Diablo 3 vs Path of Exile: A Detailed Comparison

Diablo 3 vs. Path of Exile - v3.0

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About The Author

Mr. Allen has an extensive background in technology spanning 20 years including software architecture, design and development, project management and leadership. He specializes in corporate planning, productivity and collaboration, and is the creator of the games Mordor, Demise, Horizons, and Alganon.

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64 Responses

  1. Samkiud

    I like the review. But one thing I didn’t like about it was that evidently you left your subjectivity regarding the “casual gamers” and “hardcore” gamers decided who “wins”. You must understand PoE was not meant for casual players, as Diablo III wasn’t meant for hardcore players as you find in PoE. Due to the nature of both games in this matter, it is unfair to compare them when this takes part.

    Another thing you missed and left it to your subjectivity is that GGG has stated they won’t add an auction house system since they’re against the offline trading. However, they’re still working in something for the implementation of a trading system.

    The Patch points are way too low considering this is an important matter in an online game, something that you even made clear when saying that Diablo is a game that’s focus on ending the current state of the game and then wait for the next update. This thought lead me to the think that at the end it seems like you managed the points to make look D3 as the winner, and this post you made in another review confirms it:

    “As mentioned in the beginning of this review, Diablo 3 is one of the finest PC games ever created; however to truly appreciate the game you really must play it through multiple times and try the different classes. After a period of time you’ll start realizing the sheer volume of content and overall gameplay refinement which was required to bring this product to life. While the game can have its frustrating moments fighting bosses and such, the fun far outweighs the frustration. If you haven’t purchased Diablo 3, buy it. ”

    Anyway, I’d suggest to wait until May-Jun for the release of the Act 4 expansion in PoE, and make another review. I’m pretty sure you’ll like it.


    • David Allen

      No question GGG dominates D3 when it comes to patches and additional content, however I considered that category to carry less weight than the core gameplay and mechanics, etc. You’re right though – casual gamers prefer one style while hardcore players prefer another. But I also know a number of hardcore ARPGers in D3 who are running 50+ greater rifts, and that’s one hell of a challenge. Understood on GGG’s focus on “online trading” — I think that’s a fine idea, but they could easily do this by creating an auction house that only allows instant transfers for online players. Relying on forums and 3rd party products is just ridiculous when they could control the system on their own terms IMO. Thanks a ton for the feedback though, good stuff!

      • Ryan

        “I also ran the category by a few other players (including hardcore 90+) and they also agreed that D3 beat out PoE in that category solely due to desync (and the frustrations associated with it).”

        Nobody who is HC 90+ in POE will say D3 wins in ‘Endgame and Replayability’. I have rolled over 30 characters since beta, only playing HC. The endgame and replayability is literally infinite in POE. Game changing updates, maps, seasons, races, PVP…all reasons why POE undoubtedly wins this category. I also have over 500 hours in D3. D3 is the same thing over and over. I log in, yawn, log out. Haven’t touched it for more than a few hours since ROS came out. Remember when D3 tried to do PVP and how awful it was and still is? Races? Seasons? Rifts? They are all no fun at all in D3. Epic failures on every level.

        Yes, desync is an issue, everyone is aware of that. Clearly this comparison, which does have some valid points, is very biased in categories that are big enough to change the outcome of the overall review. Shame on you.

      • David Allen

        Ryan, thank you for your response. First, I acknowledge I did not seek the input of any hardcore players. The review was not for hardcore players. Less than 10% of D3 players play in hardcore mode. I do not know what percentage of PoE players play in hardcore, my guess is the number is higher, perhaps 20%; but still it’s a minority. You say you haven’t played much D3 since RoS came out — it’s a very different game now, much better. I’ve played multiple 80+ characters in PoE and am near paragon 800 in D3, so I have a pretty good “player perspective” of both games. You’re right – the “features” of PoE far outweigh D3 and it SHOULD have beaten D3, but the simple fact is no matter how many cool features they add, the desync negatively impacts every aspect of the game — and I know many people who have quit PoE due to Desync. I don’t think my review is “biased” unless you take into account my experience with both games. My understanding is hardcore PoE players follow certain builds to avoid desync, which IMO removes the “diversity” that one is supposed to experience through the mechanics. The shame really goes to GGG whereas they have build a feature-superior game to D3, yet they refuse to re-architect their network infrastructure. And yes, it can be done, and yes, it can be as smooth as D3. When a game like PoE drives players away due to Desync, that directly impacts end-game and replayability, which is why it lost (and is stated as such in the explanation). The other interesting thing about the feedback on the compare is it clearly states PoE dominates a category, far surpassing D3. Nobody is talking about that; everyone is focused on the end-game and replayability and the final score. Strange. Especially given a game like PoE, made by a little indie company, almost beats out D3…

      • PoE Fanboy

        Can’t reply to you comment further down the tree, but GGG stated that the split between HC and SC players is actually at around 50% for PoE. Can’t find the source right now though, so you’ll have to trust me on this one.

  2. Sam

    You gave Progression and End Game & Replayability to D3? What is going on… This is coming from someone who has most recently played D3 as of Season 2 (hint: which started 9 days ago) and already had a full set of gear and farming T6 on hardcore… and am now done with the game. It took less than a week.

    The rift and greater rift “end game” is very boring and repetitive, since there is no change. Also, comparing “Progression” would come down to gear (which both games have) and Paragon Points vs Skill Points… in which case PoE is significantly better.

    Replayability is far better on PoE, since once you have every character maxed on D3 there is literally no point in ever leveling again. PoE encourages all different builds and playing classes multiple times, as well as continuing to push your character higher and higher in levels.

    Also, the penalty for death on PoE isn’t “days of progression.” You are thinking of D2 at like 95+. In PoE it will set you back a few maps. It also makes sure people actually have good builds in softcore…

    The rest of your points were fair, and D3 definitely has some better qualities than PoE (and were designed for completely different audiences), but the gameplay of PoE is much better and should be rated as such. I would much rather play a higher quality game than a game with good sound and voice acting.

    • David Allen

      Thanks for the feedback! The End-game & Replayability section was a bit of a struggle, and if PoE had come out on top, it would have won. The core issue is desync; no other ARPG has the desync issues PoE does, and it’s really unacceptable. As somebody who has built a number of characters into the 80’s (haven’t gotten into 90’s but I have friends who have) I can say desync impacts every aspect of the game, and my friends who have quit did so due to deaths tied to desync. This directly and negatively impacts end-game dramatically. And when I say days of progression, I mean for gamers who play a few hours a day. Once you hit 95+ you will lose days of progress if you’re playing ~4 hours a day. 90 is very different from 95. But I agree the “gameplay” and “features” of PoE exceed D3. It’s just a problem when desync impacts all of these features, making the weight for comparison lesser than greater.

      • Christopher Wong

        It’s not exactly clear it is even technologically possible to solve the desync problems, because to my knowledge, Path of Exile is the only modern ARPG for which the entire game is actually computed server-side, with the player’s client essentially only performing graphics calculations.

      • David Allen

        It is possible to solve the issue, but it requires a rewrite of the network infrastructure, encryption, and a blended method of client/server processing (like D3). I find it interesting how people think running full-server processing for PoE is a “smart” thing; it’s not – because it results in what we have seen. They can accomplish smooth play without any (or extremely limited) desync if they put the effort into rewriting their infrastructure code (both client and server). Another consideration is the point they make RE: PvP (as the basis of being server side to prevent hacking). One alternative is they could create two different methods of network processing; one for PvE and one for PvP. What it comes down to is they have an ad-hoc system they built years ago that “worked” but wasn’t refined. Until they replace the current system, the game will always feel and play like it’s in BETA.

      • Kaysee

        “and if PoE had come out on top, it would have won. “… sorry I had to LOL at this insight to your bias.

        As for , “… no other ARPG has the desync issues PoE does, and it’s really unacceptable.” no D3 just use to rubber band like a yo-yo. It made HC impossible, playing a melee monk impossible and yet was acceptable by Blizzard. Don’t act as though it hasn’t been an issue for Blizzard… even though they designed their game to be “desync-free”.

      • David Allen

        I completely disagree. I have a 70 of every class in D3 and am near paragon 800 (max GRift ~45). D3 does not have any rubber banding issues at all compared to PoE. I admit I’ll get a hiccup, but it may be once a week for 2 seconds.

      • Christopher Wong

        Concerning the ‘blended method of client/server processing’, I’m no expert on computer security, but I was under the impression that would leave open the possibility of manipulating the game’s memory in order to get a competitive advantage.

      • David Allen

        It does, but it can be controlled. Blizzard addresses this by monitoring the streams and hitfixing any manipulations players come up with, and soon the manipulations that can “hack” the game are prohibited and the client/server smoothness is solidified. I am unaware of any “hacks” that work with D3 anymore, and the last time I heard of one was less than a year after release. And the last one I did hear of (the speed jump teleport hack) was fixed within a day or two (if I recall).

  3. Guy

    D3 wins a lot of categories because it’s easier / more shallow. If you’re going to include subjective stuff like that the conclusion should be game appeals to different people, not that one game is better than the other.

    • David Allen

      Well, the games have categories that are distinctly better than the other; items for example – PoE owns that category – same with crafting. D3 didn’t win due to being shallow, if you look through the categories and the weight of them (that’s the little stars) and add those up, the basic math shows where the weight is. However, your final point is absolutely correct; different gamers look for different things. A hardcore gamer will take something different away from this than a casual gamer. If PoE didn’t have the desync problem, it would have won the weight scale.

  4. Jesse Kinne

    I noticed several instances, especially towards the end of your review, in which you criticize the near impossibility of reaching lvl 100 in PoE. Have you considered approaching that differently than the level cap in most other ARPGs? If the level cap in PoE isn’t thought about as a normal goal, and if a player can overcome completionist compulsions, then it isn’t really a weakness if the game. Just about any reasonable build guide or piece of advice to new players in the forums or reddit will say that ~80 is a finished build, with everything over being like a chunk of D3 paragon lvls per single +80 PoE lvl. I think that approaching the level cap of PoE as if it functioned within the game the same way level caps tend to in other games doesn’t take fair account of GGG’s design philosophy when evaluating their work. Taking a build beyond lvl 85 is an *optional* form of end-game, but isn’t necessary to “beat” the game (as in, clear pretty much all the content), nor intended for every (or even most) character(s).

    • David Allen

      I agree; but the issue is if a player wants to stay with the same character, they encounter a brick wall (or an uphill mountain) where character progress essentially ends or is minimized. While one can focus on gathering items and currency, you’re right; after 85 it becomes fairly moot due to the requirements. What would be nice is a system that entices players to keep playing their favorite character beyond “farming”. But this also comes down to play style and the differences in expectations between the players. Almost every level-cap game out there (online at least) has some sort of alternate advancement system; D3’s is the paragon system. More in-depth games like EQ2 have a very extensive AA structure which players can pursue in tandem with leveling. I think PoE would be an even better game if they adopted some sort of AA system in conjunction with the excellent features the game currently has.

      • David Allen

        I think my main got to 98-99. Been so long though I cannot remember the details; but I remember abandoning her. If i recall she was the archer class and we regularly farmed bloody highlands :)

  5. Kaysee

    For starters… “Difficulty” and “Learning Curve” seems to be covering the same topic and your comments in both sections seem the same with both resulting in a D3 “victory point”. I mean in the “learning curve” section you even state “D3 allows excellent control of the game difficulty”. Personally, I think it is either article padding or you got confused in writing; perhaps “difficulty” should be “Challenge” as in how challenging is the game to play and then leave “Learning Curve” to the complexity of understanding the game.

    Death system… It is amusing that you think repair bills and respawn timers aren’t annoying, at least in POE you can level, repeatedly try a difficult boss/encounter and die repeatedly without being sent broke whilst waiting to play the game. You also know that you can ALT+F4 out of the game to prevent death… game content is designed to be more dangerous with this in mind, otherwise GGG would disable ALT+F4 and tone down the content to boring levels. Plus, at level 90 you are well beyond the end-game and getting to level 100 is supposed to be difficult. Unlike in D3 where level 60 was a breeze, so they had to add Paragon Levels to give players something to do.

    Next “End Game and Replayability” is a joke… you spend your entire summary going on about the amount of flexibility and customisation in POE (and unchallenging and repetitive side of D3) only to repeatedly refer to POE’s death penalty and desync as justifiable options for D3 to win. Mark replayability for what it is and that is POE’s map system is far superior than anything D3 has to offer.

    Invetory & Stash… you know POE has a search function for your Stash, right?

    Progression… I don’t think you quite understand the POE meta here. End game in POE is reaching maps (around level 66). There are a few ultimate challenges that are supposed to be very difficult for the extreme players, but these aren’t for everyone: reaching lvl 100, killing Atziri, killing Uber Atziri and killing Abaxoth. This is because POE is still a work in progress. GGG will be releasing up to 10 Acts in total and the level cap will always be 100. As new acts come in the difficulties will be removed and mapping will be pushed higher and higher. Your comments here suggest that you just don’t get it.

    Guilds… so POE has a guild stash and D3 does not, so it is a “tie”… lol what. A shared stash is one of the most important, if not the most important, part of a guild.\

    Parties… you state it is less distracting to “only see your drops”, but in POE you can trade, so seeing the other loot is valuable. An ideal piece of gear might drop for someone else, you see it and you can request it. You can also turn off the item labels, so that they are only visible on a key press. Do you even play the game?

    Graphics… POE gets a bad rap for it’s graphics and somehow D3 seems to do no wrong. Some D3 players think POE is just like D2 style graphics, but I would suggest D3 is closer to D2 than POE, just consider the following, not only is the game art over POE superior to the washed out D3 graphics, but look carefully at the UI HUD, so much more detail in POE’s:

    Diablo 2: https://www.g2a.com/media/catalog/product/cache/0/thumbnail/1024×768/17f82f742ffe127f42dca9de82fb58b1/f/0/f079e7bfb48f02889017ed41f37a92c7.jpg
    Diablo 3: https://godlesspaladin.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/149517268_6e365f96d7.png
    POE: http://pixelperfectgaming.com/wp-content/gallery/path_of_exile_sacrifice_of_the_vaal/01_path_of_exile_sacrifice_of_the_vaal_screenshot_09.jpg
    POE: http://www.incgamers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/679621ee00a2662cc1347947de05408897dd395c.jpg

    However, D3 animations are far superior and that is without question.

    Bugs, desync, game design choices and atmosphere… sort of all related… something you never touch on is game design choices. Such as how POE has intentionally including evasion, dodge, stun and moving away from attacks/spells. AFAIK in D3 attacks always hit (it is their method of avoiding desync). Also areas in POE contain a lot more obstacles and tighter spaces to create more atmosphere. Compared to D3 whose areas are more wide open and fewer obstacles (another method of avoiding desync). POE encourages ALT+F4 use to save you from death, so it can contain more challenging content. POE’s use of tight spaces, music, lightning and shadows creates a more intimidating world than D3’s WoW inspired washed out colour palette. It took a year of negative feedback and RoS expansion for Blizzard to address the lacking atmosphere of D3.

    In summary, I did enjoy your write-up, you obviously have your preference, but it is a good in depth comparison. I think the over score should be closer, if not POE should come out on top. POE does a lot of things well compared to D3 in the ARPG, conversely D3 does really GREAT things in a few key areas.

    • David Allen

      Thanks for a great response Kaysee. PoE would have come out on top if it didn’t have the desync issues. Desync is the #1 problem with PoE and will continue to be until it’s addressed (or resolved). But I think all of your points are valid.

      Regarding your comment on guilds: neither PoE nor D3 does guilds well. If we merged the announcement/sharing details of leveling up, finding uniques and a shared stash with access rights, then we would have a winner. The first to implement a combination of these will have the heads up. A stash with no other announcement features IMO doesn’t equate to much as a guild is supposed to entice sharing and communication.

      Regarding your comment on replayability, I believe there’s a core rule to making a good game – do not take from the player, only give, and limit/restrict/refine what you give based on the player’s progress and skill. While we can talk about 10 acts in the future, the simple fact is no acts have been added in roughly two years. Act IV comes out in a few months and you’re right; that will change a lot – but the current system ensures players hit a brick wall – and for those who want to keep playing a character they love, they are pushed into “hardcore” mode, ensuring suffrage with every death. This entices players to not be adventurous and try new things. There’s a difference between being difficult and losing hours (or days) of gameplay time. The PoE model is just too harsh except for the most hardcore players. Note I ran this section by a number of players, some level 90+. They agreed that PoE would have won in replayability and end-game if it didn’t have the desync issue. So while I do not endorse the current system, it’s current structure is degraded by the networking problems that have plagued PoE since day one. While I have multiple 80’s, right now I play a L80 tornado shot on fiber and 50-65ms ping and the monsters are out of sync around 50% of the time. This is unacceptable. If the game functioned without this problem, perhaps the perspective on the current leveling system could be experienced more clearly, but as it stands now, it’s blurry and full of noise. I get the game model; I’ve designed level-based game models similar to PoE. I just think it’s a poor design for what PoE “could” do in this area with potential AA.

      Let’s be honest; even if the death penalty was removed (and GGG considered it until the community freaked out), very few players would ever make it to 100 – but at least they would see progress towards such.

      • Kaysee

        “Regarding your comment on replayability, I believe there’s a core rule to making a good game – do not take from the player, only give, and limit/restrict/refine what you give based on the player’s progress and skill. While we can talk about 10 acts in the future, the simple fact is no acts have been added in roughly two years. Act IV comes out in a few months and you’re right; that will change a lot – but the current system ensures players hit a brick wall – and for those who want to keep playing a character they love, they are pushed into “hardcore” mode, ensuring suffrage with every death.”

        Are you referring to “Replayability” or “Progression”? Your answer seems to be responding to my comments from 2 sections.

        FTR you also left out one other important comparable… price.

        Look overall it is extremely obvious this was a “Top Down” written article: you already had a bias conclusion (D3 is the winner) and you then completed the segments to fit your conclusion, hence why you use the “bailout” desync and/or death penalty complaint.

        But that’s cool, your site, your article… it was a good casual read.

      • David Allen

        You bring up a good point; I did leave out the price Paid model, but did so because I felt the price didn’t impact the “gameplay experience” – although one could say it does given the breadth of purchasable options in PoE. Perhaps 2.0 will include it :)

        I was referring to replayability. As I’ve mentioned, PoE would have won if it won Replayability and End-Game — but I just couldn’t give it credit for that because of the impact of desync. I also ran the category by a few other players (including hardcore 90+) and they also agreed that D3 beat out PoE in that category solely due to desync (and the frustrations associated with it). Heck, last night after posting the review, I was talking with a player who had multiple 90+ characters and they were telling me how desync is the bane of playing at end-game and they have to craft characters to “work around it” (thus avoiding certain builds because they are essentially unplayable at end-game due to desync).

        I don’t think the review reflects any bias. I wrote each category independently and weighed them out based on importance of category and winner in excel, and the math (shown at the bottom) is what it came out to be. Also, I think a lack of bias is apparent given PoE wins category dominance more than D3; many times more. :)

  6. Bome

    It was interesting for me to read all article, because I have been playing both games for thousands hours. I agree almost every your opinion. You have deep understanding for both games which is nice. However one thing I need to say is D3 is support up to 4 not 5 (thats too little imo).

  7. Hackusations

    Pretty good review. Some of the categories are more subjective and based on preference, but overall not bad.

    Not really sure about the rationale behind making D3 the winner in replayability. Desync is a problem in PoE for sure, but despite this it doesn’t change the scope of the end-game, the number of build variations, the varying race events, and 3-month leagues. That’s not including the constant updates, new skills, and new uniques added to the game. You made the comment about asking other player’s opinions on this category while referencing their character accolades, but seem to neglect that such accolades suggest replayability regardless of their opinion.

    Of course then there is the obvious fact that PoE’s success as a F2P game has been predicated on continuous community support, which isn’t going to happen had the game not had the level of replayability it has. D3’s biggest success was being a long awaited and massively hyped/marketed successor to D2.

    • David Allen

      Thanks for the feedback! A key issue is most people quit PoE because of Desync (I’ve known numerous people who have done so). I think that has a huge impact on replayability and carries serious weight even considering the valid points you make about the “mechanics” of PoE being stronger than D3 for end-game and replayability. Unfortunately, the real application of the “Beta-like feel” of PoE due to desync negatively impacts all aspects of the game, regardless of how cool a set of features are. But the face PoE nearly beat out D3 in a weighted metric is a monumental accomplishment for such a small team out of New Zealand. Here’s hoping that 1.4 includes a technical overhaul that addresses this core problem! What I find interesting is the reddit posting with the numerous comments (all ragging on this point) failed to mention retention issues tied to end-game. Simply put if a game has retention issues due to a technical design (and desync is probably the #1 reason players quit), that’s a serious replayability and end-game issue that cannot be overlooked.

  8. ZiggyEndgame

    It is very clear that a great deal of time went into this review and comparison of both games. Although I am personally a Diablo fan, I can appreciate the virtues of PoE. Diablo for me is a fun and engaging way to waste time and have fun with friends. I usually walk away from a play-through feeling like I have accomplished something. That said, I am a fan of Dark Souls and Day Z, so anyone familiar with those titles should know that I am also very much a fan of punishing game systems. Diablo Fills a niche for me and is the game I have clocked more hours on than any other title i have owned. That said, I think this was a fair comparison and want to tell Mr. Allen that the overall presentation and information provided here are worth the read (even if you don’t agree with all the points made). Thanks for posting this.

  9. David

    Im surprised at D3 winning the connectivity/downtime and bugs categories. I mean come one does the writer even seriously play D3? High latency spiking, desyncing, and disconnects have been plaguing the game for quite some time. And you put in the bug free section “no desync” as the reason when that has nothing to do with “bugs” because that is part of the above connectivity issues. It seems as though you are avoiding. D3 in fact has quite the bug issue and in fact its worse off in some ways because devs tend to sit on fixes until major patches come around where as PoE will at least fix things regularly.

    • David Allen

      David, where are you located? I’ve had no connectivity issues at all from San Diego or Seattle (~35-45ms ping) nor have I witnessed any real desync with D3. Nobody else I play with has complained about connection issues either. PoE on the other hand literally has desync built into its infrastructure. I’ve also never seen any major bugs in D3, only minor quirks that are rare. There’s really no comparison. One could say I’ve played a bit of D3 as I’m close to Paragon 800 :)

      • David

        @David Allen
        I am from Louisiana. You really only have to visit the tech support forums for D3 to realize that it happens there too. Primary reason is likely the shared data center for WoW, D3, and Hearthstone on the already congested ATT lines. In D3 if you desync, which is very possible with things like tempest rush still but even just running around as normal too, then you get either A) a very long delay sometimes ending up with you dieing (probably the D3 server booted you) or B) you get snapped way back also called “rubberbanding”. I agree that PoE has it as a very common problem but they have “/oos” to help you work around it where you just have to deal with it in D3.

      • David Allen

        Wow, I can’t imagine playing D3 with desync. It’s always run flawlessly for me. I’d say since its initial release I’ve had “desync” less than a dozen times. And that’s playing all classes to 70 and paragon to near 800. Just tonight, playing PoE for an hour or so, I’d get some form of desync every minute or so. Not major, but monsters popping, etc.

  10. Igor R

    Well GGG said they trying to fix dsync now. “as Diablo III wasn’t meant for hardcore players ” are u stupid bro or what? Blizzard said before d3 realese that Inferno will SO HARD that u cant imagine, it obviously was focused as hardcore game. But after 2 weeks when ppl starts to whine they totally nerfed hardcore. 1 more word about dsync – as David said some of his friends quiet coz of dsync. I have played poe for 2.5k-3k hours totall only hardcore leagues made another 95 lvl at bloodlines and most of my chars was lvls 90-95, because its just boring endgame to get lvl 100. So i wanna say dsync N E V E R was problem for me or for another skilled player, for whole time i died mb 2 times to dsync. Dsync is problem for new(casual) player, but when u become experienced u can easly prevent death to dsync. Great post POE is great game, cant wait for A4

    • David Allen

      I agree; once you learn about desync, an experienced player can avoid it – but the downside is some of the skills are therefore avoided (e.g. cyclone freeze). This is unfortunate as desync causes players to avoid alternative builds that could be fun. My current 86 build has little to no desync, unlike my 82 Tornado Shot. Here’s hoping 1.4 removes the issue entirely!

  11. locc

    Hey , I just sign up to tell you that you forgot to list PVP for the comparison. Poe has pvp rewards as in points for micro-transactions and amongst other things. Which motivate people to play and lead the curious to try it out. Which impresses me that they have low leveling (More even max level is 28) And high level battles level 70+

    From my experience the PVP duel reminds me of diablo 2. But so far i’ve some really friendly people while dueling. Players respect one another and usually say hello first. There a timer letting you know its ready to battle.. or you could simply say “Ready” After the battle is done we go our separate ways and its a good way to communicate with other people with certain builds.. from my experience i asked the players who defeated me, letting me know some tips. Interesting interaction with people. Every style melee vs range is different.

    A new master name “Leo” You can complete his mission to get special PVP crafting

    Only problem i find with pvping.. That is difficult to find the right match up with people.. it takes awhile. On the positive side.. they have a PVP ladder system along with gaining points for your master leo… The more points you have the more items you unlocked and crafting abilities. Alot of improvement is still needed for Poe PVP. An idea i would think of would be battle hordes of monsters for “Vaal souls” then fight your opponent. New pvp mode has been implemented.. i haven’t tried it yet but there is “Capture the flag” in a 3 vs 3 fight.

  12. koala

    Thank you for the very VERY comprehensive and detail explanation on the differences of both games. Some of my friends asked why I liked POE more that D3, and most of the times, I don’t know how to explain to them seems both games are so different from each other, while still being in the same genre.

    Now I can just link this to them and let them read and learn by themselves. And I agree with most of the thing you wrote. POE is generally better for me too. The build diversity, the constant update, responsive developers, new leagues with new mechanics every few months. They just keep making reason for me to return to the game over and over again. Now Im more on playing Destiny, but I always come back to POE once in a while, but never D3. GGG deserves all the support they got from the community. If there is a “Best indie game developer” award, Im sure GGG will be nominated. They can even win that award easily.

    Good job on the comparison, and keep up the good work. Peace

  13. Angryweasel

    They cannot fix desync if you want to keep the complexity they have at the moment stuff like Stuns & Accuracy are both something that have to be commuted between the client and server if those where removed there would be less desync (especially Stun) but that would remove a lot of builds as well. Blizzard removed stuns and accuracy because of this issue, they never actually fixed it. You can often see this with melee hits that are impossible to avoid getting hit by in D3 even if you are out of range when the hit is actually being shown on the client and that is actually a lot worse in my opinion.

    As someone else stated Desync only really matters to new players if you played PoE for a while you know when you are proned to getting desynced and know how to avoid it + having /oos bind on mouse 4/5 is usually a good option.

  14. Nigma

    D3 has its own issues instead of desync you will hit an ability and nothing will happen far more often then PoE its very noticeable when going between the game’s responsiveness is a big deal for me cant tell you the number of deaths i’ve had in grifts 40+ because I hit an ability and it just doesn’t do anything the only fix is to spam every button while after you play PoE awhile and understand desync its very minimal I would rather have responsiveness. Now from a new players standpoint I can really see it being a turnoff.

  15. Samkiud

    Diablo 3 is a game that was made with the purpose of being a financial successful, and to achieve that, Blizzard were willing to make decisions to betray the true spirit of the Diablo franchise, and not only by making it a casual game. For example, Diablo has always intended to be dark and gritty; but for Diablo III they went for a colorful and cartoonish graphics, and that’s something you don’t point out in your review; instead, you praise it. Furthermore, another fact that you don’t point out in your review, is that the set of gears system in Diablo III totally breaks the build diversity of the game, because it promotes the creation of meta builds.

    By the other hand, I personally think you should add a category to analyze both Staff Support 😉

  16. Travis

    I have played both of these games a lot. I do prefer POE and am very excited about their new expansion. I thought your analysis was very fair.

  17. Anon

    Diablo 3 has no desync issues. Sorry. But it doesn’t. I’ve even played it while being tethered through my iPhone LTE connection. I’ve never experienced rubber banding or any of that. I think people are bashing it to protect their preferred game.

    Itemization and character progression is better in PoE, but graphics and animations, polish, etc. In D3 really blow it away.

    I dint think end game and difficulty should be about arbitrary death penalties and progressively slower leveling.

    I also think designing a game with the intent of getting players to play a second character due to limited respecs is a good idea and I quit the game for that reason.

    PoE is a better product in theory, but D3 is a better product in reality. Most players don’t care about the Holy War of old D2 players. They just want a fun game that runs well and is enjoyable to play. D3 is a lot more immersive.

    I like POE’s low system requirements. But I think D3’s OS X compatibility matters more.

    I think Diablo doest CoOp better as well and its superior in the way you can change the difficulty on the fly, with a lot more difficulties to choose from.

    • K!A.o.S.

      >> PoE is a better product in theory, but D3 is a better product in reality. Most players don’t care about the Holy War of old D2 players. They just want a fun game that runs well and is enjoyable to play. D3 is a lot more immersive. <<<

      You're right. D3 is more a spinoff, than continuation of the diablo series. You could say throwing out all complexity of its predecessor, the devs have shaped D3 into a perfect shortterm fun experience: Well polished and highly accessible Hack'n'Slay popcorn, with the downsides of being rather shallow, using simple tactical choices instead of real character development decisions and lacking in longterm fun due to the devs seemingly missing the vision to have planned for more than adding further variations of the same candied popcorn in different coatings. That's exactly what most players want. Indeed. Because else one would have to actually use one his imagination and put on his thinking cap. Thinking hurts enjoyment and immersion: The casual attitude plain out in the open as it is… And man…: Does Blizzard still know how to make tasty popcorn, or what?!

      PoE, on the other hand, is more like the full arpg meal; better said more like having a barbecue, while having a six course meal and a full buffet on the side: A rather deep design of visionary, still growing complexity that entices the players to imagine, plan and play out their own ideas, though it's lacking on both D2s gradual increase in complexity and, to a degree, its logical coherence, while still having quite a good amount of room free for polishing yet to be done. Not a game for anyone. Clearly. And immersion only happens by actively using ones own braincells and imagination. You must be really hardcore to play that one, don't you think?


    • AbraC

      PvP in ARPG’s in an awful, awful idea. Complete waste of time and resources in development.

  18. AbraC

    Pretty good comparison. I agree with most but not all, just my personal take though. I have to agree about the lost time due to dying at high levels. A death at 90+ can literally cost 1-2 days of playtime for a casual gamer who doesn’t have much time to play due to work, and from experience I can say that only a tiny fraction have been my fault. Almost always due to desync. I have a character with 7500hp and he still has ridiculous deaths on occasion due to horrible gameplay mechanics. In any case, higher level maps will solve the issue of the death penalty being too great at high levels. Once you get to the upper 80’s, the death penalty starts to become unreasonable. 10% at level 80 is not much time lost. 10% at level 90 is LOTS of time lost. Shouldn’t be so much of a difference.

    It’s also funny to note that in 500 hours of gameplay I’ve only seen 6 high level maps drop, EVER. I’ve gotten more exalts than I have level 77+78 maps combined. That’s awful. There’s RNG, and then there’s GGG’s bad algorithm RNG (since hopefully you all know that there is no such thing as true randomness with computers). The RNG in this game is beyond atrocious. I can get a unique out of a grey strongbox, but only white items out of a yellow strongbox with 1800% rarity increase. That should NEVER happen, not in anyone’s version of RNG, and yet it happens OFTEN.

    PoE is a terrible game that still manages to be quite fun somehow. It’s the strangest thing. My friends and I that play only do so because there’s no other ARPG worth playing at the moment. We played D3 but aren’t on board with the idea of spending another 40 dollars for the expansion. 80 dollars for the whole game is obscene in today’s PC game market. I’ve spent 30 on PoE for stash tabs and gotten more time out of it than I did the base game of D3.

    Also my friends and I think the loot system in PoE is bad. They want to encourage trading + crafting to the point that 99.9999999% of self found items one will ever find in the game are atrocious. And honestly, the trading in this game is so bad it’s not worth the time. And frankly, so is the crafting for that matter. The crafting is just, bad. Really bad. I’ve heard many people describe PoE as a crafting and trading simulator with some light ARPG elements mixed in, and I can’t completely disagree with that.

    PoE is most definitely designed for the ultra-nerdy or wealthy person that can spend hours playing this game without having to work for a living. I’ve had some fun with the game, but the longer I play it, the more I see just how bad of a game it really is. ARPG’s are all about the loot to me, and this game gives the worst loot I’ve ever seen.

    • David Allen

      Great feedback AbraC. I agree with your representations, although I would restate “PoE is a terrible game that still manages to be quite fun somehow” to “PoE can be very difficult and frustrating yet somehow manages to make the experience fun”. I played a ton of D3 and PoE, and am now playing Marvel Heroes 2015 (I wrote a review here: http://www.requnix.com/marvel-heroes-2015-review). I have to say MH is one of the best ARPGs I’ve ever played; I highly recommend it. I’m also in the PoE BETA and can say the changes paired with the new lockstep code (which removes desync) really makes the game a ton better. I’m excited about the official 2.0 launch of PoE in July (plus Chris Wilson is one of the nicest devs I’ve ever met). Sadly they still won’t do anything about the death penalty, which is unnecessary and drives people away. The loot system in PoE isn’t the issue; it’s the lack of a solidified trading system. Bartering becomes tedious after awhile. I hope after 2.0 they investigate building some sort of auction/trade system.

      To wrap up; if you want fun, try Marvel Heroes 2015. It’s amazing.

  19. demon

    To start off, thanks for this!

    Now….please update this to reflect the changes made with POE 2.0!

    Thanks and cheers :)

    • David Allen

      Actually I was going to wait until D3 2.3 comes out so I could properly compare PoE 2.0 and D3 2.3. That’ll make for a really good update!

  20. J G

    Great in depth review!! To your point, I think it really does come down to what type of gamer you are. Hardcore gamer’s will receive little reward from D3, as casual gamer’s will have a very hard time getting into PoE because it is so complex and they don’t want to invest the time.

    Also, I think you are looking at the softcore death penalty wrong in PoE. I can see how it can seriously deter causal players but think of it like this:

    Depending on your build, around 90 you should be completely prepared for endgame and able to do most content. After level 70 (75 for a few items) you can essentially equip every item implying you can hit the base stat requirement. From 80-90 is the fine tuning / power creep stage where you are slowly allocating skill points and upgrading gear to “endgame” items.

    Progressing past level 90 is really a luxury, not part of the game. If you want to progress further than this you should make sure your build has the necessary gear to map past 90 without dying or rarely dying. If you are dying consistently or often in any way something is very wrong and you are not fit to progress because your build is not capable. Before 90 the death penalty is not that bad. 10% of anything below 90ish shouldn’t take long at all to regain. But again, my point is progressing past level 90 is a luxury and a gear check. If you are not fit to go any further the game will let you know through death :) You should be able to do all the content with a proper build anyway @ 90. Levels 90-100 are not really meaningful unless you want to push the character as far as you can.

  21. Rahul Sharma

    I have played POE for a while, and loved it. But it is not much enjoyable if you play as a casual gamer, and for solo it sucks. It forces to buy items from other players or you won’t be able to progress. I tried rolling few solo characters but in the end had to grind to buy items from other players to progress. POE is great no doubt, but they should work on loot system so players can create build on their own not depending lot on trading. I have just started playing D3 few weeks back and loving all the drops I get, I am able to get to lvl 50 without even thinking of trading or anything. Had few useful legendaries dropped, whereas all most of the uniques dropped in POE are not useful.

    • David Allen

      PoE is a much more complex game than D3 and I believe the lack of a managed trading system is really the core problem (not the need & ability to trade in and of itself). With the new 2.0 version, there are now so many more ways mobs can kill you (with combined and dynamic augments) the end-game is even more difficult than before. Pair that with the death system, and most players start hitting a brick wall around level 80. D3 on the other hand allows you to play and have fun at your own speed; it’s definitely more casual-friendly. I’ll be updating this chart shortly after the 2.3 version of D3 is released.

  22. Sergi

    Since your review 2.0, i connect every two months to see any update on your fantastic analysis.

    I should say that maybe i miss a graphic on the resume, could help to finally understand this huge review for newcomers that expects something more easy to decide which game play.
    An area graphic with fun/addiction/playability/replayability/graphics/sounds/… ?

    But, really, you have made a great job with this analysis, and I will still reading and saying people to visit it :)

    Now, my personal opinion:
    I’ve played both games for long time (but now i’m playing only on POE)
    Diablo begins were a bad game. Was a fact. Since 2.0 this game is spectacular. Growing difficulty with rifts, better loot system. But between Diablo vanilla and Reaper of Souls, i reinstalled the POE, and there… i discovered the freedom for making your own skill, your own char and your own all.

    I should say in my opinion, Diablo and POE are two games theorically of the same genere but are in a fact different styles at all.
    Now (with ROS), Diablo is perfect from the first second. Could play with a unique char until you die as old man.
    But it system is item controlled. You will need yes or yes a combination (set or combination of unique items) to beat rift levels and progress, and if you don’t love your blizzard-defined skills, you will finally be boring until you hate it.

    POE begins to be good at 4th, 6th, 10th char you make… There maybe you have enough items/gems on your stash to find game to begin your own combination and make it funny with a diversity of the possible viable builds you can do (with and without any unique item), diversity of the skills you could make combining gems, …
    The “but” is POE begins to be playable one year (aprox.) later of trying it for first time. After you see the passive tree, should close game, calm your soul, uninstall game, take your time, cry (if needed) and when you are ready, reinstall and play again.

    When i’m asked about both games, i usually say something like this:
    Diablo is like a religion. When you like it, you will feel it, you will love it, and believe it for loooong time.
    POE is like an obsession. First you will not like it, later will feel you miss something quitting it, and will back, will try, try again, will like it, and it will force you to create your own mental achievements and you will demand more by your own playstyle to pass your own limits.
    After saying that, i use to say them to visit your analysis :)

    • David Allen

      Excellent analogy (stating Diablo is like a religion and PoE is like an obsession). Ultimately, I agree – they really are to different styles. Between the two, ARPGs have pretty good coverage. I might expand the comparison to include something like Grim Dawn when it finally releases, but between D3 and PoE, any avid fantasy-ARPGer has a fantastic selection. Heck, even Marvel Heroes 2015 could be compared to D3 and PoE (from a generic ARPG perspective, discounting the fantasy disconnect).

  23. Susu

    I stopped reading after you think PoE has better “character appearance than D3”. Is this a joke? I have never seen a more ugly game than PoE. It doesn’t matter if you have 1000 looks, 1000 absolutely fugly looks is nothing compared to 10 awesome looks in D3. The fact that you’re permanently stuck in some ugly look at level 90 (let’s face it, you don’t change equips every other day at level 90 do you, thanks to yellows being better than uniques in PoE) is depressing, and you don’t have the incentives to ever change gear because it will mess up your build/resistances/stats or whatever.

    • David Allen

      Actually, PoE has far more visual customization than D3; you just have to purchase them from the micro-transaction shop; but you can change the look of nearly every item you have and also throw on wings, helm attachments, footprints, etc. Some of the complete armor sets for sale in the store look fantastic, and you can custom tailor your PoE character to visually represent the build style (i.e. flames or poison or death magic). The D3 transmog system is “nice” but it’s not nearly as diverse as PoE.

      • Yun

        Hello :)

        You’re talking about two different things. Character Appearance & Character Customization. Indeed, PoE has far more Customization than Diablo 3 (even if you can argue that D3 is free), but base appearance of the characters matters a lot. And Diablo 3 characters are insanely designed compared to PoE in my humble opinion. You character is basically always classy.

    • Stormy

      Dude characters in POE CAN look awesome.
      Check this out :

      Maybe you just dont like style of POE since it has pretty awesome texture work.
      Style of POE is more serious, dark, mature and gritty then it is in D3. D3 is more colorful, vibrant and soft so it can attract wider range of audiences (proven by the fact that almost no females play POE while there is certainly large percentage of player base in D3 that are females).

      POE doesnt have ideology its more darker, disturbing and grittier game.


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