"I was inspired to make this video after a reply to my Path of Exile 2020 review. One of my viewers was frustrated with getting stuck in Yellow Maps and feeling unable to fight Sirus while acknowledging that players such as myself are also getting frustrated with the Sirus system as it was a cycle of content we had to repeat multiple times to collect all our watchstones."
- Tarke Cat
Merry Christmas, exiles! Today let's talking about the difficulty and accessibility of Path of Exile. Firstly, thank you, Tarke Cat, for your useful video about this discussion. Now let's jump into it.
What is my issue with difficulty in PoE, and what are we trying to solve?
- Enjoyment of PoE is hugely affected by game knowledge, build strength and playtime.
As a result, it is incredibly difficult to make an experience that satisfies the ever diverse PoE player base over the duration of a league. What is fun for me, as someone with seven years of experience playing PoE and the ability to play 8 hours a day is very different to someone who has played for a league or two and can play 8 hours a week.
- I'm bored with difficulty modes that are just mobs that have X more life and deal with X more damage. What makes Uber Elder a great fight isn't the bigger life and dmg pools but the addition of Shaper + Elder in one boss arena, completely changing the dynamics of the fight.
- The most engaging PoE's difficulty has been IMO in during the Metamorph league with how the difficulty axis suddenly went from a 2d to 4d experience. Instead of just worrying about map mods, you now have to consider what monster parts you are putting into the metamorph as different monsters have different attacks. What special Metamorph abilities do you give the boss. What reward type you are chasing, and finally, how all these previous choices will interact and combo together.
- Access to difficulty. I increasingly find myself walking away from certain characters or PoE itself, not because my character has hit a brick wall in progression but because l have gotten bored with my character before regaining access to adequately challenging content. PoE has always struggled with having very difficult content but time-gated or extremely limited access to said difficult content.
- Use private leagues isn't a valid discussion because you are then gating difficulty behind a paywall.
Use Aklok Baikadi's comment as an example.
- Have some Uber Sirus cycle meaning that rather than having to progress up the different AW levels fighting Sirus multiple times to unlock all your watchstones. Instead, a player could choose to do an uber progression path, making every step of the journey and each Conq fight significantly harder, but you only need to do one complete cycle to unlock all of your watchstones.
- Meanwhile, it has an opposite system, making the conq fights easier but requires more cycles to reach the same endpoint. This would allow the types of players who feel like they get stuck in yellow maps a chance to see the Sirus fight still and practice their boss mechanics on a stripped back version of the encounter.