long time poe-er here.
imho, having aspirational content can be good for the game but only if it doesnt force players to clear them.
the current GD that i know has aspirational content in the form of secret celestial bosses and pushing crucible/SR.
to me GD’s current implementation is good. i dont feel at all forced to clear the secret bosses nor do i feel like i need to push crucible/sr. there is nothing too gated behind the encounters. sure the secret celestials have very specific MI but they’re quite niche and the beauty of GD’s itemization is there are a lot of strong contenders for the gear they drop. in fact after tinkering around in grimtools i 've convinced myself that my BIS are not from the celestial bosses.
im actually fine with infinite difficulty scaling for content but as long as it does not FORCE players to clear them. if SR 999 or crucible 9999 exists it should be fine as long as all you get is extra loot. it becomes NOT FINE when powerful and exclusive gear can only drop from them.
this is a problem that exists in POE and its one reason i’ve quit POE. when POE was first announced i found the graphics, simply ugly. but what drew me in is the promise of classlessness. unfortunately the devs kept pushing the amount of power a player is expected to have so high that to me POE is no longer as diverse as it used to. a lot of veterans would tell me i m wrong and that it’s diverse as ever. sure you can have a million different builds now and its definitely more diverse now with its tons of new skills/items/ascendancies, but how many of them are actually viable?
when poe first started having 100k dps was considered “godlike”. now, if you dont do at least 2-3 million dps you’re likely to not be able to clear most content.
the big difference between poe’s aspirational content and GD’s current aspirational content is that POE’s ass content is almost mandatory. want a void stone? kill uber elder+shaper, exarch, eater, maven. want atlas passive points? clear maven invites. want the very best versions of end game gear? clear uber pinnacle bosses.
its to the point that players are making bank by selling clearing services.
also i cant do stupid shit like make a melee 2handed witch. its simply unviable now.
i have stopped recommending POE to friends a long time ago as the best way to play POE right now is to look up a build guide and follow the guide in order to play.
i hate that. i love diversity and i love the ability to “make my own build”. this is where GD shines so bright. it’s like a complex puzzle game that has a lot of room for trial and error. i currently have a occultist+necro pure melee with no pets. is it meta? no. is it good? debatable. but its mine, and it works the way i want it. i’ve got it to 100 and cleared ultimate with it and i thoroughly enjoyed doing my own thing.
if GD introduced harder content and gated BIS drops behind the content, its almost certain that build diversity will suffer as a result.
i do not wish for that.
if there is harder content that the devs expect us to clear, the devs need to give us more power to compensate. seeing theres no announcement on increasing level/devotion cap i think that is not the case.