Path of Exile is an upcoming F2P action RPG developed by indie dev team of Grinding Gear Games in New Zealand. It depicts a fictional world of dark fantasy with gritty realistic artwork. Cast in the land of Wraeclast, players as exiles away from homeland have to develop skills, discover magical artifacts and defend themselves against the hostile corrupted world.
To start out with, you can select one of six (five available now) classes. Yet different from the typical class-decides-playstyle setup, your choice of class decides the starting stats in Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence, starting position in passive skill board and some of the quest rewards, but doesn’t restrict the development and play style of your characters. Spell-only witches or damage-absorbing marauders – you can develop your avatar the normal way if you choose to; just note that you have more options.
The world is rendered from a fixed 3D perspective. In-game control is realized by point-and-click. Left click to move and attack, right click to use skills, shift to attack without moving, alt to highlight the objects on the ground, etc.. Whoever is familiar with such setup can go on smoothly in the game while those otherwise can quickly grasp the basics and jump into gameplay as well.
In-game skill system is a little bit complicated. If you are used to the skill points distribution, you would probably need to adjust yourself here. During progress, you will find and gather gems, active or supportive. Gems act sort-of carriers for active skills. You have to embed gems into the socket of equipment so as to use active skills, all of which will get a boost in certain attributes if the corresponding support gem is exerted into the equipment too. So it’s important to find the suitable equipment with enough sockets for gems and place them in their own colored area, red for strength, green for dexterity and blue for intelligence. Besides, passive skills deny to be belittled. You start where your character class decides, but head to where you want to go. It’s a large board with massive nodes, which means you can explore widely and deeply in the passive skill tree.
World map is designed the way similar to most games with hub towns filled with NPCs and explorable wilderness in-between. While each area is level-locked, the layout, enemies and items are randomly generated. Complete one map for one difficulty setting and move on to a higher one. Replayability is guaranteed. Brave the challenge in Instances or team up with others to take on stronger enemies for better loot or join and serve a League. It’s your call.
Path of Exile has been in Closed Beta Testing. But now more players are offered to have a sneak peek at it with its Open public stress testing from March 30th to April 1st. And permanent open beta will start in a few months.