Path of Exile players are getting too good at farming. That's the issue at the heart of PoE's latest design manifesto, in which Grinding Gear Games' Chris Wilson said he was "concerned by how deterministic some Harvest Crafts are and how easily players can craft near-perfect items." The 3.14.0 patch coming in April will address that, and Wilson explained exactly how that would work.
The initial goal for the Harvest League was that you'd be able to craft items during the leveling process. It was a "very powerful crafting system" that worked for a limited league, but its implementation into the main game would result in "some ridiculous items." As such, GGG decided to make the best results very rare results.
With so many people playing, however, and playing a lot, those "rare" items were still "pretty common," making other parts of the game "obsolete." Additionally, the vast amounts of crafting materials led to some players being "overwhelmed to get so many crafting options."
As a result, 3.14.0 will make five core changes to Harvest mechanics, and Wilson doesn't mince words: "The first three are direct nerfs to Harvest, and the second two are improvements."
Reaction to the changes have been less than positive however, with just the second page bringing up comments like "this is, in short, a brick" and "Congratulations on ruining one of the very few things that you have done in the last several years to have a near unanimously positive reception."
There are positive comments to be found as well (look at page 4), and there are nearly 400 pages of comments in total, so this is definitely something that GGG will need to keep an eye on to determine how much it needs to balance keeping its players happy with ... well, balancing the game.
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Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.More Stories by Jason Winter