Are you within the 1%?
So far as free to play video games go it’s arduous to maintain and preserve an viewers. Getting one thing totally free means no danger on the buyer’s half; they will are available and get out comparatively shortly in the event that they don’t prefer it. It says quite a bit a couple of free sport that’s managed to not solely recurrently enhance its participant base, and in addition crank out sufficient common content material to maintain essentially the most hardcore gamers occupied, however that’s precisely what Grinding Gear Video games has been in a position to do with Path of Exile.
This spring it would obtain a brand new replace – titled Bestiary – that provides tons of recent actions, gadgets, recipes, and challenges for high-level gamers…all for the low worth of free. We bought an opportunity to see a few of the content material gamers can anticipate from the replace.
The center of the Bestiary enlargement is the report ebook. It’s a set of monsters, crafting recipes and different targets for late sport gamers to perform and acquire. Nonetheless, the objective isn’t to kill the monsters and acquire their supplies such as you would do in a sport like Monster Hunter. As an alternative you might be tasked with capturing a certain quantity of them to satisfy quest targets after which battle them all of sudden with the intention to craft highly effective new gear and augmentations. You’ll be given entry to an space often called the menagerie. Consider it as your individual private zoo, the place you possibly can see all the monsters you at present have captured in a single straightforward to entry space. You too can see what monsters you have got collected in your bestiary as nicely.
One of the crucial interesting issues about Path of Exile is the deep customization choices it offers gamers to outfit their characters. The Bestiary replace (out March 2 on PC and a bit after that on Xbox) comes with a model new crafting system construct completely round capturing particular monsters with the intention to use them in recipes for brand new gadgets, or to reinforce current ones. When you’ve captured the monsters essential in your recipe you will not simply click on a button and create an merchandise, you’ll must battle the monsters inside an area positioned in your hideout. Should you fail, you lose the monsters used within the recipe. However if you happen to succeed, you’ll be capable to increase a property of an already current merchandise, or craft one of many new highly effective items of substances. When you win the battle, the monsters you’ve collected and fought shall be gone, so if you wish to craft that recipe once more, you’ll must exit and recapture these monsters.
“When you craft your monsters it consumes them, so you must plan very cautious how you utilize them,” says Chris Wilson, Recreation Director at Grinding Gear Video games. “A few of these are very uncommon and also you may solely encounter them each 10 to 20 hours.” This method is cleverly designed in that it really makes gamers work for the gear they need to purchase, and locks out any potential for a buddy to hold you thru tough encounters and seize monsters you possibly can’t beat by yourself.
For increased stage gamers there are the spirit beasts: excessive stage boss encounters that may solely be reached by crafting a portal. The fights are tough, however if you happen to’re in a position to seize the bosses you battle, you’ll be capable to use them to craft excessive stage gadgets. “These spirit beasts are literally very highly effective, and also you really get to them through the use of crafting,” says Wilson. “And likewise while you seize them you additionally get to make use of that in crafting itself. In order that they’re closely entwined within the crafting course of.”
For the primary time in Path of Exile, armor set items are being added into the sport. Nonetheless, they don’t act the way in which you’d anticipate excessive stage armor items to work in different RPGs. “Set gadgets in different video games have been each constructive and unfavourable,” says Wilson. “On one hand it was cool to finish a set and get some synergy going. However then again it might probably really dilute your creativity and freedom.” For now, the one factor set items share is aesthetic. As an alternative, every particular person piece has a particular means related to it. On this approach gamers can keep away from having to make use of total units for one or two advantages, and as an alternative combine and match many various gadgets from a number of units.
Grinding Gear Video games can be including in a considerable quantity of fated uniques. Fated uniques are a kind of distinctive merchandise that lets you improve them to the very best energy ranges. For instance if you happen to had been taking part in the tip sport final enlargement, all of a sudden one of many distinctive weapons you want might be going to turn out to be out of date. By discovering gadgets referred to as prophecies and defeating the boss required, you possibly can improve your merchandise to a better energy stage.
The atlas can be receiving some finish sport content material for extra hardcore gamers. Beforehand, each the elder and shaper bosses could not seem on the identical map. Each encounters had been thought of to be a few of the hardest content material within the sport. This content material, based on Wilson, is just meant for the highest zero.1 % of hardcore gamers. It’s meant to be as tough as potential and encourage Twitch streamers to push themselves to the restrict. “Two of those fights are the toughest within the sport,” says Wilson. “It’s form of designed for Twitch the place only a few individuals are gonna get an opportunity to see it and once they do play it, it’s gonna be an enormous occasion locally.” The crew believes that there ought to at all times be content material for decrease stage gamers to aspire to, and in a world the place numerous video games are forsaking that with the intention to try to seize a extra informal viewers, it’s a breath of recent air.
With that issue comes extremely highly effective gadgets that only some individuals will ever get entry to. “This [item] might be solely going for use by eight individuals and that’s it,” says Wilson. “But it surely’s nonetheless value making the content material and everybody watches it on Twitch so it’s nonetheless value it for us to do this.” One of many distinctive gadgets we we had been in a position to see was a quiver referred to as the Voidfletcher, which fired void arrows on prime of the arrows you might be already capturing. Wilson says this stuff are extremely highly effective and solely meant to be chased by extremely high-level gamers.
Moreover, Grinding Gear Video games is totally transforming the ascendancy system for each class in PoE. The builders thought that over time the viable class decisions provided within the ascendancy system had been progressively getting decrease over time, particularly as lots of the mechanics out there in these bushes had been cropping up on completely different gadgets and abilities. So to breathe new life into the lessons the builders have gone again and created completely new skills solely out there within the ascendancy bushes, with the intention to try to differentiate the lessons from one another and hopefully present gamers with extra viable construct choices.
General, whereas the thought of capturing monsters doesn’t precisely resonate with me, I really like the brand new crafting system and the reworked ascendancy system. I doubt I’ll ever get a personality updated to do most of this content material, and actually that’s high quality. I like Grinding Gear Video games’ willingness to create content material that solely the toughest of the hardcore will be capable to play or expertise.
Joshua Mobley is IGN’s foremost Path of Exile skilled. Speak extra with him on Twitter at @TheJawaJosh.