The experience of a returning player

What happened to this game during the last few leagues? I played a lot in the league which introduced the sacred grove, then a little bit in the following leagues. I thought I'd check how it plays currently and... it doesn't.

My PC (laptop) is dated, sure- 5y old, mid-range at the time of buying, but the game was fully playable last time I gave it a try, with framerates sitting in the 40-60 range most of the time and dropping only occasionally to ~20 (when trying to play blighted maps or other content with potentially unusually high monster density).

And now? AAA open-world games have shorter loading times. Upon entering the map, I might start with 80-ish fps and if *anything* happens on the screen, it dips to single digits; any monsters? A few seconds of a complete freeze. I would understand the framerate becoming worse across the board with whatever GGG has been doing to the game engine behind the scenes- but this kind of uneven performance shouldn't be excusable even in an early access game. But PoE has been out for a decade (!) now.

But wait, it gets worse. The framerate being all over the place is one thing. The game being literally unplayable due to crashes is another. I played two maps right after reinstalling PoE and I had no patience to try the third. During my playtime, my game kicked me out to the log-in screen 5 (!) times. And I wasn't even fully through the second map. My internet connection was stable and I'm pretty sure it was not the cause- especially because I used to have connection issues long ago and the game wouldn't freeze completely back then.

I have never heard of a game which would go from perfectly playable to a complete mess of a performance within about a year without receiving a huge backlash. I honestly don't understand why PoE/GGG keeps getting away with it. It is an old game. It looks like an old game. It plays like an old game. But its performance is that of an early access cash grab (if not worse, even Wolcen does not run this poorly). Which is a shame and a sign that GGG is following in Blizzard's footsteps.
Last bumped on Oct 1, 2023, 1:12:17 PM
game ran fine until a week before exilecon when they released a patch. this patch broke the game for many people.

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