Stately Citizen Journalism


I know it is an older game and has been available on PC and XBox for a while, but Path of Exile just released for PS4 and its really scratching that Diablo itch. It’s free and it looks like all microtramsactions are either stash tabs or cosmetic items.


As an actual journalist, and one who sometimes does quality work, I can assure y’all there’s no more loaded phrase out there right now than “quality journalism.”

Far too often, it ends up meaning: “Do the journalism with fewer resources and less money. Oh, and no job security. Kthxby.” I do not know of a single journalist who takes the phrase seriously.


I enjoy PoE quite a bit. I find it quite relaxing to breeze through levels dropping Storm Brands on monsters and letting my phantasms mop up. I really like the “you don’t actually have to do anything” playstyle. Might roll up a zombie witch. It seems to have quite a bit of lore, but you don’t have to actually pay attention to any of it (although I have actually encountered one cutscene!).


Switch Reloaded!

two new Switch models will be launched this summer.


Behind the WSJ paywall, unfortunately


the second model will be a “Switch light” without docking station as kind of 3DS successor.


What about improvements to the original? Any word?


Rumor. No confirmation from Nintendo.

E3 will be the determination supposedly.


Based on the reporting I have seen, the answer is you will need the subscription to access the game on iOS. It will not be available as a one-time purchase on the app store. It may be available the traditional way on another platform.

Seeing as the games on Arcade won’t have any F2P shenanigans, it will be interesting to find out how devs will get revenue from Apple. If based on time playing, genres we tend to enjoy here like 4X, story-based RPGs, or sandbox games could do really well and flourish. On the other side, with this is the model it could incentivize pointless grinding to eeek out more minutes of playtime. The download basis incentivizes polished movies and screenshot graphics rather than quality gameplay.

With say, a $10/family/month revenue stream, and 1/3 to 1/2 of that going to Apple, will this generate enough revenue to make a second wave of developers target this service and keep it viable? Will Apple be able to continue layering on subscriptions on households already experiencing subscription fatigue?

There may be promise here, if nothing else than to give devs and publishers something else to target than F2P or ad-based shovelware, but I’m definitely taking the wait-and-see approach. I also doubt my wife will endorse another subscription service.


I had tried the console version of PoE (Path of Exile) on the Xbox One, I couldn’t take it, personally.

Blizzard did a masterful job of changing up the UI in a loot driven game to where the absence of a mouse was not a hindrance in Diablo III, and a case could be made that it is a different, perhaps better, game for it. Whatever that “rotary” joystick driven controller inventory system is, works out well. In PoE, inventory management with a controller was not a good fit for me, personally.

Likewise, my understanding is that console Diablo III is all personal loot, no trading, which PoE has a “Solo Self Found” (SSF) description for when not trading. However, the loot drops in Diablo III console are tuned to this personal loot implementation. My understanding is that PoE is not designed around SSF, so the recommendation is to trade … however, the Xbox trading scene was a pale shadow of the PC trading scene.

I’d be interested in hearing how the PS4 implementation of PoE works out, especially the UI and inventory management, and the trading. It’s entirely possible that I “was doing it wrong”, and it has been streamlined as Blizzard streamlined Diablo III for console (UI and inventory management adapted for controller, drops tuned to personal loot so trading is not implemented but not an issue).


Diablo III is certainly superior. There are, however, few good Diablo-like games on consoles. This one is good and scratches the itch. I’ll get in to it more later as I’m off to the great outdoors right now but I will admit that inventory management is a pain. That doesn’t prevent me from enjoying the action, though.


That is, indeed, the important point. :sunglasses:

Fortunately, Path of Exile is free to try. :+1:

For me, console PoE was not so much competing against other console ARPGs, but also against the PC implementation, especially given that studios are reluctant to support cross-platform game accounts (FWIW, I have spent money on PC PoE, for both inventory and cool cosmetics, but unless the situation has changed it is tied to just PC PoE). I find console Diablo III more enjoyable, personally, than PC Diablo III, for solo play, but did not find PoE to be that way, for me. It may depend on having a regular group on console to run with?


I don’t think PoE is a great game to play multiplayer anyway. Ground effects make it difficult to identify what your friends are doing versus what the monsters are doing, and unless all characters have similar dps, you just end up with some in your party having to just follow around picking up loot.

But for solo play, you won’t find a better ARPG on the market! Even still, despite having a pretty ridiculous number of hours into this on PC, I can’t really imagine trying to play with a controller.


Good lord, yes. My two partners were doing a zombie/spectre/skeleton build and a Consecrated Path build, and between them I couldn’t tell jack shit of what was going on, what with the massive amount of impossible-to-distinguish-from-enemies pets on the one hand and the constant screen shake and blasts of light on the other. As a basic dual-wield melee guy I was the one reduced to, as you say, following along and picking up loot, except in boss fights where I finally had something to contribute.


That was my personal experience, comparing console PoE with PC PoE.

My “Holy Grail” is what I understand that Fortnite does, you can play your account and character on any platform? I would love to be able to have one ARPG character that I can pick up and play on console if I feel like kicking back in the recliner and enjoying on the big screen, or playing on the PC if I want.

I was disappointed in Blizzard not having cross-platform account sharing between PC and consoles, but understood that they were actually different implementations of Diablo III, the console version was tuned differently as far as loot drops, etc. What I was hoping for was that PoE could leverage the Fortnite model, in that if it’s the same game on every platform, then I can access my account and characters on every platform.


Oh, and speaking of ARPGs, the new Grim Dawn expansion, “Forgotten Gods”, just went on sale today (just minutes ago?). Along with that, Grim Dawn itself is on sale on Steam for 75% off, and the Ashes of Malmouth expansion required for Forgotten Gods is also on sale, for 30% off, both on a 48-hour “daily deal”.

I already own Grim Dawn and Ashes of Malmouth, so Forgotten Gods is a no-brainer for me, I like the looks of the new Oathkeeper class being introduced, as well as the addition of “Rune Augments – Apply a new category of enchantments to your Medals, unlocking powerful mobility skills available to all masteries, including Leap, Teleport and more.:sunglasses:


I was thinking again about this apple-arcade nonsense last night and became even more irritated because I realized that what they are doing is not “new” or “groundbreaking” in any way. None of this is new at all.

This isn’t only because other console companies already have subscriptions you can buy (I haven’t had a console in a dozen years, so I don’t actually know what you get with these) or because it further cements apple’s role as the middle-man between devs and their customers (a role they cherish).

No, what I mean is that apple is starting down the road to copying the business model used by cable TV providers. Apple is now the comcast of ios games.

Consider their game apps as channels. You pay a monthly subscription, and you can watch (play) all those channels. If you don’t pay, you can set up your roof-top aerial and watch the free (FTP) channels. That’s what this is.

And like with a cable provider, you get dozens and dozens of channels (games) that you will never view. In no version of reality do you get to pick and chose only the channels you want for a lower fee (“I’d like these five games for 50 cents a month, rather than 100 games for $10 per month”), which is the thing that would make the most sense from a consumer standpoint.

If I liked gambling (I don’t), I’d now place some sort of wager on how long it will take for apple to start offering tiers of game access. You have the standard $10 that they offer now. There’s also the $20 tier for more/better premium games, beta tests, and access a week before everyone else gets to play. And the $5 basic tier for access to fewer games.

Is there anyone who doesn’t think this is the end-goal of their arcade plan?

Also, as an aside, I also learned that on the same day as announcing arcade (which keeps making me imagine ipads with slots for quarters), apple also announced that they were going to offer an apple credit card (also in no way an innovation). And a conference hall full of grown adult humans applauded this as though their team had just hit a home run. A credit card got applause. It’s 2019, and we applaud credit cards.

This is not the future I wanted; may I try another?

Sorry for the rant/wall of text. I apparently don’t like apple very much–who knew?




This actually makes sense. The amount of fees they must pay in credit card transactions is crazy. Offering a CC with 3% rewards when used with Apple Pay on Apple products is going to save some significant amount of fees for them. Since most CC users shop for CCs based on the rewards, this is primarily targeted at high Apple/App Store/iTunes buyers.


This is exactly right. The card is likely to be the major driver of services revenue growth. Even more than all those subscriptions they announced this week.

Apple gets to avoid all those other cards’ fees, and will push the rewards to their version of PayPal/Venmo, spurring adoption. Strategically, this is great for their bottom line. But credit cards are a terrible business, and this creates so many perverse, anti-customer incentives for the company.