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The Exiled Tribune - Planning Ahead 13-Weeks at a Time

Suzie Ford Posted:
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Welcome back to another issue of the Path of Exile - The Exiled Tribune. In this week's update, we'll take a look ahead at how the team will be sticking to its release schedule and how far out the next expansion could be as well as some other performance issues. In addition, the Talent Competition will be drawing to a close later today, some Breach League stats have been revealed and some spiffy new microtransactions have been released.

Looking Ahead & Stickin' to a Schedule

Over a year ago, Grinding Gear made a commitment to its Path of Exile players that they would release content in predictable ways every 13-weeks. Five updates from December 2015 to December 2016 were released on this schedule and the plan is to keep things as-is. Breach Leagues of this much time feel about right, so the plan is to keep on keeping on.

That said, players can expect to see another Breach League launch when the current one ends that will also mark the beta test phase for the 3.0.0 expansion that contains Act Five and "some other surprises". More about both the 2.6.0 Breach League update and the forthcoming expansion is expected to be announced in February.

So for the 2.6.0 update, we're planning:

  • Some balance changes to keep the metagame fresh. An example is that we have lined up significant buffs to one-handed melee weapons.
  • A new challenge league. We don't want to spoil what it is yet, but it's certainly appropriate for the last league before the new era of 3.0.0.

It's All About Performance, Baby

Game client performance continues to be tinkered with and the team has a plan in place to send out an update this coming week that should make big improvements in PoE's performance:

Under DirectX 9, it was not possible to spread this work out over multiple threads that run on different CPU cores. One of the big advantages of the DirectX 11 renderer is that we are now able to multi-thread the renderer code itself. Previous performance updates have multi-threaded other aspects of the client (such as particles or the action simulation system), but the 2.5.2 release next week multi-threads the actual scene rendering. 

You can read more about performance alterations here.

Talent Competition Highlights 

The Path of Exile Talent Contest is drawing to a close and the last in a series of highlights of some of the amazing things people have created that tie into the game was released late last week. In one of those fickle fingers of international datelines and such, at nearly the same time you're checking out the highlights and entries, the winners will be announced. No matter, however, as it's fantastic to see the breadth of talent the PoE community embodies. From sculptures to videos to digital and traditional art, the PoE community outdid itself. Check out a bit below before heading to the Highlights Page.

Breach Stats and Microtransactions

For those who like to keep tabs on the most commonly used stats and the challenge progress during Breach League, look no further than the stats wrap up that gives a look at how players are progressing, what the deadliest areas are according to the number of death and mayhem and the ten most created areas. 

Lastly, a pair of cool new portal microtransactions were released: The Kaom Portal and the Daresso Portal.

That's it for this week. We'll keep you posted on 3.0.0 and other cool happenings at Grinding Gear so keep coming back!


Suzie Ford

Suzie is the former Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom