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Path of Exile: Public Stress Test Weekend

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 07:43 — TANK

This weekend, from July 27-29, you can participate in a public stress test for Path of Exile's servers. Path of Exile is a dark fantasy action RPG being developed by Grinding Gear Games.  It has a fixed 3rd person perspective camera similar to Diablo and Torchlight.  Path of Exile has been in development since late 2006 and entered into a closed beta in August 2011.

Public Beta Weekend

Starting at 5pm PST on Friday July 27th thru 11:59pm PST Sunday july 29th anyone can play the beta.  All you need to do to play is create an account on www.pathofexile.com and then download the 4Gb game install and you'll be ready to go on Friday.  The game install file can be downloaded here: http://www.pathofexile.com/downloads/PathOfExileInstaller.msi   and all the information on the beta weekend can be found here: http://www.pathofexile.com/publicweekend/

 

Free To Play

Path of Exile is following the current PC trend of being Free to Play.  Players will have the opportunity to buy various items for their in-game characters including:
-Additional character animations
-Dyes and item skins
-Alternate spell effects
-Social pets
-Inter-realm / inter-account character transfers
-Character renaming
There is a focus here on being truly free to play and not pay to win like many free to play games have become.  All the upgrades are cosmetic customizations.

 

Randomly Generated Lands

Path of Exile will feature randomly generated areas including indoors and outdoors to aid in replayability.   Each area is 'instanced,' which gives each party its own copy of a given area. They're designed for 4-8 players per instance to make areas exciting and challenging for small parties. However communal areas such as towns have no player cap so they can serve as large meeting places to trade with whoever is online in that town and find people to party up with.

 

Skill Trees

Skills are not bound to specific classes as to allow for the greatest amount of variety.  Skills can also stack to create powerful effects. In Path of Exile, gems are used to determine what active skills you use and are socketed into equipment.  Gems level up and become more powerful as you use them to kill monsters. Normal grade skill gems are awarded as quest rewards, but you'll be able to find rare skill gems in dungeons and wilderness exploration.  
Characters also have a deep tree of passive skills to choose from. 

 

Character Classes

There are three different attributes which define the six classes: Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence.  The Marauder is pure strength, the Ranger is pure dexterity and the Witch is pure intelligence.  The other three classes are a mix of two attributes: the Duelist is strength/dexterity, Templar is strength/intelligence and Shadow is dexterity/intelligence.

 

Combat

In Path of Exile, combat is especially visceral with plenty of blood and gore. Position matters a great amount in combat. You can dodge projectiles and be blocked in by monsters. PvP battle areas are also planned as well as PvP worldwide tournaments.

 

Unique Endgame

Grinding Gear Games is trying something different for endgame play in Path of Exile.   Rather than give you the same game with a really insane difficulty, Path of Exile will feature an Eternal Laboratory area.  This is basically a map portal area where you can use map items you find playing the higher level areas of the game or trade for them.  When you use a map item in the laboratory, six warp gates will open to that map and each warp gate is consumed when you use it.  This means as a single person you can enter a map six times, as a party of six you can enter the map once.
Each map gets a set of mods assigned to it.  These mods add specific bonuses to items dropped by slaying monsters and found in chests.  This endgame map system is essentially where you find the really good loot in the game.

 

Screenshots

 

Gameplay Video

See video

Comments
AcidSnow's picture

This looks like fun, thanks for posting it!

TANK's picture

I've been looking forward to this releasing or at least going public beta for quite some time.  If anyone likes this open weekend, you can 'buy' into the beta by putting $10 into your in-game wallet, when you do that you get a beta key so you can play it beyond just this weekend.  The money in your wallet will be used to buy in-game items, much like all free to play games work.

Doodi's picture

Wow tank, this actually looks like a damn good game.  Not as polished as diablo, but still nice.  How do you think it adds up against Torchlight 2?

TANK's picture

I'm interested to see how it compares to diablo 3 for sure.  Torchlight 2 seems like it's a solo game with coop abilities, 3 players right?  That seems fundamentally different than how Exile is doing it and I think you can party up with 8 people in Exile where as diablo 3 was only 4.  So it gets a bit of that MMO party feel to it that neither Torchlight or Diablo can touch.

 

I'm looking forward to checking it out this weekend.  If i knew for sure it would run on my laptop, i'd have probably paid the 10 bucks already to get into the beta.  My laptop was just barely good enough to run D3 so before i put down any money I need to play Exile and make sure it'll run .  If it does, i'll probalby be giving them $10 on monday.

 

 

beefynutcase's picture

I played this game in a beta right before D3 came out.  I thought it was pretty damn good.  Graphics obviously don't compare well to D3 but I thought the gameplay was solid.  The customization options alone are insane.  It seemed like you could really build a character how you wanted.  And I mean, shit, it's free. 

I'd be playing it again this weekend if I weren't going to be out of town.  I'll definitely grab it at realease though.

TANK's picture

Well night 1 was pretty much as expected for any server based game, a total clusterfuck.  Hoping tomorrow will be better.

This game lacks some of the polish D3 had with inventory and selling stuff.....  Like it doesn't seem like you can just right click to ssend something to your stash or to a vendor stash for sale.  You have to click each one and drag it over and drop it...

 

I do like the gem thing for powers, seems pretty cool.  There seems like an overwhelming number of passive skills to assign level up points to.  Lots of ways to build out your character.

 

Also I liked the bulletin board in the first town where you can see what parties are doing what missions and choose to join in.  I suppose D3 had this as well, it was just limited to 4 players.

 

At 720p resolution, Exile runs a ton better on my laptop than D3 ever did so that's nice.  Also the chat text seems to be much bigger than D3 as well so I can actually read it at couch distance from a big screen TV.  Couldn't hardly read the text at this same distance on D3.

 

Anyways night 1 after playing for 2 hours and having to deal with 4 disconnects due to 'server issues'....  i called it a night.  When you disconnect you may or may not loose your items and you may or may not have to replay the same area you just cleared depending on checkpoints.  For me the variables all worked out negatively so i had to clear the first area of the game before the first town three times due to disconnects, finally got to the town, entered the next area and disocnnected again.  re-connected in town so that was good don't have to play that first area for a 4th time but I just decided to call it a night.  hopefully it'll be better tomorrow.

 

I suppose Torchlight 2 might have an edge here since I expect it'll be usable 'offline' and not rely on server connectivy to work.  I know Torchlight 1 was like that and I assume 2 will be the same.

AcidSnow's picture

A friend and I played for 2 hours lastnight, and we both liked the game more than Diablo 3.  This is a pleasent surprise indeed.  What I really enjoy about it (thus far), is the fact that there's a sense of "challenge," because the enemies can actually kill you if you're not mindful of your HP bar.  ...Diablo 3 on normal difficulty was a complete fucking joke, boring as fuck because there was no sense of danger.  Path of Exile has a lot going for it, and I also enjoy how it doesn't use gold, but instead it makes use of trading/bartering, and that's really a new dynamic for a game like this.  Great fun so far!

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