I’ve become hooked on Path of Exile again.
Path of Exile is produced by Grinding Gear Games, once a tiny indie game studio and now a medium size NZ game studio. It is in many ways the spiritual successor to Diablo and Diablo 2, featuring similar action RPG gameplay and an immense degree of character customisation.
The game attracted my interest by being the first “Free-to-play” game I had seen that wasn’t a pay-to-cheat shitheap. And the developers have kept it this way through over five years. The game sells storage space which is the only gameplay relevant cash shop item, but mostly is funded by sales of cosmetics.
There are no ‘cheat codes’ for sale in the form of XP boosters, game currency, consumables or items, and all of the game’s content can be accessed by free players at the same pace a paying player would experience it. The game sells cosmetics, in-game storage space, and very expensive (but cool) IRL swag like t-shirts and hoodies.
At the highest pricepoints the game sells the ability to leave a slight mark on the game through designing unique items, divination cards and other things, as well as developer-signed IRL swag.
I made a video on the Path of Exile business model and making the case that it is not a pay-to-cheat game, that can be found here:
I plan to produce a number of videos and guides aimed at players from newbie to veteran. I’ll use the following terms throughout:
Beginner: A player that has not yet completed the Normal Labyrinth. Beginners will often have major misconceptions about the game, may not yet understand even the basics of the Ascendancy system, the Passive Skilltree or the support gem system.
Novice: A player who has completed the Normal Labyrinth, but has not completed Act 10. A novice should understand the basics of Ascendancies, the passive tree and support gems, and will be starting to develop a basic idea of which currency items are common enough to use frivolously and which ones are precious. However, a novice will not understand the intricacies of those systems.
Early Endgamer: Upon completing Act 10, a whole new world becomes available to players. An early endgamer is exploring this new world. You graduate past this step when you feel confident that you can comfortably and easily beat all yellow maps, plus the Eternal Labyrinth.
Veteran: Once you pass the Early Endgamer stage, you are One Of Us.