Path Of Exile: 3 Smart Designs Keep Indie MMO Ahead:
Walking The Path
Path of Exile, lovingly called POE by players worldwide continues intriguing fans with frequent updates in its ever evolving dark world. With frequent events and frequent new game modes, this indie gem has dug its roots deep into the MMO scene.
With The Awakening update, a fourth act has been added free of charge and it looks awesome. Check out some of the new content and first boss in this video.
Number 3. Engaging Gameplay
Watching a few gameplay videos will automatically trigger memories of Diablo 2 and other gritty Action/RPG classics. In an era when big titles are trying to show off their spectacular visuals via enhanced lighting and post-processing effects, POEs dark and gritty world is a refreshing return to the digital dungeons of old.
“The new leagues contain eight difficult challenges...”
Welcome to the new leagues
Challenge leagues offer a clean slate to entering players. Players create new Hardcore or Standard characters and enter their chosen league.
Choices are good
What makes POE’s Hardcore mode appealing to players is the removal of character deletion. Instead, when a player dies in any hardcore mode, that character will drop to standard mode and can even take its hard earned loot with them. This keeps league modes fresh from end-game item clutter, and makes newcomers feel less... small.
Which League Do I Want?
If you’re looking for something that builds more on story, you’re probably looking for Warband. But If you’re feeling a little more Chaotic and Hardcore, Tempest all the way.
-Brand New Enemies
-3 Intense Warbands
-Exclusive New Items
-Awesome New Bosses
Exploring new content
-Full Zone Buffs
-Full Zone Debuffs
-Unseen Character Alterations
(Turning Characters Giant)
Let’s get crazy
Both game modes contain thrilling challenges sure to captivate returning and new players alike.
The Web of Wonders
Behold, the massive Passive Skill Tree.
Where oh where to go?
POE’s passive skill tree is an ever evolving web of level-up delight. First impressions can often be woeful, but fret not! Community builds are readily available.
Also, quests will often reward players with Tombs of Regret, allowing you to refund stat points. This tree has made POE a game of seemingly infinite possibilities, turning classes into guidelines rather than setting your path in stone.
In The Awakening, players are now given the opportunity to place new socketable gems into the skill tree, making the game even more customizable. Again, this is not as scary as it seems as POE’s homepage features an up-to-date skill-tree simulator, allowing more in-depth gamers to plan out every step of the way.
Anyone who’s played a Final Fantasy see the resemblance
Another stellar design move is the use of active spells in the form of Gems. That massive skill-tree we looked at earlier, well... it’s just for passive stats. In order to cast a spell, you’ll need to socket these into your open item slots.
This means you can use any ability no matter what class you’re playing as -provided you have the base requirements to use it. The great thing is, you can pop these guys out and re-socket them as much as you like. They also level up the more you use them, adding to the dynamic nature of this game.
Number 2. Things Worth Keeping
Experienced MMO players know all about in-game inflation. To prevent gold from becoming totally worthless, POE simply removed it. You can still sell to and purchase items from NPCs, only you’ll be trading fragments of enhancement orbs and Scrolls.
Here’s your real currency
POE cuts out the fat and gets straight to the chase, making those Town Portal trips quick and efficient.
Jungle swag, a home away from home
POE implemented a widely popular feature prior to The Awakening called hideouts. These player coves are more or less similar to the standard player housing featured in many MMORPGs. Although, developers enabled a brilliant feature when they allowed NPCs called Masters come and hang out in your base.
Masters are unlocked by performing quests in-game and will eventually join you in your hideout to offer you daily quests. A marvelous move by Grinding Gears Games to expand end-game content for returning players.
Number 1. Community Driven
POE players have an impact on the game’s development. POE developers consistently gather forum feedback as players share their favorite aspects of new game modes such as Tempest and Warbands. In the past, developers have frequently updated the original game content using the very best mechanics from previous leagues.
The beautiful world of free expansions
Eventually, players may see new enemies from Warband and the chaotic AOE encounters of Tempest find their way into the standard game mode. This will open the door to new leagues, taking the place of Warband and Tempest, to experiment with new mechanics and surprises for players looking for a fresh new run-through.
Developers post their favorite player made builds and encourage skill tree creativity
Developers consistently share with their community and are very active on the forums. Not only are patch notes and game changes well documented and shared often prior to the patch’s installation, but admins actually take the time to read through everybody's thoughts and concerns each time around.
Build spotlights are always available. This is good for both returning and new players. Returning players are at the forefront of new experimental builds, giving developers the information they need to tweak the game’s balance while being able to expand skill trees and gems easily and progressively.
It’s Actually Free
Path Of Exile is a true free to play game, in that the player never needs to drop a dime to experience everything the game has to offer, leaving gamers no reason to pass it by. In a similar manner to popular MOBAs, POE offers exclusive cash-shop skins, and other small perks to its fans who choose to contribute. This may have been the best development option for the team as long time Diablo fans are consistently looking for more action to sink their teeth into.
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