Currently in a Closed Beta, Path of Exile has its own dark and highly customizable take on the Action RPG genre. It has been in development for five years by Grinding Gear Games, an independent studio of hardcore RPG fans in New Zealand.
The Path of Exile Beta servers will open for public access at 5pm PDT on Friday, July 27. Public access will end at 11:59pm PDT Sunday night, July 29. A full FAQ about the public weekend is available at www.pathofexile.com/publicweekend/.
The game has added a host of new features and content recently. The latest version adds a challenging Act Two boss fight, weapon swapping, and a new end-game system featuring Maps whose properties, risks and rewards can be modified by players. There is also a new layout for the game’s passive skill tree which features over 1300 skill nodes, allowing highly customized character builds and hybrid classes.
The game is free to play, but does not feature ‘pay-to-win’. A previous public weekend in May attracted 48,000 players.
While the game is currently in a Closed Beta, fans who pre-purchase at least $10 of credit for the game’s ‘ethical microtransactions’ receive a beta key. Over USD$700,000 of credit has been pre-purchased to date, with over 50 fans buying the $1000 ‘Diamond Supporter’ pack.
“The Path of Exile community has been growing rapidly and always give us valuable gameplay feedback. We’re particularly looking forward to their feedback on our new end-game content.”
“Two of the most important things in action RPGs are items and the end-game. Almost everything in Path of Exile, including skills, can be itemized, traded and upgraded. We thought it would be cool to design the end-game the same way – as itemised areas that players can trade, modify and build characters around.”
The Open Weekend will also feature special events, such as two hour ladder races and competitions to clear areas first. To take part sign up at www.pathofexile.com.
Key features of ‘Path of Exile’:
- A dark and gritty game world rendered from a fixed 3D perspective
- Unique and extremely customizable skill gem system
- Completely free to download and play, but never ‘pay-to-win’
- A persistent online world capable of supporting hundreds of thousands of players
- Randomly generated levels and items for extreme replayability
- Online ranking and ladders for every game mode
- Visceral combat with dozens of combinable skills
- Battle in PVP tournaments for worldwide recognition
View gameplay footage at www.youtube.com/grindinggear
HD trailers are available from www.pathofexile.com/video