Path of Exile Beginner Guide - Learn The Way of the Exile
Path of Exile Beginner's Guide
Ah, Path of Exile. There's a lot of things to be said about this game. One of the best grinding gear games. Some people call it a Diablo clone, typical hack & slash, a game for loot addicts, and for those who like some casual fun. But you can't call PoE a bad game. It is highly forbidden, if you were in a wrong place at a wrong time, in a dark alley for example - Path of Exile fans will completely obliterate you, loot you, and leave you on the ground, two attacks away from death. You trip over a rock, you receive some hard damage due to the sudden attack, and you're literally one hit and click away from getting killed. Regular Hardcore mode style. That is a fact, despite it being some sad news to post on that day.
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Either way, don't hide your children, today - we are not going to try and scare you away from this game. It is the job of the Skill Points system and its setup (which isn't so bad if you see our guide and give it the time). To oppose it - we're going to give you a Path of Exile Beginner Guide 2020 to open this year properly. Of course, if you want to start with PoE today. It has always been an excellent game, but new content is coming out. The updates are adding new acts. It's one of the best free games on the market. No pay-2-win, low system requirements, balanced PvE, and PvP - it's definitely one of the best online free games to play. We would even dare to call it the best. And it surely is the best in the free online H&S genre.
We hope that we will get you into this game smoothly enough for you to stay a little bit longer, selling orbs and having fun. Ladies and Gentlemen, let's get to Path of Exile Beginners Guide. It's a good starter.
Part I: Choosing Your League
When you create your account, and you think you are ready to pick your class, in fact - you are not ready to pick your class. For before you start - you have to choose your League. Leagues are essentially worlds or servers that you will play on. There are three kinds of those: Standard, Challenge, and Private.
It is your default server that you can hop in anytime you want with a press of a button. There are three types of Standard Leagues, each providing a slightly different experience. The normal Standard league has no modifiers. It's a clean, classic Path of Exile gameplay. There's Solo Self-Found, which literally grants you a single-player experience, as you won't be able to trade and party up with other people. And there's a Hardcore Standard League. It provides a quasi-permadeath system. How does it work? When your character dies in the Hardcore League, you won't lose almost anything. You still have this character, along with gear, skill gems, support gem or several, unique items, skill points. Basically, everything stays the same. However, you are moved from Hardcore League straight into the Normal Standard League. So to be specific - you don't lose anything at first sight.
But you lose the prestige of playing on the server that basically forces you to survive everything to play on it. People who played for a long time on HC servers notice that their playstyle and mindset were much different. Also - the market is slightly different on HC due to the nature of this League, at least early into the gameplay.
Those will show up sometimes, and they will be up temporarily. This League always has some interesting modifiers and features. The characters created in this League will transfer to Standard after this one closes. The majority of players just play on this server, so it's recommended for new players also to join in, so you don't feel like the world is empty, and only you are playing this game.
So what happens if a new Challenge League shows up? Well, players, most of the time, just create new characters, and they start playing on those again to get some fresh air. It's also a fantastic time to try out a different class or a different build. Should you do the same? Your call, but let us tell you - the new features and various modifiers - these things are fun.
Pay 2 Private. Custom made, pristine edition, private servers for you and your pals to use. These can be purchased for real money (12 $ USD), or 120 Points. The default purchase will grant you this League for 10 days, to be used by 10 players. Both numbers can be increased with some additional purchases.
It's great if you only want to play with some pals with no interruptions. What's also great about it is that you can use them with the current Challenge League. It's simply amazing.
Part II: Path of Exile Classes
There are six starting classes in the game, with the seventh one obtainable as you progress in the main quest. The interesting thing about classes is that they are somewhat tied to three main stats in the game - Strength, Dexterity, as well as Intelligence. Three classes correspond to those stats, and three other classes are hybrids. The seventh one can go in any direction, as it can go anywhere in the skill tree, which we will talk about in some time.
These Classes and their stats are as follows:
Duelist: STR DEX
Templar: STR INT
Shadow: DEX INT
Scion: Jack Of All Trades
Scion is that 7th class that will be unlocked after you reach Act 3, and you rescue a Scion NPC. What makes this class unique is that this class has quick access to all sides of the Passive Skill Tree, making it very flexible. Whether you want to go for Strength, Dexterity, or Intelligence - you can go there and take it.
Part III: Passive Skill Tree - PoE trademark
It's the scariest part of Path of Exile. Imagine you're chilling, you just came back from work, you got yourself some good food, like blanched brussels sprouts with bacon. You sit down to play something new. You never played PoE, so you feel like you should definitely try it. You know, classic story. Then you create your guy, and you see this:
We were scared too, someone started screaming, some random dog just ran out, police sirens were going off in the distance already, and to be truthful - we've never felt safe anymore after that. In fact, we're still screaming since then, and we're screaming right now, as some of us were forced to describe this thing.
As you level up your character in Path of Exile, you will receive Skill Points. As you can see above, there's this massive graph of connected Nodes. These are your available Attributes (among other extra things) that you can activate by spending SP.
What's even more unique about this system is that each class has the exact same graph of things to use. But there's a slight difference. Each class starts in different places on the graph. And they have to go through different nodes to be able to get some useful stuff, that is on the other side of the graph. Scion has this convenience, that this class is in the middle of the graph, granting easy access to everything after some initial points.
Let's take a look at a class like Shadow. It's a hybrid class, and this class' placement on the Skill Graph is not accidental. Since Shadow is a class that mixes DEX with INT, starting points are primarily DEX and INT. To get to strength, you will have to dive deeper into this "passive tree," though it seems more like a "passive root." You will have to plan out your build very carefully to make sure you get all the passives and additional attributes you want. Luckily, there are Orbs of Regret in the game, which make your Skill Points revertible. So even if you make a mistake, you will be able to go back and simply take another path. There are also special events in which devs allow players to change their skill build entirely for free, which is very nice.
There are also Keystone Nodes. These are very interesting. Keystones are these very powerful passives that will alter the way your character feels in your hands. Some of them give you some straight bonuses, others - will sacrifice defenses for offense, and vice versa.
Let's take a look at the Duelist class. This class has quick access to Keystones like Crimson Dance, Vaal Pact, Iron Reflexes, and Perfect Agony. Those passives are powerful, and you should pay attention to them when you plan out your skill build. Sadly, some of those are more powerful than others, but as you get more experience with this game, you will know which ones are worth putting points into.
Part III + 0,5: Skills
Skills are a huge part of this "little" skill graph. You have your Passives and your Class, your Keystone Nodes. But where are those skills that your class uses? Now, this one has a fascinating answer to it. Because your classes themselves do not possess any Active Skills. Those are solely dependant on Gems that you put into your gear. There are two types of Gems, those who serve as your Active skills, and those that serve as your Support skills, which will actually modify your Active skills in various ways. Where do you put them? You have to put them in special sockets that come in three different colors, Red for Strength, Green for Dexterity, and Blue for Intelligence. And you can put your gems only into the color that is corresponding to the color of that Gem.
Sockets can be found in your pieces of gear. Depending on the equipment itself, you can have up to 18 sockets, ready for your little gems of chaos. One-Handed Weapons and Shields can store up to 3 Gems. Body Armour and Two-Handed Weapons hold up to 6 Gems. The rest of your gear - Boots, Helmet, and Gloves hold up to 4 sockets. You might panic a little bit for the first 50 levels, as only items above level 50 can have a maximum capacity of gem sockets. It's also important to know that Gems don't stack. If you use two identical Support Gems for one Active Gem - it will not stack. There can be only one, as a very smart person once said.
Gems can also be upgraded or leveled up if you will. They will grant you even crazier bonuses and skills, making you a true killing - or at least menacing - machine. However, keep in mind that there's an additional price for pure power. Your body might not withstand the power of all Infinity Gems. It is why every time you level up your Gem, not only its power, but its requirements will increase as well. It is incredibly crucial at a higher level. You don't want to lose your "Elbow Destruction" skill just because you forgot to bulk up.
In the endgame, most Gem builds will revolve around your two primary Active Skills, each supported by 5 Support Gems, which will require you to have a 6-socket Body Armour, as well as 6-socket Two-handed Weapon. And all of those Sockets have to be linked, so your ability can have all support gems possible.
Part IV: Ascendancy Classes
Those are essentially subclasses for all classes except Scion, which is already unique anyway.
This whole Ascendancy stuff can be unlocked by completing Labyrinth. After all six Trials of Ascendancy are completed, it can be accessed through the use of special Statue in the Sarn Encampment. After you finish those, Ascendancy Skill Tree will be open for you to use.
What can you find there? Some useful passives, that is! Gladly, these don't really use your normal Skill Points. Instead, you have to get those special thingies by finishing each version of Labyrinth. You can get 8 of those special points, which you will be able to use to get some Ascendancy Class Passives. How crucial are those? VERY. Very crucial. If you don't get them, you're wack. So if you don't want to be wack, take a look at this:
Marauder: Juggernaut, Berserker, Chieftain
Witch: Occultist, Elementalist, Necromancer
Duelist: Slayer, Gladiator, Champion
Templar: Inquisitor, Hierophant, Guardian
Shadow: Assassin, Trickster, Saboteur.
Picking the Ascendancy Class for yourself will significantly define your character as no other passive or keystone will. So make sure you choose wisely. Guardian will use a lot of defensive abilities and passives, often going for maximum life and resistance, powering up his energy shield, Elementalist will work on building up spell damage to deal a lot of fire damage or just elemental damage, stacking up on mana, Assassin will go for pure melee physical damage and movement speed (easier evasion) setting up a mine and some traps (with mines being really useful), the summoner will summon, deadeye will send out a deadly projectile, etc. Whatever path you choose, here enter Chaos Orbs (chaos orb is one of the currency items, there are other items, such as chromatic orb for example) to get the rare item level with stats that you want, not counting in the number of sockets. There's a long list of possibilities of filling your character slots, and you'll always do better with quality guides that are very specific when it comes to classes, their ascendancies, and leveling. You'll need a lot of tips in order and guidelines referring to this area of PoE to go through this game easily. Trust us, every single guide will save you a lot of time, solving a fair amount of problems. Be it crafting, flask, recipe or monsters guide (flasks are really important, just like flasks and any consumable in the game), which spells to use, is fire better than lightning and why, which stat is best for your class, which legal mods to use, how to fight, how to jump to a higher tier or arc, tricks that can be used in boss or monster fights, each problem can be quasi-solved with guides. Good service is always useful, and when it comes to us, probably there's a chance we won't have to search for it, as we are preparing a lot of content within all areas of the game. Not all things can be found on the official wiki or shown in a Youtube video, some things appear limited. We will bring you some news guides on the double right here.
Part V: Trading and Currency
Path of Exile has an exciting, clear trading system because there is no dead-set currency. In World of Warcraft, you have gold, silver, and copper. In Lineage 2, you use Adena. In Black Desert Online - pure silver. In PoE - you trade by using certain items. Be it Scrolls of Wisdom, or any Orbs, you use them as a currency.
They don't have their own value per se. It is given value by players by the rules of supply and demand. For example, the Orb of Linking doesn't have a high value at the beginning of the Challenge League. However, when people reach high levels, the Orb of Linking will become really valuable for all players simply because these people want to link a socket or two in their top-tier gear. The demand increases, so its price goes up the closer the supply is to running out.
What about vendors? What do they offer when you want to sell some stuff to them? They offer you an exchange. They will give you the Orbs. Their value may be different from the typical orbs that you would use to trade with other players.
So most of the time - values of Orbs that are generally used in the player to player transactions are contractual. Players agree upon certain costs, and that's how the free market works. It can be really confusing in the beginning, as there are over two dozens Orbs that are treated as a currency. It might seem like too much, and it pretty much is when you are a new player.
Part VI: Towns & Acts
When you pick your class, you will spawn, cast away on a shore. From now on - the world of Path of Exile is your oyster. Pick up some rare items, kill enemies and bosses that stand in your way, and reach the first city. It is your main hub.
Your haven will redirect you to any locations that will be available in your current act. Each town has some quests to do, some NPCs from which you will be able to buy weapons, armor, magic, and potions. Sometimes, even more.
However, do not become attached to your main town. As you progress in the game, and you get to the next acts, you will travel to different places. They are quite similar in their structure and purpose. You won't spend a lot of time in your towns, as there are lots of dungeons to explore. Every playing field can be accessed through the town you're in, as you complete all quests, and go through all major locations ending with bosses - you will proceed to the next act, which will give you a new town to operate from.
Part VII: Loot Filter
Now, this one is not a part of the game, but it should become a part of every player. Path of Exile is a Hack'n'Slash with a lot of loot. And we mean TONS loot. The number of magic items (or just default ones) that will drop after you go through an instanced map can be overwhelming. At higher levels, it will literally cover your entire screen. Simply take a look at this:
It looks worse than the Skill Tree in the beginning. It's inconvenient, and you will pick up - let's put it simply - trash items that will just clog your inventory up. You don't want that.
It is where the loot filter comes in. It can change that horrendous, mostly monochromatic screen, into a clean and simple outlook, on useful items that have dropped.
It is what you will see after you install a Loot Filter that you can customize, by clicking this link - FilterBlade - PoE Filter Customizer - Finetuned for NeverSink's Filter. Trash loot will be nearly invisible to you. However - items that are valuable and might be useful for you - you will see them very clearly. Each type of an item will have a unique color, so you will be able to look at the screen, see a few colors, and you will know, that you've dropped some Orbs of Alchemy, some useful potions, and a powerful weapon that will be good at your current level.
You won't notice the effectiveness of this filter unless you don't have it. You would appreciate this little addition if you were using it for a long time and then removed it. Pure chaos ensued. You need this tool. Without it - you won't be able to do anything on higher levels. Walking to the other side of the room, picking up 37 trash items in the process, is a big nono. You want to avoid that.
So get yourself a customizable Loot Filter, tune it up according to your needs, and never pick up a trash item ever again.
There's a lot of things left that we haven't talked about. Things that are very important in Path of Exile. But you know the basics. Some ways of playing the game will develop as you go. And as for other stuff that could be useful for you, which you might not get through your experience with the game - keep our website tabbed. There are quite a few guides that will show up on our website in a few weeks. They will help you with your first time in PoE. This guide, even if it's only temporary - is just one of many, please feel free to share it with your friends. Also - check out any guides that we have posted, You can expect a build guide somewhere soon. Get yourself a skill gem, and see you on the shores of Path of Exile, let's clash together in challenge leagues someday! Thanks for reading.
How much money will I spend on the Path of Exile?
Path of Exile is free to play. As for Pay2Win - there's nothing like that in this game. Devs and publishers have created a great environment where you don't have to purchase anything for real money to compete at the highest level. The only purchase that you could consider is stash tabs, and private servers, which are not giving any fast, direct advantage.
How different is PoE from the Diablo series?
PoE has an outstanding story, but it doesn't compare to three games worth of gaming lore. It's still a very dark, sometimes disturbing experience. Diablo's class system is straightforward, you pick a character, and you go in one direction. Path of Exile offers a character build system that could be a game on its own. Different skills, different passives, hundreds of roads to take when it comes to building your unique class.
Is It worth it to start playing Path of Exile?
Seven years ago, Path of Exile was a very different game. Some people bounced back to it after many updates that added new classes, new locations, acts, and mechanics. Those people came back. After seven years, many players have a head start, but even if you join the fun now - you can reach top levels rather quickly, and you will be able to compete with the best if you'd like that. Completing maps and setting up your base is worth it in the end.
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