Path of Exile

The Harvest mechanic and my road to lvl100 HCSSF. (WARNING – Long read)

Ritual League:

After approximately 4900 hours played, I was finally able to reach lvl100 in the HCSSF Ritual League for the first time. Ritual was a great league for me. Even though I started a month late due to traveling, I very much enjoyed Ritual league for the 2 full months that I was able to play. The new changes to the atlas were fantastic and the league mechanic itself was simple and decent in terms of rewards, especially in the early game. But what truly made the league great for me were the Harvest changes and implementation.

As someone who only plays SSF, most leagues go as follows; I try out a new skill (in this case Reap), I get to late red maps and depending on the strength of said new skills, I make several other characters somewhere in the range of 90-97. That is usually where the fun stops for me (Or I die). I don't really enjoy mindlessly grinding maps to 100, because other than reaching lvl100, what is the goal? Crafting incredible gear simply isn't possible in SSF without ungodly amounts of luck. Until we got Harvest.

Harvest gave me a goal, a purpose. No longer was I just grinding maps for the sake of it. I was grinding maps to make items that would increase the strength of my character beyond what was normally possible for me ever before. Even though I knew it would take me a very long time and a lot of maps, it didn't matter to me. I knew that as long as I put in the effort, I would be able to finish the gear that I wanted for my character. Gear that I usually only saw in Standard owned by the top players. It took me 2 months and 3 deaths to complete my character. And I didn't stop playing when the league was over. I continued on in Standard to try and create items for a different build that I had in mind. Needless to say, I have never enjoyed playing Path of Exile as much as I had during these 2 months of Ritual League. We have also had a record high of lvl100's in our guild during the Ritual League and several people with 2 or more.

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For me, almost unlimited character progression is what makes ARPG's enjoyable. Especially so due to the insane depth that PoE has, but it has to be achievable. I don't mind RNG at all, but it has to be balanced in a way that over a realistic sample size, you will be able to get what you want. Harvest was perfectly balanced for this. It was RNG upon RNG upon RNG; Find a Harvest>Get the crafts that you want (ex. aug life>Hit the desired mod on your item. But it was achievable! I knew that as long as I played enough maps, the RNG would even out. And it did.

The current league:

With the huge nerfs to Harvest, master missions, skills and more, alongside very few buffs, I don't see myself having a long term goal this league, which is unfortunate. I'm still happily playing the game at the moment, but I don't see myself playing nearly as much as I did in Ritual. I really think GGG should reconsider their stance on Harvest especially. After all, don't we all play PoE for enjoyment? And don't we all come back for every league even without Harvest? If anything, I think that leaving Harvest the way it was in Ritual will only get people to play longer and have a more enjoyable time. In any case, I hope you all have a good time in Ultimatum.

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Link to my character if you're curious: View Profile – Path of Exile – Anscendant

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