For those that have played the beta, would you mind sharing what you feel needs work? I have a hard time trying to list out all about the game that irks me, but somehow when i'm in the middle of playing the game I constantly come across these "oh I hate that ..." moments. I'd like to send this to Chris at GGG once everyone here has a chance to contribute. I'm reluctant to post something like this on the PoE forums for fear of getting flamed. I'll start by listing a few of my top gripes...
1. Loot: all the gear is pretty much ugly looking. It's here where I think PoE fails the most as an arpg where the core focus of the game is the collection and wearing of loot. You want your character to look like a bad ass as you level up. Currently, there isn't anything different or cool about how you look at level 60 compared to level 10.Suggestion:I know that Chris had mentioned in recent interview this month that they tried early on to incorporate pants and shoulder armor as slots in the game and then nixed them due to the itemization issues it had with diluting the other stats on current slotted items. While I can forgive the inclusion of pants as long as the late-game chest armor displays a matching pair of pants on your avatar accordingly, shoulder armor seems like it would be a no-brainer! Shoulder and helms are often the most visually compelling aspects to an arpg character, right next to weapons. I'd also love GGG to reconsider including set pieces - I know that Chris has said they worried people would just hold onto sets because of the set-piece bonus and not upgrade their gear. While this may be true, you can always make it compelling by introducing...better gear...better sets. Make them super rare to find so that not every Tom, Dick, and Harry can compile them.
2. Classes: There is practically no meaningful difference between the five classes aside from how they look. Choosing one of the five classes should have an immediate meaningful impact for the player. Right now, it doesn't matter if you choose a templar or a witch - they both can do pretty much the exact same tasks. Same goes for the ranger and duelist. There should be class specific abilities, perhaps a cooldown abilities, anything. I think the onus is on GGG to present these classes and set them apart from one another so that the player can instantly differentiate between them when deciding on a broad type of play style. The color affinity magic the gathering thing is neat, but it's shallow on it's own.Suggestion:Class defining passives that are ONLY available for that class. You could have them appear as locked circles around your class starting icon on the passive tree and they could be unlocked at specific level intervals (10, 30, 60, whatever). Another way would be to have class specific quests that are made available to you at specific levels in the game - completing these quests would reward the player some traits/skills/spells unique to that class.
3. The Passive Skill Tree: For all it does well, I still think it fails in giving the player true choice. There is an illusion of choice to the skill tree when in reality there are very few builds that are viable in end-game Chaos difficulty. The skills are also skewed so far around the tree that it becomes hard to track down what passives you need, where they are, and how you can get to them (try making a pure cold spell caster for example). Also, the keystones leave a lot to be desired. Very few are all that compelling, others are purely op (hello Avatar of Fire...I smell a nerf coming your way).Suggestion:First, I think the areas for spell types should be color coded, including the lines connecting the nodes, so that the player can see where the clusters of fire/frost/shock/chaos skills are around the tree easily. A cluster of +cold dmg skills should be blue with a blue line between them. Secondly, why not give the player more than one option when selecting a keystone? Take Avatar of Fire for example: you could change that keystone to read "Avatar of the Elements" and then when chosen, the player would have 3 additional sub-passive nodes where they would need to choose one ( of fire, of frost, of lightning) - this would give players a variety of options just within that one keystone. Next, you could further help to distinguish the classes from one another by seperating their start areas away from one another. While I don't think this mock-up of the skill tree done by a beta test is necessarily better, (as shown here), I do think that if you moved the classes farther away to opposing ends from one another, it could help solve the current lack of distinction/uniqueness in the classes.
4. The environments: The first two acts are very brown, green, and dull. I hope that later acts are visually compelling and very different in their color palettes.Suggestion:I'm going to abstain from this until Act 3 is released. I don't know how much of this issue is more due to the fact that I've been playing the same 2 acts since September last year and am just sick of them. I'm hoping for some snow filled drifts where you leave your foot prints in the snow as you run through it - perhaps some elegant temples/city work. GGG did a fabulous job on the Chamber of Sin and Church Dungeons (two of my favorite indoor areas) so I know what they can do. I'd love some contrast to the current bleakness that is most of Act 1 & 2.
5. The story: I want to know why these 5 classes have been exiled to Wraeclast. If you look at the map for Act 1, you can see an island called Theopolis off the shoreline...is this where they came from? I don't need an epic saga, but a couple quirps about the who and why would be great. Furthermore, I want to know why there is a plague of undead zombies, who is Merveil, and why I should care about killing her. Also, the entire second act with the bandits just feels very thrown together and disjointed. It reminds me of Lost - all that's missing is a giant smoke monster emerging from the Dark Alter at the end of Act 2.
6. Inventory management: Loot tetris is so 1996. I really wish they would adopt a more modern approach to how loot is stored in your inventory/stash - at least Diablo 3 got it right
.Suggestion: Get rid of lootris and go with a more efficient approach like what D3 did. You can reduce the amount of tabs/slots in the players inventory and stash to compensate if you're afraid it will give players far larger storage capacity - let people pay for more space later.
7. Accuracy: I can't tell you how much I despise the high percentage of missed melee strikes in this game. It almost seems over-punishing in how accuracy is calculated/works. Spell casters get off easy because spells never miss, you ALWAYS have a 100% spell hit. If GGG wanted to go all super realistic they should have made casters miss just as much as melee do. The problem here is that missing when you melee a mob just isn't fun - it's frustrating. Regardless of how "tactical" or "mathy" you're trying to make the combat, if your players feel like it's overly punitive and not fun, people will stop playing. Also, it becomes nigh impossible to accumulate +accuracy affixes or passive nodes when there are so many more important stats that you need to remain viable in end-game (life, mana, regen, energy shield, armor, +ele dmg/phys dmg, evasion, atk speed, etc, etc). You cannot simply accrue enough of all the stats you need for your build to remain relevant in merciless/chaos. My frost templar, for example, has nearly a 25% chance to miss with hits. If I don't grab all the +cold passives on the skill tree my spells won't kill mobs regardless. However, my glacial hammer misses way too much when i'm trying to melee a boss/elite mob - like over 1/4th of my hits are misses. Fail.Suggestion:Perhaps have all weapons have an automatic +accuracy modifier on them - higher lvl weapons would afford more accuracy. Or, strip the mechanic completely from the game. Another idea - instead of flat out misses, why not have the melee strikes that don't connect deal a glancing blow that only deals a percentage of the total melee dmg? This way, the player still "feels" like they're fighting, still feels like their melee swings are connecting. It's so lame to have a string of 3 or more continuous misses - sometimes I never know whether it's a miss or if I'm hitting a lag spike in the server. Another idea: cap chance to miss at a reasonably low percentage, say 10%. Accuracy and melee miss just feels more of an MMO mechanic. The reason it WORKS in an MMO is because you don't have the RNG you have with loot drops in Poe - you could go days, if not weeks, without finding an item that has all the stats you need to stay viable PLUS a decent amount of accuracy so you don't continually miss with melee strikes.
8. Party xp rates lower than when you solo: As pointed by Doom, this is clearly not working as intended (we hope). Hopefully it's already been addressed and patched for a future update, otherwise it's another punitive mechanic that will make players think twice before partying with someone else.
9. Loot drops: I know that GGG is a big fan of how the loot drops currently work in PoE - Chris has said (somewhere) that they like the kind of panicky feel it creates among party members to race to pick up the loot the fastest (i'm paraphrasing majorly here, so apologies if I'm putting words in people's mouths, but that was what I gleaned from an interview I heard/read awhile back). The reason this fails is because personalized loot drops are a far easier, party-friendly approach. Much like how the newer and upcoming ARPGs have gotten away from the old habits of "potion spamming", they've also ditched the idea of having party members fight and/or ninja loot the drops that occur during multi-player games. If an orb drops, you can damn well bet that someone is going to loot it as fast as possible. It's happened to me hundreds of times over now - it's one of the reasons I don't play with strangers anymore, having had way too many items get ninja'd out from under me. I think this is an archaic game design that needs to be done away with. TL2 and D3 have already adopted to the times and I hope PoE does as well.Suggestion:Make loot drop individual for each party member. If they're concerned with having x amount of increases in items since everyone is getting their own unique drops, you can solve this by implementing some clever and steep currency sinks. That, or make the more rare orbs (such as alchemy) be bound to your account/stash, and not tradeable with other players.
A listing of issues from Wolfmane here on the forums:
Here's my list of negatives, in no particular order ranging from fundamental ideas to beta-is-beta:
Gems don't auto-level.
The inventory. There's not enough space and it's lootris without being nice enough to give you an auto-organize feature.
The abilities aren't very exciting to use. Gems and gem levels just aren't very dynamic. +2% physical damage increase to Dual Strike on a level up, wooooo. Elemental attack modifiers are underwhelming. I thought fire damage should ignite my targets on fire more often then it does. I regularly utilized only two skills for the majority of my game play.
There is very little mob variety.
Unique mobs have too many modifiers without actually doing anything interesting.
The combat doesn't feel right. It's heavily split between being too easy and being overwhelming. It lulled me into a false sense of security until I ran into something major at which point I would have to furiously kite and chug potions. I didn't take much in the way of damage from just rolling around the zones killing stuff until I hit a pack of unique or rare mob spawns at which point they'd usually take huge gobs of my life off very very quickly. I died twice. Once because I was doing a quest turn in and took my hands off the keyboard for a moment. Turns out the quest giver goes hostile on you and spawns a bunch of minions. I was dead before I realized I was in danger of needing to pot. The second time was because I was trying to push combat with a unique spawn without drinking a pot as an experiment.
No passive life regeneration without an item or passive skill. The values of life regeneration on items felt excessive.
Fixed zoom level.
The zone map overlays the main screen and you can't change it to be a mini-map in a corner of the screen. In some of the dungeons the map representation is unnecessarily cluttered, giving it a fuzzy look.
Not being able to use the Cleave skill with claw weapons.
Requiring passive skill selections in flat stat increases in order to meet item requirements.
Cramped town zones.
Not being able to see the stash because of other players camped out on it.
Objects and mobs being hidden behind non-transparent terrain.
The passive skill system is just a bit too much. I'm interested in the big button passive skills and the rest is just grind-fest bulk filler that I have to wade through to get something cool. It's like having to eat peas before getting to the ice cream (I don't like peas).
Targeting or mob selection is a little off. There were times using a bow where I had a target highlighted and a clear line of sight but I wouldn't be able to hit it. I would hit near it or right next to it but not actually on it.
Requiring Intelligence to use claw weapons.
Needs more particle effects. Not too much more, there's a fine balance in getting the right amount but I felt the game is under particle'd at the moment.