Open beta! Completely free to play ARPG that is so similar to Diablo 2 it's crazy, but with so much added depth and refinement but NONE of the streamlining garbage that D3 vomited out. I've been playing for about a week now and I can hardly believe how much better every gameplay element change fromD3 is. Basically all the 'problems' Jay Wilson tried to fix in D2 are addressed in a superior fashion in PoE.
I highly recommend people check out their website since it's essentially the PoE-equivalent of D2's Arreat Summit - an encyclopedia for items, information, mechanics. There's even a built-in armory where you can check your players' inventory and see all your gear!
I'll give you a quick, comparative run down of how this game works... Start by imagining Diablo 2, then apply these differences:
Stats and Skills
Skills come from Skill Gems. To use a skill, you have to earn the gem in a quest, have one drop from a slain mob, or trade things for it, and then place the gem into a corresponding colored socket on your gear. Instead of placing a 'skill point' into your skills, you manually level them up as you gain experience while they're equipped.
Skills can be augmented by placing a Support Gem into a 'linked' socket connected to the socket the skill is in. Instead of Diablo 3's pre-determined runes, you can essentially modify any skill with any Support Gem. These can modify skills in a wide variety of ways, from something as simple as +dmg or -mana cost, to splitting projectiles
Instead of gaining +5 stat points each level, you're given one point to use on the Passive Tree. It's the same for every class, as that only determines your starting position within the tree. Stats each have two inherent buffs to the player: (+Str = more hp and armor) (+Dex = more evasion and accuracy) (+Int = more mana and recharge), and they are gained as you go down the web of options within the Passive Tree. The meat of the tree comes less from the stats and more from the passive offensive and defensive buffs, with some game-changing options the further out you go.
Items and Currency
Straight forward... gear increases in effectiveness linearly like in D2, not exponentially like in D3. You aren't scouring for a tiny improvement on the same few stats over and over. How D3's loot system was so shitty blows my mind, this more than makes up for it.
All gear has a random assortment and amount of sockets, and can come with random magic/rare/unique properties that boost its effectiveness.
Your inventory is identical to Diablo 2's grid system. Pick and choose the gear you find on the ground wisely since you can't come close to carrying it all!
THERE IS NO GOLD! All items are bought, sold, and traded for intrinsically useful scrolls and orbs. The scrolls you know from D2 - Identify and Town Portal. The orbs are new, and are useful regardless of the level - there are a bunch of different orbs.
Orbs can allow you to rework the magic/rare system on your gear, and they can tweak the socketing system. Some orbs can reroll existing stats on a particular item to hopefully better values, or they can completely change the types of magic buffs altogether. Some orbs change the color of the sockets on your gear, and others can retool the linkages between existing sockets. Easily obtainable early on, and extremely useful later in the game when you've found an item you're going to stick with and want to improve it (or to craft the magical properties on a high level item).
There is no Auction house! People are highly encouraged to personally interact and trade instead of staring at a lifeless AH screen.
This game is completely F2P!
The only thing money buys is storage tabs, pets, and aesthetic alterations to some weapons/armor/spell effects.
I'ts less demanding than Diablo 3! My friend's older laptop and my wife's $300 laptop are able to play this game with 40+ fps!
My account is TheAugust, so feel free to message me!
I've heard a lot about this in the he past week on various gaming sites, might check it out next time I've got a few hours spare because if it's anything like Diablo II it will draw lots of time away from the things I should be doing.
No way! Their proximity to all those Dex passive abilities make them insane in dodging and crit! I found the best strategy is to place all your first points along the 'spine' of the build you want to make, then when leveling slows down at ~20, start filling in all those +dmg, accuracy, crit, evasion, dual wielding abilities.