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The Prevalence of Group Play and Trade in Path of Exile

If there’s nothing substantive then why does the extreme majority play multiplayer in Path of Exile?

You mean in parties? Do you have any backup for that “extreme majority” playing in parties? Just because they’re not playing SSF, doesn’t mean they’re in a party.

They’re still playing in a multiplayer, no? Is trading not important here?

No, (IMO) just because you’re playing on a server doesn’t mean you’re playing MP. SSF players are also playing on those same servers but they’re not playing multiplayer. IMO, multiplayer is two things, playing in a party &/or trading with others. If you’re doing one of those things you’re playing multiplayer but if you’re doing neither then you’re just as SSF as someone who created a SSF character. Not everybody trades, just like not everybody plays leagues. You wouldn’t be able to support saying that just because leagues are popular that the “extreme majority” of people playing PoE are in leagues.

I’m just saying that you probably don’t have the data to support your claim that the extreme majority of people playing PoE are playing multiplayer.

Let me get this clear - you lack confidence that the majority of Path of Exile players have, would like to or will use either the trading system or party play?

The extreme majority, yes. I have no data on which to base the assumption. Most people probably do take part in one or the other (though there’s also grey areas, if a player makes 1 trade on a character does that make them “as much” of a MPer as someone who only plays in a party with their friends & is constantly trading? Where do you draw the line? Does it matter?), but I wouldn’t go so far as to say the “extreme majority” do.

Edit: And this is how two pedants with slightly confilcting views can de-rail a thread…

So, in order to not drag this one out I’m going to state that - yes, none of us know what the “real numbers” are but we can make guesses with great confidence of what we believe the case ought to be.

Let me go on a small but important tangent here.
The raw numbers might not even be in the extreme majority because plenty of people install the game and uninstall 30 minutes later, plenty of players have botted, plenty of players have used mules, trade wasn’t as forced in the past etc. The usage of “raw numbers” which are free from any variables or attributes caves an easy path for a categorical error. The official statement has been made that most players don’t even reach maps which lies on the fact that different people have different tastes and in reality these players never would have became dedicated players.
These raw numbers of not reaching maps is often used as a bastion on which the game should be watered down to even more cardboard box smashing while in reality it’s simply a categorical error and has nothing to do with the difficulty of the game.

On this tangent I’m making the claim that I believe players who have dedicated time for Path of Exile at least until maps and have demonstrated continuous interest towards it have in extreme majority traded or will / wanted to trade or have played in a party.
I include “wanted” and “will” in this because Path of Exile has a very restrictive trade system for which you have to pay money for. I’m certain this factor has changed the numbers quite drastically but it does not remove substance from it as it has real rammifications on the player’s behavior and emotions.

I don’t need data to know that most players don’t play PoE on party play. I only need to see the visual shitfest and the toll on FPS that a full party with full MTX does on one PC to know that a shit tons of players are definitely playing solo on PoE and are only playing party for really specific purpose (farming doctor for example).

I had over 1300h in PoE before I decided to move on. Maybe 10% of that I played in multiplayer with other people and I never traded.

Not that my personal experience makes any real point here, but I side with people who play these kinds of games in single player mode. This is mainly because of my experience in MMORPG and the headaches around performance, network issues, syncing real life schedules to form parties/run raids and basically just toxic multiplayer behaviour.

I will always prefer single player. The only multiplayer experiences I have enjoyed are closed private server setups to play with your real life friends.

For me personally multiplayer starts with a public chat. Adding trading, guild support and coop gameplay makes the real mp. But the public chat that we have currently makes a huge difference for me. It feels like I’m connected to the community (because I am technically), even if I cannot play coop or see other people.

And even if I play solo in other games seeing other people in community hubs is nice, becaus it strengthens the feeling of being connected with other people.

I am also that kind of player that really loves to just coop everywhere with everybody. Playing side by side with strangers is fun. It’s not because it’s more effective or easier. Just playing coop for the sake of playing coop.

I played Warframe about 200h without any clan support but 100% coop before I joined one. It’s easy to just jump into a game that’s already running or team up for a particular mission. After completing the mission 2 people leave, you start the next and during the mission 2 other people join. It’s so easy accessible and non restrictive. This is what I wish for LE, too.

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I wish POE MP is more than just trading and people actually want to party and tackle content together - not just in highly specialised groups like what happens in POE. I am hopeful for MP in this game.

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A friend of mine and i are playing poe together for 5 years. Every league we start out together with some really cool synergy builds we are planning on pob once the patchnotes are released. The leveling part until kitava is always really fun, still up to this date. But the conquerors changes to the atlas completely destroyed our endgame experience together. The guy opening the maps is the only one progressing in the atlas, that was the worst move imo around MP.
I’m glad they announced to slow down the gaming experience, bring up changes to the atlas and improve party play for poe2. Heist league is already going in this direction with improved MP league mechanic and the new area control spells to slow down the gameplay.

Agree. Not just atlas, but incursion, betrayal. We’ll see how Heist go. But POE doesnt have a track record of supporting MP.

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Most of the people that “party play” in PoE are doing it to abuse it for farming reasons. At the start of a new season, the people who get to the end game own the economy. They get to the end game first by zerging the game with a party. Party play doesn’t add anything new. It is just a way to be a little more efficient.

As I said in the other thread, I would really like LE to go a different way with multiplayer. I would like multiplayer to have some actual different content. Due to the fact that you will have multiple people in the party, you can ask more of players in the multiplayer areas. Like having a dungeon that splits down two paths and both must be taken to get to the end (splitting the party for a bit). This adds new challenges and unique gameplay.

I hope they take some design ideas from MMOs when it comes to multiplayer. Maybe it shouldn’t be such a steep entry level into multiplayer dungeons, but it would be nice to have dungeons that required more than one player.

As for PoE’s method and how it is abused, I would hope that LE makes it so multiplayer isn’t any more efficient than solo play. Exp and Loot should be exactly the same level as if you were doing the content solo. Maybe even cut exp gain to make up for the speed of party play. This is assuming LE doesn’t do multiplayer exclusive content.

I am a solo player because I like to take my time somewhat. PoEs party play is the farthest thing away from what I would like. I can’t keep up with the people that are crazy geared and play like its a job.

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I like multiplayer gaming with my friends, especially if there are complimentary builds that we can all play but I also like the idea of a MP server where you can just be in the same server but in a different part of the game world and still chat and occasionally run across other players.

In POE i played with some good friends…lets call them @llama8 and @dobster along with one other person. what would tend to happen is that @llama8 would have a good idea for a build and @dobster would have a good idea of where his build would end up (and it would always end up looking awesome) and I’d tag along with pretty skills that looked fun. By the end of Act 1 the party would split up as some would simply go faster than others and for me being newish I’d be looking at gear or reading quest text so pretty much i’d follow along and just be picking up loot from dead mobs ahead of me.

In the end MP just didnt work out for me a as you didnt really need to work as a group to move on, each class could hold its own and blitz the content so it was a race for things to kill. It was pretty much a race to the end to do the map stuff (which never really made sense to me).

The good points were chatting to my mates and having a laugh on discord but the MP experience in the game wasn’t what I wanted it to be - my fault on expectations rather than the game though I feel.

I look at some of the skills in the trees here and really hope they play out in game, some of the healing stuff looks a lot of fun as do the buffs to allies.

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Won’t say the majority DO, but if MP is the minority they get the distinct advantage of sharing buffs in Aurabots, better raw damage output, and an increase of drops per period…they get better loot before anyone else, can complete currency recipes faster than anyone (especially MP guilds), buy anything they hadn’t found, horde crafting materials, and make far more profit than a solo player ever could hope to.

So (if) being they are the minority, they sure as hell have a large advantage that solo players don’t get. Wasn’t all that different to Diablo 3 when leagues started and people in parties would hit level cap in hours of launch and solo-only players wouldn’t be anywhere close…

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Yeah, that ‘s pretty much how it worked out. The above is an example of the problem. There’s no need to be partied up in PoE, while I’m sure there can be synergies between different builds (though I’d explicitly ignore the “aurabot” builds), in the end it’s just a number of different people running through the content killing stuff individually. I remember the league when added Winter Orb, @Dobster went with that & I did an elemental hit totem build. Dobs’ build was “leagues” ahead of mine in terms of power and didn’t need a fraction of a second after spawning the totem to then start doing damage, so while I was dropping my totems & waiting for them to fire up his WO was nuking the screen (and I’m not having a go at him for that, his build was just better for clear).

I’m not sure how to “fix” that other than make the multiplayer content significantly harder such that it requires people to play together in a more coordinated manner than PoE. Maybe everyone brings a CC ability with a long-ish cooldown so one person uses theirs on the first group while you nuke the mobs down before the cooldown ends, then when you get to the next pack the second player uses their CC because the first is still on cooldown, etc.

What do the devs want multiplayer to look like? While I enjoyed the coordination of raiding in SWTOR, I’m not sure I’d want LE’s multiplayer to require that level of coordination with a tank, some DPS & a couple of healer builds.

Yes. I wish the devs could share this with us even as the technical setup of MP is underway. But seems like we’ll need to wait for that (before the end of the year) post to find out.

MMO raid boss mechanics in an ARPG? hopefully not, whilst i love MMO fights i’m not sure those complex multi phase mechanics would work well. The bosses in monoliths are a step up though and are a bit more fun than the old ones.

it would be good to get a vision statement on multiplayer though.

Interesting… This makes me think of playing Perfect World many many years ago when you needed specific builds to join a multiplayer raid/map (cant recall what it was called) and it required that the group co-ordinated getting through the objectives - it was impossible for individuals to rush most map on their own… You needed someone to pull mobs, another to sneak through and activate a door, a tank to hold the boss agrro, a dps to nail his arse a healer to res the fool that went left instead of right… etc. very MMO type runs which LE is not.

Come to think of it, while I hated the PW grind, those multiplayer maps were fun if you could find a good team.

Doubt very much that this is what LE had in mind for their MP but commenters are right, the Devs havent really described their concept/philosophy on MP yet.