Path of Exile is being touted as a “dark fantasy action RPG with visceral combat” where the player takes on the role of a single exile. This exile has been, well, exiled from their homeland to the continent of Wraeclast. Grinding Gear Games (The company behind Path of Exile) is touting Wraeclast as a land of corruption that is deeply hostile to the people exiled there. The player, whether alone or partnered with other players, must train the skills of their character and seek out ‘magical artifacts’ to survive the challenges of the “cutthroat, post-apocalyptic fantasy world” Grinding Gears Games has developed.
Grinding Gear Games is proud of the world they have made, as Path of Exile wants to immerse the player in a realistic, gritty world instead of the cartoonish romps many of the current RPG’s on the market. Combat in the game is said to be ‘especially visceral’ with plenty of gore to keep players into that sort of thing pleased. Path of Exile is a game where the position of your character matters, as projectiles are able to be dodged by quick players while some slower players find themselves blocked in entirely by monsters and suddenly lacking their life.
Path of Exile has been designed with security forefront in mind. The game is hosted on the company’s persistent servers, and Grinding Gears Games is going through great strides to make sure the games economy will not be threatened or destroyed by a hacker or exploit. Characters and items are all stored server-side, meaning the threat of a single player having their loot stolen is significantly lower than if every character was stored on the computer of the player.
Instanced gameplay inside a persistent online world
Path of Exile is not viewed as a typical MMORPG, and instead is being offered with the title of “competitive online action RPG.” It is said to feature little in common with the more well-known MMORPG’s already on the market and hopes this uniqueness will be the driving force behind a huge playerbase. Grinding Gears Games seems to be expecting to have a huge playerbase from the beginning, as they are claiming realms that can sustain players from large geographic areas. Grinding Gears Games will only be segregating realms based on region meaning there will be a single realm to support all of North America, one for Europe, and one for Oceania.
The world areas of the game are instanced. Each party of players will get their own individually generated copy of an area, which has been designed to only require a handful of players (4-8) to complete. This is to make world areas exciting and to pose a challenge for small groups of players. The areas of the world designed with PvP in mind have much larger player caps in order to allow multiple groups of players the chance to score some kills.
This low player cap per area regulates most trade to towns, called communal areas. These areas will not have player caps, making them ideal to push your wares and find other exiles to party with.
“Completely free to download and play, but supported by ethical microtransactions.”
Path of Exile will be completely free to play with no money required upfront, no monthly fees, and no push to buy gear to be better. Every single item that can be purchased will only offer a visual change, allowing players to customize their character in a way aesthetically pleasing to them. These will be items such as skins, eyes, different spell animations, pets, and a selection of ingame options such as renaming and realm transfers. Notice nothing in this list offers a distinct gameplay change.
Path of Exile is proud to feature randomly generated areas and items, meaning a player should never get tired of their surroundings. This should serve to combat the biggest complaint of MMO’s, the grinding of identical areas for their entire game. The company wants to make the players “thousandth hour of Path of Exile as exciting as their first.” Path of Exile also features an almost limitless possibility of item and player skill combinations, sure to make hoarders and die-hard players happy for ever.
Path of Exile has been in development since the later part of 2006, in Closed Beta since August 2011, and is hoping to enter Open Beta as of August 2012.