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Path of Exile - Playing the First Character

For gamers who are trying out Path of Exile, or any RPG for that matter, their first character is a gateway to much learning and fun that dictates how the rest of their experience would turn out to be. A lot of those beginners tend to get hit by analysis paralysis and straight-up apprehension when getting into something as deep and serious as Path of Exile as they would want to be credible to the more hardcore crowd, trying their best to not get anything "wrong" and play the game as "properly" as possible.

For those who think that they have to play in a certain way in order to belong in this game, please be advised that such thinking is mostly nonsense. It is not to say that learning how to play Path of Exile "properly" is ill-advised, but do take note that there is no real proper way to play in the first place. Perhaps there is the most optimal way of facilitating character progression and tactics in combat, but that's something you learn along the way, mostly with your first character.

Let's say that you take a build guide from the PoE forums and try to get all of the PoE items in whatever way possible, then you end up close to what the ideal character should be for that build. You then get cornered and asked a bunch of questions about the build and what each and every passive are and what they do for your character, as well as what those items and gems are for. You have to be able to answer them if you really want to be a true Path of Exile player who knows the reason behind every character building decision.

Due to the more freeform nature of PoE's character progression system, you could actually go with whatever build you wish as long as you have an end goal. You may take a passive too extreme or middling every now and then with your first try, but as long as you get all of the keystones that your specific build needs, then your character should still turn out fine, provided that you have the PoE items and skills that will help you achieve your character's full potential. Other than that, everything else is knowing about items and where to level up.

No matter what you decide to do and no matter how carefully you plan, you will mess up your first character. That is a definitely rule of thumb in Path of Exile and just about any other role-playing game that relies on character builds. This is not bad news at all, but merely something that players must remember when they roll their first character. It's not as much about playing seriously as it is more about learning the game while playing as you go along.

Whatever class you chose, whatever build you stick with or lack thereof, and however you choose to play that first character is all good. You're never going to play it perfectly, even if you take this very statement as a challenge. Think of it more as a journey, wherein getting there is more important than reaching the destination.

Perhaps it's difficult to accept that you can't do everything perfectly at first, but that's a big part of playing action role-playing games. Trial and error is what playing something like Path of Exile is all about, so feel free to do what you want with your first character and enjoy the learning experience.

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