Early Impressions - The Good and The Bad

This will be a bit of a thought dump on my experience with the game after recently finishing the campaign with my first character, what I enjoyed and what I think could be improved on.

For context I’m an exploring kind of player, for me the fun in an ARPG is the novelty of trying many different builds as opposed to spending hundreds of hours min-maxing a single character. With that context established, let’s first talk about the positives that most stood out to me.

The Good

One thing I noticed early on is how good my character felt to play. I went with a Warpath Sentinel since I’ve always been a fan of the “mindlessly running into things and watching them die” playstyle, and my expectation was that I’d have to invest a lot of early skill points into mana generation to sustain the channel cost. But no, very quickly I could grab some skill nodes that made the channel cost zero, which felt great!

Another thing I really came to appreciate from the start was all of the convenience features in the game. Compact towns, loot filters, quick travel from anywhere, the game guide and extensive tooltips, and so on.

A bit further on I was impressed by how much build variety there was in the skill system alone. I went with Void Knight because the Echo mechanic looked fun, but there seemed to be at least two other viable ways to build a Warpath Sentinel by going down other branches of the skill tree, and probably more if you can figure out how to use some of the less obvious skill nodes, such as the one that increases damage, area and channel cost every second. Notably that’s just the skill tree for Warpath, if there is as much variety in other skill trees then there are easily hundreds upon hundreds of different builds to try out across all the classes that all will give a different gameplay experience from very early levels.

The Bad

The first big negative I noticed was that the game was quite a bit too easy early on. From the very start I just melted enemies with very little resistance, even the toughest bosses and elites died very quickly and I never really had to care about dodging anything or think twice about what I was spinning into. Not only did this make the gameplay a bit repetitive, but it made it really hard to evaluate my build decisions since I was a walking lawnmower no matter how I switched things up. It was only after about level 50 that the difficulty started to ramp up, when I was almost done with the campaign.

My next criticism is about how progression was basically nonexistent, at least for my build. With that I mean that gameplay was almost identical between level 10 and level 70. The initial mana reduction nodes made a huge difference to gameplay since I could spin forever, but after that every node was mostly different forms of increasing damage. I’ve also briefly looked at which unique item effects are available for Warpath, and it looks like that won’t make much of a difference either. That’s a shame since to me the whole point of progressing in an ARPG is seeing how my character evolves.

Also related to progression, and perhaps specifically related to my Warpath build, was that I quickly found myself with 2-3 useless buttons on my skill bar. To echo with Warpath I have to be spinning for 2 seconds uninterrupted, and while spinning I don’t regenerate mana, which means very few skills are usable while spinning. There are ways to work around this by making skills instant-cast and gaining mana through other means, but it’s not something worth doing until fairly late-game. It would be cool to have some more buff skills for builds that only care about one damaging skill.

Lastly I think that the campaign has a bit too many areas with enemies that are mostly interchangeable fodder. I think differentiating the areas more would be good, such as having some with lots of small enemies, some with a few high hp enemies, some with lots of ranged enemies, and so on. Of course the difficulty also has to be sufficiently high so these differences matter strategically.

Welcome, and happy travelling.

Some quick notes to state the obvious:

This is true and has been discussed for years, literally.
The majority of forum posters agree that the game is too easy (although recently with all the newcomers a few “game is too hard” posts have started to appear).
Apparently some kind of system allowing to choose your difficulty is planned, but I assume they have bigger problems right now so we will have to wait a while.

This is were I am going to state the obvious…
You have chosen Warpath, and as you talk about echoes I am guessing you went Void Knight.
I call Warpath Void Knight the “Beginner’s Build”. It is strong enough, brain-dead easy to build, with super straightforward choices of passives and skills, obvious choices of uniques and affixes as well.
Probably the one and only truly viable build with zero interactions or thoughts needed.
You will find progression is any build you try, except this one.

I understand the feeling, but again this is due to the “build” (or lack thereof) you have chosen.
Even just going paladin/fire Warpath would give you a lot of different building paths, and a feeling of progress.
I believe it is good for build diversity that, while most builds are complex, a few are very simple. With Void Knight Warpath being the simplest of all.

Yes, it is related to this build. In almost any other build, even Warpath-focused, you are going to wish you could have more skill slots.
As Void knight Warpath is designed to be super-simple, interactions are limited.
Typically, from the top of my head, you would go for: one movement skill, Lunge or Shield Rush; Warpath (duh); Sigils (you need a few points in paladin to unlock that); Anomaly to help with booses fights. Last skill is more tricky, I suppose most would take Volatile Reversal for mana handling, I myself like to autocast Abyssal Echoes but it takes a bit more theorycrafting to manage mana.

There are. Just not so much for Void Knight Warpath, on purpose, this build is for players who don’t want to dig deep into interactions.

tldr: the build you have chosen is very “extreme” in its simplicity. Any other thing you try will give you way more options.