I went back to playing Path of Exile because some of the changes in the new expansion sounded pretty cool. Having now played for half a month I can safely say I'm once again hooked on the game. The new random quest givers and hideouts are awesome. Carrying forward the lockboxes and corrupted zones from the last expansion adds lots of little bursts of cool stuff without being excessive. There's still a bajillion interesting builds out there to try, and I want to go back to my last build too. So I'm probably going to keep playing the game for a while more... Which brings the question about how viable the challenges are this time around. Could this be the time I get a t-shirt?!?
There are 8 challenges again, same as always, with a similar mix to previous times. A leveling one, a softcore one, a hardcore one, an item collection one, one for using currency... But the devil is in the details...
First up, fully clear all of the zones in the main game. This means killing every single monster on every single level. But you can do it on any difficulty and it doesn't count things like maps and corrupted zones. I actually did this while leveling because I wanted to earn more experience in merciless difficulty. It took a bit of effort so I wouldn't say it was completely trivial but it was definitely easy compared to other challenges.
Then they want you to hit level 65 with each of the 7 classes. This is also easy to do but requires some time. More time than the last one, but there's nothing inherently hard about leveling up to only 65. If you take life nodes as you level you won't get stuck in a death spiral. I have no concerns about getting this done. Especially since I want to play some more builds... I just need to choose different starting classes!
You also need to reach all 13 of the rampage tiers which is the new thing they added for the softcore league. Basically this means you need to kill around 700 monsters without having a window 5 seconds long where you didn't kill anything. Tom already has this one done and I feel like I could get it on my ranger if I ran a level 66 map with pack size and an easy route. Like dunes... I don't have a mobility skill to get over walls but even if I can't do it on my ranger I'm sure I'll be able to on someone else. Maybe I'll have to worry about it as the league winds down if I haven't picked it up by then but for now I feel like I can pick this up.
Once again they want you to use all the currency items. Well, not all of them. I feel like previous challenges included eternal orbs and this time they don't. I expect I'll probably use most of them through regular play and the ones I won't use will only cost about 30 chaos orbs to pick up regardless. I actually have all of them except a divine on me as it is. So no worry here.
The hardcore challenge is to beat up all 13 interdimensional monstrosities. The hardcore mechanic is that when you kill a bunch of enemies in one spot they might open a rift of some kind. Kill more enemies and the rift gets bigger and bigger. Eventually something really tough pops out. I have no idea how easy or hard these things will be. I feel like 'Abaxoth, The End of All That Is' should be a tough dude but I don't know how tough. It is hardcore so trying and failing costs a character... Maybe I should start a hardcore guy up to get an idea of what is going on here. For now I'm going to assume if I just run a solid build (I'm thinking spectral throw) I can probably pull it off but finding out sooner rather than later would be prudent I think.
They want you to level all 7 of the masters up to level 8. I'm pretty sure there are people at level 8 already but they pug the quests with people in a chat channel. I don't care enough to do that and if it turns out that's what you need to do in order to get this done I'll just give up instead. I tried writing down some numbers today to see how much rep I was getting with each quest but it seemed to change based on who started the quest. I'm going to have to do some research on that soon. For now I'm going to assume it'll just happen if I play a lot and tag along on other people's dailies.
You once again need to own a random assortment of the unique items in the game. I went out and priced all the items on poe.xyz.is and they come out to a little under 1000 chaos total for the entire selection. The first time around all the items in the challenge were worth almost 8000 chaos, so the item challenge is significantly easier this time around. 1000 sounds like a big number but we actually had an item drop in a map the other day worth over 700 chaos. I'm pretty confident if we pooled all the items we had on our accounts we'd have more than enough to do the challenge right now. And we're only 1/6th of the way through! The item collectors were really scary in the previous challenges and I thought I'd need to really play the market to get enough money to buy them all. This time around it doesn't feel so bad.
Finally they want you to kill a random selection of the unique monsters in the game. Some of these bosses are in really hard maps which feels like it might be a problem... But it turns out the new quest system can actually send you into lower level versions of some of the maps and I've already killed some of the ones that looked really hard. I only have 7 left to kill. One is the boss of the last expansion, Atziri, and I have the ability to spawn 2 of her zones already once we feel strong enough to give her a try. Five of them are bosses of unique maps. It's interesting to note that one of the quest givers actually opened a portal to a unique map for me earlier, so I may get those without ever seeing the unique maps drop. Regardless, we'll probably have them drop and if not we can buy one of each if we need to. The last is "The First Rhoa" and no one seems to know where it spawns except maybe in a quest from the map quest giver. I feel like all 7 of these are totally doable.
What does this all mean? Well, I need to check out the hardcore mechanic this time around and I need to run some numbers on leveling all the quest givers but beyond that it seems totally feasible this time around. Is it tshirt time? It might be...