Continuing on with our streamer interview series, we took a moment to get to know more about Subtractem! His streams are insightful and entertaining and he also creates great Path of Exile content on his YouTube channel. Check out the interview in today's post!

Hi Subtractem, thank you for taking part in the interview! Please introduce yourself.

Hi, I'm Adam and I primarily stream Path of Exile at I worked in the game industry for over two decades and have competed in different genres of games across the spectrum. I had an offer to go pro in Warcraft 3 many years ago but got a real job instead, regrettably.

I do lots of educational focused content and grind ranked in some games once in a while when the competitive bug bites...until I remember why I stopped grinding ranked.

When did you first get into Path of Exile?

I started back in Perandus League, not an OG player by any means but early enough that I remember farming Dried Lake and taking 20+ deaths every time I fought Merciless Malachai.

What one thing caught your attention in the beginning and what one thing kept you coming back?

I think pretty much everyone's first big memory of PoE is opening up the passive tree. I love passive/skill trees in all games and the more complex the happier I am.

What really kept me coming back, however, was the support gem system. Players always having multiple choices to customize to their tastes without an objective "bigger number is always better" allows for unique build expression, even within the same build template. This level of customization is very special to me in RPGs and I feel has been largely lost in the modern era of Power/Item Level.

Are there any highlights from your time playing Path of Exile that stand out in your memory?

There are so many in the past two years of streaming especially but two memories really stick in my head:

Rolling up the hardest maps that we could in Breach league and watching my friend pop Vaal Cyclone with Ngamahu's Flame in the middle of a Breach. It was a coin flip as to whether he would live and the first time I ever saw high mob density at play.

Slamming T1 Elemental Damage with Attacks on my Elemental Hit bow for the final mod for a perfect item. This was my first "big" craft on stream and everything just lined up perfectly. It's my personal "undisputable" craft.

Do you have a favourite build?

Bane Occ...kidding, kidding.

While there were some very special builds that are core memories (Vaal Fireball, Tri-Herald BV, Low Life Slave Driver Spectres), the top spot has to go to Elemental Hit Raider in Ultimatum League.

The fluidity of movement enabled by Dash + Blink Arrow on a Raider is reminiscent of old Smoke Mine + Flame Dash shenanigans and a 75 million DPS EleHit chaining the entire screen is the most satisfying build I've ever played.

Which expansion has been your favourite so far?

Ultimatum for sure. The item crafting nerfs allowed for more item diversity while retaining high power fantasy and the league mechanic itself was amazing. The theme, the snarky Trialmaster, the boss fight itself, and the incredibly challenging risk/reward in the high end Inscribed Ultimatums really checked all the boxes for me.

It's probably the only league mechanic I was doing until the very last day of the league, it is missed dearly.

What's one thing every Path of Exile player should hear?

Path of Exile is a hard game, no one (except Mark_GGG) knows everything and that's ok. Learning is a marathon and not a sprint, enjoy the journey and don't focus on the destination.

The only constant is change, the beauty of PoE is that no two leagues are the same and you will be happier by looking to the future than fixating on the past. Even as I'm reminiscing about some of my old builds my nostalgia brain wants to recapture those glory days but that's just not how this game (and life!) works. Look forward to the new things to come, make today the best day you can, and cherish the memories of the past.

When did you first start streaming? How did you get into it?

I first started streaming seriously roughly April 2020. I had made a Cast on Crit Golemancer build in Ritual League and my friends told me to put it on Youtube to share it with more people. I posted the guide on r/pathofexilebuilds and I was blown away by the support from the community there. I had people asking me to stream and for help with the build and that kicked it all off.

What can people expect from your stream and schedule?

I have a very generalist approach when it comes to Path of Exile content because I like so much of what it has to offer. You might find me doing HCSSF racing, crafting items for profit, opening stacked decks zoomed in during an Uber fight, or even showcasing a hideout design competition.

I am quite a bit older than most in the streaming world so the most important thing that I want to express on stream is that, with the limited time that we have on this planet, games can and should be played for that horrible F word that seems to get lost these days: Fun. It can sound trite but it's really important to remember why we started playing games in the first place.

I generally stream Sunday through Friday afternoons in the EST timezone at, though it's pretty flexible. I consider Youtube my primary content channel and streaming as a way to more directly connect with the community.

What were you doing before you started streaming?

I've been in and around the software and game industry for over two decades. Primarily as a programmer but also as a co-founder and designer. I've worked on quite a few games varying from Farmville to Spellbreak.

What hobbies or interests do you have outside of streaming?

Prior to streaming and COVID I was an avid rock climber and traveled frequently, hopefully again soon! I read a lot of Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels and occasionally pick up my guitar.

How has your life changed from before you were streaming until now? What role has streaming played in that transition?

The whole content creation thing happened right alongside COVID so I felt like I was changing along with the whole world. It's a pretty intense discipline that's all-encompassing, on the level of game dev crunch with no end in sight. It's SO rewarding to connect with folks and build a community and help them have a better day but it takes a lot out of you. I could easily write an essay to answer this question.

Is there anything you'd like to see more of in the streaming community?

More collaboration! I'm saying this just as much to myself as to everyone else. Events and content that folks like Zizaran and Badger have done over the past couple years have been so good for highlighting other creators and bringing the community together and we need more of this.

PoE is very often a solitary experience and all of us have the instinct to go full degen goblin mode and grind for that next big drop. It's important for us to poke our heads out of the basement and reach out to each other. I truly believe we have one of the best communities in all of gaming, both as players and content creators and the more we all work together and elevate each other the better.

Do you have any advice for people who are looking to make their own career out of streaming?

Do it as a hobby first but take it seriously. Day9 has a canned response for anyone asking him for help getting into streaming: "Do it every day for at least 4-6 hours for 30 days in a row and then we'll talk." At the time I saw him telling this story only one person had ever succeeded in that task.

Other very functional advice: streaming only just isn't a thing anymore in 2022. The bar has been raised where general content creation across many platforms is the only way to even get noticed in the first place. You cannot "just stream" and grow an audience that way. Look to a mixed platform presence and focus on community first.

Are there any up and coming streamers that you'd like to shine a spotlight on?

There are so many great folks in the PoE space that it'd be impossible not to miss someone. I really can't think of another gaming community this welcoming and helpful across the board, you can click on any streamer and learn something new.

If I had to pick just one full time up and coming streamer though it'd be Palsteron. His builds are second to none in creativity and thoroughness and between him and crouching_tuna they're carrying the music taste scene in PoE on their backs.

Ok I can't just name one: Velyna (snark and laughs), Denipon (cosplay and chill vibes), Pillebrille (german HCSSF player), Kroximatuz (spanish positive vibes), Jungroan (sexy hair), Snoobae85 (MF King)

Absolutely amazing group of folks and there's so many more I'm sure I missed them. I'm so proud to be a part of this community.

Do you have any projects on the horizon you'd like to talk about?

The biggest project that I'm undertaking at the moment is slowly building up a library of educational material on my channel under the "Path of Learning" playlist. About once a week we do a session on stream about a specific topic (Energy Shield, Armour, Damage Conversion, etc) and walk through the topic as a presentation cross-referencing the wiki and every Mark_GGG post we can find.

Learning PoE can be a daunting task but achieving deep understanding of a difficult topic is one of the most satisfying things intellectually. Achieving a level of mastery over a game like PoE is incredibly rewarding.

I have a very long backlog of topics to fill out (still stalling on leech/recovery) but happy to take suggestions!

Thank you so much for participating in the interview! If you'd like to follow Subtractem, you can do so on Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch. Also, don't forget that you can support both Subtractem and the development of Path of Exile by buying microtransactions from his Nexus page!
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Grinding Gear Games
One of my favorite PoE streamers, keep up the good work
He and Cutedog_ are a few off my favorite streamers. Subtractem has a lot of good mechanic videos as well.
subtractem looks like a really cool dude
I like SUbtractem's stream and YT channel, very much information to pick up, almoust overvelming :)

It's nice to read all this positive vibes too, it has been so much negativity lately :/
Oohh.. Look at that!
Last edited by KurtVresig on Nov 10, 2022, 4:17:04 PM
So happy to see Subtractem highlighted! His streams and content are something rare and special
Came for the streams...stayed for the hair.

And abundance of knowledge.

Annnd not being toxic.

Great choice on streamer interviewee GGG.
Happy for the Subtractem.
It's nice that he mentioned the recent hideout competition showcase ♥.
my hideouts -
Coolest dadmode streamer out there and his Path of Learning Youtube vids are a great start for new players.
Great streamer!

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