Path of Exile has always been one of those games I circle back to over and over. It’s too addicting and for good reason, it has a solid formula. The developers clearly have a lot of love for their game, the rate they push out new quality content is what keeps PoE from ever getting stale. Naturally, I was extremely excited when I saw the trailer for Path of Exile 2. Path of Exile 2 is looking to keep the same formula while trimming the fat off the unfavourable elements that bogged down the first game.
Still in Wraeclast
This isn’t a completely new universe. Path of Exile 2 will be playable alongside PoE and will be a direct continuation of the story with seven acts. It takes place 20 years after the main plot. A better way of looking at PoE 2 is that it’s a massive update or overhaul rather than a brand new game.
Everything will still lead up to the same combined atlas endgame. This is pretty sweet because of how unique this tie-in is. To reiterate once you finish PoE’s plot, you will not jump into the sequel. They’re separate games that lead to the same endgame. This is an ingenious innovation towards pleasing new and hardcore fans alike. This way whether you prefer the first campaign or the new one, the player-base won’t be divided in either, therefore diehard fans won’t have to worry and it can draw in new players at the same time. Also on that note, you will have to create a new character in PoE 2 but, all your cosmetics and purchases are completely transferable.
The Main Changes
The classes themselves will be the same type of format as the last ones, with new character models. So there will still be the ranger class and witch but, new and improved, maybe with a new title. There will also be 19 new ascendancy classes that will be separate from PoE 1. There are a ton of new animations and effects for skills too. Including… shapeshifting. If you’ve ever wanted to transform into a werewolf (i assume that’s everyone), now you can whenever you please. Not just that, you can use your skills in this form too.
We’re also finally getting a revamped art system. Path of Exile 2 is going to be using physically-based rendering for the environments, characters, and assets. This may sound like gibberish. Basically, physically-based rendering puts an emphasis on lighting and realism. There are many other variables that this rendering system highlights but, those are the main two focuses of PBR. This greatly improves upon the dark atmosphere of Wraeclast, while also helping the environments look much clearer and detailed.
The gem socketing system is changing too. This has always been a hassle for me. When your inventory gets messy, equipping items and re-socketing can get very aggravating. Now you will have a separate menu made for gems. You can keep your skills gems in place for certain items like your weapon or your hat. Then you can socket your support gems directly into the skill gems from that menu. When you switch out items, you don’t have to go through that whole process again. The new weapon and armor system will have the same sockets for each type of item, so your gem menu can stay and you can switch out equipment on the fly.
When’s it coming?
Grinding Gear Games reported that it probably won’t get into the beta until the end of next year. Thankfully, they’re not halting work on PoE 1. There will still be regular content updates and expansions. Now is a good a time as any to get into Path of Exile for newcomers. The actual release will be some time into 2021. There will be plenty of time to figure more out with over a full year to wait.
Path of Exile 2 will still feel like the same Path of Exile you know and love. The core mechanics of gameplay are getting a well-deserved rework. The same charm will be behind Wraeclast just with a lot more polish. There’s a lot to be excited about and nothing to fear. Needless to say, I’m going to be watching Grinding Gear Games like a hawk in 2020. I’ll see you guys in the beta!
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