Path of Exile

40/40 Challenge Completed: Final Feedback on TrialMaster Conditional

So I've been doing 40/40 challenges for as long as I could remember (https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/Jerle) but in this league I was really unsure if I would be completing them given one particular new challenge type GGG has introduced.

I had shared this feedback in several other threads (as did many others), but GGG never addressed this point outside of Bex indicating that feedback on Trialmaster spawn rate has been relayed to the team. I am not sure if GGG is ever going to address this particular challenge in this league. But I just want to give my final feedback on this, in the hopes that GGG would reconsider the choices they made in introducing this particular challenge type in future leagues.

To be clear, the specific challenge I was referring to is “Defeat The Trialmaster Conditionally: Defeat The Trialmaster while affected by Trialmaster's Tether and without any player being hit by the Trialmasters Heart” aka TM Cond #4. Now, conditional league boss kills are not new. But what was peculiar about this cond #4 challenge is that it combines a set of constraints which together, makes for a very bad challenge hunting experience:

  1. The challenge requires the player who needs the challenge completion (the “challenger”) to be tethered to the trialmaster’s heart. This means the challenger himself needs to be in the trialmaster arena.
  2. A trialmaster arena can only spawn in wave 10 of an ultimatum in a map. The encounter cannot be saved/stored/deferred in any way. Do it immediately or lose it.
  3. To be in the trialmaster arena, you must be present when the ultimatum is first initiated, joining an ultimatum mid-waves would not allow you to enter the arena. This means you cannot buy an entry into the arena after a spawn. And has to specifically keep doing ultimatums until the ultimatums you initiated spawn a wave 10.
  4. You only have one attempt within the trialmaster arena.
  5. There is no way to influence the spawn rate of the trialmaster. He simply has a 2% chance of appearing (as claimed by GGG) in T14+ maps.

Given the above 5 points, we basically have a challenge which

  1. Cannot be carried (or very difficult to be carried given that the carry needs to ensure you fulfil specific conditions yourself and has to be in the maps running with you leading up to the RNG appearance of the trialmaster).
  2. Encounter attempts cannot be bought (not through fragments, in-game services, etc). You just need to keep running ultimatums and hope for the best.
  3. This also means very limited opportunities to practice the fight if you do get the spawn.

I think it is reasonable if GGG wants to incorporate league boss conditional kills which the challenger has to complete by himself. I might even agree that it is ok to have a league boss challenge that requires encountering a league boss that spawns randomly. But the combination of the two feel extremely bad – when you fail a conditional, you have no idea when you would next get a chance to attempt the conditional again. It’s just a terrible feeling especially when it’s the last challenge you’re chasing. It feels worse when your long-run average for encountering the attempt is lower than what was advertised by the devs (Showing my mapwatch here. No idea why my full set of ultimatum encounters aren't being tracked. But I’ve done at least 1000 ultimatums in T14+ maps. And the trialmaster spawn rate indicated below is consistent with my overall trialmaster encounters. ).

I complete close to 99% of my ultimatums. Most of the incomplete ultimatums are from the last few maps I was rushing to finish atlas encounters and didn't bothered with ultimatums anymore. A few of the ultimatum deaths are due to failures in the trialmaster arena when attempting to set up the conditional kills.

TL;DR: GGG, please do not design challenges which has specific requirements gated behind super rare RNG gated encounters where there is no way to mitigate either the requirements or the RNG. It is not an enjoyable experience for challenge hunters.

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