Taking a Look Inside PoE 3.7
With just over a month left until the PoE 3.7 patch launches, we already have quite a bit of news on what is to come. The majority of it focuses on their planned reworks, but there is also quite a bit of information on what is to come in the future, whether it be 3.7 or later. With many changes already announced, it is time to take a look at some of them.
What are the Mechanics for the 3.7 League?
We don’t know what the 3.7 league mechanic is going to be yet. In fact, we don’t know the name of the league yet either, hence me referring to it as 3.7. However, we do have an idea of what it will entail. After Synthesis bombed so hard in the community’s eyes, it opened a large discussion regarding scope. The community has felt burnt out by having so many massive expansions back to back, particularly Betrayal and Synthesis, which were both quite confusing to fully engage in. This was expressed in no uncertain terms, and GGG has responded to these concerns.
In several different development manifestos and Q&A posts, GGG has assured us that 3.7 will have a “simpler scope than the last few”. They have gone on to compare it to leagues like Breach, Abyss, and Essence. We may not know exactly what the new league is, but these comparisons can clearly show that it will focus around adding density to maps rather than entire separate systems such as Synthesis or Delve. They have said that they want to keep it exciting and engaging with potential, so in all likelihood we will see something very similar to Breach or Abyss, where there is potential for further engagement (through Breachstones or Abyssal Depths), but it does not interrupt the flow of gameplay in the same way that Betrayal does.
What is the focus of 3.7?
We don’t know what the new league will be, but GGG has long since confirmed that 3.7 will be focused on a melee rework. 3.6 was focused on reworking spells, pushing towards more viable self-casting. Most of this was merely retouched numbers, with a few skills being properly reworked. The melee changes, on the other hand, are far more complex.
Most of the existing melee skills have fine numbers – in fact, many of them can output the most damage per second possible within Path of Exile. However, they are simply far too clunky to actually use. Many of them require Ancestral Call and Melee Splash to be in main links in order to be used as a clearing skill. If two of your six links are dedicated to making your skill viable, and one of them actively reduces your damage by 25% across the board, you might have an issue. To put this into perspective, most ranged skills only need Greater Multiple Projectiles in order to swap from single target to AoE. Further, GMP scales damage off of its quality, while Melee Splash does not, meaning it is an even larger loss.
To combat this clunkiness GGG has planned full reworks of many skills. It is currently unclear what these reworks will entail, but many are speculating potential AoE increases to most skills. They have also confirmed that they plan to improve the feel of melee skills, stating that they are aware that many melee skills feel clunky until you have enough attack speed. This makes them feel very bad for newer players or even returning players leveling new characters. They have stated that at least part of this aspect of the rework will include visual reworks, so that is something we can look forward to for 3.7!
What else is coming?
Two weeks ago GGG put out the first part of their two-part Q&A. In it, they stated several things regarding the direction of the game. This includes their reiteration that Synthesis will not be going Core in 3.7, something many members of the community were worried about.
They also revealed that they are aware of the issues regarding the surplus of rare item drops. This is something that will be difficult to fix and will take a long time. In their own words: “It’s going to be a very slow process, across many, many expansions (probably with 4.0.0 doing some of the heavy lifting), but we’ll get there”. It may not be the immediate response that many want, but acknowledging the issue and addressing it is certainly a step in the right direction.
However, the most controversial point that they addressed is that of Betrayal. In a larger answer discussing the current mechanics making it difficult to start a new character (as you lose progress in Incursions, Betrayal, Synthesis) GGG responded by saying that, amongst other things, Betrayal was “not really possible to make this per-character”. This sparked quite a bit of outrage in the community, who reiterated just how long it takes to finish a single safehouse now that Betrayal isn’t core. For anyone who actually wants to farm Betrayal, there is also the issue of crafting a proper tree of masters in order to profit. Creating the tree itself takes far longer than finishing any singular safehouse, and makes you feel extremely pigeon-holed into sticking with that character for Betrayal events. I myself disregarded crafting a tree entirely during Synthesis, as it wasn’t worth my time to craft the tree on multiple characters.
GGG saw the massive outcry and in the second part of their Q&A put out this week, they relented. The very first question of the second Q&A asked the same question, whether or not Betrayal could be account bound rather than character bound, which was answered with “Yes. We’re not sure whether the change will be in 3.7 or 3.8 yet.” They then surprised everyone by stating that Sulphite will also become account wide rather than character bound. For those of us who deep-delve and are used to swapping characters every time we see Sulphite, this is a huge quality of life bonus. Once again they are unsure when this will be added, but it is coming.
PoE 3.7 is shaping up to be a huge quality of life league for Path of Exile. Improvements to melee skills, masters, and rare items are all forthcoming in the next league or two. In particular, the melee changes are shaping up to be a huge change that will reshape the PoE meta. The league itself will be a simple kill monsters league, something many have been asking for. 3.7’s actual league mechanic may not have been announced yet, but it’s already shaping up to be a great league!