Jan. 1, 2023

GGG's One and Only, Hrishi! (Game Designer)

GGG's One and Only, Hrishi! (Game Designer)

If you like any aspect of Path of Exile's gameplay (which, obviously, you do or you wouldn't be here), you won't want to miss this week's episode. In Episode 169, we had the opportunity to sit down with GGG's very own Hrishi! As a game designer for the game you love, he's had his fingers in the passive tree, unique items, Ruthless, gems...everything. Honestly, everything game-play. If you've thought of "character power" (which, obviously, you have or you'd be playing Call of Duty), then you've thought of him. As both a fan of the game and a passionate employee, we couldn't wait to hear what he had to say on all aspects of PoE. Whether you've been playing Path of Exile for only one league, or since Beta, you'll love the memories, insight, and humour that Hrishi brings to the conversation. Thanks, Hrishi for joining us, and thank you, everyone, for your listens each week!

Hrishi Twitter: @hrishi29x

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Transcript

Welcome to Forever Exiled, A Happy New Year's episode this week. I'm Justin AK Tags. And I'm Tyler Wrecker of Days. And this week we are super pumped to be welcoming a G G G guest. This is Hrishi Hrishi from Grinding Your Games. Thanks for joining us. Okay. 

 

It's great to be here. 

 

So first off, maybe you can just quickly introduce yourself, your name, position, all that kind of gut fun stuff, who you are with, GGG.

 

Yep. , so my name is Hrishi. I am a game designer at Grinding Gear Games since, , I think it's 2016 now. So coming up on seven years. I moved here for the job all the way back then. So, you know, it's been pretty fun since, but when you 

 

say moved here, where did you move from? 

 

, so I did my schooling in the, so originally I lived in India and then I did my schooling, you know, like my university in the US.

 

and then I moved from the US over to New Zealand. So I've been all over the world a little bit. Wow. 

 

Yeah. That's pretty awesome. , we wanna get a little bit of an idea of who you are before we get into the path of Excel stuff. That's kind of our thing. People love it. We, , take a little bit sometimes to get into the path of Excel content, but mm-hmm.

 

, sort outside of, outside of work type stuff, what's your, what's your thing? What do you like doing? What, what do you like to do when you're not working? Well, 

 

I used to play a bunch of magic back when I was in the us. I don't play as much anymore when I'm here. Um, is 

 

that just cuz it's not as big of a thing?

 

I would've thought Chris would've started a group or something. I do 

 

play with Chris once in a while for sure. Okay. But yeah, well, in the US I used to go every weekend to play here. It's not so, you know, regular. Um, other than that, I, I mean, I don't do too much outside of work. I like to play games. I like to watch documentaries, especially related to history, that sort of thing.

 

Cool. I've been writing a book for eight years that has never been finished. That probably never will be finished because I, hey, I procrastinate forever. What kind of book for you? It's a fantasy novel. 

 

Wow, nice. And you've put pen to paper, like you, you, you've actually written some stuff down. You haven't just been dreaming about it for eight years.

 

You actually have some content. No, no, no. 

 

I do. I have like about 40,000 to 50,000 words down. But the problem is every time I get to say I'm in chapter eight or something and then I'm like, man, chapter one really sucks. And then I go back and I rewrite chapter one, and then I do chapter two, and then I go through the whole process again.

 

And then, you know, I go all the way back and I keep rewriting and it'll never finish. But one day I hope so. That's crazy. 

 

Good for you though. I heard, I heard, um, what was Stephen King's first novel? Was it Cujo? Yeah, I think it was Cujo. And I think it was his wife that got it published for him because he finished writing it.

 

He thought it was garbage and he threw it in the garbage and then his wife took it out.  and then went to the company that he was supposed to be writings for. Interesting. And then, yeah. Yeah. You never know. You never know. Right Now the guy writes like a novel a minute, but good for you. Putting stuff down on paper

 

That's the hardest part. That's the hardest. I've, I've been to some, um, writing conferences. That's kind of stuff that interests me as well. And mm-hmm. , they say number one thing, it doesn't matter if your idea sucks, just get it on paper. Just get going. So good for you. Yeah. Yeah. I'm proud of you now. I, I'm, I'm a pet guy while we're on the subject.

 

Yeah. And do you have any pets? 

 

No, I really want one though. , when I grew, when I was growing up in India, we always had pets. Like I had dogs, cats, everything. But ever since I've been living here, I haven't had any, I really want a cat, but, oh, okay. You know, one day, any kind, KA Oh, don't anything. Really. It doesn't matter.

 

I just love, just want to sit on your lap while you're writing. Exact. All, all I'm playing. As long as it doesn't be, , get me killed. . . Right on. 

 

Now you, you mentioned you play magic or you'd like to mm-hmm. More often. Mm-hmm. . Um, any other games that you'd like to play? Video games, board games? Anything else stand out?

 

Um, not, I play a lot of MMOs as well, so that's another thing, but in general, I just like playing all kinds of a RPGs. Like every time a new game comes out, which is relatively interesting to me, I typically play it. And then the stop, the last game I played right to the end was cyberpunk, you know? So nice.

 

, that sort of thing. But it's pretty much any a ar p, , like a R P G, story driven, rpg, whatever it is. All right. 

 

Nice. , you mentioned that you went, , from India then to the US and then to New Zealand. And I assume obviously the reason you went to New Zealand was the job. Mm-hmm. , that was the move.

 

Mm-hmm. . So what, before New Zealand then, what were you doing in the us? Like, but was there any work that was sort of similar to this style or, or were you, was that just school? No, it was 

 

just school. I, um, so. . I actually was born in the US but then my parents, , moved to India about a year or so after I was born.

 

And I did most of my, you know, schooling, you know, like high school, everything in India. And then I decided to study computer science. I'm not entirely sure why, but whatever that reason was. And, um, I, but I never really considered game development a real job, you know, like I, I mean, it was like, obviously it was cool and I would've loved to have done it, but I didn't think it was a realistic thing at the time.

 

But, , when I moved to the US to study, we had the option to take like, you know, electives and that sort of thing. And one of the electives that I took was, , game mod programming, which was really kind of fun because the course was effectively taking Quake two and making a mod for it. And from that I kind of realized how much I enjoyed doing it.

 

So I then branched out into a full on minor in game development from there. H. . So there, 

 

but there was no, you went basically then from school to working at grinding your games, is that right? Yeah, 

 

I mean, there was like, there was like a little bit of time after I graduated until I got the, the, the job.

 

But it wasn't like, you know, a like, like an extended period of time or anything. Hmm. Cool. Hmm, that's pretty 

 

neat. So there wasn't anything that you kinda, when you had your life prior to your GG g employment, there wasn't anything that you kind of like, I mean, obviously family or, you know, close relationships mm-hmm.

 

but out of that, any passions or enjoyments that you left behind, maybe the magic, the gathering that you used to play in the States? 

 

I used to act on stage a lot. Ooh, wow. Cool. Come on. Which I haven't done in, oh God, it must, it must be like 10 years since I used to act on stage. But when I was in India doing, , you know, and a little bit after that, I, um,  like every day in the evening, like six o'clock to eight o'clock or something, I would go for rehearsals and once every five or six months we would, you know, I'd join like a theater group and we'd do like a performance on stage or something.

 

But that kind of all went away after, after a while. 

 

Was that just like a recreational group then? Like just you kind of found like a group of people that were doing, it wasn't anything related to any 

 

sort of school? No. Well, I found the group through school because, so just a bit of background, but my school was, , celebrating its 50th year anniversary or something like that.

 

So they hired like an external, , group to come and do like this performance of Wizard of Oz. And I, I really liked it. I, I did Tin Man for the thing, so. Right. , yeah, so after that, you know, when I was at, when I was at university, I contacted this group and I was like, you know, I really enjoyed it and I kind of want to, you know, , do more of it and then I st and then I just got involved from there.

 

Hmm. 

 

Well that's cool. That's really, really cool. So that we saw Camille tweet out, um, for, for Christmas, we saw Camille tweet out a nice stage for the Christmas party there. Was that all for you? You're gonna be performing for everybody ? 

 

No, no, no. Definitely not. I haven't done it in more than 10 years. And it's just a thing like when I look back, I'm like, how the hell did I do that

 

So you're not 

 

pulling out any Danny K or Bing Crosby dance news at, at the same time done this year? . 

 

All right. That's too bad. I feel like all my, um, I feel like all my other hobbies went to the wayside the more I got into games. Yeah. I mean, still it's not 

 

true. Just extra hobbies. Yeah. That's awesome. So when you, you were talking about, um, when you got your job with, , grinding your games or when you started moving over to work with them, I I, I'm kind of curious about that process.

 

And one of the things that made me kind of smile was is, is it true that your brother actually was. One of the things that sort of like helped you, convince you or maybe forced you to actually send in that information? Yeah, I kind of read that. 

 

Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Well, I'll, I'll say convinced, but the truth is he probably forced me.

 

Yeah. . , because I, , I mean I, like, I obviously played a ton of part textile when I was in university. , I don't know if, , but you know, I, I bought that high tier supporter back designed clerk of Defiance, which became Mind of a Matter, all that stuff, but I didn't That's great. Really consider like writing in and looking for a job or anything.

 

And I, and I, I remember I was back in India for like, I think it was like c , Christmas holiday or something like that. And we were just talking about it and my brother was like, well, why don't you just send in an email? And I was like, well, what, what good is that gonna do? They're not even gonna look at it.

 

And he was like, but just, just do it. What happens if you don't, you know? And then he kind of forced me to send the email and that's kind of how it all started. . 

 

Wow. . So was it, was it a result of that email then that got you into the process? Like to be an interviewed and actually talk? Oh yeah. Oh, that's so cool.

 

Oh yeah, 

 

for sure. , I mean, this was obviously way before I actually graduated, but it was at least, you know, opening up the, like, you know, a conversation. , for sure. I mean, again, I had to resend an email after I finished graduating and, and everything. But I had that original email that I sent because my brother sat on, sat on my head and forced me to send the email.

 

So, you know. That's 

 

awesome. , was there a reply obvious to, to that 

 

email? Yes. And exceedingly fast, which was very surprising cuz I did not expect any, I did not expect a reply that fast. Hmm. But, you know, 

 

what was the time period between that to when you graduated? 

 

Oh, do you remember? I think it would've been like two years before I graduated or something.

 

Wow, that's awesome. Maybe something like that. It, it's somewhere between one to two years. I, I know it was not. During the last year of university, so it would've been the year before that. And 

 

so was your, was there an expectation for you that maybe once you finished, that's where you would be looking towards?

 

Or was this just like a hopeful thing? Like, okay, well when I'm done my schooling, then I'll reach back out and see where it goes. 

 

When I finished schooling, my plan was to apply to, and I did apply to about 500 different companies to try and get into the games industry. And I actually had a spreadsheet somewhere with like the list of every single company, whether I had sent in an application and everything.

 

And Gigi was at the top of that list. So it was definitely, you know, a hopeful thing that, you know, that that would be the first company that I sent in an email. And then, you know, I went down the list and I sent, , you know, emails to pretty much everybody at that point. 

 

Wha what was the, I'm actually just kind of curious, , if you're two years still roughly to finishing, what's the context of the email that you originally sent?

 

Is it just like, Hey, would you, would it, would this be something I could look at down the road? Or what was the context of that original email? 

 

I think it was something like, I think my brother said something like, you know, many companies like to do internships, so why don't you see if they do one? And then I was told that they don't do internships or whatever.

 

But it was still, you know, the, the, the fact that I had, , reached out and spoken to them meant I had that, you know, that open line of communication regardless. But that was, I think the reason why I sent it in. I mean, and it was also to kind of, you know, express interest to apply once my, , university was finished.

 

And 

 

was there like a hint in like, Hey, I'm one of the tops, you know, I gave one of the top supporters, so, you know, just push me to the top. Absolutely. . 

 

And it was a hint saying, I played vintage magic. I, I pulled at all the stops, you know? 

 

Good for you. Good for you. That's amazing. And 

 

you don't 

 

give your brother any credit, right?

 

He doesn't know that he had any part of this, does 

 

he? He, he does. And every time we meet, he makes sure to remind me, , his Christmas gifts are a little bit bigger. . That's. So 

 

getting, getting into your workday with mm-hmm. , what you can say, what, what is a normal workday for you? I, I read along, we had, you had a, a GG g kind of one of those post interviews that they give to the community, but I think that was way back in 2016.

 

So, you know, that's been a bit Now what? Oh yeah. 

 

What's your workday now? Oh yeah, that would've been right when I started. So, which is quite different. Mm-hmm. . But honestly, as, as much as the workday is very different, it's really hard to describe an average workday because every day is just kind of a new problem to tackle and a new problem to solve.

 

So I don't even know if I could say that there is a typical workday other than there'll be a certain number of, , of, , issues that come up and, you know, some discussions that need to be had or whatever. But there's nothing that's the same. Like, like, well, when I go into work today, it's going to be different to what I do tomorrow and so on.

 

Like, that's not going to, I don't think that's changed since then. At the very least, , what I work on has changed, but not necessarily what the workday looks like. 

 

That's awesome. Hmm. That's really fun when you don't know what to expect or know for sure what the day is gonna be like. Oh, yeah. 

 

It, it also keeps it exciting in a way because like every day is like a, almost feels like a new, all right, so what's, what's going to go wrong today?

 

Or what problem are we gonna have to solve today? Type of deal. And you 

 

are the kind of person that enjoys that, that randomness. You're not the kind of person that wants that static, all right, this is what I gotta do. Five o'clock I'm going home. You, you like 

 

that randomness during your day? Oh yeah, I do.

 

And I almost never go home at five o'clock. Like, I usually lose track of time before I leave . Oh, cool. And, and you're 

 

not just saying that because they might hear this later. 

 

No. Well, pretending that you like your job,  Well, , well, well, the fact that I send Chris messages at 10 o'clock at night about random poe things probably says

 

All right. All right. , you, okay? So your, your official role is game designers, is that right? Mm-hmm. , that's like your, okay, so I have. I saw a tweet that you sent out a bit ago that made me laugh, which was sort of explaining what you do where somebody says, you, you had this tweet that you said, somebody says, what do you do?

 

And you say, I work as a computer game designer. They say, so you play games at work all day? No, I don't . Oh, so you draw things for the game? Oh no, the artist do that. Oh, so you're like a programmer. No, that's what the programmer's job is. . So what is their left? So can you, I thought that tweet was amazing. It made me laugh when I  when I read it, but can you, what, how would you like, describe Game Designer?

 

Describe sort of what that entails. Oh, 

 

that's 

 

the million dollar question, isn't it? It's a lot of bringing all those parts together and making it actually fit within the context of the, of the game as a whole. Like as an example, , one of the first major things I started doing, , was , was a unique item design, right?

 

And a lot of that is you,  and look, ideas are not the monopoly of designers. Ideas can come from anywhere, but it's like, it's the, it's the process of collecting a good idea, collecting, , then, then getting the art sorted, getting the, like the programming side of things sorted, getting the testing sorted and bringing that all together and making it actually fit in a kind of cohesive way in the game.

 

Like I feel like that that's the sort of thing that a game designer is meant to. And, and also honestly ensuring that the, um, that the final product as it were is, is good, you know? , but by the time it gets ready for the next patch. So 

 

one of the things that was mentioned to us that you've had a, a hand in, cuz there was a list I think that, that Bex had mentioned, I think maybe you had sent it to her, but, um, one of the things that sort of stood out was character, power and, and you know, the player power mm-hmm.

 

Um, so, , we, we were just kind of curious, is there.  are, are you part of that discussion then when they go, well, we need to figure out this with regards to player power? Is there like a sit down or are they basically saying, okay, this is what we need to change? What do you think? How we can come up with something that will, 

 

it's usually just part of a discussion, and I'm one of the people involved in that, whether it's, you know, item related or, you know, passive train related, ency related skills, whatever it is.

 

You know, like, it's just generally a discussion that we tend to have with a, with a few other people as well. And I don't even necessarily end up, , addressing it myself, but at least I'm part of the, , part of the initial discussion to determine what needs to happen or at the very least, what does not need to happen, you know?

 

And then we kind of go from there. 

 

So it's pretty collaborative then when it's like, okay, this is an issue or this is something we want to do, then. It kind of falls to everybody then to try and figure out how to make that work. Is that, 

 

yeah, I mean, so like, obviously sometimes if, if you have a really good idea of what you think needs to change you, you can, you can enter that discussion with that thought in mind.

 

Right. But yeah, usually it's, you know, it, it, it is very collaborative and it is, , you know, what, what do you think and what do you think? And then let's all agree on what the right, you know, , plan of action is, as it were. I've always been curious about 

 

how the dynamic is at the table when these talks are happening.

 

Like, is it always, does everybody just always get along? It's like, yeah, no, I agree. No, I disagree. Or is it like, sometimes just like, nah, we just, cuts are happening. Sometimes 

 

somebody whis sometimes it gets heated that it, it, it can def, I mean, but it's, but it, but it comes from a place of passion, right?

 

Like, so you generally try to not let it affect you or anything like that. But yeah, it definitely gets heated sometimes.  sometimes, you know, it's, it's nice when everyone's always on the well, like on the same page and everyone just agrees immediately. But that's not usually the case. Generally, people have different approaches and different, like, people might think there's a different problem from person to person, so, mm-hmm.

 

you know, we generally have to come to a, a, a place of understanding, I'd say. Do you ever watch hockey 

 

when you were in the States? I watched 

 

one show because I lived about five minutes from the New Jersey Devils Stadium. Oh, okay. So I, I've, I went to a couple games, but not besides that 

 

because I was gonna say, I always pictured when people disagree in the office for a game that people are as passionate about his path.

 

Yeah. It's a hockey fight. The jerseys are coming over the head, there's upper cuts. Everybody just gives everybody a high five at the end, like everybody, good job. You pumped up the team. All right, let's get back to business . , so let's see what, if you can, what's kind of the process.  that either yourself or the company goes through for character power.

 

Let's see. Like where does the discussion begin? Where do those ideas come from? How long is it on the table? And then the people that the, you know, okay, so here's the problem. Here's what we wanna fix. And then the people that those are given to, how often do they come back saying like, that just doesn't work.

 

Okay, you gotta sit down at the table again and figure it out. Like what's, can, can you give us some detail as to kind of the process of how that works? 

 

Let me think. Because I feel like this is usually different based on what the, what the problem is. And I mean, maybe if I give an example something from a while ago actually, there was the whole, I mean, do you remember when we introduced the concept of the mono skills back in the day?

 

That was something that I was, I pushed really, really heavily for. And that, that's a long 

 

time ago.  to me it feels like yesterday, 

 

wasn't it? Like  four years ago? It was a bit a while ago. I dunno. 

 

3.0 feels like just two seconds ago. So 

 

anyway, go ahead. The manage goes 19 feels like, , or feels like a millennial.

 

Go now. . Right? All right. But , you know, like that sort of thing, like everyone had different ideas on how we could address manna and how we could, you know, expand manna into something more than just a resource to, to cast things. And I feel like that went to, went through a ton of iteration where we, we, where we added things, it didn't work, and then we had to, you know, revert it and then we tried again.

 

And then we eventually, , hopefully got to something that we, that we all liked. But I feel like it, this kind of depends on how, I'm trying to think of the o of the appropriate word here, but how sensitive the issue is with direct power. Like if it's something extremely core versus something that's a bit, you know,  extra on top of that, like, and when you 

 

reference Sensitive, is that referencing y you at GG G or is that the community or both?

 

, not necessarily the community or anything, but when I say sensitive, I mean, as an example, changing how armor functions. That is so cool. Within the game itself. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. So how that's so core to how every character that uses armor functions, you know, like something like that is what I mean, where a change is sensitive.

 

That that, that it can have, , follow on impacts to ev , to like all other parts of the game or, you know, like Manna is, is a good example, man. Would've been a big one. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, manna is so core to how Casta work and, and honestly how every character works and making any changes to that would be, would be huge.

 

Right. , there's then going to be like mechanics that scale off manna or, you know, there's so many things like you can't even begin to count how many things that would be affected by a change to something like that. And those are the sorts of changes that I think usually go through a ton of iteration and, and a ton of, , you know, discussion in that way.

 

When 

 

you have stuff like that, and I think I kind of already know the answer to this, cause I, I did read your three articles on Legion, but does it often happen where that idea or those concepts are, are developed and thought about and tried to figure it out, get figured out through multiple leagues?

 

Like, it's not like you're coming up with an idea and going, okay, we have to try and figure this out for an upcoming or this next coming league. It's something like, oh, we like this idea, but maybe it's gonna take us a league or two to actually make it 

 

work in puri. That's usually the best situation, but there's some times where let's say we have something that we plan to do for the upcoming league, but if we end up not figuring it out, we don't have enough.

 

that's going into that patch. So sometimes we have to figure it out by the, by the league's launch. Because like hypothetically, if that change is the main, you know, meta shakeup of that, of that league, for example, then we don't really have a ton of freedom in that. But a lot of times, yeah, like if something just doesn't work, we just, you know, , shelve it and we come back to it once the league is done.

 

So with, with the game, a game like P oe, that is literally always changing. There's always something new or, or whatever different. What would you say is sort of the biggest challenge for you with regards to game design, character power, all the things you're involved with? What, is there something that's the most challenging thing as you're trying to come up with ideas or as you're getting towards time to develop something new for an upcoming league?

 

Honestly, how big and how complicated the game is in. And I, and I don't mean complicated from a, from an understandability way, from a, from the sense of how many different weird interactions can impact things. . That's usually the biggest challenge. Now, considering I've been involved in so many uniques and so many of these things, I, I generally tend to know these interactions off the top of my head.

 

But with all those uniques, really, I, no, no, a large percentage of them, but still that's 

 

more than two is impressive to 

 

  1. , but it's so easy to miss, like this random interaction, and that sometimes can result in things going really bad. Or sometimes it's, sometimes it's interesting because it's like, it's like this weird interaction that the designers didn't think about, and then someone in the community figures it out and then it becomes, you know, build of the week or something.

 

But I, I definitely think that is the, that is the most both difficult and interesting part of the process because it's difficult in the sense you kind of have to come up with something new and, but because there's so much there, coming up with something new can sometimes be a little difficult because there's so many things that.

 

already impact character power in so many different ways. But it's interesting in the sense that if you come up with something new, it's not just coming up with a mechanic. It's like, and to use magic as an example, it's not like you're designing for a standard set, you're designing for the entire cardpool.

 

So I, if you, I, if you make something, there's potentially thousands of uniques and that can interact with it in weird ways. So how do you go about 

 

figuring out where character power should be, but before community feedback, just within yourselves, how do you, is there sometimes that it's just there needs to be a shakeup or is there always a list of things that need to be 

 

power?

 

Like 

 

how, how do you go about figuring out where character power needs to be adjusted? What are kind of maybe some of the thresholds or lists or formulas you might have that kind of determine where said item or skill should be? 

 

Hmm. , I feel like this is different from person to person, but for me. Oh, okay.

 

It's not so much a. . I think there needs to be a shakeup because I generally don't like to approach things that way. For me, it's more, there's a list of things that in general, I'm not, , like I'm either not happy with or think could be better. And I typically just go back to that and I'm like, well, can we improve A or B or C?

 

And, you know, keep going down that list until like, like until we go through the whole thing. But we probably never will. But that's usually how it, that's usually how I like to approach it anyway. It's usually, , I feel like this mechanic could be better or this mechanic isn't good enough or this mechanic works, but it's kind of boring and how it works.

 

So, you know, let's try to make a change to make it more, , make it fit within the game better. You know, that's usually how our 

 

mechanics changing. Mechanics over. Um, a unique item that you've worked on. Lots of jewels, clusters, that kind of thing. Mm-hmm.  our skills. , are some of them a lot easier to modify?

 

My, my assumption would be that skills would be a lot easier to modify because you're just changing numbers where a mechanic would probably take quite a lot of collaboration, a lot of fingers to touch it, for it to be approved and also function properly for the core game. 

 

Oh, definitely. And skills are very easy to change or for just changing numbers, but sometimes skills don't need number changes.

 

They need to actually have mechanical changes, and that's when it can get a little complicated. , it's the same with like something like the passive tree, right? The passive tree can be very easy to change if all I'm doing is changing numbers or changing stats or something. But if we're doing more broad shakes to the passive tree, like when we added Masteries for example, that can obviously end up being a multi-month process of collaboration and iteration to get where it's 

 

at.

 

, when a, when a new design comes out or a new mechanic or whatever comes out and you're starting to get feedback back on some of that stuff, are you involved in trying to figure out if the feedback is coming back that maybe a mechanic's not working or, or it's not?  functioning the way it's supposed to, or it's too strong, or not strong enough, blah, blah, blah.

 

Are you somehow involved in that process of trying to figure it out after it's out? 

 

Do you mean after it's, , released to the public? Or released to the public? Yeah, released to the public. I do try to read feedback where I can, I mean, I, I used to read feedback a lot more, but now I have, I, I don't have as much time to re, to like absorb all the feedback that's there everywhere.

 

But I'm definitely, or at least I definitely try to be involved as, as much as I can, just so you know, whether we're changing something or not. It's still good to be aware of what's of, of what pots are. 

 

What about feedback, I guess maybe before it's released then, if it's, if it's going through testing, then I assume you're pretty hands on if it's something you've been working on.

 

Mm-hmm. ? 

 

Oh, yeah, definitely. Like if it's, , like internally I'm pro, I'm like on top of it for the most part. Like, unless, I mean, they, they've obviously been patches where, you know, There was too much going on, and I've been less hands-on than I would've liked to. But ideally, yes, that's usually what it would be like.

 

And 

 

now from the community feedback perspective, what's it like getting community feedback or hearing some of the community feedback for the things that you had it had into, whether it's decisions or you were really hands-on, both the positive and negative, what's 

 

that 

 

like? It used to be a lot harder to read it, but now, like over time it's just some, it's just something I've gotten used to, you know, just taking it as it is and trying to get useful information out of feedback as much as I can, and ignoring any, anything extra from there.

 

Because no matter how the feedback comes, there's something useful that you can get from it. So, and if that can result in something, you know, improving or becoming better, that's all, that's obviously, you know, a, a good thing to, , to know whether we're changing it or not. It's still good to know because as I said, in, in the future they might be the, the, they might be like this opportunity to change it later and knowing.

 

how something has worked or not worked is, is useful information to have. 

 

Was it pretty difficult beforehand, like when you were, like in your early years with GG g and you're starting to see some of the passion from the community, whether it's, you know, legitimate feedback or not, compared to what it's like now?

 

Like do you feel kind of like you've had to turn it off a bit, like a bit of the emotion from 

 

feedback? I see what you're asking. Um, I definitely did at the very start, but it didn't last very long. Cause I feel like good, it, it kind of, I mean I've been on the internet for a very long time, , so it's not

 

Yeah. And you wouldn't have been new to the Poe community either cause you were 

 

part of it. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I like, so I play, I mean I, I used to, and I still play this, , this old Korean MMO called Rag Rock online. And um, like, yeah, like I've been used to seeing how the internet works for a very long time, so it doesn't change too much.

 

That's funny. 

 

Watch when you got hired, they lost their worst, most provocative critic . You're the most colorful swear on the planet. Then as soon as you get hired, the internet calms 

 

down. The funny thing is, um, when I got hired, I went back and looked at all my posts to see like, I'm

 

Go on. Do I need to remove anything ? And how'd that go?  

 

Strange. That's awesome. If I didn't have too many, you know, really angry posts or anything. I had one that I do remember that, that I do remember, which was a really long time ago. This was when this, this was actually so old, but do you remember when there was that build that caused monsters to stand still because you stacked curse effect or curse quality on temp chains?

 

Yep. 

 

Yep. That was a really 

 

long time ago. Yeah. I do remember there was a hot fix after that where it changed the quality of the curse from.  even more of a slow to like cost speed or something. And I was like, well, how could you do that? I was also building around this attraction,  . But yeah, 

 

there it is. Now, what are some of the projects or ideas that you've been a part of that have totally failed or got completely shot down?

 

Something that you were really excited about, maybe, or had a lot of passion and then it's just like, Nope. 

 

Didn't work. Hmm. There have been a few, but I don't wanna say that they failed. They've just not come out yet, so I don't even know if I could really talk about them because they might come back, you know, later.

 

I mean they, Hey, Beck is about to 

 

kick in. Hey, , . 

 

Well, I also mean the number of times we've come up with something and then it's like, nah, it just doesn't work. And then we just shelve it. That's, there's so many, but that's part and parcel of the entire process, right? I mean, the timeless shows is a good example.

 

We came up with something and then was like, nah, it doesn't work. But then it came back again later in Legion as this bigger, more grand system than what it will was originally designed as. And in Legion 

 

itself, I was reading your articles about that. That was a bit of a brainchild for you, is that right?

 

Mm-hmm. . Okay. So I just have questions as a dumb p oe player. Okay. Do you, at this point, I mean, I imagine you would, but like the, the jewels are just nuts because there's no, besides like the type of general Yeah. And like a random set of numbers, knowing exactly what it's going to do to each node on the tree is difficult.

 

Can you look at, , a timeless jewel now and just. Do you know, all of the things, all of its ways that it will affect one regardless of like what number is on it and which general. 

 

Absolutely not. The only thing I know is what Keystone's going get. Scare 

 

me for a second. He said Absolutely. And I was like, we just 

 

thought there was gonna be Absolutely, absolutely not.

 

The only thing I can tell you is I can look at the legion at, at the general and say, okay, it's that keystone. That's it. Right. It was just made as a, this is how you, this is how you make your passive tree your own. Nobody else can have your passive tree because this is how the Juul changes the tree for you.

 

And sure, someone else can try to I, , to imitate it, but the number of seeds that can appear on the Juul is so massive that it's kind of hard to divine into one. 

 

Are those seeds, the way those seeds work are, is there like, , a string of numbers that are going to be the same with, you know, like cuz the seeds are not short mm-hmm.

 

is there, is there like a string of those sets of seed numbers that mean that timeless jewel, if it's the same general, is going to be the exact same?  way it modifies it? Or does every single individual seed change? 

 

Every single seed changes it. Wow. So there's like infinite possib, well, not infinite, but there's a ton of possibilities.

 

H, wow. And this alt started from, like I said, from a failed concept of trying to corrupt the passive tree back in Incursion league. It was just, nah, just doesn't work. And then we put it aside, and then later on it turned into this even bigger thing that I feel like I'm, I'm glad we didn't release the thing in incursion because it turned out better in, in Legion.

 

And I feel like there are actually a number of concepts like that. Like I do remember one of the first uniques I designed back when I started in 2016 was this unique that gave you a free aura on your amulet. And it was, you know, like it, like it never actually.  and then it came out later in the form of walls uprising, you know, so like a, all of these concepts fail, but then they come back in a different form because, you know, they're a cool thing.

 

There was a, there was a keystone that I designed for one of the legion jewels, I think, which was armor applies to elemental damage, , or transcendence, but it didn't come out in the original set of, , key stones That came out later because it was a failed keystone back then. But then we, we ended up releasing it like in a later patch.

 

So 

 

did you have to keep some of those key stones like, that you didn't release in the background for when you guys all of a sudden start taking some of the legion, some of these timeless jewel key stones and just adding them to the tree, now all of a sudden you gotta figure out some other way to, to make the timeless jewel work.

 

So I 

 

didn't actually keep like, like, go back to that list or anything, but what happens is, like often when you're coming up with ideas, you tend to go back to similar ones. If you feel they're a good, that they're, you know, ultimately something that you think would be a good idea for the game.  And it just so happened that this, like I came up with the same keys to an idea that I did, , two, two or three years ago and it just ended up working this time rather than the previous one.

 

Mm-hmm. . 

 

That's gotta be one of the craziest, one of the craziest changes cuz those things confuse the crap on every single time. They're so exciting. They're so fun. It's just trying to understand them as like difficult. . . It's difficult. 

 

I had no idea either. Like when they were released I was like, okay, what are people gonna do with this?

 

You know? And then I just had to look and see what crazy timeless jewels people came up with and what their trees look 

 

like. It is really fun cuz like you said, it lets somebody make the tree their own. I think one of the things that a lot of people struggle with them, with those timeless JUULs specifically is that if they're watching a streamer or somebody and they notice that they've got a timeless JUUL in there, trying to replicate that can be very difficult.

 

Oh yeah. Yeah. Because there's no way to test or know without actually having the JUULs. Mm-hmm . So, but they are fun cuz then when you get it, you can be like, well, What can I maybe do  with this one? , , you mentioned Rag Rock online, and you talked about playing a lot of a RPGs. Do you have any specific, like inspirations that you use for work?

 

Like when you play these other APGs, do you, is it sometimes also to, to help with that or are you pretty good on the whole inspiration in coming up with stuff on your own? 

 

Oh, no, no, no. I get a, I get a ton of inspiration from other games, but I don't know if I could actually give you a specific example.

 

Like, I don't play the games to get inspiration. I play the games because I just like them. Mm-hmm. . But it's natural to get inspiration from things that you, that you think and, and, and it's not necessarily just games, right? Like it's from any other, , experiences you have. You tend to get inspiration from those experiences.

 

But considering, I, I spend a lot of my time playing RPGs, MMOs and whatever it, it, it tends to be that a lot of inspiration do come from those games and sometimes older games too. You. 

 

I'm pretty sure I read that you played a lot of vage of empires. I did the first one. 

 

Yeah. Yeah. That was actually my, that was my start.

 

I got excited when I read that. That was my start in even thinking about game dev when I used to make custom maps with the, with the map tool. That's 

 

so fun. Where are you gonna put fish? Where are you gonna put some trees? 

 

My favorite map that I made, which I, I wish I could get back, but it's in some old computer that, no, I, nobody knows where it is, was I made this maze where you had to take a single character through and they were like obstacles through the thing.

 

It was really weird, but, and probably not really fun, but it was cool coming up with that concept over time. I was like, fun. That is cool. I was like, what, 12 years old or 

 

something? Fun. You're talking. We land partied. , we'd like pick up our computers and bring them over to Justin's house to play J of Empires.

 

You're talking the right people. Mm-hmm. . So don't you worry . Yeah. We just, let's just changes to Age of empires. Chit-chat. 

 

Yeah. Such 

 

a good game. . I actually like, , age of Mythology more than Age of Empires. That good. I know about, , yeah. Like I feel like a lot of people prefer Age of Empires over. I love the, the whole God powers and, um, favor and all that thing.

 

You couldn't customize maps in Age of Mythology, could you? 

 

You could, but the, h? I believe the tool was less expensive or something. There was something about it, because I didn't actually use the agent Mythology map tool as much. I used the Agent two Map tool the most. Did you ever 

 

play Battle for Middle Earth one or two?

 

I played 

 

Battle for Middle Earth one. Yes. That was, that was pretty fun. I, I liked it. That's just a win for us. Whether you 

 

liked it or not, doesn't matter if you win. If you liked, that's 

 

better. You installed it. We're good. We're happy. So you mentioned the, the Legion stuff, but I'm curious if, is there a, a project or idea that's your favorite that you, that is part of the game now?

 

, you know, that you sort of grew into path of xl? Is there one thing that you could put your finger on that says, that's my, my favorite thing I've brought to the game? That's hard. 

 

There's so many things that I've brought into the game now, but I don't know if I can answer that. There's just so many things that I don't want to say one of them is my favorite because I feel like they all hurt the other feelings.

 

Yeah. Like, it's like, I get it. It's like asking you to affect your favorite kid. Yeah. You, how can 

 

you do that child's ? Well, what of them? Yeah. Yeah. What's a couple of of them? Sure. Right. Just so we 

 

don't hurt the others. Feeling . Like I did a lot of the, um, like the rework to Ries back in, , back when we changed them over to the whole exerted attack system and, um, all that, all the minor skills like I mentioned earlier, you know, arcane cloak, arcade.

 

What else? , so many Keystone I, , Keystone are so just a bit of background, but I got into path of Excel because of a Gil made of mine from Rag Rock Online. Linked me this website of this thing and I was like, Why am I playing this? It's just, , you know, it's just D two, but worse at the time. Mm-hmm.

 

And then, um, and, and he knew that I loved de two, and then he was like, no, no, no. Look at the passive tree. Sorry, look at the passive tree. And I was like, whoa, this is great. And then the weirdest thing, but the reason I do, I ended up downloading the game was because I looked at the ski stone called chaos inoculation, and then my mind just exploded with the possibilities of, of character building.

 

And then I saw this other keystone called Blood magic, and that's it. My mind is made up. I downloaded the game after that and I've played since, since then. That was 2012. That's so cool. So I, I love Key Stones. That's probably one of my favorite things about the, about character building. So any keystone that I've been involved in, I have a, I have a bit of a, a bit of an attachment to.

 

There's so many. Is 

 

there a struggle at this point with as many keystone as there are to like, come up with new ideas? I don't know how you guys even came up with as many as there are, but, 

 

oh, no. We have so many more in the, in the backburner that we'd like to do at some point. Usually we're more limited by the technical side of things because sometimes there needs to be these major refactors in the code base to allow certain crazy things to, you know, work.

 

Hmm. A good example of this is actually the agnostic. So the agnostic was originally, was originally designed as a unique for, I think it was Delve League, where there's this helmet called Hail Negator that comes from the, the Lich inside, um, the, like the Lich Boston Delve that was originally supposed to be agnostic, and I can't remember why it was that we couldn't do it at the time, but that idea was just cool.

 

And then, you know, it came back again later when, you know, when whatever the problem was, which I, which it's been so long now that I don't remember why we couldn't do it then and why we could do it later, but,  and I got that idea from the weirdest of places, but it was a random mod for Scru. Oh, it was, there was this random boss in that this mod added, and I don't even think the mod is that good or anything, I don't even remember what it's called.

 

But there was this mod where every time you damage this enemy, it would drain its manna and then heal itself back up to full. And I was like, this is the most annoying enemy I've ever fought. And then I got that , and then I got that as an idea and I was like, wait, what if you could do that? And then it kind of turned into, you know, turning your amount region into life.

 

, into life recovery. That's pretty cool. That's funny. Comes from anywhere. Yeah. Oh yeah. Like sometimes they just like, yeah, like I said, like you can, like, ideas are not like a monopoly of any single person. Like anybody can come up with, with a good idea. The, the, the strength is in being able to recognize when something is good and something fits the game really 

 

well.

 

When you had, , just going back to your legion thing, when I was reading through the three. , I think it was like a three part article about Legion. , the part I found quite interesting as I was reading it is the fact that when you guys had this idea for this craziness of what these timeless jewels were gonna be and how it was going to be this major shift to how key stones worked and how the tree worked.

 

Mm-hmm. , as I'm reading it through, and I think you mentioned a few different times about conversations that you guys were having and how it was gonna work. I, in my head, I just kept going. Like, how did nobody at any point just go, no, it's too hard,  too much. We're not, let's do something. It's just crazy to me cuz that I just, from my business background, I would've been like, all right, it sounds like a lot of make work.

 

I'm not seeing an end . And it's crazy to me that you guys went through with that huge, huge change and it worked out awesome. It's such a fun mechanic. It's just reading through. You know, three page thing. I just, multiple times was going outed nowhere, step in and go, like . 

 

It's usually when people are, well, when everyone's excited about an idea that they feel is going to work, then it's, it's a lot easier for like, like let's say there's four people are working on something, but only one person is truly excited about the idea.

 

It's really easy for that idea to get shut down. But when all four of them are really excited about, , like about it, it's way easier for something to get finished ion. I actually did think of something that I was, that, that I'm most proud of, which is Ruth. Oh, we're coming to Rufus. 

 

That's like, that's like two 

 

questions away.

 

You're like, a couple questions away. We're getting, we 

 

almost, this is almost the perfect segue. It's a perfect segue 

 

in a minute. . 

 

Oh, and, and we have questions. Okay. So 

 

we, we've talked lots about stuff that people can love you for. Mm-hmm. , I remember, I remember, I think this was a, it might have been a path of exile to chit chat or around that time when we heard Rory talking about one of the skills that he really liked, he was really proud of.

 

He didn't care if it was popular. He didn't care if he liked it. I think it had something, I think it was the Harold skills. I think it was Harold of agony or something and maybe I'm getting my skills and people mixed up. So he loved it no matter what, didn't care if anybody liked it or not. Is there something that maybe you're finding that doesn't get a lot of good applause or reception, something in the game that's there that people kind of avoid or not do, but you just love that you had a hand in it?

 

Or is everything you 

 

do awesome. I don't think everything I do is awesome because there's definitely  trying to trap you into like a proud comment there, . I would never say that myself because I, because I'm probably my worst critic ev even if there's something that people love and I'm like, man, this, this thing just sucks.

 

Why do people like this ? You know? Gotcha, gotcha. Um, I'm not sure. 

 

Well, you can come back 

 

to it. Yeah. I'll have to think about this a bit. There's definitely skills that I've made or, or uniques that I've made that nobody likes, but I'm like, man, I love this unique and I always use it or, you know, I, I, I would love to use it as a, as a thing, but Sure.

 

I can't think of it off the top of my head. Well, if it 

 

comes up in the middle of whatever conversation, just shout it out and we'll know what you're talking about. You mentioned that you made the cloak of defiance. Yes. And then that eventually turned into mind over. Do you, can you tell us a bit about that?

 

Because that's, that's kind of a cool conversion to go from somebody that was just a fan of the game and was able to make it unique and then now all of a sudden it's a keystone, but you love Key Stones. Yeah. How did that go from one to the other? Because CLO Defiance is still in the 

 

game. So I was playing a ton of fat of XL at the time, and I just wanted to support the game at the time.

 

I mean, the game was much smaller back then, right? Like this was back in closed beta, and then the game released into open beta and I was like, man, I, I just play this game so much. I, I, I just have to support it. And then I saw that the highest tier supporter pack included a unique item design, so I just bought it at the time.

 

And, , you know, I didn't think at the time what I wanted my unique item to be, but later on when I got this email saying, you know, Hey, you know, you purchased a unique item design. Let's see how it goes. , it was Rory actually. So I, I emailed Rory back and I was like, Hey, do you think we could talk about this on instant Messenger?

 

Because it'll be easier to get ideas and whatever, and. I was just like, I loved Energy Shield in D two, so I was like, we don't have energy shield as a, as a mechanic. Like, which is which, which in D two Energy Shield was Mono Shield. So I was like, can we just do a mono shield and event? And originally I was told, no, we can't, like the tech just doesn't support it.

 

And then we went through a bunch of other ideas and then we kind of circled back to, , to, you know, what eventually became Mind of a Matter, because that was just the coolest idea of all of them. And then eventually it, it was made and I was told that it was really fun and we, they kind of wanna make it a keystone as well.

 

And I mean, I was floored because when I, I started playing Poe because of Key Stones and the fact that I got to make Keystone was just the coolest thing ever. 

 

Did it become a keystone before you started working there? Yeah. Oh, okay. Interesting. In 

 

Patch 1.0, the both the unique released and the Keystone was released.

 

Hmm. What does Cloak of Defiance do now? It still gives the keystone. . Okay. Yeah. And it gives a ton of Monterey again. So, I mean, it's, it, it still has its place, but I think, and this is a bit of a, I mean, it's obviously hard to go back to those days, but one of the problems with CLO defiance, and this is not a problem, but this is, when I look at it, I'm like, man, this could be so much better.

 

It was designed as an evasion es base because of, because of how Eldridge battery used to work, which would convert your Eva, your energy shield into manna. It was designed to be level 54 because that, or, or, or that base type, because that was where Merciless Ledge was. And at the time, you found merciless ledge for 10 levels before you proceeded in hardcore.

 

So everything made sense in the old game, and it worked really well with the old Octa, which was, you know, drain manna and take, , less damage from hits. So does it fit in quite as well as it used to? But at the time, I, all I wanted to do was make something.  somewhat build, enabling, and I believe for like two leagues in a row, it became the most used unique or something like that in hardcore.

 

Oh wow. So then it, I mean, a a and after that it got nerfed and then it became less used, but it was still good. And the fact that it, it'll always have a place because of Mind of a Matter itself is, is kind of I, is, is really cool. And I would say Mind of Meta is probably one of my favorite key stones. 

 

And there was a long period of time where it was like meta.

 

Mm-hmm.  all the time. Mm-hmm. , 

 

yeah. Mm-hmm. . I like, I remember at the time there were two Chest that everyone used to go for, which was Lightning Coil and Coco Defiance. That's cool. . 

 

So from a personal perspective, not as an employee, because not everybody that of course has the opportunity to make a, a DIVIV card or a unique, or whatever it is, that not everybody of course, gets to have that actually as a keystone as well, so, mm-hmm.

 

you kind of had your idea in a way implemented permanently in the game as long as the Keystone didn't change, but cloak of Defiance says, of course changed. Got Nerfed, as you said. Mm-hmm. , what's it like when you create an item as a fan for the game you like, and then of course it, it gets modified a bit from its original creation, or it gets nerfed.

 

It's no longer of course ob obviously it's exciting to have the coolest unique in HC for two leagues in a row. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Then that changes. 

 

What was that kind of like? I actually, it never actually bothered me. I it because I didn't want the unique to be that popular. I wanted the unique to be this weird niche thing, and the fact that it got ner so that it wasn't as popular in a way kind of brought it back to what it was originally for and all, and I'm not trying to say that it wasn't cool that it was this soup popular, unique, or anything, but I feel like that was almost by accident.

 

It wasn't like the intention was, it was this, nobody stack manna because why would you stack manna? There's no reason to stack manna. Well, there's this unique that lets you stack manna, so that's kind of cool. You know? So the few people that want to stack manna can, that was, that was the kind of intention behind it.

 

So it, it, it actually never brought me, in fact, and I don't even remember how I suggested, but I remember messaging Rory well after the fact and saying, Hey, if you want enough Coco defiance, why don't you do this? Or something like that. . Oh, sweet. I dunno. He actually encouraging the nerve . I dunno if he actually took that into, into consideration, but I do remember sending, sending a message.

 

Did 

 

, Coco Defiance ever drop for you in those 

 

first two weeks? It did. I still have that screenshot. Oh, that's cool. It dropped in most of stocks and I immediately took a screenshot of it. . That's really cool. That's one of the coolest feelings. Like, you, you make something and then you find 

 

that. That's awesome.

 

All right. Ready for ruthless? Yeah, I'm ready. Okay. Now you did. Now you said that that was one of the things you were most proud of. Mm-hmm. .  was ruthless. , oh. I'm just kind of curious, was ruthless like the child of like multiple people's thoughts or was it like an individual that went like, Hey, we should try this, and then everybody jumped on?

 

Or how did, how did ruthless just become a part of it? And if you were a part of that, why, like, what was the reason? So, 

 

I dunno where it started, but my first like exposure to it was, I can't remember what I was talking to Chris about, but I, I talked to Chris about something that I wasn't happy with, something to do with items.

 

I can't remember the exact thing. And I was, and I was explaining it, you know, the, you know, why does it this work this way? Can it be different? Or something like that. And then he was like, so I have this idea. What do you think? And then he pitches the idea of what was called hard mode at the time to me, and I was like, man, I love it.

 

And then he, and, and, and it kind of went from there. That was my first sort of, that was where I first heard.  and from then on it kind of just, it, it was just sort of in the background until eventually, I mean, I, I remember, I, I, I feel like I was rather annoying cuz I kept asking Chris, Hey Chris, when are we gonna do, when are we gonna do hard mode?

 

When's when's hard mode? And then, , eventually I kind of just got involved there probably because I was, I kept asking him about it. 

 

What was the thing about Ruthless that excited you or wanted you to be involved 

 

in it? Item scarcity I think is the biggest reason why. I love the fact that in ruthless, a single ring, a white ring can drop and I'm like, I just got a white ring.

 

You know? Like that's, I think, what excited me the most. How, how did the 

 

current iteration of Ruthless come to be? You go through a lot of different options. There's a lot of people involved in the decision making. You know, Chris says it's done all after hours, so how does, like, all that kind of complexity and of course you have the core game going on at the same time.

 

Yeah. 

 

, how did this 

 

current version with all the other ideas.  come to be the one that you all 

 

chose. Well, that's a, that's one reason why it took so long. Because it was kind of like you said, , you know, it, it was just kind of happening in the background. And not because the, because because the current game is also going on at the same time, but it was, sure, you know, there was a ton of iteration on like what the drop rates needed to be like and everything.

 

And I feel like once that was once, once we had the core game, um, as in the core game of ruthless working the way we wanted it to, with zero leagues added, then it was kind of easier to add the leagues in one by one because we know this is what the game needs to be like. And then we add, okay, how, how do Rogic styles work in this, in this context?

 

How, how do strong boxes work in this context? How does delve work in this context? And you, and, and you kind of start to expand, but once you have that fundamental in place, it's a lot easier to add all the other complexities of the game in. The problem is when we were. . , and, and that's the, and, and that was the reason, like earlier on where people were, were often asking, well, why is this off and why is this off?

 

And it's like, it's a lot easier to know what is wrong when, okay, let's say there are 20 things that are going on in ruthless, and it, the, the experience doesn't quite feel right. You don't know which of those 20 things is contributing to that feeling. But when there's five things going on you and it doesn't feel right, you know, exact, I mean, it's a lot easier to narrow down what it is.

 

And then you can, you can go from five to 20 by adding it in one by one and seeing how that, you know, impacts the whole experience. 

 

It is, is working on ruthless, , I would, I would imagine it must be quite a bit different than your normal day-to-day working at, than the P oe and p OE two. Mm-hmm. . Like, is that, do you, I, I'm actually trying to figure out in my head even how to phrase it.

 

When you're thinking of stuff game design related, I assume you're thinking P oe and p oe two. Yeah. . And then in ruthless, is it just kind of like giggling in the background that this is gonna be awful for ruthless? Or like, what's the  ? Like what, or does ruthless, is that just an afterthought that you figure out later on?

 

Usually 

 

it was that ruthless is an afterthought. We figure it out later on. Like we, we make something, it goes into the core game. And then when I, when I'm in ruthless mode as it were, I'm like, okay, so we have this thing, how does it fit into ruthless? I mean, an example of this was the whole, so the way beast crafts work in ruthless, there's no creator unique.

 

There is, I mean, you can't just create uniques and ruthless. It's way too rare to have creator unique. So, you know, it was like, okay, beast cherry works in this way. And then when you got ruthless it's like, okay, we like beast crafting. We like finding Rare Beast and Bin Maps, but how does this mechanic fit into this game mode?

 

And then we, and then you try to problem solve that aspect 

 

of it. , so you, you played back in closed beta. That's when I started as well. Mm-hmm. . And sometimes I look at ruthless as much more closed beta ish, where it's. , there's not all the extra stuff. Yeah. Is that another reason? Like, is that sort of a, something that draws you towards the idea of ruthless is because you ha you played for such so many different iterations of the game that this is kind of like, it's not quite a flashback, but it's kind of a bit going back.

 

Oh yeah, 

 

definitely. Without a, without question. It, it, it feels like the, I I'm not saying it's like part of Excel in 2012. There's obviously a number of differences, not the least of which spamming slash os, but Yeah. Oh yeah. Mm-hmm. . But you know, there's, there's, there's obviously differences there, but you some, I feel like you get similar feelings when playing it, even, even though the actual game that you're playing is different.

 

Like, right. You can do a Delve, obviously Delve doesn't fit in 2012 or 2013 Path of Excel, but you can still feel like it feels in that it, like, you know, it, it gives you the same, what's the word I'm looking for here? The, ,  the same dopamine hits that you got in 2012? I feel sure. Yeah. The excitement of it.

 

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's definitely what, what draws me to it for sure. And there, there was talk about not having any of the leagues, but I feel like that's one of path of Excel's strengths. You know, having these variety of mechanics that I, I feel like the game, like you still have to take everything that the game has gotten over the years and have it fit, which is, but I mean, that's the reason why leagues are less like, I mean, you can't find leagues as often as you do.

 

And that's a, a big reason for this is so there's more of an emphasis on the core game and not the, the sort of side games, as it were. I don't know 

 

if you can answer this, but is there, is it planned that ruthless will continue to, um, include upcoming leagues? 

 

Yeah, it will. Hmm. Like every league, I'll try to make sure there's a, there's time some version of it or something.

 

Books for ruthless. Yeah. I, I was actually very insistent on if it was releasing in three 20, it has to have the league because if it doesn't, , you're gonna have such a, , such a feeling of missing out because there's this new content. But if you choose to play ruthless, you can't try the new content. Like, that's gonna feel so bad for anyone that wants to, that, that likes everything else about it.

 

But because the league wasn't, , like, wasn't included, you just can't play it. So, 

 

so with I have, we haven't touched ruthless yet. We're probably waiting to our private league to do it this league, but Okay. , I assume rewards must just be slashed by a billion. Yeah. That's with regards. Yeah. 

 

Have you played ruthless 

 

at all?

 

Yeah, I have. Was it 

 

lots before release or have you had a chance to touch it since release? Oh, 

 

no, I've played a lot since release too. Um, oh, cool. I actually died, , yesterday.  really sad, so I started reenrolled. , so I, so I reenrolled a second character yesterday. Oh, got, I didn't 

 

bring up such a sensitive subject.

 

I'm sorry. . 

 

Are you doing ruthless, hardcore trade? Trade or Ssf trade? Okay. 

 

, so, , before Ruthless came out, I used to play in a private league with a bunch of friends of mine. , but now we're all displaying on ruthless, hardcore trade because it's almost like a private Yeah. It's pretty much like a private page , except with a, with, with a bit of a larger economy rather than just like five of us trading in Guild.

 

Oh five, like 10, like, like 10 of us trading in Guild stash. Yeah. 

 

What, what do you think of ruthless so far, like feedback wise, launch go? Do you feel like it's at a pretty good spot right 

 

now? Yeah, I do. I, I, I do think there's definitely things to that can be improved. I mean, there's obviously things that are missing, considering it's still a bit of a beta in a sense.

 

Like, th that's one of the reasons why there's no challenges because, you know, , it's not a hundred percent completed thing yet, but I do hope to have them for 3 21. But, and there's definitely some improvements that can be made still. I've noticed some while playing and, you know, , I generally, so I have my, my private discount server that I just write down notes while I'm playing.

 

So every time I see something that I'm like, man, this could be better. And then I just note it down there. , and this is not just for ruthless. Like whenever I play Path of Excel, I have this note notepad of things, which is like, oh wait, that was bugged. Or, oh wait, that didn't look right, and I just note it down and then address it the next week.

 

But yeah, I, I do think it's, it's been really fun. I feel like the feedback has been mostly positive and the people that like it, like it, it's obviously not for everybody, but those that like it do, 

 

when you talk about making the notes for ruthless and things that you would change mm-hmm.  because ruthless, , you guys were, which I appreciated, we're much more upfront on saying like, if we don't like it, we're gonna change it.

 

Like we're, yeah. You know, like with P oe, it's definitely, you gotta be careful people. Mm-hmm.  plan builds around it. , do you prefer that way of going like, Nope, this doesn't work, I can change it tomorrow. ? 

 

, I do like, I, I do prefer it for now just because it's not a fully completed thing. True after it releases.

 

It definitely feels bad when you do it, and I, I do know, having been on both sides of the fence, why it's good to not change things after it goes out. Mm-hmm.  just because you don't want to, you know, fully invest in something and then it be a patch note away from changing, you know? Right. , so it's, it's definitely something we're careful, careful about for that reason.

 

But because we kind of preemptively gave a warning that, hey, if there's something that doesn't work, we must, we have to change it because this is still a beta. And then, you know, so you know, your forewarn that, you know, something may, may, may or may not, , be the same. Is the thought 

 

that Rufus will eventually not be in that sort of mode, that it'll actually be a full release and 

 

Yeah.

 

I think in 3 21 onwards it'll just be, I mean, it'll be term less of a beta and more of a just a release. Cool. . 

 

So you, you, you have a short timestamp then of just being able to like, tell everyone else to stick it. Like, ha, we're changing it. Stick it, don't care what 

 

you say, but we can still change it.

 

Every patch . Sure, sure. . But that's, but that's 

 

expected. Now it's 

 

just like, screw you . Ah, 

 

so you mentioned your Discord server, you know, your, your private one that you're taking notes on and stuff. So not sure how, how, if you're able to answer the question or not, but if, let's say ruthless was yours and only yours, it was your game.

 

Mm-hmm. , right? You just created it, it's your own thing on Steam or whatever. What changes would you make to ruthless from a state? What, what kind of wishes do you have for it? Well, right now, or changes that you would make that maybe you would prefer? Not r n n, whatever? 

 

Hmm. There's actually a lot of changes that we, that I would like to, but whether we can is oh, is a bit of a different thing.

 

Like I do feel like there's a bit too much emphasis on Atlas, on the atlas tree when it comes to map, sustain, and it kind of, Crowds out. Some of the other interesting things, like I do feel difficult. Maps, sustain is an important aspect of this. That is what p oe used to be like back in the day where you had to, you had to have a strategy, you had to execute your strategy to ensure you could climb maps.

 

It wasn't just, you know, a, a guarantee you had to invest in your maps and everything. But I do feel it may be a bit on, , , like a bit on the high 

 

side. When you say high side, do you mean like the difficulty to maintain? No, 

 

I mean the investment. Oh, okay. That required. 

 

Okay. And map, sustain, you mean getting maps you don't have, or are you just talking getting maps in general?

 

I mean, 

 

climbing map tier. Okay. What are the changes here? There's definitely too much power coming from the passive tree compared to items in ruthless when, because if you, because if you think about it, like compared to the base game, your items, the, the quality of items are so much higher. So the, the difference in power.

 

compared to how much, like if you think about it from the perspective of your power comes from three sources, right? Your passives, your skills, and your items. There's definitely a much bigger portion of that coming from your passive tree and your skills rather than your items. And I would like it to be more in your items because when your items give you a ton of power, they're just more exciting to find.

 

There's just, there's just so much more that they can give. So that's, I think the other sort of, I don't even know how we would change this, but I'm just saying generally speaking, these are sort of the, 

 

is there a thought behind that too? Just because your items are gonna be so much more rare mm-hmm. , so there're being some sort of excitement to getting them.

 

Yeah, 

 

yeah, definitely. It's just when I find a ring and it has two resistances, it's, it's crazy. Like what? It has an implicit and two other resistances that's so much resistant, you know,  like, I'm now capped on two of my resistances. . Like that's the kind of, , , thing. I mean, if I have a ring with a single resistance, like I think the ring that I was wearing when I was in maps on my previous character was a blue ring with a single resistance on it.

 

That was it. That's awesome. , we haven't, like I said, we haven't played it yet, but I have watched people play it and it's hilarious talking, you know, hearing people talk about where they're at and they're on a two link. Yep. Cause they just haven't found anything. 

 

My friend said something, which was just the, the, the most hilarious comment where he was going through sanctum and then, you know, then there was like the, the rewards and then he is like, oh, I got an augment.

 

Oh, that's good. Just imagine hearing that

 

at like 5,000 of these please. . 

 

Nice. So when, when, , a, a new league comes out or whenever, you know Yeah. When new leagues come out, is ruthless sort of the style that you would prefer to play, or are you playing both? Or how, what do you, how do you look at ruthless versus the normal? 

 

For, from like future leagues?

 

For my own play. For your own play, yeah. I, for my own play, I will probably default to ruthless unless there is, for example, a new endgame that I want to get to or something like that, that I, that I want get to really quickly. But otherwise, I think I would personally probably default to playing on, I dunno if it'll always be Ed.

 

I generally like to default to hardcore, but sometimes I like playing softball just because I, there are some times where I don't have a ton of time. Like this time I normally never have time to play in December because I usually go on holiday. But this time I've, my holiday is pushed to January, so I'm actually going to be here throughout December.

 

So I, you know, I was time off actually to play. Yeah. So I was just gonna play a lot. But normally when I go on holiday, I don't get to play a ton. So then I had like a week to get as much as I can done in the league before I leave. But usually, yeah, I think I would, I would default to playing. Ruthless version 

 

and ruthless, you would still continue to make a new one each league?

 

Like not playing any form of standard. Oh yeah, but actually the league one. 

 

Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. Nice. I, I mean, my favorite thing was always the latter sets of D two. Mm-hmm. . So just going through the latter reset process. Yeah. Every single time is really fun. Nice. So you 

 

secretly sang that standard.

 

People are 

 

crazy. I, so there is a reason why I have considered playing standard two, and it goes back to how I like developing a character over a long period of time on MMOs. So if you're, if you're approaching it from that standpoint, I feel like there's a really, you know, a really good reason to focus on that.

 

I tend to get my sort of satisfaction doing that on the MMOs that I play. So I don't do these long-term projects as much, because for me, PO is always about the, like the three month, three set and then I, because I usually have a new build I want to try or a new something or the other that I want to do, and then I play it and then, you know,

 

I always have this backlog of bills, but I always need something to kind of push me to try it, and that's usually a ladder reset like I would play, even if there was no new league, if it was just a ladder reset, because that's enough of an incentive to push me to try something new. I like that. Mm. So hardcore 

 

though.

 

Mm-hmm. , you play hardcore, you play trade primarily. When you die in hardcore, do you start a new build or do you play the same build, but obviously you're having to start over? So 

 

this time I played a different build just because I wanted to try as many different builds as I could on the first iteration of ruthless.

 

Okay. Usually I like to just start the same build if I haven't done what I wanted to, just because. So I usually approach a league with one, with a bill that I, I'm 100% sure I want to do. And if I haven't accomplished the goals of that, I just started over again. Have you touched 

 

the game on console 

 

at all?

 

No. I don't actually have a console anymore. I used to have one, but I don't have it anymore. 

 

So you're, you're lucky you avoided the question. I was gonna ask you if you liked the game on console and there was a correct answer to that, but I can't ask you . 

 

I honestly, I'm a console fan here. Justin's the PC stu on the console, guy

 

I don't actually own a console anymore. So, and honestly for me, I, I played el ring on a PC with a mouse in a keyboard, so that should tell was 

 

in a keyboard. You did the mouse in keyboard. I, I played el ring on a pc, but I bought a 

 

controller cuz Yeah, I used mouse in keyboard for Eldon ring. How, how was it with the mouse?

 

That sounds pretty, it was actually, so I, I hard find it. I didn't find it that difficult. But then when I told people that I used a mouse in keyboard, they called me insane.

 

Hmm. I, I did have to change. So the default finding that they had for the Dodge roll was space bar and I couldn't. I couldn't use that because Space Bar is always jump mm-hmm.  in most games. So I, I, I I changed that. What'd you change it to? That f 

 

Oh, okay. So it's 

 

right next to the, right there, right next to my, , W s D I mean, I did kill all the bosses.

 

I did, I, I, I, I finished the entire game, um, with the, with the Dragon Incantations, actually. They were really fun. Oh, 

 

nice. So fun. All right. Cool. Such a good game. 

 

Yeah. Oh, El Ring must be my favorite game over the past so many years. Like I spent so much time playing it when it came out. Yeah. 

 

That was the same for me.

 

It was until I played God of War, the New God of War on PlayStation five. Yeah. Was it? Yeah. It, it beat out Eldon Ring for me, but Eldon Ring was amazing. Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah. 

 

I haven't, I haven't played God of law yet. It was the story that could be like early next week. Oh yeah. The story was just incredible.

 

Eldering. For me, the, the, the thing that pushed it over the edge was every time I unlocked a new area, I was like, wait, the game is twice as big. It just kept getting 

 

bigger. Right, right. The math is getting bigger. Yep. And I feel 

 

like that was the first game that kind of downplayed how big the game was.

 

Yeah. It was just so massive. Mm-hmm. , and this is something that I feel like you don't have as much anymore. Where the first week of Eldon ring, nothing was discovered. Everything was, you go through a dungeon and at the end you have no idea what you're going to get or what the dungeon even has. Mm-hmm.

 

because all the guides hadn't been populated, whatever. And I know you can kind of simulate that by not looking at guides, but that requires at least some amount of, you know, willpower. Yeah. Willpower. To not look, look stuff up. Right. Yeah. Right. But even if you wanted to look stuff up, you couldn't. And that was amazing.

 

Cause I was just going through and I was like, all right, what's it gonna be? And then I get something that is useless to me, but still, yeah. You know, there's always that excitement at the end of every cave or dungeon or 

 

whatever. . Even just like running past something. You're like, what? There's an opening.

 

Okay. Yeah. , and then you're into frigging a 

 

dungeon . Yep. And then you go into the dungeon and then you're like, wait, there's three pots. Which part do I take? Mm-hmm. . And then you go into this pot and then there's something and Yeah. Yeah. It was a lot of fun. 

 

The thing 

 

that blew me away about that game was not just the quality of the release, cuz, I mean obviously there's bugs, but not from a user standpoint, but from like a PVP or development standpoint where like it was just rock solid.

 

But the thing that really blew me outta the water was they did so many firsts for that company. Like from software, they added, , a different kind of jump. They added mounts, they added open world and all, all so many new aspects. A map. 

 

Yes. Right? I mean map for Yeah, 

 

that's true. But they nailed on the first iteration.

 

Like you, you look at any other kind of likes, sort of, kind of R P G that tries to add or it's an action game. Third person that tries to add other. , , R PPG aspects to it, and it takes them two or three iterations of their annual releases to nail it. Right. Whereas, yeah. Eldon ring, they crushed it. They did really 

 

well.

 

So I definitely agree. 

 

We're, well, we're, we're all on the same page here. Mm-hmm. , we have three Elden ring levers here. , , we're, so we are gonna move into some of the more personal aspects of p oe here. Okay. We touched on hardcore solo cell found, obviously you love standard on console. We've been through that , but kind of like the segue from character power to a lot of your preferences, what's your preference in a game like Path of Exile in terms of character power?

 

Should a character with, I don't know, I, I guess I'm thinking about like investment versus character power. Mm-hmm. , are you the kind of person that prefers, like ruthless? Seems to me that you prefer the slower paced path of exile, , where it takes absurd amount of investment.  to get to these pinnacle areas should pinnacle areas, you know, be able to be completely wiped off, you know, just like annihilated easily with the proper investment.

 

Mm-hmm. , you know, kinda like throw all those questions in. What's your kind of preference for character power in the game? Like P oe? 

 

I like it when pinnacle content is difficult to access and even harder to trivialize. It should be possible to trivialize because that's always the, the, the dream. Right.

 

Okay. But it should be really difficult and I Do you remember when Azeri first released? Mm-hmm. , Uber at Zeri came out at the same time and it was unbeaten for how many months was it before someone managed to kill Uber at Siri? It was longer than a league before it's died. That's, that's the kind of thing that was it really?

 

It's like, wow. I think so. Wow. I can't remember for sure, but I remember it, it it, it was an absurd amount of time before Uber Siri was killed. And I like it when there's like a more sort of, what's the word? A more normal growth of power over time. Rather than kind of just jumping to the top really quickly, that's mostly because it makes every single upgrade feel meaningful.

 

Mm-hmm. , like I go from say, I mean obviously using random examples, I go from say 5K dps to 10 K dps to 20 k to 50 k to a hundred k. You know, you see every single step along the way. Do you prefer a 

 

faster or slower paced build? Typically? Like what's, I guess, , in conjunction with that is, do you have like personal type of builds you like to play, but do you like to be faster, slower?

 

I like to be tanky. Okay. So usually slower, but not, not necessarily slower. Mm-hmm. , I just like to be tanky. This might be because of, you know, hardcore or whatever. My favorite build of all time was this, it doesn't even work anymore, but it was this build from , I think it was beyond League, which was using Cold snap and ramirez's banquet with resolute technique.

 

Hang on, say that again. Cold snap. Yeah. Ramirez's banquet and Resolute Technique. So old cold Snap froze and required a power charge to bypass Cool down. So you use that with Ramirez Banquet to get a cold, to get a power charge every time you hit. And you use Resolute technique to ensure you can never crit with your cold snap.

 

So you could permanently freeze things with cold Snap, but the old version of Cold Snap. So things like that that come together because like, why would you take re technique on acoa? Well this is why you, you took it specifically to turn off critical strikes. You know, like that's the kind of thing that I like.

 

Those are the kinds of bills that I like, like really tanky safe characters that end up using some weird mechanic together. Cause I really like to, before it didn't work anymore, which was, there was this ascendancy note on the Neman, which caused, when Minions died, they left behind Caustic ground, which is now on the unique called Siege Breaker.

 

Mm-hmm. . But what used to be the case was Specter Limit did not come up on the gem. Specter Limit was only from the passive tree. So, The way you abused it was you used Pelco on your race Spector gym, and you cast desecrate and you just cast spec, , and you just cast Ray Specter. But because you cast it twice, your first race specter would die and it, and you would immediately drop cost to ground with massive amounts of damage because of the life of a specter.

 

So those kinds of weird, quirky interactions are what I end up liking. Are 

 

you, for, for those type, when you're coming up with your build ideas or what you want to play mm-hmm. , are you in your head just like thinking about different uniques and how they'll interact? Are you looking at like what people are playing in the community?

 

Like how, what's your typical lead into a new league when you're Oh, I almost never 

 

look at builds. I always come up with them myself. So you're just thinking about different uniques. That's awesome. Yeah, I, my, that's my, my favorite part of Poe is actually just coming up with the build. I what I obviously like playing the game.

 

The best part is coming up with the build and I don't, and most of the time I don't even get to use things like part the building or anything because most of the time when I'm coming up with a build, it's not. It's not there. It's stuff that's not released yet. So I don't get to use, I use, oh, that's cool.

 

I have to use a spreadsheet. So I use a spreadsheet to come up with, oh my goodness, this is like 

 

dirty 

 

talk . Oh, keep it going. Whew. 

 

Spreadsheets. Tyler's 

 

going, I love spreadsheets. Whenever I play a game, I have, I have a new spreadsheet coming up with, you know, to work out. I had a, I had a spreadsheet if my wife ever leaves me.

 

giving you a call. . So when I was playing Eldon ring, I had a spreadsheet that worked out how much of each sta I had to get, what was the relative value of every single taliman that I could use and everything. And I had this massive calculation to work out what was the best like weapon to use, what was the best armor to use and everything.

 

And I worked out, worked it all out. It was really fun. That's awesome. And I mean, I end up doing that with like most games that I play. I just like that part of games, which is probably what drove me to game design in the first place. Because that ends up, you do end up doing a lot of that in game design too.

 

Is there any consistency for you between build to build? Like are you, is there an i, is it literally always just completely different, different skill, different uniques, everything? Or do you sort of have something that you always lean towards? Besides the tanky side of it, 

 

I lean towards Costas. Okay.

 

Generally, I, I, I have, there are some mail bills I really like, like I really like playing things like smite and earthquake and everything, but I generally tend to prefer Casto. 

 

And do you have a typical, do you, do you just try and make a variety with your ascendancy choices as well? Or do you have a few that you normally Oh 

 

yeah.

 

Okay. Yeah. Although I tend to play witches more than most others just because I like the witch lines are so sas. Good. , we should 

 

have 

 

told you at the beginning of this interview, I know you have to represent the company a bit with how you speak, but you, you can use any word you 

 

want. , we're not, we're not 

 

picky here.

 

Whatever. Whatever you're allowed to use you, you can use here. That's no problem. You don't have to tame it down. SAS should have told you that at the beginning. How about character goals? Each league for you personally or is it about challenges? Is it just about seeing where your cool quirky idea how far it can go?

 

I mean, obviously ruthless changes a little bit of your character goal each league. Yeah. But what, before ruthless, what was your character goal in a normal, I assumed it was hardcore trade. 

 

It. No, it was on a hardcore private lake with my friends. So we didn't play trade. We played in a 10 to 20 person private league usually.

 

Okay. Um, sometimes I played softball usually when the new end game came out and I wanted to, you know, beat the end game on my own character and not on a, you know, a dev character. But most of the time I play on a on, I used to play on a hardcore private league. , um, goals, it's usually different. Most of the time it's just seeing the build come together.

 

And this is a, this is a weird thing to say, but how long I play usually just depends on how exciting the next league is. Because if I know what's coming in the next three months, it's harder to stay interested. Yeah. And e especially if it's something that I really am looking forward to, like as an example, when, um, a again, going back to an earlier example, when we knew, when I knew that we were going to release the man skills, I stopped playing that league cuz I was like, well, I want to play the man skills now.

 

So, you know, I stopped playing it, but sometimes when that conversation happens too late, I just keep playing until I feel like I've done everything that my character can do. It's, it, I feel like it usually, I usually get bored when the, when the upgrades start, when I, when I kind of have very little to shoot for in terms of, , you know, like item progression I suppose.

 

So is the goal, and I 

 

don't really mean, sorry. Is the goal typically then just to make your character to where it gets, it's not about specifically always what content you're getting to? No, 

 

no, no, no. Sometimes it's like, well, I want this character. , well, sometimes I have kind of an internal goal of like, I want to kill all the pinnacle bosses on this character.

 

Or sometimes it's like, I just wanna hit 90 on this character. Mm-hmm. . Or sometimes it's, you know, something entirely different. Like, there was one league where I just wanted to delve as deep as I could and I kind of ignored the rest of it. I usually don't care too much about challenges myself. Mm-hmm.

 

Cause I usually make my own challenges as it were. Right. So it's usually my, it's usually kind of my own thing. Like, I, I just like, I want to do X and if I do X I'm happy. And then, you know, next league it might be the same, it might be something different. That's cool. We 

 

play the game quite similarly. You and I, except you crushed the game and I can barely 

 

beat Aurora.

 

Do 

 

now. So we, I was gonna ask you a bit about like some of the maybe builds that you love that you can no longer play, which mm-hmm.  you've mentioned. So what about, um, a mechanic or an item that maybe has been changed or nerfed, something that's left the game that you really miss or wish could come back?

 

Old 

 

Kar. Mm-hmm. 

 

Bold arctic armor? Yes. Okay. And that was the, you referenced that what it, you say 

 

again? What it used to do. So it used to drain manna right. And drain even like basically lose X man per second. And when you were moving it where you lose even more manna per second and it was minus x physical damage and minus five xFi damage taken from hits.

 

Okay. So 

 

it would cost you the man draining. It wasn't like a core that was draining it from 

 

enemies. Yeah. So it was draining your manner and it was, and it made you take less physical and fire damage. I really like that mechanic, 

 

but, and now they've removed just the manna part and you still have the reduction of physical and fire damage at the currency.

 

Yeah, but it's a reservation 

 

stationary. No, but it's a reservation. That's the difference. It used to not be a reservation. That's kind of what I miss from the old thing. I think that that would be my first answer when it comes to like a removed mechanic that I wish mm-hmm. , I mean, it's, it's come back in different forms, right?

 

Like, there's agnostic, which is obviously losing manna. There's the unique pair of boots that causes you to drain manna over time. And I'm sure because I like it, it'll come back in another form again. But I think that was, that would be like the number one mechanic that I feel like I, man, I, I, I kind of wish this was still around, but I, again, I don't know if it, if it would, if it would've been fit in p oe today, you know, maybe it would, but you know, it's kind of hard to tell.

 

It'd 

 

be tough. Yeah. Now with all the auras and stuff. 

 

Mm-hmm.  for sure. That's, that's, that's the thing, right? Like you can, you can go, you can point to an older mechanic.  and say, man, I wish that mechanic was there today, but if it was here today, it may not like you. Remember the mechanic in the context of the game that that was in 2013 or 2014.

 

Mm-hmm. , that may not actually be the, because there are many things in the game today that probably haven't changed in like years and years, but the way they used today is different from how they were used, say five years ago. Mm-hmm. . So 

 

were any 

 

any items? Items? , no. I can't think of any. I, I mean, it does make me sad that there are some items that used to be really valuable back in the day that aren't very valuable today.

 

Like it was, I was playing, I can't remember which league this was, but I was playing soft trade, one of the leagues and I found a comstar and I got so excited and then I looked it up and it was five C and then I was like, Aw, you 

 

used to have won the internet like way back in the day. Yeah. . 

 

Yeah. And I was like, Aw.

 

Right. 

 

That's awesome. I don't know if you can tell us any of this, but do you have anything you're most looking forward to for p oe two that you're allowed to actually say? , 

 

I don't think I can. No, but there's so many things that I'm looking forward to. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, not the least of which, and this, , this, of course, I'm, I can kind of say it like I joined the, the team when, when, , you know, when Pop Flexa was already kind of established, but p Oe two, there's a lot of changes that I'm involved in a, in, in some of those changes.

 

So it's a bit more exciting in that way. Know kinda from the ground floor, right? 

 

Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. That's awesome. 

 

I remember watching Excon from home, and it was one of Jonathan's interviews, I think it was Jonathan, after one of his interviews, or sorry, after the main announce. . And then he was sitting down with, I forget if who, if maybe it was Tark.

 

Mm-hmm.  and Jonathan just had, he was just so relaxed. He's like, ask me anything. I could tell you 

 

anything. Like, I have no more secrets. This is great . , how long 

 

did 

 

that last for you after Xcel Khan? That moment 

 

of, well, there's no secrets. Well, I don't think it lasted very long at all because immediately after that, like, I, I, I, I'm waiting for the next x Alcon, which is, you know, coming up in Yeah.

 

, in July, where then I can be like, you know, ask me anything. Mm-hmm. . That's right. For a week. For a week. Yeah. For about a week . 

 

That's right. Cool. Awesome. Well, we have one more question for you and , well we actually have tons that we would love to ask you, but we'll wrap it up with this question. Here it is our most important question.

 

Okay. Do you have a path of exile, tattoo? No, I am, well now I can't 

 

ask you a tattoo. Well, pardon of me. I'm terrified of getting a tattoo cause I hate the adults. Gotcha. . 

 

If you were to get a temporary one Yeah, like a stick on one, , what would you get? . What 

 

would I get? What would you get? ? Yeah. A stick 

 

on one that you can't remove.

 

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Hmm. Probably a mirror. Ooh. Oh, 

 

okay. So they're not going away.

 

that one here. That would be really hard. Yeah. 

 

Oh, that's cool. Okay. And you, , but see, we can't ask you why? Because you know more about mirrors than we do, 

 

just because he likes the mirror. 

 

The pin, I kind of like it. It's cuz you like looking at yourself in the mirror, right? That's perfect. No, it's, it, it's because I've never found one in the actual game, so you know.

 

Me neither. I can, I can look at this and be like, you know, at least I have one here. Tyler found 

 

one, but it was on console so it doesn't count. . 

 

Oh, . 

 

Here's the thing, here's the thing. One of my, one of my gripes with the game is how many like empty chest there are. And it's like, there's some levels just have an insane amount of chess and there's like never anything in them.

 

I found my mirror. That's from a chest? From a chest. Just a random, it was like a T was a T 10 . It was, I think it was port. You were saying you found yours in, in port. I thought mine was, was port before they came. It was back in like the, the threet tiered version of the game before 3.0. I was playing on one of the first iterations of console.

 

Mm-hmm. . And it just came just a ram random. Yeah. One of my zombies slammed when I was fighting an enemy and it broke from a chest. Oh wow. Yeah. So I can't, I can't 

 

even be bitter about chest. Now you have to, it's like, it's like a curse now. You have to open every single chance. Every single chance. Do I know 

 

everyone?

 

I don't open, you 

 

know, , you see the chest on the, on the other side of the, of the screen and you have to run all the way there to open it. Oh, don't 

 

even, yeah. At least it's easier on console though. Cause I just run 

 

by it and I go, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And 

 

then they're all Oh, that's true.

 

Yeah, it is. The mouse. Your wrist is like, alright. Right. . 

 

So the good thing is when I'm playing on ruthless, the, yeah. You probably open every single one. The chest can give me a map. Mm-hmm. , I'm not leaving those chest, I'm opening every single one. What if, what if that? What if that's a map? What if that's a ring?

 

30 

 

minute estuary? You're just there all day. 

 

Oh my God. When I got to Mars in ruthless, I had never felt as weak as I did. Right? I we're going to the first map and every single pack I'm like summon the decoy totem, cast a curse, hide behind the decoy, totem , cast my thing, and then pick up my loot. I mean, I eventually got a bit stronger, but that was my first map and I was like, man, I've never felt this week in my life.

 

What is going on here? So fun. , . It sounds great. Yeah, 

 

we're gonna find out. We're gonna find out. Hey look, I really appreciate you taking some time. I know it's a workday for you, so we want to, we wanna be cognizant of your time, but thank you so much for hanging out with us. Um, it's been a blast. 

 

Yeah. Yeah.

 

Thanks for having me. This has been really fun. I'm glad 

 

it was a pleasure meeting you. 

 

Yeah, yeah, yeah, same here. It's a pleasure for everybody else. Patrons will catch you in after dark. , everybody else will see you next week and end episode number. I don't know cuz this comes out on 1 1 69, so we'll see them in 1 69 or one 70.

 

This is 1 69. All right. We'll see you in one 70 and, , if you're looking for more information, you find it down below. We got a website forever xl.com or on Twitter forever. Xld two. We have a very fun, discord you should be a part of and, , patrons. Another way to support the podcast down below. Bye.

 

Thanks again, Hrishi. Yep, 

 

thanks a lot.