What are your plans for this weekend? Scrap 'em, you actually want to stay home and spend some quality time with the public beta for Path of Exile. It's an action RPG from New Zealand indie developer Grinding Gear Games, and it's been in development for five years.
Here's what it looks like at the moment:
Path of Exile will be opened up for full access on Friday July 27th, at 5pm Pacific (8pm Eastern, Saturday noon in New Zealand, Saturday 10am in Sydney, and midnight Saturday GMT). All things going to plan, public access will run happily all the way up to 11:59pm Pacific on Sunday, July 29th (Monday 2:59am Eastern, Monday 6:59pm in New Zealand, Monday 4:59pm Sydney, and Monday 6:59am GMT).
This time around, we're told to expect a whole bunch of new features and content, including weapon swapping, a challenging Act Two boss fight, and a new end-game system featuring some pretty complicated-sounding maps. The game's passive skill tree has also been revamped and given a new layout, and everything's polished up just a bit.
Grinding Gear Games’ producer Chris Wilson is looking forward to what he considers will be a "great opportunity" for fans of the action RPG genre.
The Path of Exile community has been growing rapidly and always give us valuable gameplay feedback. We’re particularly looking forward to their feedback on our new end-game content.
Two of the most important things in action RPGs are items and the end-game. Almost everything in Path of Exile, including skills, can be itemized, traded and upgraded. We thought it would be cool to design the end-game the same way - as itemised areas that players can trade, modify and build characters around.
Path of Exile is free to play, but the devs are quick to point out it does not support "pay-to-win" features. However, you can buy items in the game - in fact, fans who pre-purchase at least US$10 worth of credit (using the game's "ethical microtransaction" system) will receive a closed beta key (as well as the in-game credit!).
...sound like your kind of thing? Let our beta preview sway you. The Open Weekend will also contain a bunch of special events, competitions and giveaways! To sign up, head over to www.pathofexile.com and enter the appropriate details.
Jimmy the Geek