There is a massive amount of games coming out in 2013, more than we could include in all of our "Lists" of what we're personally looking forward to this year. But that doesn't mean we're not going to shine the light on each game that's due to hit in the next twelve months. With that in mind, we reached out to every developer releasing an MMO in 2013, to answer a few questions and let us know what the year has in store for each of them. As we receive the answers, we're shining the spotlight on each game. This week? It’s all about Path of Exile. The indie Action RPG is being heralded as the “true” Diablo 3, and we reached out to Grinding Gears to see what 2013 holds for their flagship title.
MMORPG: What does 2013 have in store for your game?
So many plans it's hard to count them! I'd list the very top things on our list right now as the following.
Path of Exile went to Open Beta with a little over 100 active skills for players to use. There are more than enough skills to enable a huge variety of builds, but we are far from done with design and implementation. There are major styles of play that still need a lot of attention where skills are concerned, especially for melee characters.
Ideally, we'd like to see the overall number of skills and supports in POE double by the end of the year. This is a lofty goal for sure, but it's a high priority. A majority of the skills we're going to add will be "world drop" skills, which should make them especially rare and sought-after.
Our League system has proven to be one of the most popular of POE's innovations, so we have grand plans for expanding its scope. We will be testing and implementing a huge variety of alternative ways to play the game. Some of these Leagues will be simple competitive races, and some of them will have big PVP elements. We'll be expanding the ranking and prize structures for POE's Leagues as we release them.
We're very happy with the current amount of content in POE, as it offers players hundreds of hours of fun for free. Between three tiers of challenging difficulty, three full acts, dozens of quests, endless crafting opportunity, in depth skill planning and finally end game maps, there are numerous systems to keep everyone occupied.
Despite this, we have no plans to stop polishing and adding to POE throughout 2013. By year's end, we expect to have an entire addition to Act 3, new PVP environments, new tilesets, new map types, new skill effects, and thousands of new art assets.
We've done a pretty good job in getting the word out about POE, but there is still so much more work to be done in that regard. We're getting excellent concurrency numbers at the moment, but if we're to maintain or grow them, we're going to need to spread news of POE's existence far and wide. There are literally millions of fans of the ARPG genre out there, most of whom we believe will really love our game if they get a chance to play it. We plan to attend PAX Prime 2013 in Seattle this year, so there will be a big marketing push leading up to that event.
MMORPG: How do you think your game will stand out from the crowd of this year's releases?
Path of Exile has a bunch of things going for it that will differentiate it from similar games in the genre. For starters, Path of Exile is an Online-only multiplayer game. Every game is hosted on closed servers owned and run by Grinding Gear Games, which means that all characters are secure. Players have to play hard and trade hard to acquire great wealth and great equipment in Path of Exile - they're unable to cheat the items into existence.
Another way that Path of Exile stands far apart from its competitors is through its deep levels of customization. From our randomly generated loot, to our randomly generated outdoor areas and dungeons, to our crafting system, to our item-based skill system and our 1350+ node passive skill tree, the game offers players truly endless freedom to design and sculpt their characters.
Path of Exile is also totally free to download, and totally free, with no strings attached at all. Additionally, Grinding Gear Games has a blanket company policy against "Pay to Win", which means that we will never, under any circumstances, sell microtransactions that confer a direct player advantage. People who accumulate great power and renown in POE will do so through the consequences of their own hard work and acumen, not because they simply paid us more than another player.
We truly believe that Path of Exile offers the purest form of the ARPG genre available in the market, and we are confident that this will remain the case through the duration of 2013.
MMORPG: What's the number one thing you want our readers to know about your game going into launch?
The number one thing is simple: We're up and running, the game is in a great state, and there is no reason whatsoever not to come give us a try (there are no more character wipes)! If you've ever played an action RPG, if you've ever collected loot and experienced giddiness as your stats rose, if you've ever spent hours min/maxing your skills, trying to eke out a little bit more damage or survivability, and if you've ever really wanted to recapture the intangible magic of famous ARPGs past, then Path of Exile is the game for you.
Even if you have never played an ARPG before, we have designed the game to be as accessible and fun as possible. Our extremely simple controls allow a new player to be swinging away at zombies a few minutes after they've connected, and our endless depth and customization will keep veterans of the genre captivated for years to come.
Now is truly the time to come and experience Wraeclast for yourself, we welcome all new exiles!
Read up on another 2013 release: Darkfall Unholy Wars.