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YMMV / Path of Exile

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  • 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.
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    • The Act 2 quest to kill off the three Bandit Lords was considered to be annoying because you couldn't reach the northern Bandit Lord, Oak, until the Exile made his/her way through the Vaal Ruins, which was blocked off from entering until the Loratta tree blocking the entrance was killed. But in order to kill Loratta, the player had to journey to the Chamber of Sin and Weaver Spider home first to collect items needed to kill said tree. The 2.0 patch fixed this by moving the Wetlands zone with Oak in it to come before the Vaal Ruins instead of after it. Another noticeable change for this quest was getting rid of the Blackwood zone so that the journey to the western Bandit Lord, Alira, would be a bit shorter.
  • Awesome Music: Quite a lot, actually ! The Solaris Temple music in particular is very popular.
    • The bombastic, climactic theme of the Kitava bossfight and the creepy Diablo 2-esque music of the Abyssal Depths are also highly regarded.
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  • Breather Level: Back before the The Fall of Oriath patch, 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 involved 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.
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    • 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.
    • Getting rid of Act 3's Sewer Waterway in the 2.0 patch. For some, people are glad that it was cut since there was already so much sewer content to deal with that the amount of sewer zones to go through just got tiresome after awhile. On the other hand, the loss of the Sewer Waterway is felt to be a loss of some game immersion as it was a journey to travel under the river to get to the Ebony Barracks. As a result, the new sewer entrance to the Barracks being just shortly after the Warehouse Sewer's Undying Wall has been felt to be a tad out-of-place.
    • Come the 3.0 patch, the massive nerfing to Energy Shield builds has also raised some heckles.
    • The Beastcrafting system introduced in the Beastiary League. Either it's a buggy, tedious, RNG-infested mess of a mechanic that only makes the game more complex for the sake of being complex and/or is an inferior copy of Essences, or it's a unique ARPG idea that happens to be extremely useful for "solo self-found" players. Also the beast-capturing system, mostly because it's much more difficult to capture beasts for some builds than others, although this has lessened after Necromancy nets were introduced (which allows you to capture dead Beasts if you accidentally killed them).
      • The Betrayal League completely redid Beastcrafting in an Author's Saving Throw; now you don't need nets at all to capture beasts, as Einhar (who is now a Master) will automatically capture them for you when you kill them.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • League starter builds in general. Designed to work without requiring difficult to get items yet hold up on their own in maps, they're a good way to start a new update. However, as any new league opens with a wave of buffs and nerfs, people's usual choices are... whichever is the last league's common league starter that wasn't nerfed this time.
    • Honorable mention goes to Essence Drain/Contagion, which has been in the game since 2015 with no changes, and Spell Totems, with no changes to the playstyle other than "pick which spell will the totems cast" for as long as the game has existed.
    • The Cast When Damage Taken/Immortal Call combination, which made players briefly immune to physical damage every few seconds in combat with minimal investment, was used in a large majority of all builds for years before Legion league announced Immortal Call would no longer grant physical immunity, and would interact with consuming endurance charges in a way that was more integral to its functioning (making frequent automated casting less effective).
  • Complete Monster:
    • High Templar Dominus is the master of the Templar Order, The Emperor of the theocratic nation of Oriath, and the Arch-Enemy of the Exiles as a whole. Dominus runs a corrupt regime in Oriath where he uses threats of torture, execution, and exile to keep the population under control as he conducts his experiments in thaumaturgy (miracle working). In an effort to seek immortality, he masterminded the experimentation of slaves and criminals which most often resulted in an excruciating death or all manner of Body Horror on survivors. In order to make his experiments run faster and more efficiently, he moved his operations to the continent of Wraeclast and exiled many innocent people there to be used in the experiments en masse, if they weren't killed by the local wildlife or undead first. Oriathan citizens were exiled with the likes of serial killers and rapists for crimes such as speaking out against the Templars, running businesses without a license, or even simply being homeless. As his skills in thaumaturgy improved, Dominus's goals expanded to infusing those loyal to him with virtues gems in order to make a perfect race for him to rule over as their immortal God-Emperor. As his experiments reached their climax, Dominus had thousands of slaves imported from Oriath to be twisted into abominations and become his servants, or be tossed aside into oceans of blood and mountains of corpses if they didn't survive.
    • Malachai, the Nightmare, is the greatest thaumaturgist who ever lived and the being responsible for all the horrors that infest the haunted continent of Wraeclast. Malachai was once the right hand of Emperor Chitus of the Eternal Empire and the lead thaumaturgist for the Empire. With Malachai's skill, he was able to successfully implant virtue gems into the aristocracy and make them immortal and into the soldiers to make them powerful warriors. Ever seeking to expand his skill, Malachai experimented on slaves and, to Chitus's reluctance, the lower class. This lead to the Purity Rebellion under the Templar Voll who slew Chitus, but spared Malachai as he made Voll a promise he couldn't refuse. Malachai promised to kill the Beast, the source of thaumaturgy, but had plans of his own. He manipulated Dialla, the former consort of Chitus, into loving him and life and sought to sacrifice her to power a device to kill the Beast. As Malachai planned, she didn't want to die and the device only succeeded in opening a way to the Beast. Malachai took control of the Beast and used its godlike power to create his own kingdom: his perfect world of nightmare. In a single day, Malachai destroyed the Eternal Empire and corrupted Wraeclast by driving everyone and everything on the continent insane with horrible nightmares, and further hunted the survivors by resurrecting anyone who died into undeath. Sealed away by survivors, Malachai captured the souls of great heroes such as Koam of the Karui, arena champion Daresso, and even his enemy Voll and used their tortured spirits to plan his release. In the present day, Malachai sought to escape his prison and spread his eternal nightmare to the entire world.
  • 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. Frost and Storm Bearers get an honorable mention, as each one spawns a circular Ao E that explodes a few seconds after killing them, doing respectable damage. Easy to avoid... if you can see where the circles are, which is not possible on some maps.
    • The Demonic Spiders factor can be compounded by enemies with multiple modifiers. A rare monster with a Nemesis mod, possessed by a Tormented Spirit, and bearing multiple Essences will probably drop some nice loot, but fighting it is going to be a real bad time.
    • The Harbinger league throws the titular Harbingers at you: Enemy Summoner foes who are invincible on their own and spam devastating spells at the player. The only way to kill them is to slay their minions, as each dead minion drains a little more of their health. Unfortunately, the minions are also powerfully-buffed as well. Rounding a corner and coming face to face with a glowing blue Harbinger and it's backup turns a normal dungeon run into a surprise round of desperate kiting and minion-slaying against an enemy just as dangerous as most bosses.
    • The Abyssal leagues has the titular Abysses, which love to spawn extremely tough rare monsters with very, very high health regen and potential one-shot abilities. The ones with scythes are the most notorious, thanks to having an extremely fast spin attack that can oneshot basically any build with bad mods.
    • Pretty much everything in the Azurite Mines are various flavours of annoying, but there are two creature types in there that are especially problematic. The first are the Cavestalkers, which are long-armed, monkey like creatures with monstrously powerful voices. They can weaponise this in two ways - Letting out a roar that temporarily knocks the Crawler offline, making you take heavy damage over time and rendering all enemies invincible, or they can let out a sonic scream forwards, which is utterly deadly and difficult to see in the chaos. The other enemy to watch out for are the Chimera-like enemies. These things are extremely agile (one of their favorite moves is to blitz through you then smack you with their tail, causing heavy damage both times), are quite relentless in chasing you, and are 'immensely' durable, which given the fact you are constantly having to chase the Crawler, makes them nightmarish to keep on top of.
    • The members of the Immortal Syndicate are the most universally agreed upon example in years. Its officers can be more powerful than the bosses of the map (including end-game bosses like the Guardians), use abilities that deal tremendous amounts of damage (with many of them doing very high Chaos damage) and are sometimes difficult to see, and the locations make it worse - Research makes you rush through a horde of minions on essentially a timer first, Fortification spawns an infinite stream of monsters from clouds of smoke that cover the Syndicate officers' telegraphing attacks, and Intervention features the officers simply ambushing you out of nowhere. A few instances had the players being killed with attacks off-screen.
  • 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. More recently with Grim Dawn.
  • Early-Bird Boss: Most sub-bosses in Act 1 on normal difficulty, primarily Hailrake (see below).
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The game has had several among the fans, especially league-specific ones.
    • Einhar Frey. He immediately became a Fountain of Memes in Bestiary (often considered the best part of that league) for his narm-tastic voice acting, his hilariously blunt dialogue, and his Cloud Cuckoolander personality. In the Betrayal League, he was brought back as a Master specifically because of fan demand with several dozen new levels in badass to boot. Tellingly, he's the very first Master fresh accounts unlock, not counting the current League Master.
    • Niko the Mad and Alva also became well-liked for similar reasons, although not to the same extent as Einhar.
    • Izaro has also become a Fountain of Memes with his deep voice and hammy delivery making everything he says quotable.
  • Game-Breaker: The game has had a few of them over the years. Many many different types of builds can be very powerful with the right gear and skills, but some have been so obscenely powerful that they've shaped the meta for years at a time on occasion.
    • Before patch 3.0, Energy Shield was the dominant defensive setup in the game for a very long time simply because of how quickly it could scale with gear, to the point where it was possible to gain so much Energy Shield as to make characters functionally invincible
    • Patch 3.0 massively buffed Vaal Pact, turning it into a must-have for most melee builds thanks the sheer amount of life leech it gives you - Marauders especially benefit from it thanks to their Ascendancies like Cloaked In Savagery, which has excellent synergy with Vaal Pact. This gets even more ridiculous when combined with the also-buffed Mind Over Matter node, which makes 30% of the damage you take drain your mana instead of health. It was eventually nerfed in patch 3.1.
    • Well-made summoner builds are this in some players eyes. Since minions are completely automated, they allow the player to focus on avoiding damage which makes surviving the bosses much easier. This also means that Reflect, one of the most dreaded effects in the game, is utterly useless against a minion summoner. Several Witch Necromancer Ascendancy nodes - in particular Mistress of Sacrifice, which allows your Offering gems to apply to you as well as minions - make them even stronger and faster. However, minion builds are finicky in actual game play, difficult to gear properly due to the mechanics of the spells/abilities, and often considered boring by many players due to the passiveness of the gameplay, so summoner builds are relatively rare and they are often described as Difficult, but Awesome rather than game-breaking. Mistress of Sacrifice was also nerfed in patch 3.2 to only give 50% of the Offering effects to the player, forcing Necro summoners to keep a much closer eye on their own well-being.
    • Also with summoners, the new acts introduced in The Fall of Oriath also added new enemies. Of particular note are the Tukohama's Vanguardsnote , Solar Guardsnote , Frost Sentinelsnote  and Wicker Men note . They're all Demonic Spiders when you fight them, but for summoner builds, these enemies are incredibly powerful as Spectres with proper Spectre gearnote , capable of utterly melting endgame bosses like the Guardians while the player runs around like Sonic the Hedgehog thanks to Flesh Offering and tanking huge damage thanks to minion passive nodes/Bone Offering. It's one of the primary reasons why the Necromancer is by far the most popular Witch Ascendancy.
      • Before then, the Act 4 Stygian Revanants and the aforementioned Fire Sentinels were this as well.
    • Tabula Rasa is both this and/or a Disc-One Nuke depending on your build. Tabula is a white chest armour piece that has six-linked gem slots and has no level requirement, with the tradeoff that it also has no stats on it whatsoever. This is ludicrously powerful, since most of your damage comes from support gems linked to attack gems, making it easily the best leveling item in the game - to the point where it can take some builds all the way to the endgame. It's also typically inexpensive and is rather common to drop from enemies (and barring that, it can also be farmed with Humility divination cards). This gets taken Up to Eleven if you're lucky or rich enough to find one with a "+ level to Socketed Gems" corruption or double Vaal corruption.
    • With War for the Atlas the new mods for Shaped and Elder items can get disgustingly powerful, especially since you can roll multiple special mods on the same item. Rolling multiple "Socketed Gems are supported by [Support]" affixes can turn an item into a pseudo 7-link or 8-link (see the above note about Tabula Rasa). This gets especially ridiculous with offhand gear like one-handed weapons and quivers, particularly ones with "Gain % of physical damage as extra (element) damage" suffixes.
    • The Headhunter belt is best-in-slot item for the majority of builds in the game, as it allows you to gain all of a rare monster's mods after you kill it for 20 seconds. It's also one of the rarest and most valuable items in the game, selling for dozens of Exalted Orbs. Even the divination cards that you can collect to get one (The Doctor, The Nurse, and The Fiend) are worth a pretty penny in orbs.
    • Loreweave is a very powerful chestpiece for a single reason; it can increase your maximum resistances over the 75% cap up to 80%. Due to the way resistances and damage scaling work in this game, this increases your defenses exponentially and makes you significantly tankier against any form of non-physical damage. As an added bonus, it also gives you a fair amount of extra damage and life.
    • Indigon makes mana costs and spell damage of spells rapidly increase with every spell cast in quick succession. Zerphi's Last Breath heals you for 8 times the mana cost of spells cast by you. Poet's Pen casts a spell every time you attack, but you do not actually 'spend' its mana cost. Before nerfs, the resulting build could accelerate to dealing up to 60 times the damage while outputting so much uncounterable self-healing it could not die to 'anything' that did less than its total effective health pool in one hit.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Similar to Diablo II, Path of Exile is notorious/beloved for the interesting and weird bugs it has had over the years.
    • Originally it was possible to use Punishment to get infinite damage and attack speed. Your damage got so high that it underflowed and you could one-shot anything, and your movement skills were so fast you essentially would just teleport around.
    • "Double-dipping": Before patch 3.0, ailments dealt damage based on the final hit after damage modifiers, which meant if a damage modifier applies to both the hit and the ailment, then the ailment will gain massively increased damage on top of the damage increase of the initial hit.
    • During Ascendency, there was an short-lived infinite currency bug where getting 100% duration on the Summon Skeletons skill gem would cause skeletons to instantly die when you summon them. The game counted this as "Monsters slain too close together" if you used the Beyond map mod, essentially summoning infinite Beyond monsters that you could endlessly kill for loot and XP.
    • Another of the more Game-Breaker style of bugs was briefly introduced in patch 3.2 before being hurriedly fixed. Bones of Ullr, a Unique boot gear that allows you to summon an extra spectre, was bugged that it forgot to check how many extra spectres you had; this allowed you to summon up to 40 maximum spectres rather than 4. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Guide Dang It!: One could say the whole game could be considered this mostly due to the sheer number of options it gives players. There are so many mechanics, spell/stat interactions, and strategies to contend with that it can be very easy to get lost and make a terrible build through no fault of your own. The infamously gigantic skill tree doesn't exactly help either. However, as players learn the mechanics, builds, the metagame, and ways to make currency effectively to buy and trade for items, the game opens up and becomes considerably more manageable.
    • Several maps can be very annoying to travel through if you're not aware of the "tells" or "hints" that they have to help players navigate. For a few examples;
      • The Western Forest, Act 2: From the waypoint, the way to get to Alira is the side of the road where the torch is.
      • The Lunaris Temple, Act 3: The correct way to go is always upstairs.
      • The Grain Gate, Act 7: The exit is through the warehouses with the dead Blackguards sitting next to their entrances.
    • Getting proper defenses and knowing which types of defense take priority can often mean the difference between success and frustration. In particular, getting your Fire, Cold, and Lightning elemental resistances to the 75% soft cap is extremely important for surviving (Chaos resistance also to a lesser degree, although very few enemies use Chaos attacks). In contrast, armour and evasion typically doesn't do anywhere near as much to keep you alive.
    • The "% increased damage" modifier is not the same as "% more damage" modifier and has a different effect on damage.
    • Several gems are much, much more useful if they are left unupgraded, because upgrading them also will increase their mana cost/damage threshold to proc. For example, connecting level 1 Cast When Damage Taken with level 1 Immortal Call will result in Immortal Call being procced every single time you are hit, which is extremely useful against spiky enemy damage and oneshots.
  • Heartwarming Moments: For all the chaos they're causing with the war against Solaris, the Lunaris Cultists in Act 8 seem to be attempting to give proper burials to the victims of Piety's death camp from Act 3. They've also allowed survivors of Piety's experiments to join their ranks.
    • While a lot of the Immortal Syndicate are completely unrepentant in their actions, there are two in particular that have a fair bit of hesitation - Haku and Elreon. On rare occasions, if you don't Execute the other people they're with, if any, they plead with you to let them leave the syndicate entirely. This is especially poignant if you knew them before their Face–Heel Turn.
      Haku: "I do not wish to be here any longer, exile. The Ancestors whisper in my ear. They tell me that I am needed back home in Ngamakanui. Have you the mercy to let a man return to his family?" If you accept: "It will be good to see my family again..."
      Elreon: "All this time, all this bloodshed, I kept telling myself that the ends justify the means. But I can't stop asking myself: what if I'm wrong? Have I damned myself? Reckon it's time I took a sabbatical. I'll retreat from all this and wait for a divine sign." If you agree: "Go with peace, exile. And if you see God somewhere on your journey, tell him I'm waiting to hear from him."
    • The various lost memories you explore in the Synthesis league are, a lot of the time, just as nightmarish as the rest of the game. However, there are a few flickers of hope. Depending on your progress through the story, the lost spirit Cavas or the familiar Zana will commentate on this if you manage to find a fully formed memory (4-pointed).
      Memory: I cannot escape the feeling that I am being cooked by the sun in a cauldron made of sand. As I dream of water, walking, dying, I see it: an oasis. I slake my thirst with chill liquid that sparkles in the sun. I dunk my head, then lie down, exhausted and exhilarated. Today, I get to live.
      Cavas: Even if I could remember my life, Exile, I am certain no single drink would ever have tasted so good.
      Zana: At long last, a memory that didn't make me want to curl up into a ball and weep!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The Betrayal patch introduces the player going after the mysterious enemy known as the Immortal Syndicate. This new content patch was announced just a few days after the controversy surrounding Blizzard Entertainment regarding their announcement of the Diablo: Immortal mobile game. According to Word of God it was completely unintentional (the Betrayal league had already been in development for a month and a half before Blizzcon), but humorous nonetheless.
    • To make it even funnier, one of Einhar's new voice lines mirrors an infamous statement from said reveal, as well as poking fun at the much-maligned Net system from the previous iteration of the Bestiary.
    Do you not have nets, exile?
    • And if that wasn't enough, in 2019, GGG announced that they too are also working on a mobile version of their ARPG. However, the reaction was far less negative given that they priotized other major announcements (such as Path of Exile 2) first before this one.
  • "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 greeting, "Let me bend your ear for a moment!". Helps that it's easy to mishear as "Let me bend your rear a moment," and Vagan is the kind of guy who would probably think that's a suave come-on.
      • Became an Ascended Meme in the Betrayal League; if you defeat a Syndicate member and Vagan together, they'll ask Vagan if he wants to "kick my rear or bend it."
    • "Where there is a [adjective] key, there must be a [adjective] door."Explanation 
    • "WE TOUHOU NOW LADS!" Explanation 
    • Pathmon Explanation 
    • T H I C C J U G G Explanation 
    • Pants of Exile Explanation 
    • Almost all of Einhar Frey's voice lines are memes on the POE Reddit.
      • "Haha! You are captured. Stupid beast." Explanation 
      • "We will be best friends, beast. Until we slaughter you! HAHAHAHAHAHA!"
    • THE TOUCH OF GOD! Explanation 
      • "This world is an illusion, exile..." Explanation 
    • "Too. Much. Clutter." Explanation 
    • One monster remaining. Explanation 
    • "Just in time." Explanation 
  • Moment of Awesome: Beating the Aspirant's Trial / The Labyrinths. It involves you going through The Maze and fight That One Boss three times in a row, and he gets stronger every time. And all must be done without Porting back to town (though there's a leeway that they provide access to your Stash every so often). But beat the boss, and he outright congratulates you for your perseverance and how you are worthy of Ascendancy. For your troubles, you are rewarded with Ascendancy Points, and boy have you earned it.
  • 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.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: "THE MIRROR OF KALANDRA!" which means that the rarest and most valuable item in the entire game just dropped in your instance - and you just became extremely rich in the process.
    • If you're using an item filter, the "SHING" noise alert that plays when a very valuable item drops on the ground. Definitely gets your hopes up for an Exalted Orb or powerful piece of gear.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: After completing the main story content, you lose 10% of your experience towards the next level every single time you die. This makes trying to level up in the map system especially painful as enemies gradually get to the point where they can easily kill you if you get stun-locked (which is often), so an unlucky death can potentially set you back days. Getting to level 90 is nearly impossible for most builds, let alone past 80 or so.
    • It's also noted that past Act 5 you'll lose 5% of your experience when you die, and if you're the kind of determinator to kill a boss, you can set yourself back a while. Mitigated by the fact you have easier methods of gaining levels in Part 2 as opposed to the post-story content.
    • Synthesis was a whole league of nothing but Scrappy Mechanics. Conceptually the idea of exploring memories was a sound one, but what it eventually turned into was a more cumbersome and less rewarding Delve. More cumbersome because you had to place pieces on a board to form a path while hoping that the pieces that would be fixed on the board wouldn't screw with your pathing while you were progressing, and you had to run nexus pieces multiple times which lead to a whole lot of repetition. Less rewarding because the way the Synthesis mechanic worked meant that even if you were doing everything right, the items it would generate still had a very high chance of turning out underwhelming. It got so bad that the developers actually came forward and apologized for how halfbaked the systems were and that they would not be implemented into the core game in future leagues, at least not in their original iteration.
  • That One Achievement: All Ears. This achievement requires you to, on one character, hear every optional line of dialogue in the game. Not only can you screw this up within ten minutes of making the character, but it requires you to take an extremely specific set of nonsensical actions in Act 2 across all three difficulties that require a rather expensive item to finish. A guide of who to talk to, at what time, and in what conditions is mandatory due to the extremely limited time windows of some dialogue choices.
  • 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. This leap attack has almost no cooldown either, so expect to see him leaping around like a rabbit the entire fight. 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.
    • Piety in Act 4 is brutal for new players and the archenemy of any minion-dependent class. Still has all the things that make her frustrating in earlier acts, but she gains 6 assisting enemies that activate over time and begin spawning huge numbers of adds unless killed immediately. Further she gains a new lightning beam attack that sweeps the entire area, does enormous amounts of damage, and has no safe place to hide from it. You're meant to keep running in circles around her while she uses it, which often stops you from attacking (letting her energy shield regenerate) and will kill all your summons, spectres, and totems. And sometimes she'll be next to a wall when she does it so you can't run behind her either, requiring you to jump the beam with a dash. What really makes her a bane though is that, because of the level design and mechanics, you have to fight her every time you go through the area and, unlike most major bosses, the next waypoint is not by the start of the next area but in the middle of it, requiring a good slog through one of the game's tougher areas just to find it. Until you do, you're not done with Piety.
    • 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.
    • Izaro in the Endgame Labyrinth, especially in the final room. Izaro himself is tough, since he charges at you, fires shockwaves at you, or has a screen-sized ground slam, depending what weapon he's wielding that day, and the ground slam especially is a guaranteed one-shot kill against all but the most durable characters. He also has a phenomenal amount of health, taking most characters a long time to wear down. The Goddess is even deadlier, chiming in with her mortar bombardment, which is quite capable of instantly killing more fragile characters if they get caught in the middle of it, and will occasionally teleport anyone close to Izaro into a large number of traps. Further, unlike Izaro, she cannot be distracted or taunted and will never target minions or totems, always aiming for the player. And in the final room he may or may not have impossible-to-remove buffs from his two previous fights and the arena is covered in traps, decreasing the space you have to get out of the way. This is one of the most-complained about fights in the game for a reason.
    • Innocence is a pretty good introduction to what you're in for in regards to the bosses in The Fall of Oriath. While High Templar Avarius was manageable, Innocence is basically the Shaper Lite, constantly filling the screen with AoE attacks, almost all of which can do over 900 damage even on characters with the most armor you can have at that point in the game, meaning that he can nearly-one shot even characters who heavily built their characters around life. You will be hearing the words "I am the ___" many, many times before you finally kill this bastard. What really makes Innocence stand is, aside from Doedre the Vile and Kitava (both mentioned below), none of the new Act midbosses and end bosses are nearly as hard as he is.
    • Doedre the Vile is an unholy fusion of Puzzle Boss and Damage-Sponge Boss. She has by far the biggest Energy Shield of any enemy you've encountered thus far, and due to the main gimmick of constantly switching the cauldron fluid she uses to attack, she will always become invincible for several seconds as she absorbs the fluid, meaning that the already massive energy shield is constantly regenerating. Said gimmick? The cauldron in the middle of the arena is constantly filling with either a red, green or purple fluid. The red fluid causes Doedre to spam her exploding blood orb attack, the green fluid causes her to spawn hard hitting zombies, and the purple fluid continuously spawns AoE clouds that rapidly drain your health. You think you can just leave the cauldron on one phase the whole fight so Doedre doesn't go invincible? Nope. Every few seconds like the current fluid is active, you're slapped with a steadily increasing debuff that effectively doubles the damage you take from all sources, and the only way to remove it is to change the cauldron's fluid.
    • The final battle against Kitava. Even the most hardcore players agree that this fight is absolutely ridiculous. While all of his attacks are telegraphed, he performs them so quickly that even those with max move speed will be struggling to avoid them. As the fight goes on, he will start constantly summoning minions who are just as capable of shredding your health as he is. Finally, when he's done to the final phase of the fight, he'll start spamming an incredibly powerful flame AoE that, due to both the incredibly small arena and how the attack blends into the arena itself, is very difficult to determine where it will hit. And the kicker? As of version 3.0.1, the fight suffers from a Game-Breaking Bug that will occasionally cause Kitava's defeat to fail to register.
    • Patch 3.1 introduces the Abyssal Lords, two rare bosses that can be randomly found at the end of the Abyssal Depths. Both of them are utterly harrowing fights, demanding good single-target and clearing damage under rather strict time limits with destroying Stygian Spires in order to defeat. They also love to shield themselves and summon veritable armies of abyssal enemies to assist them.
    • Synthesis introduces five boss encounters, the hardest of which is The Cortex. Four back-to-back boss encounters with brand new mechanics, seperated by a challenging minion phase is bad enough. However, the way that the map mods for the Cortex are generated means it is extremely likely to get very punishing combinations, such as triple Extra Damage as (Element), curses, and so on, with no way to reroll them. This results in a boss fight that is almost impossible unless you look up footage of it first, as the attacks are very difficult to avoid if you don't know they're coming, and a triple-mod will oneshot all but the tankiest classes.
  • That One Disadvantage: Endgame Mapping uses the suffix/prefix modifier system, but a few of the modifiers are absolutely destructive to some builds. The wrong modifier can make the Map Unwinnable for your character, at which you'll be forced to reroll or enlist another's help to clear them. Chief among these are Reflect Physical / Elemental Damage, No Regeneration, and No Leeching.
  • 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. This was made easier in later patches, so that usually the hardest part is fighting Izaro himself instead of the corridors between each stage of his boss fight.
      • Within the Lord's Labyrinth (specifically, the second dungeon section), one of the special chests hidden within requires escorting a totem to the end of a path stuffed with several traps that can shred your health within seconds and causes undead monsters to spawn while it's moving. Dodging the traps while fighting monsters and staying close enough for the totem to progress can be quite a pain, with its only saving grace being that it's not required to finish the dungeon.
    • Several high-tier maps have this reputation, but the most notable is the Hall of the Grandmasters, which is filled with the most powerful Rogue Exiles in the game. It's difficult to the point of being flat-out Unwinnable for most builds.
    • The Vaal City in Act 7 is rather notorious among players for being extremely confusing and time consuming to navigate, even though it's not too difficult combat-wise. It doesn't help also lacks the subtle "hints" (such as the dead bodies around the correct warehouses in Grain Gate zone) that other zones give to point the player in a certain direction.
  • 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. There's a good reason why they were largely scrapped in the Betrayal League.
    • Timed Quests from Zana can be downright unwinnable in some cases, because they might expect the player to find AND defeat a map boss in under two minutes without being able to extend the time. And that doesn't even takes into account the potential for getting some really unlucky map-modifiers.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: For someone who's proclaimed himself as the new ruler of Wraeclast, it's actually quite surprising how little High Templar Dominus contributes to the plot. Given her recurring appearances throughout the first three story Acts, you'd think that the Big Bad was going to be Piety. However, for one final Act 3 quest after the player deals with Piety, Dominus enters at the last second as the one behind her. Fall of Oriath somewhat rectifies this by making it clear right from the character creation screen that Dominus is the initial Big Bad, while also adding new NPC dialogue that fleshes out him and his plans.
  • 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. However, come 3.0, he was massively buffed thanks to Vaal Pact, making him extremely powerful in the endgame.
    • 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.
    • Chaos Inoculation and Energy Shield. This pair has been, for several leagues, the hands-down best defensive option in the game with nearly every quality build making use of it. It is capable of getting more than triple the equivalent hit points of a Life build with similar levels of gear while also regenerating much faster and making a player immune to the nastiest damage type. This is widely hated by poorer players because the popularity and effectiveness has made good Energy Shield items incredibly expensive. It's also hated because of the fact that as these builds gain more energy shield they require enemies who deal more damage to kill, which leads to enemies dealing higher damage and players who aren't using this mechanic getting one-shotted with increasing frequency.
    • In general, parts of the high-tier endgame map system are only viable with certain build- and equipment-choices (in Hardcore at least). Otherwise, expect to be killed almost instantly on a regular basis because you didn't have the foresight to have both massive energy shield / life and life leech to stay alive past one or two hits. It is especially annoying to have invested into a character only to find them useless, and it's more likely that most people will simply give up rather than start over entirely.
    • The Ascendency system also had plenty of issues with this, with several of the available Ascendancies being flat-out worse than alternatives (Champion, Occultist, Hierophant), mechanically broken (Saboteur, Guardian), or both (Elementalist). Inversely, several of them were so powerful (Necromancer, Slayer, Inquisitor) that you would be gimping yourself if you tried to play anything else. GGG attempted to rectify this with Patch 3.2, reworking all of the Ascendencies in order to balance them and buff the weaker ones up to viability.
    • While skills get rebalanced with each major release, Dominating Blow has been a bottom-tier scrappy since it was released. The skill requires you to kill enemies with a melee attack to turn them into minions, but minion builds and builds that are effective in melee are quite different. Essentially the only thing that can make it viable is the unique claw The Scourge, which makes adjustments to minion damage apply to your own damage as well.
  • Too Awesome to Use: While currency items are designed to be both traded between players and used for item crafting, high level currency items fall into this because of just how rare they actually are. Exalted Orbs add further bonuses to your rare gear, but exactly what these bonuses are can only be somewhat controlled in a handful of situations, and one of them may only show up once every hour so you're usually better off just buying gear with them. Mirrors of Kalandra are so rare that mere shards are still worth multiple Exalts, and using them to create copies of items is only considered for the top 0.1% of items, if even that.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: In-universe, the most flattering thing you'll hear other characters say about Einhar is that they admire his skills from very, very far away. Out-of-universe, he may be one of the most recognizable characters of the whole game.
  • Woolseyism: The Spanish translation is notorious for two things:
    • Unlike what is almost industry-standard regarding Spanish translations, the game is translated to Mexican Spanish, despite the original dialogue is spoken and written into British English, instead of using the European dialect, which it would be more fitting in this particular case.note 
    • Some thick UK accents, such as Irish or Cockney, are translated into Mexico City or Norteño (Northener, mostly from Monterrey) accents, and sometimes, even Sinaloa/Sonora accents (the accents stereotypically used by criminals from drug cartels from the Mexican Northwest states) are used as well. This is especially baffling when you hear a pirate with a thick, stereotypical British accent, being translated in the same way as a Mexican sicario. On the other hand, outside some ocassional slang, the Spanish translation avoids using too many Mexico-specific terminology and tries to keep as neutral as possible.


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