Category: RPG

Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Duelist

PoE Class Duelist

A hybrid Path of Exile class, the Duelist, takes advantage of strength and dexterity. He has good defenses from strength, augmented by the evasion boosts dexterity gives. Whether by bow or sword, enemies fall at his hand. He can use PoE items such as swords, axes, maces, and bows. He wears helmets, scale/brigandines/doublets/lamellar, scale gauntlets and boots, and round shields. His skills are a balance between his two primary stats. Strength for armor and damage. Dexterity for attack speed and evasion.

His Ascendancy Classes are Slayer, Gladiator, and Champion.

Strengths and Weaknesses

He shares many of the strengths and weaknesses of his neighboring classes, the Marauder and Ranger. Because of his affinity for strength, he can deal powerful blows and tank damage. His other affinity, dexterity, grants him increased dodge and movement speed. It also grants increased accuracy, making more of his hits land on enemies. He gets the best of both worlds. Dual wielding is also his forte, and he starts out quite near the needed nodes for that.

As the intelligence skill nodes are on the opposite side of where he starts, he has a limited mana pool. Any spell he casts will also be weak, as he cannot reach the spell modifiers. To keep on using skills, he must rely on mana leech and conservative magic. While not as fragile as a Ranger, he can’t tank at the level of Marauders either.

Ascendancy Classes

The Slayer specializes in two-handed weapons, such as bows and greatswords. His skills revolve around power and sustaining it. They also boost life leech and stun, with some passives boosting damage against tougher monsters. Some notable skills are Headsman and Endless Hunger.

Headsman activates when you’ve killed recently. It increases damage and radius of area skills by 20%. As a bonus effect reflected physical damage doesn’t hurt him. Endless hunger makes 20% of overkill damage turn into leeched life and gives immunity to bleeding while leeching.

The Gladiator maximizes the Duelist’s hybrid nature. His skills synergize well with dual wielding or one-handed weapon and shield combinations. He can then improve on that by applying bleed, improving blocking, or enhancing Endurance and Frenzy Charges. His notable skills are Outmatch and Outlast and Blood in the Eyes.

The former provides a 25% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on kill with the main hand. It also provides the same opportunities to obtain an Endurance Charge on kill with the off-hand. Then, at max Frenzy Charges, he deals 10% more physical damage. At max Endurance Charges, he takes 10% less physical damage. The latter provides a 25% chance to make enemies bleed. Upon hitting a bleeding enemy, his attacks maim and has a 10% chance to blind. Lastly, maimed enemies take 10% more damage.

The Champion supports his allies through taunts, buffs, and de-buffs. He can even boost their already high defense or gain a burst of adrenaline. His skills all focus on increasing his survivability. Notable skills of his are Worthy Foe, Fortitude, and Unstoppable Hero.

Worthy Foe makes enemies he taunts take 20% more damage. It has the added effect of making taunted enemies unable to evade attacks. Fortitude grants permanent Fortify. Then, it activates the effects of Unstoppable Hero. That skill allows a 10% increase in attack speed and a 30% increase in armor and evasion. What’s more, it adds 1000 to his armor and evasion, and he cannot be stunned. He becomes genuinely unstoppable at that point.

The Conclusion

The perfect balance between brute force and finesse, the Duelist, is an excellent physical all-rounder. He has enough power and defense to defeat his enemies, helped by his natural agility and grace. Take note that due to his positioning on the skill tree, he’ll never be good at slinging spells. He’s a good choice for those preferring physical damage to spells, but not the brute strength of the Marauder nor the fragility of the Ranger.

***7 Best Path of Exile Character classes***

  1. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Scion
  2. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Shadow
  3. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Templar
  4. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Ranger
  5. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Duelist
  6. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Marauder
  7. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Witch

 Duelist Build Guides for Delve – Starter and Non-Starters

Vaal Double Strike Build – Champion Duelist

Sword Cyclone Build – Slayer Duelist

Flicker Strike Build – Slayer Duelist

Bloodseeker Frost Blades Build – Champion Duelist

Blade Flurry Block Gladiator – A Great League Starter – Build Guide

One Punch Build (Infernal Blow) – Slayer Duelist

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Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Marauder

PoE Marauder

The Marauder is a purely strength-based character focused on dealing damage. He uses swords, maces, axes, and staves. The PoE items you can equip related to this class aside from the weapons are casques, plate mail, gauntlets, greaves, and tower shields. His node starts out in the lower left area of the skill tree, between the Templar and Duelist classes. The skills he learns revolve around increasing damage output, as well as durability. That means either leeching off enemies or increasing his maximum life.

His Ascendancy Classes are Juggernaut, Berserker, and Chieftain.

Strengths and Weaknesses

He deals devastating blows boosted by his high strength but mostly restricted to melee. His natural enemies are those who rely on avoiding damage. Hit-and-run tactics will frustrate Marauders, as his blows are useless if they don’t hit. Also, he has a slower attack and movement speed compared to other classes. Unless players figure out a strategy, those hit-and-run tactics will annoy you.

Marauders also have a large life pool. It enables them to receive the heaviest hits without breaking a sweat. However, without raising evasion or using energy shields, he will take all the hits aimed at him. Every point of that huge life pool is necessary for survival.

Lastly, many of his early skills increase the chance to stun enemies or the duration they stay stunned. Adding those to his mastery over all kinds of assault skills makes him a good crowd controller.

Ascendancy Classes

The Juggernaut focuses on defense and durability. His skills boost physical damage reduction, life regeneration, and prevention of de-buffs. Some of his more notable skills are Unstoppable and Unbreakable.

The first gives a 10% increase in movement speed, immunity to stun, and resistance to slow. It only means Juggernauts can’t be slower than his base movement speed. The second provides a 2% per second life regeneration, 5% damage reduction. It also doubles the armor received from equipment. Its last effect takes 1.5% of the total damage prevented through the reduction in the last 10 seconds. Then, it converts that damage to life regen per second.

The Berserker takes giving back a step further. Most of his skills revolve around killing something or being hit. They also have access to the Rage counter. It provides bonuses in attack damage, speed, and movement speed. It has a downside of increasing those bonuses as life decreases.

Some of the Berserker’s notable skills are Aspect of Carnage and Pain Reaver. The first is a simple 10% increase in damage taken along with a 40% increase in damage dealt. The second provides a 1% life and mana leech, which increases to 2% when there’s a recent kill.

The Chieftain will burn up the battlefield. His skills revolve around fire damage, whether through attacks or totems. Other skills boost his totems. Some of those boosts include increasing their resilience or giving them the ability to direct enemies’ attention. His notable skills include Ramako, Sun’s Light and Ngamahu, Flame’s Advance.

The former doubles your fire resistance and provides a 1% life regen per second (increased to 2% when fire damage was taken recently). Then, it also turns 10% of physical damage taken into fire damage. Its last effect makes the character unaffected by ignite. The latter converts half of your physical damage into fire damage. It also makes your fire damage penetrate 10% of the target’s fire resistance. Then it provides an additional effect every 10 seconds. That effect makes 70% of your physical damage to extra fire damage for 3 seconds.

The Conclusion

The Marauder is a solid choice for anyone who likes a straightforward and simple answer to battles (namely ‘Attack! Attack! Attack!’). There will still be times where strategy will be required. However, with the character’s high damage output and HP reserves, brute force is the Marauder’s main weapon. Also, it’s a good idea to choose an Ascendancy class beforehand. You’ll be able to choose those passives and skill gems that have good synergy with the chosen specialization.

***7 Best Path of Exile Character classes***

  1. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Scion
  2. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Shadow
  3. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Templar
  4. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Ranger
  5. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Duelist
  6. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Marauder
  7. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Witch

Marauder Build Guides for Delve – Starter and Non-Starters

Fire Cyclone Build – Chieftain Marauder

Consecrated Path Build – Chieftain Marauder

Heavy Sunder Build – Berserker Marauder

Vaal Ancestral Warchief Build – Chieftain Marauder

Molten Strike Build – Berserker Marauder

Molten Strike Juggernaut: Uber Elder Farmer – Build Guide

Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Witch

Path of Exile Witch Build

The Witch is the third pure class in Path of Exile. Her intelligence makes all her spells powerful and devastating. She can sling curses and diseases as well, increasing the ways she can destroy her enemies. Her weapons are wands, daggers, and staves. She might pick up a mace or claw, but she cannot dual-wield swords and axes. She wears circlets and other light armor. Examples include gloves, slippers or boots, and spirit shields.

Her Ascendancy Classes are the Necromancer, Elementalist, and Occultist.

Strengths and Weaknesses

She has access to passives that boost spell range, duration, and damage right off the bat. Any spell she uses becomes a force of nature. In addition to that, her high intelligence means she has a large mana pool to draw from. It enables her to sling spells one after another without worrying about mana. She also has easy access to the passive skills that improve her undead army’s size, durability, and lethality.

She excels in burst damage or debilitating curses. However, if those don’t work or the opponent finds an opening to counterattack, her shields won’t last long. That energy shield is her main source of defense. If it falls, she will follow soon after. It also has the drawback of allowing poison or chaos damage to bypass it. Foes who use those as their primary element can very easily dispatch a Witch. She also can’t deal much physical damage by melee.

Ascendancy Classes

The Necromancer, as her name suggests, uses zombies, skeletons, and spectres to deal her dirty work. With a good base in minion boosting passives as well as the class’s own, she might not have to lift a finger to defeat all her enemies. Two of her more notable skills are Invoker and Mistress of Sacrifice.

The former increases the maximum life and damage of minions by 20%. It also lets them regenerate 2% of their life per second and decrease convocation cooldown speed by 50%. The second increases skill effect duration by 20%. Also, it makes your Offering Skills affect yourself but only at 50% effectivity. It boosts damage by 40% after eating a corpse, too. Its last effect is to increase attack and cast speed by 2% for every corpse consumed recently.

The Elementalist is master of the elements. Their skills increase elemental damage bonuses but are conditional. They may specialize in ailments, Heralds, or elemental golems. Some of her skills even allow for combinations of multiple damage types! Some of her notable skills are Pendulum of Destruction and Paragon of Calamity.

The skill Pendulum of Destruction grants 75% increased area of effect or 75% increased elemental damage. It alternates between these two effects, each one ending after 5 seconds. Paragon of Calamity leeched 0.5 of elemental damage taken as life. Then it boosts specific elemental damage by 40% and elemental resistance by 8% when damaged by that element. And its last effect is to render her immune to reflected elemental damage.

The Occultist focuses on chaos damage or curses. They’re the class that relies on and maximizes the energy shield the most. They’re also a generic way to generate Power Charges in builds that lack other means to do the same. Her notable skills are Profane Bloom and Void Beacon.

The first makes your curses affect all enemies, even Hexproof ones. Once they’re cursed, killing them will trigger a 25% chance to explode. Exploding creatures will deal a quarter of their maximum life as chaos damage. The second reduces nearby enemies’ chaos resistance by 20% as well as negating their life regeneration.

The Conclusion

The Witch is a trickier class to play. They’re more fragile and vulnerable when compared to Rangers. However, this is mitigated by their more powerful minions and an energy shield. Playing this character will require a bit more thinking and careful observation of shield and life amounts. Investing PoE currency to increase her durability would be good too. Of the three pure classes, the Witch is the most challenging to play.

***7 Best Path of Exile Character classes***

  1. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Scion
  2. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Shadow
  3. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Templar
  4. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Ranger
  5. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Duelist
  6. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Marauder
  7. Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Witch

 Witch Build Guides for Delve – Starter and Non-Starters

Explosive Arc Build – Elementalist Witch

Mage Skeleton Build – Necromancer Witch

Herald of Blade-Vortex Build – Elementalist Witch

Low Life Incinerate Occultist – Build Guide

Final Fantasy VII: AVALANCE and Cloud Strife Beginnings

Final Fantasy VII: AVALANCE and Cloud Strife Beginnings

RAll the major lands of Gaia were engulfed in endless wars for supremacy. These wars left so much pain and desolation that the planet and its inhabitants were on the verge of hopelessness. Shinra Electric Power Company would then emerge as the dominant force on Gaia, establishing order through totalitarian control of the planet’s economy—but at what cost?

Cloud Strife had always looked at SOLDIERS and the Shinra Power Company they worked for with awe. Having lived in the slums, barely able to make ends meet, he was always fascinated by the stories the older boys in the neighborhood had to tell.

At that point in his life, he was looking forward to working for Shinra Electric Power Company. When he was 14, he would become one of the thousands of young men who sent letters to the corporation seeking (and ultimately hoping) to be one of its elite enforcers.

However, His first few attempts were not encouraging. Before he would become a soldier, Strife would be hardened by life on the mean streets. He spent months wandering around Midgar taking any kind of work he could get.

Cloud had become very asocial, struggling and barely able to make ends meet ever since he could remember. Through the struggles, however, he had learned to depend on himself. At Midgar, he would meet all manner of seedy characters from bullies, con artists, as well as unscrupulous merchants. All this only served to reinforce his anti-social behavior.

Weeks before he was called to work with AVALANCHE, he had met a flower merchant named Aerith Gainsborough. She was a cheerful and charming young woman he had encountered by chance while wandering the streets of Midgar.

At first, he was suspicious of her. He had never encountered someone like her while he was growing up. Even though Cloud was suspicious, he would increasingly grow fond of her.

When Cloud was finally called to be a soldier, working for Shinra Electric Power Company he was over the moon. He trained daily with some of the elite soldiers working for Shinra. He was determined to be the best. Shinra would send him on assignments for weeks at a time.

It is not that Cloud had not heard about the Jenova Project. He had heard the rumors that some evil scientist had discovered a means to turn the planet’s lifestream and channel it into ordinary humans who would then acquire the power of the ancients. He had also heard that those who were part of this project often turned into monsters. He just did not have a clue that the corporation he sought to work for as an enforcer would be the very company that was sucking the very life out of Gaia and condemning it to extinction.

After spending some time working as a SOLDIER, he began to notice that he was experiencing emotional and psychological distress. He had been talking to Aerith who he often met while he was walking down the streets of Midgar. It was Aerith who would enlighten him about the Cetra, the lifestream and why the biggest corporation on the planet was looking for a flower vendor.

Aerith provided a lot of important information to Cloud and the AVALANCHE team they had just formed. However, the strange flashbacks and the unpredictable emotions caused by Mako had started taking a toll on Cloud. Especially, given the fact that he felt he was spending a lot of time with Aerith at the expense of the relationship he had with Tifa – his childhood friend.

It is at this time that Cloud built a fake persona using memories he absorbed from his friend Zack, while he was a soldier exposed to Mako. Cloud soon discovers that these strange flashbacks were created subconsciously to cope with the fact that he had failed to qualify as a first class SOLDIER while his friend Zack had.

As part of AVALANCHE team, Cloud works with Barrett – the team leader- to destroy all the Mako generators. Cloud is still working to overcome the adverse effects of the Mako energy he was exposed to when he was working as a SOLDIER. He has been trying to resolve his feelings towards Tifa and Aerith. At first, seeing him as a mere antisocial mercenary trained by Shinra, Barrett has no time for Cloud.

However, Barrett still needs Cloud’s skills. After all, he saved Aerith, an ancient who was wanted by Shinra. The Corporation needs her to get more information on utilizing the planet’s lifestream and activating Black Meteor. Barrett also knows he needs Cloud’s skills and experience working as a SOLDIER if the team is to pursue Sephiroth to the other end of the world.

The planet is rich in crystals referred to as Materia. The AVALANCHE team can use a combination of materia to launch fast and automated counterattacks. They manage to break into the Shinra Headquarters where they locate Sephiroth and his alien mother Jenova.  Will they be on time to save the planet?

Disclaimer: This article is a guest post written by Nicole Allen 

Classic PC Titles That Continue to Withstand the Test of Time

Classic PC Titles That Continue to Withstand the Test of Time

Timelessness is the one characteristic that separates a classic title from games that come a dime-a-dozen. For a game to truly stand the test of time, however, it needs constant innovation. Moreover, it needs to do so without compromising the core qualities that made it such a standout in the first place. It doesn’t matter if a game may seem dated because of grainy graphics or its mechanics are somewhat passé. It all boils down to the gaming experience that people can take from it. From niche crowds, right up to the mainstream, the world of gaming is strewn with titles that embody the word longevity.

Today, we’ll take a look at a few classic PC titles that continue to stand up to the test of time–80s and 90s PC games that embody versatility and longevity. While there are certainly others that fit the bill as well, we narrowed our choices down to the top three most relevant titles in terms of overall impact in gaming culture and current mainstream relevance.

Ultima Online

The Ultima series had already had numerous iterations—with each release proving to be more successful than its predecessor—under its belt before Origin Systems finally decided to hop on the online bandwagon. The result was Ultima Online which was rolled out way back in 1997 as one of the most highly-touted Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. To create a buzz, the game was kicked off with the assassination of (producer) Richard Garriot’s avatar during a stress test.

With multiple Guinness records and a rich history to boot, Ultima Online certainly fits the bill as a timeless masterpiece. While the initial subscriber expectation was set at a meager 15,000, it actually reached an excess of 120,000 subscribers after a year. With such numbers, it’s should come as no surprise that it still has steam.

Starcraft

Released all the way back in 1998, Starcraft is amazingly still being updated even two decades later. Though when you think about it, it really should come as no surprise. Gaining a solid fan base right from the get-go—to the tune of 1.5 million copies sold in 1998—it still rides high after 20 years. Starcraft’s appeal and cultural impact is undeniable as it is far-reaching.

A timeless game needs to change with the times while retaining the key components that made it appealing to the masses in the first place. With all the updates over the years, Blizzard Entertainment managed to make Starcraft as relevant today as it was back in the Nineties.

Genesis

Here’s the oldest of our trifecta of classics that refuse to succumb to Father Time: Genesis. In fact, Genesis is so old-school, it’s actually a text-based game! Back in 1989, very few people—if at all—knew about the internet. It was during such Jurassic conditions that a group of savvy Swedish students created the game. It didn’t stay a humble game, though. As the internet grew, so did the game. As a result, there are over 60 guilds for players to join, and a sprawling expanse of the world—including Middle Earth and the Forgotten Realms—to explore.

A great game can be found practically anywhere. You don’t even need to get in on the latest releases to enjoy a fully immersive experience. Do yourself a favor and indulge in these retro games before time finally catches up and snatches them away from us. Enjoy!

Higher Heights: Path of Exile’s Patch 3.2 Ascendancy Class Changes

PoE Orbs

Image Credit: Pixabay.com

Path of Exile Patch 3.2, War for the Atlas, has been one of the most exciting updates the game has ever received. Aside from offering new content such as PoE items and giving the players one of the most unique leagues, if not the most, it also tweaked the Ascendancy classes. These new classes added to the game two years ago provided further progression and specialization for the six main classes. It was a welcome feature, but it was not perfect, so GGG, true to the same level of commitment and quality they’ve consistently shown, has made some adjustments to make sure that each Ascendancy is unique, useful, and most importantly, enjoyable.

The Ascension of Ascendancy

GGG’s official forum post, entitled Development Manifesto: Ascendancy Changes, has expressed their desire to ensure that the power levels of Ascendancy Classes are consistent and that all 19 of them would be considered as good choices. A lot of players feel like a lot of these classes are “noob traps.” Thus, they decided to carefully evaluate the classes using two metrics: identity and power. While most of the classes were doing fine when judged according to those two criteria, others didn’t fare so well. With that in mind, GGG has decided to revamp all Ascendancy Classes for Patch 3.2.

All Ascendancy classes received changes. Some got substantial buffs, while some got what would be considered as mild or arguable buffs, or even mild or very mild nerfs that were most likely inadvertent. This is to ensure that all classes not only enjoy a sense of identity, as well as the same level of viability, and hopefully, love from the players.

A Creed to Assassins

The example GGG gave for the classes that were returned to its former glory and essence was the Assassin, one of the Shadow’s often overlooked Ascendancy classes. Following archetypal RPG class tradition, the Assassin, according to GGG, was a “’glass cannon’ critical strike chance character.” While “fragile speedster” may have been a more appropriate description for all Shadow Ascendancy classes, GGG isn’t wrong about bringing the Assassin back to what defined it as an Ascendancy class. As such, it became one of the most prominent “returning” classes for Patch 3.2.

Templar Changes

The other two Ascension classes that were given a spotlight in GGG’s post are the Guardian and the Hierophant classes, both from the Templar class. The former is the example of those classes that remained the same, save for particular skills that were given a considerable boost. It may not seem that much, but every Path of Exile player knows that one buffing a few skills, especially important ones, make a world of difference.

As for the Hierophant, it’s one of the most extensively buffed classes in War for the Atlas. While Totem Hierophants have been reliable go-to builds for quite some time now, Patch 3.2 makes them even more of a powerhouse than they’ve ever been before. It now has a strong tri and quad totem capabilities without any repercussions, plus it’d be able to sustain Arcane Surge, permanently if it must easily. The Hierophant’s other trees have also been buffed, making it one of the most dependable builds in the current league.

Lastly, GGG has clarified that they intentionally didn’t have overt nerfs. That will come later after they have evaluated which buffs they should keep and which ones they should tone down.

Tweaks in classes will always have a ripple effect in MMOs. Given how big or small and simple yet meaningful those Ascendancy class changes are in Patch 3.2,
Path of Exile has officially changed forever.

Path of Exile – A Challenger Appears to Diablo III

Path of Exile

Image Credit: Pixabay.com

Diablo III has accumulated plenty of sins since it was first released in 2012. From the Auction House debacle to the seasonal resets, there has been no end to the criticism leveled on Blizzard. Despite all that, Diablo III remains the king of the isometric ARPG loot grind and no others have even come close. Things are different now, however, since Path of Exile has come into the ring and is proving to be a tough and true contender for Diablo III’s crown.

The Classic System with Modern Roots

Path of Exile is not ashamed to say that it took its core gameplay from Diablo; naturally, there’s no way around the loot crawl without acknowledging the original. However, the Diablo franchise has seen better days in the heyday of Diablo II and the original, despite the arguable relative success of Diablo III today.

Path of Exile comes from the same family of games, but it does more to separate itself from its cousins and ancestry. For one, PoE manages to stand out by making some very unique classes and combat mechanics; these focus on gem equipment in order to determine skills in combat.

There are six basic classes in the game; Marauder, Ranger, Duelist, Shadow, Templar, and Witch. These all ultimately have an analogue in Diablo III save for some unique differences. Regardless, the game is easy enough to pick up by the Diablo veteran or the genre newbie since each class performs a specific role akin to the holy trinity found in ARPGs like these.

The one thing that PoE does well is its ability to imitate the tropes and trends of Diablo, without becoming too much like Diablo. Enemies of the same quality are there with blue-named enemies being a “rarer” genus than white ones. Gold would be the enemies that may or may not completely destroy you. From the basic shuffling demon to the irreverent demon, many of these enemies will be familiar to fans of the genre. This is a good thing. PoE manages to replicate the same things people enjoyed in Diablo and other isometric ARPGs, while being able to keep it unique with its Dark Souls-inspired aesthetic and feel. This way, PoE does not manage to alienate a whole player base who may think that the original did it better, and it manages to be intriguing enough to draw in the genre newbie.

Perhaps the only downside to PoE is its Xbox One port. It is not awful in any sense, but it certainly could be better. Diablo III’s console ports are very fleshed out and polished, but this is the first time Grinding Gear Games went for a port of their flagship game, thus this was expected. There is not any cross-platform play, but that is also expected. This is due to the different balancing of the peripheral differences for controller and mouse and keyboard. Being out on the Xbox One for only a year, PoE will still find plenty of improvements on a console and, if Grinding Gear Games finds enough reason, even cross-platform play.

The best thing about PoE, however, is that it is completely free-to-play along with all seven expansions currently released. You do not have to spend a single dollar to be able to experience the breadth of content it has. It does have a cash shop as is standard in F2P games, but everything that could be purchased there is mere vanity items that do nothing to improve your game. Grinding Gear Games is one of those developers that took an ethical stance with cash shops, by maintaining that there will never be an advantageous purchase over another player that does not want to spend a dime on PoE. Perhaps the only somewhat essential item on the cash shop is the extra bank space that would not normally be purchasable with in-game PoE currency. However, many players would find this forgivable as it is not a game-changing thing. It will make your dungeon crawling considerably easier though.

Just Like Diablo But More

It is very similar in scope and size to the Diablo franchise with its sprawling, loot-laden dungeons and drop-in/drop-out co-op where enemies scale according to the number of players. However, there is much more content in PoE due to Grinding Gear Games’ penchant for releasing updates and expansions on a regular basis. PoE is already up to its seventh expansion in the form of War for the Atlas. There is a whole slew of things to do and explore – much more than Diablo III’s meager vanilla game and its single expansion, Reaper of Souls.

With an interesting storyline and hours upon hours of fun, Path of Exile is proving to be a serious contender for Diablo III’s crown as the undisputed king of isometric ARPGs. It is a wonder how PoE does not have the same level of fame as its predecessor. Grinding Gear Games simply does not have the advertising power Blizzard has since it is an indie company. If you would like a break from Diablo III’s seasonal resets, you may want to give PoE a try for a fresh take on the ARPG genre.

The Hottest Games of 2017

Games

The year is coming to an end, which means that it is time to showcase the top three most popular games of 2017. The games that are mentioned below are proven as favorites of the year with the help of the number of sales, postings, inquiries, and traffic. So, without further ado, here are the hottest games of 2017!

  1. PUBG – PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

High traffic places PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds as number one in the hottest games of 2017. Even without the PlayerAuctions stats, it is easy to see that PUBG has been extremely popular among gamers for this year.

Players were able to obtain early access to the game earlier this year, and December 12th marked the official release for Xbox One and December 20th for PC. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds really hit the ground running, with countless games consisting of 100 players each, constantly battling to become the victor. Steam has data showing that current PUBG players number anywhere from 10 million to as high as 16.8 million. PUBG had more players playing through Steam than other popular games like Dota 2, CS: GO, and GTA V. If that’s not popular, then I don’t know what is!

  1. Rocket League

Rocket League is gradually and consistently increasing in popularity. How? Well, the Rocket League e-sports scene is flourishing with gaming tournaments being held all over the world. Every tournament has multiple companies that are sponsoring the events, which is huge because large companies will not advertise their products in tournaments or competitions if the number of viewers is low. Each year, the prize pool has been getting bigger and bigger for these tournaments as well.

In 2017, the number of Rocket League players was 33 million. Coincidentally, the same number of Rocket League copies were sold throughout the three platforms, with PS4 taking the highest portion of sales during the year. Psyonix’s stats show the number of players that are active on Rocket League each day is 1.6 million users. Each week, there are 3.3 million users, and each month has 6.1 million users respectively. With the vast amount of tradeable Rocket League items available, along with the number of players involved in the game,  has garnered a lot of traffic, thus making it number two on the list of the hottest games of 2017.

  1. Path of Exile

Path of Exile comes in at number three in the hottest games of 2017, however, it is nowhere near as popular as the other two previously mentioned. Believe it or not, PoE’s player base increased over 40%! The increase occurred after March 17, 2017, with the release of Patch 2.6.0. The game reached a peak of 113 thousand players. Steam Charts also show that Path of Exile reached a peak of 70 thousand players (150.46% in growth) in the last 30 days. Given this information, it must be noted that the game is not available in Steam in certain countries around the world, so it is a very respectable number!

Path of Exile is traded in quite often amongst the players involved in the game. Being a popular trading site has benefited from this and has seen a drastic increase in traffic with PoE related inquiries.

There you have it, the hottest games of 2017. Have you tried playing any of these games? Not yet? You should take part in all of the fun and excitement these games can bring this holiday season! You can expect these games to get more popular in the coming year, 2018!

PoE Currency and the Skill System Set It Apart

PoE Currency and the Skill System Set It Apart

Path of Exile (PoE) is an MMO that’s highly inspired by Diablo II. It borrows gameplay and graphical elements, but ultimately, it’s a different game from Diablo. Choose from six different classes and one unlockable class. Players control their character through mouse clicks from an overhead view. Then they can explore Wraeclast and its various dungeons. Encampments, the game’s analog to towns, are hubs where players can meet and see each other, while dungeons are instanced to a player or group. While the storyline appears as somewhat dull, certain gameplay elements set it apart from other MMOs, especially the skill system, and the game’s economy.

The Skill System

Skills are earnable through crystals that players can put in equipment slots. As long as the crystal can be attached to an item socket, any class of character can use any skill. One caveat, though, is that slots and crystals are color coded. If the colors don’t match, then the crystal won’t fit, and the skill isn’t usable. The color variations force players to choose their equipment and abilities carefully because a better piece of equipment could be unsuited with the current skill set. Also, these talents are modifiable with support gems and passive skills, to an extent.

Passive skills are the general proficiencies earned through leveling up, and in some cases, as a quest reward. However, the passive skill tree is massive. In the spirit of player freedom, any character can potentially learn any ability. The problem is that there’s only a limited amount of skill points achievable. Trying to specialize or capitalize on one kind of playstyle could result in a character that’s not well-rounded. Skill resets are rare too, further hammering the importance of good decision making in choosing skills and equipment.

The Economy

There is no PoE currency (i.e., no in-game monetary system). Trade revolves around bartering certain items. These things are not random pieces of junk. Instead, stuff functions as equipment enhancers. Some effects are randomized, and results may vary when using them. Anyhow, items range from orbs, scrolls, shards, and fragments. They are easy to collect and useful as a major bartering resource.

With PoE’s financial system in place, there’s bound to be differences in prices. Let’s say Player A trades 3 orbs for armor, while Player B trades 5 orbs for the same armor. Both transactions are legal with a rate that both participants agree on. Some might think this is unfair, but as long as players are savvy and track the relative prices of items, good deals won’t be too hard to find.

Even though it’s highly discouraged, there’s a PoE currency trading market that utilizes real money, which makes it a convenient source for orbs, scrolls, and so on. With convenient, in-demand items and money, comes honesty and fraud. Anyone who gets caught with those unsavory individuals online is likely to lose money. Luckily, there are strong trading platforms. In fact, PlayerAuctions is the top dog for buying, selling, and trading online gaming products and services.

Path of Exile Leaves a Thumbprint

Many gamers are calling PoE as the “spiritual successor” of Diablo. No wonder why the game is still going strong in the MMO community. Building on what was established and putting a new spin to it makes PoE a great game. With its lush graphics, solid gameplay, and unusual skill system, any type of player can find something to enjoy. Besides, it’s free-to-play game to download. Let’s save the best for last: PlayerAuctions has some offers for PoE coins. Select what works best for you!