Harvest league in Path of Exile was a weird one. The initial version required collecting tons of seeds and playing an increasingly complex mini-game to manage gardens. It got way too cumbersome to manage at the top-end so GGG changed it. In Path of Exile 3.13, the system was heavily retooled to allow for much more interesting and accessible crafting. Here’s how it works now.
As GGG put it, this new version is much easier to handle, and much more fun. “So in 3.13.0, we released an integrated version of Harvest where players stumble across groves full of crafts and hope they get the most valuable deterministic ones.” That means that players could find a Harvest spawn in maps filled with a few pre-generated seed patches. These patches list their possible crafts, and players can choose which ones they want to complete. Completing the seed patch spawn allows the player to then craft using the various options from that patch.
Options allowed players to remove certain modifier types, and then replace them with the same or different ones. So imagine you have in item with Caster mods and you want Fire damage ones, you can do that easily with this version of Harvest crafting. The trouble comes with the amount of crafts available.
We all knew this was coming, so it’s not too surprising to see, but GGG has just nerfed the crafting method severely. In Path of Exile 3.14 the system is effectively being removed from the game except for low-end crafting, Here are the full details of the changes, direct from GGG:
- Previously, every seed in a patch granted an instance of that seed’s craft. Now, only some of the seeds do (so you’re getting far fewer of the crafts that were overwhelming people with their quantity). Higher-tier seeds are closer to the 1:1 ratio from before.
- Some mods that had overly-deterministic behaviour have been removed. These include all annulment mods (other than the ones that remove a mod that isn’t of a specific type before adding one of that type), and all type-specific divine mods.
- Crafts that add mods of specific types (like Physical Modifiers, for example) to items can now only be applied to non-influenced items, except for the existing mod that applies an influenced mod to an influenced item.
- The chance of encountering a portal to the Sacred Grove in a map has been increased by 60%.
- The Heart of the Grove encounter is now a map fragment that sometimes drops from Tier 4 Harvest bosses, instead of randomly appearing in place of a normal Harvest grove. This allows you to trade the encounter if you don’t feel up to it, and it means that finding The Heart of the Grove when you are in a map with difficult mods doesn’t lead to an impossible encounter.
So to recap, Harvest spawns are more common, all determinsitic annulment options not targeting a mod type are being removed. Augmentation crafts cannot be applied to influenced items, so say goodbye to double-influence crafting in harvest. In essence, all of the methods to have any major impact on high-end crafting have been removed or heavily restricted. Back to meta-crafting, the creation of Mirror-tier items goes.
The reasoning is pretty clear from GGG as they say in the manifesto announcing this change, “we understand that some players will likely be attached to this level of incredibly easy crafting, but it’s just not the Path of Exile we set out to make.” So while many are understandably disappointed that a new crafting method has just effectively been made worthless for easy access to meta-crafting, it does make sense. When you consider that GGG has routinely made it harder to access top-tier content and items in their almighty pursuit of adding “weight” to the gameplay, it’s just what they do. Players will just have to deal with it, it seems.
And it appears as though the playerbase will deal with it by being salty. Here’s a sarcastic video that was tailor-made as a sarcastic response to these nerfs. So if you want a laugh, give it a watch.
So will GGG make crafting and trading more accessible? No probably not. Will this change do anything but make it harder to craft? Definitely. After all, we all have hundreds of Exalted Orbs worth of Chaos and Scours to make solid items, right? As many players have no doubt realized with Harvest crafting, most items are utterly worthless. Add into that the heavily RNG-dependent crafting, and pretty much all players hit a wall when trying to farm currency to trade for items. This is the core of what so many feel is a major problem with POE, and there’s a lot of suspicion among players that it won’t get fixed.