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[Suggestion] Casual player: PoE is a bad game


#1

Last Epoch is one of the games on my watchlist and I can’t help but notice how much similar it is to PoE, having played PoE as a casual player for a year. And I would like to share this opinion because we are the silent/passive majority, and like any democratic government, games should appeal to the majority.

My definition of a casual player:
– normally doesn’t register in forums, unless inspired (this is one of those)
– plays 5-15 hours per week
– doesn’t have time/patience to research builds and dig through volumes of uniques.

To be fair, here are good things about PoE first:
– no skill cooldowns.
– fancy talent tree.
– skills leveling & enhancement via support gems.

Here are things that need to be toned down a bit:

  • gear imbalance.
    In some cases, this is unintentional, it may end up being impossible to test every gear combination on every class. However, when developers release useless skills and then uniques to change the mechanic of those skills to be overpowered, that is intentional. Or when class viability changes with some expansion.
  • poor crafting system.
    You need thousands and thousands of orbs and days of monotone enchanting and wiping, enchanting and wiping, to roll all the desired suffixes. End price tag is hundreds of exalts which is 100% out of reach of casual players. System begets player economy begets overpricing.
  • death is too punishing.
    Cheap casual builds have a level cap (mine is 92) where death rate will wipe any exp gain. Of course there will always be fanatics who beg for permadeath and full loot pvp in hubs, but trust me you are the 1%.
  • pointless leagues.
    I just don’t get it… I see this as the most worthless, time wasting activity, relative to regular playtime. You abandon your main, create a temp char to compete in a league for some cosmetic item. Maybe someone can explain it better to a casual.

Suggestion part:

  • gear imbalance.
    Imbalance is caused by uniques, and greater imbalance is caused by mechanic-changing uniques. Removing all uniques also removes all gear imbalance. Regular gear (legendaries) have quality. Lowest quality to highest should have 10-20% in power. So our goal would be to farm up high quality gear with good enchants. This also removes meta builds and players won’t have to go to youtube and search for best setups. It depends on what you want more, the joy of getting a unique or the satisfaction that no matter how you gear up, you can do no wrong.
  • poor crafting system.
    Remove all RNG from crafting. Crafting should not be like gambling, but like hard work, slow and steady progress. I can’t express how unrewarding PoE crafting is unless you dump years of farming orbs into it. You can be at 0% progress by using 1000 orbs, but at 90% progress using 1001 orbs. Assign a fixed amount of crafts to get to 100% progress, 10% of crafting should be equal to 10% progress, not 0%!!
  • death is too punishing.
    What i normally go around suggesting is, introduce traumas. Instead of wiping weeks of progress, players should receive temporary debuffs upon death, so instead of grinding for the amount of exp you lost, you take a small break. For example trauma from death1 can be 30% less damage for 20 min, or 1 item slot disabled. 2nd-3rd death will leave you hospitalised/bound to hub for 30 min. Punishing, but no spent time is stolen.
  • pointless leagues.
    Again, as a casual i don’t get it. I would rather have rich endgame content. If game wants players to participate in leaderboards then make sure we do it on our main chars. Dungeon clear speed leaderboards, boss kill speed leaderboards, dominion tower wave survival leaderboards, etc. Beside top 10 places, we should see players’ gear, to know which class/gear is out of balances/most viable. Very effective, no need for youtube:)

Phew… thank you for a reading and hopefully at least some points steer the game in a better direction that make it more enjoyable and light on casual players.


#2

PoE is popular for a reason, it does a lot right. Also you never want something in your game that makes people want to take a break. If your player’s character dies and they have a thought like “well might as well quit playing for a while” then you have a problem in your game. And making the character bound to town and unable to leave? Yeah that’s a no go.


#3

I think you want the game to be accessible to casual. But the game certainly need depth and replayability for longevity. @Telzen is right that POE is popular because it did alot of things right in the ARPG genre. I am afraid most of your suggestions doesn’t make LE a better ARPG.


#4

I would consider myself a casual Player like yourself too.
I play about 5-15 Hours a week and Dont like systems that are complex just because there is a huge lot of Options.

I have played PoE since Beta on and off, but after the Fall of Oriath i stopped completely and i get your points on PoE. New Characters take hours to plan, which i rather spend playing. And thats the reason i stopped playing PoE.
But in LE i don’t see that, the Build System is not as bloated as PoEs, yet its complex and fun to use.

To the other Points:
gear imbalance:
First of all, i think in many ARPG not uniques, but rares with specific rolls are the best options. So if you suggest removing a specific type of Items, it should be rares, but these are kinda the pieces you grind for. Also, i think especially as a casual gamer, you normaly dont look to play the 100% top notch min max power meta build, but one that brings you joy in the game.
crafting system:
Non RNG Crafting systems like in D2 or in GD, get boring as soon as you have a full stash with needed components, especially in the long term. And so far i find the crafting in LE to be quite funny even though i got pissed once or twice already, because my greed destroyed an already pretty nice piece of gear.
death ist too punishing: Yeah, no.(Even though i like the “get there again without dying againand you get some back” System in TQ and GD.)
pointless leagues:
First of all, if you don’t like leagues, play non-League/Ladder. That’s what i did in D2 for nearly 10 Years and i know a bunch of people that are playing non League in PoE without any Problems.
Leagues or Ladders are one of the most important part of ARPGs, because they give you the chance to start from scratch, wothout deleting all your old Characters and also they put “pro” players in the same starting position as “casual” players ever 6 month or so. Also i think that one of the reasons ARPGs like TQ, GD. TL2 or even D1 arent full of players anymore is because there are no Leagues. Because once youve done and seen everything, why keep playing?
Look at D2, its a pretty old game, but still everytime a new Ladder starts the servers are filled with people again and there is a reason for that.

I hope thats not too long of an answer, but i just wanted to point out that not every 5-15 hours a week player would agree with your suggestions and also just give my OPINION on this Topic.


#5

Lets see:

  1. Gear sorry but removing unique/legendries or what ever wont solve the gear imbalance. All you done is made the perfect rolled rare the best item in game, assuming it not already the best. A perfect rare is next to impossible after all you got to get the rare to drop with the right affixes and they need to roll the max values. Really the best option is to make sure that uniques have a reasonable drop rate.
    Personally I think PoE problem is the same as D3 during the auction house days, that is the drop rate is set lower than it should be to force people to trade.
    Bonus point that you not covered Path of Exile is hard/confusing because it allows you to be a jack of all trades with every class being able to take any skills and passives they wish. That is it easy to mess up your character by accident.

  2. Crafting needs to have some RNG to it, though maybe not as much as PoE does.

  3. Death penalty every RPG I know of has one and some are more punishing than others. The problem with PoE is designed so that it has a soft level cap somewhere between lvl 80 and 90. That is the extra levels exist but are not really expected to be earned by everyone. Unlike other RPGs that are designed so that everyone is expected to hit the level cap before they finish the game.

  4. Leagues you don’t need to play them I know people who don’t. The thing about leagues is the are designed to be a fresh start for everyone, who want to play on a level playing field.


#6

Ok, to summarize what has been said.

  • gear imbalance.
    Some agreement here that uniques create imbalance and the solution is to just have rare gear with RNG stats. Though I don’t see this happening, LE can at least do it better than PoE: no useless low level uniques; no overpriced uniques locked behind bosses which a player cannot beat without those uniques in the first place.

  • poor crafting system.
    Mostly agreement. Change the discouraging pure RNG crafting into slightly RNG-based. But 0 progress is just awful, or progress wipes (similar to death punishment really). I don’t want to degrade to teir 5 from 6 when i try to upgrade to 7.

  • death is too punishing.
    Some agreement. Would like to see more brainstorming and not useless “ugh i don’t like this”. I prefer to have a temp debuff/hub lock than lose weeks of work. LE can offer players punishment options upon death: exp loss, traumas, gear break, resource loss, etc. As a casual player i will never have the pricey uniques, so slow and steady progress via traumas is better than a complete progress block. LE can introduce Iron Man mode with permadeath for all the pros and hardcore elites. Poll later for punishment options.

  • pointless leagues.
    No agreement. Ok if no loss for ignoring leagues. But so far explanations may be highlighting what is wrong with PoE. People want leagues so all the haves and have-nots can start from square 0. What does that say about balance/fairness? Strength gap should be shrinking between casual players and those who play religiously. Unless those who gear up first establish a monopoly on all the meta build gear.


#7

What killed ‘POE’ For me is the fact that some people really knew how to exploit the ‘Map’ and grind the same levels over and over again until they reached max levels. The complexity of the Skill Tree along with the way the ‘Map’ worked end-game wise was really what became overwhelming for me and my friends. It was not as self-explanatory as Diablo 2 and definitely not as balanced in the end.

That is just my humble opinion of course.


#8

Seriously, why? If it is your goal to compete with top players, playing a game casually wont be the way. And telling players that play a lot, that their time isnt worth anything, wont make the game a better game. It would just make it an emptier game.

Also i dont really see where you get the agreement on the gear and crafting system.


#9

@Maes I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I am saying not having unique items wont change anything you still have a best item to get the perfect rare. A Unique item is only semi-random compared to a rare being fully random. The bit about perfect rare being more powerful is from other games I played were a perfectly rolled rare can out preform unique in say pure damage.

@Elouin I think Maes means that given enough time the gap should close as everyone will eventually hit max level and get BIS gear. Though given that he now saying this his problem with gear balance etc is moot.


#10

I always thought that perfect rolled rares should be the “most powerful raw items” and that uniques/legendaries should be items that alter skill interactions and are build defining (with legendaries also adding a bit more raw power than uniques). That way, if someone just wants to play a canned build, they can craft good rares… but if they want to shoot for a specific playstyle or look for more synegry between their skills, then they could farm uniques and legendaries. That way, all items have value at higher levels and end-game, and not just BiS simply because it has bigger numbers.


#11

All points are fine from casual player point of view.
Gear imbalance widens the gap and renders 30% of content unplayable. Solution is to purge all uniques from game and have only RNG stats on rares (gap will be ~20% instead of ~500%) or make uniques available to all via reasonable droprates and spread out through bestiary, not locked behind hardcore atziri or costing 400 exalts.

But it’s like talking about climate change and convincing people to ride a bicycle instead, it’s a non-starter. I will still fight for casual player friendliness versus all this elitism. Nobody cares if you kill some big bad with no armor and an iron dagger. Majority just wants accessible content without having to watch 10 youtube vids on boss mechanics as a ritual.


#12

How does this change anything? All you’re doing is shifting the label from one tier to the next. In your scenario, the perfect rolled RNG rare becomes the new Unique. And, because the hardcore player will have put in more time and will be more likely to be fully equipped in perfect/near perfect gear, your imbalance/gap will still exist.


#13

I am a casual player as well and I have to say I really don´t like how you claim to represent casual players and how you arrogate yourself to speak for the majority. Your post is just so arrogant and wrong starting with your first statement that games in general should appeal to the majority. That couldn´t be further from the truth. Games are designed with a specific audience in mind and don´t have to appeal to everyone. Of course it certainly helps if they are beginner friendly, but ultimately not everyone can or has to like the game.
I disagree with everything you´ve said, because it can all be summed up as: “Make a game, where all content is accessible to everyone in a short amount of time.”
If you have read the dev blog, you would realize that the Last Epoch team has a completely different design philosophy and concept (and are indeed vivid players and fans of PoE as well as active community members). If you don´t like that concept, that´s perfectly fine but don´t claim to speak for other players who only can play a couple of hours per week. I like complexity, I like depth, I like planning my character and build for hours and I am absolutely fine with the fact that there is content for players with more time that I won´t experience.
There are plenty of ARPGs which are more to your liking. Grim Dawn is probably still too complex and grindy for you, but how about the Torchlight series (+ Torchlight Frontiers coming in 2019 seems to be more casual as well), how about Van Helsing, Victor Vran, Vikings: Wolves of Midgard and of course Diablo 3, which basically does a lot of things the way you want them to be.


#14

@tobi.fein Nah those games all have the problem the OP is complaining about. I think it be far better if they don’t bother playing ARPGs at all.


#15

There are some issues I have with games like PoE and D2. But most of these are minor.

But I do agree with the death penalty in these sort of games. In GD it’s fine since you aren’t going to die that often and you can reclaim your exp back, and hitting level 100 isn’t very hard. However I feel like losing 5-10% exp per death is a bit too high.

I personally get the fact that they want levelling to be a grind, but when there are people who know how to achieve level 100 (if not level 100 then definitely level 95) within maybe a week or two, and then you have casuals who are dying at levels 80 to early level 90s, it feels kind of mute to have a death penalty and only seems to punish casuals.

That said I am not fully against death penalties (hugely against broken/disabled gear on death) but I think the death penalty should be far less than 5%. Possibly even allow to reclaim some of that exp which can be a challenge of it’s own. Imagine you are in a boss fight -> die -> try to reclaim exp -> die -> try to reclaim exp -> die -> repeat. Reclaiming exp should work like in GD where you can only reclaim your latest death exp.

One small thing I’d like to add is losing exp feels like a soft hardcore experience, honestly if I wanted to feel like I want to suffer, I’d go play HC, not lose so much exp.


#16

I might be weird, but I’d rather lose gear than any xp.


#17

I am sort of a casual player and I disagree very very strongly with the OP points. He does not speak for the “casual” gamer at all. In my opinion, ARPGs need depth. Diablo 4 may have some popularity because of it being a Diablo game and Blizzard but it is a crippled, frankly awful game. POE is popular BECAUSE of its populariy. The buzz for POE was largely created from the simple image of their skill tree. People WANTED to experience that. D2 was in part popular due to its complexity at the time.

POE is not perfect, and I hope there are some elements that LE does not copy, but not dimishing the depth. In fact they should enhance it more.

What I would like to see LE not copy from POE are its almost hostility towards the single player, and the almost insistence that trading be a core system you MUST use to realistically progress. I HATE that. I dislike trading for items very very much as most of the joy is in actually finding stuff.

But POE has very much going forward for it.

Interestingly the leagues you hate are arguably POEs greatest strength. They are awesome, and as quite a few of the systems in the new leagues become core gameplay, the core game becomes stronger and stronger. I hope LE does something similar, as well as embracing the single player self found gamestyle.


#18

For me trading is one of the key elements of ARPGs. And i think it doesnt kill the joy of finding stuff, but makes that even more exciting. But still, if you dont enjoy trading, you can play SSF, even if its not a clickable Feature as in PoE.


#19

I have no issue with people trading items if they choose to but in POE the entire crafting economy and drop rates are based on the assumption you will trade for most of your key items, so the game sort of wants to force you into trading. It trivilalizes the game for me. I don’t copy anyone elses build either, it seems to defeat the whole purpose of playing the game. But POE wants to almost force you into trading, and it is something I strongly hope LE does not copy


#20

I don’t get it why people call the PoE skilltree complicated. There are several tools that show you what you got in the end the way you skilled. If you didn’t manage to hit some healthy thresholds your build is crap. If you go for the tresholds your skillroutes are almost everytime the same. That’s not rocket science.
Getting items is the bread and butter of Hack&Slay games. You kill something=profit. so it’s pretty easy to put this roughly right:
Kill-get xp- get possible lvl up- get possible skillpoint- get loot- get better- kill more/faster

PoE did some strange things like the crafting stuff or all the currency items. The offline trade sites are a mess and all about this is the truely complex part of PoE. Sure you can play SSF and simply don’t care but that don’t solve the issue. I like distinct cuts between systems like

  • Gear that is droped
  • Mats that droped
  • Mats from salvage
  • Build stuff from said mats

LE met a sweet spot with the system to “enhance” items through crafting. I’m okay with that. PoE’s throw in each item of x quality and push sell to get y currency is meh for me.

LE adds debth with 2 simple versions of skilltrees that offer enough possibilitys to tinker a bit and this opens up more with uniques and this is good. I have no problems with builds that simply work only because you have unique x because that’s the fun part about uniques. It all comes down to droprates.