Friday, January 25, 2013

Path of Exile-- Impressions

So I decided to go wade in the shallow end of the MMO pool and installed a few FTP MMOs on Steam.

Now, if you know me, you know I have an abject TERROR of playing online with people. There are various reasons for this. Horror stories I've read about the way women are treated in online games, my own personal experiences on gaming sites (if they treat me like that typing imagine what they'll be like in game), nervous that I wont be skilled enough and get made fun of, you know, a shitton of neurosis.

Given these feelings MMOs are like the last thing my crazy ass should be touching. But, you know, I like to branch out and some of them look kinda interesting...
I've played a bit here and there in multiple games like Pandora Saga, Rusty Hearts, Spiral Nights, Mabinogi etc. But never really committed much time to any.

I don't remember how I stumbled on Path of Exile but I did, on Gamespot and started watching a video where they were talking to the dev.

As I watched it, it looked pretty much like Diablo 3 and Torchlight had a kinda depressing colored baby. This wasn't exactly a bad thing , it just wasn't a very exciting thing. But, I decided what the hell, I've played so much crap, what's one more game?

So I downloaded the beta and started playing...and promptly died..a lot..numerous  times....frustratingly often. But it was late and I was tired and I gave up.

Next day the game went into Open Beta and everything was wiped, clean slate. Not that it mattered I think I had been like level 2 or 3.
I had intended on playing early yesterday but as you guys that read my FB know I had a personal crisis. Later in the day when things had settled down I decided to play a bit just to blow some steam and calm my nerves.

I chose the same character as I had before, a Witch and since every name I usually use was taken I somehow ended up deciding on the name Jannessa (hell if I know where that came from).

This time I fared a bit better than the first time and even figured out how the hell to use a fireball spell and that made my life much much easier.

Playing the game, its very much like Diablo 3 (I have only played 3 so I have no clue how it compares to the previous ones). Interface, enemies, locations, they all have the same flavor as D3 with bits of Torchlight thrown in here and there for good measure.
If you're looking for innovation look elsewhere, if you just wanna play another fun hack n slash time killer then this is it.

Currently my character is at level 10, I would have probably gotten further despite exhaustion and my joints complaining but, the game went all janky and started freezing up and stuttering until it finally just locked up my PC causing me to reboot. (I will add that at the time I was playing with someone else and they didn't have these issues).
I am thinking of starting new characters just for comparisons sake, particularly a Shadow which appears to be a thief/rogue type character, at least based on his acrobatic dance animations that's the impression I get. My friend was playing as the Duelist and he says its a good class. Basically he's your typical Flamenco dancing Swordsman. (if you are wondering about the dancing...i'll explain that in a moment) Before you ask I have zero idea why Flamenco seems to = Swordsman but when I watched the Duelist's video first thing I thought was "Raphael" from Soul Calibur and his lovely Flamenco dance in the Second and Third games.

so I keep talking about Dance...wth?
Yeah really, I know.

So yeah, the game is FTP as so many other MMOs are these days and of course its gotta make money somewhere, no? Microtransactions! A word all gamers just love *eyeroll*. But, here's the thing...unlike most games that are Free to Play but in actuality are Play to Win, all of the microtransactions in Path of Exile are cosmetic only. They change nothing at all in how well you character fights, just how cool they look doing it.
The above dancing is one of those microtransactions. Each Class has their very own dance that suit their character's nature/fighting style) and for a few coins you can purchase your characters dance animation.

You can also buy a pet, that will help you not at all, but will just look cute hanging around with you so you don't get lonely.
Or, my personal favorite (and since I have some coins from my closed beta I'm totally gonna buy it) for my Witch, replacing my fireballs with fire dragons. Yeah, doesn't make em work better, just looks cool.
There are other things like weapon glows etc and I'm sure more to come but, they are all optional, and you won't be at a disadvantage if you don't purchase any (well unless they do a fashion show, then you're totally screwed)

FTP without shitty microtransactions makes me a happy girl. Something else that makes me happy is that I can play alone, at least so far. I really don't relish having to team up with a bunch of people in order to get anything done. Don't get me wrong I do like co-op and I am willing to play with friends, I just don't want to feel obligated to play with strangers or to try and find people to play with because it can't be done solo.

I mentioned above that I was thinking of switching characters for comparison. Now don't get me wrong, I REALLY and I mean REALLY am digging my lvl 10 Witch. However, I don't know if its my setup, dumb luck, phenomenal cosmic power or the character is just really unbalanced but I devastate EVERYTHING in my path. After a few hours my friend told me I am no longer allowed to say I suck at games cause its all lies...also, thanks to my superpowered killing machine i felt like I was hogging all the kills and no one likes a kill hog :( So, I'd like to check out other classes and see how they measure up.

Now, I do have certain problems with the game, well mostly 1 big one. First tiny nitpick..INVENTORY! WHY YOU SO SMALL???? but that's a problem i have with most games like this. I LOVE loot and the space they give you in these games is ridiculous.
Now a bigger problem. There is no in game currency, as in coins or whatnot. You buy things using different kinds of orbs and scrolls...only one problem...the same scroll you buy shit with is the one you use to identify shit you pick up..WTF? Can I get an Identify spell a la Torchlight or something? Second, the Orbs you use to buy things with also are used in modifying things, like enchanting an object, etc. So then you gotta think..."do I enchant this, or hold on to the orb to buy something else?" "Is it worth wasting the scroll to identify this sword I picked up or not?" Not to mention that town is far far away, waypoints are rare and portal scrolls are hard to come by and expensive to buy (3x wisdom scrolls for 1 portal scroll).
I feel this whole orb/scroll thing just overly complicates things needlessly.
And a final one...and this might just be me since I like my games to be uncomplicated...the gem system. Objects have different colored slots for different colored gems. Each gem does something different. So now I have to weight the pros and cons of this thing with awesome attack and 2 blue slots as opposed to this one with a red, blue and green slot but shitty attack. (which btw I'm STILL using my first weapon in one hand because it has 3 slots for 3 different colored gems which lets me summon 3 zombies, toss fireballs and...fuck I can't remember the third thing. problem is it does a base attack of 4-7)

That is WAY too much shit for me to consider while getting bitten in the ass by chicken/crab hybrid thingies. Now I will say that the nice thing about it is that you can slot and unslot gems at will. Unlike Diablo 3 where there is a cost for removing a a gem, or Torchlight where you get the option of either destroying the gem or the item. But you know, its another way to make the game and your character more customizable, more personal and I'm sure some people dig it a lot.

Overall, its definitely something worth playing if you like that type of hack n slash gameplay. Bring a friend, its more fun, but you can go solo and still survive too. This is how FTP should be.


Zia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Perri said...

that's it, I am interested...trying to get the game now. Thanks!

Jim said...

you need to find the right guild in an MMO - some of them are mostly women and girls and there are a few all girl-guilds .....although you have to be careful. one of my friends got into one of them that was actually intended as a lesbian guild.

Sihaya Atreides said...

That's just it. I have zero interest in playing with other people. Which is why I don't usually play MMOs.
also, women in general hate my guts, which is ok, cause its mutual

I have found that you can solo a lot of MMOs so I've been dabbling in Tera and a few others here and there, though really I don't have the time for that. I have too many games to play as it is.

Sihaya Atreides said...

That's just it. I have zero interest in playing with other people. Which is why I don't usually play MMOs.
also, women in general hate my guts, which is ok, cause its mutual

I have found that you can solo a lot of MMOs so I've been dabbling in Tera and a few others here and there, though really I don't have the time for that. I have too many games to play as it is.

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