Path of Exile

After ~80 hours and quite a few character deaths, I finally conquered Act 10 for the first time on Hardcore

Hi! I first tried out Path of Exile some 7 years ago, soon after it was first released, but it didn't really hold my attention all too long. I had some gripes with the gameplay that, to me, felt quite one-dimensional and I wasn't very happy about the lack of support skills and support roles, since I really like to play with friends.

First off, now that I picked the game up again, I must say that these worries, at least by now, are groundless. This game does have pretty impressive variety to its builds and you certainly can play various kinds of aura, debuff, curse, exposure etc combinations with friends to very great effect.

Yesterday, I finally conquered Act 10 with my tanky Lacerate Gladiator. I was very worried going to Act 10 Kitava and ended up overleveling a fair amount – I was level 77 when I faced him – and the fight ended up slightly easier than I thought. His ads did managed to bring me to under 50% health with their leap slams.

I've mostly avoided portal scumming and in the final fight, I was happy to not have needed to use a portal even once. I also didn't check out YouTube videos nor did I follow any existing builds. I have browsed this reddit quite a bit and read the wiki to get some ideas about skill synergies and to get a better understanding about the game mechanics. I also did check out some boss mechanics from the wiki. For example, some arcane mechanics I would definitely have otherwise missed include the Act 8 miniboss, Doedre the Vile, and the valve mechanic.

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In the end, I still wanted to feel like I achieved victory on my very own, following my own understanding of the game rather than a pre-existing build. Further, I also found that this may actually be an advantage for new players – a lot of existing builds seem to rely on specific items or very specific late-game passive skill tree combinations, that newer players do not have a quick access to.

Acts 1-10 were all very awesome content. The game definitely picked up in challenge and also in atmospheric quality in Act 5. I was very impressed by some boss fights in particular. For example, Act 6's The Brine King was a great experience. It was a very intense fight to go in not knowing what to expect. The VFX, sound and game designer team this game has really know how to work some immersion into boss encounters – my kudos to them.

I did, of course, have a bunch of characters die. Some of them include: – My 3rd or 4th character ended up dying to.. ..Fire Fury. That bastard must be a real bane of new HC players. – The Siren got me once. Without any cold resistance, those water tornadoes sure do some real damage. – My 2nd character, a Cyclone life leecher, ended up dying to Act 5 Kitava. Hitting Kitava with the Cyclone proved pretty tough. I ended up dying to the X Blast by dashing straight into the middle of it. Something that would have been avoidable if I had checked a YouTube video of the fight first. – My 1st character died right after to High Templar Avarius. I dashed straight into his ball lightning -like thing and ended up eating like half a dozen of those balls in one go. – A Soulrend energy shield leecher that I really liked ended up dying really dumbly. Everything was so easy I started to just skip ahead. In Aquaducts, I dashed straight into a group of blue vultures and they killed me in under a second. – Zero deaths after Act 5. I do feel that Act 5 is the hardest Act in the game, at least when you can't rely on existing gear and great low-level uniques.

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It was a blast. Now I'm looking to start mapping with my main and bring up a few other characters through the acts. I definitely want to try most of the build archetypes in the game.

Thanks for the game GGG, it's been fun!

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