1.2.0 Improvements to New User Experience

I think i would be nicer having the weapons SCALE to level better than almost ZERO change as it is now. It should be far LESS requirement for a mod to up the % of damage. So over all damage doesn't really change much. That would give a better since of being more powerful at higher levels.
If the lower-level weapons consistently have more base attack speed than the higher-level ones, then the lower-level weapons will be seen as the premier base types for strictly elemental DPS. Which is a good thing and should prove interesting.
When Stephen Colbert was killed by HYDRA's Project Insight in 2014, the comedy world lost a hero. Since his life model decoy isn't up to the task, please do not mistake my performance as political discussion. I'm just doing what Steve would have wanted.
Chris wrote:

Passive Skill Tree Improvements (Added June 16)
Alongside other changes to the passive skill tree in 1.2.0 (which we'll write about as they become more final), we've put a lot of effort into signalling for new players. We want to make sure that if a new player sees a visually large group aligned with a specific theme, then that cluster would make a fine basic build. This means removing "noob-trab" choices from large clusters of passives.

This sound like a riddle to me, what does it concretely mean?

My understanding is that a themed cluster should be a fine basic build so useless nodes are removed or? What does noob-trab mean? And how so 1 cluster makes a fine basic build?

Can it be any more abstract?
Last edited by Startkabels on Jun 16, 2014, 1:33:14 PM
Early Game Problems and Solutions

(When I say "tooltip" here, I mean tutorial tooltip.)

The game starts out way too easy. When you have really crappy gear - you move from easy zone to easy zone - and suddenly - you arrive in the Ship Graveyard - with the freezing hags, roas, and flicker strike pirate guys - and for the new player - it's incredibly hard. Especially if you're not twinked. It's elemental damage that slaughters new players.

-This gigantic increase in difficulty doesn't make sense. I think difficulty should be increased gradually.
-The main reason for the gigantic difficulty increase - is player un-awareness that elemental resists are extremely important. It's easy to avoid physical damage with white gear - waay too difficult to resist elemental.
-Create some sort of a helpful tooltip about elemental damage, and give quest rewards such as resistance rings - much earlier in the game. The tooltip should include info about how resists work.
-The 2nd reason the game gets much harder for players at the Ship Graveyard - is most new players have a mix of ES/Armor/Evasion gear. Create a tooltip explaining all 3 types of defenses - but *most importantly* - create a tooltip for how *innefective* it is to mix a "little bit of all 3".
-Explain getting stunned - how it works - and how to avoid it. Create this tooltip.

When you first begin play - it's mind numbingly boring - the game simply looks like a Diablo clone, with slow as heck combat. (I had to be coaxed into playing beyond Hillock by my friend who assured me the game got really interesting later.)

There are no tooltips or other sort of "hints" of the huge depth of customization for attacks/defense with support gems. This difference from diablo is what hooks the player: I think there should be some.
-Yes, I know it's too "early" for support gems - but you should introduce them earlier!

-I recommend: introducing a chest, like those found in Descent races - that allow you to chose a support gem - to gear up for your fight with Hillock.
-Consider placing Hillock in his own pen, separate from the beach.
-The door to the pen should open when the player chooses a support gem from the chest.

There's a giant elaborate skill tree that is visible to the new player - but absolutely no labeling of the "start" positions of different classes.
(It actually took me 15 minutes to explain to my friend that I convinced to join the game: that the "start areas" for different classes are the "big wheels". My friend had no clue what I was talking about. I tried to tell her about the various Notable Passives - and she had no clue what I was talking about.

-Create a tutorial for the skill tree
-And label class start areas!
Last edited by Czarevna on Jun 17, 2014, 4:51:27 PM
I agree completely with smoothing out the difficulty gradient.

Introducing new characters to the crafting system would solve the resistance issue. Give Nessa dialogue where she offers to teach you how to make simple jewelry if you buy an iron ring off her, after which she tells you to sell her the iron ring and any gem. Do the same with Yeena for amulets in Act II.

Bestel should explain the effects of each elemental damage type (a poem for each), and Tarkleigh should explain the different armor types and what they do (because he sells armor). Tarkleigh could also note which basic item types have which implicits, which would be very useful for new players trying to decide what sort of build they want. Upon reaching Act II one of those NPCs could explain how Chaos works, further informing players as to the dangers of Wraeclast.

Tarkleigh saying "Don't get surrounded" should be expanded upon in another dialogue ("Common Sense"), making it clear to players that they can't just stand there and autoattack.

The combat DOES start slow but ramps up relatively quickly, and any player who quits before getting even the first waypoint would probably not enjoy the later game anyway.

As for introducing Support Gems early... The Twilight Strand would be WAY too soon, it would make players feel as though they should always have supports, and regularly get new ones.

I'd suggest adding a few simple, low level gems that help showcase the versatility of skills. Maybe "Overdraw", "Exertion", and "Focus". Grant one of these from a new area boss (In The Climb maybe, so you get one before Brutus).

Overdraw: Green: Increased mana cost, decreased attack speed, increases physical damage and ignores a % of armor.
Exertion: Red: A % of damage dealt is received by player as physical damage, physical damage and melee range are increased.
Focus: Blue: Adds a channel to casting, increases area of effect and elemental damage. This scales with channel duration, which starts at 1 second.

Introducing the skill tree to new players is a separate issue entirely, and I think GGG can take care of that. :)
*You call into the void. You hear a sound in the distance.*
my most recent buddy to leave quit early in a3n when we told him that "all first builds suck," which they do. He was still figuring out how to change socket number and color, etc. then we tell him he has to do research to play this game, read the forums, the wiki, check out build vids to learn how to build a viable character that can get to end game maps, start all over with a plan, etc ... well... we lost him. and my peeps are experienced gamers, but we come from the mmo world, and this is a different kettle of fish. for anyone new to the genera, there is a lot to learn starting out. i swear i spend half my time with new peeps trying to get them to pick up orbs. "come back here, you need this later." another buddy, on his third build and in a2m, i found myself explaining to him that the type of armor determines which colors the sockets want to be, and that he's wasting orbs trying to get too many of a color not native to that gear. all to say, neither of these guys have the hours to spend reading the forums and the wiki and watching vids. and no one wants to be told "how to do it" all the time. they want to come home from work, play for a bit, have a good time, kill monsters, feel some success, and move on until their next play session.

for my buds that leave, its not act 1 normal. its once they figure out how much work is going to go into succeeding, work that doesn't include actual play, that's when they leave. a written tut that can be accessed from in game with some basic info (what orbs do, basic recipes, the significance of r/g/b attributes, and some links to basic builds for character classes, for example) would be really helpful. then i can tell ppl, "see that icon, click it, tons of info there." instead of making them feel stupid because they are 4 or 8 weeks, or 5 months into the game and im still telling them basic stuff. and its not like im good at this game, obviously. i suck. but im persistent. stubborn determination is the only reason im still here. and that you cant buy stuff to gain an advantage, i do love that part.

TLDR: to my observation, its the amount of research that is not play time that one must do to figure out how the game works that is why you are losing potential core gamers. give us a quick guide that will save hours of research and you'll have better retention.

my buds are gamers, but they're also working professionals with lives and families etc, and for these folks, the in-game progression must give you the info you need to advance, otherwise, they're just going to get frustrated with false starts and wtf leave. that is whats happening so far.
I am the stone that the builder refused.

LonePuppet wrote:
my most recent buddy to leave quit early in a3n when we told him that "all first builds suck," which they do.

Well a better way to word that would be to say "Your builds will improve as you get more familiar with the game mechanics". Take the edge off, so to speak.
I for one have never looked up a build, and the only videos on builds I've watched have been builds of the week. Then again, after years on and off in-game I have STILL never reached Merc, because I suck.
Item crafting and orb use absolutely MUST be explained in-game, because otherwise they are infinitely less important than skill gems and gear. Orb value ratios can be ignored, because the economy determines that, but effective usage and crafting tips should obviously be implemented. Even if the game linked to a forum or wiki post of Do's and Don'ts, that's better than NOTHING.
I think it would be great if Orb descriptions included the different odds of success, for example this thread is dedicated to Jewelers and Fusings... https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/41713/page/1
When those ratios should seriously be on the item. How can you use an item if you have no idea how it works, or how likely it is that it works? The amount of text isn't an issue, considering support gems all have a nice wall of text explaining how they don't effect your character and blah blah blah.

I agree. Time spent playing a game should be time spent in-game, not time spent accumulating knowledge to survive said game.
Core gamers have an unlimited supply of games to play, and upon realizing that in order to excel they have to spend days on end preparing, you've probably lost potential consumers.
I have friends who enjoy the game, but generally lose momentum when a few characters die. Then they pop back in for the next leagues and do the same. By giving them the information they're missing they won't die as often, and will play more often.
*You call into the void. You hear a sound in the distance.*
Chris wrote:

As you know, we picked the second option for Path of Exile. While people really enjoy putting powerful builds together and feeling the pay-off of being able to destroy large groups of monsters, new players sometimes describe the initial combat as "slow" or "clunky". We're investigating ways to improve the feeling of combat at the start of the game while still keeping a clear sense of progression as you level up and become more powerful.

I believe this has more to do with the animations and lack of any sort of physics, than it does with any tweakable numbers. The basic act of hitting an enemy with a weapon isn't very satisfying in PoE. There's no impact to it; it feels a bit disconnected. It stops feeling this way when you have enough particle effects on the screen that you're not really even looking at this most basic aspect of combat anymore, imo.
No. Calm down. Learn to enjoy losing.
I am not new, but i am casual player. Also, I have introduced few friends to the game and none of them is still playing. The reason why people stops playing is not in early, but in late game (40-60 cca).

In my opinion, biggest flaw of the game is current drop/crafting/trade system.

Late game
Casual player (or new players with lack of information) have a hard time finding upgrades to take them behind cruel Dominus.
They won't have enough currency for purchasing upgrades, because the don't know vendor recipes (or they tried crafting :D ).
They won't know, that crafting is just dumping your currency, until you get super-rich.
They will not be able to find upgrades in trade chat, because it's a total mess.
They will not be able to sell things in trade chat (because standing in a city and spamming a chat is not what you expect from playing ARPG).
Being able to trade efficintly only by using 3rd party software (Procurement and poe.xyz.is) is just bad design. Period. Totally unintuitive for new players.

These are just my two cents, from player who is able to get to maps, but strugggles to horde enough currency to purchase end-game gear.

My solution: Tinker the drop rates, that there is bigger chance you will drop higher base level item, and that affixes has much bigger chance to roll from the higher end of the available pool. This also goes for crafting.

Early game and the tutorial thing
I don't see big problems here. Tutorial might be expanded a bit. On first item drop you can see "Show items on ground by holding alt". On first gem pick up you should see something like "Put gems into your gears color matching sockets, to be able to use them." On first level up: "Press P to allocate your passive skill points." ETC. This might be turned off in options, or will show only on once per account.

Edit: wording.
Last edited by vstekk on Jul 1, 2014, 11:32:14 AM
Make a tutorial league (default for an account without any characters) where you are a black guard recruit being taken through training, in it you would have to get your armour from an armour rack and you would be able to get a wand and spirit shield and a sword and black guard shield from other racks. make a very basic skill tree to spec into melee skills or magic skills so as to be either a black guard warrior or mage at say lvl 10-15. prove your worth to general gravicius by clearing out a crypt around the size of a vaal side area of undead, the boss could be a really basic rouge exile (skills and look based on a char around lvl 10) who is raiding the crypt for there own gain.

That way you could walk players through all the ui and show them some of the skills without making the start of the actual game riddled with tutorial options.
Part of the appeal of this game to me, is that all of my "e-friends" hate it. So I know its good. And I don't have to hear "ZoMg!!! I jus YOLOSWAG420360NoScOpEeDPiEiTyIurmSuuurGruudaitdisgaimez!!!!!

People of the gutters, steel your bellies, for the slaughter is at hand!

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