Using This Guide
One Step At A Time
This guide is written to be read through over the course of playing through Path of Exile's campaign for the first time. This means that articles on major game mechanics not directly related to any particular part of the story are covered during the Act guides, so you should read these even if you do not want a main story walkthrough.
Resist the urge to read all the articles in one go - if you were to print out this guide in paper form, it would take up something on the order of 150 pages, and very few people can absorb that much information in the matter of an hour or two.
Instead, work through the guide in order, pausing to play through the campaign at indicated points. These are clearly marked at the end of each article at points where you have enough information to go get started on your next bit of questing.
This guide is largely spoiler-free if read in order, and refers only to previous events in the story that you wouldn't have missed. In spots where spoilers are necessary in order to provide a proper guide or walkthrough, they are marked, and no section contains spoilers from more than one Act. If you are really really concerned with working through the story yourself, you can go back and read the act guides after you finish the act (but I don't recommend doing this).