you know how to respec into (for instance, if I decide to leaguestart as Crackling Lance Assassin, and it turns out to suck, my backup is Ignite Prolif Trickster or Contagion-ED Trickster)
  • Have a loot filter that is optimized for day one of a league. Every five link armor is worth looting and selling (if not using or crafting). Levelling uniques, gems like Vaal Haste – all good. Divination cards for starter uniques are worth looting too.
  • Chaos orbs, jeweller’s orbs, regals and fusings collapse in value at leaguestart. Trade them for things that increase in value, especially as the last thing you do before ending a play session. Mediocre choice of items to buy with chaos/fuses/jewellers/regal orbs are exalted orbs and exalt shards. Better choices are expensive consumables that people deem ‘too precious to use’ early on: gilded scarabs, pure breachstones, delirium orbs, delirious maps – as well as ‘pieces’ of best in slot items, like The Nurse divination card, or Sustenance/Gift of Asenath cards.
  • Don’t be afraid to overpay for gear early, if you will recoup the cost by clearing faster. Paying 27c for a Tabula early – or an exalt for a corrupt 6L – then selling it later for a 15c divine might seem wasteful, but if it speeds up your mapping by 30%, it’s paid for itself in next to no time.

First Major Decision: New Content vs Familiar Content

This is a big choice. I’m not going to express a recommendation here – you should be able to succeed with either choice.

Make sure you pick your build around your choice.

Familiar Content Options

Going with familiar content doesn’t mean you won’t try the Heist mechanics, just that you will spend a large majority of your time using tried and tested strategies.

There’s seven main ways you can go with familiar content. I won’t go into each in depth, except to add that I do not recommend competing with Eternal Lab carry services; so many people do it that the prices are low. Eternal lab can be profitable, and by all means carry friends, but it’s more lucrative to run them solo quickly than it is to assist inexperienced people who experience high latency on your home server in Lab.

All of these strategies revolve around getting to maps super fast. The advantage to being in the first fifty thousand people to maps (ideally first five thousand) are enormous.

Proven Strategies for Familiar Content

  • Run low tier maps, super super fast, focusing upon currency drops. Alch and go with a movespeed specced build with extraordinary damage projection, such as Tornado Shot or Essence Drain-Contagion. Generally right to do the unID chaos recipe until chaos orbs fall to 1/75 of an exalt, after that, never do it again. Sell useful uniques, you will get more of these than any other strategy.
  • Push to high tier maps. Run medium investment maps (alch/sextant/go), at a pace somewhat slower than the low tier option. You might need to buy bosskill services for Conquerors if you are extremely focused upon clearspeed. Sell spare maps! People pay well for maps early on to fill Atlas holes.
  • Generate a bosskiller and buy access to content others can’t beat early (e.g. buy Shaper maps, run them, source fragments, run Shaper, sell Dying Sun and even the lesser drops). Additionally, run a bosskill service where you rescue other peoples’ failed attempts, and kill their Conquerors so they can progress their Atlas (you can find clients in /trade 820). Sirus is particularly lucrative if you know the fight well enough to do it on dumpster tier gear and buy Sirus instances from 820, but you can do Atziri, Izaro, Shaper, Elder or more.
  • Delve and just generate lots of currency and fossils and resonators, plus set yourself up for farming premium fossils later. This requires buying sulphite, and lots of people will sell you a Niko mission early on. (Other masters are great for currency too, but more week 2 onward)
  • Set up a character that is extraordinarily good at running Blighted maps. Buy them and run them early, while all the lesser rewards like uniques and veiled items still sell.
  • Set up a character that is extremely good at the Simulacrum (much harder than blighted maps, and requires more capital, but more lucrative). Expect to take several trades per Simulacrum, as noone has large numbers of Delirium splinters on day 1 and few do even by day 7.
  • Lastly, crafting for profit, either buying unlinked meta uniques and 6 socketing them then attempting to 6 link (but resell/start over on hitting a 5L) or a million and one other options
  • If you go any of these routes, loot your Heists and your blueprints, and sell them in bulk.

Heist Content

I’ll refer a bit to item level here, it’s a stat that shows up in game with advanced mod descriptions, and constrains what mods can be rolled on an item. 91 on these uniques. 86 is the magic number to be able to roll all mods (at the moment)

There’s 7 new types of rewards.

  • Contracts. Grant access to Heists, which have normal POE loot, nothing unique. Time will tell if these are good, great, or bleh. Drop in maps, can be crafted similarly to maps. Like Incursions, these influence a capstone encounter (Grand Heists). I suspect we will be flooded with these.
  • Blueprints. Grant access to Grand Heists. These both have normal POE loot and special loot (see later). These also appear to be able to be crafted like maps. Your work in contracts can influence what you get.
  • Expect blueprints to be about 12 times rarer than contracts (based upon prcedent of Incursion league). Expect one contract drop per zone, possibly more in well-rolled maps.
  • It’s my understanding (possibly wrong) that each Curio Display Room has a 20% chance to have each of the five types of rewards in it, and that you can find out which ones are in a room by running a couple normal Heists for intel.
  • Alt-quality gems. Vary but some will be in extreme demand. Probably not all that ilvl dependent, unless 21/23 versions can drop and are limited to high levels
  • Replica uniques. Mostly trash or oversupplied niches, but some will be chase. Probably only a little ilvl sensitivity (e.g. if there’s a Skyforth knockoff, it’ll be 84+). If these end up as the chase reward, expect fast low tier mapping/heisting to possibly be better than high tier.
  • Experimental bases. VERY ilvl sensitive. ilvl 83+ Impact Force Propagator (the 2H mace) just has much more potential as a crafting base than ilvl 82 and down.
  • Thieves’ Trinkets . Don’t underestimate these – they look to do a lot. Imagine how powerful ‘44% chance for double scarabs’ would be in Simulacrum; that’s just one mod here, and these ARE this league’s equivalent of Simulacrum. We don’t know how ilvl affects them. Currency modification ones are huge. They can’t be crafted, and the best ones might have ilvl requirements.
  • Enchanted Bases. The most ilvl sensitive of all. An ilvl 86 Vaal Regalia with the defense enchant (+12% magnitude of defense rolls, -50% magnitude of resist rolls) has the potential to be rolled into the best ES armour possible in the league. An ilvl 83 Regalia, however, has no real benefit over an ilvl 86 non-enchanted base, except being a bit easier to roll.
  • A key point on enchanted bases: Ask yourself “Could a mirror service crafter be interested in throwing 500 exalts at this base?” If the answer is no, you want to sell it fast so undercut. If the answer is yes, HOLD IT. Unless it is more common than you think, it will be worth much more later.
  • Enchanted bases ilvl Rule of thumb: 83 marks the ideal ilvl for physical-enchanted weapons. 86 for elemental-enchanted weapons. 85 or 86 for torso pieces without the defence enchant, 86 only for ES pieces with defense enchant. If chaos damage weapons are viable this league, 83 is ideal for chaos-enchanted weapons.

General Notes for Interacting With Heists

  • No plan survives first contact with the enemy. These are not guaranteed to work. However, the strategies that do work will vomit out wealth.
  • HAVE A FALLBACK PLAN. If you aren’t able to handle Heists early on, or if the content is super buggy like Delve was day 1, you don’t want to ragequit and miss the opportunity of day 1. Instead, you want to drop into one of the familiar content plans while you lick your wounds. Maybe you can’t beat some new Heist boss but you are super experienced with Vaal Temple, and you can sell portals into corrupt Vaal Temples to people who want to buy completion for their atlas.
  • Firstly, whatever you do, BATCH YOUR HEISTS. Doing two Delves then a map then an Alva mission is inefficient. Save up at least ten heists, run them back to back to back to back unless you have a compelling reason to do otherwise.
  • Secondly, if you intend to run mid or high tier heists, run a few low tier ones just to learn the ropes. This goes quadruple for hardcore, but matters in SC as well. You’ll have plans for dealing with various dangers in them – but will Decoy Totem/Knockback/Phasing through enemies work or do you need to kill it all? That remains to be seen.

Economic Strategies Revolving Around Heists

  • Blitz low tier Heists leading up to Grand Heists. Favour gem curio rooms and Thieves’ Trinkets curio rooms and Replica Uniques. Don’t expect special bases (Experimented or enchanted) to be worth anything at low ilvl.
  • If Heists drop a lot of Breachstones (this remains to be seen: Legion and Delirium did, Blight did not), buy and run level 80-81 Contracts as much as possible. Breachstones sell well all league – early on, the normal/charged/enriched to bosskillers chasing uniques like Hand of Wisdom and Action; later league, the pure to people chasing XP. Prioritize getting a trinket with +% breach loot (if this exists).
  • If Heists drop lots of maps, farm a bunch, then throw all your lower tier maps into a 5c tab which is NOT public. At some point, dedicate 10 minutes to selling maps – turn the tab on, run two maps portalling out for any sales, then drop the tab 1c, run two maps, repeat.
  • Push to high tier maps, and run Grand Heists, prioritizing the enchanted bases (ilvl 83+) and experimental bases (again 83+). When you get something that’s “good but not the best possible” sell it fast and undercut; when you get something that’s unbeatable e.g. ilvl 86 Vaal Regalia with the defenses enchant, HOLD IT until the top couple hundred crafters have the capital to buy it. While doing so you may also get other rewards.
  • Source high tier Blueprints and low tier Contracts. Upgrade (unveil) the Blueprints, and list them for sale. This is the most risky option, as we don’t know how Contracts work exactly.
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I’ve added a merchandise page

E-commerce seemed to be a lot to learn and my due diligence indicates that the Youtube channel is nowhere near being able to provide even a modest living for me, so I hadn’t done this yet.

But it’s kinda easy to get into now through third parties that don’t hit you too hard on fees, so I set up a merchandise store through Stream Elements. (I’ve got no other relationship with Stream Elements, they are just a service provider)

Here’s the link: https://merch.streamelements.com/sirgog

and some silly image ad

Origins of the Toucan meme and ‘Krangled’:

Toucan originated as a measure to fight RMT cheat sites.
If they advertised in global, someone would post a copypasta to cause the cheat site’s ad to scroll off into oblivion.
An ASCII Toucan became the most popular one and it became a meme within the POE community – especially when GGG started clamping down on it. “You have been muted for 12 hours for spamming” was a common reaction.
As for Krangled – that’s from the greatest Reddit post in the history of the Path of Exile subreddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/pathofexile/comments/g1ksx2/what_returning_after_a_few_years_feels_like/ was a joke about complexity creep. Everything on it is nonsense but it’s so well crafted that the Krangled word stuck.

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