Should you play Path of Exile in 2021?

Path Of Exile / Guides Date: Feb/03/21 09:41:06 Views: 2160

The review that you're going to read is in no way meant to attack Grinding Gear games. They have created a truly unique game with distinctive mechanics for a community that enjoys playing the game. Complex game mechanics and design are crucial to a game's success and longevity. There is a difference between complex and convoluted, and Path of Exile seems to embody the latter one.

Most of the info is based on a beginner's point of view and how they perceive the game's early stages. If you're reading this, then either you're a new player who wants to start playing the game or someone who took a break and intends to get back in after a few leagues. 

The discussion here is addressed to these players and how much of a chore it is to get back into POE. So should you play POE 3.13 in 2021? Let's find out.


NO.1 How free is Path of Exile?
One of the critical aspects of POE is that it's free to play. But in hindsight, the message can be a bit misleading to new players. Yes, you can play the game without spending a single dollar. All the content is free for grabs, including past and future updates. But doing so can be a pain in the back if you don't spend any money in-game.
Since the game is free-to-play, POE has microtransactions to support the game development. You can buy skins to flex your character. You can also purchase stash tabs that don't impact the game directly but introduce much quality of life changes such as efficient trading and item organization. Stash tabs increase your inventory space, making it possible to:
-Store Items
-Sell items in clearly organized trade tabs

You can technically play the game without buying any tabs, but in time, you'll run out of inventory space. However, if you like the game, you can always pitch in a few bucks to support the game development.

NO.2 Introduction of New Mechanics & Lack of Learning in-game Tutorials
In-game complexity is crucial for determining a game's future, but it is as complicated as they come when it comes to POE. Learning the game mechanics can be a chore, mainly due to the lack of in-game utilities. Yes, the game has tutorials, but they do little to explain any game mode's core mechanics. All they do is define the mechanic and how to succeed. Things such as trading and glossaries are not available in-game. You'd have to visit community forums for that information. Although most games rely on similar sources, they have much less information to go around. Most new players often quit after a few hours because they have to learn the game instead of playing it for fun.
In reality, that's far from the truth. Path of Exile has witnessed several updates that keep adding to new mechanics, crafting systems, affixes, and much more. Keeping track of everything is impossible without third-party software, which is a whole different matter altogether.
You can play the game without consulting guides, but you'll be unable to come up with a build strong enough to defeat high-level enemies.

NO.3 Overabundance of Tools
When a new player starts playing Path of Exile, they have to learn the game and the entire ecosystem. The community creates various third-party applications to help other players get the most out of the game.
Path of the building helps players' theory craft builds so that others can learn from it. Poetrade is yet another website that lists the price of all POE currency items. It serves as a master list of all the prices that players refer to when trading with one another. Then there is a path of exile database that lists the chances of rolling a specific stat on one of your items.
Taking in all of these can be overwhelming to new players. Though they can play the game without consulting any of the above solutions, it won't be the same. They may undersell or oversell certain items if they don't know the correct price. Also, if they want to enjoy the end game content, they will have to follow a build guide. Otherwise, their character won't be powerful enough to handle the end game monsters.

NO.4 Frequent Patches Tamper with Current Builds
The POE dev team launches several patches following a new league. If they nerf a particular skill gem, all builds created with said gem may become invalid for future use. All your research and effort were in vain now that the specific skill gem isn't powerful enough. Even old players who are returning to the game maybe after a year can feel overwhelmed due to these changes. As far as consistency is concerned, POE is a handful and demands lots of research before it can be played on the highest level.

NO.5 Toxic Community and Time Constraints
The POE community isn't the most welcoming bunch when it comes to new players. Although tons of tutorials are available online, asking simple questions can invite all sorts of banters commonly directed towards newbies. Given the age of the game, the community spawns lots of elitism. The old veterans might find it easy when it comes to POE farming in a new league because they have been repeating it over the years. However, they fail to acknowledge the time and effort a new player has to put into the game in order to enjoy it.

NO.6 Should you Play Path of Exile in 2021?
Path of exile demands a lot of time, energy and practice. Playing the game for 60-100 hours is not enough. You could end up spending upwards of 200 hours, and only then could you have the necessary knowledge to play the game comfortably. In Spite of the massive learning curve, Path of Exile is a great game. It may have a high entry threshold, but POE can turn out to a very enjoyable and fun game once you cross that mark.

If you're someone who enjoys MMORPG games with looter mechanics and complete flexibility over character customization and upgrades, you should definitely try out POE. It's one of a kind, which is why it's so difficult to get into. It's a unique game for unique individuals and its free, so there aren't any downsides of trying it. Good luck!