One Game, Two Campaigns
We are about 5 weeks into Path of Exile’s patch 3.21, the Crucible league. With the rumor mill spinning, everyone expects this to be the last major patch and league before Path of Exile 2 is released sometime in Q4 of 2023. With this knowledge in hand I thought it would be a good time to go over what we know so far about one of the most anticipated sequels in the ARPG genre.
Path of Exile to is revealed
Path of Exile 2 was first mentioned during the opening ceremony of Exilecon 2019. Exilecon is Grinding Gear Game’s response to Blizzard-Activision led Blizzcon and, as the name would suggest, is a convention for all things Path of Exile. During the announcement, GGG head developer Chris Wilson played the still in development game in front of audiences worldwide, showcasing what he and his team had been working on so far. Crowds at the convention and on Twitch TV, where the convention was being streamed, all went wild
A major change that was noted by Chris and one that players will see for themselves is more player-involvement in combat. Where PoE 1 has players spamming one or two skills as fast as possible to complete content, PoE 2 appears to want to dial that back some with slower animations and a larger focus on, for lack of a better phrase, what-exactly-is-happening during combat.
Weapon classes will function differently
From each other providing the player a unique experience based on their weapon of choice. Spears were showcased and it was revealed that each spear will provide at least one mobility skill. This is a substantial change from PoE 1 where skills are normally found on Unique or otherwise rare weapons. Speaking of unique weapons, a Unique Spear was also displayed. Devata’s Wind, grants the same mobility skills as the regular spears with the additional benefit of granting the player two additional projectiles for a brief period after using the inherent disengage skill.
Crossbows are a brand new weapon class that will be added in PoE 2. The crossbow in the demo granted a strong single target ability called Power Shot, which is also a new addition to the game. In order to change the effect of Power Shot, players are encouraged to equip different “Bolt Gems” which will grant “Bolt Skills” that players can pick, and switch between depending on the enemy or situation at hand. The three different bolts demonstrated were Perma Frost bolts, which freeze enemies and an area of effect radius. Incendiary bolts, which set enemies on fire. And armor piercing bolts, which travel through enemies and deal significant damage.
Path of Exile 2 will feature one mini boss per area of the game, providing a more sophisticated fight with the chance at better rewards for vanquishing the foe. For example, the miniboss shown in the demo features a mechanic in which he destroys the ceiling, causing rocks to rain upon the player but also revealing future safe zones in which the player can stand and do damage. This mechanic is not spelled out for the player but, in typical GGG fashion, is displayed visually instead by sunlight shining through where the ceiling once was.
With PoE 2, GGG is also revamping the animation system of the game. Not only will players find that animations are smoother across the board, Chris Wilson also explained how characters will have different movement animations depending on the speed they are traveling at. There is also a cool roll-dodge skill for players to utilize.
The town in Act 2 of PoE 2 is larger and contains a lot more detail than any of the towns players have seen so far in the original Path of Exile. It’s a literal city on wheels complete with gorgeous animated caravans linked by chains and traversing a blood red desert. The wheels rotate and creatures lumber forward as the travel to some unknown destination. The destination doesn’t remain unknown for long though, as players will be able to choose where they desire to progress in the story and the caravan will travel there, with the scenery changing depending on the location chosen.
As we draw closer to the release date of PoE 2, keep an eye on this space as more and more information undoubtedly comes out. GGG has announced that everything we want to know about PoE to will be revealed during the 2023 Exilecon, as well as a playable beta for attendees. I know I can’t wait and I’m sure the sentiment is shared amongst many but until then, all we can do is: “Stay sane, exile.”