Much is known about Path of Exile's gameplay, and just enough about the lore to get people intrigued. It has been much talked about and figured out, but there's still a bit more that may seem to elude most casual gamers about what Path of Exile really offers as an action role-playing game. There are still those who are indeed fans of the genre, but don't know where to put two and two together when it comes to this particular title.
What's the point of Path of Exile? What Grinding Gear Games came out with was something of their own design, based on the classic formulas of the action role-playing genre. However, they twisted and turned it upside down and inside out without fettering with the essence of the originals so much. What they came out with was something that had a good bit of complexity, but also born out of a desire to simplify the mechanics as well.
There's the passive skill tree, the currency POE items, the Path of Exile items with the sockets and skill gems, and so on. There's a lot to dig into with Path of Exile's unique system, and that's what attracts most players to it. But that's where the novelty starts to fade and people start to get the real gist of the game. It's still an action role-playing game that follows most of the conventions and unwritten rules of the genre, no matter how you slice it.
That's where the main reason for each player comes in. If they're looking to level up and kill monsters, then they've come to the right game. But if it's something else like an immersive PvP experience, then there may be some problems. The overall design philosophy of Path of Exile still resides in the realm of PvE for the most part. The most you can say about it is that PvP is tolerated in Path of Exile, but not encouraged as it's not the focus of the game.
It's a bit of a disappointment for some online role-playing game fans as a lot of them are into PvP and other such competitive aspects of ARPG gameplay. They want to be able to come up with character builds to counter other character builds and find ways to dominate the PvP landscape in some way, whether it's through strategy or sheer brute force. In order to get to that stage, players will also have to go through the PvE grinding and farming that Path of Exile is known for. In that way, you get the best of both worlds in a way when going for a PvP-focused character.
However, that's not really the case right now with Path of Exile. This has disappointed many players, both beginners and returning players who had played the game in beta and stopped either before the actual release or after it. It's not to say that Path of Exile is a game that lacks in a certain department, but merely a game that's focused mostly on one thing over other aspects of ARPG gameplay. But as with most things, it may not be for absolutely everyone.