Path of Exile

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Path of Exile is a fantasy based action RPG available for free online play from Grinding Gear Games. The title is currently in Beta with version 1.0 slated for release in Oct. The player base has reached over 2 million subscribers since inception. The company plans to expand the title every year for five to ten years.


Path of Exile was developed as a response to frustration felt by action RPG fans who wanted more titles released in their genre. It took three years of secret development before the game was announced in 2010. Since then the website has provided a steady stream of information and screenshots to keep fans interested. The concept behind Path of Exile was foremost to provide a truly free to play gaming experience. Where a lot of other titles have received criticism for being P2W or pay to win, meaning some features were not accessible without a subscription or other monetary investment, POE offers only cosmetic enhancements in its in game stores.
The storyline places characters on an island known as Wraeclast where undesirables from the fictional world are kept. Players must navigate the wilderness of the island and the inhabitants they encounter. POE is an overhead adventure RPG with a heavy fantasy concept. Unlike a lot of popular titles, POE does not limit its characters abilities based on class.
In this game experience levels go up slower on non core abilities related to their class. The majority of skills are determined by skill gems which are attached to armor to increase level ups. Gems level as the carrier gains experience to increase new combination options and power.

Path of Exile builds upon a standard action based fantasy system with a few key changes to increase overall enjoyment. The overhead theme and monster battling aspects are common to many games in the genre. The standout features are the game’s completely free concept and skill set system. Players have a core set of 1,350 skills to choose from when customizing their characters. This kind of player centered approach is what Grinding Gear aimed for when they first began. Proponents of fantasy RPGs will not be let down by the experience.
This title acts more like a compliment to existing RPGs than competition. Improvements on a working system provide an enjoyable experience with hours of game play opportunities.


Given the initial reaction it appears that Path of Exile has filled a much needed gap in the RPG environment. With over 2 million subscribers prior to version 1, this game is picking up speed quickly. The company’s open promise to put an end to the issue of P2W gaming ensures dedication from players frustrated by similar titles without such a program in place. Guild support and custom character features will still be made available for a price, while the storyline itself remains completely free. In a landscape with a shortage of games in this genre, POE is shaping up to be a leader in new innovation.



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