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By Daisy M. Marino
So, you’ve been thinking of playing Path of Exile for some time now. Good! There’s no better time to begin as the 3.13 patch has been delayed. Don’t be intimidated by the veteran gamers–just take the game at your own pace. To help you start and know what POE Currency to get, here’s a quick rundown of the Path of Exile classes and their Ascendancies.
A New Path of Exile Class Consciousness
Before we begin, we need to first explain how attributes work in the game. Aside from being the requirements for gear such as POE Uniques (especially after POE orbs are used on them) and gems, they also increase offensive and defensive potential. Strength increases physical damage and life, Dexterity increases evasion and accuracy, and Intelligence increases mana and energy shield.
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Thus, traditional PoE builds of certain PoE classes follow a particular main attribute. This can be seen by looking at where each of them begins in the shared passive skill tree. Following traditional Path of Exile builds, however, has become obsolete, as a mixture of attributes is the way to better, well-rounded, and specialized PoE builds later on.
Also, we bring up Ascendancies as early as now because it’s important to begin with the end in mind. Knowing which Ascendancies’ specializations early on helps players determine how they’re going to Path of Exile build their chosen PoE class, and even choose their main class.
A strong tribal man, the Marauder is the game’s scrapper melee class as he can take hits as well as dish them out. Depending on your Path of Exile build and choice in Ascendancy, he can dole one out better than the other.
If you prefer going on the defensive, then there’s no better Ascendancy than the Juggernaut. On the other hand, if you like being on the offensive almost exclusively, then the Berserker is for you as the PoE builds up an aptly-named special counter called Rage.
Lastly, if you want a different kind of Marauder, go for Chieftain. Unlike the other two, this is more oriented in dealing with fire damage and summoning totems. Thus, unlike other Marauder Ascendancies, it requires a good chunk of Intelligence as well.
Burned by the Witch
Cast out to Wraeclast for using sorcery, the Witch is the game’s primary spellcaster. She has total mastery of the elements for burst damage and DPS, cast curses and debuffs, and call forth the dead as her armies, so it’s no surprise that her three namesake Ascendancies–Elementalist, Occultist, and Necromancer–specialize in each of them.
Time for the Duelist
A man with a penchant for fighting, the Duelist was thrown to Wraeclast after striking down a nobleman. He’s also a melee class, but unlike the Marauder, he’s more focused on dealing swift damage while evading and parrying incoming hits.
The Duelist’s three Ascendancies are the following:
- Slayer – which is all about dealing with huge single-target physical damage, making him an effective boss killer
- Gladiator – which balances between offense and defense through blocking and parrying
- Champion – an even more defensive PoE class that can not only take damage but also support his allies
On the Hunt: The Ranger
Branded as a poacher and a thief, the Ranger was exiled to Wraeclast for hunting in the lands that the local lords claimed. Now, she hunts the evil infesting the dark and treacherous island from a safe distance.
Chiefly, the Ranger is a Dexterity class because of her range. However, only Deadeye is the Ascendancy that bolsters traits related to projectile damage, accuracy, and piercing. On the other hand, Raider is focused on evasion, Frenzy, and Onslaught charges, making it some sort of hit-and-run Path of Exile class that can still do well with melee weapons.
Lastly, the Pathfinder is the closest thing the game has to a survivalist. Its passive skills increase flask effect and duration, be it for offense, defense, and utility, with a greater focus on the last two.
Hiding: The Shadows
Cunning and deadly, the Shadow is all about killing in the most efficient and underhanded ways. All its Ascendancies are dedicated to that, the only difference they have with one another is how they do it. Assassins are more hands-on, as it’s geared to dealing with critical strikes and poison. Saboteurs are the more meticulous Ascendancy since they damage and debilitate their enemies through traps and mines.
Finally, the Trickster walks the tightrope of carefulness and deadliness through defensive passive skills that boost evasion and energy shield and offensive ones that increase attack speed, damage over time, and frenzy charges.
Fallen from grace among his peers but not with God, the wise and fortitudinous Templar is a holy man that strikes up the perfect balance between body and mind. His Asendancies, however, obviously have leanings. The Inquisitor channels God’s wrath through elemental damage, the Hierophant has both offense and utility through totems and brands, and the Guardian is a tank that also has auras, allowing him to be a shield of strength and hope.
Iron, Lion, Scion
Last, but definitely not least, would be the Scion. Unlike other Path of Exile classes that begin in the part of the passive skill tree that is dedicated to their traditional mechanics, the Scion begins in the middle, as it’s meant to be the most customizable PoE class.
The downside to this is that she only has one Ascendancy: the aptly named Ascendant. It can learn one passive skill from each Ascendancy class, albeit with toned down effects. While some say that the versatility more than makes up for the lesser versions of the passives, there are also those that say it’s not worth it.
In the end, it’s up to you to make the Ascendant work. With enough work from you, it can and it will.
Choosing a POE class today is not like it used to be. Hopefully, we helped you catch up to speed. So, which Path of Exile class and Ascendancy will you go with? Tell us in the comments section!
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)
Tenali Ramakrishna, or Tenali Raman as he is more popularly known is Birbal's equivalent in South India. A court jester and a scholar exuding great wisdom, Tenali Raman was known as one of the greatest courtiers in King Krishnadevaraya's court.
The Vijayanagar Empire ruled a large part of South India between 1336 and 1646. In the 16th century, the kingdom rose to prominence under the eminent leadership of King Krishnadevaraya. His continuous victories against his enemies ensured a successful and peaceful reign for his subjects. As a patron of art and literature, many crafts and cultural assets thrived in the empire.
Krishnadevaraya's beloved courtier, Tenali Raman is the finest example of the splendour of the Vijayanagar empire. He was born in Tenali, a town in Andhra Pradesh. He lived here until he lost his father, after which his mother brought him to Vijayanagar. He was discovered for his excellent wit and wisdom, and appointed in the court. He was one of the king's ashtadiggajas (collective name for the eight poets and scholars).
A statue of Tenali Ramakrishna near a Municipal Office in Andhra Pradesh Image source: wikimedia commons
Tenali Raman as a scholar, published great texts of wisdom, which have now become artefacts of the Kingdom of Vijayanagara. But his fame does not lie in these achievements. He is known for the mischievous jester that mythical folklore portrays him to be. Through stories, many writers have used jokes to impart wisdom and morals to many generations of people. The stories of Tenali Raman are almost legendary in the Southern peninsula.
Textbooks have been written with his moral stories in mind, and these days, many self-help book are also incorporating his wisdom. His most popular stories are, 'Mother Tongue', 'Cursed Face', 'Saluting the Donkeys' and many more. Through these stories, Tenali Raman, in some way, brought about social justice. Perhaps this is why he is most beloved by many people even today.
Keywords: Tenali Raman, Vijayanagar empire, Krishnadevaraya, Jester, Wisdom
It must be noted that different religions and societies in Southeast Asia have alternative narratives of Ramayana, one of the greatest epic.
Here are some of the versions of Ramayana!
Dasaratha Jakarta: The Buddhist Version
Interestingly, this version of Ramayana does not mention Ravana at all and in fact, there’s no mention of Sita’s abduction, too. In this version, Dasaratha is the king of Benaras and not Ayodhya. Also, Rama and Sita leaves kingdom and go to the Himalayas and not forests. Then, after twelve years, Rama and Sita return back to Benaras and get married.
Paumachariya: The Jaina Version
In this version, Lakshamana is the killer of Ravana and not Rama. Here, Rama is an ardent follower of Jainism, and so he cannot be the killer of Ravana. Also, this version states an army of warrior and not monkeys, as stated in Valmiki’s Ramayana. Another interesting feature of this version is that Ramayana is not shown as a villain, rather a magnanimous king and follower of Jainism.
Gond Ramayani: The Gond Version
Gond is an adivasi clan belonging from Madhya Pradesh in India. Interestingly, in this version, the story begins from where Valmiki’s Ramayana ended; when Sita is rescued from captivity. Also, Bhima, one of the Pandavas from the epic of Mahabharata, is mentioned in this version. Unlike Valmiki’s Ramayana, Rama is not the protagonist in this version.
Ramakien: The Thai Version
This is considered as Thailand's national epic, and is still taught in some schools in the country. In this version, Ravana is shown as a learned scholar and a noble king in this version. Also, Ravana’s pursuit for Sita is depicted as true love. There are a lot of similarities between this version of Ramayana and Valmiki’s version, but this version lays a lot of emphasis on Hanuman.
When a baby is born in an Indian household-they invite hijra to shower the newborn with their blessings for their blessings confer fertility, prosperity, and long life on the child. But when that child grows up we teach them to avert their eyes when a group of hijras passes by, we pass on the behaviour of treating hijras as lesser humans to our children. Whenever a child raises a question related to gender identity or sexuality they are shushed down. We're taught to believe that anything "deviant" and outside of traditional cis-heteronormativity is something to be ashamed of. This mentality raises anxious, scared queer adults who're ashamed of their own identity, and adults who bully people for "queer behaviour".
Hijras are a community of people who include eunuchs, intersex, and transgender people. They worship the Hindu goddess of chastity and fertility, Bahuchara Mata. Most hijras, but not all, choose to undergo a castration ceremony known as "nirvana" in which they remove their male genitalia as an offering to their goddess. The whole community is vibrant with hundreds of people with hundreds of ways of expression, the true identity of a hijra is complex and unique to each individual. In India, hijras prefer to refer to themselves as Kinner/Kinnar as it means the mythological beings who excel at singing and dancing.
Hijras worship the Hindu goddess of chastity and fertility, Bahuchara Mata.homegrown.co.in
The hijra community works systematically, the community separates itself from the outside world and teaches lessons to the young ones in secret. Each community has a guru and the other hijras are their disciples or chela. The "hijra ways of life" are taught to the disciples in a secluded environment where they leave their families and live with other hijras in the community. More often than not hijras are thought of as nothing different from transgender and often referred to as transgender; however, scientifically these two terms denote a different class of people. Hijras are a part of the whole community of people with various identities and of spiritual and cultural values meanwhile, transgender merely refers to those people whose gender identity differs from the sex assigned to them at birth, they are a part of the community and do not represent the whole community.
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Historically and culturally the community has existed in the Indian subcontinent as long as the civilization has existed. There are mentions of hijra in The Mahabharata, a holy book of Hindus. Shikhandi who was neither male nor female is a mythological legend. In another version of Mahabharata Arjuna, one of the Pandavas was cursed to be the third gender by Urvashi, when he refused to be sexually involved with her. In a story by Padma Purana, it is seen that Arjuna transforms into a woman to take part in Krishna's mystical dance which only women can take part in. The Hijra figures are prominent in Indian Mughal History as well, referred to as Khwaja Siras and known for their loyalty to the ruler, they worked as the sexless watchdogs of the Mughal harems. They held important positions in court and various facets of administration during Mughal-era India, from the 16th to 19th century. The Hijra community is a testament to the sexual diversity that is integral yet often forgotten in Indian culture.
If the whole hijra community was looked upon with enamour and respect in our history, what happened that when we come across the community we look at them with contempt and are filled with a mixture of negative, fear, laughter, and odd emotions. It's owing to the fact that under British Raj, the Criminal tribes Act 1871 hijras were criminalized and the law was made to eradicate the whole community. However, these acts were abolished by the Indian government after independence, and by 2014, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh all had officially recognized third gender people as citizens deserving of equal rights where the third gender means individuals categorizing themselves as neither male nor female. Even though the progress is slow but in 2015 Madhu Kinnar became the first hijra mayor in India was elected in the city of Raigarh.
ALSO READ: India's first Residential Transgender
Although the hijra community was revered by society and is invited to births and weddings for religious and spiritual ceremonies, they still become victims of abuse and discrimination. Violence and hate crimes against the community have become common. They are deprived of education, job opportunities, seating in restaurants, etc. leading them to live in poor conditions barely surviving. They often have to resort to begging and prostitution to earn a daily living. The government has tried to address this issue by introducing bills for the protection of the hijra community, with prison terms and other punishments for those offending them, but there is little to no less effect on the social stigma against the community.
In India, the hijra community comes under the umbrella term LGBTQ+ and we notice that they lack voice and representation when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. We need to understand that when we fight for LGBTQ+ rights we fight for the whole community, we fight for hijras who have been victims of violence, hate crimes, and disrespect from none other than the people of our society. And although hijras are a part of the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, they have an independent subculture of their own. It is worth every effort to know about them, to study about them, to befriend them, and to smile at them for they are every bit of human as we are and they have nothing but blessings in their heart.