This is probably one of the most in depth ARPGs I have ever played, and its free to play! The character customization in this game is absolutely crazy. The game may seem daunting at first with its unique currency system and absolutely huge skill tree but once you learn how these works you will get addicted to this game.
Now lets look at the Pros and Cons. I will list them in a very detailed manner. TLDR version will be at the bottom for those of you that just a brief look because this is going to be a long one.
+This game is free to play. And when I say free to play I don't mean free to play and buy your way to the top. There is no way possible to buy any sort of advantage in-game. The only things you can buy are visual armor sets that can be applied to your in-game items, alternate skill visuals, pets that do not fight, more character slots (which you have about 24 slots to start with), and extra stash tabs (which again you start with plenty space).
+Character Customization is amazing. There are 7 classes. Marauder, templar, witch, shadow, ranger, duelist, and scion(has to be unlocked by completing normal mode). All of these classes lean toward certain builds but if you wanted to play the strength heavy marauder as an int caster then that is very possible. The skill tree is huge and any class can go in any direction. It may seem daunting at first but once you learn your way around its fun to plan out the rest of your build or your next character.
+Unique currency system. This is one of my favorite things about the game. In this game you don't have gold or anything like it. Instead you buy and sell things with orbs. There are many types of orbs with varying rarity. I won't go over all the orbs but I'll talk about a few as an example. For instance, the orb of chance can change a white common item into a magic, rare, or even unique item (the different rarities, think magic as uncommon, rare as well rare, and unique as legendary). Or say a chaos orb which can change the properties of a rare item. Orbs like these can be traded to npcs for items or upgrades in your hideout(I'll explain this later). Or players will buy and sell items using these orbs. So you can use these orbs as currency or to upgrade your own gear.
+Leagues. This game has a couple permanent leagues as well as temporary leagues. The 2 perma leagues are standard and hardcore. Standard is pretty simple. There are 3 acts in 3 game modes at the time this review is written (I believe a 4th act is coming next year). In normal you suffer no penalty at death. In the next difficulty, which you access by beating all acts on normal, is a little more punishing. In cruel if you die you lose 5% of your experience (don't worry you can't lose a level if you are at less than 5% exp for that level). In the last difficulty, merciless, you lose 10% experience for death. In the hardcore league if your character dies at all it is moved to standard league.
Each league can only share a stash with characters in the same league. GGG also releases temporary leagues. The big highlight of this is their 3 month leagues. These are good for providing a fresh start and for people who enjoy tring to race to the top first can do so. It also lets players play in a fresh economy. When they release these 3 month leagues they release of them. One of them is a Standard league and the other hardcore.
However, these aren't copy-paste modes. The 3 month leagues have something exta to them that the perma leagues don't have. For example, at the time of this review the torment(standard) and bloodline(hardcore) leagues are going on. In torment there are tormented souls that fly around making enemies stronger but they drop better loot. In bloodlines there are enemies who gain synergetic abilities that make them way stronger. And with these temp leagues they also have access to several new unique items that the perma leagues won't have access to until the temp leagues are over. If a character dies in bloodline they will be moved to standard league.
+The developers care about this game. This one is pretty simple. They update the game a lot. There's always new things coming into this game. You can even spot GGG staff members from time to time talking to people in global chat. It is very obvious that they care about this game and its community.
+Gems. Gems are what you will use for all of your skills. There are red (strength) gems, blue (int) gems, and green (dex) gems. You can get these gems by questing or by finding them as random drops. To use these gems you have to put them in the correct colored socket that your gear has. If your gear doesn't have enough sockets or the wrong color sockets then that's okay, you can manipulate this with the use of orbs. For example, the chromatic orb can change all the socket colors on a piece of gear and the jewelers orb can change th number of sockets on gear. Your gems also gain experience just as you do. The higher level the gem, the better. Gems have a max level of 20.
+Endgame. Endgame begins once you are at the end of act 3 merciless. You can get maps that drop from enemies. These maps will generate a random level with random enemies. Thats not all they will gain extra effects or maybe you will gain extra effects or lose them! The harder the map the more rewarding it is. You can also use orbs on the maps! If you have a white quality map then you can use something like an orb of alchemy which will change its quality from common to rare making it a harder but more rewarding map.
-Desync. This biggest problem with this game is that it suffers from desynchronisation problems. This means you will sometimes randomly lag back a couple seconds which can sometimes kill you. If you keep this in mind most of the time you can play carefully and this won't really effect you much.
-Starting out as a new player in this game can be rough at first. There is so much to learn and the game has a lot of depth to it. With all the skill gems, skill points, and currency orbs its hard to know what to do with everything. However there are ways to learn. The official poe website is a good place to learn more about the game. The class forums are a good place to go to see how people build their characters. People can even post the path they went on their skill tree and you can look at each node they took to help you gain an understanding at what it takes to make a decent character.
-This game can also be a little bit boring getting to end game if leveling isn't really your thing. You have to complete all 3 acts on all 3 difficulties before you make it to end game. Doing all the same quests 3 times over per character may seem a bit boring at times.
+Free to play
+great character customization
+fun skill system
+unique currency & trading system
+developers care about this game and its community a lot
+geat end game
+fun league system
-game suffers from desync
-game can be rough on beginners
-leveling characters through each difficulty can get tedious.
Thank you for reading. I know this review was extremely long but I just wanted to make sure I put out as much info as I could think of for people who are interested in trying this game out. I hope this review has helped you.
This game is extremely fun and I def reccommend it to anyone who likes diabloish type games. Starting out may be rough because of everything you have to learn but it is worth it if you stick through. If you have any questions please leave a comment and I will try to comment back as soon as I can!