The Path of Exile Archnemesis system continues to frustrate fans of one of the main Diablo competitors. PoE has long been seen as one of the best RPG games on PC and as a game that gave fans of the genre who felt disappointed by Diablo 3 a new place to call home. However, recent updates to the free PC game such as the disappointing Path of Exile Lake of Kalandra release have left the community in disarray, and continued frustrations arising from the Archnemesis system have even seen some players turn to the Blizzard series they long ago snubbed in search of an alternative.
The Path of Exile Archnemesis challenge league ran from February 4 – May 10 2022, as part of PoE’s patch 3.17 update Siege of the Atlas. Its unique twist was allowing players to build their own boss fights by applying new ‘Archnemesis modifiers’ to them before the fight. These introduced a series of dangerous behaviours and traits to the foes, but rewarded players with a range of valuable items and resources in return.
The league was seen as fairly rewarding, but some of the modifiers could be rather frustrating to deal with. However, as these were under player control it was very much a ‘you made your bed, now lie in it’ situation. This became a more dramatic issue when the next league, Sentinel, began – the Archnemesis modifiers were instead introduced to the pool used by all rare monsters in the game, meaning that players began encountering packs featuring some of the most frustrating variants. However, they weren’t given the previous reward bonuses as compensation for doing so.
Developer Grinding Gear Games has been attempting to address these concerns in recent updates – community director Bex_GGG says of certain Archnemesis modifiers that convert rewards to quality currency and flasks that “there is a fair bit of team agreement around it feeling bad.” Certain modifiers have been removed from specific modes, or in some cases taken out altogether, but it seems like players are still finding the overall system bothersome.
At the time of writing, several of the most upvoted posts on the game’s subreddit talk about how Archnemesis monsters continue to put them off playing. One says, “Archnemesis doesn’t add difficulty, it just makes the game annoying to play.” Another explains that while the plan for Archnemesis was to create fun, interesting fights with rare enemies, instead “I barely see the enemy while trying to avoid all the random bullshit on the screen.” One rather lengthy post is best summarised by the line, “I absolutely do not want my enemies’ power levels to be incalculable and unforgiving.”
In most cases, it’s clear that the community discussions are being led by players who love the game, many of whom have played it for a long time, and that they’re just hoping for this to prove to be a somewhat larger than usual bump in the road. However, perhaps the general sentiment is best summed up by the prominence of a sizeable thread on the PoE subreddit talking about playing Diablo 3 – the comments are certainly far from universally in favour of the Blizzard game, but its mere appearance among the PoE community would have been almost unthinkable in days gone by.
Grinding Gear Games will hope to win back the favour of its community as it moves towards the 4.0 update that is planned to mark the transition to Path of Exile 2. Meanwhile those of you who are tempted to give Blizzard’s action-RPG series a fresh chance while you wait for change have the option of the brand new Diablo 2: Resurrected Terror Zones feature and the recently released Diablo 3 season 27. We’ve also got plenty more of the best fantasy games on PC to choose from if you’d prefer something else entirely.