The thing about action RPGs is that the fun has to be in the moment to moment gameplay. It’s not much different than a 1 armed bandit for the long haul, as you kill things for gear, to kill stronger things for better gear. Many ARPGs struggle finding the balance of speed/power/fun.
Going to pick on Path of Exile for a second. I really like the game’s flexibility, seasons, classes, crafting… pretty much every mechanic in the game works for me. What doesn’t is the slow & muddy feel of combat in some areas. Some zones really work well (the Ledge is a good example), while others feel too restrictive and repetitive. I can put in a lot of time if I get a good string of zones/skills, but hitting a rough patch has me log off for a while.
I play D3 once a year it seems, though rarely for more than a couple weeks. Typically at the start of season, or a large patch. Season 14 has a neat buff of double goblins in the world. The way loot drops work, it isn’t exactly a huge buff but there is always going to be that reaction when hearing the goblin laugh. And who doesn’t want an extra free pull on the slots?
I’ve played all the classes, numerous times through. There really isn’t anything “new” to be learned here. There have been some tweaks to the numbers, but the skills generally all do the same. A multi-shot DH from 3 years ago is pretty close to the same thing now. I really like speed – so traditionally it was monk/WD for quick movement. I decided to try the opposite and went with the Crusader – who is arguably the slowest bugger in the entire game (minus a specific build).
The leveling portion is pretty much the same as always. Get Leoric’s Crown at the start, slot with a ruby, run Rifts until 70. Considering WoW sells max level characters, I’m a bit surprised it doesn’t happen here. It is a useless process in a season. Maybe 2 hours the first go at it if you solo. With a power level, it takes less than 10 minutes.
Haedrig’s Gift gets you 2/4 pieces of set armor very easily. The last 2 pieces require you to craft/find some decent leveled gear, in particular a weapon. I am still amazed at how dependent D3 is on the weapon slot. Theoretically, you could see a weapon drop the second you hit 70, and never find a better one. The power boost from a well-rolled weapon + ramaladadingdong’s gem slot dwarf any benefit from other pieces of gear (minus legendary bonus affixes). Ah well.
So I’m a few hours in, trying to clear some stuff on T4, with a Crusader at paragon 50. Let’s see how long this one lasts, shall we? Likely not too long with the sun out, and a cold one waiting at the cottage…