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**Path of Exile**


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Path of Exile

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**Path of Exile**




by Harry Ka-yan Cheung, MMOHut Journalist



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


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.


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.



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.

idiotstunt posted at 2013-02-28 10:28:22

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