Review Back-up & verbatum
- "I rate this game HoursPlayed/10."
- [b]Path of Exile is not a game for everyone.[/b] That said, it's a game with many facets to explore that is certain to scratch some niche itches better than any other.
- In essence, a character in PoE is a means to an end which is up to you to decide on.
- Typical characters can do any generic content alone with relative ease but within that spectrum there is a huge variety of character types tailored to each preference and if what you like doesn't exist yet, you can most certainly try your hand at creating it.
- To name a [i]few[/i] general archetypes amongst the quite literal thousands of possibilities:
- • [b]Melee[/b] - with access to a large variety of weapon types (recently added upon in the 2.0 expansion) and build enabling unique items. You can wield a shield and a weapon for what is traditionally the most defensive approach, take up dual wielding any two melee weapon types which provides less blocking chance than a shield but enables many interesting combos and 'stat-stick' strategies, and of course you can take the typical barbarian approach and wield a variety of two-handed weapons that allow you to stomp everything in your wake.
- • [b]Spell Caster[/b] - there are droves of spells in PoE. There are your three classical elements in Fire, Cold and Lightning as well as Chaos and Physical spells thrown in for good measure. The latter have been greatly expanded upon in the recent 2.1 Talisman content update. Spell casters can, like melee characters, wield a shield, two weapons or a single two-handed weapon. But unlike the attack-based characters, spell-casters' damage is provided by their skill gems directly rather than the weapon, which only grants bonuses to the damage. There exist a variety of elemental statuses and styles of spell with different interactions; the main categories being AoE spells and Projectile spells, all with a unique twist;
- • [b]Archer[/b] - although archers will be the characters who most often play generically, they've been a solid bet during the game's history thanks to their clear speed and ease of play. As an archer you have a choice between bows and quivers. Most attacks will use your bow to deal damage with the exceptions being Explosive Arrow and Caustic Arrow, which deal damage based on the skill gem (akin to spell casters, but restricted to a bow). There also exist wandslingers in PoE, which use their wands to directly damage enemies rather than through spells. Usually regarded as 'wanders', they are best known for being a hybrid between a bow and a shield wielder, sacrifing damage for defense at range.
- • [b]Summoner[/b] - I'd venture to guess you don't think this warrants being distinguished, and they really are what you are likely picturing: a pet class. But in PoE the variety of combinations has spawned a plethora of different summoner types, generally coming down to builds specialising in either permanent minions or temporary minions to do your bidding, stacking auras or stacking survivability (with the strongest end-game builds acchieving both). To the inexperienced, a summoner may become synonymous with a necromancer in most other games, but in reality there is good reason for the nomenclature used -- not all summons in PoE are necromantic. A good variety of them are animatronic. The game includes a variety of golems and two animatronic minions you can use directly that are solid components of builds (as well as some you can access indirectly through the Rampage mechanic).
- Secondly, there are characters that are fit for [i]very[/i] specific purposes rather than generic content (maps) such as: boss farming (atziri/uber), "culling" (finishing off bosses with gear that augments loot dropped), and even pure supporting (Whispering Ice/Ice Shot/Aurabot and some brands of summoner). These can be built with wide variation and Uber builds are theorycrafted and discussed very often.
- [b]These are only examples.[/b] There's everything in-between. Spell casters can wield bows to gain projectile speed which results in incredible range, or for damage conversion. [i]Every[/i] spell and bow ability can be turned into a mine that can be detonated at will or a trap that is triggered when stepped on. Wandslingers can forfeit damaging enemies directly and turn into a hybrid that shoots out spells triggered by attacks.
- You can set yourself on fire and run into people. Seriously.
- There are many ways to build your character defensively too, usually focusing on either life or shield for building an effective HP pool and regeneration, leech, armour, evasion or elemental resistances for mitigation of damage taken. Or a mixture of all of them to your liking. (Ever played EVE Online? You'll get it.)
- If you have a knack for collecting, grinding or engineering, my recommendation is for you specifically. Welcome to theorycrafting heaven.
- P.S.:Over a hundred people have added me because of this review. I don't mind you adding me, but please do it if you have a question or need help, not if you *might* have a question or need help in the future. Thanks for saving both of our time, enjoy your hacking and slashing.
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