The purpose of this website, to whatever extent it unfolds, is to share my thoughts, experiences, and advice for all things PoE– I have played this game since 2013, like many- transitioning from the Diablo Series and WoW— and never looking back. In this time I have had several careers, ended two long term relationships, lived in five cities, and seen my fair share of ups and downs. The relationship I have with this game is one of the longest standing in my life. While that commentary may seem sad to some, I believe it is a testament to the product and it’s staying power; not only to remain relevant– but to constantly evolve over the course of a decade. Through my time playing this game I have raced (even won a Demigod’s once believe it or not!), boss killed, speed farmed, min maxed, hideout-warriored- and everything in between. As most people do over time, I gravitated towards an aspect of the game I had habitual success with and thereafter developed a passion for– and that is the economy. It is through that lens in which I approach this document, my ambition being that I might impart some of the lessons I have learned through that time– and help demystify an aspect of this game that is oft (unfairly) demonized. I believe this to be a matter of misunderstanding in large, and one that could be remedied not on the back end by developers or balance teams– but on an individual basis, by fundamentally rethinking the way one approaches this aspect of the game. I do not mean to preach, demean, or presume to tell any person what they should like or dislike- at the end of the day, it is a game. If it does not bring you joy regardless of what you do– it is time to walk away. However, I believe with an open-minded approach and willingness to alter certain pre held notions/beliefs/habits– many of the frustrations that are commonly echoed by the player base can be alleviated– and in many situations, a new passion and vigor for the game can be found. Whatever outcome, if you have read this far- I hope that part of this document resonates with you, or improves your gaming experience in some way. I will do my best to produce a cohesive and clear narrative- however, at times the subject matter may bounce around as new topics or ideas come to me. Apologies in advance if this confuses some, it is the gift and the curse of a racing mind.
While this much maligned aspect of the game is seen by many people as a necessary evil, inconvenience, or secondary element to the “hack and slash” archetype of an action RPG that most are drawn to– I believe that it is worth addressing prior to anything else that this notion is patently false. PoE has carved out a very comprehensive niche within its marketplace- but we should not forget the core aspects upon which it was founded– a wildly customizable and deep passive tree, and a unique multi-functional skill gem approach were coupled with, from the start, a currency system that was its own combatant against inflation by having a use case outside of representative wealth/ a standard token for barter— and that was its ability to be used for altering or creating items, in a countless amount of ways. The idea that any concerted effort put towards crafting or the acquisition of currency is somehow “not actually playing the game” is a false narrative bred of ignorance, ulterior motives or personal prerogatives, not fact. There are many games wherein systems like this do not exist, and if that is truly the playstyle in which you seek– I would suggest revisiting Diablo III to see the longevity that one-dimensional approach to gameplay affords.
With that being said, the first and most important thing you can do in this game is to set goals, and be honest with yourself about your willingness to accomplish them. Nobody is trying to tell you how to best enjoy the game– this is a matter of subjectivity and any attempts contrary to that would be foolish– however, you need to be able to separate the subjective lens in which you frame your experience with the facts of the game as they are. If you want to make a Mageblood (or whatever “chase item”) in two days, it is very unlikely that you will be able to do so by “killing monsters and looting items like an ARPG should be played”--- if you hate trading, crafting, looking up probabilities for calculated risk ventures etc. that is 100% your prerogative– however, it does not invalidate the efficacy of those methods you avoid- and an unwillingness to improve or look at that part of your game is a personal choice– but understand that if you are struggling to make currency in PoE it is because of your actions/decisions within the game— that is the (perhaps) harsh truth– but the silver lining to that statement is that it is also within your ability to flip that narrative and take control of your financial future. I know that it is easy to get wrapped up in groupthink, or the echo chambers that forums like Reddit or popular twitch streams can produce– but very rarely do widely held notions produce anything but average results. If you find yourself feeling trapped into playing “meta” builds or forced into farming pre-set atlas layouts while repeating the phrase “hideout is lava, hideout is lava'' 20 times a minute while you whirling blades around a map as fast as possible, hiding every item that drops because god forbid you waste a second to ID a most likely worthless rare— consider, perhaps, that it is not trading, crafting, or the playing the economy that is “forcing you” to interact with the game a certain way- but rather that the fortune cookie wisdom you fervently ascribe to is what is leading you to a habitual sense of longing resulting in poverty and boredom. With that overly aggressive preface done let's move on to…
Do not perceive the game as a binary option between one playstyle or the other. Approach either with a utilitarian perspective that aligns with your goals. Do you want to get to level 95 from level 93 today? Great, let’s map. Do you want to get a Headhunter for the first time, but the price of the cards is going up faster than you can make the currency? Perhaps we should readjust our strategy.
Unless you are selling currency to a 3rd party RMT site, producing content that is contingent on your ability to generate currency, or (like yours truly) just some asshole who likes linking Mirrors in /global 1— there is no point to endlessly generating wealth in this game. Just as there is no point running 5 way carries or Chayula Rotas once you're level 100. So with that in mind, don’t feel like any time spent solely focused on creating that wealth initially is a rabbit-hole from which you can never ascend– but rather a complimentary playstyle to your desired gameplay that can help you achieve those goals faster. In the example I gave above, which is one I am often told early on in leagues— there is one major flaw in the approach that many people take, and that is that they allow their assets to stagnate, or worse , depreciate. This is the cornerstone of all advice that will come hereafter and is the most important thing to adapt, and understand if you want to generate long term wealth with regularity and ease— and that is that “currency” is a loose term to refer to your relative capacity to barter for one item or another– we simply use currency in of itself as the universal way to measure that relative value— however, assets can be held in many forms– and VERY rarely are the best held in currency outright. If I have 10 divines on Friday and I logout for the weekend, returning to the game Monday morning– I will log in with 10 divines. In all likelihood, the purchasing power of those 10 divines has not changed, or has changed very little. We instead, through a rather formulaic, calculable, and easy set of steps, constantly reinvest the money that we generate through traditional means (mapping, boss killing etc.) so that we outpace the inflation that naturally occurs in every league— exponentially. If you could spend 10 minutes on an activity before logging out on Friday that would assure when you logged in on Monday morning that you would have 20 divines, would you not make that choice every time? Of course you would. That is what we strive for, repeatedly , and through many means. Crafting, Arbitrage, Boss killing, corruption, divination cards, etc. – These are all different methods by which we achieve this end; but with all things the above remains universally true– and that is that our goal is to make our money work harder than we do, eventually getting to a point that it no longer is a point of concern, but instead a passive resource that allows us to play the game how we want. The strategies discussed hereafter are ways in which we accomplish this.