PoE's combat is extremely clunky, I couldn't bring myself to like it. I do actually enjoy the "action" part of arpgs, and D3 is hands down the best in that department today (even TL2's combat feels very clunky).
Honestly, I couldn't help but think that Titan Quest or Torclight werea much better games than PoE when I tried it. Yes, it has beautiful textures and nice modern effects, but the systems lead to very obvious paths of least resistance and optimal builds in that game, and the bugs and clunky combat is just annoying.
It is one hell of a victory for an indie developer, but still not even close to an arpg masterpiece.
I quite agree with the feel of combat being clunky. Torchlight 2 was better in that regard but Diablo 3 just really streamlines and captures what smooth combat should feel like.
My praise of the game is simply based on the Indie development front. There's a lot of work that's going on here that's got a ton of potential. Masterpiece? No, far from it. I think if they resolve the issues with combat and just pay attention to their community feedback that it could be a really amazing game... and you really can't beat the cost.
Combat controls in D3 are much smoother, that is for sure.
On the other hand, the item/build diversity and complexity and the end-game system in PoE is just so much more interesting than the ones in D3 - one can't even compare it. In D3 everything feels linearized and simplified at some point.
I guess I will take a break from D3 once the open beta of PoE starts (although I will return to D3 if Blizz manages to produce an expansion that takes D3 to another level - similar to D2 and LoD)
The end game of PoE is probably what surprised me the most and I like the idea they came up with. It would be cool if Diablo could incorporate something like that.
For those who haven't looked into it or seen the videos that Total Biscuit put out on it: End game you can find map pieces at random. You then generate a portal to a random world based on the map pieces you put together. each piece can have positive and negative modifiers to the map. You might be able to make sure that more large chests spawn, but the monsters are tougher. you might in turn then reduce the monster difficulty but add damage zones to the floor. There's little end to the amount of combinations it sounds like. This is really what makes me excited about their game.
Italofoca, gettin a little butthurt people are hatin on PoE when it's a PoS? Yet you dont understand when it's turned around and people defend D3.
Either way, PoE is not a very well done game at all. Very small number of monster types with usually one or two per zone. Every class being able to use every skill with gems means there almost isn't a single difference in what you roll. Combat is lame with just one or two skill spamming. Also the monitory system doesnt feel right at all. D3 is many light years ahead of D3.
I thought the same thing about every class using every skill when I first started. I was worried it'd be horribly homogenized but it really isn't. Your class choice dictates what primary attributes you get and those stats are the only ones that grow with level. Each skill will have level and stat requirements that means a Strength brawler like the Marauder won't be using spells as he has little to no Intelligence. The only way to work around this is to find gear with a lot of the stat you need or to pick up every +stat node in the passive skill tree. Even then you might not be able to use the highest levels of that skill. It allows hybrid classes to pick up skills from 2 different classes but not really master one or the other, but they can pick up passives that make them just a bit more unique.
Some of the passives are rather interesting, but I think those are rather few and far between. There's one that lets you take your mana shield and just turn it into mana. One that lets you have only 1HP but you get 50% more mana shield and immunity to one damage type. One allowed you to take the melee bonus damage from strength and turn it into ranged damage bonus. One removed your ability to "dodge" attacks but made it so you couldn't ever be stunned. There' some interesting ideas, but again they are kind of rare.
I think at this point the game is mostly feature complete. Feature complete does not mean content complete though. They only have 2 acts and just added the new boss so they still have a lot of work to go. It wouldn't surprise me if we see more monsters added into the game and the combat tightened up, assuming they listen to their fans/community. Of course, they could still be working on systems we don't know anything about yet as the end game map system was a fairly recent announcement.
Now, just so I don't sound like a gushing fanboy as I really do prefer Diablo 3 (I just get excited to see new games come up with new ideas) there are several issues I had with the game. I did not like that I pretty much spammed fireballs the entire beta weekend. I chalk that one up to my AoE spells and other abilities not having enough oomph or firepower behind them. Nothing seemed to trump the fireball to the face. I really do hope that a lot of effort goes into balancing the skills so they each have a role and feel strong. The combat was also fairly clunky as it was difficult to dodge anything as a ranged user just because of the longer cast times and such. It didn't quite feel right.
The maps were HUGE which is a good and bad thing for me. I like to explore so that part was fun, but the maps are pretty much just populated with monsters and there's not much to find out in the world. Even the treasure chests never really interested as I wasn't finding much along the lines of item upgrades. I think the maps could either be scaled down or they should add cool things to find in the world to make exploration worth it. I think Diablo 3 did a beautiful job on this with the random events system.
I did not like how the Act 1 final boss felt at all. I could only dodge one of the abilities being used and the other was an instant hit (no projectile) AoE chill/freeze. Thanks to the problem where I couldn't bring minions into the boss room, I was pretty much powerless against the boss and had to throw myself at her multiple times to win. The good note there is that the boss did not regen health so it's more like Diablo 2 in that regards. Even though I could beat her using that, I really would rather the boss be a challenge due to some mechanic I need to overcome, not just because I don't have enough potions or something. The very first boss (Brutus) was a good example of this, at least for ranged classes.
Lastly, I'm not sure I like having the possibility of losing my skills because of my gear. I cannot deny the augment system has tons of customization possibilities, but it just seems like a bit much to lose the abilities I can use just because my upgrade didn't have the right color slot. I almost think they should add a system where the colored slots aren't REQUIRED to slot a skill, but a gem in the right color slot might be more powerful. Or maybe make it like WoW where you get a bonus for using the right colors in the slots... I'm not sure, it's hard to say on that one.
As for the barter system, since you mentioned it, I think it's neat. I don't think I personally care for it over a gold system, but it's a new idea and new ideas for equipment purchasing are rare.
After coming from the PoE Open Beta Weekend, I'd have to say the game really does impress especially when you consider it's Indie developed and is Free to Play. It's very well done, honestly, even though it lacks a lot of polish that could make it great. I still find D3 more preferable to any other similar game, but I do enjoy each ARPG for its own flavor. It's like liking multiple flavors of ice cream, I guess.
The customization you can achieve in PoE is very high, the only problem with it is that you have to level up any skills you don't have from scratch and you can possibly lose a build you were using just by upgrading gear. It makes it so gear is even more important now than ever and it will make some seriously hard choices on do you want those stats on the item or do you really need those socket colors... or maybe there's an augment pathway that gives you a really good skill combination but you lose it if you were to chance that piece out, even though you could still keep the individual skills.
PoE does feel a bit slower. Ranged combat feels pretty good but melee felt wanting, as if monsters didn't really respond to your attacks like they should. It's kind of weird to describe as I only played a tiny tiny bit of melee. I found that I spammed one ability over and over and the AoE skills really didn't work well in larger packs over just casting fireball over and over. It's odd because some spells like fireball feel really good and strong but Firestorm feels weak, like those raining meteors are really just toasted marshmallows.
I suppose the biggest gripe I had bout it was the constant resetting of my instances when I wasn't in them. It made death a real chore even though you don't lose anything for it. You might end up having to clear an area over and over again when you just want to progress the story or get to the next difficulty. It was especially bad when I ran into the Act 1 end boss and really had nothing I could do other than die over and over again to kill it. It was a hard fight, but not really in the fun "I can get better" way, more like the frustrating "why does the boss have that ability" way.
The thing to remember, every issue listed is something that can be changed. The game only just put in the 2nd act boss, so there's plenty of time.
For anyone interested, I recorded my entire play session during the beta weekend and I muse over the game and give my thoughts as I play it. I put up part one where I just talk about the basic systems so if anyone's curious please have a look. The other videos will be going up in time, I just need to render and upload and I might get held back if the PS2 beta starts up today or tomorrow as has been suggested.
Hit the channel or the links in my signature if you care to see more.