With 2017 coming to a close, Path of Exile is in a great place going into 2018. The last couple of weeks have seen the team keeping busy after the launch of War for the Atlas, though perhaps with a bit of holiday chill thrown in for good measure. Let's take a look at the most recent happenings.
War for the Atlas Updates
With the latest expansion launch just over a couple weeks ago, the team has been busy working out a number of reported bugs and published a lengthy list of what's on the immediate radar once the new year starts. As expected, most of the crew is at home spending time with family and friends for the holiday season, a good thing too as they'll be rested and ready to go when January rolls around.
Overall the expansion launch was smooth and successful with hiccups being addressed quickly and efficiently. The current list is designed to clean up issues in preparation for things like visual updates, Abyss improvements and more.
As we lead up to the holiday season many of the developers will be taking leave to spend time with their families and enjoy the New Zealand summer. We will still, however, be maintaining a skeleton crew of developers to tend to things over this time before launching into full development of our March 3.2.0 update. We have several small updates coming soon including things that we've announced in the past like the visual improvements for the Abyss cracks and the Abyss Supporter Packs. Among these more significant updates we have a list of known issues that we'll be working through that we've outlined below.
Another new feature that players have the opportunity to purchase is the new Map Stash Tab. It provides "an efficient way to store maps. Maps can be organized by tiers and base type as well as be tossed into "sub-tabs" for each individual type map.
One Map Stash Tab can store the equivalent of dozens of regular Stash Tabs and comes with the added convenience of an in-built sorting system. It's also possible to name your tabs and make them public for trading! If you have legacy maps from Path of Exile's past, you can right click on your Map Tab while it's empty to change what series of maps it is set to, as it can only hold maps from one series at a time. Different series are indicated by different background map art.
War for the Atlas features four dozen unique items. While some were revealed ahead of time, many were not and players have been busy trying to find and collect them all. The site's been updated with a look at some of the things players have ferreted out of the expansion so far, though the list is likely longer now.
Other feedback has led to some interesting changes to "tougher Abyss monsters" and dying near an Abyss:
If tougher Abyss monsters die near an Abyss rare that doesn't have full spirit charges, then they gain a spirit charge from the monster. Because grubs can be spawned by the Pitworms indefinitely this means the usually limited resource of souls was being granted over and over by repeatedly spawning worms. This means that the bats could dive repeatedly, healing repeatedly as all Abyss Rares have the same stat as the Abyss Helmet where they recover some life when they expend a spirit charge.
Visual improvements are coming along nicely as well. There's a fascinating post about the new water technology that is in the process of development. It details the process for creating dynamic water and the complicated nature of the rendering process.
The most complicated parts of rendering water are probably the surface ripple generation algorithm and the foam rendering algorithm, because they require a lot of artistic intuition (that I'm not known for). Everything else is just physics, optics and programming that are significantly more straightforward.
Another "behind the scenes" post shows off some of the concept art behind War for the Atlas and the process behind the design of a portal, gauntlets, back armor, a full plate set, a sweet looking purple sword, monsters and more. You can see it here.
Lastly, both Fire and Ice Microtransactions are being combined: "Combining Fire and Ice Microtransactions - To celebrate the launch of the War for the Atlas expansion, we introduced the Fire of Ice Mystery Box last week with 38 new microtransactions. It's time to reveal a mystery about this box: you can combine some of these Fire and Ice microtransactions to get new ones! While some of our community have already discovered this, we felt it would be good to share this information with everyone."
That's pretty much it for this week, folks! What have you been doing in Path of Exile?