Path of Exile


That sort of mindset has killed bigger games than this.

The idea that the entire game is just a big waste of time till you get to the real game is a terrible idea and always will be.

More power to people who like that sort of thing. I played WoW for the raiding and progression, so I get it. But those sorts of players are a tiny minority and always have been. I guess it doesn’t matter as long as those hardcore people are also whales since it’s F2P, but that’s a tiny minority of a minority at that point.


Up to act 9 now and Innocence and Brine King are the only bosses to have given me real, tilt level grief. Innocence I was tired and under geared, but it is a long assed fight. BK just has such a small area to work with and my setup prevented me from reliably dealing with the adds.

It’s a shame you can’t ctrl-click the boss entrances, but people would just abuse the shit out of it for running bosses over and over again, so they have to reset the entire zone, really.

PoE doesn’t really slap you that hard with the ‘your gear sucks’ stick, until you hit few of the bosses. Good rolls on a low level item can carry you a long, long way in this game, unlike most other ARPG’s. But sooner or later you will run up against something that will force you to reconsider your gear, and it is usually a boss (or the resistance penalty transition). For me it used to be Brutus (lol), then it was Merveil, then it was Dominus, then it was Malachai. I don’t tend to have problems with any of those now, on account of my growing experience with the game and with knowing how those boss fights play out.

Now when I have pain with Innocence and the Brine King, it is much easier to recognise both gaps in my passive tree and gaps in my gear. But just as importantly, I have not yet learned the mechanics of those fights, so the first few times will be a problem, particularly with unoptimised gear. That just is what it is, when it comes to boss fights in general.

I do appreciate that I can brute force them down, however, as they would otherwise become a barrier to XP progression, what with penalties for being out of level (+4 over area level and penalties apply). If you had to spend a few hours grinding for gear to pass Malachai comfortably, that means you also ground XP and that can have a drastic effect on your XP rate for the remaining 6 acts! There is stacks of content in PoE. There was stacks before Oriath. There is tons of content in progression. There is tons of content in end-game, but I am glad the latter isn’t barred off by hard-stop gear check boss fights in the progression portion of the game.

If you really want the challenge of downing a boss without dying, well the option exists for you to reset the zone.

I have taken to quickly you-tubing upcoming bosses to get the gist of the mechanics before hitting them, which has made my subsequent attempts much less frustrating and much more successful. They are still dangerous and sometimes long fights, but at least I don’t die four times just learning the basics of how they play out.


I realize you’re speaking from frustration, @ShivaX, but I really think you’re off base here.

Simply put, if you’re dying a bunch of times and grinding through a boss that way, you’re doing it wrong. You’re eating an XP penalty, wasting time, and not having any fun. I appreciate that the option is there so the leveling bosses aren’t hard blocks for mediocre builds or players, but there’s no reason you should feel like they’re deliberately overtuned.

You don’t have to twink at all to smash through the content with no or minimal deaths, but you do have to have a build that is somewhat thought through and gear that supports it and isn’t too far underleveled. Take a breath, step back, take a look at your build, maybe see what other players are doing.

Honestly if you’re having a ton of trouble with a boss (man, Malachai used to piss me off) stop trying to kill him and just dodge for a minute. Learn his patterns. You can’t kill Shade of Aran while dancing through Flame Wreath, and you can’t kill Dominus standing in the blood rain.

That all said, some of the bosses are fucking assholes, that is true enough. I generally don’t play hardcore in PoE because of precisely that, but often as not I’ll abandon a character if I die to something non- cheesy.


I said I’d do it, and I did. I’m officially in Act 2, which is way farther than I’ve ever made it before. I still feel like I’m fighting the interface in some ways, but it’s not enough for me to give up yet.

I have a witch, and I’ve been building her as a summoner. I have some questions.

Are there spells that summon things other than skeletons and zombies? I notice all of my passive nodes only give +1 zombie and +1 skeleton. Or do I just use different support gems to change up those two spells?

Since there only seem to be two summon spells so far (at level 15 or so), I’ve been supplementing with diseasey AoE spells. Are there spells that better complement the summoner playstyle?


Made my way through the end of the story with my Harbinger league Sarah. Kitava was a royal pain at the end of Act 10, as one would expect, but I (barely) managed to survive without dying. I wouldn’t want to try hardcore until I’ve gone through the fight a few more times and have a good idea of what’s going on, but it does seem fairly well balanced…difficult, but not overwhelmingly so.


You’ll get more summoner stuff as you make it further into the game. There’s Summon Raging Spirit which you should be able to buy from Nessa back in Act 1 (check the second tab of her store) which is a very short-lived minion that works kind of like little floating fireballs. You’ll get the option to take a gem that can raise spectres from enemy corpses sometime in Act 3, and a gem that can summon a golem in Act 4. Personally, I like the horde summoner archetype, where I basically just keep as many minions as possibly out at all times. Builds that focus on one or two types of minions are probably going to be better, though.

You’ll also find some utility gems that help as a summoner. Linking Spell Totem to your Summon Skeletons is a popular trick. You summon the totem, and then the totem summons skeletons, leaving you free to do other things (like summon raging spirits). Spells like Convocation (pulls your minions to you) and Flesh Offering (eats a corpse to make your minions faster) are very useful tactically. I think Nessa should have Flesh Offering for you, and Convocation shows up in Act 3.

This guide has some good summoner tips, including a leveling section that can give you an idea of what is available as you work your way through the story.


Woohoo! Go @SadleyBradley

This is my first time facing all these guys, and I didn’t read up on the mechanics of any of them, so in some cases, it took me a bit to figure out what I was supposed to do (e.g. Malachai). But I think until Avarius, the only death I had during a boss fight was when I had the misfortune to leap attack directly into Piety’s beam the first time she used it.

In news of the stupid, I was doing one of Haku’s missions yesterday. This one was timed from entrance. I got back to the stairs with 30 seconds left…without the spirit I was supposed to retrieve.


Great responsive post sharaleo. I totally concur with your take. The punishment for cheesing the boss fights is, in my opinion, cheesing the boss fights, largely. I just had a Ranger character go up against Innocence and it was a disaster. Very demoralizing; made me wonder how I got as far as I did. I now know how bad she is as a character given the absurd number of deaths she suffered. My previous battle with Innocence with my much stronger Templar went really well, with no deaths or maybe one, don’t remember, and that was on my first go 'round. You nail it with the reference to “gear checks”. On my Ranger I know I have a resistance and life deficit, and that’s what really hurt. But I’m not able to address this easily or dramatically. Thank god I didn’t meet an impassable barrier preventing me from advancing.


Well, I think in a perfect arpg world, you get some sort of gear check BEFORE major bosses. Minor bosses or encounters that serve as a notice you aren’t ready for what comes next if you struggle with them. But to work effectively, that kind of thing has to be built into the DNA of the game from the very beginning so that players understand what it is and what it means.


I ended up switching to glacial cascade totems and spent 30c on regrets. Combined with Bateau’s recommendations, it is feeling a bit better. I never realized CWDT+IC worked without endurance charges. It has given me a fraction of a second to bolt when it pops with a bunch of fast hitting mobs.


Yeah, it does, just the duration is very short.

I have CWDT+ IC+Enfeeble+ Duration support linked together right now. One of the things I’m working on right now is figuring out how to get endurance charges. I have Warlord’s Mark, which feels a lot better with an area support gem, but I think it’s not going to be worth messing with until I get some endurance charge duration. Oooh, just discovered blasphemy support…


You can also link Warlord’s Mark with Cast When Damage Taken and save your mana for a damage aura like Hatred of Herald of Ash. Also, while reading the tooltip of the curse you probably noticed that it also grants some leech - however, curses in PoE have less effect on bosses. Just something to keep in mind if you plan to rely on that leech.


So, I can’t do maps until I finish Act 10, can I? Bummer. :(

68, Downed Deodre again, just need to do the other two before presumably taking on the act boss. Leveling progress is a bit slow on account of me being over-leveled as I explore the act content the first time through.

Clear speed is still OK, but I am beginning to feel the pinch at times. A couple of crit nodes really made a difference. A second run though the lab and getting 4 totems will help as well. Still only at 3k life/ES. Resistances are fine, but otherwise I really need to find some better gear. I should get off my ass and just buy a rare 5L chest.

Gave up on the Lightning Golem procc’d by CWDT and now have it on manual cast. CWDT keeps the gem level too low for the golem to be survivable enough and I want it up for damage boosting. If I need to play cautiously, then I let the totems do the work which means I am not getting hit, so CWDT is net getting proc’d to refresh the golem anyway. Need to give that more thought.

For the first time ever, I have no mana flasks. Mana regen, even at 75% reservation is plenty to keep me going. Two quite decent basalt flasks give me survivability and IC on the other CWDT gives me a nice visual indicator to pop a flask and get our of dodge.


Nah, not relying on leech. Already using herald of ash. Not sure I want to use Hatred/anger. The cost is a bit high for my taste. I like the idea of Mark as an aura, if I can get the size large enough.


Get some mana leech (on rings or jewels), around 0.4% should be enough. And then you reserve as much mana as you can while still having enough to spam your main attack skill. Hatred is a massive dps increase and it’s definitely worth using if you’re not going for Blood Magic.


Ah, ok. I just realized that, much as herald of ash is a % of phys damage where the others are not, that hatred is also a % of phys (I was assuming it was a palette swap with anger…my bad). Now I see why that would be worth doing.


Congratulations! You say in your forum post that you plan to take a break from Sarah now, what next?


Thanks. I’m gonna leave SSF behind for a bit and go over to the regular Harbinger league. I think I’ll try the Righteous Fire/Searing Bond totem build first.


I missed a surprise mechanic in this mission. Maybe you did too: when carrying the spirit back to the exit you cannot use most movement skills or the spirit will be dropped.

“After you retrieve the Karui Spirit and begin to escort it out, you cannot use movement skills or leave the instance (other than by using the exit) without dropping the Karui Spirit. These skills include: Leap Slam, Whirling Blades, Lightning Warp, Shield Charge and Smoke Mine. Cyclone and Flicker Strike are an exception and can be used without dropping the Spirit. The Karui Spirit remains stationary until it is retrieved again. You can use Flasks to boost your speed.”


That didn’t used to be true. Did they change things up? Or were you being sarcastic?

You used to be able to do maps as soon as as you got a map drop.