In Path of Exile, I have seen a large amount of posts recently where people’s opinion is that endgame should have almost no barrier to entry. The wall should only be gear and player skill, and the maps/shaper sets or whatever shouldn’t be gated by currency or RNG. They seem to think that there is some pointless wall between their own characters and endgame. This isn’t the case.

The wall is a buy in. PoE is kinda like poker in that way. You need to risk and invest some currency, then you can get your chance at the rewards. If you advocate a freely accessible endgame you are missing something central to the excitement of this game: risk. For there to be an exciting endgame you have to stand to lose something.

Path of Exile

People want access to the rewards of endgame, the thrill of defeating the hardest bosses, and the potential to drop some insane items, but without taking any of the risks. What is the risk in softcore if there is little barrier to entry? Basically nothing, some lost exp.

When you need to actually invest currency and time to access the hardest content then you actually have something on the line – if you fail to beat the boss, or don’t get a good drop, then you have lost that currency/time.

It may be true that the current risk vs reward isn’t properly balanced, or that the buy in for endgame should be a bit smaller. That is fine. What is not fine is thinking that you should be able to access endgame with ZERO risk, that is not healthy for an exciting endgame.

This is part of the reason why hardcore’s economy is so much better – the constant risk of dying means the risk vs. reward is better balanced. Higher risks, higher rewards. If you constantly advocate to remove any and all forms of risk, then you will be left with nothing truly rewarding.

Just want to make it clear that I am not saying this league doesn’t have problems. Just that some form of barrier to entry serves a purpose.