Tag: MMORPG

SNEAK PEEK: 5 HIGHLY ANTICIPATED GAMES OF E3 2019

It’s that time of the year when gamers are wrapped in eager anticipation to see what the near (and for delayed games, not-so-near) future has in store for them. All the excitement is brought about by none other than the Electronic Entertainment Expo—more popularly known as E3. Think of it like Christmas for gamers. And just like Christmas, gamers have their own wish list every single time E3 comes around.

So, which ones made this year? Read up and find out.

Death Stranding

After being revealed on E3 three years ago, Death Stranding is going back one last time, with just as much hype as it did when it was first unveiled—if not more. It’s a no-brainer why, as it’s from world-renowned game director and auteur Hideo Kojima, the brainchild of the action-packed, operatic, and sometimes absurdist espionage action franchise Metal Gear Solid.

After cutting ties with Konami, the game company that owns Kojima’s long-running military half-cinematic video game series and his development studio, Kojima Productions, the gaming visionary streaked on his, reformed his development studio, partnered with Sony, and started what seems like his most ambitious project yet.

Given the last trailer, we see Norman Reedus being some ruffian-fighting, spectre-dodging deliveryman in a post-apocalyptic American wasteland that must be “reconnected” again. Also featured in the game are other big Hollywood names like Lea Seydoux, MadsMikkelsen, Guillermo del Toro, and Lindsey Wagner doing all sorts of political, sci-fi stuff. In true Kojima fashion, the eight-minute-long trailer raised even more questions than answers. That, however, is no surprise, as it has effectively made fans want more of Death Stranding on E3. But until E3 (and Death Stranding’s long-awaited release), we all know fans will end up with even more questions.

Borderlands 3

After the success of the crazy and colorful Borderlands 2, it’s only right that Gearbox’s RPG-esque adventure shooter series will have another addition. With the last one released seven years ago, a lot of the fans who have been waiting in earnest started to question Borderlands 3 was even coming out at all. Thankfully, it is! It’s set to bring back familiar faces and put players back to vault hunters’ shoes.

The patience of the franchise’s fans has finally paid off because the third installment of the game will be officially released on September 13 this year. But before that, it will definitely have a quick stopover at E3 before hitting shelves. When it does, the developers will hopefully address the issue regarding the game’s exclusivity on the Epic Store.

WoW Classic

Games don’t usually get to have a second outing at E3 after being released. After all, there’s no point in hyping up a game that’s already in stores. World of Warcraft: Classic, however, is an exception. Other than improved graphics, nothing has changed. Or rather, everything has changed back to how things were during the game’s early days. The classic version of the most popular and influential MMORPGs will be released on August 27, 2019.

Ghost Recon: Breakpoint

Ubisoft, one of the biggest western gaming companies, is an E3 mainstay, and so is Ghost Recon. For 2019, it’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, a direct sequel to the open-world shooter Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Set in the fictional Pacific country of Auroa, you will be taking on the paramilitary group called Wolves, which was introduced in the previous.

True to the franchise’s name, stealth and survival will once again be an important factor in the game. And unlike in Wildlands where player skills are assigned through perks and abilities, there are now classes that have role-specific skillsets.

Cyberpunk 2077

Last but definitely not least would be Cyberpunk 2077, CDProjektRed’s next masterpiece after the much-praised Witcher franchise. After news of its development, it was finally unveiled for the first time on E3 last year, and will be going back for a second outing in 2019.

The game takes place in the namesake year in Night City, a fictional city in California. Despite being rife with crime, a lot of people live here because of its liberal laws regarding body modification and the promise of making it to the top.

Slated for release in 2020, there is still a lot to be revealed about this potential masterpiece, so it makes perfect sense that it’s going to grace the E3 event once more.

With these highly anticipated titles, this year’s E3 is going to be massive–and that’s an understatement. So, are you now officially hyped? You better be!

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The Best Blizzard Games For Esports Competitions

The Best Blizzard Games For Esports Competitions

Blizzard Entertainment is a true titan of the gaming scene and it has understandably carved out an enviable position in the burgeoning world of esports. The iconic developer and publisher has been releasing cult titles since it was founded by a trio of UCLA graduates in 1991 and it is now part of America’s largest gaming company. Activision Blizzard boasted revenue of $7.5 billion in 2018 and Blizzard Entertainment games played a huge part in that strong performance.

Nowadays, it is hugely important for publishers to crack the competitive gaming scene as it is extremely lucrative and leading esports enjoy remarkable longevity. Blizzard Entertainment may have lost the rights to Dota 2–one of the world’s most popular esports–to Valve Corporation in a bitter dispute, but it still possesses a formidable stable of giants in the competitive gaming scene.

Here are its five most important titles:

Overwatch

Blizzard released this multiplayer first-person shooter to global acclaim in 2016, with reviewers praising its class-based combat, polished gameplay, and utterly magnificent artwork. Overwatch was hailed as fun, accessible and extremely well-made, and it became an instant classic.

It pits teams featuring soldiers, mercenaries, scientists, and adventurers against one another in the near future, and it is perfectly set up for the sort of intense multiplayer action that lends itself well to competitive gaming.

The Blizzard team did not initially set out to create a new esport, but they soon recognized its potential in this field. The first organized, prize-winning competitions were launched just a few months after the game’s release, and ESL quickly put together the Overwatch Atlantic Showdown. At Blizzcon 2016, Blizzard announced that it would launch the Overwatch League as a result of intense demand from fans. It began in 2018 and boasted a $3.5 million prize pool, instantly catapulting Overwatch into the top 10 most lucrative esports for gamers to compete in.

The first season proved to be a smashing success, as London Spitfire beat Philadelphia Fusion at the Grand Finals in New York’s Barclays Center to become the first league champions.

Intel and HP were the league’s first sponsors, before Toyota got on board, while ABC, ESPN, and Disney XDaired contests live. The prize pool was increased to $5 million for the 2019 season and new franchises joined from across the world, ensuring competitive Overwatch gaming as it continued to soar.

Hearthstone

This free-to-play digital card game dazzled critics when it was launched in 2016. Eurogamer gave it a perfect 100 score and said it was “overflowing with character and imagination, feeds off and fuels a vibrant community of players and performers, and it only stands to improve as Blizzard introduces new features”. The game builds upon the Warcraft lore, so it instantly appealed to a huge group of fans, and it reeled in all manner of gamers thanks to its fun, accessible, fast-paced gameplay.

It is also blessed with sophistication, subtlety and a high skill ceiling that has enabled it to become one of the world’s most popular esports game. It was behind only LoL, CS:GO, Dota 2, and Overwatch in Twitch viewing hours in 2018, with Heroes of the Storm in sixth and StarCraft II seventh in a strong showing for Blizzard.

Wagering on esports has become a hugely important factor in the growth of this nascent scene, as many fans love to grab a stake in the action. Dedicated betting sites like https://unikrn.com/bet offer a huge range of markets in esports, and Hearthstone is one of the most important titles in this regard. It now faces intense competition from the digital version of Magic The Gathering Arena, but Hearthstone has a loyal following and it should continue to flourish in future.

StarCraft II

This is the most established esport in the Blizzard roster, as there have already been more than 5,000 professional StarCraft 2 tournaments. A grand total prize money of $30 million has been dished out to 1,900 pros over the years, and it is another important esport for wagering purposes. The game was launched all the way back in 2010 but, like LoL and Dota 2, it has achieved fantastic longevity thanks to its popularity within the competitive gaming scene.

It is a real-time strategy game that continues the epic saga of the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg as they wage battle across the galaxy. StarCraft II was released on a free-to-play basis as of November 2017, with microtransactions for skins, voice packs, and so on, making it a commercial success.

Professional play began upon its launch and, after a blip that lasted for a couple of years, it is going strong once more. The last three World Championship Series have carried prize pools of $700,000 and it also recently featured at IEM Katowice 2019, with a $400,000 contest.

Heroes of the Storm

This multiplayer online battle arena game sees legendary heroes and villains from WarCraft, StarCraft, Overwatch, and Diablo summoned to the Nexus to fight for glory. The MOBA genre is arguably the most important to the world of esports, thanks to the success of League of Legends and Dota 2. Since it was released in 2015, Heroes of the Storm has emerged as a serious contender to those leading titles in the popularity stakes, thanks to its varied gameplay and strong cast of characters.

It has already seen prize money in the excess of $18 million at its professional tournaments, making it the sixth most lucrative esports in history. However, Blizzard made the shocking announcement in December 2018 that it was canceling the Heroes Global Championship for 2019. An overwhelming sense of sadness and betrayal were the dominant emotions among pros, yet there is still hope that a competitive scene may be revived for this popular title someday.

Warcraft 3

The original Dota as a custom map creation within Warcraft 3, so that Blizzard execs could feel aggrieved at its success in esports with Valve. Warcraft 3 itself never enjoyed such a strong scene, although it has seen 1,300 tournaments and prize money reaching $5.4 million over the years.

The game was released in 2002 and it is now a grand dame of the industry, but Warcraft 3 Reforged will be released this year and that could give the title a fresh injection of life.

It will boast improved graphics, new dialogue, and better pathfinding, which could make it more appealing as an esport. There are still tournaments going on, but some fans would prefer Blizzard to stop spending so much time remasteringWarcraft 3 and instead channel its efforts into developing a fourth entry in the popular series. Warcraft 4 really could take the esports world by storm.

***DISCLAIMER***

This article is a Guest Post written by James Metcalfe from Unikrn.com

Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Scion

Path of Exile Scion

The last (but not at all the least) PoE class you’ll encounter is the Scion. Because of the difficult learning curve she has, the Scion is initially unavailable until you meet and rescue her in Act 3. She sits right at the center of the skill tree, aligned with all three stats. She isn’t associated with any PoE item equipment (armor and weapons) and can use them all. The player, you, has the choice of building her stats and equipment.

She is also unique in that she only has one Ascendancy Class, the Ascendant.

Strengths and Weaknesses

In general, the build you give her will dictate her strengths and weaknesses. Being in the center puts her in a very unique and enviable position as she has the opportunity to reach all the passive skill nodes easily. The challenge lies in allocating the points properly.

Paradoxically, her vast potential and adaptability is both a strength and weakness at the same time. The number of builds available to her is staggering. Done well, she can be a juggernaut, a mage tank, or the most cunning sneak. However, making one mistake in allocating nodes can break your build in the worst possible way. Collecting the best skill gems and equipment for the build might also prove to be a challenge. Then again, you can collect the items with another character first.

You can also use her to see if certain builds for the other classes are viable, to an extent. Test out gimmicky builds with her as well. Take note that you need to have careful planning and proper handling to play the Scion effectively.

Ascendancy Class

The Ascendant has access to passives based on other Ascendancy Classes. These passives have effects similar to the class skill tree it’s based on, albeit with weaker effects. She can only take up to two, and they have to be from different base classes. One more benefit she has is further investment in one class’s path. Taking that skill lets her use that class’s starting point on the passive skill tree. A majority of her notable skills are named after the Ascendancy Classes, and the rest are named ‘Path of (base class)’.

The former skills, the ones named after other Ascendancy Classes, provide general bonuses that are representative of that class. For example, the passive Raider provides increased attack damage, movement speed, and chance to dodge attacks. It also provides Onslaught on full Frenzy Charges, and a 10% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge when hitting a rare or unique enemy. These effects are what Raiders focus on, and the Raider passive reflects that.

The Path of (base class) skills, on the other hand, grants 2 passive skill points and allows the Ascendant to allocate passives from that class’s starting point. It allows the Ascendant to further focus on one base class of the two Ascendancy Class passives she took.

The Verdict

Of course, being unavailable to beginners, this is hardly a proper choice for players only starting out in Path of Exile. However, if you’re considering playing Path of Exile as one, you’d better have a build in mind. As stated earlier, one mistake can break the build all too easily. It gets worse not plotting your course of action ahead of time. The Scion is the one that is the most like a blank slate. If you’re careful and patient, a beautiful painting appears in it. If you’re hasty and careless, she’ll end up an unappealing mess to play. Keep that in mind when you come across her in Act 3.

 

***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

Ascendant Scion

Scion Build Guides for Delve – Starter and Non-Starters

Infernal Flicker Strike Build – Ascendant Scion

Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Shadow

Path of Exile Shadow

The Shadow is the Intelligence-Dexterity aligned class in Path of Exile. He’s an agile, spell-slinging trapper. Playing as one will require quite a bit of skill as he is rather fragile—similar to both the Witch and Ranger. He uses weapons like claws and daggers. His armor consists mostly of masks, jackets, coats, raiment, garbs, mitts, boots, and spiked shields. To understand how you can branch out his passive skills, remember that he starts out in the upper right area of the skill tree, between the Ranger and Witch.

His Ascendancy Classes are Assassin, Saboteur, and Trickster.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Being a hybrid class, Shadow shares most of the Witch’s and Ranger’s strengths and weaknesses. He can make good use of dexterity’s increased projectile damage for his intelligence-augmented spells. While not exactly big on physical damage, strategic use of attacks, spells, and traps is very rewarding. Several of his skill nodes exploit any critical hit he deals, though his normal attacks won’t be nearly as strong.

His natural evasion and ease at keeping up an energy shield add to his overall survivability. However, he is far from many of the HP-boosting or regen nodes, making him quite vulnerable at times. If his evasion fails and his shield breaks, he’s only one lucky hit away from getting squished like a bug.

Ascendancy Classes

The Assassin focuses on dealing critical strikes and enhancing Power Charges. He may also use poison to augment his critical and normal damage. Of the three Shadow Ascendancy Classes, he is the one who relies on hit-and-run tactics the most. Two notable skills of his are Unstable Infusion along with the Ambush & Assassinate.

Unstable Infusion increases the change to gain a Power Charge on critical by 10%. It also gives a 20% chance to gain the same on non-critical hits. The skill Ambush and Assassinate give different bonuses depending on whether or not the enemy is on full HP. It gives 30% increased damage on low-HP enemies. On full HP enemies, it adds 40% to the critical strike multiplier. It also doubles the critical strike chance on enemies that are on either side of the HP spectrum.

Lastly, it gives a Culling Strike effect on every critical strike.

The Saboteur is the expert trapper. His skills enhance his trap and mine-laying skills. He has other utility bonuses as well, such as synergy with the blind ailment, area of effect bonuses, regeneration, and ailment immunities. His notable skills are ‘Born in the Shadows’ and Perfect Crime.

The first gives the Saboteur immunity to blindness. Not only that, it blinds nearby enemies and reduces damage taken from them by 10%. It also makes his strikes have a 25% chance to blind more enemies, and even increases the damage of his hits or ailments by 30%. The second reduces the cooldown time of throwing traps. It increases damage by 8% for each trap and gives a 20% chance for traps to trigger once more.

The Trickster is a versatile damage-over-time class. Some of his skills add to his survivability. Others enhance his Power and Frenzy Charges. He has the speed and maneuverability to slip through attacks while dealing his own. Some of his notable skills are Escape Artist and Prolonged Pain.

The former gives +5 to the evasion rating per 1 maximum energy shield on helmet. It also gives a +1 to maximum Energy Shield per 6 evasion rating on armor. In addition to that, he cannot be stunned if he hasn’t been hit recently and takes 8% less damage as well. The latter increases skill duration effect by 20%, and reduces damage taken over time by 10%. It also increases Poison duration by 20% and damage over time by 15%.

The Conclusion

The Shadow is probably the hardest of all PoE characters to play. He needs quite a bit of thought and strategy to be effective. In short, he isn’t a straightforward character. If hit-and-run tactics are your thing though, he just may be the perfect class for you. His strength is in burst damage in critical hits and damage over time with status ailments. Do note, however, that he’s practically wet tissue paper when his shield’s down and his evasion fails him. Sure, this could be mitigated with certain PoE items, but that often proves to be an expensive prospect. It’s highly recommended that you do a significant amount of research before playing the guile Shadow.

 

***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

 

Saboteur Shadow

Assassin Shadow

Trickster Shadow

Path of Exile Class Spotlight: Templar

Path of Exile Templar

The last dual hybrid class in Path of Exile is the Templar. He looks like a fragile old man, but don’t let that fool you. Behind that façade lies a cunning character! Being the perfect balance of brains (Intelligence) and brawn (Strength), he knows multiple ways to prove he’s anything but fragile. In fact, he can use most weapons, from swords to staves. However, he won’t use bows or daggers. He’s garbed in chainmail coifs, helmets, chainmail or ringmail, mesh or chain gloves and boots, and kite shields.

His Ascendancy Classes are Inquisitor, Hierophant, and Guardian.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Like the other hybrid classes, the Templar shares the strengths and weaknesses of his neighboring classes. He has the brute strength of the Marauder as well as the magical aptitude of the Witch. The combination of stats also makes him the best at deftly dealing with swarms and hordes of enemies. The strength side of his tree boosts his defense and vitality, letting him wade into a crowd of hostiles. Equipped with sweeping or slamming attacks as well as a myriad of elemental spells, he can clear out waves of attackers with but a few gestures.

His big weakness, however, is his low dexterity. As he starts on the opposite side of the Ranger, he doesn’t have access to many dexterity nodes. Sure, he can deal with many enemies at once, but he’ll have difficulty trying to hit a specific one. Using spells can mitigate this weakness, although it might be inefficient. Consider saving up PoE Orbs to compensate for this somehow.

Ascendancy Classes

His first Ascendancy Class, Inquisitor, enables him to manipulate the elements. The class grants skills that increase elemental damage or resistance, critical strikes, or buffs. Inquisitors can also have the ability to create the unique ground effect ‘Consecrated Ground’. It confers various beneficial effects, depending on the skills acquired. Augury of Penitence and Inevitable Judgement are some of his notable skills.

Augury of Penitence makes nearby enemies take both 16% more elemental damage and deal 8% less elemental damage. Inevitable Judgement improves the Inquisitor’s critical and normal strikes. It makes normal strikes penetrate 10% of the enemy’s elemental resistances. Critical strikes ignore those resistances completely.

His second Ascendancy Class, Hierophant, deals with unconventional sources of damage and defense. His skills also increase totem and spell utility. He’s more of a magic-oriented class. His skills bolster spellcasting more than physical prowess. Also, he has skills that make use of his large mana pool, either by converting it to defensive bonuses, or conserving and regenerating it. Notable Hierophant skills include Arcane Blessing and Divine Guidance.

The first skill activates Arcane Surge when he or his totem attacks an enemy with a spell. As an added effect, while he has Arcane Surge, he’s immune to elemental ailments. The second skill adds 150 to his total mana, and 10% of damage gets taken from mana first before life.

His third and final Ascendancy Class is Guardian. As the name suggests, he’s a class for tanking and support. His skills put an emphasis on the defense and support of a party. What’s more, even summoned minions can benefit from his skills as well. His notable skills are Radiant Faith and Prayer of Glory.

The former grants an energy shield equal to 15% of the Guardian’s mana to himself and his allies. It also grants armor that’s 160% of his reserved life to himself and his allies. The latter skill makes using warcries instant without costing any mana. It also grants 15% increased attack, cast speed, and movement speed if he used a warcry recently.

The Conclusion

The Templar is a solid choice for anyone who wants a more survivable magic user. He’s in a very beneficial position. That is, most of the Marauder’s strengths cover the Witch’s weaknesses and vice versa. His only real flaw is his general lack of accuracy to deal with single enemies in an efficient manner. Other than that, he’s a good all-rounder who’s tough & reliable. While he’s not very flashy, he certainly gets the job done.

 

***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

Templar Build Guides for Delve – Starter and Non-Starters

Smite Summoner Build – Guardian Templar

Critical Arc Build – Inquisitor Templar

Magma Orb Build – Inquisitor Templar

Low Life Righteous Fire Build – Guardian Templar

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!

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.

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!