I’ll get straight into it. I’m a huge noob at Path of Exile still, even with more than 1500 hours spent in softcore every new league. I still kill all the mobs in zones sometimes, and i still catch myself picking up everything in a map now and again. I still die and I always run out of currency and it felt like a waste every time i did, even if i got something good out of it. I always play softcore, and since I almost never get an item that i want to drop, and since i can never seem to six link anything i want, i felt like SSF would be just a huge hassle and a waste of my time. But boy was i wrong. I love everything about SSF.
First of all, I don’t have to trade with another person ever again. On top of that, everything i pick up is mine. I feel like I’ve earned everything that i have gotten. I had 5k Perandus Coins, and when i found that Belly from Cadiro, man was i thrilled. I spent the time running the maps to get that, instead of buying the coins from someone else. I just felt like posting here because i love this race, and i hope everyone else loves it as much as me. And if you have never played SSF, or are skeptical, Let me be the first to tell you that it’s a wonderful experience.
This is the PoE false prejudices number one.
In reality you can clear all content on a 5-link. I played ssf for quite some time and I didn’t get a 6-link, although I farmed 1100 fusings I’m hesitating about what to spend them on. I personally didn’t kill Shaper yet, but all the Guardians went down pretty easily, I even managed to do corrupted ones.
I don’t know where people get that idea about “6-link being just the beginning of endgame”. There are many builds that can speed-clear t15 on a 5-link. For SSF the best example is spectre summoner, with MoM you have 7k+ exp with trash rares, with just unique boots you have 3 spectres that clear any pack in a span of a second.
If by endgame you mean bosses like guardians and Atziri, then there are also plenty of builds that can do them on a 5-link. For U-Atziri 6-link actually will not help you too much, what matters is your ability to dodge the mechanics.
If you wanna reach endgame, stop leveling many chars to ~85. Just play one char with a non-shitty build to level 90+, open your atlas including the red maps, and by the time you do that you actually have the currency for a 6-link. Also a rare corrupted 6-link with 90+ life and 50+ resists is something you can amass currency for by just doing 40 yellow maps or something. But 5-link is really enough for any half-decent build. https://www.u4gm.com/path-of-exile