This week was a great one for all things Path of Exile. Between the new Act 1 stairway to quality of life improvements to the balancing of legacy uniques, it was a great time to be an Exile.
Stairmaster Meets Path of Exile
You never realize how important (and needed) a set of stairs are until you're standing on a beach looking wistfully at the spot where portals spawn. It has been so for as long as Path of Exile has been around. Players have been whini...asking for a staircase leading from Lioneye's Watch to the Portal spawn area. While it may not have come along quite as fast as some might have wished -- after all those marathon sprints all the way around were tiring -- it should come as a pleasant surprise that Grinding Gear has delivered! You can now jet up a set of stairs leading directly from town to the portals.
It seems we'll all be sporting thunder thighs from now on! Thanks, GG!
Making Legacy Unique Items Relevant Again
Balance is one of those topics that probably causes any developer to reach for the Tylenol. It's always controversial and always something that is being requested by players. The latest balance pass, however, should bring a smile to players holding on to older league-exclusive unique items. Many items will be receiving a buff for 2.6.0, three of which are presented on the site as examples of both keeping an item relevant and keeping the overall balance of the game in tact. You can read about Gifts from Above, Trolltimber Spire and Shavronne's Revelation.
We also had the chance to chat with the team a bit on the whole issue of Legacy Uniques. Here's what GG had to say:
MMORPG: You're balancing a lot of the Legacy Unique items. Can you tell us if this is something you plan to do every so often after new leagues come and go?
GG: Yes, there are many old unique items that we plan to balance. We're approaching it in waves, and this is the first wave. There's also another reason that players will find out this week :-)
Life's All About Quality
In Update 2.6.0, details of which will be announced on February 16th by the way, players will be treated to a number of Quality of Life (QoL) improvements including the ability to search one's Friends List as well as changes and streamlining of the Passive Skill Tree. The official site has been updated with a pair of images to show off what these will look like.
MMORPG: Quality of Life features are always a good decision (insert Dos Equis ad), can you shed some light on the changes coming, and what others we might see soon?
GG: The two we highlighted this week, searching of the friends list and passive tree, are ones that users have been asking about for a while. We typically announce them as soon as they have gone through testing, rather than holding them all in a batch to be announced at once with an expansion. As such, we don't have any more to confirm today but we have some promising ones we want to get in soon.
Exiles, Exiles EVERYWHERE! Even in San Francisco
A fan meet up was recently held in San Francisco that members of the GG team attended. They say a picture speaks a thousand words. Judge for yourself, but these Exiles look pretty happy.
Ooo La La -- Art Book Images to Die For
While the book's release is not yet known, the Path of Exile Art Book is in the works. To prove it, a few images have been placed on the official site to tease just what quality work readers will be able to see. Check this one out before heading over to see the others for yourself.
Ah, Bloody Valentine
Those with a hankering to slip into something comfortable -- well, more accurately to decorate festively for Valentine's Day -- will want to check out this week's new microtransaction, Malachai's Heart Hideout Decoration. It's bloody good!
Hints for GDC or PAX East?
Yes, we asked. You decide!
MMORPG: Any hints of what we can expect from GDC or PAX East from youall this year?
GG: We'll be attending GDC and be showing off our upcoming expansion and Xbox One build privately to journalists! We'll probably also try to arrange a fan meetup if we can :-)