Over the last few days, I’ve invested several hours into Path of Exile. Biljeznica, my Witch, got close to level 20 and finished Act I as well as several quests in Act II. For now, the game is still quite fun and I’m greatly enjoying it. I got a few more respec points, so I completely shifted focus from minions towards fire spells. Once I get more, I intend to also drop focus from mana regeneration, since I’m really not lacking mana at all, thanks to my Clarity aura.
The Fireball seems to be getting less useful, with Firestorm doing more damage even against single enemies. As for the Fire Run, thanks to a +Dexterity amulet, I’m still using and leveling it, but it’s becoming more and more obvious it’s really meant to be Dexterity skill.
I also found a couple of gems belonging to a new type – the support gem. Instead of giving you a new skill, support gems add special bonuses to the skills they are connected to via a socket. For instance, there’s a support gem that increases the life of minions summoned by the summon gem it’s connected to. It’s a bit limiting and I actually think I’d prefer if they didn’t have to be connected to another gem via socket connections, but it’s still an interesting feature to mess around with.
The more I play, the more obvious it becomes that the complexity and the amount of choices are all just an illusion. There’s a couple of paths I can pick from on the skill grid, but once I pick one, that’s it – 90% of the skill grid becomes off-limits.
The same goes for active skills and equipment. The game is old school both in a good and a bad way. Right now, I’m still looking forward to the next level, but I can see myself not seeing the point of it as soon as I realize my improvised build is not good enough, which will probably happen eventually, since I’m not a theorycrafter and I haven’t done any research in advance.
Diablo 3 and it’s “change builds as you please” approach isn’t the perfect solution, but neither is this. I’m not even sure that there is a perfect solution at this point, but the way it is now, I probably won’t play for a lot longer.