An Overview of Path of Exile News from Inception to Present
While Delve is coming to an end in less than three weeks (time to rush those challenges everyone!), Wraeclast seems to thrive more and more. The game just made its fifth anniversary and shows no signs of stopping there. To celebrate this achievement, we’ve decided to make a quick highlights review and share some noteworthy PoE News.
How did Path of Exile begin?
Five years ago, Path of Exile made its full launch, the game was around for quite a bit longer, and like Bex_GGG said: “(it) started as a simple idea – one that was driven by the desire to play a game that didn’t currently exist.”
It took the world only a quick look to realize what they were going for, a spiritual successor to Diablo but at the same time a completely original game in itself.
Unique Lore and Mechanics
The atmosphere was dark right from the character selection, unlike today’s bright and ample judgment room in Oriath, back then, the player found itself in a small obscure cell where one could pick the character class before arriving in Wraeclast, already an Exiled.
Right after the character creation, the player would start to discover, hands-on, how things worked. Life and Mana potions, items, sockets, links, gems, currency, skill tree, all those things had their own rules in Path of Exile.
A player could learn everything it needed to start having fun after a couple of minutes and still know nothing on how things worked after months of gameplay.
As soon as the game was made available, the reviews started to flood and the rates were amazing: IGN gave it 8/10, GameSpot 9/10, MetaScore 80/100 and even the lowest grade, from Eurogamer was a solid 7/10.
Like the critics, most players loved the game and the Official Forum, as well as Reddit /r/PathofExile, were bursting with posts about builds, mechanics, items, fan arts and many more.
What happened after the launch?
One could think that the game developers would be happy with such a great reception and would lay back for a while and enjoy their success. Well, think again.
Less than five months after the release of 1.0.0, Grinding Gear Games launched a mini-expansion, the first Major Update, known as Sacrifice of the Vaal.
Does this name ring a bell? It should, after all, this was the Return of Atziri, Queen of the Vaal, an NPC so important that for a long time she was referred to as the games’ “Last Boss.”
Another five months after that Forsaken Masters was released, introducing some precious features, and for a while things seemed to calm down, with Minor Updates happening here and there.
The Awakening, Ascendancy and the Atlas of Worlds
But then defeating Dominus was not enough. There was a bigger threat than the true face of God.
It arrived with The Awakening that brought us a completely new Act, new bosses, lots of lore, the chance to face some characters whose names the players knew only from legends told by other NPCs.
When Ascendancy was announced it caused an uproar of excitement. Lots of old players returned while new players anxiously waited for the release of what promised to be one of the greatest changes in the game.
The promise delivered and the new Ascendancy Classes, Enchantments, and the Labyrinth were a welcomed addition to the gaming experience.
But players wanted more, needed more, and claimed that the end-game was lacking, and GGG heard the pleas.
Atlas of Worlds was a really well-crafted solution that merged the lore and the game mechanics, creating new possibilities for the insane experience grinding of the late levels.
The Fall of Oriath and the War for the Atlas
The last of Diablo’s characteristics was the change in PoE’s difficulty, where the player would repeat the game two times in order to really beat it.
That vanished for complete with the release of Major Update 3.0.0 – The Fall of Oriath that gave the players not one or two, but Six New Acts, New Story Progression and the Pantheon System. It is to this date the largest expansion in the game. Not the latest.
War for the Atlas kept GGG tendency of not only pleasing and trying to get new players but also keep old ones happy. Expanding the lore the developers were able to create end-game material interesting enough for everyone.
Are the expansions enough?
Some may argue that while so many great updates are nice, it is not enough to keep the game active and interesting for so long.
The developers seem to agree with this logic because another of Path of Exile special characteristics is the Leagues.
While the Major Updates create significant changes in the game and in its lore there is another type of updates called Content Updates.
Those introduce a chance for players start from scratch. To the veterans is a great opportunity to prove themselves, how fast they are able to rise to the top of the Rankings and to new players is a chance to be on the same ground and not feel oppressed by a preexistent social order of any kind.
What does the future have in store?
The Winter is Coming
We know that a new League will come out soon; and according to a fresh announcement, it will rework some Ice related skills.
The first one that we already know for sure is the change in how Multiple Projectiles work together with Ice Spear; it now looks way more like Merveil’s Barrage instead of all projectiles at once like it always was.
Th change promises to increase the damage output, not only because you can have a better control of how the projectiles will spread, aiming closer will keep them together while the further you cursor goes they spread more and more. Also, now they will move faster and pierce after they arm, increasing the damage effectiveness and keeping the bonus from critical strike multiplier while armed.
Not only that but the Major 4.0.0 update is also coming, perhaps not as soon as some out there want, but Bex_GGG made clear it is happening: “With Content Update 3.5.0, ExileCon, 4.0.0 and beyond on the horizon, we look forward.”
Now, five years later, no one doubts Grinding Gear Games devotion to its game. And it’s very clear that new content for Path of Exile will keep coming.
Whether you are a hardcore or a casual player, if you play with your friends, some that you even made in-game, or if you are a lone wolf in the Solo Self-Found, it does not matter. One thing the Exiles can be sure: life in Wraeclast can be hard, but it is never dull. Thanks for reading PoE News.
Happy 5th anniversary!