Path of Exile 3.19 is here, and the economy of the game, well, isn't doing great, for a variety of reasons. People are upset, Reddit's on fire, and the Lake of Kalandra 3.19 League is seeing fewer players retained than ever before, so as you might expect, all of this impacts the game's economy. In this article, we'll explain the problem with Path of Exile's economy in 3.19.
Changes to Loot Are a Huge Deal
Changes to loot came to the game by way of an originally unannounced change to League monster loot. In general, League monster loot was nerfed significantly, while loot drops in general were, soon after, buffed in response.
The argument here is that loot at the high end of ultra-juiced maps was way too overboard, dropping tens of thousands of unique items at once. Accordingly, the most lucrative money-making methods would be a lot less crazy but loot would become more accessible in general.
It has been said by GGG that changes to loot shouldn't negatively impact the average player at all, and if anything, an average player would see more currency and relevant items drop. In some cases, this is true on a small scale, though many are reporting less currency and map sustain.
Related: Can GGG Save Path of Exile 3.19?
However, these changes to loot don't just impact the top-level players. Think about it: If 1% of players are getting insane, totally wild drops of unbelievable amounts of currency and high-value items, this 1% of players is going to become the biggest traders in the game.
They provide the economy with a steady supply of things to be bought and sold, and they inject a lot of money into the economy, buying things themselves. If these top-level players are making much less, then there are going to be fewer items for sale in general, and what's being sold will be more expensive, which is what we're seeing.
Higher Prices, Fewer Players Is a Bad Combo
The above leads to there being higher prices, while changes to the game have lost it a ton of players, but this also has consequences for trade and the game's economy, too.
See, if everything's expensive and there are fewer options, people are in general going to be a lot less willing to trade. You'll regularly send five, ten, fifteen whispers out looking to trade, for example, and get no responses, because people want to trade in bulk or not at all.
Simultaneously, though, people have a lot less money to spend, so fewer people than normal even can trade, and when they can, they often won't be able to do so in bulk. What this adds up to is an extremely painful trading process where everything is expensive, you're poor, and nobody wants to sell.
Changes to Crafting Make Everything Even Worse
Harvest, in Path of Exile 3.19, has been totally gutted, making it either too expensive or too ineffective to, really, bother with doing for most players. In of itself, this is a serious change with major consequences for the economy.
In general, crafted items are always going to be better than randomly dropped ones. The chances of finding a randomly dropped item that has a collection of mods that work together and are a good fit for your build is extremely rare, but with essences, benchcrafting, and Harvest crafting, among other things like enchants and announcements and Eldritch currency and more, you have a lot of ways to build your own items.
The problem, though, is that Harvest was usually the major crafting mechanic relied upon for great items, while using other crafting services costs money, too, so in Path of Exile 3.19, there are fewer crafts available, and people have less money to spend.
This means, like with loot, there are less great items on the market, which means worse items are more expensive now. When you combine this with everything else, it reinforces the current problems with trade and the economy at large. Ultimately, there are just few ways to get good gear without having tons and tons of money.