Path of Exile

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Path of Exile is a competitive online action RPG set in the fictional continent of Wraeclast.

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Publisher: Grinding Gear Games
Playerbase: Very High
Graphics: High Quality
Type: ARPG
EXP Rate: High
PvP: CTF, Dueling, League Races
Filesize: 5.51 Gb

 

 

Pros: +Non class specific skill system. +Gritty Realistic Art Style. +Unique currency system. +Complex game mechanics. + Unique gem skill system. +Fun for competitive and casual players alike.

Cons: - Intimidating for new gamers. – Can be repetitive.

official site

Overview

Path of Exile Overview

Path of Exile is an Action RPG brought to us by Grinding Gear Games. It offers a style of gameplay made popular by the Diablo series of games, but with quite a few twist to make their take on the genre quite unique. With its massive talent trees, immersive world, and fantastic gameplay, it’s easy to realize just why it has such a big following. And for those that like to have a challenge or are competitive, there is hardcore mode and plenty of race leagues for you to take part in.

Exiles -

Templar - The Templar is Path of Exile’s Strength/Intelligence hybrid, a perfect balance of brawn and wits. He is a skillful fighter, trained in an array of weapons, from the sharpest cutlass to the heaviest two-handed mace. He’s also comfortable wielding a shield, either for additional protection or as a deadly bludgeon. In combat, this pious warrior is expert at augmenting his substantial offense with a wide range of magical abilities. The Templar is also adept at taking punishment, and he’s happy to be up at the front lines, serving as a martyr and champion for his ranged companions. The Templar’s starting stats are 23 STR, 14 DEX and 23 INT. The armors associated with the Templar’s strength and intelligence are Coifs, Chainmail/Ringmail, Metal Gloves, Metal Boots, and Kite Shields.

Marauder - The Marauder is Path of Exile’s pure strength class, which means that he’s great at taking hits, and even better at dishing out punishment. His melee skills encompass a wide range of assault, from massive single target damage to devastating area of effect. This brute of a man bolsters his impressive physical arsenal with a variety of shouts and cries, skills that rally his allies and strike terror into the hearts of his enemies. The Marauder’s starting stats are 32 STR, 14 DEX and 14 INT. The armors associated with the Marauder’s strength are Casques, Plate Mail, Gauntlets, Greaves, and Tower Shields.

Shadow - The Shadow is Path of Exile’s Dexterity/Intelligence class. He prefers to use fast-hitting weapons such as daggers or claws to dart in and out of battle, while laying Traps or Remote Mines and controlling the flow of combat. He makes surgical use of offensive spells while dodging attacks, always outmaneuvering his opponents. The Shadow is one of the more difficult classes to play due to his fragility, but he more than makes up for it if handled with skill. His hit-and-run style of combat makes the most of his natural Evasion and Energy Shield, and rewards strategic coordination of attacks, spells, and Traps. The Shadow’s starting stats are 14 STR, 23 DEX and 23 INT. The armors associated with the Shadow’s dexterity and intelligence are Masks, Jackets/Coats/Raiments/Garbs, Mitts, Boots, and Spiked Shields.

Ranger - The Ranger is Path of Exile’s pure Dexterity class, which befits her slim and graceful appearance. She is agile and fast, darting in and out of combat to deliver vicious critical strikes that often fell her enemies in a single blow. Her natural quickness grants her a profound ability to avoid damage, and she tends to garb herself in light leathers and cloth. She has tremendous proficiency with ranged weapons, but she is as lethal as any man on the battlefield with a sword. The Ranger’s starting stats are 14 STR, 32 DEX and 14 INT. The armors associated with the Ranger’s dexterity are Caps/Hoods, Leather/Garbs/Tunics, Hide Gloves, Hide Boots, and Bucklers.

Witch - The Witch is Path of Exile’s pure intelligence class, making her an unmatched master of the elemental and dark arts. She wields the power of raw magic to decimate her foes from a distance. Her tremendous will surrounds her with a shimmering barrier against physical and magical attacks, a barrier that must first be pierced before the Witch herself is vulnerable. In addition to pure damage-based magic, the Witch can also cripple and kill her enemies with curses and diseases. She is a leery friend, and a dangerous enemy. The Witch’s starting stats are 14 STR, 14 DEX and 32 INT. The armors associated with the Witch’s intelligence are Circlets, Robes, Fabric Gloves, Slippers/Boots, and Spirit Shields.

Duelist - The Duelist is Path of Exile’s Strength/Dexterity Hybrid class, making him unmatched at dealing and avoiding damage. He can effectively use a shield, but is equally comfortable slashing away with a powerful two-hander or fighting with weapons in both hands. His powerful arms can draw the strings of the heaviest and most lethal longbows. His highly honed reflexes give him a cat-like ability to dodge and parry incoming attacks, be they arrows or axe swings. The Duelist is a daunting foe, and his reputation as a ruthless killer is well deserved. The Duelist’s starting stats are 23 STR, 23 DEX and 14 INT. The armors associated with the Duelist’s strength and dexterity are Helmets, Scale/Bridagines/Doublets/Lamellar, Scale Gauntlets, Scale Boots, and Round Shields.

Scion - The daughter of corrupt nobles, the Scion was exiled to Wraeclast for killing her husband on her wedding night. She is aligned with all three core attributes – Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence, which places her right in the center of the passive skill tree. This unique position allows her to develop into almost any type of character build, while lacking the dedicated specialisation that the six existing classes offer. Because of her high learning curve, she’s initially unavailable to new players. The player must rescue the Scion at the end of Act 3, just before the last boss, this will not require killing the last boss. This can be done on Path of Exile’s Normal Difficulty (in any league) to unlock her as an accessible character. Her starting attributes are 20 intelligence, 20 dexterity and 20 strength. Her starting skill is Spectral Throw.

First Mini-expansion: Sacrifice of the Vaal - Features:

Atziri, Queen of the Vaal
Secret Corrupted Areas
Vaal Skill Gems
The Vaal Orb: Corrupted Items
New Challenge Leagues
Ambush League
Invasion League
New Boss Monsters
New PvP Modes – Cut-throat and Sarn Arena

New Sacrifice of the Vaal League info:

Ambush League (Standard) - Various new types of chests called Strongboxes can be found throughout Wraeclast. These chests are guarded by monsters that ambush the player when they are opened. The ambushing monsters must be slain before the contents of the Strongbox can be claimed. Sometimes you’ll encounter magic, rare or unique Strongboxes which have modifiers like items do. Prefixes affect the difficulty of the ambush by adding more monsters, springing traps or affecting your character. Suffixes improve your rewards from the Strongbox. You can use currency items to reroll these mods. One of the new challenges is to open Strongboxes with each mod.

Invasion League (Hardcore) - Areas of Wraeclast have substantially more monster variety, so players will run into unexpected and dangerous invading monsters from other levels or acts. A unique Invasion Boss from an invading monster type is also lurking in each level. Higher difficulty levels contain expanded monster variety and the invading bosses with more abilities. One of the new challenges is to kill each invading Unique monster.

Path of Exile Screenshots

Path of Exile Featured Video

Path of Exile – Sacrifice of the Vaal – Dev. Interview
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Full Review

Path of Exile Review

By Jordan Hall (ApocaRUFF)

 

Path of Exile is an Action RPG brought to us by Grinding Gear Games. It offers a style of gameplay made popular by the Diablo series of games, but with quite a few twist to make their take on the genre quite unique. With its massive talent trees, immersive world, and fantastic gameplay, it’s easy to realize just why it has such a big following. And for those that like to have a challenge or are competitive, there is hardcore mode and plenty of race leagues for you to take part in. Now that the game is ready for its official launch, it’s time we take a closer look at the game with a more critical eye.

 

 

Customization

Path of Exile has a lot of customization when it comes to your characters stats, abilities, and skills. From its item socketing to the massive skill/talent tree, there’s a lot of choices for you to make. Character creation is pretty simple, with you choosing from one of seven classes, ranging from melee to spell casters. You don’t get any say in how your character looks, and are thrown straight into the game as soon as you pick your class. You can customize your looks to an extent, as what armor or weapon you are using shows on your character in the game. There are cosmetic skins and pets that can be bought in the micro-transaction shop to make yourself stand out a bit more, though the elusive kiwi birds are now a relic from long ago.

CharacterCreation

The massive talent tree is both beautiful and overwhelming to look at. I’ve spent a lot of time just exploring the tree – or should I say forest – trying to find the best path for my character to take. Everything on the tree is passive, as all abilities are gained via skill gems, which gain exp from use and level up to increase their effectiveness. Each item has a set of sockets of differing colors which you can put gems into, granting your character abilities or special effects such as lifesteal or shielding for your HP. A lot of the fun to be gained from Path of Exile is from trying to build the best character possible by using a combination of the talent tree, items, and gems.

TalentTree

 

Graphics

Path of Exile is a surprisingly beautiful game. It’s not the highest quality, but the developers have done a great job creating an incredibly atmospheric game that you can’t help but be immersed in. The art style chosen truly fits with the story, giving you a sense of the harsh reality one would feel being abandoned on an island of horrific creatures and cut throat politics. It all blends together quite well when viewed from the isometric perspective the game is played in too. I can’t say anything negative about the graphics as the love and care that the Grinding Gear art team put into their work is immediately apparent.

Graphics2

The UI in Path of Exile is something I would expect to see in a game from the early 90′s. It gives a retro feeling that actually fits well with the game. There are a few odd things with the UI that I didn’t like much, however. For example, when opening a window, the resolution of the “play” area is changed, giving a squished effect that I can’t really see a point to. Opening a window and suddenly finding that the “center” of the screen has been changed can be a bit confusing at first.

 

UI

Controls

Path of Exile uses a combination of mouse and keyboard controls. The mouse is used for movement (by holding or clicking the right mouse button) and basic attacks, as well as picking up items dropped by fallen enemies. The keyboard is used to activate abilities and consume potions. I found myself picking up on the controls almost immediately, as they are easy to get used to because they made sense. Everything was smooth, as well. I didn’t notice anything negative concerning the controls.

 

Community

I generally find the community in most games (or the Internet in general) to be quite vile. Path of Exile seems to have a bit of a mixed community. There are a lot of “bad apples” around, but there are a lot of nice and helpful people. While viewing the games global chat, it seemed as though a majority of what goes on is trading and trash talking. However, a visit to the forum allows you to get a better idea of the community, and where you can become exposed to the better parts of it.

 

There’s also a large competitive side to the community. Participating in the many racing leagues is the best way to show off your knowledge of the game. Due to Path of Exile’s large community (that is continuing to grow), there will be no shortage of competitors in the near future. Races are plentiful and diverse so players should find something that appeals to them. The random nature of maps add bonus challenge as players will have to memorize and learn tons of varieties and how to identify them in order to ensure the best time trial runs for races. Beyond just theming, you can find varying time limits, restrictions, and winning conditions tagged on to change up basic formulas on these challenges. If you’re a competitive person, you’ll feel right at home in this part of the community.

 

Gameplay

The gameplay in Path of Exile is pretty simple once you get used to it, but is hard to master. If you’ve ever played an action RPG before, you’ll be used to the setup. It’s essentially a mission running game, where you have hub towns that everyone visits to get quests, trade items, stash their loot, and all that other good stuff. Each hub town is surrounded with adventuring areas that are instanced on a solo or group basis. You won’t be running into a random person while you’re out questing, so you don’t have to worry about some guy you don’t know taking your loot.

Loot

Similar to Diablo, the game takes part in a series of “Acts”, which are basically major turning points in the on-going story in the game. Most missions/quests can be completed in a variety of difficulties. Enemies you kill will drop loot, and there are chests to open and barrels to break as well. A big part of the game is collecting loot, so if you find yourself to be a loot hoarder, you’ll fit right in. I was quite pleased with how well done the narrative of the game is, and how deep the story can go.

Map

Combat, at first, is really fun and looks spectacular. However, I found my wrist starting to hurt after a while due to how repetitive it can be. In the later levels of the game, it seems like a lot of your tactics will revolve around one or two moves while spamming flasks for HP and mana regeneration. This, added with the fact that you’ll probably find yourself repeating a lot of the same content, can give the game an over-all repetitive feeling after you’ve played for a couple of weeks. But it’ll be a fun couple of weeks, at the least. And for those that enjoy the gameplay, there’s a thriving community for you to be a part of.

Combat

Flasks in Path of Exile are a neat concept. Rather than having to stock-up on potions each time you go to town, your flasks will automatically regenerate over time. Flasks range from HP regen, to mana regen, to speed boost. The usual tactic is to have a few HP, a few mana, and one speed boost available. In the harder maps, you’ll find yourself relying on your flasks constantly, so finding great flasks is important. You’re limited to how many total flasks you can bring and various upgrades exist as loot when you progress, offering a new progression system not often utilized in the MMO sphere.

FlaskBar

I liked the item socketing system a great deal. Trying to find the perfect gear, with the correct sockets for the gems you want, was a large part of the driving force behind my enjoyment of the game. I’m not sure if everyone will feel the same, but I know a lot of people do. It’s evident that the system works well based on how popular the game is becoming. It’s nice that you don’t have to worry about spending precious skill points and ruining your character, either. If you don’t like the skills you have, simply take out the gems and replace them with something else.

Inventory

End Game will consist of two things. Races (often referred to as Leagues) and maps. Races, as the name suggests, are when you race against other players and the goal is to reach the highest level possible within a set time limit to win prizes. Maps, on the other-hand, are special items that come in varying rarities. Using a map will, as the name suggest, gain you access to a special map that will allow you to gain access to the best items in the game. The challenge of races and the randomness of maps are what keep most people hooked on Path of Exile for an extended period of time, but at the same time they’re what make some people feel the game gets too repetitive.

PathOfExileNewDungeons1

Conclusion: Great

Path of Exile has turned out to be quite an amazing experience. A phenomenon in its own right. It has a rapidly growing community, many of whom feel that the game provides what Diablo 3 should have. With its many unique features, it brings something fun and new to the Action RPG genre that we can all appreciate. The game seems to have something for everyone – the competitive players, the casual gamers, the loot hoarders… If you like to game, you will probably find something you like in Path of Exile and that’s what makes it such a fantastic game to play, in my opinion. I would highly suggest you try this game out and take part in the fun while it’s still a big deal and in the early stages of its life.

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by Harry Ka-yan Cheung, MMOHuts Journalist

 

Graphics

I first tried this game on a weekend stress test Grinding Gear Games (the developers and host of the game) held. At first look, I wasn’t exactly into the graphics of the game. They’re very medieval and dark. They hold a much more barbaric feel compared to many other modern online games. I soon realized that these graphics were a great compliment to what the developers were aiming for.

I honestly don’t know if there is much more one can do to the graphics of this game. They are very nicely done and do not need improvement in the aim Grinding Gears is going for. The dark environment and the feeling of being drawn into a terror induced world is very well defined. The developers wanted a game that was in a dark setting, challenging, and unique. It seems like all these aspects are covered.

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A screenshot from a dungeon within Path of Excile

Gameplay

The gameplay plays similar to most 2.5d RPGs. The gameplay can be comparable to Diablo but that’s the whole point; this game appeals highly to players who enjoy Diablo and Dungeon Siege. The gameplay may be similar but what makes Path of Exile unique is the skilling system and the ability to be completely unique from many other players in game. Certain builds will also determine play styles; for example, one can play as a tanky marauder or one that focuses on dealing damage. A player is also not forced to sit hours to grind to get to a comfortable spot with a decent amount of skills. A player can easily accomplish fifty levels in a week.

Compared to many recent and modern games, Path of Exile has taken a step up in their end-game content. End-game content in the game is very hard. The enemies that players will face will often offer a player little to no mercy. If the monster wants to kill a player, then that’s exactly what the player will be faced with unlike other games where a monster will walk towards a player and just swing slowly and miss. A player can’t easily just take a stroll along the side of a map and hope to be safe. However, if players are hit hard, the game offers potions to auto recharge as players fight so technically players are able fight forever if desired.

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An example of the potions mentioned

Players are often encouraged to team up because of the hard end-game content. Players should not solo because it’s actually much more beneficial to go with party members in terms of items and dungeon clearing. Moreover, players have a much easier time clearing a dungeon with at least one other player with them. Quest items and quest goals are often shared which helps greatly for the sake of saving time. It really helps if players have a source of close range and a source of long range; for example: a marauder and a witch. Often times, players will choose to be a summoner to be able to take roles of both long range and close range.

Passive Tree & Skill Gem System

As I mentioned before, most games offer a generic skill system, but in Path of Exile, they introduces a skill gem system with the inclusion of support gems. Skill gems are where a player’s skills come from. These skill gems are placed within armor and items to allow a player to use skills. The support gems are placed with the skill gems to offer additional benefits to the skills; for example: fireball skill gem + multiple projectiles support gem + chain support gem = shooting multiple fireballs that will bounce off a target and hit another. These skill gems also have levels; the player may level them by killing monsters and gaining experience for the gem. Once the gems receive enough experience, a player may choose to level the gem to the next level.

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Examples of a skill gem and a support gem

Most games will offer a generic skill tree with hardly any variety between different players. Path of Exile has taken their skill system and brought it into a whole new level of originality. The passive tree is where players make their characters unique to each their own.  These passive correspond with skills gems the game offers players. The passives will allow certain skills to gain effects or they will offer amplifications to a player’s attacks. Grinding Gears, however, did announce that there will be a few changes to the passive skill tree on the release of Open Beta.

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Expansive passive skill tree

Currency System

There isn’t much to say about the currency system but instead of using a gold or money currency, they use an item currency. For example, a player must use “Scroll of Wisdom” which are used to buy items and identify items. When players sell items, players receive fragments of other miscellaneous items that will help players identify items or upgrade items. Some may like this and others may not because players can find that this type of currency is very foreign and strange because there is no actually trade of money to buy and trade. I personally find this very reasonable for the setting in Path of Exile. I like to see games do new things and this isn’t a bad change at all.

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Examples of items to sell and trade

Final Overview

Path of Exile has a lot to offer for both new and old players of MMOs. This game will appeal to many fans of Diablo. Many call Path of Exile “the game Diablo III should have been.” Some even say Path of Exile should be the game that even Diablo II should have been. This says a lot about the potential of this game. The originality of the game extends a hand to players who have been waiting for a dark action-role-playing-game. As long as a player is not afraid to try something new that offers a lot of original content, Path of Exile is worth the time to try.

 

Screenshots

Path of Exile Screenshots

Videos

Path of Exile Videos

Path of Exile – Sacrifice of the Vaal – Dev. Interview

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Path of Exile – Sacrifice of the Vaal Official Trailer

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Path of Exile – First Look

Path of Exile – (Open Beta) New Content & Shadow Build Gameplay

Links

Path of Exile Links

Path of Exile Official Site

System Requirements

Path of Exile System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:
OS: Windows XP/ 2000 / 98 / Vista
CPU: 1.0 GHz Intel P3 or equivalent
RAM: 512 MB RAM
HDD: 2 GB Free
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 5500 or better

Recommended Specification:
OS: Windows XP/ Vista
CPU: 2.4 Ghz Intel P4 or equivalent
RAM: 1024 MB (1GB) RAM
HDD: 2 GB Free
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 6600 or better

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