Path of Exile

Random 0-10% higher base defense can be accomplished with less confusion using existing systems

Assuming we want to add heterogeneity into base types in the first place, I think the planned method of implementing it will add significant complexity for players, but add little actual value to the gearing process.

I've suggested some other options in vague order of preference which I think would be much easier to understand and use that would be mechanically similar or even equivalent.

From the manifesto:

Problem:
With the desire to increase Armour, Evasion and Energy Shield power across the board, we felt that the base values on items were too low. In addition, we feel that our item system needs more base type heterogeneity.

Solution:
Base Types are now generated with a random 0-10% higher base defence, as an inbuilt currently-non-modifiable property. This means that all base types can be better than they currently are, and armour base types are not homogeneous any more. Energy Shield values on base types instead vary from 0-20%.

I assume this means that some Tricornes will have 53 evasion, and others will just have 57, without the % modifier being expressed explicitly (as is the case with Quality).

Problems with this solution 🤔

  • It will now be very difficult to know at a glance how good an item base is. This applies when looking at items on the ground, in-game or third party trade, and in chat. E.g. a friend links a white Vaal Regalia with 186 ES – is that good? I'd have to look it up and get back to you.
  • In-game item filters and filters in trade will be awkward. Going to the trade site and looking for an ES armor in the top 15% range again means knowing this range and entering it manually. This is not only painful, but also makes it hard to look for multiple bases simultaneously (what if I'm ok with either Vaal Regalia or Occ. Vestments?). Neversink and other filter makers are also going to have a lot of work to do.
  • The very similar system of Quality exacerbates the above problems. Does the value shown already include quality? Does this mean a 186ES Vaal Regalia with 10% Quality is worse than one with 0%? I'd probably want to pick up the 0% Quality item and not the 10% Quality item – but this is a lot to keep track of.

Alternative 1: add more base types

Don't do this scaling factor, just add new base types instead. Add a new Protovaal Regalia with 10% more ES, an Eldritch Robes at 20% more, and additional ones between if you want. These are visually distinct, easy to filter and recognise easily, and have good style and lore benefits. I suspect we have enough base types through the campaign, so no need to add anything there.

Alternative 2: make this Quality instead

Take this opportunity to rework the existing quality system. Currently Armourer's Scraps are so cheap that everyone just 20%s everything they wear with essentially zero investment. So, remove the existing Quality system by buffing all defenses on gear by 20% and removing Armourer's Scraps from the game. Now you can repurpose it by having ES gear drop with 0-20% unmodifiable Quality, and other gear gets 0-10% unmodifiable Quality. This is now easy to understand, easy to filter and recognise. Also 20 less clicks per equipped item.

This gets tricky with hybrid gear, and you'd need to look at knock-on effects in Betrayal crafts, and should re-assess how fusing chances are impacted by quality, but I'm sure it's do-able. Could even do the same thing with weapons if you want.

Alternative 3: express this unmodifable defenses increase as a %

Most of the problems here come from the boosted base defenses are hard to read at a glance, since each armour base has a different range. This would be massively alleviated by just listing the % boost and giving it a name – so it would be a Vaal Regalia with 16% Weight (unmodifiable) and 20% Quality (modifable). It's very clunky having two very similar but distinct stats, but so much better from a usability perspective.

Alternative 4: apply this increase to %ES mods

I know you said you wanted more heterogeniety on the bases, and this doesn't strictly accomplish that. However, most gear worth wearing will have a % boost on it, so folding in this buff and varaibility into ES mods would have a similar effect in practice. The community already needs to know how to read mods, and understand mod tiers, so this making the change here would be much easier to use.

Alternative 5: don't

Just apply the average buff, and don't increase heterogeniety. You say that adding heterogenity in item bases would improve the game, and I'm usually inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I currently don't think any benefit from that is worth dealing with the three problems I mentioned above. Maybe I just need the value of heterogeniety explained to me, but for the moment if you don't address the usability problems with it then I'd rather pass for now.

—-

I hope this helps and was constructive. I'm genuinely very excited about the changes to the game, and happy you're taking on feedback in this way.

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