As I may or may not have mentioned recently, I’ve been playing two games recently that acronym the same. PoE one is Pillars of Eternity, which I’ve now beaten the main quest of. I really don’t have much to say about this one, I can see how it’s a good game but I personally find it hard to get invested in party crpgs. I’m going to give the expansions a go though, I hear they’re even better than the base game.

The other PoE is Path of Exile, a Diablolike I’m sure I’ve blogged about before. Since last time, my highest level character is now very close to level 90. I really like Path, although I admit I’ve never tried it’s main competitor, Diablo 3. Path is a game where you can do basically anything, but because you can do anything sometimes it’s pretty rough just figuring out how to do something and I know a lot of players bounce off it’s learning curve. I don’t blame them at all, but man, once you get a build coming together it’s great.

I like playing as summoners in these things, partly because I enjoy rolling with a posse but mostly because I like not having to do much. It’s the same here, I have a Necromancer Witch who has a retinue of a golem, some spectres, a bunch of zombies, plus an instant skeleton army (just add water souls!) in case of emergencies.

I got my current build from the official game forums because I doubt I’d have figured out all the systems myself before giving up- like I said,it’s a steep learning curve. It’s optimized for my brand of playstyle laziness. For a start, the minions are all supported by a lot of skills that make them extremely tough so I rarely have to resummon any. All I do is stand at the back firing the one offensive spell I have, a slow moving but wide ball of lightning that I’ve modified to apply weakening curses to any enemy it hits. Apart from the curses, it’s not very strong by itself – I suspect that it would take a very, very long time to clear even a low-level zone if I used it by itself – but it does direct the zombies to things I want to kill. I also have a spell that explodes the bodies of things the zombies kill that grants my minions extra speed and damage that it’s usually no issue to have active near-permanently.

Aside from those things, my main role is to not die. I’m significantly easier to kill than even one of my zombies, so if a strong enemy does start targeting me instead I have to realize and get out of there. It’s a very hands-off build that leaves a lot of time to look over loot that drops but it does struggle with bosses, especially those with strong area of effect attacks that can wear down the minions and take me out very quickly if I linger in one.

Luckily, PoE makes it pretty easy to party with other players who can handle that for me. These living minions can be pretty good, actually! The downside is that some of them refuse to acknowledge your mastery over them. Nothing’s perfect.


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