The online role-playing game developed by Grinding Gear Games can be a rather intimidating experience due to its depth and breadth. There's so much to look into, and one glimpse at the passive skill tree can turn even the more experienced of gamers who have never seen Path of Exile before into a pile of mush, clueless about what to do or where to go next.
The place you should go to next is just the Internet, quite obviously. But where to look and what to look for are equally important. At the very least, Path of Exile is familiar enough in its gameplay for players to know what to look for anyway. Therefore, here are some places where you can seek help and camaraderie as a Path of Exile player.
Path of Exile isn't really hardóthere are much harder games than this but is less familiar to the uninitiated. While most of its mechanics follows the action role-playing game genre, its guts are different. Therefore, learning about its inner workings is key to understanding Path of Exile.
You can look for ZiggyD's Path of Exile Beginner Mechanics Guide. ZiggyD is a notable member of the Path of Exile community and he makes videos on YouTube about various games, especially Path of Exile. He has tons of guides on PoE items, including a series of Survival Guides that can help you learn what and what not to do while playing Path of Exile.
There are tons of builds in Path of Exile due to the design of its gameplay system; it was meant to facilitate virtually countless character build possibilities. Some of the ones you need to learn about as a beginner are the Ground Slam Marauder, the Cold Witch, the Incinerate Witch, the Tanky Templar, the Lightning Ranger, and so on.
Path of POE and Path of Exile Builds are two websites wherein people can submit and review PoE builds. You can head over there and choose a build based on a set of criteria, and you can also search forums and ask the community about it to see what can be refined, how to level it, and so on.
Naturally, there's the Path of Exile wiki wherein you can get just about any info on the game when you need it. There are also PoE Trade (http://poe.trade), trading websites wherein you can buy and sell Path of Exile items. If you're coming up with a build, you can head on over to PoE Builder (http://www.poebuilder.com) to plan it out.
There are tons of resources out there on the game, but the richest source of information is definitely the Path of Exile community, and most of the aforementioned websites were started by community figures.
Of course, the official Path of Exile forums is the first place to look for. Unlike in most other games where their official forums tend to be riddled with faults in their moderation, the ones in the PoE forums are proactive about receiving feedback and critique of all sorts, thus making them less swing-happy with their ban-hammers. This means there are actual meaningful discussions in this forum, thus making it a great place to place questions and be a part of the community.
Then there's the r/PathOfExile subreddit, which is naturally on Reddit. The more freeform structure of Reddit makes for rather fun interaction with other members of the community. There's a certain degree of openness here that should allow you to let your hair down and participate in the community. You may be exposed to the more negative elements of the community here as well, but that's nothing unexpected if you tend to frequent websites like Reddit.