As part of our news series where we share the backstories behind supporter's Divination Card designs, we spoke with Cryptc to learn about their card design for The Sigil.



Growing up, I had a fascination about different worlds, alternate histories and the stories of these places. From my dad reading me science fiction books as a child, later discovering Tolkien, Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying, and seeing how computer gaming evolved over the years to create increasingly complex experiences.

In my teenage years I played a lot of Diablo 1 and 2, which spoke to me on a deep level of both the interesting world it portrayed and the feeling of finding amazing items and developing your own character builds. I was extremely addicted to Diablo 2, to the point that it was affecting my life, but in the end I finally managed to quit the game completely and took an extended break from gaming for a few years where I focused on my personal life, education and career.

Later, once I was well established, I started returning to computer games as a hobby, mostly roleplaying and strategy games. Me and some of my friends started our own gaming server of a modded Neverwinter Nights 2 set in the Planescape campaign setting (one of my favorite D&D settings). It was a while into the life of this server that one of my friends told me about Path of Exile, which was in closed beta at the time. Path of Exile immediately awakened my nostalgia for Diablo 2, and after a few weeks hoping for a free beta key I ended up buying a supporter pack to try the game. I remember how impressed I was that I could actually inspect my character and look at my gear from the website itself, planning my skill tree during lunch breaks at work. I was hooked, and have been playing the game to varying degrees ever since.

When Divination cards were introduced I knew immediately that I wanted to design something meaningful for me to put into the game. I decided I wanted to make the card themed around the Planescape setting I love and that had been very important to me the last few years running the server based around it. I knew very early I wanted the card to be called "The Sigil", which is generic enough to work in any setting but also hints at the city of Sigil from Planescape. I made sure the flavour text also sprinkled in as many references to Planescape as possible. The "rule of threes", "gate", "ward", "faction", and even using the word "unravel" to indirectly reference Ravel from the Planescape Torment classic crpg. I did not directly influence the artwork decision for it, since I didn't want to pressure GGG to import aspects of another setting into their own world, so I was very pleasantly surprised when the art turned out to be very obviously inspired by the Lady of Pain from Planescape, making it far less subtle that the card was inspired by Planescape.

I submitted my card pretty early when divination cards were still a new thing, and their role in the game was still a bit unclear. This was around Tempest/Warbands league, and at the time both crafting and the game's meta were very different from how they are now. It was still a significant part of the game to play through the acts, and reaching maps was something that took some time, particularly in hardcore for someone like me who is at best a moderately skilled gamer. Energy shield builds in particular were very dependant on crafting decent gear while levelling, so I decided that it would be interesting to have some way to get an item to get a decent energy shield boost and have to finish crafting it yourself, so you might need to go through several attempts to make a decent one. I looked at all the different high level mods that could spawn for various items, and saw the top tier mod for amulets being 20-22% Energy Shield, and at ilevel 77 it was at the time something you'd not immediately have access to. My idea was that hopefully the card would be dropping from a late act in the campaign, letting you have some way to grind for an amulet that would push your energy shield high enough to start getting into maps. Unfortunately, the card instead dropped from Overgrown Shrine, making it much less useful than I had hoped. Overgrown Shrine has moved up and down in tiers over the years, but as the game has evolved, my card has become even less relevant. My hope is that one day it will be moved to drop before maps, and find some niche use for SSF players trying to get enough ES for harder content.

Interestingly, a while after my card came out there was one of the more major nerfs of energy shield in Path of Exile's history, and one of the mods that was entirely removed from the game was %ES to rings. I don't know for certain, but I did at the time think that my divination card might have been one reason why that mod was not removed from amulets too, as it would have required my card to be changed too. So in my mind at least the legacy of my card was that it nailed down an affix so that amulets would always be allowed to have it.
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Grinding Gear Games
great stuff. keep doing these posts!
I don't bother running Overgrown Shrine cause its a [removed by player] of a map, but thanks for the vendor card.

ohh I almost forgot, pug and all those other one word post responses.
LUL Stank Pug Chump Puggers ................... Soooo WEAK, soooo very weak LUL
I'm always interested in the stories of the cards that have become obsoleted by time somewhat.

Also agree this would be a great card to see moved to Act 9 or 10. If it dropped in Control Blocks or Bowels of the Beast, you might even see some people farm those zones.
Le Toucan Will Return
cool i guess
nice! very interesting
Thanks for stories!
Would love to see this series become the springboard for a larger discussion of Div cards in general and some of the really neglected mis-fires and poorly located or terrible drop rate examples in particular.

I know GGG needs to make money and "go backs" on every Div card in the game would cost them man hours but:

would it really be so bad to at least ask for feedback and review these cards?

This card should drop in acts at a rate high enough that yolo aug and regaling them by the half dozen should be a legit SSF strat... I've actually turned in two sets of these for the first time in 15,000 hours this league because Heist spits them out but I've literally never collected a set before, or even noticed that the card existed IN 15k HOURS thats ludicrous. Neither set augmented into anything interesting, because of course they didn't this is POE almost nothing ever augments into anything good and when they occasionally do they almost certainly wont regal into anything good, so why would this card be rare even back in the time it was added? The chances of this card being powerful is almost non-existent. You have to get lucky too many times for the card to be powerful without turning dozens of sets in at a time. An augment is almost always going to be garbage and the regal you would follow it with is almost always going to be garbage and the slam you might follow that with is almost always going to be garbage and... When you're an experienced player (unlike GGG's Devs) you realize this card could literally drop 2 or 3 per map and still not be powerful without also getting really lucky.

All respect to the creator of the card: if it dropped like they originally hoped it might; it could be a fun card to turn in a dozen or so sets after a night of mapping and MAYBE get lucky on an Aug and MAYBE get lucky on a regal, etc. The card is actually a cool idea: GGG's insistence on OVER-Rarifying is the only bad thing about this card.

There are so many cards that need a revamp or at least to drop at a rate that makes some sort of sense given their actual realistic value in the modern game. Between cards that USED to be powerful and needed to be rare (but no longer do) and cards like this that were really mismatched in their drop rate compared to practical value its a real mess out there.

(Just spent all day farming a div card that is stupidly over rare, for an item I could buy for 1 alch in trade)
Quadrupling the number of 0.00001% chance Boss encounters in the game while at the same time quadrupling the number of things you need to juggle (masters, leagues, splinters) is not a net increase in CONTENT; its a NET INCREASE IN CONTENT YOU NEVER GET TO DO
Last edited by alhazred70 on Nov 26, 2020, 12:12:10 AM
"
alhazred70 wrote:
Would love to see this series become the springboard for a larger discussion of Div cards in general and some of the really neglected mis-fires and poorly located or terrible drop rate examples in particular.

I know GGG needs to make money and "go backs" on every Div card in the game would cost them man hours but:

would it really be so bad to at least ask for feedback and review these cards?

This card should drop in acts at a rate high enough that yolo aug and regaling them by the half dozen should be a legit SSF strat... I've actually turned in two sets of these for the first time in 15,000 hours this league because Heist spits them out but I've literally never collected a set before, or even noticed that the card existed IN 15k HOURS thats ludicrous. Neither set augmented into anything interesting, because of course they didn't this is POE almost nothing ever augments into anything good and when they occasionally do they almost certainly wont regal into anything good, so why would this card be rare even back in the time it was added, Surely GGG knows the odds of aug'ing and regaling a 1 mod blue into anything is fucking tiny... Or do they? GGG needs to play their own game enough to understand that the chances of this card being powerful is almost non-existent. You have to get lucky too many times for the card to be powerful without turning dozens of sets in at a time. An augment is almost always going to be garbage and the regal you would follow it with is almost always going to be garbage and the slam you might follow that with is almost always going to be garbage and... When you're an experienced player (unlike GGG's Devs) you realize this card could literally drop 2 or 3 per map and still not be powerful without also getting lucky as fuck.

All respect to the creator of the card: if it dropped like they originally hoped it might; it could be a fun card to turn in a dozen or so sets after a night of mapping and MAYBE get lucky on an Aug and MAYBE get lucky on a regal, etc. The card is actually a cool idea: GGG's insistence on OVER-Rarifying everything is the only bad thing about this card.

There are so many cards that need a revamp or at least to drop at a rate that makes some sort of sense given their actual realistic value in the modern game. Between cards that USED to be powerful and needed to be rare (but no longer do) and Cards that were never OP but GGG kinda didn't know enough of their own game to actually understand AREN'T OP, its a real mess out there.

(Just spent all day farming a div card that is stupidly over rare, for an item I could buy for 1 alch in trade)


Yea. I know. I tried asking for a review of my card drop rate and got basically rejected. Imagine 12 cards to make a 1c unique.
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