Path of Exile: Why the new bloom effects are such a big problem

Jul-29-2020 PST path of exile

Around a month ago,  "Harvest" started the current league in the action RPG Path of Exile. And that brought players who wanted to get the most out of the new mechanics to despair. However, with the big update another feature came into play, but not only the full pros complain.

Dazzling bloom effect

The stumbling block is a new graphic effect this time: As the developers announced at the PoE trade fair Exilecon at the end of 2019, the first elements from the successor should find their way into the game before the release of Path of Exile 2. This also includes the new bloom effect. Blooming in video games ensures that bright light sources outshine neighboring areas of their surroundings.

A popular example of this is the sun, for example, which shines much larger than it actually is when it breaks through a cloudy sky. However, developer Grinding Gear Games has exaggerated the effect: Various light sources, such as flares in the Delve mine, conjured spectra or explosions triggered by abilities, are so extremely bright that many players feel almost blinded.

Just switch off? Unfortunately this is not possible

The biggest problem with the whole thing, however, is that you can't turn off the graphic effect - in the game options you can only switch to a reduced version that is still too prominent for many players.  In a nutshell: Until Harvest, the game used an outdated variant of the blooming technique, for which many effects (e.g. abilities or glowing armor) had to be elaborately and manually equipped with the wrong bloom particles in order to achieve the desired effect. The new system makes this superfluous.

With the removal of the fake bloom particles, a return to the old blooming system has become impossible. Although the developers would have the option to switch off the new system, they would not give it to the players, as this would not display various effects as the artists would like them to. The last statement in particular bothered many players: While the popular community manager usually manages to make the players mild again with her extensive contributions, in this case she only poured more oil into the fire.

There is still hope for the players: Bex promises that all assets that look particularly bad and dazzling should be optimized and made more bearable over time. It will also forward the proposal to the developers to be able to determine the strength of blooming more precisely in the options.

Until then, PoE players can use additional software such as ReShade to fine-tune the look of their gaming experience - as the developers confirmed, this is also officially approved.