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Path of Exile

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#1
We don't appear to have an "official" PoE thread, and thought I'd get some input on the recent patch (3.1.0).

They appear to have done a lot of nerfing, with little in the way of buffs to counter it, but they addressed that in an "after" post (We've also posted a response to the feedback we've received about these patch notes. You can find this here). I'm looking forward to a couple of things I spotted, like the Mirage Archer gem. Anyone else playing this much? Would love to get some feedback started in here. The main forums can, as most gaming forums, get pretty toxic quickly, especially for someone who hasn't dedicated tons of time to the game.

Path of Exile: War for the Atlas
Major Features
  • A mysterious entity, known only as The Elder, haunts the Atlas of Worlds, spreading decay and battling The Shaper for control. For more information about the War for the Atlas, check out www.pathofexile.com/war
  • Added 32 new maps including two new Unique maps.
  • Added new boss fights with The Elder and his four Guardians.
  • Introduced Shaped and Elder items. These items can only be obtained in areas where the Shaper or the Elder holds influence, or by defeating the Shaper or Elder themselves. Shaped and Elder items can obtain mods not found elsewhere, as well as higher-tier versions of some existing mods.
  • Added a new quest: The Queen of the Sands. This quest can be obtained by talking to Petarus and Vanja in Act 9 after completing the prerequisite quest The Storm Blade. The Book of Skill quest reward for completing The Storm Blade has been moved to the Queen of the Sands. The Storm Blade now rewards players with their choice of several rare weapons.
  • Added 48 new Unique items.
  • Added 6 new Divination Cards designed by our supporters.
  • Added a new Dexterity/Intelligence Skill Gem - Unearth: Fires a projectile that will pierce through enemies to impact the ground at the targeted location, creating a Bone Archer corpse where it lands.
  • Added a new Dexterity Skill Gem - Cremation: A targeted corpse explodes, dealing area damage and turning into a volcanic geyser, which will repeatedly unleash projectiles sequentially over the surrounding area for a duration. The explosion of the corpse is not affected by modifiers to spell damage, and cannot be reflected.
  • Added a new Intelligence/Dexterity Skill Gem - Bodyswap: Your body explodes, dealing spell damage in an area around you, and a targeted corpse also explodes, dealing damage around it. Your body is recreated at the location of the corpse. The explosion of the corpse is not affected by modifiers to spell damage, and cannot be reflected. This spell cannot be repeated.
  • Added a new Dexterity/Intelligence Skill Gem - Volatile Dead: Corpses near the targeted location explode, dealing damage in a small area and creating an orb which moves towards nearby enemies before dealing spell damage in a larger area. The explosion of the corpse is not affected by modifiers to spell damage, and cannot be reflected.
  • Vulnerability has been split into two skill gems - Vulnerability and Despair. Vulnerability, a Strength Skill Gem, curses all targets in an area, causing them to take increased physical damage and increased physical damage over time. Attacks against cursed enemies have a chance to inflict bleeding and maim.
  • Despair, an Intelligence Skill Gem, curses all targets in an area, making them less resistant to chaos damage and causing them to take increased damage over time. Cursed enemies also take additional chaos damage when hit. Existing Vulnerability skill gems have become Despair.
  • Added a new Intelligence Support Gem - Storm Barrier Support: Creates a barrier around you while you channel a supported skill. The barrier reduces the physical and lightning damage you take from hits, and grants you a chance to gain a power charge when hit.
  • Added a new Dexterity Support Gem - Volley Support: Adds two projectiles to supported skills, and causes them to be fired from points to either side of you, in parallel. Projectiles Nova (found on Sire of Shards) will currently override the projectile source part of this support, however, this will change in a future patch.
  • Added a new Intelligence Support Gem - Spell Cascade Support: Supported area-targeting skills will also target an area in front of and behind your initial target.
  • Added a new Strength Support Gem - Ancestral Call Support: Supported single-target melee skills targets two additional nearby enemies.
  • Added a new Dexterity Support Gem - Mirage Archer Support: Hitting an enemy with a supported bow skill creates a Mirage Archer who continues to use that skill for a duration.
  • Added 3D art for: Malachai's Mark, Dialla's Malefaction, Dendrobate, Hiltless, Void Battery, Redblade Tramplers and Lightning Coil.
  • Added a new unique Strongbox designed by one of our supporters.
  • Added a new Rogue Exile based on the winner of the Best Dressed Exile competition.


The Abyss Challenge League
  • Challenge leagues are a great opportunity for a fresh start in a new economy. All of your old characters and items are still present in the Standard and Hardcore leagues, but you're encouraged to join the new leagues, complete challenges and demonstrate your mastery of Path of Exile!
  • With 3.1.0, there are Standard and Hardcore variations of the Abyss challenge league available, as well as solo self-found variants of both. They have the same core mechanics and items. In the Abyss League, players will encounter cracks in the ground. Get too close, and these cracks widen and spread, allowing the terrible monsters to climb from their inky depths. Pursue these cracks, and you may discover a massive chasm from which dangerous packs of monsters emerge. Once you defeat these monsters, the Abyss continues to propagate, creating more chasms. Take too long, and the Abyss will seal shut, but if you're quick and deadly enough, a chest filled with valuable rewards will emerge from below.
  • As players progress through the Abyss League, some pits may offer access to the Abyssal Depths below. These Abyssal Depths are packed with monstrous creatures and valuable rewards, and culminate in an exciting boss encounter.
  • Exploring the Abyssal Depths in high-level areas might result in an encounter with a Lich boss. These difficult boss fights are quite rare, but very rewarding. Defeating a Lich is the only way to earn an exclusive Abyss Unique item.
  • Monsters and chests from the Abyss can drop Abyss Jewels. Like other Jewels, these can be placed in sockets in your passive tree to grant powerful bonuses. Unlike other Jewels, they have a set of exclusive new properties and can also be placed in Abyssal Sockets on your items! These sockets can be found on the new Abyss Uniques and a new base type of Abyss-socketed belt: the Stygian Vise.
  • The Abyss League includes a set of 40 new challenges. When you complete 12 challenges, you receive the Abyss Helmet skin. At 24, you receive the Abyss Wings. When you complete your 36th challenge, you receive the Abyss Portal effect. These microtransactions are exclusively available in the Abyss League.
  • From the 19th challenge onwards and for every third challenge after that, you receive pieces of an Abyss Totem Pole decoration to display in your hideout. The Totem Pole permanently showcases how many of the Abyss challenges you completed during this league.

Minor Features:
  • The targeting behaviour of many skills has been improved, especially against large targets such as Kitava and Arakaali.
  • Updated the item frames to fit the current user interface.
  • Updated the Stash chest model. So new! So shiny!
  • The tutorial has been slightly adjusted to better direct players who are having trouble very early on.
  • Added a tutorial element for using Portal scrolls, and improved the Waypoint tutorial.
  • Added a visible Tutorial barrier to the entry of Lioneye's Watch, which vanishes after a passive skill point is applied.
  • You can now open the Help Panel by pressing ';'. This can be changed in the Options menu.
  • You can now dismiss Help Panel notifications by right-clicking them. They will disappear by themselves after 6 seconds.
  • You can now turn Divination Cards in at Navali in the Epilogue town or in your hideout. The description of the Divination Card achievement "Soothsaying" has been updated to reflect this.
  • The Forsaken Masters have moved back to Oriath, and can now be found in the Epilogue town.
  • An effect is now played on corpses which disappear due to hitting the corpse-creation limit for skills like Desecrate and Unearth.
  • Values for ailments, such as Shock and Chill effectiveness, can now be viewed in the Character panel.
  • Added a system for scaling the visual effects of ailments based on the size of the monster.
  • Added voice acting for many NPCs and story glyphs which were missing them when they were added in The Fall of Oriath.
  • Added images to the map pin hovers for areas added in The Fall of Oriath.
  • Added an option to leave your current party to the character portrait drop-down menu.
  • The league selected on the drop-down menu on the Character Selection screen is now saved, and will be the selected league whenever you open your client.
  • Improved the quest reward selection user interface.
  • Added a timer below each flask icon which, while the flask is active, displays the remaining duration for that flask.
  • Debuffs are now displayed on a separate line to buffs, flask effects and charges.
  • Auras you have activated that are affecting you are no longer displayed in the buff bar as the skill icon shows which auras are active. Auras from other sources will still appear in your buff bar.
  • Skills with modified cooldowns now show their final cooldown rather than the cooldown modifier.
  • Monsters will now show their rarity as they're emerging.
  • The Challenges tab now displays the number of challenges you have completed at the top.
  • The default minimum for Dynamic Resolution Scaling is now set to 30 frames per second. You can change this in the Options menu.
  • Improved the effects for monster rarities and ailments.
  • Added support for subsurface scattering. Check out the ice and candles!
  • Optimised a lot of skills, areas, monsters and effects.
  • Continued to incrementally improve the sound, art, effects and environments.

Character Balance
  • Intimidate now causes enemies to take 10% increased Attack Damage (rather than 10% increased Damage).
  • The experience penalty at very high levels has been increased. This predominantly affects characters at level 95 and above.

Skill Balance
  • Existing Vulnerability Skill gems are now Despair gems. Despair curses all targets in an area, making them less resistant to chaos damage, and causing them to take increased damage over time. Cursed enemies also take additional chaos damage when hit. There is a new red skill gem called Vulnerability.
  • Your minions (and their minions) will no longer deal or take damage while you are dead.
  • Dark Pact no longer gains bonus radius when using your life. The damage bonus from using your life grows less quickly as the gem levels up, dealing 76% more damage at level 20 (down from 95%).
  • Detonate Dead now deals spell damage based on the level of the skill gem, in addition to damage based on the corpse's maximum life. The base fire damage dealt by the spell part of the explosion has been significantly increased. The skill now gains additional area of effect radius as it levels, and its base critical chance has been increased from 5% to 6%. The cast time has been lowered to 0.6 seconds (from 0.8).
  • Raise Spectre now grants additional accuracy to Spectres based on the level of the gem.
  • Bear Trap and Vaal Rain of Arrows now remove all movement speed, as opposed to reducing it by 300%.
  • Raging Spirits now have a 15% less Added Damage multiplier, up from 30%.
  • Summoned Skeletons now have a 50% more added damage multiplier, up from 30% less added damage.
  • Raging Spirits, Spiders created from Arakaali's Fang, and the spirit skulls from the Essence of Insanity can no longer taunt their enemies.
  • The amount of burning damage dealt by the burning ground created by a Burning Arrow on a character with the Pitch Darkness threshold jewel is now determined by the level of the Burning Arrow skill gem.
  • Orb of Storms can now trigger lightning strikes from channelled skills.
  • Desecrate: Now creates 5 corpses (up from 3). The cooldown has been reduced to 3 seconds per stack (down from 5), and the cast time has been reduced to 0.8 seconds (down from 1). Desecrate's maximum corpse level now grows more steadily as the skill gem levels up. It can now create higher level corpses at most levels, except level 19 of the gem, in which the maximum corpse level has been lowered from 100 to 81.
  • Lightning Tendrils has been reworked. It is now a channelled skill, and deals more damage on every 4th pulse. It has also received a visual overhaul. The new version hits slightly less frequently than previously, but has higher sustained damage overall.
  • Minion Life Support now affects Minion Life multiplicatively (it now provides 30% MORE Minion Life rather than 30% increased Minion Life) at level 1 of the gem (up to 49% more life at level 20).
  • Dark Pact now counts as being a Minion skill gem, and will thus interact with effects such as the one found on Cloak of Tawm'r Isley.
  • Ruthless Support can no longer support Channelled skills.
  • Cyclone can no longer be supported by Ruthless Support.
  • Iron Will can now support Summon Skeleton and will affect the damage dealt by Skeleton Mages if you are using the Dead Reckoning threshold jewel.
  • Arctic Armour's chilling effect now slows enemies by 30% when you are hit (up from 10%).
  • Melee attacks supported by Multistrike now more accurately take attack range (including area of effect modifiers) into account when checking for targets for subsequent attacks. This has negatively impacted some skills and positively impacted others, but in general melee skills supported by Multistrike will target monsters that better fit the behaviour of the attack.
  • Bladefall's area of effect was wider than intended close to the caster. The area of effect now better matches the area the blades visually land. The total width of Bladefall's area of effect has been increased slightly to compensate for the now-narrower early stages.
  • Storm Burst is now correctly modified by factors based on the state of the projectile (such as Powerful Precision's "Projectiles have 100% increase Critical Strike Chance against Targets they Pierce").
  • Charged Dash is now limited to a maximum of 15 strikes per skill use, as well as limited by distance travelled.
  • Static Strike's radius has been increased from 19 to 20, bringing its total radius to 24 at gem level 20. Static Strike's explosion now correctly applies ailments with 40% less effect. It was previously applying ailments without taking the less-damage modifier into account.
  • Ice Crash's radius has been increased from 8 to 9 for the first stage, from 16 to 18 for the second stage, and from 24 to 26 for the third stage.
  • Earthquake's radius has been increased from 25 to 28 for the second stage.
  • Reave's radius has been increased from 17 to 20, bringing it up to 24 at gem level 20.
  • Wither now increases Chaos damage taken by 6% (down from 7%), and stacks up to 15 times (down from 20).
  • Vaal Power Siphon's radius has been reduced to 70 units (down from 120).

Item Balance
  • Divination Cards: The locations, drop rates and requirements for many Divination Cards have been reworked, in part due to the changes to the Atlas in this patch, and in part to better integrate Divination Cards into areas introduced in The Fall of Oriath.
  • Life regeneration mods have been slightly renamed and reordered as two higher tiers have been added.
  • Life regeneration mods on rare items have been buffed across the board, with the existing highest tier mod now granting up to 20 life per second. Existing items can be updated to these new values using Divine orbs.
  • When used on a belt, Essence of Insanity now grants 10% increased Movement Speed during any Flask effect, up from 5%.
  • Atlas-only item basetypes can no longer be found in Vaal Side Areas.

Unique Item Balance
  • Atziri's Acuity: No longer instantly leeches Life from critical strikes, and instead grants Vaal Pact if you have dealt a Critical Strike Recently. This does not affect existing versions of the item. See the Passive Tree Changes section for more information regarding changes to Vaal Pact.
  • Witchfire Brew: Now creates a Despair curse aura on use. This affects all versions of the item.
  • Doomfletch: Now adds 100% of Physical Damage as Damage of a random Element (down from 110%). No longer has increased Critical Strike Chance, and instead has (12-16) to (20-24) added Physical Damage. Divining an existing Doomfletch will change the added physical damage and the added damage of a random element, but will not remove the critical strike chance.
  • Doomfletch's Prism: Now adds 100% of Physical Damage as Damage of each Element (down from 110%). This change can be divined.
  • Kongming's Stratagem: No longer creates a smoke cloud when a socketed trap is triggered. Instead, grants the "Fog of War" skill, which creates a smoke cloud when any of your traps are triggered. This skill has a cooldown.
  • Lion's Roar: Now only grants knockback to melee attacks during flask effect.
  • Lycosidae: Chance to drop from monsters has been greatly reduced. This item was being used on a significant portion of melee characters across all levels as an extremely cheap way to get around accuracy requirements.
  • Bisco's Collar: Chance to drop from monsters has been greatly reduced.
  • Queen of the Forest: Now has 200 to 240% increased Evasion Rating (down from 240 to 380%). This change can be divined. The movement speed bonus this item can provide has been capped at 100% for all versions. Changes to evasion basetypes in The Fall of Oriath both pushed the evasion rating of this item too high, and took the movement speed this item granted to extremes.
  • Rise of the Phoenix: Maximum Fire Resistance granted has been reduced to 5% (from 8%). Life regeneration has been increased to 15 to 20 per second (from 6). These changes can be divined. New versions now also grant 40 to 60 Life (this cannot be divined).
  • Omen on the Winds: Now allows Ice Shot to pierce 3 additional targets (down from 5). This can be divined.
  • The Dancing Dervish: While Manifest Dancing Dervish is active, the Dancing Dervish now has a 25% chance to grant you a Rampage kill when it hits a unique enemy. The minion created by this unique can no longer cross unwalkable gaps. These changes affect all versions of the item.
  • The Pandemonius: The chilling effect now slows enemies by 30% when you are hit (up from 10%). These changes affect all versions of the item.
  • The Baron: Now adds half of your Strength to your Minions (rather than all of your strength). This affects all versions of the item.
  • Dead Reckoning: Now correctly replaces a number of Skeleton Warriors with Skeleton Mages when using Vaal Summon Skeletons.
  • Death's Oath: Now properly updates its behaviour when items, passives or skills change it in some way.
  • Auxium: Clarified that Freeze Duration (not Effect) is based on Energy Shield. The functionality has not changed.

Monster Balance
  • New monsters have been added to areas all throughout Wraeclast and Oriath, including newer, more difficult versions of the Parasites found throughout Acts 6 and 7, and Kitava-fied versions of the Blackguards found throughout Act 5.
  • The number of monsters found in areas throughout the campaign has been adjusted, and the number of monsters found throughout the game should be more consistent across multiple instances. This particularly affects The Old Fields, The Vaal Ruins, The Sewers, The Marketplace, The Battlefront, The Ebony Barracks and The Crystal Veins, but is not strictly limited to those areas.
  • The following unique monsters are no longer Immune to Freeze, and instead have a minimum action speed that they will be set to if they are frozen: The Shaper, Guardian of the Chimera, Guardian of the Minotaur, Guardian of the Hydra, Guardian of the Phoenix, Vision of Justice, The Goddess, Argus, Abaxoth, the End of All That Is, Haast, Unrelenting Frost, Atziri, Queen of the Vaal, Vessel of the Vaal, Atziri's Devoted, K'aj A'alai, K'aj Y'ara'az, K'aj Q'ura, A'alai, Y'ara'az, Q'ura, Tormented Temptress.
  • Monsters which trigger skills based on the damage they take can now trigger those skills from taking damage over time.
  • Infested monsters that can spawn parasites when slain now grant increased experience and drops when shattered or exploded, to compensate for them not releasing their parasites on death.
  • Shield Crabs now give additional experience if destroyed before they would unleash their final form.
  • Crimson Scholars also give additional experience if shattered.
  • Monster mods "Reflects Physical Damage" and "Reflects Elemental Damage" have been reworked. They now appear as Nemesis mods. Attacking a monster with Physical or Elemental Reflect now triggers a mortar spell targeted at your location. This spell has a cooldown.
  • Both versions of Reflect now only appear on Nemesis rare monsters.
  • The effects created by Flame Bearer, Frost Bearer and Storm Bearer Bloodlines monsters now appear more quickly and should be more clearly visible.
  • The Ryslatha fight in Act 6 has been significantly changed: Ryslatha's eggs now explode and create damaging patches on the ground, and Ryslatha herself is much more mobile. The monsters spawned by her pods are possessed by more difficult Parasites. Ryslatha herself is now immune to Knockback.
  • The Lightning Thorns skill (used by the Blackguard Mages as well as others) no longer deals a flat amount of reflected Lightning damage to attackers. Instead, it triggers a nova of lightning projectiles with a short cooldown.
  • The parasite infesting Hollowskull, the Willing Host is now called Encephalophage.
  • Encephalophage can now Leap Slam.
  • Parasites that drop off of slain monsters will now match their host's rarity.
  • Riptide now better signals when it will use its dangerous skills, and creates fewer vortexes.
  • Captain Arteri and Captain Aurelianus can now drop items -- just not very many.
  • Carrion Burrowers are now visually distinct from their surface-dwelling counterparts.
  • The life and damage of many Warbands monsters has been adjusted to make them suitable map bosses.
  • The beams in the Avarius Reassembled encounter now have more pattern variations. They also deal less damage, but the damage persists for a duration after you have been touched.
  • The beams in the Cato, Defiler of Light encounter have had the same treatment.
  • Maligaro's Slam attack in Acts 7 and 9 now always Poisons and Maims on hit.
  • Sulphuric Striders and Undying Operators can no longer appear in Essence monoliths.
  • The Bloodstained skeletons found in the Blood Aqueducts have been made slightly more difficult.
  • Effigy of Fear's crows now deal more damage.
  • Improved the Tolman encounter in Act 8. Tolman and the Ankh can now use a few extra skills.
  • Catarina missions which require you to find, raise, and kill an undead monster now use different on-death effects.
  • Reduced the amount of damage dealt by the Pillars of Carnage rune explosion.
  • Shavronne's Ball Lightning in Acts 6 and 9 now deals more damage and has a clearer area of effect. The skill also deals less damage at close range.
  • Shavronne's Stormburst in Act 9 now fires an additional projectile. It can no longer stun, and it deals less damage to players at close range.
  • Shavronne's summoned books now have more life and deal approximately 35% more damage.
  • Anacuacotli, Death's Worship now deals physical damage with her projectile nova. Her Raging Spirits now deal more damage at lower levels.
  • Greust's bandit allies now flee when he dies.
  • Doedre's spirit is now a little quicker at raising zombies in Act 9.
  • Doedre in Act 9 no longer repeatedly summons a large number of stone pillars. The pillars now die when the encounter ends.
  • Significant portions of the Depraved Trinity encounter have been reworked. In particular, Maligaro's Bladefall and Shavronne's Ball Lightning have undergone large changes.
  • The damage of Kitava's X-Blast (the skill shaped like an X!) has been lowered slightly in Act 10.
  • The Bear Acolytes in Act 6 now move more quickly.
  • Brinecrack now has a sweet suite of cracking new skills.
  • Clockwork Golems will no longer simply flee. Instead, they will move around you and to you based on different conditions.Their damage has been increased by 25%.
  • Reduced the damage dealt by the Harbinger of Disorder's Holy Mortar, and the duration of its Holy Spark.
  • The Augmented Dead in Chamber of Sins in Act 7 no longer have a chance to launch a lightning soul on death.
  • Dawn can now throw his shield, and it will explode into smaller projectiles.
  • Dusk has a new projectile skill called Carpet Bomb, and it doesn't make your floors more comfortable to walk on.
  • The Window Shard monsters in Act 10 now deal more damage, have more life and resist all Elements (instead of just cold). They spawn in fewer numbers and are larger. They now have altered behaviour to be less likely to all use their rolling attack immediately.
  • Plague Retch in the Chamber of Sins now has some friends he can hang out with.
  • Sin and Innocence are now a little more dynamic during the Act 10 finale.
  • The Basilisk now has a Stone Gaze ability. If you face each other during this ability, you become petrified. Petrification is similar to freeze, but is removed if you are hit a number of times or the duration runs out.
  • The Bloodsoaked Fallen in the Blood Aqueduct now explode on death, sending corrupted blood projectiles in all directions.
  • Tukohama's Vanguards no longer summon multiple totems at a time while spectred, and the duration of their totems has been lowered to 5 seconds (from 10). They are less likely to place additional totems while they have at least one totem.
  • Wickerman Righteous Fire damage has been lowered while spectred. These monsters were using a version of Righteous Fire not intended for spectres, and were dealing significantly more damage than intended as a result. This change brings them in line with other spectres who use Righteous Fire.

Map Balance
  • The entire Atlas has been reworked. Many map names have changed, as have their balance, tier and position on the Atlas. Many maps have also had their boss fights swapped or completely reworked.
  • The rules used to generate monsters in endgame maps have been significantly reworked and rebalanced around the rate at which we expect players to reliably clear out the map. In general, narrow, linear maps will contain fewer total monsters than maps with complex layouts. We will be closely monitoring and adjusting the balance of this change and expect to make further changes and improvements over time.
  • Map mods have also been rebalanced, and every mod now provides increased item rarity, increased item quantity, and increased monster pack size, though the magnitudes are dependent on the difficulty of the mod.
  • Mao Kun: Monsters no longer gain Power and Endurance charges every 20 seconds, as this was consistently causing performance problems. These monsters now have a chance to gain those charges on hit. The number of monsters that appear in this map has been reduced, but the area now grants an increase to experience gained to compensate.
  • Added a new map prefix: Feasting -- Area is inhabited by Cultists of Kitava.
  • Many monsters which appeared in Acts 5 through 10 but did not appear in Maps have been added to Maps.
  • Map bosses which have multiple forms or phases no longer count as multiple map bosses for the sake of achievements and challenges.
  • Suncaller Asha's Leap Slam ability has been rebalanced, and now has a 4 second cooldown.
  • Rek'tar can now smack around players who are standing too close to walls.
  • Purge Hounds now come out of their gates from farther away, and will pursue players for longer distances.
  • Water Elementals and their variants now appear in packs as a mix of visible and hidden monsters (as opposed to all hidden or all visible).
  • The boss of the Death and Taxes unique map now moves 35% faster while immune to damage.
  • Twisted Effigy monster corpses can now be Desecrated if you bring one into a map with you.
  • Rhoa map bosses now regain 33% of their maximum life whenever you break one of their nests.
  • Added a pack of magic monsters to the boss rooms of maps that were missing them.
  • Monsters can now appear closer to the entrances in Oba's Cursed Trove.
  • The Hallowed Ground unique map is now on the Cemetery basetype.

Passive Tree Changes
  • Vaal Pact has been significantly reworked. It no longer grants instantaneous Life Leech, and instead doubles the rate of your Life Leech as well as your maximum Leech rate. It has been moved into the Duelist's area.
  • The passive skills behind Mind over Matter now grant 10% increased Mana (down from 12%) on the non-notables, and 30% increased Mana (down from 40%) and 40 added mana (down from 100) on the notable.
  • The Hematophagy notable now grants 3% of maximum Life per second to Maximum Leech Rate (down from 5%).
  • The Vitality Void notable now grants 3% of maximum Life per second to Maximum Leech Rate (down from 5%).
  • Passive skills which previously granted increased Melee Physical Damage while holding a Shield now grant increased Physical Attack Damage while holding a Shield (it is no longer restricted to Melee).
  • Many passive skills which previously only provided defensive bonuses while using a shield now also grant increased physical attack damage and damage with ailments while holding a shield.
  • Removed one of the passive skills leading to the Ash, Frost and Storm notable (near the Scion).

Ascendancy Balance Changes
  • Slayer: Brutal Fervour no longer grants +10% of maximum Life per second to maximum Life Leech rate.

Pantheon
  • The map bosses you are required to defeat to upgrade your Pantheon have, for the most part, changed.
  • Shakari has been added to the Pantheon.

Labyrinth Balance
  • Added a new Darkshrine effect that can only be found in the Eternal Labyrinth.
  • Changed the requirements for some chests to appear. In general, chests should feel more rewarding and better suited for their level and difficulty.
  • Increased the total amount of items found on average from Silver Chests.
  • The helmet enchantment which grants additional projectiles for Barrage has been removed from the Merciless Labyrinth. The Eternal Labyrinth Barrage enchantment now grants one additional projectile (down from 2).

Zana League Mods Available During 3.1.0:
  • Level 2: Anarchy (costs 2 Chaos orbs): Area is inhabited by 3 additional Rogue Exiles, 20% increased quantity of items found.
  • Level 3: Bloodlines (costs 3 Chaos orbs): Magic monster packs each have a Bloodline mod, 25% more Magic monsters, 20% increased quantity of items found.
  • Level 4: Beyond (costs 3 Chaos Orbs): Slaying enemies close together can attract monsters from Beyond, 20% increased quantity of items found.
  • Level 4: Fortune Favours the Brave (costs 3 Chaos Orbs): Selects a Zana mod at random from those available from the device, including any mods you have not yet unlocked.
  • Level 5: Ambush (costs 4 Chaos Orbs): Areas contain 3 extra Strongboxes.
  • Level 6: Domination (costs 4 Chaos Orbs): Area contains 3 extra Shrines.
  • Level 7: Essence (costs 5 Chaos Orbs): Area contains 2 extra Essence Monoliths.
  • Level 8: Breach (costs 6 Chaos Orbs): Areas contain 2 extra Breaches.

PvP Balance:
  • Removed the Level 60 Sarn Arena variant. Players who do not fit the requirements for the Level 40 Sarn Arena will be taken to the Open Sarn Arena.
  • Characters which have entered the portal to Oriath at the end of Act 4 can no longer join Low Level Duelling queues.
  • Death's Oath now deals significantly less damage against players (and Grandmasters).
  • PvP-only characters can no longer activate the map device.
  • Bleeding, Ignite and Poison now undergo PvP scaling based on the attack or cast time of the ailment's source. For skills with time override, the ailments use that.

World Changes:
  • Completing the Mercy Mission quest now rewards players with their choice of Support gem, as well as a flask.
  • The Hedge Maze has been removed and both Chitus' Plum and the Trial of Ascendancy have been moved into The Imperial Gardens.
  • Story glyphs have been added to areas all throughout Wraeclast, but in particular the areas added in The Fall of Oriath.
  • The Strange Barrel now contains many more ordinary non-swarming things.
  • The Fuel event in The Beacon is now more involved, with extra monster packs spawning during the event.
  • The Southern Forest, especially in Act 6, has been fleshed out. The Act 6 version can now generate Vaal side areas.
  • In the leadup to the Depraved Trinity encounter, the heart-entrances to Maligaro, Shavronne and Doedre's areas stop beating as you defeat the associated boss.
  • The Templar's Stash in the Act 10 Ossuary has been renamed to the Sealed Chest. It has been given a new model.
  • Hargan no longer discusses the High Gardens, and talking to him about it is no longer required for the All Ears achievement.
  • Added numerous variations to world areas throughout the campaign. Most areas, in particular areas added in The Fall of Oriath, now have several new possible layouts.
  • Voll's Proclamation in the Western Forest is now destroyed in Part 2. You should check it out. It's pretty neat.
  • Updated the minimap icons for doors and area transitions that were missing them.
  • Shrines should no longer appear directly outside Tukohama's Fortress.
  • Kitava's arena in Act 10 is now called the Altar of Hunger.
  • Malachai's journal no longer references an incorrect date.

Prophecies:
  • Rare monsters able to fulfill the requirements for unique item Prophecies have been added to various locations throughout the world. They provide the opportunity to obtain an item with a high enough level to be six-linked.
  • You are no longer required to have the subject of a fated unique Prophecy equipped, and can now complete such prophecies by merely holding the unique item in your inventory while killing the correct boss.
  • The Prophecy 'The Twins' which turns a non-Twinned map into a Twinned map no longer grants 6% increased quantity of items found.
  • The Prophecy 'Monstrous Treasure' now completes upon opening the final strongbox in the area.

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed a lot of typos and mismatches between character dialogue as spoken and as written.
  • Fixed a bug which caused certain chests in the Labyrinth which were intended to drop only Jewellery to instead drop items of all kinds.
  • Fixed a bug which caused earlier levels of the Raise Zombie skill gem to display the wrong life values. This does not affect Zombie balance.
  • Fixed a bug where some Vorici mission requirements would continue to be displayed even after completing or failing his mission.
  • Fixed a bug where turning in a set of The Siren Divination Cards was giving a corrupted Whispering Ice without the correct 20% quality.
  • Fixed a bug where the notable Practical Application granted Strength and Dexterity as separate (rather than combined) stats. This does not change the function of the passive whatsoever.
  • Fixed a bug where you could bypass the barrier in Act 7 Chamber of Sins early.
  • Fixed a bug where Ice Bite could support totem, trap and mine skills, despite its effect not working on them.
  • Fixed supportability description text of both Ice Bite and Innervate.
  • Fixed a bug where the Defiance notable was granting increased melee physical damage that was not conditional to holding a shield.
  • Fixed a bug where you could Leap Slam out of General Adus's arena without completing the encounter. Also prevented access to the Trarthan Powder until General Adus is dead, for good measure. You know what you did, Raiz.
  • Fixed a bug with the "increased global Armour while you have no Energy Shield" stat found on the Broken Faith unique item. This modifier was not correctly applying to armour which was gained by converting Evasion Rating to Armour with the Iron Reflexes keystone passive.
  • Fixed a bug with the bonus unique Labyrinth Shrine effect that would cause a huge lag spike when activated.
  • Fixed a bug which prevented some monsters from being able to trigger their mines.
  • Fixed a bug where Tormented Spirits could possess the Solaris and Lunaris orbs during the Dawn and Dusk encounters.
  • Fixed a bug in some languages where the skill popup UI would not properly scale to fit some text fields.
  • Fixed a bug where the text on the Challenges screen could overlap in some languages.
  • Fixed a client crash caused by the low mana tutorial.
  • Fixed a bug where totems with low maximum life values would fail to reach 1 life due to rounding, thus failing to properly disable Righteous Fire.
  • Fixed a bug where you could kill Abberath, the Cloven One before it transitioned into its later phases.
  • Fixed a bug where the Gem Level-up tutorial would incorrectly override other tutorials.
  • Fixed a bug where shrines could occasionally be placed in unreachable locations.
  • Fixed a bug where double-clicking a character with an expired name would deselect the character while you were changing its name. This would prevent the renamed character from being automatically logged in as intended, and not change the name on the character select screen even though it had saved the new character's name to the server.
  • Fixed a bug where selecting a slot on the Cosmetics tab after switching between the Cosmetics tab and Inventory tab using hotkeys would require an extra click.
  • Fixed a bug where modifiers to ailment damage from attacks while holding a shield were applying twice if you weren't using Varunastra.
  • Fixed a bug where the sextant that grants players instant life and mana recovery from flasks was not actually granting any instant recovery.
  • Fixed a bug where removing a Static Strike skill gem from its socket (or doing anything else to disable the skill) would immediately trigger all Static Strike explosions.
  • Fixed a bug where enemies hit by Sunder's linear component also unintentionally got hit by the area of effect that hit created.
  • Fixed a bug where low-level characters in the same league and on the same account as characters engaged in the Shaper questline had that questline displayed in their quest tracker while in a town or hideout.
  • Fixed a bug where effects that changed the size of your character could cause some spells and effects to appear incorrectly.
  • Fixed a bug where damage-over-time effects were not correctly causing some bosses to transition through their phases. This could result in pure damage-over-time characters being unable to progress through some fights.
  • Fixed a bug where Doedre could kill herself while teleporting if her life was especially low.
  • Fixed a bug where skeleton generals summoned by Vaal Summon Skeletons played the wrong effect as they appeared.
  • Fixed a bug where you could continue to channel skills even after being reduced to 0 action speed (such as after being petrified by the Basilisk).
  • Fixed a bug where the automatically-updating public parties tab would turn off AFK mode.
  • Fixed a bug where a Forsaken Master could teleport into a position that blocked access to areas (such as doorways).
  • Fixed the displayed duration of Innervation and Arcane Surge on skills which have their own duration modifiers.
  • Fixed a bug where the duration of instances of Temporal Chains applied on-hit from items was too short.
  • Fixed a bug where attempting to respawn in a hideout where the waypoint was blocked by an object could cause you to disconnect.
  • Fixed Life and Mana levels overlapping text with the Help Panel open.
  • Fixed a bug where unique maps which shared a basetype with a map that had a boss whose soul could be captured for the pantheon would be displayed as having that boss.
  • Fixed a bug where Glacial Hammer would sometimes not interact correctly with Herald of Ice's on-shatter effect.
  • Fixed some instances of NPC talk options being placed in the wrong category.
  • Fixed a bug where using a warcry while holding Debeon's Dirge would ignore knockback avoidance.
  • Fixed a bug where, despite being untargetable, allied Harbingers (and other untargetable entities) could trigger enemy traps.
  • Fixed a bug where gaining multiple Shrine effects of the same type in the Labyrinth would stack, rather than replace each other.
  • Fixed several instances of skills becoming invisible after leaving and reentering an area. This includes Kitava's Devouring Darkness.
  • Fixed a bug where Storm Burst's explosions were not destroying chests, cairns and barrels.
  • Fixed some slightly wonky descriptons on the Fortify-centric passive skills.
  • Fixed a bug where skills supported by Innervate would call all skills spells in the skill popup.
  • Fixed a bug where some tightly-packed areas (such as Forsaken Master mission areas) would try and fail to spawn extra monsters like Tormented Spirits and Rogue Exiles. Now they should try and succeed! Great job!
  • Moved the Labyrinth Silver chests and other rewards away from walls, and locked their rotation. This should prevent items they spit out becoming inaccessible.
  • Fixed a bug where the Fellshrine Ruins could generate a Vaal side-area on the wrong side of the river.
  • Removed several of Silk's old dialogue options that were out of date.
  • Fixed a bug where Grandmasters were only gaining more attack damage from Frenzy charges, not general damage.
  • Fixed a bug where the Vaal Ruins in Act 2 could generate a pile of extra rooms it wasn't meant to.
  • Fixed a bug where the Shield Crabs in the Boiling Lakes didn't drop loot.
  • Fixed a bug where the Lightning Rods in the General Adus and Minotaur fights could be knocked back.
  • Fixed some audio popping/cracking issues.
  • Fixed a bug where the Ankh of Eternity and the Teardrop quest items were missized for the size of their art.
  • Fixed a bug where players could have more than the number of pets they actually own following them.
  • Fixed a bug where French rare names were not always using the correct gender for the epithet.
  • Blink Arrow's behaviour and reliability on unusual terrain has been improved.
  • Fixed a bug where item hovers would sometimes vibrate.

We hope you enjoy the War for the Atlas expansion! Thank you so much for your support.

Recent Updates to the Patch Notes
Character Balance
  • The experience penalty at very high levels has been increased. This predominantly affects characters at level 95 and above.
 
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#2
Adding this as a separate post, as I'd like that to just be about the recent patch.

I've gotten more seriously back in the game after dropping Black Desert, but find myself overwhelmed not by the Skill Tree as I initially was, but by all the rest of the game. I spent 120 Jewel orbs this week, trying to get enough linked on a level 60 bow, and was staggered. Then I watched a streamer burning 200 Divines trying to get the right combination on a level 100 belt, and he had dozens of tabs. I can't even claim a full 2 dozen: I have 23. These guys have been farming since I started playing, back in beta, but they haven't stopped!!

When I got back in, I was at level 58 or so, and they had just dumped the "Story, Story+, Story++" process, and I started wandering into the lake in Act 4 to farm a little. Had fun getting new drops, and making a mess, ran a few groups just because. I dropped again after a few days, and didn't pick it back up until a couple of weeks ago. WOW. Big changes... So, I decided to get on into the story, since I was several levels over the progression, and drops were pretty useless for me except for coins and cards, and the increased gem drops (and a gem vendor a few chapters later!!!). I powered thru acts 4 and 5, and then hit a bloody wall in act 6, in the swamp. I kept running into the Queen and her minions and getting trampled. After a few days of this aggravation, I finally figured out that I had been acting like a warrior with a bow, and just face-tanking everything I ran into until it died. With the reduction in resistance penalty at the end of 5, and just not really being "serious" in my gearing efforts, I was playing stupid. I dropped my storm golem, and started leveling a Stone Golem for a tank.

I always play a ranger/hunter. ALWAYS. I've got 7 or 8 other characters, but the ranger is my main. Figuring out what the hell I need to do has only gotten more complicated. I'm running a Stone golem for tanking, a 4L Ice Shot, and a 3L Barrage as main damages. I switched things up a little and moved my health leech off the barrage, due to linking issues, and it's been painful, but I managed an additional 200 evasion in the process. So far, I don't like it heheh. I know I've got equipment issues, and thought process issues, but watching some of these guys running the Quicksilver, a crit flask, and an evasion flask, with just 1 health and 1 mana pot are driving me nuts. I'm trying to work with the crit and evasion flasks, because I assume "everyone" does at higher levels, so I might as well get used to it. But I run 2 health pots with a hybrid in the middle spot for mana. I've got to work my resistances up more, and figure out what I have that might actually help me at this level instead of bumbling thru. I'm never gonna be able to easily farm maps they way I am now, even assuming I can clear Act 10....

So, anyone else wanna add thoughts here? Would love to hear from the TPU community on PoE :) I'll try to go back thru and tag those I think were playing at some point :)

@RCoon , @Jaffakeik, @digibucc, any of you still playing (the last two have been afk for months lol)
 
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RCoon

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#3
Adding this as a separate post, as I'd like that to just be about the recent patch.

I've gotten more seriously back in the game after dropping Black Desert, but find myself overwhelmed not by the Skill Tree as I initially was, but by all the rest of the game. I spent 120 Jewel orbs this week, trying to get enough linked on a level 60 bow, and was staggered. Then I watched a streamer burning 200 Divines trying to get the right combination on a level 100 belt, and he had dozens of tabs. I can't even claim a full 2 dozen: I have 23. These guys have been farming since I started playing, back in beta, but they haven't stopped!!

When I got back in, I was at level 58 or so, and they had just dumped the "Story, Story+, Story++" process, and I started wandering into the lake in Act 4 to farm a little. Had fun getting new drops, and making a mess, ran a few groups just because. I dropped again after a few days, and didn't pick it back up until a couple of weeks ago. WOW. Big changes... So, I decided to get on into the story, since I was several levels over the progression, and drops were pretty useless for me except for coins and cards, and the increased gem drops (and a gem vendor a few chapters later!!!). I powered thru acts 4 and 5, and then hit a bloody wall in act 6, in the swamp. I kept running into the Queen and her minions and getting trampled. After a few days of this aggravation, I finally figured out that I had been acting like a warrior with a bow, and just face-tanking everything I ran into until it died. With the reduction in resistance penalty at the end of 5, and just not really being "serious" in my gearing efforts, I was playing stupid. I dropped my storm golem, and started leveling a Stone Golem for a tank.

I always play a ranger/hunter. ALWAYS. I've got 7 or 8 other characters, but the ranger is my main. Figuring out what the hell I need to do has only gotten more complicated. I'm running a Stone golem for tanking, a 4L Ice Shot, and a 3L Barrage as main damages. I switched things up a little and moved my health leech off the barrage, due to linking issues, and it's been painful, but I managed an additional 200 evasion in the process. So far, I don't like it heheh. I know I've got equipment issues, and thought process issues, but watching some of these guys running the Quicksilver, a crit flask, and an evasion flask, with just 1 health and 1 mana pot are driving me nuts. I'm trying to work with the crit and evasion flasks, because I assume "everyone" does at higher levels, so I might as well get used to it. But I run 2 health pots with a hybrid in the middle spot for mana. I've got to work my resistances up more, and figure out what I have that might actually help me at this level instead of bumbling thru. I'm never gonna be able to easily farm maps they way I am now, even assuming I can clear Act 10....

So, anyone else wanna add thoughts here? Would love to hear from the TPU community on PoE :) I'll try to go back thru and tag those I think were playing at some point :)
My best friend is a founder and has been playing since the dawn of PoE with numerous breaks in between. He has hundreds of "remove only" bank tabs literally filled with currencies and gear from doing leagues over the years and having those stash tabs transferred over. In fairness I am still overwhelmed by the passive skill tree, but yeah, a lot of the veterans have more currencies than I could possibly hope to have, and if they still can't get decent rolls on their gear, makes me wonder what chance I have. The depths of the RNG is a little disconcerting, since top builds pretty much require 6-links with exact colour combinations. Getting the gear and skill/support gems isn't a problem. Figuring out a passive tree build isn't a problem. It's the damn currencies required to make the gear usable that really kills my mojo when I near end-of-storyline content. It can be a real wall and takes a bit too much effort to break through.

EDIT: The game has this terrible assumption that you already have some things that everyone else has for your character. God forbid you get unlucky in a fresh league and don't get early flask drops for resistances and Quicksilver... I played an archer myself once, and I felt that they alongside CI orientated characters really suck ass unless you've got a very specific type of gear which can be remarkably hard. I love it but I get bored real quick at the same time. If I come back I'm just gonna rebuild a flickerstrike-multistrike build. Right click and teleport across the screen until everything is dead or my fury charges somehow drop off from damnable RNG. I think he's sat in Standard League at level 87.
 
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#4
My best friend is a founder and has been playing since the dawn of PoE with numerous breaks in between. He has hundreds of "remove only" bank tabs literally filled with currencies and gear from doing leagues over the years and having those stash tabs transferred over. In fairness I am still overwhelmed by the passive skill tree, but yeah, a lot of the veterans have more currencies than I could possibly hope to have, and if they still can't get decent rolls on their gear, makes me wonder what chance I have. The depths of the RNG is a little disconcerting, since top builds pretty much require 6-links with exact colour combinations. Getting the gear and skill/support gems isn't a problem. Figuring out a passive tree build isn't a problem. It's the damn currencies required to make the gear usable that really kills my mojo when I near end-of-storyline content. It can be a real wall and takes a bit too much effort to break through.
yeah, I jumped in the Mayhem league over the weekend, just to try it out, not realizing the whole point of the limited leagues (for the players) is to race more than anything. I finished off having run around gettnig 2 tabs of uniques and tons of currency and unidentified items, only to realize monday morning what "voided" meant hahaha. I am strongly considering going to the next league (the next un-voided one, anyway), just to see how many tabs I can fill up with mostly pointless items to trade in for currency and an occasional useful drop.

I just really want to "fix" my character so it's viable to move forward. I've been cheesing the last boss just to clear the act, trying to get closer to drops somewhat near my level. I spent 30 minutes, and way too much currency trying to "fix" a bow that dropped this morning, only to realize after I was "close enough" for me, that the bow was a level 60, and I'm already level 68. I'm making these little bitty incremental improvements, but what I really need is to figure out what I'm doing wrong overall. It's like swapping out my 20k mile tires out for brand new ones, but I keep trying to change gears without a clutch, and noone ever told me the stupid car has 5 gears! How the bloody hell do I get to 5th gear, when I don't even know about it!

I really enjoy micromanaging my gear and play style, as long as it fits within me enjoying the game. I won't go overboard once I hit the "I can kill most everything I want, have to fight hard and pay attention on boss battles" sort of level, but I'm so far below the curve now, I'm afraid once I get to a point where I should be meta gaming my stuff, I'll be so aggravated, I'll just quit :(
 
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#5
I got onto the poe.trade site yesterday, which is really pretty amazing. Its setup for whispering a standard message to someone when you want to purchase an item is really cool..... I also ended up no poeprices.info, trying to see if I had anything I didn't want, that I could sell for more upgrades. I think I'm doing well on DPS, I just have to change out some gear and make myself more tanky. I've made a couple of runs in the Desert in Act 9, and I think I've decided instead of continuing to level past my map areas, I'm going to manually lock my level and farm a bit here, see if I can get some good base 6S armor, and maybe replace my gloves or boots.

I've also stuck some 3S one-hands in my second gear slots, and filled them with some less common gems, trying to get them leveled. I've got a Faster Casting Support, an Enlighten Support (about 1/3 leveled), and an Item Rarity support. Eventually, I'll want to farm in maps, and I figure that will work well. the others are lighter things I just want, like a Mana Leech, and a Vaal Detonate. I liked playing a witch a bit, but I'll probably just dump the Faster cast when I get it leveled. My bags are so full of junk that I saved for the other toons I was playing, like the Scion, and Marauder.... I do have to admit, playing "Hulk SMASH!!" on occasion was amusing, but I got too easily distracted with "Maybe I should save this piece for another toon....". Going to focus on just my Ranger, maybe another ranger in a short league, just to play a little. Otherwise, time to clean house!!


/tagging some additional people, try to stir some additional input. @flmatter , @bug, @ShurikN , @ZenZimZaliben
 
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#6
I can provide some input on the difficulty of getting 6 links and the like.

- 6 Link has become more attainable over the years and is pretty doable today. I'd say within your first 50-70 hours played you will find one. Either as a https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Tabula_Rasa or through the use of currency on items. I have 6-linked four chestpieces with fusings by now, and on average I need 90-120 fuses to do this. There is only a very rare selection of builds that really needs a 6 link though, for most, 5 link will be sufficient and 6 is bonus.
- You can easily complete the game with the lower-end of nice items in the game, and you can do some very decent Mapping with that too. Everything depends on a solid build, and...
- Getting the right skill gems and supports is now super easy, making literally every build possible after a single playthrough which will unlock everything you'd want.

As for the Passive Tree, and its complexity in general; you should always start a new league with a simple starter build and go from there, unless you've got a solid grasp of all the mechanics. Find something you like to play, and fine tune from there.

About Poetrade - be wary, there are many players flipping items and manipulating the market. If you don't have a few stacks of Chaos Orbs with no purpose, don't even bother visiting IMO. Better to play self-found until then, or just use poetrade for selling. Poetrade is a great place to buy too, just never at the start of a league, and you really need to know what things are worth.

The nerfs btw, are mostly connected to them adding the new class specializations because they add a tremendous amount of power.

If you ever feel like spending some cash, just get some Stash and currency tabs on a sale as its all you'll ever really want :)

@RCoon about your edit and general idea of the game, most of that only applies if you think the point of the game is to shoot for the ultimate endgame straight away. You need to look at PoE as a game with a tremendous replay value, the point is building a crapload of characters and incrementally improving your overall quality of gameplay and character power and knowledge. And this game is built to really only get you there after a few thousand hours of gameplay, not hundreds - its about the journey not the end goal. If you play it like that, PoE just keeps injecting dopamine shots every time you find a nice drop - or figure out a new mechanic or item/skill combo (this really is the pure gold of this whole concept IMO).

@Ahhzz with regards to builds; you can post yours here and I can give you some input. Some basics:
- A good build starts with DEFENSE. Generally, you'd want to focus defense stats in a single direction and always have either an escape or a fallback 'layer' of defense.
1. Armor + Health = very strong, and the most manageable both in terms of how damage gets less spiky and building high stats without limiting your item choices a lot. NOTE: Iron Reflexes is a great keystone for Armor builds in the case of a Ranger or other class on the right half of the passive tree. It'll allow tremendous armor values, add Grace and you have a very good baseline, especially when you don't have tabs full of items to draw from yet.
2. Evasion Rating + Dodge = high risk high reward. You will need fast reflexes, good escape skills and instant health recovery methods, but you can focus a lot more passives on offense and utility (2 keystones give you all your dodge).
3. ES = Energy Shield offers many advantages and can be coupled with CI (Chaos Inoculation) to diminish one of the more dangerous damage types in the game. Generally considered a more advanced players- method of defense. More dependant on items choices.
4. Health + Evasion Rating = similar to Armor+Health, except more spiky incoming damage, which in turn forces you to have more maximumhealth, making it harder to build around.

Alongside this there are specializations now that also offer great defensive stats. If you cant stay alive, build something around that.

And last but not least: a big part of defense is not just passive stats, but active skills too such as Fortify (great with trigger gems), Endurance charges and related skills, active Armor skills and Warcries, hell even Curses can be defensive, like Temporal Chains. You will need one or more of those. You also need a form of life/resource recovery that acts as defensive layer, like lifesteal or life regen. I generally find life regen to be much more reliable, unless you run a stun immune build.

- Next mission: OFFENSE. Focus on the one skill you really fancy and consider fun to play. Find ways to maximize that, and look up what uniques go well with it, because that will eventually define whether your build can last through endgame. This also means choosing specialization which is far more important now than your initial class choice and depends on the primary damage type you'll be dealing mostly.

Walloftext, but yeah, hope it gets you places :)
 
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#7
I can provide some input on the difficulty of getting 6 links and the like.

- 6 Link has become more attainable over the years and is pretty doable today. I'd say within your first 50-70 hours played you will find one. Either as a https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Tabula_Rasa or through the use of currency on items. I have 6-linked four chestpieces with fusings by now, and on average I need 90-120 fuses to do this. There is only a very rare selection of builds that really needs a 6 link though, for most, 5 link will be sufficient and 6 is bonus.
- You can easily complete the game with the lower-end of nice items in the game, and you can do some very decent Mapping with that too. Everything depends on a solid build, and...
- Getting the right skill gems and supports is now super easy, making literally every build possible after a single playthrough which will unlock everything you'd want.

As for the Passive Tree, and its complexity in general; you should always start a new league with a simple starter build and go from there, unless you've got a solid grasp of all the mechanics. Find something you like to play, and fine tune from there.

About Poetrade - be wary, there are many players flipping items and manipulating the market. If you don't have a few stacks of Chaos Orbs with no purpose, don't even bother visiting IMO. Better to play self-found until then, or just use poetrade for selling. Poetrade is a great place to buy too, just never at the start of a league, and you really need to know what things are worth.

The nerfs btw, are mostly connected to them adding the new class specializations because they add a tremendous amount of power.

If you ever feel like spending some cash, just get some Stash and currency tabs on a sale as its all you'll ever really want :)

@RCoon about your edit and general idea of the game, most of that only applies if you think the point of the game is to shoot for the ultimate endgame straight away. You need to look at PoE as a game with a tremendous replay value, the point is building a crapload of characters and incrementally improving your overall quality of gameplay and character power and knowledge. And this game is built to really only get you there after a few thousand hours of gameplay, not hundreds - its about the journey not the end goal. If you play it like that, PoE just keeps injecting dopamine shots every time you find a nice drop - or figure out a new mechanic or item/skill combo (this really is the pure gold of this whole concept IMO).

@Ahhzz with regards to builds; you can post yours here and I can give you some input. Some basics:
- A good build starts with DEFENSE. Generally, you'd want to focus defense stats in a single direction and always have either an escape or a fallback 'layer' of defense.
1. Armor + Health = very strong, and the most manageable both in terms of how damage gets less spiky and building high stats without limiting your item choices a lot. NOTE: Iron Reflexes is a great keystone for Armor builds in the case of a Ranger or other class on the right half of the passive tree. It'll allow tremendous armor values, add Grace and you have a very good baseline, especially when you don't have tabs full of items to draw from yet.
2. Evasion Rating + Dodge = high risk high reward. You will need fast reflexes, good escape skills and instant health recovery methods, but you can focus a lot more passives on offense and utility (2 keystones give you all your dodge).
3. ES = Energy Shield offers many advantages and can be coupled with CI (Chaos Inoculation) to diminish one of the more dangerous damage types in the game. Generally considered a more advanced players- method of defense. More dependant on items choices.
4. Health + Evasion Rating = similar to Armor+Health, except more spiky incoming damage, which in turn forces you to have more maximumhealth, making it harder to build around.

Alongside this there are specializations now that also offer great defensive stats. If you cant stay alive, build something around that.

And last but not least: a big part of defense is not just passive stats, but active skills too such as Fortify (great with trigger gems), Endurance charges and related skills, active Armor skills and Warcries, hell even Curses can be defensive, like Temporal Chains. You will need one or more of those. You also need a form of life/resource recovery that acts as defensive layer, like lifesteal or life regen. I generally find life regen to be much more reliable, unless you run a stun immune build.

- Next mission: OFFENSE. Focus on the one skill you really fancy and consider fun to play. Find ways to maximize that, and look up what uniques go well with it, because that will eventually define whether your build can last through endgame. This also means choosing specialization which is far more important now than your initial class choice and depends on the primary damage type you'll be dealing mostly.

Walloftext, but yeah, hope it gets you places :)
thanks for the reply @Vayra86 :) I'd be thrilled to put up my stuff to let someone who's played more recently than me take a whiff at it. I've been trying to snag a solid 5L6S Bow and armor from POE trade, but not gotten responses when I whisper. I did manage to grab 2 Omens on the Wind for 1C, which is fortunate with the nerf to them. I'll post my build (when they come back online :( )and you can laugh at it at your convenience :) when you recover, let me know where I need to aim :) thanks!
 
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#8
Mwahahaha, 6-link in 70 hours...

I've been playing since open beta (with a year off) and I still don't have a 6-link. I'm close to getting the 1,200 fusings to craft one, but that's it.

It's disheartening to see how often you spend hours and hours trying to plan a build for your poor character, only for GGG to drop their nerf hammer, rendering your build useless, because literally a handful of users had too easy a life in PoE. I've also grown accustomed to the idea that I will never ever see all the content in this game, but it's still fun to bring a toon or two to their late 80s.

(Fwiw I don't trade because I have no time to keep track of prices. It also feels like it takes something away from the game when you get an item you didn't really work for.)
 
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#9
The problem with PoE is that you pretty much always have to keep up with the latest "exploit" build (read: next to be nerfed) in order to be able to do big damage in a 6-man party. This is beside the gear requirements. Tabula Rasa? You're a glass cannon at best with it in high-tier maps. It's not too hard to take the meager points you have for that ginormous skill tree and make a char that farms solo, but the real rewards come in parties, and you have to do a metric fuckton of damage to farm high-level maps in a 6-man party. Also, no matter what they say, PoE is pay-2-win. If you want to get ahead in the game, you _have_ to have stash tabs, and those cost money. Those remove-only tabs are a trap.
 
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#10
The problem with PoE is that you pretty much always have to keep up with the latest "exploit" build (read: next to be nerfed) in order to be able to do big damage in a 6-man party. This is beside the gear requirements. Tabula Rasa? You're a glass cannon at best with it in high-tier maps. It's not too hard to take the meager points you have for that ginormous skill tree and make a char that farms solo, but the real rewards come in parties, and you have to do a metric fuckton of damage to farm high-level maps in a 6-man party. Also, no matter what they say, PoE is pay-2-win. If you want to get ahead in the game, you _have_ to have stash tabs, and those cost money. Those remove-only tabs are a trap.
"Also, no matter what they say, PoE is pay-2-win." Interesting theory. But it made me laugh. Thanks.
 
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#11
@Ahhzz let me log on tonight and check my tabs. I vaguely remember a 6link bow or was it a 5 can not remember. I took break from PoE and D3 for the last 2 months and have been playing Division with the new 1.8 patch with @ZenZimZaliben last 2 days. I will check tonight after work for you. Message me with any other gear you may be needing or wanting.
 
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#12
Not a theory dude. I've talked to hundreds of solo players struggling in most leagues since Anarchy and there are very few "rich" players. Every "rich" player I know has one thing in common: they paid for stash tabs. One cannot farm high-tier maps by being totally item self-found in a 6-man party. You're lucky if you can do it solo. I've also seen dozens of newbies who come in with exalts looking to buy shit they don't really know about. Exalts can be had for money. I know casual weekend guys who have never seen an exalt ever in 1-4 years of playing. Keep laughing dude, PoE is pay-2-win. If you haven't paid anything, you're still a pleb there.

edit:

Mwahahaha, 6-link in 70 hours...

I've been playing since open beta (with a year off) and I still don't have a 6-link. I'm close to getting the 1,200 fusings to craft one, but that's it.

It's disheartening to see how often you spend hours and hours trying to plan a build for your poor character, only for GGG to drop their nerf hammer, rendering your build useless, because literally a handful of users had too easy a life in PoE. I've also grown accustomed to the idea that I will never ever see all the content in this game, but it's still fun to bring a toon or two to their late 80s.

(Fwiw I don't trade because I have no time to keep track of prices. It also feels like it takes something away from the game when you get an item you didn't really work for.)
Haha yeah man, it took me at least 10k fuse over 5 years to get my first 6L, and it was an accident! I was making a temp Whispering Ice build and had a 6s Icetomb chest. I had 5 fuse and the 4th 6L'd it. At least it has pretty 3D art lol
 
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#13
Not a theory dude. I've talked to hundreds of solo players struggling in most leagues since Anarchy and there are very few "rich" players. Every "rich" player I know has one thing in common: they paid for stash tabs. One cannot farm high-tier maps by being totally item self-found in a 6-man party. You're lucky if you can do it solo. I've also seen dozens of newbies who come in with exalts looking to buy shit they don't really know about. Exalts can be had for money. I know casual weekend guys who have never seen an exalt ever in 1-4 years of playing. Keep laughing dude, PoE is pay-2-win. If you haven't paid anything, you're still a pleb there.

edit:



Haha yeah man, it took me at least 10k fuse over 5 years to get my first 6L, and it was an accident! I was making a temp Whispering Ice build and had a 6s Icetomb chest. I had 5 fuse and the 4th 6L'd it. At least it has pretty 3D art lol
Mind if I say you're full of it? Talking to 'hundreds of players'... lol. You're a journalist? PoE is out since 23 oct 2013 and open beta since january same year. So you're either a time traveller, or talking out of your ass. And if you 'accidentally' 6L'd something over the course of five years... what can I say, you're doing it wrong?? :p

Oh crap, I just realized, I did buy stash tabs. That must be it LOL

I will agree though, 6 Linking something back in the day was harder than it is now. These values have definitely been adjusted. What also matters is how you play the currency game and what pieces you try to six link - and with what methods. There are several ways to approach currency trading for almost every goal. Last but not least: farm builds, more specifically, summoner builds with a metric ton of Item Rarity and Quantity, used to be a thing, for me too, and there were several more occasions where the meta for item find and farm builds was really good. This is a big bonus because you get far more 6S drops, making it a lot easier.

@bug RNG... but really, in todays' PoE it is NOT hard to get 6L, and buying a Tabula Rasa off poetrade is cheap as hell since they drop like skittles. Even regular 6L's aren't super expensive if you have a bit of playtime under your belt.


I'll point this out again - you can play PoE the hard way, or the easy way. If you really think you need to do a top 10 of youtube builds by the numbers to have fun, reconsider, and just play self-found and cobble together nice things as you go. Its perfectly playable like that and also offers the most entertaining progression curve that way. This is how I played it, I only made my first foray onto Poetrade when they released Fall or Oriath... so yes, those four 6L chests I have are really self found, self rolled... What can I say.

I recognize the story about 'levelling to mid 80's and thats as far as I got' - most of my characters also get stuck there, but this is simply because of the sharp curve in XP gain at that point and should be considered a 'finished build'. Beyond that, the min-maxing for meagre percentage increases begins, and that is high-end (gear) territory with a very different playstyle indeed. And yes, if you want to do the league races and top leaderboards, you'll need to be very dedicated, but why would you want to do that in the first place??
 
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#14
The problem with PoE is that you pretty much always have to keep up with the latest "exploit" build (read: next to be nerfed) in order to be able to do big damage in a 6-man party. This is beside the gear requirements. Tabula Rasa? You're a glass cannon at best with it in high-tier maps. It's not too hard to take the meager points you have for that ginormous skill tree and make a char that farms solo, but the real rewards come in parties, and you have to do a metric fuckton of damage to farm high-level maps in a 6-man party. Also, no matter what they say, PoE is pay-2-win. If you want to get ahead in the game, you _have_ to have stash tabs, and those cost money. Those remove-only tabs are a trap.
About pay2win, you can always use mules (I know, the number of chars isn't unlimited either). But at $11/16.5 per bundle, buying storage space is the least courtesy you can show the developers of a game you're enjoying enough to want to press on.
No, I don't think every decision GGG makes is good (then again, I don't see the game from the PoV of a more serious player), but looking at the alternatives, they still have by far the most consumer friendly business model, imho.
 
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#15
thanks for the reply @Vayra86 :) I'd be thrilled to put up my stuff to let someone who's played more recently than me take a whiff at it. I've been trying to snag a solid 5L6S Bow and armor from POE trade, but not gotten responses when I whisper. I did manage to grab 2 Omens on the Wind for 1C, which is fortunate with the nerf to them. I'll post my build (when they come back online :( )and you can laugh at it at your convenience :) when you recover, let me know where I need to aim :) thanks!
5L really isn't difficult, stop using Poetrade for that :D You can also just 6S your best yellow bow and keep fusing on that one. Or just wait for a 5L bow to actually drop, because its not that infrequent either.

Once my updates are done I'll see if I have something laying around for ya.
 
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#16
5L really isn't difficult, stop using Poetrade for that :D You can also just 6S your best yellow bow and keep fusing on that one. Or just wait for a 5L bow to actually drop, because its not that infrequent either.

Once my updates are done I'll see if I have something laying around for ya.
The thing is, as far as I have read, 6-link isn't even required in most situation. 5-link works just fine (can be crafted for 150 fuse orbs) and in some cases, like RF, is works very well on a 4-link.
The thing is, we already know we'll never see all content in this game (I can't reach regular Atziri more that 2 years after her addition to the game), we'll never see the most powerful uniques. Not being able to fully link items seems like it's just adding insult to injury.
And yes, I'm fully aware that without proper sinks the game economy will be ruined. It's why MMOs don't double well as single player games. It's also why I hate everything is now MMO.

Edit: Half an hour after I posted the above I found: https://www.hardocp.com/news/2017/12/08/bethesda_wants_to_save_singleplayer_gaming
 
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#17
The other thing is, there is a fair bit of RNG these days but there is ALSO a fair bit of steady progression - both within a league, but mostly in overall stash contents AND more importantly knowledge of more intricate combos and mechanics. If I have to name one thing that has helped me the most, its really getting under the game's skin over time to really pinpoint the stuff that works best for a build.

And I'm still learning to be fair. There is so much to try, I really don't mind not seeing all the content. Compare it to D3 - you get all the content, and beyond that, you just add tiny numbers and sometimes an OP unique with perfect synergy. Done. All you can do is go up up up. PoE, to me, means you can go and progress in ANY direction and it happens alot that you're just ditching a build halfway through because A; it wont work, or B: you find something new that just NEEDS to be tried stat.
 
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#18
The other thing is, there is a fair bit of RNG these days but there is ALSO a fair bit of steady progression - both within a league, but mostly in overall stash contents AND more importantly knowledge of more intricate combos and mechanics. If I have to name one thing that has helped me the most, its really getting under the game's skin over time to really pinpoint the stuff that works best for a build.

And I'm still learning to be fair. There is so much to try, I really don't mind not seeing all the content. Compare it to D3 - you get all the content, and beyond that, you just add tiny numbers and sometimes an OP unique with perfect synergy. Done. All you can do is go up up up. PoE, to me, means you can go and progress in ANY direction and it happens alot that you're just ditching a build halfway through because A; it wont work, or B: you find something new that just NEEDS to be tried stat.
Yes, that's PoE's saving grace: behind the brutal difficulty and frequent nerfs, there's still a great game.
 
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#19
you're just ditching a build halfway through because A; it wont work, or B: you find something new that just NEEDS to be tried stat
So very true, I can not count how many orbs of regret I have used just to try a newer skill build or scrapped one direction with my witch to go another. I should build a melee toon soon too
 
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#20
So very true, I can not count how many orbs of regret I have used just to try a newer skill build or scrapped one direction with my witch to go another. I should build a melee toon soon too
Funny you should mentioned melee, I was looking into that, too.
The only way to build a melee toon was Vaal Pact and that just got nerfed.

Edit: One advantage when you play as little as I do is you don't have to spend regret orbs. By the time you have to change your build, a nerf patch hits and you get a free respec :D
 
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#22
What's more important to know is your passive skill tree, your skill gems/slots, and your playstyle/rotation.
 
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#23
What's more important to know is your passive skill tree, your skill gems/slots, and your playstyle/rotation.
Tree listed above. Mainly I run Ice Shot supported by GMP/IceBite/Elem Dmg. Running 2 Omen on the Winds. I match that with an occasional Caustic with Chance to Flee, and regain health with Barrage supported by GMP/Life on Hit/PhysProjAttack. I hide from the mobs behind my 20% Stone Golem, supported by Minion Damage and Life Support, in the headpiece for an extra level. I have a lvl 13 Tornado, which is attached to my Added Cold Damage since it won't fit next to my Ice Shot. I've a level 17 Vaal Summon Skellies that I drop when I pull too many rare/unique mobs to keep them occupied.

I think I need to work seriously on some resistance gear. I'm at 45/30/35/17, and I'm thinking that's far too low for my level. But I'm not sure what piece I should sacrifice/focus on for replacement...

**edit Forgot, I run a level 11 Clarity for Mana regen. I can tell when I forgot to put it back on, as I run low on mana within a minute or two, but haven't noticed running out in a while as long as it's on.
 
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#24
Tree listed above. Mainly I run Ice Shot supported by GMP/IceBite/Elem Dmg. Running 2 Omen on the Winds. I match that with an occasional Caustic with Chance to Flee, and regain health with Barrage supported by GMP/Life on Hit/PhysProjAttack. I hide from the mobs behind my 20% Stone Golem, supported by Minion Damage and Life Support, in the headpiece for an extra level. I have a lvl 13 Tornado, which is attached to my Added Cold Damage since it won't fit next to my Ice Shot. I've a level 17 Vaal Summon Skellies that I drop when I pull too many rare/unique mobs to keep them occupied.

I think I need to work seriously on some resistance gear. I'm at 45/30/35/17, and I'm thinking that's far too low for my level. But I'm not sure what piece I should sacrifice/focus on for replacement...

**edit Forgot, I run a level 11 Clarity for Mana regen. I can tell when I forgot to put it back on, as I run low on mana within a minute or two, but haven't noticed running out in a while as long as it's on.
Are you using NeverSinks Ranger guide? It looks familiar;
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1041989

Overall he has very solid guides but they seem tailored for high end gameplay. Another really nice one to look at, and overall much more budget friendly - below.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaFHfrY-6uGSAvmczp_7a6Q

If you want my two $: focus on tornado shot as your primary. It is overall a lot stronger than Ice shot and synergizes better with other physical attacks. Stacking cold damage takes significant passive investment that you may want to use for staying alive instead. Going hard physical means you need a counter for reflect mobs- GMP covers you there as it staggers the reflected damage quite well. What any build needs is that you try to double-dip or triple-dip into the characteristics of gems and skills, or even items. GMP+Chain staggers damage even more, while also increasing damage output *and* potentially extending the on-hit effects of TS. Going physical is better now because lots of melee attack nodes are swapped to physical attack nodes, giving you more freedom in the passive tree. Using a completely separate attack (Barrage) to regain health will not last for you; health recovery needs to be inherent to your primary damager or to a defensive skill with duration, because later on you won't have time to alternate nor should you waste gem slots on it. Invest those slots towards a separate buff or defensive skill instead, things like Molten Shell, or triggers like Cast on Critical or Curse on hit attacks. Trigger gems are a great way to get free attacks/second because they don't take your global cooldown; its a free cast.

While Golems are nice, another very nice defensive mechanic is the Brotem:

You can let these skellies curse on hit too, if you wanted to, allowing you to focus even more attacks/second on your primary damagers.

About gear: are you using the bonus stats you can craft on gear pieces? Almost every gear piece except weaponry generally ends up being defensive. With your items focused on all resist stats, you should be able to cap most resistances, and its vital to do this for most builds. Don't pick up the weaker % resist nodes in the tree, and get it all on your gear. Damage output scales almost exclusively off weapons choice and passive skills anyway, any bonuses on other items are 'nice to have' - but defense should come first.

As for passives: focus should be entirely on damage output, unique utilities (keystones), and most of all, health pool.

One last thing I am missing is your escape/Fortify on hit trigger. Get it :) For example:
Whirling Blades + Blood Magic + Fortify (+Faster Attacks optional) is an awesome 4-link to keep Fortify up all the time and always have an escape even if you're out of mana. In addition you can leap across the maps quickly. Or if you dont worry about mana - swap Blood Magic And Faster Attacks for Curse on Hit + your fav curse ;)

Here's my current (last league) build, a Sunder melee build; (check out 'Zundr') - take special note of all the trigger gems, the totem, and how much defensives I use. I tend to delete characters if they're not super effective in some way BTW, so its not a long list of toons :) Here you can also see that my damage all revolves around maximizing physical dmg output. I don't mix and match other types at all.
https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/Vayra86/characters

Vaal skill gems - this is a topic I haven't really touched on yet - while strong, are very situational, and influenced by chance. If you can reliably proc and use them, by all means, if it feels like a gimmick, toss em out.

And the resists (and life regen - almost 10% of total HP per second) on this fellow. Also: this is a single league, self-found character, another bit of insight in how things really are quite doable regardless of RNG. Levelled and geared over the course of, I think, 3-4 weeks. I could reliably do tier 9-12 maps with this.
PathOfExile_x64_2017_12_09_14_11_28_742.jpg
 
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#25
....

Here's my current (last league) build, a Sunder melee build; (check out 'Zundr') - take special note of all the trigger gems, the totem, and how much defensives I use. I tend to delete characters if they're not super effective in some way BTW, so its not a long list of toons :) Here you can also see that my damage all revolves around maximizing physical dmg output. I don't mix and match other types at all.
https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/Vayra86/characters
Don't have a lot of time this morning to examine your post completely but I did see your link to your profile, and thought I'd peruse quickly. I didn't know you could do that heheh, but it's set to "private", I guess. Will try to set mine up for a link here :)

thanks for the detailed response.!!

Ok, saw how to setup access, here's my char list, the main one I'm playing (except for the new Abyss league I'm trying this morn) is Wynterspirit, the 69 ranger. Thanks!
https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/Ahhzz_POE/characters