Is Harvest Dead in the new Path of Exile patch?

Path Of Exile / Guides Date: Mar/19/21 08:25:47 Views: 1850

Path of Exile is a game of never-ending complexity, and yet, Grinding Gear Games(GGG) keep adding more. Although this makes for a truly unique player experience, it's not always sunshine and rainbows, and the new PoE 3.14.0 update is no different.


The developers have nerfed overpowered mechanics and skills that abuse the game. They have done so in the past with severe backlash from the community. The Echoes of Atlas was a major content update. There was bound to be some broken game mechanic down the line. The Harvest loot drops were insane, and no doubt players were taking advantage of it to come up with powerful items and equally powerful builds. The actions invoked the developers' ban hammer, and they sought to nerf Harvest to the ground. Let's take a look at the patch notes that have thrown the community off-balance.


Why are the changes bad for PoE?
There has been a lot of controversy with the new changes, mainly between the more casual and pro players. According to the average player base, the recent Harvest nerfs was directed to curbing the power of casual players. They got access to powerful items too quickly, thereby crowding them with powerful items.
The claims are valid as overly-deterministic mods are now removed from the game, including all annulment mods and type-specific divine mods. For example, modifiers like 'remove a physical mod' or 'remove a physical & add a physical mod' are now gone. However, the mods that state removes a 'non-physical mod & add a physical mod' are staying in-game. So, rolling a specific modifier of your choice just became more difficult. The change won't affect pro players who can sink hundreds of hours in-game. But this severely affects the average player's efficiency to craft powerful gears.GGG went a step further and restricted type-specific mod crafts to non-influential items. The only exceptions are existing mods that already apply a specific mod to an influenced item.
The nerf would still be justifiable if it were either of the two. But these two subsequent nerfs destroyed harvest farming for the average player. And the worst thing is that the casual players aren't getting anything in return. GGG is suddenly uprooting the mechanic without providing any suitable alternatives in its place.

The Upsides: What's still doable in Harvest?
Besides the nerfs, GGG also introduced some quality of life changes. Although the changes are nothing compared to the ban hammers, it's better than nothing.
Previously, every seed in a patch granted an instance of the seed's craft. Now, only some of the sources craft an example, which significantly cuts down on a harvest run duration. Even higher-tier seeds now spawn in a 1:1 ratio.
The chances of Sacred Grove encounters is also increased by 60%. Also, the Grove Heart is now a map fragment that sometimes drops from Tier 4 Harvest bosses. This makes it significantly easier to farm map fragments earlier at a much earlier point in the game. GGG is planning to increase the number of encounters while nerfing the rewards and control players have on the reward pool.

Problems with Trading
You cannot progress in Path of Exile without trading, no matter which stage of the game you're in. Early on, you need cheap items to start with a budget build. As you grow powerful and start on more challenging encounters, you'll need powerful gears for support.
It was much easier to create Harvest crafts, so much so that the game was brimming with players having these items. The game had become saturated, and other players, instead of farming the crafts in-game, logged into the dedicated Discord server and bought the crafts.
The trading problem rendered the entire crafting system useless. Players opted to buy orbs for sale instead of spending hours farming for rare crafts. It was too efficient, and no one could blame them. To stop all this, GGG decided to nerf the loot drops. They increase the unreliability to get specific modifiers on the crafts while also making them harder to get in general. In other words, they nerfed Harvest crafts to the ground, and since there was minor loot to go around, players would eventually stop visiting Discord groups for crafts and farm them in-game.
However, instead of killing Harvest, GGG could have done something to improve the trade mechanic in-game. Since the number of good crafts dropped after the last patch, getting powerful items has become even more difficult. So if you spotted a rare item online, grab it ASAP. If you lack the funds to do so, you can always buy PoE currency online to supplement the lack of funds.

What could have been done better?
There has been quite a lot of backlash from the community on the latest PoE patch. The fact they nerfed Harvest would have been acceptable if they gave something in return. On the one hand, the game devs are encouraging gamble crating, which is never an option for the average player. They have little resources that are better spent on better gear than on rerolling stats on their current items.
GGG could have tweaked Harvest so that it was harder to get loot by tweaking the rarity of the drops. Instead of reducing the power, reduce the availability of the said item. They could even make items with applied Harvest crafts non-tradeable. So players get to keep their OP loot without affecting the player farming experience of the entire community.
Also, since GGG is concerned with players trading in the Discord server, why not enable players to sell items from their hideouts? Other players can visit your hideout, open your chest of sellable items where you can list the price and number of items you want to sell. There are quite a few more efficient and better ways the update could have worked out. What the players got was not at all justified. However, there is nothing much they can do at this point other than going to social media and make their voices heard. What's your opinion? Could you share them in the comments below?