Crucible’s Top 5 Failures In Path Of Exile 3.21

Is Path of Exile’s 3.21 expansion Crucible a successful PoE league? By the numbers, it’s one of the best ever, but that’s probably not because of the actual league content being introduced. While the core game is in an amazing spot, Crucible features in general failed in numerous ways. Obviously, this is due to the work being done on Path of Exile 2, Exilecon 2023 and Path of Exile 3.22 expansion.

We’ll see soon, but first let’s delve into how this league became a sensation with some small but impactful changes. Here I will introduce five failures of Crucible league to you.

Forge of the Titans

You might not have noticed a failing slice of Crucible League, unlike the other glaring issues is the non-randomized completely standard layout and content of the forge of the Titans. One of the League’s core repeatable features is the remnant system, essentially two tiers are extremely difficult, endgame Maps, POE Orbs, housing crafting benches that can alter Crucible passive skill trees. Crucible specific monsters and all the unique Crucible mini bosses.

Forge of the TitansEvery single time you visit this map, it’s exactly the same. You ZIP down an extended ramp that concludes at a crucible Forge, and a huge Titan statue, or a petrified Titan. The mobs you encounter along the way and the modifiers they carry are different every Remnant, but the actual environment is the same. This is a shocking design Choice, especially in a game like Path of Exile. Developers boast a supremely refined map randomizer, we can play the same map over and over and over and while it might use the same textures, the environment itself can be entirely different, including POE Currency you get may also be different.

Alongside all the other possibilities inside our Maps, this can make every map unique. Every Remnant is almost entirely this same, very quickly it leads to boredom on what could have been an amazing addition to the extremely long Crucible leak.

Here are a few simple additions, that could have drastically helped remnants become replayable:

  • First, give incentive for players to clear the remnant and not rush to the crafting at the End, by adding items with fully unveiled Crucible passive skill trees to the drop tables of every rare and unique monster in the remnant, instead of racing to the end of The Remnant players would now actually seek and get excited by slaying the monsters in the map.
  • Second, randomize the layout. Remnants could still be ramps over a vast bubbling sea of lava, but they could be longer, more twisted and contain other environmental objects to help each Remnant be unique.
  • Third, add the possibility for other custom League content to spawn in remnants. Not every type of League content needed to be in remnants but delirium Essence and perhaps a unique Crucible strong box would have been sweet. This leads me to an idea I hope GGG pursues in the future once work on poe2 concludes and leagues become the main focus again.

Here’s the concept, the combination of League mechanics in future leagues what if remnants had a chance to spawn a delirium mirror with a crucible reward type. How about a crucible Essence monster that dropped an Essence that could be used to slam a weapon with a focused Crucible passive skill tree. How about a crucible strongbox, the Coffer of Titans that could drop a fully unveiled and fully leveled max-sized Crucible passive skill tree, or a host of rare remnants. Grinding Gear Games has a wealth of awesome ideas to pull from the past to use in present and future content, they need to take advantage of that.

Crucible’s Area Mechanic

Crucible area interaction mechanic itself. In Crucible League, every area includes an interactable Crucible Forge. Players can use it to add and then further unveil and level up passive skill trees on weapons, and a select unique helmet. Sadly, the mechanic to do this is extremely clunky, instead of being a slider or a simple click and go difficulty selection, players need to sit and channel a difficulty slider for many seconds.

Along with you channel, the harder the encounter is and the more experience your items pass its skill tree receives, this sucks it could have been a slider, or it could have been a simple easy medium hard deadly multiple choice selection. Instead, it’s a channeling mechanic that is clunky almost every time it’s touched. Sometimes, the channeling UI covers your character. Other times, monsters attack you while channeling if you accidentally click out of the channeling Circle, you end the channeling early. Overall, the area mechanic is poorly implemented and adds too much friction to the game. Lots of people still playing the league don’t interact with it anymore, which sucks.

GGG wants us to use this mechanic, I’m not sure why they’d implement it this way, especially given past similar mechanics and their implementations. Of course interacting with something with this powerful should be risky, but the risk shouldn’t be standing still and getting killed by monsters you cannot fight back against. There have been some quality of life additions to the charging mechanic, such as the ability to see which tier of difficulty and experience gain we’re charging to. But it’s still incredibly janky to work with unfortunately, with Crucible likely ending on August 15th and exalcon 2023 so close, there’s zero chance there will be any other changes, Crucible is staying as it is right now.

Unneeded Crafting Complexity

Number three, in the beginning Crucible required plenty of trial and error when it came to its weapon leveling and crafting. Of course some of this is great and often encouraged, the discovery process is vital in games like Path of Exile. But standard necessary Futures, like the ability to unallocate Crucible passive tree nodes with a scouring orb, needs to be outlined in-game or hinted at strongly.

Additionally what removes and what doesn’t remove a passive skill tree from an item, also wasn’t known and had to be discovered. Some people love this trial and error, others, who don’t use tools or read Guides Online are likely to be frustrated by inconsistencies like this. Proponents may say this is Path of Exile there’s tons of complexities, it’s why we love it. This might be true, but more clarity, and a bit less complexity will allow more players to access all the Deep systems, like Crucible crafting Path of Exile offers.

No New Pinnacle Boss

Major gripe on my end, as it’s one of my favorite parts of Poe Crucible introduce is no new Pinnacle boss. Truly I really wanted to fight that petrified Titan at the end of every Remnant, sort of like a revamped Catawba fight, alas it was not in the cards. Joining the ranks of blight and metamorph league, as an update that definitely should have introduced a new huge boss to the game. Crucible added a very tiny amount of content compared to past expansions, it’s obvious grinding your games was and is all hands on deck with Path of Exile 2, Exile con 2023 and the expansion following Crucible 3.22. Given the lack of chunky new content in Crucible, I’m hoping for an absolute Banger with 3.22.

Crucible’s Legacy in Standard

Concern with the league itself and more about its Legacy. Crucible weapons are responsible for some of the most powerful items and therefore characters in the history of Poe, a few of them are fading onto your screen presently. Even for non-crafting Masters like myself, we’re able to forge absolutely insane weapons with Crucible mechanic. These item passive skill trees add tremendous power to our characters, at the top end of the player base, the sky’s the limit. Assuming Crucible does not go core its weapons will be among the best ever in Path of Exile.

However, I’m thinking item passive skill trees will be a core mechanic sometime in the future, whether with the release of QE2 or a future leak. Standard is going to be flooded, with all of these incredible weapons, those who don’t have them on standard, will never get items this powerful in Path of Exile. Unless something changes drastically with the item crafting system.

Core Path of Exile is Great

Despite these five glaring failures of Crucible League, core Path of Exile is in an absolutely incredible place for most of the player base. Expansion 3.21 had the highest start of League player count in the history of Path of Exile. Both due to the core game’s excellence, and external factors like ARPG hype around Diablo 4. Many weeks in, it’s still comparable to 3.20, that forbidden sanctum in terms of retained player count, meaning it’s also beating almost every other past expansion too. This honestly means, despite the Bare Bones implementation of crucible’s content, Path of Exile is in a great spot going into Exilecon.

Farewell and Outro

Thanks to the Banger base game, and Chase presented with the introduction of Crucible passive skill trees. What do you think? Was Crucible a successful league? Did you enjoy it? How many challenges did you end up getting? Here I am sitting at 40 out of 40 and even though I didn’t think the content was awe-inspiring, I had plenty of fun which was really what matters.

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