ItsYoji is an “old school” Path of Exile player that has been playing the game for a few years now. In one of his recent Youtube videos he discusses how to efficiently stack up on a lot of currency without playing for 10 hours a day. When you have hobbies, social life, a child and a wife it can become more difficult to play video games if that is not how you earn your salary. ItsYoji mentions that he has 2-3h a day to play and in some days he does not play at all. He still managed to buy a Headhunter for 97 Exalted Orbs. This is achieved by knowing the game well and how to efficiently spend your time on the right things.
Meta stands for “most effective tactics available”. If you are not a veteran PoE player you would greatly benefit from following Meta builds. This will allow you to follow a simple guide and beat the majority of the game without bumping your head against the wall while looking at Path of Building and trying to come up with a new build. Meta builds are mainly invented by top PoE players.
Streamers and top ladder players have a huge influence on the player base in that regard. Some of the more known names when it comes to “meta influencers” are Mathil, RaizQT, UberElite, Karv, not Quin, Octavian, Uberdan, Steelmage, Zizaran and Cutedog. These are the first ones that came up to mind just so you can get the general idea and this list of names does not mean to disregard any content creator because there are a lot of great ones out there.
Skills in Path of Exile have become more and more polished over the years though and it is easier than ever to make any skill work as long as you have the right tools and knowledge. They may not be as efficient as the current summoner or miner archetype but it will be enough to beat the whole game and it will make you feel like a special snowflake, because you did your own thing.