SET FREE THE ASCENDANCY POINTS (or rework the lab) [New ascension methods/lab rework ideas]

I understand GGG has put a lot of effort on the expansion and what im asking is too much, but ascendancy points should be freed from the labyrinth's tyranny. In no way im asking for ascendancy points to be completely free but freed from labyrinth playstyle, meaning that GGG can put them as rewards for someting else.

I) For starters its the first time in an expansion that GGG gated such content. With "such" i mean immaterial content aka the ascendancy points that feel way too important, personal and flavourful for character customization, thus making the first non-optional expansion. After all this is an ARPG game where min-maxing and character creation/optimization matter a ton.

II) Even though gating is a dick move, its sometimes needed to make something feel more important. What is the problem though here is that GGG decided that the gate is a completely different game inside PoE. A series and combination of 80' arcade games with 90' action-adventure, aka Indiana Jones meet PoE meet Contra. This has the negative effect of alienating many players who feel excluded from this expansion because they do not find that - obviously different - playstyle fun and/or engaging. PoE can have experimental content, thats fine from and for everyone, but gating something so important behind that is a dumb move from the company

III) Guess what? there is more. GGG labeled the labyrinth as hard, difficult, skill-based content that will prove to be an alternate end-game. Well they couldnt be more wrong. First of all there is no difficulty issue whatsover, maybe some feel izaro is overtuned for his level but thats easily countered with overleveling or knowing the game mechanics. Second the only skill that someone needs, is to know how to press quicksilver pots or use movement skills. Wait, see pattern of the trap, quicksilver pull lever, and level cleared (just like playing hardcore mario).

IV) But it gets worse. In a game like PoE where the skill tree and character creation is the main attraction surely people's choices must be (and are) very important. Well... labyrinth and especially traps say TO HELL WITH YOUR CHOICES, if x person used 50points on his basic skill tree to get hp and armour while y player used 20 points for hp and armour, regarding traps the person with the less hp has actually an easier time in case he gets hit by a trap. WHAT???? How is that possible you may ask, well its easy, healing pots restore higher percentage to the player with the less flat hp pool. Yeah that happens, and its even worse for certain hybrid or pure ES characters. Ofcourse one's players damage and movement choices are unaffected by the labyrinth. So traps ignore and negate specific mechanics while they allow others to trivilize them.So yeah very well thought and fair system.. not.

V) Its pretty obvious that the labyrinth is dividing the community and for a lot of right reasons. If we take into account PoE's notorius performance issues the matter gets even worse. A dc inside the labyrinth means either death for HC or restart from the start for SC and HC. A crash means the same thing. A fps spike means the same etc.

So what im suggesting here is for GGG to consider at some point to remove the ascendancy points from labyrinth. Not make them completely free, but remove that tedious, frustrating and unfun playstyle as a requirement to acquire them. There have been suggestions about the matter both in this as well as other similar threads, and its up to GGG to decide how and where Ascendancy Points might fit without causing so much discord.




UPDATE : Its been a while now and GGG has announcent the 4th labyrinth. Nothing has changed though regarding our goal. Everything said here still applies for every labyrinth level (normal,cruel,mercilless,maps). They actually had the "brilliant" idea to implement even more arcade/platform content (pictures added in the "deeper analysis and proof spoiler II)

UPDATE II : My original suggestion still stands as i believe it the easiest to implement (money/time/effort-wise) and its true to GGG's long history of adding new content. Its also the one that will affect the least (in any negative way) lab lovers and most (in a positive way) the lab haters, or more simple its a win-win-win situation (haters-lovers-GGG). On point, i came to realise that many of the suggestions made here are not about different ways of ascending but labyrinth re-make ideas that will make it more approachable and fun and less tedious for people who hate the current labyrinth playstyle or other issues the labyrinth presents, and the sad truth is that many people dont realise that just by reading the thread title and the spoilers.

So in the spirit of what i said i believe its appropriate if the suggestions were actually divided to two categories, the one that already exists and a new one called "labyrinth rework ideas". The purpose of that is to share everyones problem with the labyrinth and give ideas to GGG how it can be more enjoyable or at least a more tolerable experience.

UPDATE III : Thanks to gibbousmoon for the part that will follow, he made a very nice post regarding the main issues/objections people have with the labyrinth, gathered from posts all over the forum. This can be considered as an extended thorough analysis of some of the starting facts stated above in the main text body. Im including this for people to understand better what many of our problems are and not ignorantly assume we all want free stuff as well as for others to find it easier to express what their issues are with it. Comments in italic are some extra observations.

Lab Issues Breakdown
a) Objections to the trap gameplay per se. If you think traps of this nature don't belong in PoE because it is too harsh a departure from the existing gameplay, if you think traps of this nature don't belong in any game that is a D2 successor, if you think traps of this nature don't belong in any game subject to network hiccups, or if you think traps of this nature don't belong with a mouse+keyboard control scheme, your objection probably fits in this category.

b) Objections to the non-optional nature of the content. If you think AC points make this content a de facto mandatory part of the game, and you think it should be optional to the same extent other non-expansion additions to the game are optional, your objection probably fits in this category.

c) Objections to the reward structure. If you run the labyrinth despite hating it, believe that content should be intrinsically fun, your objection probably fits in this category.

d) Objections to GGG's approach and implementation. If you think a divided, toxic community is an unhealthy community, and that the labyrinth as it is currently implemented is causing exactly that, your objection probably fits in this category.
-This specific one is very crucial and somewhat new part to why the labyrinth as it is currently causes discord. Might not seem like a big issue, but dividing the community to that point only causes problems.

e) Objection to the difficulty of the traps and/or labyrinth. If you think the traps and/or Izaro encounters are too difficult and should be nerfed, your objection probably fits in this category.
-Mostly an issue relative to new players and the problems they have with the labyrinth. It might not be a big one but its definately there

The utopian scenario would be for GGG to adress every single objection, doing so might raise other issues (which we might be able or not to predict) but in general if the majority of those were solved then the labyrinth would might even be inviting and interesting for the rest of us. For example a mistake GGG made was adding crazy amounts of rewards like they did in the endgame labyrinth, making those who were already running the labyrinth even more happy (and rich in the process), without adressing the core issues of the lab and why the average player does not want to run it. Notice that i dont mind the rewards being as extravagant as they are in the endgame labyrinth, but people play for fun, Ithaka is just the end, the journey to it is what matters most. In other words they just put a bigger reward for eating shit, without taking the time to transmute the shit into pasta or meat. From the same point of view, if GGG for example was to remove completely the Ascendancy points from the labyrinth as by my initial request, that would still not be the best solution (even if it is definately the most easy solution, time and money-wise, and would definately shut down many complaints), in other words that would be like leaving the shit there forever to stink, ignoring it because part of the issue is no longer linked to it.

It would be sweet if people who want to be involved in a constructive conversation would refer to the point they wished to discuss/analyze/rebuttal.



Update IV : So today (25/1/2017) 14months after the introduction of the lab (!) there was an announcement about it that was quite interesting on its own besides being their first take on lab! The announcement is about Dan and Josiah's take on labyrinth and what worked/didnt while they were making it.(not how it was received or what stats they have or anything of huge importance really, just a powerpoint presentation)

25/12/2017 news analysis
The presentation amongst other things mentions :

- The Prison had some of the earliest gauntlets we designed. This one is affectionately nicknamed the "Frogger" gauntlet.
- Very Different from our usual content
- Traps deal percentage damage so that is equal for ALL
- We expect movement skill but can not require players to use them
- Normal PoE combat only sometimes plays well with traps, we insulate monsters a bit from trap zones
- The Labyrinth isn't universally beloved content and there are things we'd do differently knowing what we know now

And as some kind of conclusion

-Know the limitations of your game : Our constraints aren't the same as your constraints
-Know your players' capabilities and playstyles : How does the weakest player fare? How does the strongest?
-Watch how people play and listen to their Feedback : Target any added difficulty at the most
powerful playstyles

Amongst those points they also decided to put some pictures in it, one of their choices was Prince of Persia (yes the original game i also mention in the opening post in one of the spoilers) plus from the Super Metroid another (absolutely amazing) arcade 90's game.

So first things first, now the rest of you lot (yes you) can understand what we mean by DIFFERENT gameplay inspired and in some cases copy pasted from ARCADE games with run&jump mechanics only. They literally are paying tribute to 80 and 90 arcade games.

The idea of everyone is the same regarding the damage that takes from traps is arcade in nature too. Your choices in defences DONT MATTER in an ARPG? Since when? Thats ok though since the lab isnt an ARPG is it? Its a game inside another game.

Without movement skills some gauntles are literally IMPOSSIBLE to pass without getting hit. Not very bright design.

And since lab has nothing to do with normal poe combat lets put monsters after a gauntlet for fask refil.

And then comes the conclusion, the only on that matters from the three, the first one, since both the 2nd and the 3rd are the company's approach to the game balancing and reworking.

Know the limitations of your game : Our constraints aren't the same as your constraints

Dear GGG, fortunately we know our limitations, and lab aint even close to what we consider barely possible. It is not even a part of the game we want to see removed, we are happy you choose to go in different ways and copied pasted 80's games, we grew up with those games. We are happy some of your players have the chance to have a taste of frogger and contra and prince of persia. You speak of limitations and constraints but you put those in your game for literally no apparent reason, why force players to experience a totally different kind of game just to optimize their character? What would be SO gamebreaking if there were other options to gain those points and lab was just another optional content, which by the way is the most rewarding in the game as well and people still dont do it in the levels/quantity you though so. You put an arcade gate to an arpg core characteristic, and a boring and allienating gate as well, that takes some commitment.

Maybe - since SSF will be a thing after 3-4 years of forum spamming - we can also hope in 2020 that there will be some consideration to the things mentioned in the OP or even straight up put some of those suggestions in the game. There is nothing wrong with more options, is there?

Anyway glad to see at least something regarding the labyrinth even at that minimum scale, which by the way totally confirms paragraphs II, III and IV above, making them completely solid/legit for the people around here who like to bash and crap all over the legitimacy of our complaints.





Alternative Ascension Methods
Every suggestion made (and i could find) in the forums that is in line with the opening post will be mentioned a analyzed a bit here. Suggestions will be in bold, credits and analysis below the suggestion.

I) Every character ascents at specific levels. For example 30-50-70-90 or 35-55-75-95 which are the levels anyway people usually try the labs in each difficulty. Numbers ofcourse can be changed as GGG sees fit . *Since the endgame lab was introduced another way could be used : at level 20 gain 1 ascendancy point, every 10 levels after that you get another one, up to a total of 8 at level 90
-Regulator, *Prebornfetus

This is the only suggestion that goes 100% in line with every other expansion GGG ever released. No gating, free for everyone (like jewel system in the tree) and gratuitous power creeping. Of course making it completely free means that ascension will be just a super OP upgrade to your character without having to do anything for it (like leveling but way more powerful) and will certainly make ascension feel less rewarding.

II) AC points are also (meaning labyrinth as it is still awards them) awarded from a standalone fight with Izaro. We fight him in 3* stages as it is now but without having to run the labyrinth and the trials (traps, golden doors, puzzles etc) before hand. He awards nothing but AC points, he drops no loot, there is no enchant option and no treasure chests/keys. You cannot party there (only solo). No way to cheese it. *The stages can be increased to make the whole fight harder
-Regulator, *Turtledove

In that way AC are still gated but now behind the usual playstyle and not that of arcade games. It keeps the lore and the harder part of the whole labyrinth experience intact.

III) AC points are also are rewarded after killing Malachai in each difficulty. Labyrinth remains the same. *Since the endgame lab was introduced the whole process could be : 2 points each after Dominus kill and 2 points after completing merciless difficulty. *Since the game will now have 10 acts in could be that the points are rewarded from specific bosses up to act 10 final boss
-Regulator, *Prebornfetus

Upsides of this suggestion include: Malachai now has a reward linked to him, gated behind the usual playstyle, its harder to get. Downside : Lore

IV) Combine II and III. You must kill malachai to gain access to a standalone Izaro fight. Izaro rewards only AC points (no drops, no enchants, nothing at all), has 3 stages, and he is harder too kill/buffed. No party allowed inside Izaro fight. Labyrinth remains as it is now too *Look above for clarification since there will be 10 new acts
-EnjoyTheJourney, Pyrokar, Perq, Turtledove

Honestly the most balanced and win-win suggestion, with absolutely no downside but with many upsides. Malachai has a reward linked to him and Merciless one has a purpose. Lore stays almost 100% intact. Still gated but behind normal PoE (hack and slash/arpg) playstyle (no arcade game silliness). Its way harder to get now providing a challenge.

V) Ascendancy Points could also (labyrinth stays as is) be bought from Cadiro with coins 3k normal - 6k cruel - 9k merciless - 12k endgame
-AllanonTB

AC points become tradable and thus easier to get, soft gate behind currency/coin farming. Lore issues. Cadiro is going away so no coins after this league. Generally not a very well though idea.

VI) New currency : Ascendancy Orb (i dont remember details on this one so ill suggest), rarity same as divines can drop only in red maps, izaro has 25%/50%/75%/100% chance to drop 1 (max) in each difficulty. It can work as 1 ascendancy point respec too. Labyrinthh stays as it is now.
-Unknown, Regulator

Lore and labyrinth upsides stay intact. You can have early access to AC points or wait until 70+ maps and be lucky enought to get Ascendancy Orbs to drop. It gives another reward to lab runners that they can trade afterwards for more profit. Downsides include : the current labyrinth downsides, gating behind rng + arcade playstyle. A solid suggestion too.

VII) Trials by combat. Labyrinth remains as it is now (with all the rewards). A new area is created. The new area might resemble fighting pits/gladiatorial arenas/ but can be anything really, from random wilderness, to a dungeon, to "cinematic" high society illegal fighting setting (like the race event descent champion crowd watching). Opponents would be exiles/warbands kind of enemies from the current pool or even better from a new extended one. There would be 3 stages of Izaro fight like now, before each stage you have to win in a battle versus those opponents. Each fight gets progressively more difficult than the previous, for examble in the first stage there might be 10exiles that not only fight against you but against each other, the second stage the exiles become warband members and they team up against you etc.
-EnjoyTheJourney

A refreshing and fun alternative. It fits the Emperor Izaro theme (loosely based on roman emperors and cretan king Minos) and not only keeps current lore intact but enhances it. Absolutely no downside since even the playstyle resembles that of the rest of the game (ARPG/hack&slash). A very entertaining concept indeed that seems to adress almost every issue.

VIII)Account wide one time labyrinth completion after which other character gets ascendancy points as they complete entire acts.
-johnce6

A wonderful idea. Remove the tedious ordeal once and for all. Very similar to number I and III. Upsides: Simple, one time trouble, feels natural to ascend after you chance difficulty levels. Downsides : You still have to run the lab and the trials at least once.

IX)A prophecy chain - The Enlightened I, II, III. Completing the chain grants you 2 ascendancy points. Completing it more than four times for the 8 total ascendancy points grants you ascendancy respec points. Can only be activated after you hit lvl 75 and are in merciless. Common prophecy. You are not required to run the trials. Labyrinth also remains as it currently is with all its rewards.
The Enlightened Chain


- Izaro's Dream is exactly like the first stage of engame's labyrinth Izaro fight. When you are teleported you are sent to the plaza before his room. Area level 75. The prophecy is fullfilled when you kill Izaro.



-Izaro's Vision is exactly like the second stage of the endgame's labyrinth Izaro fight. When you are teleported you are sent to the plaza before his room. Area level 75. The prophecy is fullfilled when you kill Izaro.



-Izaro's Nightmare is exactly like the third and final stage of the endgame's labyrinth Izaro fight. When you are teleported you are sent to the plaza before his room. Area level 75. The prophecy is fullfilled when you kill Izaro.

Mechanics of the fights carry on to the second and third stage of the prophecy chain. Izaro doesnt Drop anything. Mechanics are not the same for all every day, they are completely random. Obviously you cant party. Every part of the prophecy chain costs 2 silver coins to seal it.

-Regulator

A similar idea to other suggestions but implemented in a different way that utilizes the new prophecy system that will probably stay in the game after the leagues. It adresses quite a few of the problems, and since the lab remains as it is, its not forced upon others. Its considerably harder to get the first 6points when compared to a normal/cruel/merci average lab and only slightly easier compared to the endgame lab because you dont to the trials. Ofcourse mechanics and requirements can change as GGG sees fit.

X)Ascendancy Divination Card drops are added to the game. The drop chance is global, but it is substantially higher in yellow maps and inside the labyrinth in each difficulty. Stack size is up to GGG. Each complete set grants 1 ascendancy point. Ofcourse the labyrinth remains as it is.
-Prebornfetus

A very solid and flavourful suggestion. It doesnt messes with lab runners and on top of that it also helps/incentivizes them even more cause there is a new tradeable item to farm. Since every lab in every difficulty has a higher chance to drop them, even low level characters or new players can join the hunt and farm them. I have to say that if this together with the ascendancy orb (VI) were to be implemented most people looking for getting a subclass only would be most happy.


XI) A special ascend event occurs each day. Completion of this would give 1 point. Possible events could be:
A. Kill 15 map bosses.
B. Sell 15 items with 6 sockets or five 5link item.
C. Gain a level.
Or anything else seriously, the possibilities are countless.
Labyrinth remains the same.

-Prebornfetus

What can i say, everything to make the ascencion medium better and more enjoyable is a step in the right direction, and this suggestions is exactly that. The events could even breath some life in the leagues and incentivize group play/player interaction. If we take that a step further by introducing high level master-like missions GGG implements without knowing some form of endgame activity too.

XII) Vendor Recipie for ascendancy points.
-Pyrokar

There are vendor recipies for respecing bandit quests and deleveling, why not making a new one for getting the ascendancy points? Depending on the ingridients needed this could prove a perfect case for extra player interaction and a trade stimulant. Ofcourse the current system remains as it is. A very nice way to skip the whole lamebyrinth via trade that already is a substitude for other similar things. A very nice suggestion

XIII) Ascendancy points are rewarded upon completing all the trials of each difficulty (map trials included). No longer rewarded inside the labyrinth. Secondary suggestion : Can be combined with VIII) or the current way where you once complete the trials per league you dont need to do it again thus completing the trials unlocks ascendancies for every character in the league
-Regulator

Though its not much different than the regime we currently have, since you know the forced alienating arcade gameplay is still there chocking us that option is something to indeed consider. Pros - much less mandatory labyrinth running, feels more natural to the base story and the progress through acts and leveling, less time spent on Frogger inside PoE, ideologically its right to get awarded those points before attempting to do the much "harder" main labyrinth with the hard boss - get prepared before the fight kinda of thing, can still be exploited/taken advantage of in a economical level (people can still offer carrying others through that shitty content), lore remains untouched, literally less than 5 minutes of work needed to implement this. Cons - still fucking mandatory frogger/mario/contra/indiana jones level inside poe.

XIV) Ascendancy Points can also be rewarded to the player by leveling or doing special quest for the Forsaken Master. Elreon for example is needed for the templar ascendancies, Haku for marauders, Vorici for shadows etc. To make it even more just and fair system cause master are easy to lvl up when doing rotations, you could impose a level requirement for the player too, so that the points are not all taken too early. For example to be able to take the first 2 points the player must be 40lvl and the corresponding master lvl 4, for the next two 55 and master lvl 6, for the other 2 lvl 75 and master 7 and for the last two player level 90 and master level 8. For scion the required master level should be less or even allow her to gain ascendancies with any master to depict her jack-of-all-trades nature. To make it even harder or time consuming the requirment could be to level two masters for each class. Ofcourse the points are still awarded inside the labyrinth too
-EnjoyTheJourney

Forsaken Masters have been in Wraeclast for a long time, they are veterans with a lot experience that can pass down their knowledge to the player if the players helps them. This creates an interesting master-appredice kinda scenario. From a time investment point of view leveling any master at 7 or 8 takes some time and that alternative lore-wise depicts the time needed for a player to fully understand the lessons taught by his teacher/master. A very interesting idea, an alternative that would surely give forsaken masters a more prestigious role supplementing the current system just fine.


XV)Players can fuse magical devices (new base items) with ascendancy knowledge. Those magical devices can be blank books/gems/scrolls or whatever and can be sold by NPC vendors for x amount of currency or be random drops (or lab/izaro only drops) or both. To fuse such an item one has only to reach the respective altar of ascension with the item in his inventory and choose to pass the ascendancy knowledge to it. No changes to the current system if you want to get the ascendancy points in the normal way.
-Toshis8

This idea serves a similar purpose to the Ascendancy Orb currency suggested a bit above though its unique enough to deserve its own slot. Positive change for the minority who likes doing lab since they can now sell the new items and the fusion itself, changes things in a very positive way for those who don't. New base items mean more tab sales for GGG. Tradeable items to increase the so much loved by GGG player interaction and aids to the trade-centric nature of the game. Classical negative at this point, you still have to do the trials, and adds nothing in a SSF environment.

XVI) Ascendancy points via beastcrafting. Argus is made a beast and serves as the main component his level determines the difficulty of the lab points you take (normal/cruel/merci/uber). The rest of the ingredients are the lab only creatures considered animals/beasts, who can be normal/magic/rare in nature with or without beast mods on them required. Each beastcrafting gives 1 ascendancy point, 2 fights for each difficulty in other words or 8 sets of ingredients
-Regulator

Do fights get rewarded. Simple and plain it will help immensely those who despise lab's alienating gameplay and in the progress make those lab farmers even more rich, win-win situation. It will make also normal/cruel/merci labs more meaningful to farm and all labs more rewarding to fully explore. The 8 times you got to do the fights in the arena are grindy enough and merci/uber argus plus some mobs in that small arena can be quite lethal too. Only negative is that beastcrafting might not be planned to be kept in the core game.

XVII) A combination of the above

Number four with number six could make for an awesome new experience for everyone for example. Give an extra incentive for lab runners (since merci izaro will drop Ascendancy Orbs for them to sell afterwards) and allow those who dislike current labyrinth playstyle to have a fun. Other combinations could work too. For example some of the suggestions share mechanics/ideas already but they are unique enough to stand on their own.


-Ill try to update this section if any new suggestion catches my eye. Also if you know who made suggestion VI please link me the thread it was made.


Labyrinth Rework Ideas



1) The labyrinth (izaro, layout, traps, reward room) remains the same. The traps in the labyrinth and the trials can be turned off/be deactivated. How would that work : every trap room has a puzzle that leads to a crank, solving the puzzle would allow you to use the crank and thus deactivate the traps in the room.
-Regulator, Casual_Ascent

What does this achieve? Removal of the arcade playstyle the current traps impose. Slower but more immersing playstyle closer to the RPG style. Since it wont change anything in the way traps work and the layout of the labyrinth, daily lab runners can still benefit from running the lab as fast as they do now, without taking into account the puzzle, so enchants farming and leaderboards racing remains the same. It literally has zero downside if implemented like this. Arcade playstyle for those who love the current trap system, RPG playstyle for those who dislike the arcade one. Another win-win solution. Izaro fights all remain the same. The reward room remains the same. No discrepancy between the two playstyle lovers, both sides get what they want in their preferred playstyle.

2) Remove the traps completely, make the labyrinth bigger with more mandatory puzzles/gold doors, keep the ascendancy points there.
-gibbousmoon

A solid suggestion that perfectly addresses paragraphs 3 and 5, while keeping lore almost intact. In addition it promotes no content skipping. The downside : many people like the arcade playstyle the traps offer and would definately be annoyed by a change like that. Furthermore if something like that was implemented and the labyrinth did indeed get bigger with more mandatory puzzles/gold doors, it would make enchantment system a million times more frustrating and boring than it is now.

3)Labyrinth and Izaro fights remain the same. The traps can be disabled in the start of a new labyrinth run. That can be done by implementing a character who wants currency/lab only uniques* for this service.
-Turtledove, *TheDeathX

In the spirit of suggestion (2), it addresses the exact same issues but without the downside that (2) has for lab farmers. Similar to (1) suggestion it provides with an option to eliminate the arcade playstyle, in exchange for currency. Seems a feasible option true to the "trading" spirit of core PoE. Overall a solid and definitely flavorful (a shady character disabling traps for you in exchange of payment is a nice touch seriously) suggestion that could even be used as a currency/unique item* sink for certain unused/unwanted orbs/and uniques* currently in the game.

4) Checkpoints/waypoints in every aspirant's trial plaza (the area with the stash). Portals opened inside the labyrinth can be joined from Sarn by other party members even if they didn't start the labyrinth from the beginning. Portals can only be opened in aspirant's trial areas. Players entering portals in that way forfeit every kind of reward (loot/treasure keys/enchantments) except ascendancy points. Players that open them but started the labyrinth from the beginning don't lose anything. Players that die or disconnect or simply get out of the labyrinth via a portal can choose to enter the labyrinth again and teleported to the most recent checkpoint/waypoint they activated or the portal they opened which will lead to the aspirants trial plaza. Doing so also forfeits every kind of reward except ascendancy points. Everything else remains the same. *Another way would be to spawn a tp (of course when Izaro is killed) near the ascendancy altar, that can be accessed by a player staying in the first lab room. That player can only gain ascendancy points and nothing else if he joins the tp.
-Regulator, *sucemab

An easy way to satisfy and solve many problems at once. First and more important people who for any reason disconnect or their game crashes can have the choice to at least somewhat continue their run to get the ascendancy points by forfeiting though every other reward. A fair trade that also refines the whole lab experience. Second, it gives the chance for people who cant/dont want/simply hate the labyrinth to get the ascendancy points and nothing else at all. Labyrinth runners now can sell their runs too so people can ascend. Since nothing else changes that can for the right price keep everyone happy.


5)Give every player who joins the labyrinth the choice between 2 ways of defeating the labyrinth. The current labyrinth and the arcade playstyle is one way, the other more classic and true to the core game.
explanatory image


-AceNightfire

Options, more are always better and this suggestion just proves it. A solid well thought one, addresses perfectly 3 of the 5 points made in the OP and makes the rest redundant. Since its optional it gives reason for all interested in the labyrinth and/or ascendancy points to run what they like. The only downside i can see is that extra work GGG needs to put to implement this.


6)Traps can be destroyed with damage from skills. That includes traps in every labyrinth as well as trials. The can be done in various ways, either traps have flat hp, or they need 2/3/4 hits each to destroy them, or depending on the difficulty players do % damage to them with skills. Implemented in the endgame lab in the form of sentinel traps
-sofocle10000, morbo

Similar to 1), instead of deactivating and putting more classical rpg elements in poe, it keeps the ARPG theme and you can smash and destroy the environmental obstacles. Sounds fun and at least its true to PoE original gameplay. A solid suggestion and a rather easy to be implemented. It also does not interfere with enchants farming neither racing since to destroy the traps it will take much more time than just jumping (or just passing) over them.

7)Traps lead to chest and other rewards, and non trap areas lead to Izaro.
-Deliverme

A nice idea that needs some balancing for the treasure keys acquisition mainly, but except that it seems like its a win-win for all. Those who run the lab for profit already get through obnoxious and borings traps anyway, while those who want to just get the ascendancy points will just go straight to Izaro fights.

8)Offerings to the Goddess can be used to alter the labyrinth experience

You can add one of these to apply a certain effect at the start. Max 3 uses wherever the effect can stack. The following effects can be chosen (examples can add more or tweak those):

- Reduce Izaro's health by 15% (lab tiers 1 through 3 only, disqualifies for Race)
- Increase Quantity by 20% per offering (can stack)
- Increase Quality by 10% per offering (can stack)
- Apply one random effect of a Darkshrine
- Apply a random Leaguestone effect that a Darkshrine cannot already apply (maybe random pick of 4 changed every week?)
- Can leave labyrinth without losing progress and returns this Offering on completion. (disqualifies for race)
- Remove one main area (disqualifies for Race, can stack). Using even one for this effect results in no gear enchant at the end, no treasure keys, and a cumulative -30 quantity and rarity on Izaro kill. Using 3 of them will result in Izaro only fights.

Offerings will drop rarely (at least as rare as Chaos) from Act 4 and on, more commonly in 10, and most commonly in maps though the increase would not be too significant. The chance for them to drop inside labyrinths is greater.

-CPTBRUMBL3Z

What can i say, even after so much time people can still come up with unique and very interesting ideas. This one enhances the labyrinth experience for all interested parties. You can make it more rewarding to run lab, you can make it require less time, or modify it so you only get the ascendancy points and be done with it. One of the best suggestions honestly, win-win situation that will make the lab a better experience for every single one. Modifying content to your liking (similar to leaguestones) is amazing and this suggestion is pure gold.


Stats
some stats for the second week of ascendancy

Maps 3,935,376
Merciless Dried Lake 1,188,825
Merciless Docks 732,380
Merciless Solaris 1 667,079
Merciless Labyrinth 235,415

Not including time in Hideouts and Town, the breakdown looks like this :

Normal 40.3575%
Cruel 20.4968%
Merciless 20.4086%
Maps 12.6867%
Labyrinth 6.0503%

Its only natural that the maps percentage and runs will go up as time passes, the same is supposed to happen for lab too. What if though the only reason lab has that "much" attendance is cause of the ascendancy points? they are obviously very strong and they are a reason to lure players to do the new experimental content. The right time to remove AC points from the labyrinth is when they implement the daily rewards for the fastest runners. Lets actually see what is the real percentage of people who are interested in the lab itself.


Deeper Analysis and Proof
I
"
Completed 5 ChallengesRegulator wrote:
For starters its the first time in an expansion that GGG gated such content. With "such" i mean immaterial content aka the ascendancy points that feel way too important, personal and flavorful for character customization, thus making the first non-optional expansion. After all this is an ARPG game where min-maxing and character creation/optimization matter a ton.


Path of Exile wiki - All the information about every expansion so far, in short, GGG has released 4 expansions so far

Sacrifice of the Vaal - Atziri gated items
Forsaken Masters - Masters gated item customization mechanic (crafts)
The Awakening - added Jewel sockets in the tree FOR EVERYONE, new CORE content, Lockstep
Ascendancy - Lab gated item customization mechanic (enchants), gated items (uniques + treasure chest), gated ASCENDANCY POINTS

Lead developer of GGG Chris Wilson also stated the non-optional nature of ascendancy expansion HERE (minute 39 and onwards of the linked video). In short he compared it to atziri and said how putting AC behind it made it instantly not optional.


II
"
Completed 5 ChallengesRegulator wrote:
Even though gating is a dick move, its sometimes needed to make something feel more important. What is the problem though here is that GGG decided that the gate is a completely different game inside PoE. A series and combination of 80' arcade games with 90' action-adventure, aka Indiana Jones meet PoE meet Contra. This has the negative effect of alienating many players who feel excluded from this expansion because they do not find that - obviously different - playstyle fun and/or engaging. PoE can have experimental content, that's fine from and for everyone, but gating something so important behind that is a dumb move from the company


Indiana Jones : Spike Trap
2:50:00 - Lava Floor
3:34:00 - Puzzle to progress
3:58:35 - Spike Trap
3:58:50 - Another Trap


Prince of Persia : Guillotine Trap(not currently in PoE)
10:23 - Timed Cranks
15:44 - Timed Cranks + Spike Traps
25:03 - Using Leap Slam to pass over Spike Traps

Go and check in each video the timestamps. The links might not work correctly but the timestamps are ok

"
Bex_GGG wrote:
There's also a new gauntlet type where you have to move a payload object on rails through an area.


PoE new gantlet type


Indiana Jones




III
"
Completed 5 ChallengesRegulator wrote:
Guess what? there is more. GGG labeled the labyrinth as hard, difficult, skill-based content that will prove to be an alternate end-game. Well they couldnt be more wrong. First of all there is no difficulty issue whatsover, maybe some feel izaro is overtuned for his level but thats easily countered with overleveling or knowing the game mechanics. Second the only skill that someone needs, is to know how to press quicksilver pots or use movement skills. Wait, see pattern of the trap, quicksilver pull lever, and level cleared (just like playing hardcore mario).


Path of Exile: Ascendancy (News Coverage)
You can check every video or article there to see the valitidy of my claims. If you do not have the time to do so, here are some quotes. Take into account how these quotes support also the previous truth.

"The Labyrinth is assembled as if it were a Roguelike game, Wilson said. According to Wilson, each Labyrinth run should take about 45 minutes to an hour"

"Path of Exile's free new Ascendancy expansion looks roguelike-like"

"The Labyrinth leans heavily on the new traps, with complicated patterns that remind me as much of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time"

"The labyrinth is a marathon of horrors, as players will need to set aside an average of 45-60 minutes to complete it. This will be one of the first additions that will introduce roguelike elements to Path of Exile"

Those were the initial estimations, but since you can fucking cheese your way through with quickisilvers, movement speed on gear and movement skills the time has gone down by a lot, to the point where people claim to do lab runs in under five minutes.


IV
"
Completed 5 ChallengesRegulator wrote:
But it gets worse. In a game like PoE where the skill tree and character creation is the main attraction surely people's choices must be (and are) very important. Well... labyrinth and especially traps say FUCK YOUR CHOICES, if x person used 50points on his basic skill tree to get hp and armour while y player used 20 points for hp and armour, regarding traps the person with the less hp has actually an easier time in case he gets hit by a trap. WHAT???? How is that possible you may ask, well its easy, healing pots restore higher percentage to the player with the less flat hp pool. Yeah that happens, and its even worse for certain hybrid or pure ES characters. Ofcourse one's players damage and movement choices are unaffected by the labyrinth. So traps ignore and negate specific mechanics while they allow others to trivilize them.So yeah very well thought and fair system.. not.


"
Vipermagi wrote:
Trap Damage is relative to your HP/ES, similar to Righteous Fire. No matter how much HP you have, standing in the middle of a trap like a doofus will get you killed in no time.


"
Vipermagi wrote:

Worth noting: most traps seem to deal Damage over Time, dealing more Damage the closer you are to the center of it.


I couldnt find more info on the matter (since you know GGG likes to keep things hidden) but those two quotes from the master Vipermagi are more than enough. Basically since most traps deal percentage damage over time, every skill point on the tree that is spend on armour,evasion,dodge,block, HP, ES amongst other things is rendered COMPLETELY USELESS. In contrary every movement speed node, damage node, HP regeneration node are not in any way affected. And ask youself that : What kind of foolish philosophy/design is that to completely disregard our character choices in an ARPG ?


V
"
Completed 5 ChallengesRegulator wrote:
Its pretty obvious that the labyrinth is dividing the community and for a lot of right reasons. If we take into account PoE's notorius performance issues the matter gets even worse.


That is not an argument directly for labyrinth but for the game in general, and since it happens that the mechanics of the lab are unforgiving it had to be mentioned. I do not believe anyone has anything to say against it. Recent news announcements and how they try to improve the game's performance is enough of evidence that the game sucks on that department.


General - Random Quotes
There are understandably those younger fellas/ladies that have no idea of games and their history and ofcourse they find the lab "refreshing". For the rest, older base of poe :













Thats what lab feels like, an annoyance, a game copy pasted from the golden age of arcades and implemented inside another COMPLETELY different game and playstyle, and on top of that IT IS THE PREREQUISITE to get MANDATORY character progression SKILLS, and on top of that the whole place IGNORES YOUR CHARACTER CHOICES in a fucking ARPG!.

Its quite difficult to say one game from another in some situations aint it?

GGG add alternatives, DONT PUNISH and DISRESPECT your players by putting allienating MANDATORY content inside the ARPG, we came here FOR THE ARPG POE NOT THE ARCADE XBOX CONSOLE ONE.

Labyrinth fits very well the console style of gaming, hmmm, interesting...


A poll regarding Labyrinth/Enchants/Acendancies

A poll regarding only the labyrinth

An even simpler way to see if you support a change or not is answering the following question :
How any addition/change/rework in the ascencion method - while keeping it as an option also in the labyrinth - will have any negative effect in anyone's gameplay/personal experience?

EDIT: Made title, OP and the suggestion more clear. Deeper analysis and proof supporting the suggestion. Added alternatives to ascend. Added labyrinth rework ideas. Link to a poll regarding the labyrinth/enchants/ascendancies. New link to a poll regarding labyrinth only.
Inundated with cockroaches, I am

https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1609216 - labyrinth rework ideas/suggestions
Last edited by Regulator on Apr 18, 2018, 11:36:07 PM
Last bumped on Nov 23, 2018, 5:04:29 AM
This will fall on a deaf ears I am afraid. People will just come and claim how they are not mandatory at all, how you can play the game the same way and beat it without them(even though doing so ignores almost the entirety of the so called "expansion") and how only the chosen ones can acquire them. So keep preaching.
Last edited by Johny_Snow on Mar 9, 2016, 4:17:14 AM
EDIT: No longer applies, as thread evolved immensely. There are quite good suggestions at this point.

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.
Builds - https://www.dropbox.com/s/g34poofo61g4fv4/Builds.txt?dl=0
https://joeduncan123.imgur.com
https://joeduncan1234.imgur.com
Last edited by Perq on Sep 12, 2016, 5:44:24 AM
"
Completed 9 ChallengesPerq wrote:
Also GGG, pls gib Shavronnes cuz I cna no do Low-life buld. And sum fri exultards. Pls ggg, pls.

Few months ago you had no Ascendancy points. Neither you could get God-tier items.
And now when we have Ascendancy, these points are mandatory, and you should get them for free, but items are not. What you fail to understand is that these points are rewards as much as items.

And if you get rewards for free, they are not rewards anymore. So no, giving them for free won't please everyone.


lol
IGN: I_NO
Supreme Ruler of the Walrus Clan
- ''Someone thinks I don't know shit about Dark souls LOL''
- ''Get him to challenge you to pve or pvp like our old leader did''
- ''I'm waiting for the challenge be on discord record this shit''
and 10 free exalts as well?

you (and your 4 friends that will undoubtedly join this thread in a minute) just cannot understand that now it is how it is

the time youve spent here whining for free stuff youd have completed lab 50 times (literally). if you do not like that gameplay - fine - do it only as many times as many ascendancy points you need

if you really cannot stand it - move on. if you cannot beat it (or it takes too long) - get better.

this expansion most probably is a sign of poe's 'more hardcore' change. chicken logout is no longer possible and a build has to be a 'build' not 'dps + logout'. i bet for many it is 'too hardcore' as the 'build is all about dps isnt it?'
"
Completed 9 ChallengesPerq wrote:
Also GGG, pls gib Shavronnes cuz I cna no do Low-life buld.

I know you are joking, but:

https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1608993
Face it, all of your suggestions are worse than this idea:
http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/657756
Last edited by dudiobugtron on Mar 9, 2016, 4:40:36 AM
Lets give everyone free unique items.
Lets give everyone free 6 links.
Lets give everyone free mirrored weapons.
Lets give everyone free leveled masters.
Lets give everyone free level 100.

I don't like RNG, skill or anything that requires anything to do with effort. The above requested stuff really needs to happen because I've spent over 1k supporting this game and I don't like some of these aspects of the game so I need it for free.


Just give me raw power for free, without buffing monsters because everyone is entitled to gain the benefits without putting forth the effort.


O wait that's just what OP is saying not what I really think:

No
https://youtu.be/T9kygXtkh10?t=285

FeelsBadMan

I will not rest until fortify+pure movement skill no longer works. It has plagued this game for too long. (salt, salt everywhere)
No. You have to work for them. Thats why you play video games right? To work for no pay.
Nope Nope Nope, keep ascendancy points in the labyrinth. OP is missing the entire point of this expansion.

But why remove Ascendancy from the labyrinth? Doing this does not address the root of the problem: the labyrinth itself. Resolving issues with the labyrinth should resolve the need for you, the player to feel they shouldn't have to do it and instead feel that they want to do it.

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