Continuing my series on Path of Exile, I'm now going to say a few words about the items that drop in the game and the inventory used by your character(s).
The character inventory is similar to Diablo 2's. It's made up of a grid of squares and different items occupy different number of squares, from 1x1 for rings and amulets to 2x4 for large 2-handed weapons.
In addition, there's a shared stash with 4 tabs, which gives a huge amount of space to all your characters. Anything deposited in it can be accessed by all your characters. That's very convenient, especially since I can organize my items depending on what type of class they are meant for. For example, I can keep magic stuff in one tab, archery stuff in another and melee stuff in another.
The items follow Diablo 2/3's paradigm closely. White items are the most abundant, obviously, but they don't have any stats on them. Then there are blue (magic) items with prefix and suffix, yellow (rare) items with a lot of random stats on them and brown (unique) items which I have yet to discover.
At this point I'm not sure if there are any sets or other item qualities because the ones outlined above are the only ones that I've seen so far.
A character has slots for helmet, amulet, 2x rings, gloves, belt, boots, chest and 2x weapon slots which can be filled either with one 2-handed weapon, 2x 1-handed weapons, bow and quiver, wand and off-hand, weapon and shield.
Drop rates for blue (magic) items are really good but many attributes on them are rubbish. Depending on how inclined I am to teleport back to town, I won't even pick some of these up from the ground. I have also gotten plenty of yellow (rare) items, many of which I have transferred to other characters. I have yet to get a brown (unique) drop.
There are potions in the game but with a twist. You can put 5 potions on your belt, namely mana, health or a potion which restores both. These are called flasks or vials. Well, here's the deal. Potion bottles are of various sizes, starting from Minor and all the way up to... Ridonculous. I made that last one up. Each flask has a number of charges. You can use the flask to restore health/mana and a number of charges is deducted. The higher the potion quantity, the more charges it has and the more it restores.
So what happens when you deplete all charges? The potion slowly recharges back to full, but for that to happen you will need to kill some monsters. Kill monsters - gain potion charges. It's a self-sustainable thing. You take damage or use mana to destroy monsters, then you use your flasks, then you kill more monsters by which your flasks recharge, rinse and repeat.
The flask system is pretty cool and original. You don't need to collect dozens of potions or keep buying them from vendors and you don't have to worry about running out. The only downside I've noticed from this system is that sometimes, when fighting tough bosses, you might run out of charges because you are using your potions to stay alive and to keep using your skills but at the same time you aren't killing any monsters, so there's no way for them to recharge until you kill the boss.
Items (including flasks) also have an additional property which is called Quality. This is something random that even normal (white) items can have. It's independent of any prefixes or suffixes. What this means is that the higher quality an item has, the stronger it becomes. A piece of armor with 100 base armor and 20% quality will actually have 120 armor. Same for weapon damage and even flask charges. The maximum quality that an item can have is 20%, incidentally.
There are special currency items that can be used to enhance the quality of your items but I will talk about currency in a future post.
Here's a shot which shows both the shared stash and a white flask (flasks can be magic, rare and I believe even unique) which shows a quality of 7%.
Also notice the flasks on my belt: I have equipped 2x health flasks, 1x vial (heals both health and mana) and 2x mana flasks.