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:
- BS One-shot
- Exp lost on death
- Lab End game boss “mechanics”
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.