March 3, 2018

Path of Exile Bestiary League Day 1

Day 1 of the Path of Exile Bestiary league was a mixed bag for me. I reached level 52 with my Inquisitor using Molten Strike with Ancestral Call. I am mostly following this Ele Claw Inquisitor guide by GornoDD (video at bottom). I have had pretty poor luck with leveling drops so far, but I used the new beastcrafting system to create some helpful items like a triple resistance helm, a unique belt (ended up with The Magnate), and some helpful flasks. I tried to craft a few claws, but they all turned out poorly.

Unfortunately, on launch, the beast capture mechanic in Bestiary league was an exercise in frustration. The Bestiary UI wasn't working for about 45 minutes at the beginning of the league, which left a few of the leveling recipes skipped over. The net throwing is clunky, managing nets is tedious, new recipes block a large portion of the screen, targeting rare beasts in the middle of player skills and enemy skills and enemy summons is difficult, and the enrage mechanic, where beasts break out of nets (and heal), is poorly implemented and poorly explained.

Luckily, and impressively, Grinding Gear Games has already started to fix some of these issues the community has brought up. In a thread titled "Bestiary Improvements So Far," GGG lists changes to the recipe UI (including a way to turn off the notifications altogether) and improvements to how rare beasts are captured. Only two hours later, another thread detailed additional changes (coming later), adding a three-second capture window and new nets which can capture dead beasts.

I still think more work needs to be done on the visibility of traps and/or rare beasts. We already went through this with Abyss, where the visibility was improved over time. I am very glad that GGG is quickly moving to address the other issues, though. With some past leagues, like Harbinger, league mechanics sometimes went weeks before some problems with them were addressed. I am looking forward to playing with a better Bestiary system, seeing how the mechanic works at the endgame and fighting all the new bosses (including Uber Elder/Shaper).