YMMV / Path of Exile

  • Arc Fatigue: There were several areas that were thought to be too long, or pointless, to traverse to get to the main objectives that it was considered boring for some players. As a result, the 2.0 patch went about updating the game world to reduce such fatigue. Some of the changes included:
    • Act 1
      • Reducing the Submerged Passage from 2 levels to 1.
      • Deleting the Coves area between the Ship Graveyard and Merveil's home.
    • Act 2
      • Reducing the Chamber of Sins from 3 levels to 2.
      • Deleting the Blackwood area between the Riverways and Western Forest.
      • Reducing the Vaal Ruins from 2 levels to 1.
      • Reducing the Caverns from 2 levels to 1.
    • Act 3
      • Deleting the Sewer Waterway area between the Warehouse Sewers and Ebony Barracks.
      • Reducing the Lunaris Temple from 3 levels to 2.
  • Awesome Music: Quite a lot, actually ! The Solaris Temple music in particular is very popular.
  • Breather Level: Act 1 of Cruel difficulty. Yes, the monsters have their health and damage scaled up, but they're still mostly the same shambling pushovers that they were before, as opposed to the fast moving, hard hitting, projectile spamming Demonic Spiders that you've been dealing with throughout Normal Act 4. Going from Cruel Act 4 to Merciless Act 1 involves a similar difficulty drop.
  • Broken Base:
    • The orb market, either it's a great replacement over using gold, or it's too complicated and grindy.
    • The developer's ah, controversial decision to stick with non-instanced loot.
      • Now that they've implemented an option for permanently allocated loot, it's more broken between “Stop Having Fun” Guys who think that free-for-all loot should be the only way to play and that the developers shouldn't have added the option, and everyone else who just plays with the option they prefer.
    • The skill-tree has always been a split between those that love it for players being able to control how to evolve their character, and those who think that the skill-tree is too simple and lopsided towards certain builds to bring any depth or creativity to the game. A prime example being when a player works around the skill-tree to pile up on the skill points that increase health over experimenting with any of the other skills, because piling up on health is considered to be one of the more powerful builds in the end-game.
      • The overly powerful health is averted nowadays, because other means of defense have been buffed. A somewhat solid reserve of HP is still considered to be very helpful though.
  • Demonic Spiders: Rogue Exiles are hostile NPCs that are exiles like you and have a chance to spawn pretty much anywhere. They have access to the same skills as you do and can be very dangerous, especially in the higher difficulty levels. Bumping into one unprepared can lead to a swift death.
    • There are a few monster mods that can down players quickly. For example, Corrupted Blood inflicts the bleed status effect and can sap your health in seconds unless you have a flask with a remove bleed effect on hand. Monsters with Reflect Elemental Damage can also be a huge pain for casters relying on elemental spells. Piling on a load of Storm Calls or fully charging a Flame Blast can lead to an Oh Crap! moment when you discover that the monster you're about to nuke is going to reflect that right back at you.
    • With the introduction of the talisman league, which spawned monsters holding the aformentioned talisman, giving them a unique effect and rewarding the player with one if they managed to kill it, one particular type quickly gained infamy to the point of getting nerfed: Bonespire. Monsters holding the Bonespire talisman sporadically created spiky areas on the floor which both damaged and applied a stacking dot that can't be removed like bleed or circumvented like puncture. Problem was the damage was way too high, to the point of even the slightes of delayed reactions meant certain death and even then portaling back to town was the only real counter to its stacking dot. This was quickly nerfed in a patch, almost not even a day after the league started.
    • Monster packs with Bloodline mods can be horrifically dangerous. Bearers of the Guardian causes the pack to summon an Animated Guardian that cannot be killed until the pack is exterminated. Voidspawn of Abaxoth summons a Bonus Boss unique demon when the last pack member is killed. Heralds of the Obelisk leave behind lightning-spell spamming untargetable obelisks until the last member of the pack is killed.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The Sceptre of God. Six floors of the exact same types of enemies with no variation aside from a miniboss on the second and sixth floors, and unlike the Lunaris Temple, the environment remains exactly the same no matter how far you are. Oh, and the Waypoint is located on the third floor, so if you die to Dominus and forgot to use a portal scroll, or if your game disconnects or crashes, then you have to slog through three levels of the same damn enemies just to get back to the final battle.
    • Luckily, the developers implemented a checkpoint system that allows you to revive just before the final boss fight. Still doesn't help if you crash, though.
    • It also isn't the last level anymore, since Act 4 was added, which has some way more impressive final areas.
  • Dueling Games: With Diablo 3 (and perhaps Torchlight 2) as the prime action-rpg of this time-period. Marvel Heroes is sometimes brought into the conversation as well.
  • Early Bird Boss: Most sub-bosses in Act 1 on normal difficulty, primarily Hailrake (see below).
  • Holy Shit Quotient: The typical reaction when someone sees this game's skill tree for the first time. Fans call it a skill forest for a reason!
  • Memetic Mutation: "Skillgrimage."
    • Vagan's 'ear-bending' catchphrase.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Given what you see of the results of Piety's... "experiments" inside the Lunaris Temple, she'd crossed this point long ago.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The game gives you brief flashes of horror over the course of the first two Acts, before turning it up to max and leaving it there in Act 3. Special mention goes to the Lunaris Temple, especially Level 3. The monsters there are the results of Piety's "experiments", the entire area is flooded with blood, which will spawn blood elementals to try and kill you! On top of that, the area is full of increasingly high amounts of bodies in various conditions, and the ambiance and music is very unsettling. Did we forget to mention the fact that there are live people floundering in the blood in some areas?
    • And do you know how those people in Lunaris were so mangled/mutilated/mutated? Or how the Undyings that infest Act 3 came to be? Because they had Virtue Gems implanted into them in an attempt of Transhumanism. The very same things you place in your gear sockets, also known as 'Skill Gems'.
    • Act 4 makes Act 3 look like a leisurely stroll through a park. While to begin with it's just the basic desolate outdoor areas, things go rapidly downhill once you get into the mines. Anyone who suffers from Trypophobia should never, ever, EVER zoom in on anything in the mines. All of the humanoid enemies are made up of horrible, pockmarked, spongy flesh, which seems to be growing out of the very walls and floors, with obvious human shapes protruding from the wall. Whether these shapes used to be human or are budding out of the walls is up to your interpretation. It gets worse when you find the Pocked Goliaths, who tear chunks of themselves off to use as projectiles which form into new Pocked Miner enemies, giving credence to the fact they may be budding out of the growths all around... It gets even worse when you reach The Belly of The Beast, which is one of the most revolting Womb Levels ever created. The first section is a hideous path through a huge bloody mass, with eyes and tendrils everywhere. The second area, titled The Bowels of the Beast / The Harvest, is like before, but with a huge layer of rank, fetid sewage on top of that. This eventually culminates when you reach the area with the final boss, which starts off with fighting on a gut-encrusted tendril-y mass that looks suspiciously like a sphincter, which you enter to fall into onto an island in a sea of blood, surrounded by three hearts which you have to destroy in a very gory fashion. It's quite telling when the two area of Act 4 which are implicitly said to be manifest nightmares are far, far less horrifying than these areas.
  • That One Boss: Many, often different for each character-build.
    • Oak in Act 2's bandit quest. He's incredibly strong, and he has a leap attack that instantly sends him to his target. He's even harder to deal with if you like using a lot of fire skills. Expect to find yourself joining random parties just to deal with him.
    • Merveil, the end boss of Act 1, is this for some players, especially those who are new to the game. At first, it seems like she just attacks the player with many powerful frost-based magic attacks, but upon defeating her, her true form appears and she not only completely regenerates her health, but also becomes a summoner-type boss (alongside being an ice-mage) that will endlessly spawn Mooks to constantly annoy you; some even being suicidal-bomber types which will instantly destroy a chunk of health if the player let even one get too close. To top it all off, she has a shield that will regenerate if players hold off on attacking for too long, and in the second fight against a summoner-ice-mage, expect it to happen A LOT. Long story short, players are in for a long, drawn-out, fight against Merveil if they're not stocked up on cold-resist, or they're short on any area-of-effect type attacks to keep the summoned pets at bay.
    • Hailrake is brutal in both normal and merciless difficulties. In normal you fight him at about level 2 when you have no real gear, skills, or passive points and you're just getting the hang of the game. His primary ability is both extremely powerful and fairly counter-intuitive if you don't already know what it does (at short range it's harder to dodge, but at long range it's 7 times more likely to completely freeze you which is more or less a guaranteed kill at this level). On merciless you know what to expect, but the map he's on is level 58 and directly adjacent to level 53 maps with no warning that's the case. He is in fact higher level than the mid act boss Brutus and about the same as the end act boss Merveil.
    • Players disappointed with Piety's relative ease have had complaints answered with High Templar Dominus. Boss Rush as first and second phases, Flunky Boss while being no slouch himself in third and fourth, and in said fourth phase, he can call a bloody death mist that instantly kills you unless you stand right next to him and his powerful melee attacks.
    • Your first fight with Piety in the city ruins. She spams a spell (Chain Lightning) that causes a huge ball of energy to careen across the screen firing thunderbolts at anything nearby. If you have low lightning resistance, she's a nightmare.
    • The Bonus Dungeon carrion-beetle boss, the Sunburst Queen. Powerful fire-spells coupled with the the Queen's never-ending spawning of 50 to 100 suicidal-bombing carrion beetles makes for a rather difficult fight. It's almost like dealing with a fire-version of Merveil...only a hundred times worse!
    • With the introduction of Act 4, another slew of tricky unique monsters also followed. While most areas are tricky, but manageable, people come to dread a certain area because of its uniques alone: Kaom's Dream segment.
      • The first area has Torchoak Grove, a unique totem enemy accompanied by other totems. All of them can bombard the player with mortar-like projectiles which outrange practically any ranged attack at this point, being able to hit from over a full screen away, and way too high damage per projectile compared to the area, usually one-shotting unwary players unfortunate enough to get caught in too many of the blasts. It was later revealed that the high amount of damage was a bug and was fixed in patch 2.1, making them a lot more manageable.
      • The second area has Triskeriaki, a unique rakango enemy with the ability to spawn three tentacles to fire a volley of spikes instead of just one like the regular version. One volley is bad enough, although survivable with sufficient defense, but if you get caught in the crossfire of two or, heaven forbid, all three tentacles, then prepare to see your precious character get slaughtered in a manner of seconds if you don't get out in time. Unlike Torchoak Grove, this boss isn't bugged; it's actually meant to do this much damage.
    • Malachai can make Dominus seem like a walk in the park, at least when it comes to tactics. He rarely gives any breathing room in his attacks, constantly spawning projectiles and creating stuff on the floor that damages you if you stay there, forcing you to be one the move during the whole fight, and if you do find a safe spot then he'll just teleport to you and unleash a devastating shockwave if you don't move away. There's only one attack that gives you an opening and even then you need to mind all the damaging stuff he spawned beforehand.
  • That One Level:
    • Back in the day, The Battlefront of Act 3 used to be this. The worst part of this zone was when you came across the mage variants of the Black Guards who constantly use a thorn-type of spell that causes any form of damage taken from the player to be copied back at said player. It was absolutely brutal to player builds not dumping their skill points into increasing their health or shield, which usually resulted in instant death. Overtime, the Blackguard mages received nerfs to the amount of damage returned to the player that it's hardly noticeable anymore.
    • The Lord's Labyrinth; a giant maze of traps and monsters that must be fully completed without dying...and having NO checkpoint system for the ability to do a portion of the labyrinth, then come back at a later time. Unless your character is built to rush through the dungeon to reach the Izaro fights, the length you have to go in order to get the Ascendancy class for your Exile is just disgusting.
  • That One Sidequest: Some of the missions for the Forsaken Masters can be very difficult or almost impossible depending on a characters skillset. For example, it is quite hard to solve Vorici's missions of only killing certain enemies, if your character heavily specializes in Area of Effect-skills. Haku's missions are considered to be especially hard for almost everyone, because they are very strict Timed Missions of quickly reaching a certain place in narrow, monster-infested caves, in a game that often forces the player to proceed carefully. Oh, and it also throws indestructable Totems into the mix, that attack the player with elemental damage.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • The Marauder got some flak as this. As the pure Strength class, he focuses on powerful melee attacks and armor that is purely defensive. The problem is that, towards the end of the game and especially the higher difficulties, you pretty much need some form of ranged attack and evasion/an energy shield to stay alive without having to guzzle potions every other second.
    • Several spell gems usually get this reaction due to higher level gems being perfect upgrades in comparison. A good example is the Fireball gem you acquire right at the start of the game, but then gets replaced by the infinitely better Firestorm gem that can be used a couple level-ups later.
      • Actually subverted, as many low-level spell gems can be extremely effective if combined with the right support gems, thanks to their low mana cost and versatility.

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