The Final Countdown: Path of Exile
If you've been keeping up with Path of Exile, you've probably heard what people have been saying about it. The consensus is that if you're looking for a Diablo-style action-RPG, this effort from New Zealand-based developer Grinding Gear Games is a more than fitting experience. In fact, a lot of folks have praised the game to the point of saying that it's everything Diablo 3 should've been, which is quite the accolade. To top it all off, the game's free-to-play, which is pretty nice for individuals who maybe just want to try it out without having to make a major monetary investment.
Path of Exile is set to officially launch tomorrow, bringing along with it a brand new update that adds several enhancements. So even if you've dug deep into the beta version, it's still worth it to jump right back in come launch if you're a fan who's invested quite a bit of time into the experience. Let's take a look at some of the bigger changes that are coming to Path of Exile here on The Final Countdown.
New Scion class
If you've already played the heck out each of the main classes available in Path of Exile, it's possible that you're looking for something new to enjoy. That's where the new Scion class comes in. Interestingly, the Scion is a unique prestige class that can take advantage of several abilities seen in all six of the original characters. By starting out in the middle of the skill tree, this cross-class hybrid can unlock and equip a myriad of abilities.
The Scion doesn't come without a learning curve, though. Due to the fact that she's a more difficult character to master, she's not immediately available from the get-go. Instead, you need to seek her out and release her from her caged prison.
Final battle paves the way for expansions
The new update coming to Path of Exile will add a sense of finality to the game's campaign. By introducing a big final battle, the adventure will get a fitting end for players who are looking for a sense of accomplishment at the very end. Even then, however, this won't really mark the finale of Path of Exile. According to Grinding Gear, this will actually pave the way for future expansions.
The studio shared its plans for post-launch content, and it seems that it definitely wants to support Path of Exile for quite some time down the road. Roughly every four months, a new expansion will be released for the game. So whether you're a longtime player who enjoys every aspect of Path of Exile or a fan who just digs campaign-based features, there will most certainly be plenty of reasons to return to the game long after you've completed the story.
Start over or not — you choose
With games like this, it's very easy to become attached to your characters. After all, you can spend hours upon hours battling enemies, unlocking skills, and leveling up. To have all of that ripped away at launch so that you can be forced to start over would be a shame. Thankfully, that's not the case with Path of Exile.
Grinding Gear informed me that it would open up new economies in-game, allowing players who want to delve deeper into the experience to do just that. The best part is that if you want to start from scratch, you can. If you're not exactly keen on giving up all of your abilities, items, and weapons, though, you don't have to.
New areas to explore
One of the biggest additions coming to Path of Exile, and something that should have fans excited, is the inclusion of brand new areas. There are a total of six new stages, each quite sizable (they're in line with the rest of the stages seen during the beta). These areas will include three new tile sets and a handful of new monster types. So don't expect the exact same enemies you've already seen before.
Speaking of enemies you've encountered previously, it's worth pointing out that updated monsters will appear in earlier areas. Enemy animations have also been tweaked to add a vastly improved series of movements that don't look so mechanical. In case you do decide to start the campaign over, all of these changes and additions are certainly great news, as this means you get a decent change instead of a more straightforward sense of deja vu.
If you've been playing Path of Exile for some time now, you already know if you're stoked about its impending official launch tomorrow. For individuals who've yet to play the game, however, it's worth checking out if you're a Diablo 2 fan. It's free, after all, so it won't hurt to check it out. Watch out for Path of Exile as it makes its full debut on both its official site and Steam.
Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.