Path of Exile - Whether To Adopt Advanced Strategies?
As a relatively new player, the sextant system has been the only thing to truly discourage me from continuing to play. However, Sextants, and sextant blocking, mar an otherwise fascinating endgame.
Sextants are items you find in maps. There are three tiers of Sextants, denoted by colors, which coincide with the colors of maps. White (apprentice) is the lowest tier, then yellow (journeyman), then red (master). Once you have found one, you can use it by opening your Atlas, opening your inventory, right clicking the Sextant, then clicking on the map you want to apply it to.
I'm a big believer in visible, measurable progression in ARPGs. The player needs to both see an attainable goal, and witness their progression toward said goal. A player also needs justification for pursuing said goal. Ie, pursuing more poe orbs for better gear to defeat X super boss.
Sextant blocking undermines this system entirely. The cost of entry is outrageously high: roughly 150c initial investment in sextants for blocks on Shaped Vault, 60c every three runs in Zana Breach and sextants, and to really make these runs worth it, quantity gear (13ex minimum for Biscos, another handful of ex for well rolled Ventors). So to even properly prepare for these runs, I'm farming currency to purchase expensive gear that is designed to help me farm currency to purchase expensive gear.
More importantly, though, to properly shape my atlas, I'm rewarded for not completing end game content. I lock Shaped Vault in a cycle of Elder/Shaper influence by NOT fighting Elder. I force Shaped Vault map drops by NOT completing any T14 or T15 maps.
At that point, I wonder why I'm doing any of this? If I cannot "see" my expensive, super awesome gear in action against a super awesome end game boss, or in a super awesome end game map, why am I doing any of this? My end goal is gone, my justification is gone, my measurable progression is gone. I'm farming for the sake of farming. I could abandon the entire system, but not until I've made my money back.
This all bothers me so much, mostly because Path of Exile has such layered and engaging end game content. If you have any suggestions for Path of Exile articles, please leave your suggestion below.