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Path of Exile (a true successor for Diablo II)


Guest ObiChrisKenobi
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Guest ObiChrisKenobi

http://www.pathofexile.com/

 

F2P Loot Whore game due to go into Open Better next week. It's good.

 

 

Poster on NeoGAF made a really great looking OT about it: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=46514960&postcount=1

GAME INFORMATION

 

Release Date: 23 January 2013 (open beta)

 

Platform: PC, Mac (via unofficial WINE port)

 

Price: Free to play with cosmetic and utility microtransactions (no "pay to win", see below)

 

Genre: Hardcore Online Action Role-Playing Game

 

Players: 1-6 Online Cooperative Player vs. Environment, 1v1 & 3v3 Player vs. Player

 

Developer: Grinding Gear Games, New Zealand

 

Rating(s): TBA

 

 

 

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

 

Detailed system requirements will be determined closer to release, but you'll at least need a graphics card with Pixel Shader 3.0 or higher, and a CPU that supports SSE2. At least 2GB of RAM is recommended. Overall, the game's requirements are very modest and it can run on a wide range of systems.

 

 

 

FEATURES

 

A Truly Hardcore Action RPG: Path of Exile is made by hardcore gamers for hardcore gamers. The small indie team at Grinding Gear Games know their action RPGs inside out, and are now making the game they've always wanted to play themselves. Path of Exile is made to be challenging and complex, with minimal hand-holding and maximum player freedom. It's designed to reward perseverance, planning and mastery.

 

Unparalleled Build Diversity and Character Customisation: Characters in Path of Exile are built from three highly flexible game systems: Skill gems, the passive skill tree, and gear. All three are complementary and synergistic, letting the player choose and discover very specific specialisations and skill combinations. But with choice comes opportunity cost, and players will find themselves making difficult - but meaningful - decisions on how to develop their character.

 

Free to Play...: Path of Exile is 100% free to play. Not the gimped kind of free to play where game content is locked behind a microtransaction pay wall, or there's a level cap, or ads pop up in your face every five minutes. Nope, you get complete and uninterrupted access to the entire game from the moment you log in to your account, including 24 character slots, full access to all game acts, events and leagues, trading, co-op and PvP multiplayer.

 

...But Not Pay to Win: Grinding Gear are completely against "pay to win". They know that it ruins game balance, especially in PvP. They know that it spoils the sense of accomplishment in finding the perfect gear for your character. Grinding Gear believe that success in the game should be determined by a player's commitment, skill, and strategy - not by the size of their wallet. That's why there's no real money auction house. That's why there are no XP or item drop boosts, no paid unlocks, and no buying in-game currency items with real money.

 

No-Gold Barter Economy: Gold has always been problematic in online economies. When gold becomes worthless, players have historically created their own currency systems based around rare in-game items. Path of Exile takes advantage of this, giving players a range of items of varying rarities that can be used as trading currency, letting the market decide their relative (and fluctuating) worth. These items also double as consumable items that can improve a character's gear, making them item sinks unto themselves, reducing inflation and removing the need for pointless gold sinks.

 

So Many Ways to Play: Making it to the end of Merciless difficulty is only the beginning. The endgame Maps system provides a continuous challenge for high-level players. There are also 1v1 and 3v3 PvP arenas, requiring a completely different skill set and strategy to succeed in. Need a break from those? Try joining one of the frequent ladder races and custom leagues, ranging from 3-hour speedruns to long-term endurance events with game-changing rule variations. And if you ever get enough of those, you can always roll a new character to try a different build.

 

Bringing Grimdark Back: Venturing into an ancient dungeon filled with nightmarish creatures shouldn't look like a kids' cartoon. Wraeclast is a brutal, hostile place, and Path of Exile's art direction reflects that, with oppressive lighting, gutwrenching combat, dilapidated environments, terrifying monsters, and haunting sound design and music.

 

 

 

THE WORLD OF WRAECLAST

 

You are an exile, banished to the island continent of Wraeclast as punishment for your crimes in Oriath. Whether your crimes were real or perceived matters nought as your ship crashes upon the jagged shore of this forsaken land.

 

Surviving in this perilous land will require all of your strength, skill and will. You will not only face Wraeclast's wild beasts and creatures, but also desperate scavengers, cunning bandits, the ravenous undead, and abominations beyond imagination, twisted by Wraeclast's tragic and violent history.

 

As you make your way inland, past the dungeons, caves, and torture chambers, you will find more evidence of the once great Eternal Empire that dominated this land. A cataclysm ravaged this place, corrupting it into a neverending horror. With factions squabbling for control over Wraeclast's secrets, it's up to you to find the truth behind the madness, and stop the nightmare before it consumes you.

 

Learn more about Wraeclast's world areas, and the monsters you'll encounter.

 

 

 

CLASSES

 

Click on a class to view their detailed profile on the Path of Exile website.

 

witch

duelist

marauder

shadow

ranger

templar

 

 

 

SKILL GEMS

 

Active skills in Path of Exile such as Fireball, Ground Slam and Ice Nova are itemised into skill gems. Much like Materia from Final Fantasy VII, socketing these gems into your gear lets you use that skill. Stock skill gems for most builds are received as quest rewards, while rare gems can only drop from monsters. Skill gems level up as you gain experience, increasing their power but also their mana cost and attribute requirements.

 

As well as regular skills, there are also support gems. They do not grant skills when socketed, but instead add effects to active skills when placed in linked sockets in gear. For example, linking a "Multiple Projectiles" support gem to the Fireball skill gem causes the fireball skill to launch multiple fireballs when used. Linking a "Fork" support gem to the Lightning Arrow skill makes the arrows split into two when they hit enemies, causing more collateral damage.

 

Some gear can have up to six sockets, and support gems affect all active skills that have been linked. With dozens of skill and support gems, you can create thousands of highly customised skill combinations for your build. Want a killer single target attack? Link Dual Strike with Increased Critical Strikes, Increased Critical Damage and Melee Physical Damage. Want an attack you can use to recover life during a battle? Link Sweep with Life on Hit, Life Leech, and Increased Area of Effect. You can even convert a spell into a totem that casts a spell for you, to support your damage or debuff enemies.

 

Watch this video introduction to the active and passive skill systems for more information, then check out the skills page on the Path of Exile website to view lists of skill and support gems.

 

 

 

PASSIVE SKILL TREE

 

Reminiscent of the sphere grid from Final Fantasy X, Path of Exile's passive skill tree is a vast web of about 1350 nodes that each provide passive bonuses to your character. All classes share the same passive tree, but start at different locations near skills that align with their primary specialties. As you level up or complete certain quests, you gain points to activate the nodes branching off from your starting location, each giving you bonuses to passive abilities such as life, mana regeneration, attack speed, weapon damage, elemental resistance, armour, energy shield, critical strike chance and more.

 

There are also special nodes called keystones which fundamentally change how your character plays. While they can be very powerful, they usually come with a drawback. For example, the Resolute Technique keystone makes your character hit with weapons 100% of the time, but you can never get critical strikes.

 

Once activated, these nodes form the core of your character build. But you can take back points on the passive tree using respec points gained through quests or relatively rare items which can be found or traded for. Fixing mistakes with a character build or making small optimisations is relatively easy, but the intention is that players who want to try substantially different character builds are encouraged to play a new character through the game, levelling it up organically rather than just respeccing into it.

 

Take a closer look at the tree and plan your own build using the Path of Exile passive skill tree page. There you can search for specific nodes to plan your levelling paths, and also generate a link to the build to share with others.

 

 

 

ITEMS AND CURRENCY

 

Action RPGs are about items. Path of Exile takes this as far as possible, turning as many game elements as it can into items that can have random properties. Skills are items that can be equipped, unequipped and traded. Flasks are persistent items with their own mods that give bonuses to characters when they drink them. The endgame areas are found as Map items that can have mods that change their difficulty and rewards.

 

Path of Exile even goes as far as removing gold from the game and basing the trade economy around consumable orb items that can randomly reroll the properties of items. As fans of action RPGs, the developers at Grinding Gear have seen the kinds of problems gold can cause, such as inflation, unnecessary and frustrating gold sinks such as item repairs to offset inflation, gold farmers and bots flooding the market, and the treadmill feeling of linear wealth accumulation.

 

When gold is so easy to obtain, it quickly becomes worthless. Grinding Gear observed that in many online RPGs, players ignored gold and instead starting using rare items as currency, such as Stones of Jordan in Diablo II or Globs of Ectoplasm in Guild Wars. This kind of pseudo-currency has four important characteristics: It is identical and homogenous, it is easily stackable and transportable, it is very rare, and it has utility beyond their use as a medium of exchange.

 

With this in mind, Grinding Gear developed Path of Exile's currency system as a variety of consumable items that can improve a character. These "orbs" come in many different types, each with different effects and levels of scarcity. They found that this system had a number of positive consequences compared to the traditional gold economy:

 

- By having every currency item inherently useful to improve a character, each currency item is its own sink.

 

- Gold farming and botting is much more difficult, not to mention the difficulties of trading between multiple types of currency items with fluctuating values.

 

- The unpredictable acquisition of both currency items and trade-worthy equipment helps mask the treadmill feeling that occurs when you can predict your gold gain per quest or per minute.

 

- Without a gold standard, the relative value of currency can change depending on an individual player's demand, and their own supply of wealth, creating a thriving barter economy.

 

View lists of Path of Exile's items, and read their developer diary on the design of the currency system.

 

 

 

BUILD OF THE WEEK

 

To demonstrate just how diverse character builds can be, Grinding Gear staff regularly feature interesting and creative character builds from players in their Build of the Week video series. Here are some of the standouts:

 

video 1  video 2  video 3  video 4

 

1. Neonspyder's Flame Totem Templar: Flame Totem usually provides secondary damage support, but this Templar has become highly specialised in fire damage, making the skill viable as a primary attack. He collected as many fire damage and burning passive skill tree nodes as he could, and also uses The Searing Touch unique staff and gear to improve fire damage.

 

2. PoisonSmith's Wand Marauder: Wands aren't a traditional fit for Marauders, but this player's passive tree build makes it work very well. The combination of high life regeneration and the ability to use a ranged weapon while holding a shield makes him very durable. The charges that he gains from his skills grant him powerful temporary buffs, and these are shared with party members thanks to the Conduit keystone passive ability.

 

3. Invalesco's Critical Strike Shadow: This build is fairly standard for Shadow players, but what makes this one unique is his exceptionally powerful gear. This Shadow's high critical strike chance and critical damage bonuses make him excel at dealing large amounts of burst damage to single targets.

 

4. renatobaal's Passive-Killing Ranger: This build takes advantage of multiple synergies between block chance, critical strikes, elemental status effects, corpse explosions, damage over time, and damage reflection to kill monsters without ever attacking them directly. It's an extremely creative build, and the lead designer of the game even called it "inspiring" in the video.

 

Want to see more crazy builds? Check out the Path of Exile YouTube channel.

 

 

 

ENDGAME MAPS

 

In high-level areas, players can find Map items which spawn random endgame areas featuring hard monsters, tougher bosses, and even more loot. Each Map item has a different base type which leads to a different environment, such as a dungeon or island, as well as its own monster level.

 

Maps are opened at the Eternal Laboratory, an area that can be visited after completing the hardest difficulty level. Each Map spawns six portals to the area, which can each only be used once. So a party of three players can enter and leave the area twice, taking a total of six inventories of loot out of the area.

 

Like items, maps come in normal, magic, rare and unique varieties. They can carry mods with increase the difficulty of the area, such as making the monsters resistant to lightning, cursing the player with debuffs, or making the area itself more difficult to navigate. Rare Maps provide a huge bonus to loot quantity, but also make the area very difficult. If you have a Map with mods that your character build would find difficult (such as fire-resistant monsters when you are a fire spell user), you can reroll the Map with currency items, or trade the map for another with more favourable mods.

 

Watch this introductory video for Maps and read the developer diary entry on Maps for more in-depth information.

 

 

 

PLAYER VS. PLAYER

 

Path of Exile features player vs. player arenas! There are two tiers, Level 28 Capped PvP and Open PvP. You can compete 1v1 against another player or in 3v3 teams. Up to nine timed rounds are played, and the first team to win five rounds is declared the winner.

 

PvP builds are highly specialised, requiring exhaustive knowledge of skill combinations and their possible counters. Instead of large-scale area damage, PvP builds usually favour single target, high damage skills, as well as abilities that debuff, slow, or disable opponents. Gear can be changed during and between rounds to adapt to opposing strategies, but beware - your rival may also have a trick up his sleeve. A versatile build, gear, teamwork, and prudent flask usage are the keys to success.

 

 

 

LEAGUES

 

When you create a character in Path of Exile, you choose a league for that character to exist in. Most players will play in the Default league, but there are other leagues with different rules that cater to a range of play styles.

 

Each league acts as a self-contained version of Path of Exile, with its own separate economy. Characters can only interact and trade with players in the same league. Characters in the same league have access to the same stash pages.

 

Each league has its own set of ladder rankings, and they may have set start and end dates. Grinding Gear frequently create temporary leagues ranging from hours to weeks, where the objective is to level up as fast as possible against other competing players, and prizes are awarded to the highest ranked players when the league ends.

 

When a league is over, characters and their stash tabs are moved to the parent league of that type. For example, once a 3-hour hardcore race is complete, any characters that are still alive when the league ends are transferred to the normal hardcore league.

 

Leagues can also have their own separate set of rules, such as increased monster difficulty, limited or disabled partying, trade restrictions, world PvP, permadeath or different types of "ironman" rules.

 

Go to the Leagues page of the Path of Exile website for more information, then have a look at the current and upcoming league events in the forums.

 

 

 

MEDIA

 

Videos

 

open beta launch trailer templar trailer  duelist trailer  witch trailer

 

 

Screenshots

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

 

 

 

OTHER RESOURCES

 

Path of Exile Official Website ● YouTube ● Twitter ● Facebook

 

Frequently Asked Questions from the official site

 

Frequently Asked Questions from the Path of Exile forums

 

Compilation of Grinding Gear Games interviews, video, audio, and written

 

Path of Exile Mumble Server information

 

Mac port information

 

Reddit Community

 

Path of Exile Wiki, a fan-made resource

 

PoE Helper, an unofficial Chrome extension to help with crafting/inventory

 

Unofficial Offline Skill Tree Calculator, great for planning builds and theorycrafting

 

poeex.info, a currency item exchange rate guide

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