Path of Exile developer Grinding Gear Games is trying to deal with serious community repercussions after a series of recent updates left fans frustrated with the state of the game. Since its release in 2013, Path of Exile has been considered one of the best ARPG games on PC, but its several recent patches and seasonal updates have proven unpopular with the playerbase that fantasy games are usually dedicated to. GGG’s release date for Blizzard’s Diablo 4 is looming.
The latest Path of Exile expansion, Kalandra Lake, launched on August 19th. It promises a cool new way for players to earn endgame gear by exploring the titular lake that has the ability to mirror entire encounters from elsewhere in Wraeclast. The expansion also hopes to provide exciting lore around Karandra herself, who is best known for creating the Mirror of Karandra, one of the most powerful Path of Exile currencies— – An endgame crafting item that can be used by any item that can duplicate it.
However, players found that while the Calandra Lake concept was interesting, the expansion didn’t add much new content and felt rather unrewarding. Path of Exile YouTube user ZiggyD explained in a video on the subject that the lack of hype in the new expansion means players won’t be distracted by issues they’ve had in the game before, such as the Archnemesis system, Harvest crafting, and Contamination fuse. “Path of Exile’s player base is the most united I’ve ever seen,” ZiggyD said. “Unfortunately, the current state of the game and the initial response from developers GGG to their complaints are very unhappy.”
The Archnemesis system was introduced in the previous expansion, allowing players to create custom enemy monsters by stacking challenging modifiers on it. The general consensus is that the system is very rewarding, but the monsters themselves are becoming increasingly frustrating. Players were dismayed to find that after the Archnemesis League ended, modifiers were added to the pool of all rare monsters in the game – meaning that frustrating modifiers can now appear anywhere, but without any added rewards to come Compensation for dealing with them.
Another big complaint is Harvest crafting – a system that was previously popular but limited in terms of interaction with trades. Redesigning the system to make it compatible with player trading seems like a positive change, but the number of crafting available was severely nerfed by Grinding Gear Games in the new revamp, and many of the most powerful crafting options were removed. Another popular system, Tainted fusings – which gave players a fun way to reroll gear for the perfect gem slot – was also heavily nerfed, making them a less viable way to get the best endgame gear .
Perhaps the final straw that broke the camel’s back, however, was players noticing…well, down. According to ZiggyD, initial reports of players getting less valuable loot drops were considered coincidental, but players continue to notice this trend happening in an increasingly consistent fashion.
In a community post titled “What We’re Doing”, which aimed to address some of the most vocal complaints, GGG noted that it “removes the amount and/or rarity of items that apply to certain Alliance-specific monsters. Huge History Bonus” and replaced it with a 2-3x increase. While ZiggyD says the calculations are inaccurate, he estimates that this has resulted in around 50-80% less significant loot dropped by monsters that tend to drop the most valuable equipment in the Path of Exile endgame map.
Additionally, ZiggyD noted that the entire community felt that the GGG’s response to various complaints, while a step in the right direction, was generally very conservative compared to the scale of the issues involved. Another post, titled “Overview of Upcoming Changes,” outlined more upcoming changes, but fans took issue with the post’s language. For example, the post uses phrases such as “We are aware of feedback on Harvest crafts, but have yet to comment on it.” This has led participants to call for more transparency about potential plans.
Grinding Gear Games community lead Bex_GGG posted additional follow-ups to previous posts on the game’s subreddit. She added that the current situation “feels like a rock and a tough place, and if we communicate where we are at the moment, it’s a joke because there’s no conclusion, or we don’t communicate until we reach a conclusion, and then people would be dissatisfied with our lack of communication.” This is certainly a difficult situation – many of the responses to the post expressed understanding that such a decision is not always a quick fix.
However, it’s far from plain sailing for Grinding Gear Games – the studio has long been praised by the Path of Exile community for its clear communication and quality of games. Even the recent update was criticized by players, who explained that planned changes to Harvest crafting to lower its power were “hostile” to the player base and “felt like we were being told things could be both awkward” Again difficult access and bad work, or they may not pay off.
Whether this is just a rough patch to navigate Grinding Gear Games, or whether it will have a bigger impact as GGG plans to transition to its 4.0 update (which officially becomes Path of Exile 2), remains to be seen. With players concerned that these changes are part of the look change that GGG wants for PoE 2, it will be interesting to see what the team’s next move will be. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for other games to play, Diablo 2: Resurrection PTR just got a brand new feature, and we’ve got some of the best PC co-op games for you to play with your friends.