We welcome First Impression posts! Please be nice to those posts.

Firstly, I'd like to say that I think PoE is a great game! I'd be more than happy to part with real money to buy it on release.

A bit of background: I'm more of a MMORPG player, mainly WoW, SWTOR, Rift, SWG. I did try Tera and Diablo III, but found one too cutesy (and struggled with the controller) and the other utterly unengaging and an uphill grindfest. The adjustment to ARPG is a rather painful process.

Initially, I had a minion Witch, but after reaching Cruel with eight Zombies, 11 Skeletons and a Spectre ... well, I felt more like a Personnel Officer than a caster. And all of those minions could be guaranteed to ignore the mob hitting me, and no way to "encourage" them to assist.

I started another Witch, this time without any minions. A great deal more engaging and rewarding, even if more prone to getting squished.

I've played entirely solo throughout, which has made Boss encounters a bit challenging, particularly with my lack of coordination!

What I like about the game:

1. Skill Gems. I really like being able to pick the spells I want without having to invest in climbing skill trees. I can add additional skills to my repertoire without respecing or reroll.

2. Passive skills. This is such a fantastic idea! I'm not constrained to pick one of x talents at any stage, allowing me to stroll around the passive tree picking up what *I* want.

3. Crafting. How refreshing it is not have to "waste" time farming for mats so one can gain crafting skill.

4. Instanced areas. I really enjoy this aspect of the game. Each area is created just for me, and is different each time. It improves re-playability a great deal. It's also a refreshing, if not exactly pleasant, change to get set upon by huge piles of mobs, rather than having them standing around in the Impenetrable Scarlet Defence waiting to be pulled.

5. Soloable dungeons. One of my frustrations of online games is being required to group to achieve basic progression objectives. Being merely encouraged to group for enhanced rewards is much better.

6. Simple quest structure. It's such a pleasant change to have an overarching objective (e.g. find the path) with a small number of side quests, rather than having to grind through zone after zone after zone.

7. Map size. The scale of the zones is great, allowing one to get utterly lost, rather than being led by the hand down the one and only corridor.

What frustrates me:

1. Occasionally I've been rubber-banded back through the same group of mobs, or have found my toon moved to the other side of a wall. It hasn't always been lethal, but on several occasions it has. I've also noticed this happening to mobs too. One minute I'm whacking them as they run past, the next minute á la Matrix they're running past me again. While I was trying to fight Piety in her laboratory, one mob I was whacking didn't lose any health for several seconds, then promptly disappeared. I only hope it wasn't because he couldn't stop laughing at my woeful DPS.

2. Sometimes I can click for my character to move, but nothing happens. I've not had this problem in other games, but equally I don't know if it's just something wonky with my hardware.

3. Apparent lack of caster gear. I don't know if my account has been especially disfavoured by the RNG (which wouldn't surprise me -- it took six months of Scholomance runs to get a Shadowcraft Hood to drop from Gandling!), but INT drops seem to be outnumbered considerably by STR and DEX. E.g. killing a named mob causes three STR/DEX shields to drop, a bunch of DEX armour, and bunch of STR armour. Nothing for INT.

I appreciate INT is for one of six classes, but equally I would anticipate that approximately one sixth of drops on average would be suitable for an INT character. This isn't what I've experienced.

4. Lack of armour appropriate to level. A bunch of armour can drop, but much of it is low-level, so seemingly unsuitable. I don't understand why stuff dropping in Act 3 and above is still starter gear without level restrictions, but gear appropriate to intended level range is almost non-existent. One of my characters is running round with gear 20 levels below, as nothing better has dropped in the interim.

5. It would be nice if Fusion orbs behaved slightly differently though. Getting through an entire stack without the desired result (i.e. adding one single link!) is annoying. Linking three sockets is obviously a massive undertaking.

6. Lack of combat log. This is a real pain for me, as I can go from full health and energy shield to dead in the blink of an eye, and have no way to diagnose the cause. I'm happy to concede part of the problem is player error/stupidity/utter absence of skill, but without knowing what caused my death, it just causes frustration.

7. Map Overlay. I find this very hard to read in certain zones, where the ground and the map are similar colours, even when made as opaque as possible. It would also be nice if it zoomed as well as scrolled.

8. Chat functionality. I have found, the few times I've attempted, the chat system to be exercising. I'm used to being able to right-click on a name in chat and have a list of options (e.g. Whisper, About, etc.). I've also found the auto-complete suggestions for character names to be rather unhelpful. If I have just been whispered by a character, would it not be reasonable to expect that character name to be in the list of suggestions?

Anyway, that's my two pence.

Thank you for a hugely enjoyable and rewarding game.
I'll keep it simple.

1) Maps are confusing and need to be laid out better.

2) Inventory management kind of sucks and is tedious until you get "rich". And then it's still annoying.

3) Lack of currency is an interesting concept but the currency system in the game needs some attention as far as what you do with everything you collect and how to wrap your head around it all.

4) The game seemed to become more more difficult towards the end of the 3rd act. As a Melee character, all of a sudden I was getting throttled by ranged attacks (spells mainly). Perhaps the damage could be evened out across the board. Also for what it's worth I thought getting freeze-locked was kind of cheap/annoying.

5) Graphics need to be changed a bit. Hard to tell the difference between my character and anything else at times. Sometimes my character can be hidden based on the camera's view and world opacity or lack thereof.

6) Partying up is easy. Staying with that person is difficult unless you are on the same map (except town, which is a nightmare to sift through everyone). There needs to be a quick way to get to your teammates and also a quick way to identify them. Chat also needs to be reworked a bit.

7) Can't put quest items in the stash. Who wants to carry them around all the time?

Here are some things I like:

1) Huge passive skill tree. Keep getting more creative with this.

2) Lots of skills and build diversity. Would like to see more.

3) Orange (legendary?) items seem rare. That's pretty cool. Didn't seem that there was a method to the madness as far as getting them though. (IE: one came out of a jug or something)

4) Seems like the game is going in a good direction as far as content.
Last edited by PARISICC on Feb 8, 2013, 8:14:15 AM

The first thing my friend, who recommended the game to me, showed me, was the passive skill tree. At that point I was sure I'll try the game out.

Stuff I like:

The game keeps surprising me as you don't have any negative effects for removing a skill gem from a socket, no soulbound items, lots of character slots, plenty of stash space to start with, solo play-through that is actually easier then in groups, semi randomized maps, the game gets harder the higher level you are... and the list goes on.

Stuff I don't like:

Not much really, since it's still in beta, buggs will be sorted out and builds balanced. Mostly what several others already mentioned - displaced mobs, lag spikes, disconnects...

What I'd like to see:

- an auto-sort function for the inventory
- in-game marketplace/vending possibility

All in all the game has amazing potential. I'll definitely support it and I hope to see many more acts to come :D
Hi GGG for good and great game as feel my first impression about POE. :)

First I could present myself as an old player of D1/D2/D3 (really disappointed by d3) - TQ & IT - TL 1&2 (enjoyed playing TL2)
My experience in the game is Marauder lvl 30, duelist lvl 23 and witch lvl 25

So I would like to highlight at first some positive points that can be seen at the first glance:

+ the ambiance: great design, great music, really dark this is really cool
+ the potion system: you found a really great idea with the potions refilling with kills (just wondering if it could be refilled on a base of damages and not kills - especially for the boss)
+ the skill tree. It looks great, but I cant say much about it right now it is too early for my experience.
+ spiders have 8 legs!! :)

+/- some nice pack of mobs, but still, I have finished the normal mode, and my feeling is that there is a lot of monsters (compared to D3/TL2) but still it is not enough. To tell the truth I am looking for situation like the cow level of D2 where you could get swarmed by packs of mobs.

+ The currency: I haven't traded yet, but the explanations given by GGG about the currency system are really relevant.
+ quest with multiple choices!

Now some negative points:

- the background hiding mobs and player: when you fight behind some rock you cant see what you fight
- the animation of characters still not really fluid, they all feel like they got some stick in some dark places
- no auto-aim for melee: right clicking in the air will ... strike in the air, actually I found myself quite often using my right mouse skill in the air, even I am in the middle of a pack of mob. (also I am not completely sure but with the skill Flicker Strike, using it without aiming a monster will teleport to the closest monster from the player, and not the closest monster from the cursor)
- the mini-map: hardly readable, need to simplify it
- skills shortcuts: I haven't found any precise information about it so I have no idea what is the choice of GGG about the shortcuts for the skills: do you want to limit it to 8? or will it change in the future.
My feeling is that the number of skills is already limited by the equipment, even the auras are limited by the reserved mana, so I feel like an artificial limit of number of used skill is really frustrating. Also it is not possible to change the middle mouse button (would prefer to use thumb mouse button)

This is it for my first impression, I guess most of the negative points are on the to-do list of the developers.
The game is really great, it is addictive and has a huge potential. It is always nice to see some passionate people making such a beautiful job.
My first impressions after a moderate amount of playtime (My Witch is level 50 and just started Act 3 Cruel):

My overall impressions of the game are extremely positive - way to go GGG! You guys have really made a great ARPG for players who are fans of the genre. I'd say it's my favorite ARPG since Diablo 2.

Things I really like about the game:

* "Dark" atmosphere is a nice change of pace from the more cartoony style of Diablo 3 and the Torchlight games (not saying those things are bad, I just appreciated the difference)

* You guys nailed the potion/flask system. Hands down the best in any ARPG.

* You guys also nailed the character build system - it allows a TON of experimentation and it's just a really unique concept. Again I'd say it's the best in any ARPG.

* Along with that, the ability to respec a decent number of points was a BRILLIANT move - it allows you to "fix" builds easily when you realize you invested points in something that turned out to be a bad idea. Without this, the passive tree would be broken for anyone not doing extensive build research beforehand. It basically makes the tree work IMO.

* You guys nailed both the sense of character progression (getting more powerful) and also the sense of difficulty (enemies/the world feel more difficult). That's VERY difficult to do without winding up in a situation like Diablo 3 (where you never feel more powerful than you are at like level 5). I'm tremendously impressed by this as I think it's one of the hardest things to get right in any level-grind game.

* Skill gem system is a brilliant twist on established genre conventions - again a very nice change of pace and something truly unique.

* Drop in/Drop out party system is AWESOME. I love it - I can party up instantly to get help or just because I feel like it, and I can return to solo just as quickly.

* Barter system is overall a nice change from the standard gold/currency systems seen in other ARPGs. Fits well with the world design.

* Ability to re-roll things on items is a brilliant move. Absolute stroke of genius from whoever thought that up. Makes almost every item potentially useful - a genre first!

I could probably go on, but those are the big things.

Things I don't like that probably result from the game being in "beta"

* Lag. Dear God the lag.... wow. My internet connection is quite good, and yet I often die due to lag once every hour or two. It's bad right now and in addition to causing random deaths, it also makes combat feel very unresponsive at times.

* Lack of any real story. It would be nice to have a lot more story and context to what is going on beyond "You're an exile... go kill things... and oh by the way here's this evil chick you should probably murder!"

* Glitches with the party system. Most annoying for me is when I create/join a party, play a bit, then leave - everyone else still remains in my world until the instances reset.

* The game needs to provide some more helps to new players to figure out what's going on. A tutorial is BADLY needed to explain at minimum: the passive tree, how skill gems work, and how the bartering system works. I would love it if the game had a tutorial or reference system that offered up suggested "basic" builds to new players just to give them an idea of what a build looks like without needing the forums, and I also think it would be great if the game both listed all the barter items somewhere and communicated their general value (this could be done by just a tier system - e.g. these items are top tier, these are second, etc).

* Along with this, tooltips for a lot of passive skills need work. It's just not clear a lot of the time what exactly a tooltip is talking about. Just one example - it's unclear (unless you look it up on the forums) what the difference is - or even that there's a difference at all - between "% increased <x>" and "% more <x>". In a game like this, the math needs to be explicit up front. I should be able to easily find out, somewhere, how ALL of the math in my build is working.

* And along those lines, tooltips for a lot of the crafting items need work. It's just not clear how some of them work. For example, does an "orb of fusing" randomly fuse sockets together or can you somehow control it? How many sockets can you fuse together? 3? 4? More? I've gone through at least a dozen orbs of fusing trying to figure out the answers to those questions, and I still don't know.

Things I don't like, and I'm not sure if they're just "beta" issues or not

* The exponential slowdown in character progression once you get into the mid 40s level wise seems kinda punishing and unhelpful to me. Builds are only around or a little over halfway done by level 50, but the leveling slows to a relative crawl and acts as if you're in the end game stage of a build. This needs tweaking, and I think that the timing of the real slow down in level should come more around level 70 than level 45-50. It doesn't matter so much in the game content when the slow down happens, but it does matter at what level it happens. In its current state, I could see a lot of people never finishing their builds just because it slows down too much and gets boring (and I don't mean "get all 111 points" - I mean get most of those, like say 80 or so).

* The pacing. Some of the areas in the game are HUGE relative to others, and these can just drag on FOREVER. The worst culprits are the areas at the end of each act - finding a way around the barrier in Act 1, the waterfall cave and pyramid at the end of Act 2, and the temple at the end of Act 3. They're too large and either need additional waypoints or they need to be shrunk down. Again, it KILLS a sense of progression to be clearing areas in 15-40 minutes and then all of a sudden hit an area that takes like an hour and a half.

* Along with this, the instancing system needs to treat areas that have multiple levels as one whole instance, rather than treating each floor individually. If there's a way point in the Building of Doom Level 1 and I fought my way down to Building of Doom Level 4, then Building of Doom levels 1-3 SHOULD NOT RESET. It should NOT be mandatory to open a TP every new level of a dungeon just because of the threat that everything you did earlier in the dungeon will get reset and you'll have to do it all over again if you die and only have an earlier waypoint to go on.

* The need to stack All Resist. For a game that innovates in so many ARPG areas, it was extremely disappointing to me that it follows the same old pattern of hitting you with an increasing penalty to your resists as you go up the difficulty ladder. It's annoying and serves no purpose other than to force every player to take All Resist nodes and get that on their gear. There have to be other, more creative ways of increasing the difficulty without this lame convention.

* The stun system. Getting stun-locked as a witch is just lame, and currently the combat is not fluid enough to kite fast enemies with much finesse without resorting to quicksilver flasks. Combat either needs to be more fluid or the frequency with which you get stunned needs to go down.

Things I'm not sure about

* The game's difficulty being based primarily around the possibility that at any time a mob or enemy type may show up that can/will functionally 1-shot you. Getting randomly 1-shotted is not fun and does not communicate difficulty; it only communicates frustration. I put this in the "not sure" category because I don't have a good idea in my mind what I'd like to see instead, and it's possible that I'm only frustrated about this right now because of the lag issues.

* The complexity of the barter system. There's a LOT of items involved in it, and it takes a long time to figure out what is valuable and what isn't (I don't think I'm there yet). A tutorial may help this, but part of me wonders if it should be just slightly simplified.

* The need for extreme efficiency in how you make your passive skill tree build, due to the high difficulty. In some ways I like this, as it forces you to plan your build and really makes you feel successful when you find something that works. In some ways I do not like this, as it makes experimentation within a build VERY risky and difficult. Orbs of regret help, but I wish that goofy and/or "for fun" builds were more viable.
The 352nd character to hit Level 100 in Standard
The 82nd character to hit Delve 1000 in Standard
Last edited by tackle70 on Feb 9, 2013, 12:41:32 PM
Overall I am hugely impressed.

Skill Tree and customisation
Dark feel of the game overall
The difficulty level appears to be good. Note I only play hardcore and will ditch chars who die.

Loot system, it basically encourages ninjas and does not really promote group play or at least not with strangers. Easy fix: elongate the wait period before someone else can nick gear assigned to a player to 30 seconds or a minute.
First of all, shoutouts to everyone at GGG for releasing a great game. I can't believe you guys are doing this for free. I played a few f2p games before and all of them had at least some pay2win in it. This game has none. While I'm enjoying PoE quite a bit, there's also some flaws which make the experience a little worse (at least for me).

1) Abilities

This is probably my number one complaint. From what I've seen, there aren't that many unique skills available in the game. Sure, there's skill gems and support gems that change the way they work, but they don't really feel unique to me. I've played Diablo III for quite a while (if you stop reading here, I understand) and while the game has a lot of flaws, they did some things right. There wasn't much build diversity in d3, but you had interesting, powerful skills. For example Archon, you transform into a being of light and you can just obliterate everything in your path. It was a skill that I really looked forward to. Why? Because it makes you feel like a god. In PoE, characters become stronger gradually and the changes in a build don't change much over time. Stuff like fork adds more of the same and other support gems make you able to cast it faster, penetrate defenses and stuff like that. You get the point I guess.
While I like the idea of having solid character progression, I'm not too happy with the current skills that are available. Even AoE spells like frost nova don't have that much range to begin with.

2) Graphics

Trust me that when I say that graphics don't make a game. Nintendo showed this with the launch of their Wii. It's about the experience and not the graphics. However, alot of stuff seems unclear and is a pain to the eyes. Animations are clunky and sometimes I wonder what the hell I'm getting hit by and it turns out that I'm getting hit by some mob that I just didn't see. I'd like it if enemies had a slight colored border around them or something, similar to what happens when you highlight a NPC in town. It would also help if it was more clear when an enemy is slain because they usually just drop on the floor, instead of exploding all over the place. As for the art style in this game, it's a hit and miss for me. There aren't much areas that I feel immersed in as a player. A good example of a well designed atmosphere is the way to Brutus. The area is nice and dark, and the music gets my adrenaline going. I want more of this please :) Overall I think Act 1 has by far the best design. Another great map is Solaris temple in Act 3.

3) The map

It's bad, let's just leave it at that. It seems very primitive but from what I heard GGG is looking into it and redesigning it so this issue can probably by neglected in a not to distant future.

4) Loot

From what I've seen the loot in merciless and those special maps you can obtain are pretty nice. However, in normal difficulty I hardly get any loot that's any good. I'm cursed with loot in pretty much every ARPG I play and I get more 3-4L bows than whatever while I'm looking for either wands or daggers. The vendors rarely have any upgrades and I find myself struggling pretty badly until I finally get an upgrade. I can barely get myself to move my character and do quests because I die pretty quickly. It doesn't feel like I'm progressing, it feels like I'm struggling, and if no good loot drops while I'm doing that it will only get harder and I will be limited even more. For reference: I've been using a lvl8(?) shield or something while my Shadow is lvl28, simply because I couldn't find a better one. Luckily I know an amazing person that gave me some gear, and now the game is enjoyable until I hit a wall again.

5) Difficulty

This is a subject that is probably going to have alot of attention from fellow forum posters but I'll bring it up anyway. For me, the difficulty is too hard. For other people (or the people that have a fully decked out character with good gear) the difficulty is just right. That's mainly because nobody is the same. Some are more skillful than other people, or people just prefer to faceroll and collect as many items as possible. I belong to the latter. Farming loot to me is just insanely addictive and I find it more fun than leveling my character alltogether. I can't really "farm" for loot in this game. It's more like I'm killing monsters and picking up loot on the way. D3 offered a balance between the two by introducing monster power. It just goes to show that you can please almost everyone while you don't have to change the fundamentals that makes the game amazing for other people.

6) Introduction/Tutorials

I don't have much to say here except that it can be extremely difficult for new players to pick up on this game. With such a complicated skill tree and mechanics, people that are new to the genre will have a really hard time. This isn't the only game suffering from this problem, in the first ARPG I played I didn't even know til much later in the game that int was a damage multiplier for wizards! A little introduction to stats would solve all this, maybe adding a tooltip or two, it can't hurt :)

With that being said, I'm still enjoying PoE although some of these points piss me off from time to time. Keep it up GGG, as I'm sure that the game will become even better in the future as I'm amazed what you guys have achieved so far and the game is not even out of beta!
Last edited by DarkKaine on Feb 9, 2013, 10:36:39 PM
Just wanted to say that I think the effort from GGG here is overall outstanding. The comparisons to Diablo II are I am sure old at this point, especially since I just discovered this game yesterday and haven't had a chance to do much in the way of researching comments, but I really feel like this is a spiritual successor to that classic. Having been thoroughly disappointed with DIII, I had thought Torchlight II to have been the only game that I would ever capture that DII feeling, but I am happy to say that I think PoE has done an even better job that TLII. The gameplay is really solid, and I absolutely love the ability to customize skills, loadouts, cosmetics and especially slotted gems in a way that no other ARPG game I have ever played has done. I really appreciate the ability to remove and add gems without destroying either the item or the gem, and the non-gold bantering system is a great twist on the gold-farming needed in the past.

I am not normally a huge F2P fan - I am much happier just buying the game than being nickle-and-dimed for abilities I need to compete one at a time - but I think the way in which the team has implemented this is fantastic. Hopefully it pays off, because I would hate to see this effort falter in the long run because funding couldn't keep flowing. (I even put in my first 10 bucks for some stash slot upgrades to help out...)

The only little nit-pick I have had so far is that neither portal nor wisdom scrolls can be treated as spells. I would like to be able to stick those in my belt and assign a key to them. Perhaps that is there, and I haven't figured it out yet, or I will just learn to cope. Minor thing, but maybe just something to look at for the devs...

Thanks again GGG for this great game - It will be replacing TLII as my standard ARPG for the forseeable future - and I haven't even logged into DIII in 3 months...
While !EndOfMap
I started playing PoE when it went into open beta: I had it pointed out to me when I posted a review saying how disappointed I was with Diablo 3 and POE is much closer to what D3 should have been.

I like most things about the game a lot. Lag is irritating but I can live with it in beta. I'm in two minds about the lack of currency: it does make comparison difficult and the variety of consumables can be a little overwhelming but it does feel distinctive and I might come to like it.

Two real complaints, one major and one minor. The big one is not being able to work two different weapon sets properly. I'd love to be able to set up a ranger with a set of bow skills then switch to melee and have a full set of melee skills based on the jewels in my respective equipment. At present I find I'm only using one set of equipment.

The minor quibble is minions getting in the way. If you have a few summons it's physically impossible to open all pots etc.

Overall I think it's a fantastic game and I'd happily pay full price for the game, but it would be so much better with a set of hotkeys for ranged and one for meleee or just the game remembers 'on equipment 1 right mouse is lightning arrow, on set 2 it's viper strike'.
I don't normally post on forums but this game blows me away. This is exactly what I wanted from a game. I've told everyone at work about this game and I hope it takes off and succeeds beyond your wildest dreams!!

I understand it's beta so I won't gripe about performance or glitchy issues. I know those will be resolved.

I would like to see perhaps a opacity/hue adjustment for map overlay. The chat system feels awkward to me, but that could just be growing pains and I'll adjust.

Other than that, I have no complaints. I built a new gaming PC just to play this game. I'm Happy happy happy....


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