Recently, GGG revealed the March Events, we’ll be getting as a result of the delay of the POE 3.21 Update. In this article, I want to go over what they are, and talk a bit about how I feel about GGG running these events.
These events will take place over the course of 4 weeks, and the general structure of these events is that there is a single, main event that will last all 4 weeks, and then 3 single-week events on weeks 2, 3, and 4.
Now, I quite like this structure overall – at least, in theory. It makes sense to have a single, long-lasting event with broader appeal, and then a number of single-week smaller events with more niche appeal, that players can dip into if they’re interested. To me, this seems like a much better structure than in the past, when we just had a series of back-to-back one-week events. However, that kind of falls apart when we look at the actual events themselves.
Ruthless With Gold
The 4-week event is called “Ruthless with Gold”. The general gist of this event is that it’s putting a unique spin on the PoE experience – asking “what if PoE had gold like other ARPGs do”?
Monsters will drop gold that is auto-collected – the same way Aureus coins are in the Sanctum – and you’ll be able to spend that gold to buy POE Items off of vendors. This even includes a Gwennen-esque ability to gamble for random POE Items.
The problem with this event, however, is right in the name. It’s Ruthless-only. This isn’t an event with broad appeal – very few players are going to want to play Ruthless – it’s a pretty niche. Even if this is a sort of “Ruthless Lite”, and the gold system means we’ll be getting strictly more loot than in regular Ruthless.
It’s just not the sort of Path of Exile experience most players are interested in. While I was pretty interested in checking out Ruthless, the challenge of rewards being unobtainable was a complete deal breaker. This sidesteps that issue by not being a part of a League, and by having its own rewards. So, I’m very keen to give this a shot, and see how I like Ruthless.
However, if you’re someone who has absolutely no interest in Ruthless, and are hoping to find something more “for you” in the other events… Then guys, do I have some bad news? This event may be niche, but the other events are somehow even more so.
Other March Events
The remaining three 1-week events are all what GGG is calling “Asynchronous Group SSF events”. What this means in practice is that in order to participate in these events, you need a set number of friends to play with, and you join a private league for the event that is just you and those friends. These events do not have the usual MTX reward structure – rather, they ONLY give rewards to the top 10 groups in each event.
Before I give my thoughts on this, let me just go over these three events real quick:
*The first is what they’re calling the “Friendly Fire” event, and is a race to kill Act 10 Kitava, with friendly fire enabled. You can only deal damage while nearby to two other players, so you have to play in a group of at least three.
*The second event is called “Krangled Passives”, and it seems to be inspired by a Reddit post from not too long ago. All passive skill points have been shuffled randomly, as have all the Ascendancy skills, but are the same random distribution for all players. The idea is that you have to figure out how to make a good build (which you can buy POE Currency to improve yourselves) in this ridiculous meta.
*The third event is called “Polarity”. Each player and each monster will be assigned one of two random polarities, and players can only damage monsters of their same polarity. As a result, you’re required to do this event in a group of at least two. So, these events have some serious issues in my eyes.
The big question I’m forced to ask is “who are these events even for?” These are all events that last only a single week, but require you to play in a group, and only issue rewards to the top 10 groups. What this means is you would have to have 2 to 5 other friends, who can all play PoE nonstop during the weekdays, for a week straight, at the same times as you, so you can all progress together and clear these events.
Who can actually do that? Who has that many friends who all play PoE, are that committed, and have that much free time? Because the only thing I can think of is streamers. If you’re not playing video games for a living, then these events simply are not for you.
It seems clear to me that these events were designed exclusively with streamers in mind. They aren’t for the average Path of Exile player who’s feeling burned out on Sanctum and wants something new. They’re designed for streamers, with the idea being that players who are burned out can watch the streamers play and follow these events.
So, the question then becomes how do you feel about that? About PoE events as a spectator sport? This has always been something that’s existed to some extent – there’s the Gauntlet, but also many streamers will play hardcore and/or SSF, to create something more interesting for viewers to watch. But now, GGG is going out of their way to develop events pretty much exclusively for streamers.
Personally, I very strongly dislike this. I feel that if GGG is going to be spending time and money creating events, they’d be best suited for making events for players of PoE. I want events that are fun to play, not events that are fun to watch. That’s not to say that niche, experimental events are a bad idea – I actually really like to see them trying new things.
My problem is that all of these events are for almost nobody. If they had a big 4-week event that was interesting to most PoE players, and then a series of one-week events, some of which were for streamers, and others which were for everyone. That would be awesome! I just don’t get why we have these niche events to the exclusion of the usual stuff. Would it have killed them to re-run Endless Delve or something alongside these events?
In fact, every single one of these events could be run alongside a more broadly appealing event for everyone. We could have a 4-week Mayhem event, and then three one-week events, all with the usual MTX reward structure. The streamers could play the crazy niche events for them, and then everyone else could play whatever interests them. And everyone would win!
But maybe I’m way off-base with this one. Maybe the vast majority of players actually do want PoE as a spectator sport – and just want to watch their favorite streamers struggle with something weird and difficult. Personally, I like PoE because I like playing PoE, so the idea of streamer-exclusive content is mind-boggling to me.
I like the way events mix things up, and I enjoy getting some random MTX prizes. And the Krangled passives event seems genuinely interesting, which makes it all the more sad that there isn’t a trade-league version of it, or MTX rewards instead of prizes for top placements.
Do you like the idea of PoE as a spectator sport? Do you want to see GGG create events with non-streamers in mind? Do you want them to experiment with niche events, or just re-run the stuff we’re used to? How important are MTX rewards for you in these events? GGG is mixing things up with these events, and I can’t say that I especially like these events.
Having said that, if you’re feeling burnt out on PoE, you have more options than just these events. These events begin on Wednesday March 8th. And, the Multiplayer Beta for Last Epoch has started on March 9th.
Last Epoch is another ARPG, that you’ve probably heard of. It’s been often discussed by PoE players, as it’s been developed, and you may have seen a post on the top of the Path of Exile subreddit recently, discussing Last Epoch’s announcement of how they intend to handle trading – and how cool that system sounds. I’ve had my eye on Last Epoch for years now. It seems like it has a lot of potential, but I haven’t actually played the game in earnest yet, because I was waiting for the online version of the game to be available.
For me, personally, an offline ARPG just isn’t very appealing – I want that server-side progression in a fair economy, and things like fresh starts in leagues are very appealing to me. With the patch coming on Thursday, this is the start of exactly that for Last Epoch, and the developers have apparently stated that they’re not planning any more beta wipes – so this will be the start of Last Epoch’s equivalent of PoE’s “Standard” league.
All in all, I am very keen to give this a shot, and I will divide my time between Ruthless with Gold, and Last Epoch, over the next several weeks.