I like ARPGs, actually I think it’s tied to some other things, but it boils down to a few things. The genre tends to be loot filled games with a sprawling endgame, with multiple different viable builds to play, each with distinct and unique characteristics.
Diablo 3 and Path of Exile are examples of this that I have put many hours into. Currently, each of the games are mid-season and I’m enjoying both. They have some similarities, but there are many vast differences that mean the games feel incredibly different. I want to explore why each one shines in each of it’s areas, and try to figure out which one I like better, and which I would recommend for people to play. I will be talking the versions of the game that are current, Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls, currently in Season 16, and Path Of Exile: Betrayal, version 3.5.
First up on the points of things to look at is Story. Every game should have a story, even if it’s told environmentally, and it’s vague, but each of these games has an interesting and unique story. Diablo 3s story spans 5 acts, initially 4, then Reaper of Souls came along and added the fifth, and is very interesting, about Diablo finding a body and overtaking the realm. Of course, I’m grossly simplifying, but there’s a lot of twists and turns, and it’s all rather intriguing, and keeps you hooked the first time you play through.
Path of Exile’s story runs 10 acts, previously was 4, but then the Fall of Oriath happened, and another 6 acts were added. I did not play the game prior to the addition of Fall of Oriath, and as such only know the 10 act game. The story is about the player character being Exiled from Oriath and having to find redemption, only to return to Oriath to uncover that Kitava, a god of corruption, has corrupted the city. There are many other things going on, there’s artifacts to find to go through the story, and in a mission in act 2, you make a choice in the quest that will determine your rewards which can affect the rest of the game, from a mechanics point of view, rather than story.
Gameplay between the two is based around the same inputs, mouse and keyboard, isometric like view. Diablo 3 allows you to have 6 skill available at any one time, while Path of Exile allows 8 skills, but, also allows a second weapon set, which is switch able, and can have a different 8 skills assigned. This becomes useful as there is a quick switch, so you can easily switch between a general enemies and movement set up and a boss killing set up within a press of a button.
There are 7 character classes in each game, but they influence each game in dramatically different ways. In Diablo 3, choosing a wizard ties you into using their spells and skills, while choosing a Witch in Path of Exile means only that you start at a certain point on the Passive Skill Tree which is weighted towards spell casting and intelligence.
Both games share Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence as points that can be added, where in Diablo they are important for Skill Damage, in Path of Exile they are used for item and skill requirements as well as increasing Health, Mana and Evasion, among other things.
As we get to this point we can see that mechanically the games start separating, and the remainder of what I write will try to keep them separate but compare where necessary. Those differences and things will be covered over the next few weeks!
Have an excellent day! You’re all my favourites!