This works in concert with ability gems, which slot into parts of gear and provide your character charms and abilities to use in combat (unlike Diablo 3, that they do not have any given abilities). Items will frequently have numerous gem slots, and at times they're linked together. When poe currency I put a skill like Orb of Storms into a slot and then join it with Curse on Strike, Flammability and Vulnerability, each time that my Orb of Storms hits an enemy it'll also apply both of these curses into them. It's essentially a highly robust spell-crafting system.
But it's when ability gems and the tree float that things get very exciting. My Necromancer relies solely on Scorching Ray to cope with damage. Obviously, I have unlocked plenty of nodes that boost fire damage, but some major nodes have these clever synergies that are really fun to unlock. Take Elemental Equilibrium for instance, which makes enemies that I struck with elemental damage temporarily receive 25 percent resistance to those elements and -50 percent immunity to other components.
How can that be helpful to me? Well, when an enemy is struck by Orb of Storms, they become resistant to lightning damage but weaker to fire. And since Scorching Ray is a harm over time talent, it doesn't actually "strike" an enemy, therefore that I never risk making them more immune to fire by accident. That's just one of a dozen small synergies my character has. I have never been much of a concept crafter, but seeing my construct gradually come together as I unlock more major nodes was a rewarding experience.
Path of Exile's core combat will never be as gratifying as Diablo 3's. It is slower and lacks the exact same kinetic energy as critters ragdoll and the environment crumbles out of the attacks. But what it lacks animation and action, it makes up for in spades with the strategic depth that comes from slowly molding a personality from such a strong system. I don't feel nearly as connected to any of my Diablo characters because I feel like I have spent so much time into sexually understanding how my Witch functions. She feels handcrafted even though I built her out of a template. Along with her passive tree almost complete and a fantastic deal of her abilities in place, she burns packs of monsters with tremendous ferocity. It is like booting up a new PC build for the very first time, hearing it whir into life and wanting to shout "It's alive!"
I wished to learn more about this POE game since I knew that its complexity is in fact a virtue. Another day I spent an hour on the wiki figuring out where I could get the remainder of the skill gems I want to finish my construct, and there is a couple dozen other long-term goals I am starting to work towards. Like a fantastic MMO, I am excited about the journey instead of the destination. And that's another reason Diablo 3's Necromancer, despite being a lot of fun to play, never hooked me for longer than a couple of days. In a hour or two, I'd electricity levelled him to 70, but that I didn't feel any relationship with the progress I had made.
Now that I have learned to enjoy Path of Exile's core POE match, I'm also starting to appreciate Course of Oriath. As I mentioned, it presents six new functions for a total of ten. This replaces the genre-standard difficulty system, in which I'd normally play through precisely the same material over and over at greater difficulties. Technically four of those newest acts are a retread through familiar zones, but there's continuous detours to new areas and striking changes to the scene to keep things interesting. Beyond this, there's a complete endPOE game to look ahead, but I'm not certain if I will even get there. I've been studying other construct guides and I am itching to try something new, to experience cheapest exalted orbs that slow transformation from weakling to god-like but using a brand new playstyle.
Path of Exile is a massive POE game to try and comprehend. There is still heaps of systems I do not understand and a list full of items I don't really know how to use. However, it has revived the power dream that ARPGs have always fundamentally been about.