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What not to do: Lessons from PoE from a 1400 hours PoE ex-player (part 1)

I know Path of Exile is one of the most popular ARPG today & it’s okay to take ideas from the game. I have put in 1400 hours into the game, done most end game content, end game bosses, meta crafting, discord crafting (buyer/seller). I am not the 1% elite to but I think I have enough experience as well as being a long-time active member of PoE forum to know what many gamers feel about the game

(Everything I said is my opinion. Obviously that no one needs to agree fully, but let us have constructive discussion)

Let’s start with the few most complained features of the game:

  1. Trading.
  2. BS One-shot
  3. Exp lost on death
  4. Lab End game boss “mechanics”

1) Trading
For clarification, trading in PoE is like Diablo 2. You PM someone what you want to buy, what you offer. He invited you to the party. you go to his hideout (personal area) using the trade screen ala Diablo 2. It is made easier via 3rd party sites that allow you to filter what you want to buy/sell.
What is it so hatred?
a) It is tedious, time-consuming, time that could be spent on well, killing mobs & getting loot
b) You need a third-party website & it’s more awful if you do not have a dual monitor or similar.
c) Price manipulators & AFKer, resulting in having to spend a massive amount of time mass PMs sellers (see point a)
d) It’s an annoyance when you are in the middle of a level when someone PM you for your sales, & you either have to waste a limited portal, give up the level, or the sales. In some case, you can ask the buyer to wait, if he agreed.

The solution? An auction house. If ELG wants to prevent “buy your way to success”, there are many ways to limit the number of transactions. My suggestion is a limited trade currency/orb that required effort to farm or rare & you can keep only a limited supply. Another simpler option is to limit transactions per day, but then people will create multiple accounts to trade.

2) BS One-shot
BS One-shot should NOT be confused with reasonable One-shot due to poor gear/defense/mistake etc. That why it has a prefix BS.

Getting One-shot is not unique to PoE. its in many action games. The issue is, (as someone who only plays tanky characters) many of the One-shot in PoE is precepted as unfair, include,
a) One-shot mechanics that ignore your HP, often not well calligraphed.
My suggestion: Preferably not have one shot mechanic, but DoT, but also make sure the attack is calligraphed so you have just enough window to dodge.

b) off-screen attacks you did not see coming
My suggestion: You shouldn’t be able to hit enemies off-screen, & they shouldn’t offscreen attack you. End of.

c) Synchronised attack (every mob attack, or death explosion at the same time)
My suggestion: stagger the time of attacks.

d) Damage spike (surge of damage when all stars are aligned)
My suggestion: Have a damage cap for output base on average damage output.

Let me be clear, I am not trying to make LE easier. It about making sure, it’s almost always the fault of the player if they died. Often in PoE, you do not know what killed you.

3) Exp Lost on death
This is the hottest topic on the PoE forum. I heard dev for LE (on steam) is considering XP lost on death. I hope LHG do not do it. Some players have quitted PoE due to this. If LE wanted to grow the user base, I would suggest avoid this design.

Just be clear, there should be a penalty for dying and not sufficient defense, so players do not go full glass cannon. But there is a fine line between punishing players that ignore defense or play badly, vs frustration & stress of losing hours even days of progress. This is made worst when players perceive death was not their fault (see one-shot)

The key issue I think about progress lost is, TIME is the precious thing, & often more so the older you get with less time for gaming. I would avoid heavy time base penalty in my opinion.

My suggestion: For bossing, restarting is enough of a deterrence for not dying. For the end game, not able to complete a map or reduce reward is sufficient of a reason not to die. You can push more by reducing experience gain for 10 mins or so. LE is an ARPG, not need to make it into dark soul. There is HC mode for people who like the tension of living on the edge. Most gamers don’t which is why HC is a very small minority of gamers.

4) Lab & end bosses "Mechanics"
Also one of the hottest topics.
Lab, short for the labyrinth, is one of the most controversial areas in the game. 2 things making it so hated among many. You have to restart all over if you died at any point, & the lab can take a while especially if you do not make a lab runner.
But more hatred is the lab traps. Imagine tomb raider, & traps can kill you in 1-2 sec, & yes, restarting the lab all over. Some of the traps are over the top, especially in the final uber lab, & many think (include me) feel that such game design has no place in an ARPG where it tests reflex, dodging skill, that is more in line with super Mario, platformers than ARPG.

Same with many of boss mechanics. Bullet storm, lava ground, even memory games, which make you think you are playing dark soul, Zelda than ARPG. The issue is made worse in POE as you have to farmed hours, even days for a rematch.

My suggestion: Its okay to have some fancy mechanics, but keep them simple. Gamers who play ARPG may not enjoy playing reflex/memory style gameplay. Its an ARPG, players should be able to OVERPOWER a boss via well overpowering with decent dodge skill. YOu do not want to make a boss where most players lose to “mechanics”.

I know EHG is considering end-game bosses. I am fine, but if we failed, let us retry within a reasonable time (best if immediately if not within 30min max) & not reset the whole end game & required players to beat 100 more level bosses before we can engage them again. You can reset the fight after we beat the end bosses. Its very demoralizing to lose and not able to retry.

That’s all for part 1. If people are interested, I will start part 2, focusing on combat & gameplay.
Also, if you disagree, you can always comment. This is about making LE one of the best APRG as can be, & the very reason for this post.


I think you make some good points there. I won’t mind part 2.



Btw. You do know Karv is on the EHG team? And there are a lot more POE veterans with way more than 1400 hours in POE playing LE as well right? Sounds rather arrogant to be giving “lessons”.


I made it clear it is my opinion. Also many did quit. Thats not to say majority quit due to that.

I also said in my original post I am NOT an elite, nor my view is better than other. I am giving feedback base on myself & from what are the major topics of concern in PoE forum. I am hoping LE to as good as possible. Thats why I spent 2 hours compose this.

The bottomline is, if there is disagreement, which is fine, I hope it can be directed at the points made than personal attack.

Also, I think you have a small misunderstanding. I am NOT “giving lessons” (as in a teacher). I am saying "lessons I learned " (as in a student) from playing PoE:



i agree, XP loss did not make POE player quit, OTHER issues did (8000+ hours player here)


Some quick thoughts, i just will comment on the whole category rather than individual ideas

I think EHG will come up with some solid ideas and giving suggestion before we see their vision is probably unnecessary.

Once we get an idea where they want to go, the player base could give more ideas and suggestions.

I don’t think LE has any so called “BS One Shots”, while even some of the normal mobs are very dangerous, all high dmg abilities are either very well telegraphed or have a noticable wind-up animation

I am completely for exp penalty. If there is a solid exp curve and a soft cap somewhere (maybebetween lvl 80-90).
I really do like the exp penalty, since it seperated the really good players from the bad players, even in softcore.

As long as no major character power is locked behind those last 10-20 levels it’s fine.

It’s basically “min-maxing” for very dedicated player.

I really do like it and hope EHG sticks to their exp penatly plans.

Having mechanically more interesting and complex fights is what LE seperates from many other games.

In fact i would like to have even crazier boss fights, maybe even multiple stage boss fights.


Well. Thanks for clarifying that. I’m not sure you realise. But the way you use capitals (such as “DO NOT do xxx”) makes you sound like you are giving instructions/lessons to people who don’t know as much as you.


I have heard people quitting due to XP lost, from personal experience & what I heard from the PoE forum. Also, Requesting a change of Exp lost on death is one of the hottest topics, at the PoE forum.

However Many != ALL or most. I thought this is obvious, but I think sometimes people read too fast, maybe.

Anyway, what makes you quit?

Just curious.


Sure. Poor choice of expression I guess. I can change that, so as not to sound pushy, which isn’t my intention.


I’m absolutely with you on the XP loss.

I know from all my previous games and my experiences in LE, that I’m somebody that dies quicker. My risk assessment isn’t the best in video games. I chose my Nickname for a reason :grimacing:

So to not have backwards progression and to reach lvl 100 with a character, EHG can keep their XP penalty plans where they are (in the deep and dark cellar of EHG Headquarters).

Also I’m no fan of memory games. I’m very good at it but I have no fun doing it.

For the skill based combat, relying on reflexes, I hope for some middle ground. I like the current state that rewards good gaming skills, but it’s not mandatory to have reflexes like Spiderman to complete content.

I understand this topic as suggestions which game mechanics @Kiadaw did not like in PoE and therefore would like to be avoided in LE. Totally fair.


multi stage, fine, INV phases? screw that


I am totally against XP penalty. I see the interest and I understand your point of view, but for me it sounds like “If you’re not good, the game will make you even worse by preventing you for becoming better”. Poorly skilled players sometimes need that one passive point they’re looking for, and if the game prevents them from reaching it, they may be stuck in the progression.
I prefer some other kind of “reward” for skilled players. For example, I think almost everybody should be able to complete Monoliths, but only skilled players should be able to complete Empowered Monoliths. Even if the result will be the same: only the most powerful will become more powerful.
That’s a tricky thing to solve.


IMO this is not the case, neither in PoE nor LE.

Sure 1 or even a few passive points can make a small difference, but especially in LE they will not lock you out of certain things, you can easily reach everything in LE with 90-100 passive points

Yes and that’s certainly the case atm, but empowered monoliths also drop exclusive loot.

How do you feel about poorly skilled player being locked out of certain items?
(I am genuienly interested)

I have very mixed feelings about this, but I mostly feel it is normal to have part of the game not available for you if you’re not good enough. And I don’t know if the part we miss should be made of stuff (items that only drop from empowered timelines), cosmetic or prestige elements or whatever else. But I agree that highly skilled players deserve high rewards.
Small precision: when I talk about “poorly skilled players”, it’s not a negative comment and I consider I am part of them. I have relatively bad aim, I have slow reflexes and sometimes, my arm shakes while clicking so the mouse moves in any direction. So I’m also speaking about myself. :wink:

Get some friends, geto on the carry train, get your item, be a happy poor skilled player after. It’s not a world ending thing if you are bad at something, with the right people in your friendlist or good timing you can get everything you want without raising a finger.

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i thought there’s no MP or trade in this game? just started, sick of GGG

There is no MP or Economy in LE yet, but it will come.

We don’t have any details yet, but i personally think EHG will try something a little bit different in terms of trading comapred to PoE, but we have to see.

XP loss on death is a staple of almost any game where you fight monsters and can die. There needs to be penalties for dying, and saying that people quit PoE due to XP loss on dying (or that it’s the hottest topic on the forums, like…what??? I haven’t seen a post about this maybe ever?) is absolutely ridiculous. People quit PoE for a lot of reasons but that is definitely not one of them.

I agree with some of your other points, but definitely not your solutions/ideas. Having a cap on incoming damage or trade/currency orb is not really a good way to go about it.

Thank you for starting a discusion, I agree on some of your points

1.- Agree that GGG stance on trading is annoying. I hope the bazaar design is simple , like D3 auction was (with no real money options though) or like WoW AH , just list your item with or without b/o , and go.
2.- I think they have this well covered , and knowing the type of damage that killed you helps too.
3.- I would prefer no xp loss , but its not a game breaker for me. I just don’t like the feeling in PoE when I am 10-20% xp away from a new level, because it makes me play a little more cautiously , doing sometimes less fun stuff because I don’t want to die.
4.- I hate doing lab , I hate it being obligatory, and I hate there is no real way to skip it. More because of the concept of lab than any boss mechanics Izaro has.


I have sunk several hundred hours in PoE and moved on for the reasons you describe. As a free to play grindfest, the game becomes unfun to play even though some of its ideas are best in the genre IMHO. As for trading, F trading. It should have never been used as a crutch to poor drops and crafting mechanics.