Path of Exile comes out of Beta, is available on Steam, and is Free-to-Play
After nine exciting months of Open Beta, Grinding Gear Games today announced that the official launch of their popular action RPG, Path of Exile, is now live as of 10:00 AM PST (6:00 AM New Zealand time on October 24).
A grand slew of new content has been implemented for version 1.0.0, including the highly-anticipated Scion prestige class, Domination and Nemesis challenge leagues, new gems, monsters, and areas (including the climactic conclusion to Act 3), new PvP game modes, and the ability to create and join Guilds, among other additions. As of this launch, Path of Exile 1.0.0 has also been made available on Valve Corporation’s Steam client. Path of Exile will continue to be available through the main Path of Exile website.
Below is a brief synopsis of the many new features now available in Path of Exile 1.0.0:
Introducing Path of Exile’s Prestige Class – the 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 game’s passive skill tree. This unique position allows the Scion to develop into almost any type of character build, while lacking the dedicated specialization of the six original classes. However, players must first venture through the Path of Exile campaign on Normal Difficulty to unlock her as an accessible character.
Domination and Nemesis Leagues
Two new four-month challenge leagues are launching with Path of Exile 1.0.0. Domination and Nemesis both have unique properties that set them apart from normal play:
- Domination: A variety of powerful Shrines now spawn throughout Wraeclast, surrounded by large groups of monsters that are influenced by their power. These monsters receive substantial bonuses or are protected by their shrine’s effects in some way. If a player is able to tag the shrine, they receive these powers for a short time. One of the new challenges is to tag each of the shrine types.
- Nemesis: In this Hardcore league (characters who die are coverted to Standard characters), rare monsters have one guaranteed mod from theNemesis Pool, which makes the fight substantially harder. One of the challenges of this league is to kill a rare monster with each of the Nemesis mods.
Like the Anarchy and Onslaught leagues, these new leagues have a set of extremely difficult challenges to complete. Domination and Nemesis will run untilFebruary 23, 2014.
New Areas, Monsters and Climactic Boss Fight
In conjunction with the addition of the new Gardens, Library and Tower tilesets (including multiple areas and quests for each), Path of Exile has implemented six entirely new monster types and has augmented existing monsters with new abilities. Some of the new monsters have been added outside of Act 3 to improve earlier parts of the game. Path of Exile’s Act 3 has also been expanded to lead up to a new grand finale boss fight with the Exile’s main antagonist – Dominus himself. This completes the core story arc and opens Path of Exile up to the possibility of additional acts with future expansions.
New Skill, Support, and Trigger Gems
The release version of Path of Exile includes several new skills designed to synergize well with the Scion character class as well as provide additional options to other classes. Spectral Throw, for example, allows players to throw an ethereal version of an equipped weapon, which pierces through monsters before returning. Animate Weapon causes weapons to rise from the ground to fight by your side, while Animate Guardian can equip multiple items to an invisible entity that defends the player in combat.
Some of the Support Gems added at Release appear counter-intuitive at first glance, such as Slower Projectiles and Reduced Duration. However, they have interesting niche uses that strongly affect certain skill combinations. For example, using Reduced Duration on Lightning Warp allows for faster travel, and Slower Projectiles is useful on skills like Spark and Spectral Throw.
Path of Exile 1.0.0 also includes a new type of Support Gem – Trigger Gems -which allow players to set up their own “procs” that cast during combat. For example, if Cast on Stunned is augmented with Frost Wall, then there is a chance that a wall of ice will rise from the ground when the player is stunned. These triggers add many new ways for skills to be cast, dramatically increasing the versatility of various utility skills.
New Player vs. Player Game Modes
Several new PvP modes have launched with Path of Exile 1.0.0, including Dueling, Tournament Seasons, and Capture the Flag events:
- Dueling: Just right click a character in town and select “Duel”. If they accept, both parties will be teleported to an Arena.
- Tournament Seasons: A tournament is a short duration event in which players engage in rapid PvP rounds against other entrants. The goal is to accumulate as many wins as possible during an event, so players are encouraged to use aggressive characters that are capable of decisive victories. Based on overall placement in the tournament, entrants can win PvP points which allow them to unlock PvP-specific item rewards throughout a season.
- Capture the Flag: Themed around Act 2’s bandit lords who vie for control of the Phrecian Forest, players enter Capture the Flag events in teams and score points by capturing and returning a flag from their enemy’s war camp. Fighting alongside their bandit lord and his followers, teams must carefully plan both their party build composition and strategy for defending their flag while claiming their enemy’s.
Players may now create Guilds with friends and compete against rival groups of Exiles. In addition to Guild Chat (which works between leagues) and purchasable Guild Stash Tabs (to store shared wealth), Guilds also have ways to get points for their members’ participation in races and PvP events, which can unlock guild-specific rewards. There’s also a set of insanely difficult Guild Challenges to be completed in the new Challenge leagues. Guild membership levels are currently Member, Officer and Leader.