The POE 3.11 Harvest League content will not be added to the core game when the patch cycle ends. This happens from time to time, but usually when GGG feels that the update wasn’t well received. In the case of Harvest League, there were a few things working against it. The deterministic crafting of the league was allowing many top-tier players a lot of access to expensive crafts, but for more casual players, the setup was just too much to handle. The huge amount of time and work that went into garden setups immediately turned off many players, leading to 3.11 having one of the worst drop-offs in player retention past week two of the league.
Putting things into the core game means they will show up both in Standard mode, as well as future leagues. This adds more content to the game, but drastically reduces the prevalence of the league content, often restricting it to a few spawns every couple of Maps. This makes pushing older league content in new leagues much more cumbersome. And it seems like the general consensus is that things need to change somewhat.
To put it in GGG’s own words, the crafting this league—while it was fun and fresh for those that enjoyed it—it simply added way too many paths to OP items, and it would have to be nerfed. The developer feels that it would take too much work to rebalance the gameplay right now, so they’re shelving that plan for later.
“When we designed Harvest, we wanted to experiment with a more deterministic crafting system that would enable players to access powerful items earlier in their character progression. In this sense, we feel that the crafting system has been very successful. However, at the top end of gameplay, Harvest has made it too easy to gain very powerful items that previously required a lot more work and investment to acquire. This was acceptable for a temporary challenge league but poses problems for the long-term health of Path of Exile’s item economy if allowed to remain in its current state.
As such, Harvest would require a significant amount of rebalancing in order to achieve a healthy level of power for the core game. We would be reassessing the crafting mechanics to determine how many of them we’re willing to keep and how much of the remaining crafting would need to be rebalanced.”
I wrote about this exact thing a bit ago, touching on some issues with burnout and other things that players in Path of Exile really hate, and that I had been experiencing personally. Though I didn’t mention these issues specifically, there is a general undercurrent of feeling burnt out that prompted that post. The game needs to be less bloated with otherwise useless content. Maybe this is just me personally, but the game is feeling pretty stale right now. Doing the same crafting grind with similar skills every league is just too tedious. And it seems like GGG kind of agrees, or is at least aware of the problem. Hopefully, they do something about it.