[Voor 115% gewijzigd door psychoclown op 27-01-2013 10:18]
[Voor 115% gewijzigd door psychoclown op 27-01-2013 10:18]
[Voor 28% gewijzigd door megazinetom op 02-09-2010 18:11]
Persoonlijk vind ik het gewoon een saaie kleurstelling.A gritty dark fantasy setting, supporting a hostile cutthroat atmosphere.
[Voor 31% gewijzigd door Bosmonster op 02-09-2010 18:32]
With Blizzard Entertainment's notoriously long development cycles, it could well be a very long time before Diablo III hits the shelves. I for one miss the dark art style of the earlier Diablo games, so it's extremely lucky that a little game called Path of Exile is in development by a small team (twelve members plus some contractors) called Grinding Gear Games.
For anyone who has even had a passing interest in the genre, the screenshots of Path of Exile should look familiar. A lot of the user interface is heavily inspired by Diablo, including the health and mana spheres, the frames that appear around enemies you mouse over, and virtually the entire inventory system.
The art style also borrows heavily from Diablo I and II. The areas I was shown -- a beach, a cavern, a small settlement, and a prison -- are all dark and dreary. Even the outdoor and daytime beach zone was decidedly washed-out, with soft sand being mostly replaced by hard grey stones.
Upon my character's mysterious awakening on a beach, I grabbed a piece of driftwood, took a few steps north, and immediately encountered zombies. I simply cannot abide beach-dwelling zombies, and took to bludgeoning them (back) to death with my found log. Almost immediately the deceased began spewing weapons and items all over the ground. Further north, the zombies joined forces with crab-things that would attack from a range. I was playing a Maurader, a class whose focus was on physical damage and heavy armor. The only other class announced at this point had been the ranger, a ranged attacker. Surprising, I know.
So, it's a pretty standard, dark, action RPG. What exactly sets Path of Exile apart from those that have come before it, and those that will come after? Well, two things. The first is the skill system which is frankly best described as a souped up version of Final Fantasy VII's materia system. The equipment that players acquire can have slots in them -- up to six slots in particularly good gear. The slots are color-coded, and the colors serve to limit which gems can be inserted into them. When linked with more passive gems, the active skill gems can be altered and improved.
I was shown an example of this in a video that will likely surface in a few weeks, in which a fireball gem was slotted. The character launched a single fireball that sailed through the air and hit a wall. He then linked a gem that would increase the number of projectiles. The character launched two fireballs that forked away from each other. That was swapped out for a gem that increased projectile speeds. A single fireball raced across the screen. Finally, the projectile speed gem was traded for a gem that would allow for multiple attacks. The character launched two fireballs, one after the other. These could, in the right armor, be linked in various combinations to allow for fast, forking fireballs.
Rather than improving their skills as they level up, with this gem system, the gems themselves gain experience and level up independently of the character. Higher-level abilities are naturally more effective. Fireballs will be stronger, a leveled-up projectile-modifying gem will shoot three, then four, then fire more fireballs etc... They can then be unequipped and, like equipment and items, sold on a global market. You see, Path of Exile, while not a true MMO, uses a persistent world. It uses server architecture similar to the original Guild Wars, where the game is a series of instances. Some areas might have small player limits, while larger areas, like towns, could have hundreds. You and your friends will generally be grouped in the same instance, ensuring you're always slaying monsters together.
One of Diablo II's biggest draws was the way in which it would randomize dungeons, ensuring that future play-throughs wouldn't be too stale. Path of Exile has used the same idea here, and will even include multiple difficulty levels for players who complete the game's three acts.
Now, the second major differentiator: Path of Exile is free. I don't mean you don't have to pay a subscription after you buy the game, I mean you don't need to pay anything at all. Like a lot of free-to-play games, Path of Exile will use a micro-transaction model to eke out money from players who want to make their game a little more personal. The team told me there will be no experience potions or skills sold through their store -- purely cosmetic things like custom animations or spell color-sets, as well as some utility things like name-changes or character transfers.
In case you can't tell, Path of Exile really impressed me. It felt very polished, and appropriately so -- the team has been working on it since 2006. Grinding Gear Games is aiming for an early 2011 beta, and a full release in the same year. They've already got plans for expansions, although it is unclear whether they will be released as free updates or premium content.
I'm probably going to be all over this come beta/release, but what about you? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Build from the Cloud up! | Battletag: NightFly#2112
Mythos is nu weer in ontwikkeling, overgekocht door RedBana, misschien wat leuker. Eigenlijk weet ik het wel zeker, het was al leuk bij de closed beta een paar jaar geleden. En het is lekker kleurrijk.Bosmonster schreef op donderdag 02 september 2010 @ 18:31:
Ik ben fan van het principe MMO-Hack'nSlash. Maar ik vind deze graphics wel heel erg somber. Mag van mij wel wat meer kleur in.
Zoals gezegd had ik er niet eerder van gehoord maar die TS komt dit weekendPedr0 schreef op donderdag 02 september 2010 @ 22:32:
Toenvallig vandaag ook het eea gelezen over dit spel. Verbaasde me al dat Psychoclown nog geen TS had gemaakt
Erg veel RPG's in de maak en ben benieuwd hoe deze zich gaan ontwikkelen. helemaal nu D3 toch wel erg dichtbij gaat komen!
Redbana verzorgd de Amerikaanse versie en Frogster de Europese versiemegazinetom schreef op donderdag 02 september 2010 @ 23:28:
Mythos is nu weer in ontwikkeling, overgekocht door RedBana, misschien wat leuker. Eigenlijk weet ik het wel zeker, het was al leuk bij de closed beta een paar jaar geleden. En het is lekker kleurrijk.
Er mag er van mij nu onderhand wel een uitkomenpsychoclown schreef op vrijdag 03 september 2010 @ 00:28:
Zoals gezegd had ik er niet eerder van gehoord maar die TS komt dit weekend
Ja valt mij ook heel erg op, erg veel hack and slash games maar dat vind ik niet erg. Eindelijk weer games om naar uit te kijken.
If you can't take the heat, don't tickle the dragon.
Nee, wel zijn er dus een aantal op komst zoals Mythos, Path of Exile en Torchlight MMO.megazinetom schreef op vrijdag 03 september 2010 @ 01:02:
Bestaat er eigenlijk al zoiets als een Hack 'n Slash MMORPG zoals Mythos of Path of Exile? (Dus niet aanklikken en op rechtermuisknop drukken maar echt Diablo style button mashing).
Dat staat (geloof ik) al wel in de TS of anders in een van de previews.FloydRaalte schreef op vrijdag 03 september 2010 @ 08:49:
Kijk aan altijd interessant wanneer er een nieuwe RPG online uitkomt. Hoewel ik ook een beetje neig naar het feit dat het nogal somber overkomt hoor! Ik ben in principe wel voor een "dark-setting" maar het lijkt wel of ze hier het contrast en lighting op 25% opacity hebben staan En dat resulteert naar mijn mening in toch een beetje fletse look. Maar dat neemt niet weg dat ik dit zeker ga proberen! En nog free2play ook, vraag me dan wel weer af waar de bron van inkomsten ligt voort de ontwikkelaars? Anyway, weer lekker veel MMO's, RPG's en H&S games in aantocht, het kan nooit genoeg zijn!
Yesterday, three New Zealanders came to our office with a dungeon-crawler. This doesn’t usually happen. They let me play it. I liked it. Peer inside for impressions, screenshots and an exclusive classes and combat trailer that no one else on the internet has.
Our introduction to Grinding Gear Games’ three-man envoy had a tinge of Flight of the Conchords humbleness to it–GGG is the second-largest game developer in New Zealand, but their development team totals just 16 (plus additional contractors). Path of Exile is the studio’s first game; a labor since late 2006, originating from their raw appreciation of the genre.
“We’ve been playing dungeon crawlers for a long time. We’ve tried to take our favorite parts of action RPGs and improve upon them,” said Chris Wilson, founder of Grinding Gear. “We’ve designed the game that we would want to play ourselves, and we know hardcore Diablo, Titan Quest and Dungeon Siege players will find the style familiar and addictive,“ Wilson said.
Some basics up front: Path of Exile will be completely free to play (all character classes, quests, chapters, abilities and items are available to everyone). The lads at Grinding Gear say they’re committed to only charging for content that alters aesthetics–pretty armor, special particle effects like a dragon head-shaped fireball animation, or changing your character’s name. That won’t include any items or profile buffs that boost your rate of experience earning, which Grinding doesn’t plan to put up for sale. “Some of the free-to-play games out there aren’t actually free to play the way you want to–they’re free to tolerate,” said Wilson. “You can tell some of the games definitely want you pay money at regular intervals, and they’ll punish you by having long grinds that you could be skipping–we just skip that entirely by not having the ability to buy those things. You can dress up your character if you’d like to. The other thing is that our game is made by western developers for a western market–hopefully that counts for something.”
There’ll be six character classes, all of which (like existing dungeon crawlers) are independent damage-dealers–Exile won’t include specialized support classes like a priest. The Marauder and Ranger are the two that’ve been revealed so far: the former is a tank-melee class (smartly, but hopefully not to the aid of griefers, character models can’t pass through each other in Exile, meaning you can use a Marauder to block a doorway while a ranged character tosses projectiles from a safe distance), the latter approximates Diablo’s Rogue.
Exile’s skill system is its stand-out addition. All active abilities are sourced from gems found from enemies or earned through quest-doing, and these orbs slot into your weapons and armor. Higher-level equipment will have more slots, letting you construct unique abilities. Reaching third level, my Marauder earned a fireball spell after the introductory battle (all characters begin the game washing ashore on a beach, clubbing or arrowing zombies and angry crabs up the coast until they reach a town hub). But following that, the developers loaded up two characters with higher-level ability gems. With a few hundred more clicks under their belt, these characters had gems that added multiple fireballs to our spell, allowed the fireballs (or our arrows) to pierce enemies, increased the chance that enemies would catch on fire, and increased the time that enemies would burn if they caught on fire. There’s a gem that buffs the chance that that fire will spread, too.
The interesting part about this is that individual gems controlled each component of the spell: one gem amped the fire spread, another increased its ability to penetrate enemies. Assembling the actual mechanics of your spells and abilities in this way is damn appealing. Torchlight’s socketing system also let us drop gems of varied power into our weapons, but mostly to boost the damage output.
The trimmings we expect from an action-RPG will be present: Exile will have PvP, item trading, tiers of randomly-generated unique minibosses and randomly-generated indoor and outdoor terrain. Mainly I’m hoping that the game’s next showing before it releases in early 2011 will reveal a more nuanced layer of “visceral combat,” as Grinding Gear likes to refer to it; one ever-fresh, ever-amusing aspect of Titan Quest was the way angry centaurs would ragdoll and crumble to the ground after you bashed them (or better yet, off a cliff)–right now, Exile doesn’t have that same feeling of pinballing enemies around the environment with your weapons.
Exile’s stark art design is another source of joy and mild concern: I love the grim detail of the character models–my character wielded his first weapon (a long axe) more like a gardening tool than a military-made blade. That feeling of using non-pristine equipment could lend a sense of brutality to combat. I’m less confident in the way the aesthetic influenced level art: the sections we mashed through were floored with repetitive, murky floor textures. This may mean that it’ll allow characters and ability effects to contrast that much more during combat, but I’m hoping Exile will work in at least one or two tonal shifts in level design. Remember the feeling of advancement you got when you transitioned from Diablo’s early catacombs to its later, lava levels in hell. More of that, please.
In Wilson’s own words, the specific things that Grinding Gear feel sets Path of Exile apart from its upcoming competition are that the game is played entirely online on its servers (“because of that there’s a proper economy where people’s items are valuable,” says Wilson) and that “the gameplay is quite dark–we’ve tried to get a lot of horror elements in there. When [our art director] was designing the world, he put a lot of effort into making it foreboding. It’s not a cartoon game for children.”
Don’t expect a playful dog to follow you around dungeons, then. Visit Path of Exile’s website for an additional trailer and pre-registration for the beta by creating a forum account.
Grinding Gear Games was founded in 2006 by three long time friends united by their common love for action RPGs: Chris Wilson (Producer and Lead Designer), Jonathan Rogers (Lead Programmer), and Erik Olofsson (Art Director). Their favorite game in the early 2000s was Diablo 2, but after years of playing that click-fest, they were ready for something new. For another ARPG that would give them the same sort of gaming satisfaction. They couldn't find one, though. Various "Diablo clones" came and went, but none had the fast paced combat or deep and addictive item slot machine the the GGG guys craved. So, eventually they realized what they had to do. Make their own. Thus was Path of Exile born.
The game has been under production since November of 2006, initially by just Chris, Jon, and Erik. Their team has grown since, and while they're still a very small development studio with just twelve full time employees, Path of Exile is nearing completion. The game is currently in a friends and family alpha test, with a public beta planned for later this year, and a release in early 2011.
Path of Exile was designed from the start as a free to download and free to play MMORPG. The game's financial model relies on "ethical" item sales. As described by the developers, their item shop will not sell game items, or anything (such as "potions of double experience") that many other "free" RPGs offer to boost character performance. No one need spend cash money in the PoE item shop to enjoy the game, or to rise to the highest levels or to use the best equipment, all of which will be found from monster drops. The "items" sold will be fun things, such as armor dyes, "evil" pets, and special effects, such as a way to make all of your character's kills extra gory. They'll also charge nominal fees for more utilitarian services, such as character name changes and realm transfers.
While PoE is immediately playable by anyone familiar with isometric view RPGs such as Diablo 2, Titan Quest, or Torchlight, this is not just another Diablo-clone. Nor is it a WoW-clone, as the developers made clear during our interview. Their game is designed for fast play and speedy leveling up; despite the company name, there is no tedious grinding in PoE. New characters can be created quickly; one of GGG's design goals for the game and website was to make it so simple that any visitor could be in the game, killing monsters less than five minutes after first loading the website.
While the gameplay is fast, it's not shallow, with a very imaginative and intricate gem/skill system. It's best if you read the conversations in the interview for a full explanation of this complex and powerful system.
Can you introduce yourselves and give your job titles?
Erik Olsen: I'm the Art Director.
Jonathon Rogers: I'm the lead Programmer.
Chris Wilson: I'm the producer and lead designer.
What's the history of Grinding Gear Games? When and where did you guys get started?
Chris: We founded the company in November 2006. Initially it was just the three of us. We wanted to make an Action RPG, we thought we could do a good job of it. There weren't any online at the time.
You were sick of Diablo 2 after 5 years?
Chris: There was a gap in the market. We knew Diablo 3 was coming, and we had our own ideas. We decided we'd found a company, and we got Erik over from Sweden. The conversation went something like, "Hey, we're making an Action RPG. Where would we go to get an art director?" We knew Erik had an art background, and he said, "I'll fly right over."
You guys were friends from Diablo and other online games?
Jon: Chris and me were friends from high school, actually.
In New Zealand? Where are you guys located?
Chris: Auckland. That's the big city.
Who did you play in Lord of the Rings? Since everyone in New Zealand was in the movie.
That joke would have worked better five years ago. No one remembers LotR at this point. So, who are you playing in The Hobbit?
Chris: We know people who are working on that, actually. One of our ex-artists. You'll find art that he did on the game. Weta keeps stealing our artists. It's easy to find good artists in New Zealand because of Weta, but it's hard to find good game programmers.
So, to answer your question, we founded the company in late 2006. Just the 3 of us initially, for prototyping. Just to get something up. We could show you screenshots of what it looked like then, but it would be highly-embarassing.
In 2008 was the point when we got a proper office. Rather than working out of our garage. And we scaled up the team quite a lot. We now have 12 full time people, and a bunch of contractors here and there. It's very easy to hire, for instance, high polygon modelers overseas. You can even give them concept art and they'll send quality models back. We have some people in the States.
Jon: So we are a relatively small team.
Erik: It's been a little over four years at this point.
Chris: We have no publisher. The game is entirely self-published. We're doing it all. We run the servers people can play on. Part of the motivation for this is we look at the online games available. And there are these publisher portals, typically for the Asian MMOs, and they have 9 or 10 different games listed. When you get one you're encouraged to get the others. They're all tied together, they have a common microtransaction currency between them all. We feel the drawback of getting a publisher like that is that we'd just get slotted in as game #13 on some site. We'd get localized all over the place.
Jon: They'll force you to get something like potions that give double experience, or some other crap like that.
Those are like a dollar a shot?
Jon: Yeah, something like that.
Chris: We can't run a game like that. We're doing a micro transaction thing, and we've got funding and self-financing to get the project done, but we're running a small studio and it takes longer to make the game.
Very small team. Blizzard has hundreds of developers, but even something like Torchlight, they say they're doing it with 30 people, and turning out a game a year. Although it's not a MMO, and they don't have that much content.
Jon: It'll take us a little longer, but we're close now. Maybe six months away from beta. We didn't want to announce too early. We wanted to wait until we were nearly ready.
IncGamers.com: You guys were all Diablo 2 fans. Can you list some of your other gaming influences?
Chris: We enjoyed Titan Quest.
Jon: It had very good combat. It was about the first ARPG after D2 that had the good combat feeling. But they didn't have an online multiplayer, and no random level generator.
*to Jon* So you only played it once, right?
Jon: *laughs* Exactly.
Chris: I enjoyed Guild Wars a lot. We liked that game's structure, the architecture, for how many players are in the game or in an area.
Getting Started Quickly
Are you guys excited to finally be showing this off? You've been working on it forever.
Jon: Yes. We're very interested to see what people think.
Chris: It's been hard operating in stealth mode for so long. We've wanted to announce it and get input. We're hoping to build a community on our website. That's the main reason for announcing. To get the interested players chatting about the game.
Jon: All the accounts are connected. If you have a forum account you have a game account. We wanted to keep it very simple to join. You just need a user name, email, password, and you're ready to go.
Erik: One of our goals right from the start of the project was that a new reader could get into the game and kill their first monster within five minutes.
Chris: That's five minutes from the moment they first viewed the website. It's very fast and easy to start having fun.
When we picked a game name; which took weeks of debate and discussion; we picked Path of Exile, since that reflects the character's journey in the game. But mainly it's something that can be remembered very easily. If you see a friend playing and ask what it's called, it's memorable. Anyone can just type pathofexile.com and they're in. Or Google it and find it very quickly.
You've got a good acronym too. PoE is nice.
Chris: When they go to the site they can download the game without signing up. Ideally the game download is small, with patches as needed. And they get right into the gameplay without delay. And as you saw playing, you're right on a beach and ready to fight.
Jon: Some games they dump you into a giant town and you've got to run around and talk to NPCs and try to find your way to an exit to do anything.
Yours is much simpler and more involving. You're lying on a beach, you get up, and you start killing zombies.
Chris: Our first town is intentionally tiny and limited. There are just a few traders and NPCs to talk to, so the action isn't interrupted.
Jon: The later towns are much larger and more interesting.
So high level characters will be in a different town?
Jon: Your starting point is wherever you exited from last.
Game and Mission Length
You kind of mentioned Torchlight earlier. One of the big selling points of Torchlight is that you can jump in and play for ten minutes and have fun. It's not WoW where you need hours and a whole big group to play the end game content. How are you modeling your game for the time spent vs. play fun and rewards?
Chris: We're making our game just like that. That players can join up for a quick PvP and quit. Or do one level, or find a new waypoint, and get out. We don't want to tie them in for hours.
Jon: We also want to promote the whole "pick up group" theory. So being able to play with random other people and it's fun. You don't need big organized guilds and special roles for each character in the party. You can just jump in and play for fun, with friends or strangers, etc.
Erik: One comment we've received from testers is that they're impressed how well the game runs in a window, with other applications at the same time. You can have the game open while you're doing your work, for example. When you open our game, it loads within seconds. We don't have six or seven game logos that you have to watch for five seconds each. It's relatively light on resources. It can coexist with other stuff you're doing in Windows.
Are there larger scale missions in the game that would take longer to complete? Multi-stage boss battles or the like?
Chris: No. Everything's broken up into manageable chunks. We haven't planned or even discussed any content that's that long. It's a typical action RPG in the length of missions.
World Tone and Chain Mail Bikinis
Can you talk about the plot a bit? Is there a world lore and story?
Erik: The story is more of a personal journey the palyer has. We tell much of the story with visuals and art. Atmospheric.
Jon: One issue with MMORPGs is that you can't really save the world, since then the next guy comes along and saves it the same way. Inevitably, we have to go with more of a personal journey than one bent on saving the world. Also it fits with the theme of the world.
You start the game exiled from your homeland. You've been thrown off a ship and washed up on a beach, and you're immediately attacked by monsters. The initial challenge is just survival. Over the course of the game you want to find out more about what's happened.
Erik: You'll find small clues here and there about what's happened. And why this is a post-apocalyptic world. The continent.
Chris: We've planned out the vibe we want to get from the game, with certain design goals. We want there to be a lot of horror elements. We want the player to feel stalked by the monsters. We want there to be lonely parts and scary parts.
Erik: It's a very cut-throat world.
Chris: For example, when monsters drop items it's first to get them gets them. It's a harsh, difficult world. You have to be prepared for it. We're not babying the players.
Erik: The equipment reflects the dark, gritty world. For example, we don't have oversized shoulder pads. Armor is actually functional.
No women in chain mail bikinis?
GGG: *laughter* We'd never heard that, but twice now it's been asked about.
Chris: I thought Erik was smart for coming up with that term, but I guess it's in common usage.
Erik: We will not have chain mail bikinis. The females in the game aren't meant to be sexy models.
Are there sexy men in the game, then?
Erik: Actually, they are more scantily-clad than the women. *laughter*
Chris: Our female characters are not overly sexulized. They are strong, powerful women, rather than scantily clad.
You can believe they can actually pick up a weapon and do something with it?
Jon: Sure. We can show you some art from the character classes. They're normal people who are fighting for their survival. Not people who look like they should be on Baywatch.
Dates and Release Schedule
Chris: We're aiming for closed beta starting very early next year.
Jon: There may be delays. If our testers think something's not working and needs to be reworked, we'll do it. But otherwise, we're moving along quickly. Adding more content, etc.
Ethical Item Shop
Item Sales. You want to do it ethically?
Jon: Many of the Asian games are designed around a treadmill of items you must buy. They start off by giving you a few samples of them. And you quickly learn that the only way to have fun playing is to drink this special experience gain potion. And then you get another one for free at level 3, as a reward for being online long enough. And after that you have to buy them from the cash shop.
Chris: We really dislike the concept of players being able to just buy their way to success. So we're making sure that everything we sell is just not giving the player a gameplay benefit, in the absolute sense.
We're looking at more visual flair and fun stuff. So you might buy something that would change your spell effects; give your character a dragon's head or something like that.
Jon: Dyes for armor. Pets for fun. Change your armor in form. There are more functional things; you can pay to change your characters name. We'll have multiple realms, geographically located. Mostly for local language issues, and for lag/latency. We can have as many players on a realm as necessary, but we might have to add more if they get too busy.
Chris: So if someone wants to change realms, we'll do that and charge them a small fee. The thing with the item sales, is that players want to look unique, and many are willing to pay for that. Sure, some of them also want to buy higher level characters and powers, but we're not going to sell those. We think that there's such a negative taint to that sort of thing that players won't play if it's there.
Jon: We'd rather be the good guys and have ethical item sales, and get more players because of that, than sell out and let people buy their way to success.
There are many games online that aren't really games. There's no gameplay, but just ways to dress up your avatar. And plenty of them make plenty of money. One of our specific things, we're not selling cute pets. We're selling evil pets.
Jon: One thing I think Erik wanted was a bird that would peck the eyes out of the corpses you left behind.
Chris: One thing we're thinking about is something you could buy that would increase the amount of gore from kills. You'd be running through an area and some character is getting so much gore it's amazing. It's not helping you kill, just making a visual display.
The other players in the game would see that too?
Chris: Yes. Almost everything that we sell we want other people to see. That's why people buy that stuff.
Another example: you've just killed someone in PvP, and all the onlookers are really cheering. You use your taunt animation and stomp them. And only you have that since you've spent the money to buy it. There's a lot of aesthetic stuff you can do. Coloring your equipment and such.
You guys were planning these right from the start?
Chris: Yes. We had this model all along. We'd never even considered selling +experience potions. That's a fairly recent development in games, isn't it?
Jon: Yeah. Designers were just getting desperate for money, and they wanted to find a way to sell stuff in the game.
Chris: I think Everquest just started selling items in the game recently. Tons of random games are putting in RMT sales. I feel it's damaging to the games. I like the integrity of our players knowing they've achieved what they have. To me the whole reason for playing a game online is that you can look at a sword and know you've earned it.
Jon: Especially since we're promoting trading in the game and gathering wealth.
All the top items in the game are found in the game?
Chris: Oh yes.
Jon: We don't sell any items that grant stats or work like weapons you find from playing. In fact, none of the items you buy from the game shop are actually represented as items in the game. You can't move them around your inventory or put them on your character. They tie to your account.
Chris: An example of something to buy would be a sort of virtual wrapping paper. You'd use that to wrap up an item you were giving to someone else for some special occasion. That sort of thing is completely harmless.
We were asked today in another interview if we would allow additional stash space to be sold. We're actually debating that one intently. On one hand it's relatively harmless. Players can always make more free accounts to get more space. So enlarging the stash would just be a convenience. And all characters on the same account share a stash.
Gems and skills
Can you give me a run down on the gems and skills?
Chris: It's well covered in the video we did on gems, which we'll be posting in a couple of weeks, along with some blog entries on the exact rules and details. But here's an abbreviated version for you.
Skills are represented by skill gems, which can be leveled up. Currently they get 10% of the experience a player earns. As the gems level up, they go to higher levels, which improves the spells they provide to the player. Gems can be removed from items at any time, without cost, and given or traded to other characters.
To gain the function of a gem, players need to have that gem socketed in an item they currently have equipped. Item sockets may be found in weapons, shields, and most of the armor items. Not in belts, which are more like rings in our game.
The maximum number of sockets, roughly. Six on body armor. Six between your weapon slots: 6 on a two-handed weapon, or 3 and 3 on a sword/shield. Helms can have up to 4, but that's not finalized. There are also some one-slot rings. There will be about a dozen for the average equipped character, probably.
It's hard to find items that are full of sockets. Especially connected sockets.
Jon: The connections are where it really gets interesting. You want to connect things to continue to make skills better. The more sockets that are connected, the rarer. It's relatively easy to find items with two connected sockets. Getting 3 or 4 it's much harder.
Chris: So, looking at the overview. Item sockets can be found in three colors. Red = strength. Green = dexterity. Blue = intelligence. Items spawn sockets that are closely related to the type of item. For instance, a staff is a strength/intelligence weapon. Where as a maul is strength, or a bow is dexterity.
So if those 3 sockets are connected, what changes?
Jon: If the sockets are connected that allows you to use augmentations. Those come from "support gems." You use those together with normal active skills. They modify the effects. You've got your say, Cleave, in a weapon with two connected sockets. You put Multi Attack in the other socket, and that grants your Cleave the ability to deal multiple attacks, a bit like the Paladin's Zeal skill in D2.
Can you put multiple augmentations of the same kind in the same item?
Jon: Yes, but it's not useful. When you have two of the same skill in your equipment, then you just use the higher level one. You can not stack them.
Chris: Imagine you have several groups of sockets, in different items or on the same item, that aren't large enough groups to do what you'd like to do. You could have two different items with two sockets. Or four sockets in the same item that are linked in two pairs, but not all four together. In that case you could put the same active skill gem in both pairs, and a different support gem in each. But when you then used the skill, you'd get both augmentations every time.
That's taken four sockets, rather than three, but you're getting the multiple bonuses all the same. And two linked socket items are much more common than three.
What is the mechanism for removing gems?
Chris: Nothing what so ever. Just taking them out and putting them back in.
Jon: We want people to experiment with different combinations. So we're against too much penalty. If anything at all.
Chris: One thing we do want to prevent is exploiting the system. We don't want players to create macros or external programs that would let them instantly take out and put back in multiple gems. To switch between skills in some exploitive way. So we'll have to put in a cool down timer or something like that, perhaps.
Do the gems change in appearance as you level them up?
Erik: Not currently. We're adding art to other areas. But we could add some there, at some point. The issue is if the higher level gem is too good looking, it might make the normal one seem crappy.
But it is crappy!
Chris: We have the same issue with like, plate armor. We have to make sure that the highest level one looks great, but that the lowest level one still looks useful and interesting to the player, when they find it lying on the beach.
But hopefully by the time they find the lowest plate they've gone through various types of cloth and leather and chain and such. So players will just be happy to have a higher level of protection.
Chris: We've spread the various types of armor out, in terms of the sockets and properties. So the plate would be mostly for strength, and the chain would be strength/dexterity. Cloth armor is more on intelligence. There are quite a few different types of armor and properties.
Jon: We have a huge number of item types, by the way. The management of the items is just terrifying. The spread sheets are enormous.
Erik: You know you have a lot of items when just getting into the files takes you like a day to do any serious balancing or changing.
Chris: I think our current count is like 500 base item types. And we're still adding more.
Is that like, ten kind of spears and ten kinds of bows?
Chris: We don't have spears in the game now, but yes, we have lots of everything else. I think 8 is the number we went for on our initial item pass. Eight claws, 8 daggers, 8 staves, but these are the ones we've made so far.
Jon: And armor's even more numerous.
Erik: And we will keep adding.
Do you have something like the exceptional and elite items, as in Diablo 2?
Chris: Not really. We've got enough base types that we have covered the entire spectrum.
Jon: We have a lot of items. I think rather than just taking the short sword and calling it the "awesome sword" we'll do something better. Maybe do a texture variation.
Chris: I'm not even sure we'll need that. We've got so many items already in the game.
Diablo Runes vs. PoE Gems
Chris: Although the comparison will be made between our system and the runestones in Diablo 3, we thought of ours and had it working in the game long before they revealed theirs. So we want to be sure people understand our gems/skills system since it's one of the more unique features in the game.
Players are so used to skills being inherent to characters. It's natural to think about modifying those, as in Diablo 3. Your system of skills coming from gems that are socketed into items seems very different. I don't think there's any more than a superficial similarity, which people will understand once they hear the explanation.
Chris: You've played D2 online. Having stuff like that in the economy is good for the game. If some player finds an amazingly-awesome skill gem in the game and then they level it up and improve it; even if they spend a year grinding it to some high level, that's awesome.
So once you get the gem, that enables the skill. And as you have that gem socketed in something your character is wearing, the gem levels up.
Jon: The gem gains 10% of the experience your character gets. Leveling up the gem, the amount of exp it takes to level them up at high levels is even more than what your character gets. So you can trade great gems between your characters and keep leveling up the same gem for a long time.
The gem holds the experience, and you can trade it around as it gets perpetually more valuable and higher level?
Chris: Exactly. For example, there's a unique item with a property that gems in that item gain double experience. So it becomes an incubator item that you'd use just to level up gems, rather than because it's useful for your character. You might wind up with a character who just runs around leveling up gems instead of leveling up the character.
And then selling or trading or using those high level gems on his other characters?
Chris: Right. Where possible we want to itemize stuff.
Jon: We're trying really hard to make sure the economy is very vibrant. We want players to really value their items. We want trading to be a really big part of the game.And then selling or trading or using those high level gems on his other characters?
[Voor 52% gewijzigd door psychoclown op 01-10-2010 22:31]
Verder wil ik jullie op het volgende filmpje attenderen, mochten jullie dit nog niet hebben gezien :Leagues
When you create a character in Path of Exile, you choose a league for that character to exist in. We expect and encourage most players to play in the default league, but other leagues exist for specific play styles or events.
Characters can only see and interact with other characters in the same league. In this way, each one is its own isolated economy. The default league is extremely large and hence acts as a general economy for all characters that were not created in a specialist league. All characters in a league have access to the same shared stash pages.
Each league has its own set of ladder rankings. We’ll be frequently creating short term leagues that last varying durations (a day, a weekend, a week, etc) with item rewards for the highest placed characters on the ladder at the end of the league. There are leagues that end once a specific goal has been met (a race to level 90, for example).
League competitions are another way for players to get rewarded for their play skill and to be competitive with other players as an alternative to PvP.
There are a few permanent long term leagues including the default “standard” and “hardcore” leagues. All other leagues have a duration value and a parent league. When the duration is over, all characters in that league become part of the parent league.
Whenever any league ends, its characters are all converted back to its parent league. This way, no one loses the character they were leveling (it just ends up in a less restricted economy/ladder than the one it was initially being played in).
Leagues are able to apply a different set of game rules to their players. For example, increased monster difficulty, world PvP, permadeath or various "Ironman" rules.
We have many plans for interesting game modifiers that leagues can apply, but one rule is clear – they must only make the game harder. Because characters transfer back to the parent league when a league ends, it is important that the character’s journey to its current status was equivalent or more difficult than gameplay in the parent league.
In addition, we plan to allow guilds or groups of players to pay for the creation of their own league with a choice of game rule modifiers. Only players invited by the people who paid for the league can create characters in these private leagues. This option helps cater towards any groups of players who want to play online together but don’t want their playgroup to have access to items traded from external players.
The following are examples of leagues that we are working on designing. Feedback and ideas are greatly appreciated - we're very keen to hear what you think on the forums.
Typically, “hardcore mode” in action RPGs involves permadeath. A character killed in this mode cannot be accessed any more. In Path of Exile, slain hardcore characters revert to the parent non-hardcore league. This system encourages non-hardcore players to try the hardcore game mode, while still permanently removing hardcore characters from the economy when they die.
In Ironman, players are unable to trade with vendors or refill their flasks in town. Mana regeneration is disabled by default. Players are encouraged to band together and manage their resources in order to survive.
The cut-throat leagues appeal to the niche of players who demand the most hardcore gaming experience possible. In this mode, all world areas are public, with full PvP enabled by default. Slain characters drop all their items upon death. This game mode can also be combined with Hardcore to create an even more unforgiving world.
An attrition league is a short duration league that starts with a fixed number of players and eliminates the player with the lowest amount of experience at periodic intervals. For example, a 24 hour attrition league might start with 100 players and eliminate one player per 12 minutes after a four hour initial leveling period. Players would be able to see how close to elimination they are on an on-screen ladder display.
Vraag me af hoe lang het duurt voordat er bots lopen om gems te levelenThe gem holds the experience, and you can trade it around as it gets perpetually more valuable and higher level?
Chris: Exactly. For example, there's a unique item with a property that gems in that item gain double experience. So it becomes an incubator item that you'd use just to level up gems, rather than because it's useful for your character. You might wind up with a character who just runs around leveling up gems instead of leveling up the character.
[Voor 8% gewijzigd door Dwish op 22-09-2010 15:23]
If you can't take the heat, don't tickle the dragon.
Dankje Heb meteen een fout gevonden bij de screenshots, zal die morgenochtend even fixen!FloydRaalte schreef op zaterdag 02 oktober 2010 @ 19:53:
Woah! Vette TS hoor! Wel raar dat ik het spel nu opeens veel interessanter vindt
Nog steeds moet ik zeggen dat de setting nogal "dark" lijkt. Ik ben echt benieuwd hoe dit speelt. Vooral die screenshot van een " dungeon" vindt ik erg cool. Doet me erg Diablo 2 aan, en dat is een compliment.
While many of us have been waiting patiently for Blizzard to release the next game in the Diablo series, other smaller game developers are using this wait to offer up their own take on the dark action-RPG genre. Newly revealed game developer Grinding Gear Games recently announced its debut title, the free-to-play game Path of Exile.
Will this game make all of us forget about Diablo III. Of course not, but Path of Exile is still looking pretty cool all of its own and it won't cost an arm and a leg to play. Big Download got Grinding Gears Games co-founder Chris Wilson to tell us more about its plans for the game.
First how did Grinding Gear Games come to be formed?
We're a group of friends who love playing Action RPGs. In late 2006, we noticed a lack of good action RPGs with good online capabilities, so we decided to form Grinding Gear Games to create one. Our team has members from all over the world, but most are based in Auckland, New Zealand.
How did the idea for Path of Exile come about?
We were all fans of playing hardcore action RPGs online, and wanted to make a game that we'd love to play ourselves. We decided that we wanted the game to be played exclusively online on persistent servers, so that a proper economy exists that players can trade items in. It was important to us that we create the right atmosphere in the game, so from day one we designed gameplay mechanics and art around the dark, desolate feeling that we're trying to create in our game world.
What can you tell us about the back story for the game?
In Path of Exile, your character has been exiled with no possessions to the hostile, post-apocalyptic continent of Wraeclast. Initially uncertain of what great catastrophe destroyed the land, you gradually gather clues as you uncover magical artifacts and ancient powers. We prefer to tell the story through environmental detail rather than forcing the player to read a wall of text.
What sort of player classes will there be in the game?
Our character classes are each aligned with either one or two of the core attributes in Path of Exile - strength, dexterity or intelligence. These attributes determine what passive skills, active skills and items the class is encouraged to specialize in. Characters are able to use any skills or items in the game if they meet their requirements, but it is much more efficient to use ones appropriate for their class. There will be six character classes at release and we have announced two of them so far. The Marauder is the pure strength character and hence specialises in melee with large two handed weapons. The Ranger is the pure dexterity character and excels with dual wielding dexterous items or using a bow.
How will the combat and gameplay in Path of Exile compare to, say, the Diablo games?
Our core gameplay is very similar to other action RPGs - we have tried hard to achieve a similar feeling of visceral combat and finding rare items. Where possible, we have tried to innovate in areas that we feel we could improve (for example, the skill system that we discuss in detail in a later answer). In this genre, collecting items is a huge part of gameplay, and Path of Exile fully supports this because it is played online on persistent servers.
The game is going the free-to-play route for its business model. Why was this decision made?
From the outset wanted to make sure there were no barriers preventing players playing our game. We feel that by making it free to play we'll attract a larger audience than if we charged an up front purchase price. By making it available for free, anyone who is interested in the genre can get a chance to play. We also wanted to ensure that all of the game content is available for no charge. We don't want players to feel alienated because they have decided not to purchase anything. Our monetization is via "ethical microtransactions" which are the sale of aesthetic perks such as item dyes, evil pets, exclusive animations and alternate spell effects. These perks convey no gameplay benefit, merely allowing the player to stand out from other players. For example, a player might buy a new effect for their fireball spell - a flaming skull. When using this skill, the player does the same damage as a normal fireball, but is the envy of all of their guildmates.
What can you tell us about the graphics engine and visual style for Path of Exile?
The graphics engine is a custom one built with in-house technology. It is fully 3D and its camera has a fixed perspective. This has both gameplay and technical benefits - the character is easy to control and our art can be designed for ideal viewing from that distance and angle. Path of Exile's visual style is dark and foreboding. We wanted to create a world where the players fear both the environment and each other. Many gameplay decisions are made around the cut-throat feeling that we want to evoke, so it's important for the visual style to reinforce this.
What other aspects of the game do you think are important?
We're really proud of our skill system. Instead of skills following a fixed progression created by the developers, we allow players to augment/combine their skills in directions of their choosing. Our skills exist as "skill gems" and are placed in sockets on items. Sockets that are connected together can have "support gems" placed in them to augment the effect of linked skill gems. For example, if a player wants to create a more powerful Fireball skill, they could link it to supports such as "increased area of effect", "multiple projectiles", "added lightning damage", "chaining projectiles" or even a combination of several of these. The system allows some very complex combinations, including radically changing the effect of a skill. For example, linking "Entrap" to a skill causes it to be imbued in a trap that is placed at a specific location – triggering the skill when an enemy gets close.
When can we expect the game to start beta testing?
We anticipate entering beta in early 2011. Initially it will be a closed beta, but we'll open it up to more and more people until the game is live later that year. Accounts created on our www.pathofexile.com website are game accounts, so they're automatically entered into the lottery for beta access once it's available.
Finally is there anything you wish to say about Path of Exile?
One other major feature is that our game areas are instanced and randomly generated. When you enter an area, a new version is generated for your party with a unique layout. In addition, our items are randomly generated and help augment the random levels to provide for deep replayability. The entire game can be played cooperatively or solo, depending on the player's personal preferences.
We'd like to encourage people to sign up for our community at www.pathofexile.com and we look forward to seeing them in beta!
Grinding Gear Games Announces Free-to-Play Online Action RPG Coming in Early 2011
Independent games studio Grinding Gear Games has recently announced Path of Exile, a free-to-play PC online action Role-Playing Game (RPG) set in a dark fantasy world. The game can best be compared to the likes of Diablo, Titan Quest and Dungeon Siege.
“We listened to the fan communities of several popular online action RPGs as we designed Path of Exile and are focused on replayability, depth and accessibility,” said Chris Wilson, Grinding Gear Games’ Founder. “We’ve designed the game that we would want to play ourselves, and we know hardcore Diablo, Titan Quest and Dungeon Siege players will find the style familiar and addictive.”
Wilson believes there has been a shortage of dark fantasy worlds in recent RPGs. “While the art style is a return to the classic dark fantasy that many hardcore players grew up with, we’re confident the difficulty curve is accessible enough for anyone. There are no rainbows and unicorns in our game, but there is plenty of blood and rare items to collect.”
Path of Exile has been in development for three years by Grinding Gear Games, an independent studio of hardcore RPG fans based in Auckland, New Zealand, the land that brought you the Lord of the Rings movies. The team comes from around the world with many team members meeting each other online through their passion for RPGs.
Path of Exile will feature six character classes, which are placed around three attributes. Only two of the classes have been announced so far: The Marauder and The Ranger. The Marauder is a pure Strength based class, while the Ranger is a pure Dexterity based class. The final attribute is Intelligence, suggesting the third class will be a magic user of some description.
The Marauder is Path of Exile’s pure strength class, which means that he’s great at taking hits, and even better at dishing out punishment. His melee skills encompass a wide range of assault, from massive single target damage to devastating area of effect. This brute of a man bolsters his impressive physical arsenal with a variety of shouts and cries, skills that rally his allies and strike terror into the hearts of his enemies.
The Ranger is Path of Exile’s pure Dexterity class, which befits her slim and graceful appearance. She is agile and fast, darting in and out of combat to deliver vicious critical strikes that often fell her enemies in a single blow. Her natural quickness grants her a profound ability to avoid damage, and she tends to garb herself in light leathers and cloth. She has tremendous proficiency with ranged weapons, but she is as lethal as any man on the battlefield with a sword.
Playing as one of six character classes, players find themselves banished for their past misdeeds to the dark fantasy world of Wraeclast. There, they will encounter hundreds of species of opponents laden with loot and mysterious artefacts as they explore the abandoned continent.
Walking, running, slithering or crawling, if it moves on Wraeclast, it’s almost certainly dangerous. Ever since the catastrophe, new twisted animals have risen to dominance, and small, isolated groups of survivors have fought for survival. Visitors seldom come back, but the few that do have compiled a growing compendium of its inhabitants. This “Bestiary” includes varied accounts, from the scholarly writings of explorers to the terror-filled rants of lucky escapees. Though their tales differ wildly in tone and substance, one thing is consistent: they warn that Wraeclast is a harsh, deadly, unforgiving environment, and anyone wishing to walk its paths had better be prepared.
The monster types which have been announced so far include: Sand Spitter, Zombie, Hillock, Scavenger, Rhoa, Skeleton, Goat Man, Hellion and Brutus. Most of the monsters look pretty dark and evil – further suggesting the dark tone of this game.
Nearly all action RPGs had linear skill systems where the progression of an active skill was preordained by the developers. If you were a fire user, you would progress from a weak fire spout to a more powerful fireball, and eventually to something big and flashy like a flame wave.
In Path of Exile, active skills (i.e., skills that you use on command) are itemized onto “Skill Gems”. These gems confer an active skill to the player when they are socketed into equipment and gain experience as the player slays enemies.
A choice of staple skill gems are given out as quest rewards throughout the game to ensure that players have a variety of skills available. You’ll discover rare advanced skill gems out in the wilderness and dungeons. Like all items, these can be traded between players. Some of the more devastating skills are extremely valuable.
Gems can also level up. When a player is rewarded experience, all gems in equipped items gain 10% of that value. This gain is in addition to the experience earned by the player. When a gem is removed or traded, it retains its experience. It’s possible to specialize in leveling up valuable gems and trading them to other players. Grinding Gear Games hasn’t announced the number of levels that gems will have, but it takes a substantial amount of experience to reach the highest levels of gem potency.
Gems have attribute requirements based on their type and level. For example, a higher level cleave skill gem requires more strength than a low level one. If your character doesn’t meet the attribute requirements of the new level of the skill gem, then the experience value sits at the maximum of the previous level until you next gain additional experience and also meet its requirements.
Gems are placed in sockets, making items with multiple sockets even more valuable than they are in similar games. More sockets = more skill = more power! In addition to active skill gems, another type of gem exists – support gems. These are placed in special, linked sockets and grant additional properties to other gems they are linked with. They do not grant active skills themselves.
This skill system seems pretty interesting and leads to a wide variety of combinations. This means that unlike other games, even ‘normal’ melee moves can be customized and not just the spells of a magic user. This really enhances the fun one can have from a melee class significantly.
We recently previewed Path of Exile, an online diablo style action game with huge potential. The preview piqued the interest of many readers and in this interview with Grinding Gear Games we investigate the game, and the people behind it, in much more depth.
We always start with an easy question. Could you tell us a little about your company, Grinding Gear Games? Who are you Guys?
We’re a bunch of hardcore gamers mostly from New Zealand who love Action RPGs. Some members of our team are based internationally and represent a variety of countries. We’ve been working on this project since late 2006, and intend to continue to support it as our primary project for a long while after release.
How did you get into game design? What other games have the members in your team worked on?
I was personally always interested in games programming from a young age. It seemed only natural to me that it would be the career path that I would eventually take.
Several of our developers do have shipped titles under their belt, for companies such as Sidhe, Mere Mortals and Altar Games.
For most members of our team, this is their first commercial game. The game development industry in New Zealand is in its infancy, with most interested candidates moving overseas to have more job options.
Because of this, we generally hire talented hobbyists who have worked on their own private game projects and show a lot of potential.
How did you come up with the concept of your first game, Path of Exile?
Most of the founding members of our team have spent many years of their life playing a variety of popular action RPGs such as the Diablo series, Titan Quest, Dungeon Siege and Sacred. We created this company and game because we felt that we could improve on the genre and make an action RPG that would be a lot of fun to play for both our players and ourselves. The phrase “made by gamers, for gamers” is pretty true here.
What are the three features of Path of Exile that you are most proud of? Things which really set it apart from other games in the genre?
The feature we’ve been getting the most positive feedback for so far is our skills system. Our skills are itemised in gems which can be found in the wilderness and level up with you as you receive experience. Core skills are given to you periodically for completing quests, but players are encouraged to discover and trade for the rarer ones. The skill gems grant active skills to the player once they are socketed in equipped items. Linked sockets allow players to place a “support” gem adjacent to a skill gem. The support gems augment the properties of an active skill by modifying it in some specific way.
For example, placing “Multiple Projectiles” next to “Elemental Hit” in linked sockets lets you fire several elemental arrows per shot.
Supporting “Fireball” or “Ice Nova” with “Entrap” causes those skills to act as traps rather than simple attacks. There are dozens of unique skills and supports, creating a large number of combinations that players can use.
The second key feature is that Path of Exile is played exclusively on our persistent online servers. Most action RPGs just have single player or non-secure multiplayer available. Although those games are still great fun to play with friends, they lack the secure economy that purely online games are able to provide. An important part of finding an amazing item is being able to show it off to strangers and have them know that you actually found it.
World areas in Path of Exile are randomly generated as the player enters them. Both our indoors and outdoors level generators are extremely powerful and we feel that our random level generation is among the best in the industry. Monsters have randomly generated mods, and our item system is as diverse as the best in the action RPG genre.
By having the game experience substantially different each time an area is played, we hope to achieve much long-term replayability.
If someone following your project with anticipation has a great idea, or would like to contribute – what is the best way to go about this?
We’ve got a suggestions forum on our site, www.pathofexile.com. We do read all posts, so feel free to suggest ideas there. In terms of people contributing, they should send us email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what they have in mind.
Path of Exile will be free to play, based on micro transactions. Do you feel this is a sustainable model long-term? Do you have a “plan-b” to fall back on if it doesn’t work out financially?
Yes, ethical microtransactions are a proven model in several other games. Many companies are making decent money by just selling aesthetic items to their customers. Part of the appeal of this method is that it doesn’t turn off customers who would get angry about “selling power” in the game. We can make sure the game is a level playing field for competitive tournaments, because customers can only purchase items of cosmetic utility.
Also, many people think to themselves that they’d never spend money on microtransactions, therefore the game is doomed to fail. Only a portion of the player base needs to spend money for the game to be viable, and it’s shown in many other games that this rate may be as high as 10% of players. It’s completely okay for people to play our game for free and not make any donations or purchase cosmetic items.
The art that has so far been released for Path of Exile is impressive – our compliments to the designers. Where did you find those guys? What is the biggest inspiration for the art direction?
Thanks, they appreciate the compliments. Our lead artist, Erik Olofsson, is from Sweden and moved to New Zealand to head our art team. Most of the other artists are very talented New Zealanders who we have hired over the years. The local “Media Design School” in Auckland is a very good source for skilled artists and has been a great asset for us when finding new talent.
How do players sign up for the upcoming beta in early 2011?
All accounts created on our website (www.pathofexile.com) are game accounts, and are automatically entered into the lottery for beta access once it is available. If you want to sign up for the beta, merely make an account on our site. That account can also be used to discuss the game in the forums, where we’re building a community.
Is there anything you would like to mention about your company, or Path of Exile which we have not yet covered and you feel our readers must absolutely know?
Although Path of Exile is an online game, it’s completely possible to play the game alone if you wish. Players are put into randomly generated instances with their party members while they are in the wilderness. Towns have substantially larger player caps and allow players to show off their items, trade for new ones, party up with other players, or just chat in safety. Players who don’t like to play online games with strangers can treat Path of Exile as a single player game, but one that takes place in a secure online economy so that they can still show off their finds to other players.
For more information about Path of Exile, or to sign up for a beta account, please visit www.pathofexile.com. We look forward to welcoming you to our community!
The purpose of this "Developer Discussion" forum is for us to discuss topics with you that we feel we need feedback on.
We haven't decided on a system for death penalties in Path of Exile. Clearly in specific leagues like hardcore there is a well defined death penalty, but we haven't come up with anything solid for default play.
I understand that this has already been discussed here, but I'd like to build a bigger discussion that hopefully results in some kind of decision.
Currently, when a player dies, they can respawn (with no penalty) in that act's town. We will probably be introducing something like town portals, soon, so we're going to need a more appropriate penalty.
We don't like the idea of dropping an item upon death, because players of the default league have specifically chosen to not suffer permanent loss when they die.
Having an experience penalty is possible, but maybe there's something more interesting we can do.
Do you guys have any ideas for how we can handle this in an interesting way?
Last weekend, we ran a special Path of Exile pre-alpha test event at the Lanholm LAN in West Auckland, New Zealand. 26 players played for 90 minutes, competing for an exclusive shirt and cash prize. The players had fun, and we learned a lot about running this type of event.
Pick an appropriate venue
Lanholm is a series of LANs that has been going on for almost a decade. Some of our team members met there many years ago, and it's an important part of our local gaming community. We heard there was a LAN planned for last weekend so we decided that it'd be a great opportunity to get some feedback on Path of Exile.
We decided not to publicise the event on our game forums beforehand. It was important to us that we got a wide sample of gamers and hardware, rather than a group of dedicated action RPG fans. If we didn’t know in advance that the event would have enough people, we’d definitely have had to advertise it a bit.
Offer some prizes
We decided to give the winner of our competition $50 and an exclusive Path of Exile shirt (the last one of the batch we had made for team members). Second place got $20 and the knowledge that he just didn’t kill enough monsters in time. Standings were based on an experience “ladder” that we had displayed on one screen during the competition.
We were impressed by how the prizes encouraged people to try the game out. We knew that a core 15 or so friends and RPG players would be interested in playing, but most of the other attendees played for the entire competition duration because they were interested in winning the money. It pleased us that many of them continued to play even after the competition was over. One guy told us that he was going to have to cancel going to a Halloween party because he wanted to compete for the $50.
Plan the competition to be fun and intense
Some people at the event were friends who are on our internal alpha testing team. They’re familiar with the game, so we told them in advance that they were excluded from prizes. They were disappointed, but understood that we wanted to keep the competition fair for new players so that more people were interested and we would get better feedback.
We found that the “ladder rush” format worked really well for a 90 minute competition. The people at the top of the ladder were very close, and when it came to the end of the competition, they were fighting neck and neck to be placed first. When the time ran out, the winning player was only 5000 experience ahead (roughly 20 monsters).
We made sure to balance the amount of content available with the time limit that we had decided on. We were given a 90 minute slot in the LAN’s tournament schedule, so we enabled gameplay up to the end of the Brutus fight in the prison. This meant that the fastest players were just running out of new areas as the competition came to an end.
Prepare a stable build in advance
Before allowing people to see or play a build of a game, it’s important to make sure that it’s stable and well-tested. Because of this, it’s really risky to allow players to play the mainline “trunk” version of the game. It’s much safer to tag a known stable version and test that one, fixing any issues in that specific version rather than constantly updating to the cutting edge of what the team is working on.
We tagged 0.6.8 (the version created for this LAN) on the day before the event, giving us only one day to fix minor issues in that build. Tagging earlier would have allowed us to polish more, but would have resulted in the build being less up to date.
It would have been good to get more than a few hours of testing done on this build before taking it to the LAN. Although there were no major problems, half a dozen polish issues could have been corrected if we had noticed them beforehand. Next time we’ll try to finalise the build earlier than the day that we have to use it. In hindsight it would have been sensible to turn off some of the weird debug commands. Someone pressed F9, which puts the client into movie mode (causing it to run very slowly while taking high resolution screenshots to make movies from). They reported this problem as “Hey man, your game is really laggy”.
Don’t hack up a special build for the event - use it as an excuse to test your deployment process
One of our main goals for this event was to test our client and server deployment process. We wanted to use all of our existing build pipeline to package the special version for this LAN. It would run from a local server rather than one on the internet, and it’d only work at this one event. We did not want to assemble a “frankenbuild”, as that method had burned us in the past. The deployment worked perfectly, and was a great test of our build system.
We actually deployed our servers to a virtual machine that we took to the LAN. We were interested to know how well it would perform under emulated hardware (turns out there was minimal perceptible overhead), and we didn’t want to rip out any of the server machines from the build farm at our office.
We should have made it easier to enable people’s accounts at the event. Traditionally, our servers allow people to sign up for accounts and then we can add game access on a case by case basis (for example, adding people to the official beta test that starts early next year). We decided to retain this model for the LAN event so that we could control who gets access and also only allow players to log in when we were ready. Overall it was quite a lot of effort to tick the box on each player’s account as they created it, so it would have been easier to just allow unlimited access at the venue.
We made sure that the game client that we gave out was only usable at this one LAN. It’s built so that it can’t be used to connect to our alpha servers, and has to be replaced if we run another event. This was done on purpose because we expected that people would leave the venue without deleting the game client from their machines.
Distribute the game client before the competition starts
45 minutes before we started the competition, we began to distribute the game client to players. We were intending to stagger this so that there weren’t 20+ people copying it from the same server, but it turns out that gigabit Ethernet is more than fast enough.
We let players play on the server for a while before we started the competition. This let them get slightly familiar with the game, and allowed us time to solve any problems people had with their accounts. When the competition itself started, we took down the servers, made an announcement, and then wiped the characters/items databases so that players could start fresh.
Have staff on hand to investigate problems as they occur
All sorts of problems can crop up when testing a pre-alpha game on an arbitrary set of hardware. Out of the 30 people that tried to run the game, 26 succeeded. The other four had strange legacy graphics cards that we haven’t tested on before, and ran into some incompatibilities. We dumped DirectX diagnostic information so that we can get the game to work with these cards back at the office.
We had three staff on hand at the LAN, and they were all busy answering questions throughout the competition. Most technical issues were resolved before the competition began, but players often had questions about the game as they progressed, so we were busy the whole time helping them out.
Get usability and gameplay feedback from the players
Although it feels really important to help players and explain everything to them, it’s often useful to stand back and watch them struggle with complex features before you explain them. Some things that we thought were obvious were missed by players (an item that says “Right click this item then left click another one to identify it” had people asking “How do I use this?”. Also, some people would walk right through the town area and not talk to the clearly marked NPCs, failing to get some important skill gems). We noted down many areas that could be improved with better explanations or visual cues.
Gather as much data as possible with an instrumented game client
In retrospect, we should have instrumented the game client substantially more. Although we paid attention to which machines were performing poorly (and asked what graphics cards those players had), it would have been great to log the average frame rate against the hardware specs of each machine.
We were interested in seeing what proportion of character classes people would pick at the event. There were two available, and we were pleased to see an almost equal split of character chosen.
Try to have fun yourself
Thankfully, everything went fine for us and people had a lot of fun playing. We received a lot of good feedback and many of the players expressed interest in bribing us for beta access. I imagine it would have been stressful if things were going wrong, but it was a great afternoon hanging out with other gamers and showing off the progress we’ve made on our project so far. Hopefully our beta testers feel the same way early next year!
Earlier this year, we set up an online Path of Exile testing realm and invited some close friends to help test our game. We expected people to log in for a couple of hours a week at most - after all, the game is unfinished and they’re mostly playing out of obligation. No one expected that some testers would become hopelessly addicted and would play a pre-alpha game for 40+ hours per week. This development diary entry is about the testing realm and its testers.
The initial testers
Our motivation for setting up the testing realm was so that we could get some practice running a real realm and providing support for it (next year we’re going to have to handle tens of thousands of concurrent players). We also figured that we could probably con people in to testing for free, in return for the exclusivity of being the world’s only pre-alpha testers for Path of Exile. Not that they’re allowed to talk about the game to anyone, of course.
Our first 15 or so testers weren’t heavy RPG players. At this stage, the playable online version of the game had about 90 minutes of content, so they’d generally just play a new character through those levels each time we made any changes. We were happy that people enjoyed the game, but kept having to feed new testers to it, to get feedback from people with different gaming backgrounds.
A growing addiction
One night, I gave access to a friend and helped him set up the game before I went to sleep. In the morning, he was still awake. He had played all night and was very eager to show us the items he had found. Our game had its first grinder! I joined the realm on my level 17 character to check out his items and show him mine. He was level 19 and had better items in almost all slots. I never expected to be called a noob in my own game.
Soon, more RPG players joined the test and started to play worryingly large amounts of Path of Exile. We had put a lot of effort into replayability (randomly generated areas and items), but I began to question the sanity of people who could do runs of the same few levels for hours on end, hunting some elusive rare items that we had only hinted at in patch notes. We soon realised that they were competing with each other. We quickly added a ladder ranking web page, so that all the testers could see who had the most experience.
Once the ladder was in, it was a different game entirely. Some testers began to time their sleep schedules around each other so that they could get as much experience in as possible while the other person wasn’t looking. People’s collections of items began to border on obsessive. This was the game we were desperately trying to make and people were playing it in a much more hardcore way than we had imagined. Other casual testers asked if there were areas they didn’t have access to, because they didn’t understand how people were level 23 if they could only access the areas we had enabled so far.
Nerfing anything that moves
Having testers like these guys makes it really easy to work out what needs fixing or rebalancing. I observed one of them casting a storm of 40 fireballs in one click with heavy abuse of our skill augmentation system. Another tester was able to chain about 10 ice novas together in under a second. As we fixed each issue, they quickly converged on the next most broken skill combination to abuse. Our in-house quality assurance guys do a great job, but there’s nothing like a player who wants to retain their ladder spot to help you find the most abusive strategies.
When we rebalance items on this test realm, we generally leave the old ones in place (as a practice for release, where we can’t go deleting people’s items when the balance is tweaked). Because of this, there are all sorts of strange legacy items floating around on the test realm, which are almost priceless in value. I saw an amulet that increases the overall damage reduction of a character by 30%. The correctly balanced value for this amulet should be around 6-8%.
Wraeclast's first traders
Watching what trades occur for items is also fascinating. It’s very much driven by what is currently imbalanced or boasted about by other players. For a while, the most powerful bow base type could only drop from bosses in the highest area. Once it was discovered that this bow could drop, some testers began to do specific runs looking for that bow. Even white-text non-augmented versions of the bow were worth a huge amount in trade, despite them being like any other base item in the game. Specific hot skill gems like “Multiple Projectiles” or “Multiple Attacks” commanded huge trade values until all the hardcore players eventually had their set.
Due to an oversight, we had some skill gems dropping that don’t yet have their skills enabled. Some of the players have found several instances of these gems and leveled them up substantially so that they’re worth a lot when those skills are enabled and very desirable in a week or two.
The calm before the storm
The feedback we get from our testers is really useful and helps us shape Path of Exile with frequent updates. It’s quite an amazing experience running a little world that only a handful of people inhabit, trying to get it balanced and fun before the floodgates are opened and thousands of players join in.
Nee dat is niet te zeggen, we weten dat een beta van Diablo 3 een half jaar voor de release begint en die zie ik niet nog dit jaar beginnen dus daar kunnen we geen conclusies uit trekkenSkyclad schreef op maandag 22 november 2010 @ 08:36:
Ziet er op zich interessant uit, maar beta pas in 2011? Dan komt D3 dus waarschijnlijk eerder uit?
Path of Exile is not an MMORPG, it’s an online action RPG. Yes, it’s played online on persistent servers with thousands of other players, but we don’t want to call it an MMORPG because the term has become so closely associated with World of Warcraft clones - games that allow hundreds of players to play together in each area.
Path of Exile limits the number of players in any one world area (a few dozen in towns, much less in actual wilderness areas) by instancing them. It also features visceral action combat that would not be easily to simulate on servers designed to handle many hundreds of players in one area. Although this is stated many times on our website and in interviews, many people still believe we’re making a traditional MMORPG.
There’s only room for a few MMORPGs
For the last six years, there has been one dominant MMORPG in the western market. Many studios have attempted to muscle into the same space, sometimes spending upwards of $30 million in the process. Almost all of these games launched with a bang but failed to keep most of their users after a month or two. Many of them are struggling to remain profitable day to day, or to repay their development costs. The reason for this is clear – their launch content is unable to match the level of development and polish that World of Warcraft has had by now and players are unwilling to pay for more than one subscription at once.
There are major technical and business challenges that must be solved when developing an MMORPG that we literally can not afford to deal with. As a small indie studio, we need to deliver a compelling online RPG experience for a tiny fraction of the budget of a typical MMORPG.
Where possible, we try to make design decisions that mitigate these costs and risks while making the most action-packed game possible. This article contains some generalizations about how we see the world, the challenges of making Path of Exile and our responses.
Massively Multiplayer, but you can’t play with everyone?
One of the main selling points of an MMORPG (and something that seemed impossibly cool back in 1999) was that many hundreds of players could gather in the same area and all see each other’s actions in real time. Despite how technically difficult this is to implement, most online games want the “Massively Multiplayer” title so much that they invest in the necessary infrastructure to make it happen.
MMORPGs are very sensitive to population levels. If the game has too few players, it begins to feel like a ghost town. The MMO experience relies on the player being able to encounter other players as they explore the world (both to quest with, and for PVP shenanigans). If player levels stay low for a while, server merges are required - confusing the players and damaging the game economy.
If population levels are too high, the world has to be sharded into many concurrent versions of the same world, housed on different servers. Some MMORPGs have many such shards, which means that two arbitrary players who first meet outside the game are unlikely to both play on the same server. This is a major problem for many players - they can run around with hundreds of other people, but only the people who happened to pick their server. They have limited options to play with people from other servers, such as
World of Warcraft battlegroups.
Because Path of Exile uses instancing for all areas (including towns, at a higher population cap than the wilderness), there is no technical restriction on the number of players that can be playing concurrently on a server cluster. If it starts to get overloaded, more servers can be easily added in parallel. We’re planning to only shard our servers for major geographical locations (America and Europe for example). This means that regardless of the number of players in America, they can play together if they choose to.
Another advantage of using instancing is that if the server population is relatively low (on Christmas day, for example), there are still the regular number of players per instance - just fewer instances running concurrently. Players don’t feel the ghost town effect so strongly when their instances are still full.
It’s quite telling that recent MMORPGs put a significant amount of their end-game content in instances. They’re trying to reap the benefits of this system but are still forced to shard so many copies of their world because of the large non-instanced portions of their games.
Unfortunately, when designing traditional MMORPG servers to handle this many players moving in the same area, many compromises have to be made. There’s no time for the server to do anything other than receive the movement input, check that it’s not inside a wall, and send it out to all of the hundreds of players watching.
Checking for dynamic collisions with monsters or other players is often too computationally expensive with this number of connections - players can walk right through their enemies. Because an MMORPG cannot easily simulate tactical combat, they have to design systems that emphasise strategic decisions through skill selection.
Path of Exile doesn’t allow hundreds of players in an area. We don’t even want to. For this type of game, there are major gameplay benefits with restricting the non-town instances to a maximum of 4-8 players. Our instance servers are coded more like the servers for a First Person Shooter. They care a lot about fast movements and positioning of a low number of players at once. This allows us to have tactical combat mechanics such as monster-body-blocking, stun-lock, and dodging projectiles as they fly towards you. You can't dodge a fireball in World of Warcraft. The hit success is calculated as soon as it's cast, regardless of where the target is once it gets there.
Due to the low player limit, the world areas can be fun and challenging for both small party or solo play. There’s no need to wait for dead monsters to repopulate or queue for bosses.
Handmade vs Random
Traditional MMORPGs consist of giant handmade worlds, painstakingly crafted by talented teams of artists and designers at great expense. Once players are grinding end-game content, developers are pressured into adding new areas every few months so that their player-base doesn't get bored of repeating the same static areas.
Instancing world areas also gives us one more opportunity - we can randomly generate their layouts. This goes a long way towards facilitating replayability, because players are very sensitive to repeating the same area over and over. It also means that we can hide interesting events and subareas in the world.
Like some other Action RPGs, Path of Exile has multiple difficulty levels. Once the player has finished the game with their character they can then continue to play the game again in a mode where the monsters have become far more dangerous. Our random level generation allows us to also scale up the environments in these areas - mazes can be longer and caves can be deeper.
Most traditional MMORPGs have quite a large degree of item determinism. Monsters have loot tables and a small random chance to drop specific items. Whenever a new end-game area is added, multiple tiers of weapons and armour must also be designed and created, often at significant expense.
On the other hand, Action RPGs generally approach item drops in a completely different manner. All monsters have a small chance to drop all items of their level or less. The items have some number of magic properties that are randomly picked out of a pool appropriate for that item. This system is basically a slot machine. There are frequent chances to win based on either the item type or on the synergy and power of its properties. It eases the end-game content requirements substantially because playing normal areas can yield valuable item rewards also.
This non-deterministic item system is cheaper to develop. Rather than having to design hundreds of new items for each content patch, only a few new base types and new random properties effectively create millions of new combinations for players to find.
MMORPGs are not cheap to develop. There are plenty of examples of MMORPGs that have cost upwards of $30m USD, even before marketing costs.
Another significant issue with these projects is the risk. Game projects generally have quite high variance (only a small portion are profitable), but it’s worse with an MMORPG. Because most of the revenue comes from subscriptions (or microtransactions) after release, there are many opportunities for the game to become unpopular and fail. There are also substantial post-release development expenses that are difficult to fund if the game was already over-budget and performing poorly. Once a company doesn't have the funds to released promised content updates on schedule, users leave, and funds dry up further. This death spiral is the reason many MMORPGs ultimately fail.
The revenue models of modern MMORPGs are all over the place. Many of them require a boxed copy purchase, a monthly subscription and also have premium microtransaction content available for purchase. These schemes can be quite confusing (and expensive) for the customer.
ArenaNet’s Guild Wars had great success with just a boxed copy purchase and no monthly fees. Nexon’s MapleStory made a small fortune by supplying the game for free and just selling microtransaction perks. It’s worth noting that neither of these games are traditional Everquest-clone MMORPGs (Guild Wars uses instancing and MapleStory is a 2d side-scrolling online game).
Many players are unable to justify multiple $15/month subscriptions at once, and already have a World of Warcraft subscription that they are not giving up.
Microtransactions are great, but most companies quickly degenerate into selling powerful items that become mandatory for serious players. Most players in a free game aren’t willing to spend money on microtransactions, but are very important to keep around because they provide playmates for the paying players. The sale of mandatory powerful effects (currency, experience potions, weapons) quickly alienates the non-paying players and can cause a major backlash leading to player exodus.
With Path of Exile, we’ve targeted a specific niche group of gamers who enjoy online action RPGs with dark fantasy art styles. We are members of this gaming subset, and by specifically catering to it we will provide a great gaming experience on an affordable budget. Advertising costs are also substantially cheaper because we know exactly who we’re targeting. These factors mitigate a great deal of the risk in our project. We felt that it was much better to have a 75% shot at making a great online action RPG rather than a 5% shot at making a great MMORPG (for 20 times the budget).
In a similar vein, we’re giving Path of Exile away for free. We want as many people to try it as possible so that we can grow a large community of players who enjoy the game - it’s less risky that way. This is also why we’re offering only ethical microtransactions. We fear the risk of player backlash and it’s just not worth selling experience potions to try to make a quick buck. Sure, we’ll make less money per paying customer than our competitors, but we know the community will appreciate it". We intend to maintain Path of Exile for at least ten years, so it’s important that we have a good relationship with our players.
It’s common for developers to outsource portions of their development to various developing countries to take advantage of cheap labour. Communication problems over distances are common with this type of arrangement and can lead to wasted resources or assets of questionable quality. We’re developing Path of Exile in New Zealand, which means that, other than a couple of overseas contractors, most of our developers are English-speaking Westerners who are immersed in Western RPGs. It’s also good that New Zealand wages are among the lowest in first-world countries. Path of Exile’s low budget means that we don’t need to recover $30m via microtransactions like some competing free games do.
After making such a gigantic investment, investors in a traditional MMORPG want a huge launch with expensive advertising campaigns. We don't blame them - it must be pretty scary trying to recoup $30m via the long tail (the period after launch where sales are tailing off).
Online games have long lifespans and generally receive frequent content expansions (both free and paid). Because of this, their content is worst at release. Although a newly released online RPG might appeal to its most hardcore fans, it generally lacks the polish and breadth of content that keeps mainstream players around for more than the trial month. There's a group of 200,000 MMO players who drift around from new release to new release, playing out their free month on the initial content before getting bored and moving on.
One luxury that indie developers of non-massive online RPGs have is that they don't have to try to recoup their development costs in the first month of release. The reason that popular indie online RPGs seem to come out of nowhere is that they were initially released to a limited niche audience and gradually gathered more mainstream appeal as they received updates in the first year or so.
We lack the advertising budget to have a giant mainstream launch for Path of Exile, so we are initially focusing on the core niche of online action RPG players. Once we've added some expansions and grown our company we'll hopefully be able to advertise more and attract mainstream players.
It also helps that any additional content we add can take advantage of the random level/item generation systems that we have. Doubling the amount of raw content more than doubles the amount of time players can be entertained by the game.
In summary, by choosing not to make Path of Exile a traditional MMORPG, we’ve attempted to reduce both the technical and business risks for a small team and focus on delivering a great action RPG. So far these decisions have paid off well. We are developing a product that we’re very pleased with and for a budget that we can afford. If you’re keen to try Path of Exile when it enters beta next year, please sign up for a forum account now.
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Witch! Destroy dungeons with Path of Exile’s new playable class
Hail, traveler! You seem the adventuring sort. Pause your passage through our website village, and look: a dungeon lies before you. You’re not just going to sit there and let it lie uncrawled, hmm? Not when we have a new, magic-throwing girl for you to use to purge its dark citizens, surely.
We’ve already had hands-on with Path of Exile. It’s dark. It’s good. And it’ll be free. Today, we reveal a new class: the Witch. Sorcery-filled interview and video within.
PC Gamer: What sort of dungeon-crawling person does the Witch suit?
Chris Wilson, Producer at Grinding Gear Games: The Witch’s typical playstyle is “blasty.” She’s generally a glass-cannon class who deals a lot of damage but is very vulnerable. Some players love the combined fun and risk of herding groups of monsters together and trying to kill them in bulk with area-of-effect spells. A lot of fans on our forum have been begging us to announce the spellcaster class. Hopefully they’re pleased with the style of gameplay that the Witch offers.
PCG: How does the Witch’s backstory fit into the game world? How does a magic user in Path of Exile differ from a magic user in, say, World of Warcraft?
Wilson: Path of Exile has a dark aesthetic. The continent of Wraeclast is a very hostile environment, where the player fears not only the monsters, but also other players and even the environment itself.
The Witch, like all our character classes, was exiled from her homeland because of her crimes. Her society does not tolerate any magic use whatsoever, so her fate was sealed when she murdered those who threatened her for being different. The backstories of all the classes (including the Witch) highlight the stark unfairness that afflicts many characters in our world. She’s not implicitly evil, but committed a violent crime due to her inability to control her powers. Being exiled to Wraeclast is intended to be substantially worse than a quick execution.
In terms of a specific gameplay comparison, magic users in traditional MMORPGs select a target and then cast spells on that monster in the same way that a melee character would use skills on their target. In Path of Exile, magic users can cast spells into the world and have them affect whatever they hit. The path and impact of projectiles are tracked correctly, and area of effect spells can be thrown around rapidly, chilling or burning groups of monsters that are calculated based on exact positions.
PCG: What specific abilities does the Witch possess, and what are one or two examples of how they change after being augmented by gems?
Wilson: None of our characters possess any exclusive abilities, but are intended to use highly synergistic skills appropriate for their core attributes. For example, the Witch is highly encouraged to use intelligence spells such as Fireball, Ice Nova, Cold Snap and Raise Zombie. Because she’s the intelligence class and these are intelligence skills, it’s far easier for her to meet their attribute requirements and equip items that have intelligence sockets.
In terms of augmentation, here are some examples of support gems that have not been publicly discussed before:
“Chaining” support gem: Once the linked spell has hit one target, it replicates itself and targets another nearby valid target. For example, the fireball would explode and then launch another fireball at a nearby monster. Higher levels of the Chaining support gem cause it to target additional consecutive monsters. This support is useful for more than just the obvious damage increase, because it makes the skill somewhat fire-and-forget. The player isn’t locked in place like they would be with the “Multiple Casts” support gem (which causes several copies of the spell to be cast in series).
“Protection while casting” support gem: Puts a temporary additional Energy Shield on the caster for the duration of the linked spell’s cast time. This is very useful for skills such as Ice Nova where the player is generally in the middle of a group of monsters. It’s also useful for use with the “Multiple Casts” support gem where the player spends longer than normal casting a sequence of spells.
PCG: When we were talking with Blizzard about Diablo III, they made the interesting remark that they’re not altering any of the PvE balance of their classes to make PvP more fair—they don’t want to turn Diablo into a hypercompetitive e-sport, to paraphrase Blizzard. Not that there’s one right way of doing things, of course—but with the addition of different leagues mentioned in the press release, how much of a focus or concern is PvP balance for Grinding Gear?
Wilson: Leagues are separate game economies within one realm. They can have additional rulesets that modify gameplay. For example, in a cutthroat league, players drop all their items when they die. Some leagues are short-lived and offer opportunities for players who want to compete at levelling quickly. For example, an attrition league could last over a weekend, and would eliminate players periodically (based on who has the lowest experience) until only one remains. There’s a much more detailed explanation of leagues here.
There are specific active skills, passive skills and support gems designed with PvP in mind. It’s likely that dedicated PvP players will create specific PvP characters that have taken into account appropriate meta-game concerns. The items that are found in PvE (or awarded in PvP) are usable in both modes, and although they may be better suited to one style of play, there aren’t many stats that are only useful in PvP or PvE alone.
An example of a PvP-specific support gem is the “Resist Skill” gem. If linked with an active skill gem, your character will have some degree of resistance to attacks made against it with that skill. For example, if you expect that a PvP tournament is going to have a meta-game consisting of many fireball wielding characters, it might be sensible to link “Resist Skill” to “Fireball” in addition to the usual fire resistance gear you’d wear.
We do care about PvP balance and will try to make sure that it’s a fun, fair playing field. It’s not that we want Path of Exile to become an e-sport, but it’s not healthy if there’s one dominant PvP build that everyone has to either play or beat. We’d prefer that it’s a constantly changing environment with many different viable builds.
PCG: If two players built two very different Witches, what would those characters look like?
Wilson: Assuming that the Witches didn’t use skills or abilities that spilled over too much into archetypes that are better suited to other unannounced classes, I’d probably suggest these two witches:
- A glass-cannon Witch that spams high damage fire spells, with a specialisation in achieving critical strikes frequently so that the enemies catch on fire. Passive skill points allocated that cause the fire to spread between enemies.
- A defensive Witch with specialisation in energy shield regeneration and reduced energy shield cooldown. A usage of cold spells to chill or freeze enemies while summoned minions deal damage to them (at a safe distance from the Witch).
These two ability sets show the contrast between crazy volatile damage output versus careful defensive attrition. Of course, players might have completely valid reasons to play strange builds such as melee Witches if they wanted, but there might be more appropriate classes for that unless they have some clever synergies planned.
PCG: When you’re creating a character class, what sort of balance do you want to strike between exploiting existing archetypes of what people understand mages to be and surprising them by creating something that deviates from that?
Wilson: The feeling of familiarity with an archetype is very important. Many players have a favorite playstyle and the best place for them to begin with Path of Exile is probably that character class. We initially designed a completely classless system for Path of Exile, but had to scrap it because we found that players were uncertain what direction to take with their blank-slate characters. By adding identifiable archetypes in the forum of starting character classes, players are encouraged to think early about what type of playstyle they want for this character.
Because any class can use any active or passive skill or any item (providing they meet the requirements, of course), there are a lot of surprises in terms of possible deviations that characters can take.
PCG: The press release mentions a “barrier” that the Witch uses to protect herself. Is it fair to think of this as a shield mechanic, and is it unique to her class?
Wilson: Armor pieces in Path of Exile use different damage mitigation techniques depending on whether they are aligned with strength, dexterity or intelligence. Intelligence armor pieces add “energy shield,” which is the mentioned barrier. It’s a damage buffer that must be depleted before the character’s life total is damaged. Once the character is out of combat, it regenerates. It’s not unique to the Witch class, but she’s the class who finds it easiest to obtain and has the most synergies with it.
It’s worth noting that it’s easy to stun a Witch, because stuns occur when physical damage is dealt that exceeds some percentage of the character’s life. Although the Witch may have a large energy shield, her life total is relatively low, so most hits probably deal over the threshold and cause a stun. This encourages the Witch to keep out of direct combat unless she specialises in reducing this drawback.
PCG: Have you settled on how many players will be able to participate in co-op simultaneously?
Wilson: We haven’t decided a number yet, as we’re still testing values and seeing what feels right for gameplay. For now, we’re still using the estimate of between four and eight players being able to cooperate per instance.
PCG: What’s the release window for Path of Exile at this time? When can fans expect to participate in the beta?
Wilson: We’re still on track to enter both closed and open beta during 2011. We’ve announced three of the character classes so far, and expect to announce the other three prior to inviting players to the beta. Content is in full production mode, so the distance between class announcements will hopefully not be too long. How long the betas will last depends greatly on player feedback, but the game is essentially released once it’s in open beta, as far as we’re concerned. After release, we expect to release several content expansions per year.
We’d love to encourage people to sign up for a game account at www.pathofexile.com. These accounts are real game accounts and are entered into the pool that we will draw beta accounts from, so it’s good to sign up if you’re interested in trying Path of Exile out when it’s available.
Teamplay is everything.
gamepc Nick: ACEpr0faker Steam: pr0faker
[Voor 8% gewijzigd door FloydRaalte op 13-01-2011 11:26]
If you can't take the heat, don't tickle the dragon.
Het voordeel van Path of Exile is dat het echt niet hoeft, aangezien je geen "gameplay benefits" kan kopen. Okee, jouw fireball ziet er niet uit als een drakenhoofd, maar hij is nog steeds even sterkSouLLeSSportal schreef op donderdag 13 januari 2011 @ 10:12:
Ook aangemeld voor de beta, ziet er wel leuk uit alhoewel ik geen fan van micropayments ben.
When designing Path of Exile, we spent a lot of time playing other action RPGs. We carefully examined what game mechanics we felt worked or didn’t work. The genre is built around a core set of very solid mechanics, but one system uniformly stood out as feeling out of place: potions. We’ve designed a system that we feel dramatically improves on potions to create stronger itemization and more tactical options for players.
Existing Potion Systems
In almost every case, action RPGs had disposable life and mana potions that would refill a portion of the player’s life over time. In many cases, these potions would stack in the inventory and could be accessed by pressing a specific key on the keyboard without having to individually manipulate the potions. We soon found that players were encouraged to buy literally 100 potions of each type in town, becoming essentially invulnerable until they ran out of potions. It was common to see people develop the habit of tapping the healing key at periodic intervals, regardless of whether it was optimal to use a potion at that exact moment. The potion systems also created a horrible tradeoff between inventory space and healing potential. It was often correct to have no room to pick up items, in exchange for a substantially larger pile of potions.
The free-to-play online game Path of Exile is attempting is giving the action-RPG formula a tweak. In this exclusive interview, we delve into the game's second act, the Duelist class, and the developers' solution to "potion spam."
Few things get this old role-player excited as a good action-RPG. Even at my advanced age, I still love a good hack-'n'-slasher with plenty of loot. And I’m especially fond of those that surprise me every now and then, either with their charm (Torchlight), their silliness (Sacred 2: Sacred Angel), or a different approach.
Path of Exile is one of the latter. This online action-RPG features a world ruined by a cataclysm. It sports randomly generated levels; towns to meet players in, craft items, and trade gear; Path of Exile ditches the skill tree in favor of a socket system that boosts your skills in the vein of Final Fantasy VII’s Materia system.
In this exclusive interview with the developers conducted via instant messaging between their New Zealand office and GamePro’s San Francisco HQ, Grinding Gear Lead Programmer Jonathan Rogers share their excitement for this self-published game. In our first preview in September, we looked at the first act, in which the survivors of a ruined world send their troublemakers (aka “the players”) to the wasteland of Wraeclast as exiles. The game’s second act leaves the ruined coast of Wraeclast for the forested wastes, where survivors lead a hardscrabble life amid hints of Wraeclast’s former civilizations. In these wastes, characters such as the Duelist, the latest class Grinding Gear is showing, can come in handy, especially when potions—frequently the lifeblood of the action-RPG hero—are nonexistent.
GamePro: Have you come closer to a release date for Path of Exile? Last time we talked, you said “early 2011.”
Jonathan Rogers: Currently, we are looking to enter into closed public beta in a large scale around August. In the meantime, we are still adding alpha testers sporadically. Anyone who wishes to be a part of that should sign up for an account over at our website.
GP: What does Path of Exile’s "Act 2" consist of?
JR: Having explored the shoreline of Wraeclast, in Act 2 the player delves deeper into the continent. Act 2 is set in and around a forested area where exiles have formed several warring bandit groups. The player can choose to help any one of them at the cost of the others, or betray them all. As you travel you will find more remnants of the civilizations that have come and gone on Wraeclast as well as uncover more of the secrets of how they were destroyed.
GP: How do the acts work? Are they based on your progression as you go through the game?
JR: Yes. The game is divided into acts that generally have a specific theme and an overall story-line goal. You can still move back and forth between the areas of each act. In addition, each act contains a town near the beginning that serves as a hub for trade with other players and various quest related activities.
GP: So if I haven't finished quests on the coastline in Act 1, I can go back and do so?
JR: There is a short load between areas. But essentially, yes.
GP: The coast is a wasteland. Besides being forested, how does the inner continent differ?
JR: Unlike the desolate ruins of the coast, the ruins further in have been ravaged by nature. The forest act has a lot more color and life than the shore. As you go deeper into the forest, you will find a variety of areas ranging from more swampy areas to more open areas of abandoned farmland.
GP: Abandoned farmland? That's interesting. Most fantasy games rarely take into account that people live in their worlds.
What's the Duelist class about?
JR: The Duelist is the first hybrid attribute class that we have announced. As a Strength/Dexterity class, he can dish out damage and move quickly in and out of combat. A typical dualist might wield a sword, an ax, or both at the same time. The Duelist is a challenge seeker who is motivated by the thrill of the fight. His skills strike a good balance between high damage and combos that allow him to strike as quickly as possible.
GP: What does "hybrid attribute" class mean? Is it something you can play at the start of the game?
JR: The classes in Path of Exile have three primary attributes: Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence. The previously announced classes have been pure Str.—Marauder—Dex.—Ranger—or Int.—Witch. We also have three hybrid classes that are combinations of two of the primary attributes. The hybrid classes can be played from the start of the game.
Our class system is very loose. Any class can use any skill, armor, or item, but in order to do so, they have to meet the Str./Dex./Int. requirements that are on items and skills. It’s a lot harder for an Int. class to get the required Str. to wield a large mace, for example.
With that in mind, a hybrid class is a class that is expected to get equal amounts of two attributes. We have just as many types of armor and skills designed around these hybrid classes as the pure ones.
GP: What is the "flask system"?
JR: Our flask system is a way of addressing the problem of potion spam that you often see in action-RPGs. We wanted to stop the behavior of filling up your entire inventory with potions and then using them every few seconds in combat. We don’t have any pure support classes, so everybody must be able to heal. In order to fix that, instead of potions we have a system of refillable flasks that have magic properties, just like your equipment. Flasks have a number of charges that are consumed as you drink them, and each time you kill a monster, a charge is added to one of them.
Having to kill more monsters to heal drives the player forward [through the game], and having flasks with magic properties makes them a part of your “build.” It’s a good idea to have some utility flasks on you that don’t do much healing but [rather] remove debuffs like being frozen. It also solves the problem of healing in [Player vs. Player combat] quite nicely. Before a PVP round beings, all players get their flasks filled for use during the battle.
Path of Exile Q&A
GP: We discussed the skill-gem system the first time I saw the game in August—any changes to it since we talked?
JR: The basic design of the skill system hasn’t changed since we last talked. To recap, our skills are granted by socketing gems into your items. Linking those gems together with special support gems allows you to customize your skills in interesting ways.
Since we talked, our main activity with regard to it has just been adding a bunch more base skill and support gems to the system and exploring new design ideas. Designing the base skills such that they can be supported in interesting ways is a big challenge! There are also many cases in which you design a skill and then realize that it would be better served as a support gem.
An example of this is that we might design a melee attack skill that sacrifices your life to do more damage. It’s a typical kind of skill you might see in an RPG. What we can do, however, is use a support gem. Any attack skill can be modified to steal your life in exchange for more damage.
Path of Exile - The Duelist Trailer
This week we’ve unveiled Charges – an important combat mechanic in Path of Exile. These can be accumulated in combat, and are represented by glowing orbs that orbit the character until they are consumed or fizzle out. Each attribute has its own type of Charge, which grants a specific property while Charges of that type are active. Various skills and items help you accumulate Charges and gain additional benefits from them.
Charges in other Action RPGs
Most action RPGs have very few skills that rely on context or state to change their behaviour, but some contain skills that grant temporary Charges and modify their behaviour based on how many Charges you have.
Of course, the concept of skills granting Charges is not new, but other implementations are often quite narrow. Skills would grant Charges which would only affect the behaviour of that skill or of another skill that consumes the Charges. It was also rare to see these Charges affected by any other gameplay mechanics such as items or passive skills. Generally, depending on the game, Charges would be restricted to some subset of available character classes.
Our Charge System
We felt that we could improve this system. We wanted Charges to be a viable (but optional) build for any class in the game. To encourage them as an optional choice, we’ve added a lot of Charge-related passive skills that players can choose to specialise in. Because of our strong emphasis on itemisation, it was important for us to design items that could interact with Charges for characters that wanted to specialise. Finally, we wanted to make sure that Charges actually did something passively, so that they weren’t useless if taken out of the context of the skills that grant or consume them.
Charges are granted when one of the conditions imposed by an active skill, passive skill or item is met. For example, there are passives that can grant Charges when you score critical strikes. Many active skills grant Charges when you hit or kill monsters with that skill.
Each class has a natural limit of the number of Charges of each type that they can have. A primary character class such as the Marauder can have more of their native Charge type than a hybrid class (which is allowed an increased quantity of two types of Charges). These values can be increased via passive skills.
If no new Charges of that type are accumulated within a certain time limit, those Charges dissipate and are lost. When a skill that consumes Charges is used, Charges of the appropriate type are removed for an additional effect per Charge. For example, the Immortal Call skill consumes Endurance Charges to grant a period of invulnerability proportional to the number of Endurance Charges consumed.
Items and passive skills can also affect Charges. For example, there could be a unique ring that grants one additional maximum Frenzy Charge and a bonus of some additional accuracy per Frenzy Charge. We have dozens of passive skills that alter the conditions that Charges are granted, their effects, or the quantity of them that a player is allowed.
Endurance Charges are aligned with Strength and represent the ability to endure pain during a lengthy battle. Endurance Charges each grant a certain amount of physical damage reduction. Passive skills can extend this protection to elemental resistance also. This encourages the player to wade deeper into combat to take advantage of the ability to endure damage.
Players can gain Endurance Charges by using certain active skills. There are several such skills that reward them for being in dangerous combat situations. For example, Enduring Cry grants Endurance Charges proportional to the number of enemies surrounding the player.
Frenzy Charges are aligned with Dexterity and represent the killing frenzy that exiles enter when decimating hordes of enemies.
A player with Frenzy Charges is able to attack substantially faster than normal, with a boost granted for each Charge they currently have. This bonus allows them to maintain the bloodshed until they gain another Frenzy Charge.
Frenzy Charges are granted by many dexterity skills. One example is Blood Fury, which grants players a buff that makes them constantly lose life but grants them life leech. Whenever they kill an enemy with this buff on, the buff extends and they are granted a Frenzy Charge.
Power Charges are aligned with Intelligence and represent a spellcaster charging with arcane energy as they cast spells.
While the player has Power Charges, their spell damage is increased in proportion to the number of Charges. A fully charged up magic user is a formidable force, but must continue to keep earning Power Charges in order to maintain this power.
An example of a skill that grants Power Charges is Power Transfer which reduces the damage an enemy can deal and grants you a Charge.
Power Charges can be consumed by a skill such as Discharge, which deals a savage damage burst, depleting your Charges. The number of Power Charges dictates the scale of this damage. Your Frenzy and Endurance Charges are also converted to elemental damage with this skill.
Encouraged Player Behaviour
The most obvious player behavior that stems from Charges is that players spend more time in combat. Because they are anxious about their Charges vanishing, they are more likely to engage a second group of foes immediately after the first. We're always trying to find game mechanics that encourage players to play Path of Exile in an action-packed way rather than kiting single enemies around, so this is a win for us.
We're always trying to design game mechanics where players constantly have to make important split second decisions based on situational factors such as monster position, health status and now, Charges.
A less obvious benefit is that the Charges system encourages players to use multiple skills - some to charge up and some to consume them. It's amazing how many players play action RPGs using only a single skill. Although we are happy for players to specialise, it's good to provide encouragement to those who want to seek inter-skill synergy.
The Charges system also opens up a wide design space for passive skills that players can invest in to further synergise with. For example, we could have passive skills that:
Grant an Endurance Charge when you block an attack
Grant a Frenzy Charge when you kill three foes within two seconds using a weapon
Grant a Power Charge when you hit ten foes with one spell
Having a wide variety of passive skills and items that interact with the Charges gained from these active skills also allows players to specialise in Charges to a very large degree if they choose. Where possible, we try to add obvious build routes such as these so that players have many paths to build around when experimenting with which gameplay style suits them best.
Of course, it's worth mentioning that players don't have to use Charges if they aren't interested in them. There are plenty of other skills and combat options for players who prefer different styles of gameplay.
Path of Exile is currently in closed Alpha testing. We’ve been working hard on a major new version that should be deployed within a few weeks. This week’s development diary explains the process of how we develop and deploy a new version of the game, as well as what we expect to add to the Alpha realm in the coming weeks.
How we test and deploy an update
As our developers work, they commit changes to what we call the “trunk” version of the game. This is a mixing pot of everyone’s latest work and can occasionally be quite unstable. It’s up to the Quality Assurance team to test the changes and report issues that have arisen. In a given workday, it’s common for a dozen new unexpected bugs to pop up due to side effects of people’s changes. The team tries hard to keep the bug list under control while also implementing new features required for the upcoming version.
Because the number of alpha testers is far larger than our staff, we sometimes find more issues that managed to get past us (generally things that occur pretty infrequently). These are added to the bug list for the next version. If something catastrophic is found, we can merge a fix directly into the Alpha realm to address the problem immediately.
Once a new version is feature-complete, we copy it across to a “staging” realm. This one doesn’t change as people commit new work - it’s essentially frozen in time. The QA team playtest this version in depth, documenting any bugs they run into. We then fix those issues in the trunk version and merge the fixes into the staging version. This process continues until we’re completely happy that the staging version is stable and ready to deploy to the Alpha realm.
Our version numbering system is pretty easy. The format is Release.Milestone.Revision. Here are some examples:
0.7.0: The first version of Milestone 7. This was the version that added the Witch to the Alpha realm. We set up a ladder for this version and watched our testers compete.
0.7.1: An update to Milestone 7 that occurred several days later to address bugs found in the initial release.
0.7.2: A subsequent update that fixed a number of balance issues. This is the current alpha version.
0.8.0: Milestone 8, a major update that we’re working on at the moment. It’ll add Act Two, the Duelist and several months of improvements. We’re hoping to add a lot more community members to this series.
0.8.1 onwards: Updates to Milestone 8 that fix bugs/balance issues and add new features (10-12 updates planned).
0.9.0: Closed Beta
0.10.0: Open Beta
1.0.0: Initial Release
1.0.1: Bug fixes to released version
1.1.0: First major feature update to initial release.
2.0.0: Our first expansion
Why have such a long gap between 0.7.2 and 0.8.0?
Once we’d deployed 0.7.2, we were pretty happy with the stability and features of Milestone 7. Our Alpha players were competing on the ladder and having fun playing together. At this stage, we had the choice of continuing with incremental improvements every few days, or working on one large patch. Although there’s a huge advantage in continually upgrading the realm that users are playing on, it taxes the team to have to spend two days of every workweek in polish mode around each minor deployment. We decided to make the next milestone our last before Beta, and to tackle every remaining major issue in the game. It’d be a quiet period for the Alpha testers, but would result in a very significant upgrade when 0.8.0 was ready to deploy.
What’s new in 0.8.0?
Here are a few of the 100+ significant changes:
Enabled the Duelist (Str/Dex character class)
Act Two (without quests currently)
Added a much improved character selection/creation screen
Added the fourth difficulty level
Upgraded server architecture to support scaling to massive realm sizes
Many new skills and items
Passive skill tree is now almost 5x larger
The Endurance/Frenzy/Power Charges system
Complete re-balance of monster difficulty and progression
How is 0.8.0 being deployed?
We’ve broken up the initial Milestone 8 deploy into two sets of features - those that we need before anyone can play Milestone 8, and those that we want before we introduce new testers or journalists. These two sets of features make up 0.8.0 and 0.8.1 respectively. For example, fixing up some NPC dialogue is not a mandatory part of deploying 0.8.0, but has to be done before any new players see the game, so it was assigned to 0.8.1.
Our plan is to deploy 0.8.0 in the near future to test server stability and large-scale balance changes with our existing group of testers. While they’re finding any major problems we’ve overlooked, we’ll be finalising the last few changes in 0.8.1 to be uploaded a week later.
As soon as we get the go-ahead that everything is stable and there are no game-breaking balance issues, we’ll start to ramp up the community of online Alpha testers.
What will be added before Milestone 9?
Because Milestone 8 is our last series before the closed Beta, we’re going to be adding all of the content we need for Beta as patches to this version.
For example, because the closed Beta will contain all six character classes, we’ll be adding those to the Alpha realm as their art becomes finalised. One of our early priorities is to add Act Two’s quests to the Alpha realm so that it has the same level of playability as Act One. We intend to add a large number of new skills and support gems over the next few months to further increase the number of possible character builds. Various game systems such as trading, vendors and several unannounced mechanics will also be added during this timeframe. We also intend to do another polish pass over the UI and work on improving performance on older machines.
Leagues and Ladders
Currently the Alpha realm has just one league (we wiped the realm before deploying 0.7.0). This league is currently full of everyone’s characters from the 0.7.x series. There’s no need to delete these characters when we deploy 0.8.0, so they’ll still continue to exist with their old items. However, because of major balance changes, many of the items will now be over/under-powered compared to before. Because of this, we’ll be opening a new league (with an accompanying ladder) once all of the initial bugs and balance issues are out of the way.
The new league will only be available to characters made during the 0.8.x series of patches, so it’ll be a fair playing field for players who want to compete with each other. We also intend to try out a variety of interesting new league types during 0.8.x. There will be a realm wipe before we enter closed beta in August.
Hopefully this has answered any questions about how we go about developing and deploying updates to Path of Exile’s Alpha realm. If you’d like to have a shot at being chosen for this (and the much larger Beta), please sign up for an account!
A few weeks ago, we deployed a major update to the Path of Exile Alpha realm and invited a dozen or so lucky forum members (and many of their friends) to help test it. This development diary entry describes how we’ve handled the transition from development to maintaining a live game service that supports players playing from around the world.
History of the Alpha Realm
As an online game, gameplay in Path of Exile takes place on a “Realm” – a server farm that stores players’ characters and hosts the game server instances that they play on.
For the first few years of development, we only had an internal testing realm in our office. Cheats are enabled on this realm so that developers can easily test new features and skip to the areas that they are working on. Although our developers would often play the game legitimately on this realm, it was difficult to show off items and accomplishments because they could easily be obtained with the developer cheats.
In early 2010, Path of Exile was in a stable enough state that we decided to deploy it to some servers running in America, as the “Alpha” realm. Cheats are not enabled on this realm (not even for us), so it’s a fair playing field. Initially we just used this realm to test the game ourselves. We’re based in New Zealand, so we are able to do a lot of lag and synchronicity optimization when testing on a server that is so far away.
Running the Alpha realm helped us improve our process of planning, developing, testing and deploying patches. Maintaining the servers as the player base grows larger helps us plan for our server requirements at launch.
For the next year, we invited friends and family members to help us test the game. As we’ve discussed in several previous development diary entries, some of them played for scary quantities of time and gave us plenty of great feedback. As you can imagine though, with only a community of 5-6 really active players, the realm endured long periods of stagnation. We’d have a surge of activity each time we released a major patch, but it often dwindled down to only a few people playing.
With the release of the 0.8.0 we felt we were ready to open the Alpha up to a larger group of testers. We wanted to try to simulate a much larger trade economy and a community where players would find and discuss balance issues in depth. We have a ladder that ranks people by experience (both in normal and hardcore leagues). This small feature is important because it creates an atmosphere of competition that encourages the testers to try hard to put in more hours than each other.
Over the next few weeks, we invited people semi-randomly from both the active pool of forum posters and other people who have signed up for the beta. As it stands now, we have a pool of around 40 people who play often, which results in a concurrent player count of around 7 people online at once. We intend to invite more people in a similar way over the coming weeks.
One of the primary reasons for running an Alpha test is to get feedback from external players. This feedback can range from screenshots of visual problems to lengthy essays on how they feel a certain aspect of the game could be improved. It’s very valuable to read this feedback, because the development team is so used to how the game currently plays. Hearing from Alpha testers helps us learn what we’re doing right and find out early about problems that we haven’t noticed ourselves.
Collating the feedback from testers is harder than we had predicted. We have an internal bug tracking system with hundreds of open issues, so it takes time to check to see if each issue is already logged (and if so, adding any new information to it). For issues that we don’t currently know about, they often have to be reproduced by Quality Assurance so that we have useful reproduction steps before allocating them to someone to fix.
When an obvious problem makes its way into a deployed version, it’s normal for most testers to report it simultaneously. We don’t mind, of course, as it means they’re fulfilling their role as Alpha testers properly. This can result in a large amount of feedback to read through, but will pay off with a polished game. It’s fitting punishment that when the server goes down, we get deluged with IMs.
There’s an Alpha forum for both bug reports and discussion of game features. Some systems are heavily under debate and often get redesigned based on player feedback. For example, we’re constantly iterating on the passive skills screen. Our most recent attempt is too confusing and overwhelming for new players. We have a much improved layout in the works which should hopefully make everyone happy. Without the Alpha feedback, we might not have realised so soon that such a drastic change was needed.
It's great when Alpha testers post their impressions of the game to our main forum for the other community members to read and discuss.
The other important reason to run an Alpha realm is to prepare the servers for the onslaught of users that our Beta will introduce. We want to monitor and graph everything that we can about the health of both our physical servers and the game server software that we run on them.
We’ve augmented our backend servers and game servers with various monitoring hooks that read plenty of information about current load levels and play statistics. These values are exposed in a way that allows monitoring software to access, log and graph them.
We initially used Cacti for this monitoring. We’ve recently switched to Zabbix, which meets our needs better. Both are excellent open source server monitoring systems. It’s very easy to have one web page open on a monitor that shows all of the crucial information about our servers. Some of the stats we currently graph are the number of current players/parties/instances and amount of logging/chat/bandwidth used.
Based on this monitoring, it’s very easy to see when things are going wrong with the realm so that we can fix them. We’ve used it to diagnose several problems already, and are constantly adding more monitors so that more information going forward. It’s also really handy to be able to get an at-a-glance summary of what players are doing.
Patch Development and Deployment
We are currently trying to deploy updates at least once per week. Each patch starts with a session where we identify the high-priority issues that are currently affecting our players. These could be server stability issues, client crashes, or some gameplay imbalance that needs addressing. Any currently-in-development features such as new quests or skills that are near completion are also flagged for inclusion in the next patch. Using our issue tracker, we identify this set of features/bug-fixes and mark them with the version number of the patch we’re developing.
As the team implements features or fixes bugs, they get tested by our Quality Assurance guy. Once most of the issues are complete (or the deadline for the patch is approaching), we “tag” a version of the game with that patch number. This version is essentially frozen in time, allowing extensive testing to occur on it. Fixes to any broken changes (or last minute changes that we want to include) are merged into this tag without introducing instability from untested features that are constantly being added to the mainline development copy of the game.
At around this time, we post the patch notes to the Alpha forums to give people advance notice of the changes. Sometimes they remind us about critical fixes we promised and forgot to include. It’s often possible to make last minute tweaks to issues after this stage while it is still being tested. Of course, it’s dangerous to change too much stuff at the last minute without adequate testing.
Once Quality Assurance is happy with the build of the game, we deploy it to the Alpha realm. This process can take several hours due to the amount of uploading required from New Zealand, but it can be substantially faster if the changes don’t require lots of new art.
With the new build live, players flood back into the servers to test the changes and see how well their characters cope with the new balance. If we’re lucky, they find all of the newly introduced problems quickly (in time for a hotfix that can be deployed within an hour). If we’re unlucky, it’s a phone call at 2am.
Our plans are to continue to deploy frequently updates and invite more community members to help us test Path of Exile. We’re intending to enter Beta in August, and will be demoing Path of Exile with a booth at the PAX Expo in Seattle that month. If you’d like to sign up for beta access now (as well as a chance at a lucky alpha slot!) please sign up here.
[Voor 26% gewijzigd door Vandro op 26-06-2011 23:28]
If you can't take the heat, don't tickle the dragon.
[Voor 43% gewijzigd door Bulls op 07-07-2011 23:48]
Helemaal mee eens, dat 2de filmpje is zowaar nog mooier dan de eerste! Ik zie echt een parel van een game hier, snap niet dat er zo weinig over gepraat/PR wordt. Als ik dit 1 op 1 met D3 vergelijk qua looks vindt ik nog mooier ook.Bulls schreef op donderdag 07 juli 2011 @ 23:46:
Ziet er echt goed uit, beetje zoals TQ maar toch sfeervoller en grimmiger. Ben echt benieuwd.
Je ziet ook echt dat ze veel gebruik maken van licht, zoals Doom 3 enzo. Echt beklemmend als je die laatste trailer kijkt van hier boven.
If you can't take the heat, don't tickle the dragon.
Who knows when Diablo III is coming out? At this point your guess is as good as ours, but there is hope in the short run. Enter Path of Exile, the upcoming free-to-play Diablo clone that offers just enough twists on Blizzard's formula to make it unique, while staying true to the same mouse-button-destroying gameplay that we all love.
Path of Exile plays just like Diablo. You create a character, picking from one of five typical fantasy archetypes such as a fighter and caster, then drop into the world and start clicking. Your overhead perspective allows you to look down on the action, directing your character around with mouse clicks, and mashing the same button to melee swarms of enemies. Like Diablo, the ever-hanging carrot is the sweet promise of gaining experience and seeing that oh so glorious loot burst forth from your enemies' dying bodies.
You can also play Path of Exile with your friends. It's not an MMO, but it does allow players to meet in towns, party up and then go into dungeons together. All parties get their own dungeons, and all dungeons are randomly generated so you can do them over and over again with slight variation. It might bother some folks that you can't play it offline, but all characters and progress are stored on external servers, meaning you can log into your Path of Exile account anywhere and keep grinding away with your character.
Combat is basically the same as in Diablo – which is to say incredibly addicting yet simple – but special abilities are handled in a completely different fashion. Whereas Diablo allowed you to give your class-specific special powers by putting points into a skill tree, Path of Exile allows all characters to have any special abilities. The only catch is that you have to find those abilities. Abilities aren't earned from a tree, but are instead given to the player through gems. By placing a colored gem into a correspondingly colored slot on a weapon or piece of equipment, the player gains the ability described on the gem. This ability then levels up with the player through killing monsters. So instead of the confinement of your typical class-specific powers, players are freed up to create their character truly as they see fit.
Leveling up still has a purpose in Path of Exile. While it doesn't grant new abilities, it does give the player points to put in a massive, branching skill tree. The tree allows each person to specialize their character, giving them things like additional skill with a specific weapon, extra magic abilities, or even more health. Additionally, each skill you purchase on the tree also gives you passive stat upgrades to your strength, stamina, dexterity and intelligence. Every class uses the same skill tree, but gets a different allocation to their core stats in order to try and push the player in a specific direction. Yes, you can essentially craft any character into the combination of specialties and ability gems that you like (although some combinations will be better than others), but it also means that the choice of which class you pick at the beginning has less weight. It's still an Alpha build at this point, and it didn't bother me all that much, but I can see more traditional RPG players having a hard time with the lack of extreme class differentiation.
While the skill tree and ability systems of Path of Exile are likely going to be divisive, the loot system is great. There is no gold or money in Path of Exile. There will still be merchants that you can purchase and sell items, but instead of gold they barter for items you actually use. For instance an axe might cost you a scroll that allows you to open a portal back to town. It makes purchases feel like they matter more, and gets rid of a monetary system that becomes arbitrary after players muster a hoard of otherwise worthless cash.
While it's obvious that Path of Exile has drawn a lot of influence from developer Blizzard's great RPGs, one place the team needs to develop further is the narrative. At this point Path of Exile gives you very little direction. You create a character and then immediately drop into the world and start beating down hordes of creatures. It's fun, but outside of a few quests you get at the first town you find, you pretty much keep moving forward just to get loot. That's enough for a taste, but one of the reasons other similar RPGs are so successful is the rich lore and universe they develop.
At this point I can't think of any reason for someone who's interested to not try Path of Exile. It goes into Beta in the next few months, is slated for release later this year and it's completely free. You'll be able to spend money on items to change your character's appearance, but no one will get a gameplay advantage by spending cash. If you're looking for your Diablo fix between now and when Blizzard finally graces us with their next game, Path of Exile is looking like a great option.
GoT Warhammer Community op steam http://steamcommunity.com/groups/got40k
Kijk, aan een mening met zulke sterke argumenten hebben we tenminste wat!Postius schreef op zaterdag 30 juli 2011 @ 13:52:
DIt is wel een extreem schaamteloze ripoff? Jezus zeg, wat een kut bedrijf anders ga je zelf iets bedenken.
[Voor 7% gewijzigd door SirNobax op 30-07-2011 14:40]
White items zijn juist heel belangrijk, als ze goede socket combinaties hebben (bijvoorbeeld 4 gelinkede sockets) en intrinsieke mods (mods die specifiek zijn voor dat type item) dan zijn het uitstekende kandidaten om je currency items op te gooien.SirNobax schreef op zaterdag 30 juli 2011 @ 14:35:
[...]Anywho, ziet er interessant uit. Ik ben erg benieuwd hoe het trade-systeem uit gaat pakken. Als ik het dus goed begrijp, gaat sowieso niemand 'white' items oppakken en loopt iedereen constant rond met een volledige volgepropte inventory aan rare/epic items?
We do what we must because we can.
Cool, geeft een goeie indruk van het spel. Bedankt voor de upload en het commentaar!Anoniem: 427129 schreef op donderdag 20 oktober 2011 @ 11:28:
Voor iedereen die hierin geïntereseerd is is hier een Nederlandstalige beta footage, bestaat uit meerdere delen
If you can't take the heat, don't tickle the dragon.
Same here, al tijden geregistreerd.psychoclown schreef op vrijdag 21 oktober 2011 @ 12:59:
Helaas dat de beta invites random worden verstuurd. Sta al meer dan een jaar geregistreerd maar helaas nog geen invite gezien. Achja hopelijk mag ik er ook nog eens van genieten maar tot die tijd zal ik de filmpjes van hierboven even bewonderen
[Voor 13% gewijzigd door FreqAmsterdam op 06-11-2011 14:26]
This patch will destroy all existing characters and items. Level 1 characters are created to keep players' character names.
We added a warning for users with the recent Nvidia 285 series of drivers explaining that there are display issues we are working with Nvidia on fixing.
Revamped quest rewards. Quests that block your progress now grant you a skill or support gem for completion. Act boss quests do not grant gem rewards. Optional side quests now grant a permanent passive skill point for completion.
An overhaul of Act Two quests. Added the new bandit quests and quests in the Weaver's Chambers, Church Dungeon and Chamber of Sins.
Added two new world areas in Act One - the Tidal Island and the Fetid Pool. The Tidal Passage has been renamed to the Submerged Passage.
Added new skill prototype - Firestorm: Flaming bolts rain down over the targeted area. They explode when landing, dealing damage to nearby enemies.
Added new skill prototype - Heavy Strike: Attacks the enemy with a forceful blow, knocking them back. Requires an Axe, Mace or Two-Handed Weapon.
Added new skill prototype - Dominating Blow: Attacks the enemy with a melee strike. If an enemy is killed shortly after being hit by Dominating Blow, that enemy is revived as a minion until the skill duration ends.
Added new skill prototype - Rain of Arrows: Fires a large number of arrows into the air, to land at the target after a short delay.
Added new skill prototype - Discharge: Discharge all the character’s charges to deal elemental damage to all nearby monsters.
Added new skill prototype - Immortal Call: Makes the character invulnerable for a short time. Discharges all endurance charges and increases the invulnerability duration proportional to the number of charges expended.
Added new skill prototype - Lightning Warp: Casts a delayed teleport to a target destination. When the teleport occurs, lightning damage is dealt to the area around both where the player was and where they teleported to.
Added new support gem prototypes: Minion Damage, Minion Life, Minion Run Speed, Increased Duration, Gain Life on Hit, Chance to Ignite, Critical Multiplier, Concentrated Effect (reduces the area of affect of a skill, but increases its damage), Cold to Fire (turns a percentage of your cold damage into fire damage)
Added a new item series - the Strength/Intelligence one-handed Sceptres.
Added new currency item - Divine Orb: Rerolls all values in mods on an item while leaving the mods intact.
Added new currency item - Orb of Fusing: Rerolls socket links on an item.
Added new currency item - Chromatic Orb: Rerolls the colours of sockets on an item.
Repurposed old currency item - Jeweler's Orb: Now rerolls the number of sockets on an item while keeping socket links/colours intact if they still exist.
Changed the layout of The Terraces to streamline the start of the game.
Added new unique bosses to The Terraces and the Mud Flats. They have interesting skills to use on players.
Added monster auras. Rare monsters can now spawn with an aura which affects nearby monsters. These can stack if multiple rare monsters are nearby. Auras added in this version are: Resistances, Energy Shield, Accuracy/Critical Strike Rate, Speed, Damage Reflection, Elemental Damage Reflection, Medium Damage Increase, Large Damage Increase, Life Regeneration.
Attributes (Strength/Dexterity/Intelligence) are now available on items as mods. These do allow you to equip other items and we do currently allow items to support themselves. The addition of these attributes on items means that players will be able to more easily solve problems with item requirements.
Added zoom to the passive skill tree screen.
Added a display of what gems are supporting an active skill on the hotbar, to differentiate between otherwise identical skills. Each support gem has a letter that is displayed in the top right of the skill.
Changed monsters so that they walk around randomly more often and are more likely to disengage chasing their target if they can't see it.
New monster hover user interface added.
Moving belt flasks around is now allowed again if the inventory is open.
Shield crabs now throw their shells off a lot faster.
Tidied up the display of monster mods so that it is easier to see at a glance what the monster does.
Temporarily made Hillock's door one-way so that he can't be farmed as easily with the new boss drops.
Added new user interface for the level information display on the minimap screen.
Improved the server backend to make player saves substantially faster.
Added quartermaster voice intro in the ship scene when creating a new character.
Added tent bandit-spawners in Act Two.
Characters and monsters now have three blood effects depending on the size of the damage relative to their maximum life.
Alira will no longer use the Raise Zombie skill. She has a cauldron for that.
Monster descriptions now show their resistances and have been tidied up to only show properties that are special about that monster.
Added support for a new system of creating, storing and displaying unique items.
Implicit mods on items now do not stop explicit mods of the same type being spawned. For example, a wand with built-in "+10% Spell Damage" can now get an additional random spell damage mod generated.
Substantial art changes were made to reduce visual chaos in many areas.
Changed the art for item sockets to make them easier to distinguish for colourblind players.
New flask graphics have been added for each base type.
Seagulls have shadows now.
Updated buttons in the user interface and their font used on them.
Substantial environment/texture changes to many world areas.
Fixes to the shimmer postprocessing effect.
Added a wind effect to the Ledge and Rocky Climb.
Changed the ground hover of items to be smaller with less border.
Added new amulet/ring artwork.
Core Mechanics Changes:
All classes have been rebalanced to promote their core strengths. Melee classes are now substantially stronger with regard to dealing damage up close. Spellcasters have lower damage output than before but can be formidable if left unchecked.
Changed the gem-support system so that only Support Gems in the same physical group as a Skill Gem connect to it. If you have two groups with the same skill, you get two bindable skills. This is done so that supports can be made more impactful and so that players can have multiple variations of the same skill in their build.
Attributes (Strength/Dexterity/Intelligence) now affect the player. Strength provides a physical damage increase and additional Life. Dexterity provides Evasion and Accuracy. Intelligence provides Energy Shield and Mana. This makes it more appealing to specialise in your character's core attribute (as it synergises with the rest of your build), while still providing incentive to splash in other attributes to get the aforementioned benefits.
There's now a massive discrepancy between the difficulty of normal monsters vs that of magic or rare monsters. This is to make the higher difficulties less grindy while still providing extreme challenge when you encounter multiple bosses at once. Monster auras help this substantially because they promote nearby normal monsters.
On the new passive skill tree, non-attribute nodes do not grant attributes any more! You must get your attributes by allocating the nodes as you need them. This allows us to create passives stat and attribute gains that are meaningful, while also allowing easy travel around the passive skill tree on attribute highways.
Increased spell damage percentage is now likely on caster weapons. A larger amount of late-game killing speed for casters now comes from their weapon mods. This makes their itemisation similar to that of weapon users.
Changed the way that to-hit calculations are done so that they are much more reliable. There is far less variance now, which will result in Evasion being less swingy.
Armour and Evasion and values on items are now comparable in scale and roughly equivalent to each other. This allows you to objectively say as a Duelist that a 35 Armour item is probably better than a 30 Evasion item.
Overall monster damage per hit has been reduced so that the high variance of Evasion is less of a problem. Evasive characters still need to care about getting enough life to survive if they're unlucky.
The damage reduction (Armour) system has been changed so that it doesn't provide a linear reduction in damage received. The equation now reduces the damage based on the size of the damage you take. The equation is: reduction = armour / (armour + 25*damage). This allows Marauders to tank groups of swarming enemies much easier, while technically making Evasion more useful against monsters that strike for large hits at once. If you have 500 armour and are hit for 50 damage, you'll reduce it by 28.6%. 25 damage is reduced by 44.4%. 75 damage is reduced by 21.1%.
The critical strike system has been changed so that your weapon and/or spell have a direct critical strike percentage that other things modify. For example, if you're using a weapon with 8% critical strike chance and have a total of +50% critical strikes from your passive skills and items, then you have a 12% chance to score a critical hit. The old "critical strike rating system" is gone. To clarify a common misconception - spell critical strikes do include the normal critical strike chance.
Support gems now have a flat multiplier to the mana cost of the skill that does not go up exponentially as they level up. Much of their benefit is available at the first level of the gem, but higher levels offer improvements (for free) if you meet their requirements. Support gems are balanced such that only a few of them are needed to make a skill feel powerful.
Made damage scaling from weapon-based skills multiplicative. For example, if a skill adds 50% damage, it'll do so regardless of your other damage scaling.
Made damage scaling from weapons themselves multiplicative. +% damage on a weapon is more important than anywhere else.
General Balance Changes:
Single target skills are now designed to be substantially more meaningful than before. It should be a viable strategy to kill the enemies one by one as opposed to before where you were forced to use Area of Effect skills. Monster pack sizes in higher difficulties were reduced slightly to facilitate this.
Combat equations do not care about your level or the level of the monsters any more.
Players now gain enough accuracy per level that they are never going to be completely terrible at hitting. This allows us to reduce the accuracy bonuses from elsewhere so that they are individually rewarding but neither mandatory nor overpowered.
Base weapon types now have more appropriate implicit mods to create strong differences between them. For example, Axes do additional damage and Swords are more accurate.
Rebalanced every single weapon in the game so that they have a hand-crafted progression of median damage, damage range, speed, requirements and variations on their implicit mod.
The level requirements, drop levels and implicit mods on Rings, Amulets, Belts and Quivers have been rebalanced so that there are more interesting choices available at different levels. Most of these items are available substantially earlier in the game.
Strength-aligned weapon types now do slightly more damage than other weapons. Many weapon types now have implicit accuracy built in, due to their Dexterity alignment. Intelligence weapons have higher critical strike chances.
Bosses can only drop equipment now. This was done so that we can control the distribution of currency items and skill gems better.
Added PvP damage multiplier of 1/(1+(attacker_level/8)) for now.
Completely rebalanced the drop rates of all the currency items.
Doubled the currency item drop rate, but added a penalty to the rate of currency item drops if you're playing in areas far under your level.
Changed the experience split in parties so that it more strongly favours playing with people near your level.
Changed the experience penalties for killing monsters far above/below your level. There's still a large safe zone of full experience near your level.
Energy shield now makes it a lot harder to get stunned, but doesn't prevent it all the time like it did before.
Set the maximum number of each type of charge to two for all classes. Additional ones can be picked up in the passive tree.
Charges have been rebalanced. They have large effects now because the default limit is two of each type and it takes a substantial investment in the passive tree to get a large maximum.
It's now much easier to get appropriate socket configurations on items. The average number of sockets and links is a lot higher.
Players now have a default critical strike damage multiplier of +50%. Monsters are now set to +30%.
Higher difficulties now have a substantially increased chance of magic and rare monsters spawning.
The Marauder and Templar now start with one-handed weapons.
The Shocked state that enemies enter when dealt a critical strike with lightning damage now adds +40% damage taken per instance stacked, and stacks up to three times.
Default drop rate per monster is reduced to 16%. Boss drops and experience gained are increased dramatically.
Reduced the drop rate of Rare items to compensate for the much higher rate of boss drops.
Changed how uniques bosses are balanced to make it far easier to control how hard their fights are.
Implicit bonus for dual wielding is now reduced to +10% attack speed. The rest will come from passives.
Characters now block 15% of the time by default while dual wielding.
Adjusted the rarity of all currency items to make the common ones more common and the rare ones rarer.
Hybrid skill gems now have a primary attribute and are changed to 60/40 alignment.
Removed the 12% extra damage mitigation you get from aligned armour types. This is going to be handled by the new passive tree instead.
Increased default mana regeneration of characters.
Reduced monster density in The Ledge.
Modified the set of monsters that flee due to being ignited so that it is only humanoids, monkeys and Sea Witches.
Improved the flasks from the Medicine Chest quest in Normal Difficulty to be the second tier flasks.
Monsters are now not resistant to elemental damage if the value would fall at less than 15%.
Skill Balance Changes:
All skills were rebalanced against each other from first principles in this patch. The following notes are functional changes only:
Shock Nova and Freezing Pulse now scale all damage from support gems in the same way as their main skill damage (based on distance).
Shock Nova now deals its damage from outside (maximum damage) to inside (minimum/no damage). The outside damage is dealt first. It is a linear damage progression (not exponential) now.
Spark now defaults to casting two sparks (with reduced damage). This makes it have less variance in outdoors areas.
Cleave now does its augmented damage to one target and half of that damage to other enemies caught within its swing. The penalty for hitting with two weapons in a Cleave is now -40% total damage.
Ice Spear now uses an increased critical strike chance to achieve the damage bonus and freeze when in its armed state.
Double Strike is now disabled on bows (and wands). It was far too abusive and will be replaced by much more interesting single-target bow skills soon.
The stats which convert damage from one type to another (used in skills such as Infernal Blow and Glacial Hammer) now calculate the damage in a way that takes into account your physical damage bonuses as well.
Flicker Strike now only attacks one target (ignoring Frenzy charges). Changes are coming soon that will restore the good parts of the old behaviour while not having the myriad problems it had before.
"Warlord's Mark" now only grants life leech to physical attack damage.
"Reduced Mana Costs" is now a Strength support gem.
Fixed a bug where Infernal Blow was able to explode an enemy several times.
"Beast" type monsters (the large bear monsters from Act Two) have been re-rigged so that attached effects do not scale to strange sizes.
The outskirts of levels do not have monsters walking around them in places where they can't be attacked any more.
Upon re-entering an area, dead Moss-Monster-category-monsters are no longer targetable.
Fixed a bug that would cause a small graphical stutter when a new item type was dropped for the first time in a session.
Removed some incompatible flask mods from hybrid flasks.
Fixed a bug where flasks would appear unverified when linked on the website if the number of charges had changed.
Fixed a bug with elemental effects being played at the wrong sizes.
Fixed a bug where Cleave dealt damage with the wrong timing.
Fixed various ways that skills could be used to target monsters that were too far away.
Fixed a bug with amulet inventory positioning.
Fixed a problem where Templar footsteps were 60% louder than other classes.
Fixed a client crash that would occur if you die to damage reflection.
UPDATED NOVEMBER 8 - Added this entry:
Rebalanced every single weapon in the game so that they have a hand-crafted progression of median damage, damage range, speed, requirements and variations on their implicit mod.
UPDATED NOVEMBER 10 - Added these notes:
Added PvP damage multiplier of 1/(1+(attacker_level/8)) for now.
Completely rebalanced the drop rates of all the currency items.
Doubled the currency item drop rate, but added a penalty to the rate of currency item drops if you're playing in areas far under your level.
Changed the experience split in parties so that it more strongly favours playing with people near your level
Changed the experience penalties for killing monsters far above/below your level. There's still a large safe zone of full experience near your level.
Added new amulet/ring artwork.
We added a warning for users with the recent Nvidia 285 series of drivers explaining that there are display issues we are working with Nvidia on fixing.
Fixed a bug with amulet inventory positioning.
Fixed a problem where Templar footsteps were 60% louder than other classes.
Fixed a client crash that would occur if you die to damage reflection
[Voor 27% gewijzigd door Anoniem: 427129 op 16-11-2011 17:42]
Diablo nooit gespeeld zeker?Haay schreef op donderdag 17 november 2011 @ 11:40:
* Haay meldt zich in dit topic.
Kreeg afgelopen dinsdag de uitnodiging email voor de beta. Client gedownload en 's avonds wat gespeeld. Eerste indruk: soort van kruising tussen Titan Quest en Guild Wars. Zoals in Guild Wars zijn er hubs waar mensen rondlopen, waar je een party kunt vormen, quests halen/voltooien, je stash bezoeken, vendors bezoeken. En zodra je door een poort naar buiten gaat zit je in een privé instance. Look & feel lijkt wel wat op Titan Quest.
Heb gespeeld tot ik level 4 was. Is nog wel heel erg zoeken naar hoe alles werkt, wat wel en wat niet kan, wat handig is en wat niet. De kaart met skills ziet er interessant uit. Veel mogelijkheden om allerlei builds te maken!
Omdat TQ veel op Diablo lijkt betekend niet dat PoE niet op TQ kan lijken. Zal vast ook wel op Diablo lijken, maar door de graphics zou hij toch eerder op TQ lijken dan op D2.FreqAmsterdam schreef op maandag 21 november 2011 @ 18:55:
Diablo nooit gespeeld zeker?
[Voor 25% gewijzigd door Haay op 25-11-2011 13:07]
Dit topic is gesloten.
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