Tracking the evolution of Path of Exile's troublesome Delve mode

Rock Paper Shotgun has shared an insightful interview that digs in to the style and post-launch balancing struggles on the Delve game mode introduced to Path of Exile a number of months back.

The game's developer, Grinding Gear Games, usually adds a new mode just about every 3 months that remixes some poe currency element with the original game, and Delve is no exception. Speaking to Rock Paper Shotgun, Grinding Gear Games co-founder and technical director Jonathan Rodgers runs via some of the early versions of Delve and the team's ongoing struggle to balance tension with enjoyable.

Delve went through a handful of designs that Rodgers dives into inside the complete story, but eventually, that balance was struck and also the team moved on to addressing sources and rewards to be utilized inside the mode. The mode shipped with what the team thought was a good balance but, as Rodgers explains, they quickly found that on the list of rewards provided for clearing a dungeon threw systems within the rest from the game out of whack.

"We underestimated how much faster a person could undergo a non-endgame region and uncover the resource than carrying out the endgame regions. We found people today could do runs in one of the non-endgame locations using a max clear speed make in about 15 seconds," says Rodgers. "The problem with players is that if one thing would be the most efficient thing to accomplish, they will do it since they say they're forced to accomplish it, and also complain that it's boring."

The initial option was to raise the in-game resource expense of playing Delve, but that was immediately met with player backlash and blocked off the mode pretty much totally for players who hadn't reached the end-game content material in Path of Exile. Rodgers explores some of the other fixes the POE Items group attempted, and how they resonated with players, ahead of balance was achieved within the complete report over on Rock Paper Shotgun.
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