Last week was a big one for the Path of Exile team with the huge announcement that one of the most beloved ARPGs will soon become a truly multi-platform game. In addition, the amazing community talent competition came to a close with so much awesome work that Grinding Gear has decided to hand out even more prizes. It was a great week to be an Exile!
Headed to XBox One in 2017!
In case you were off the grid last week and missed the big announcement, we have news for you: Path of Exile is heading to XBox One in 2017! As with the PC version, the new console version will be free to play and will ship with all of the content that PC players enjoy, up to and including the 3.0.0 expansion with Act 5.
For those who wonder about cross platform game play, it is not something that will be coming with the XB1 release of PoE. The team cited small game play differences between the two versions, most notably in numbers of available slots for things such as Flasks, that will require XB1 and PC players to take part on separate servers.
MMORPG: Why did you choose XB1 as your first console for PoE?
Microsoft have made it very easy to port PC games to the Xbox One because it uses DirectX 11. The investment we made in a DirectX 11 port also directly improved our PC version.
MMORPG: Any plans for other *coughs PS4* console deployment?
At this time we're only announcing the Xbox One version.
MMORPG: Do you have a rough time line for releasing PoE on console?
We expect to release it alongside our 3.0.0 PC release later this year.
MMORPG: What special challenges does porting PoE for console present?
A large number of our existing skills assume the ability to point at a specific location on the screen using a mouse cursor. There's a lot of work adapting these.
In addition, item manipulation can feel awkward on console, so it's taking a lot of work to make it great.
MMORPG: You indicated that you have hired new staff for the console project. How many folks are working on it?
The console sub-team has averaged around three developers over the last year. For reference, our company has 92 staff members (including customer support).
Check out the announcement trailer:
Grinding Gear also took to the site to alleviate player concerns that development time and resources would be removed from the PC version to get the XBox One version underway and through completion. According to the dev team, new staff members were brought on board specifically and only to work on the XB1 version to keep all current projects moving along as scheduled. In fact, these staff members were also integral in the improvements made to "frame rate, client load times, memory use, as well as the introduction of the 64-bit client, DirectX 11 renderer and the new audio system". These have already been released for the PC version.
In addition, players are reminded that no changes have been made to the PC client directly due to the upcoming console version.
People have suggested that we add console controller support to the PC version, but that would require changing how skills work to support it, and that's not a rabbit hole that we want to go down. The development and direction of the PC version has not and will not change due to the existence of the console version.
You can read the full manifesto on the PoE site.
Exiles Got Talent!
The Path of Exile Talent Competition has drawn to a close and the top three winners were announced. Each one will receive a bevy of interesting items, both in-game and real world. Prizes include original art from the PoE comic, an Atlas of Worlds t-shirt, a signed copy of the comic and more. You can see the full list of top prize winning items here as well as get a look at the top three entrants.
In addition, and due to the avalanche of awesome community entries, GG will be announcing more runner-up prizes later this week. That's a lot of talent, folks!
Water! Water EVERYWHERE!
Physic Programmer Alex has been hard at work lately working on a water simulation system that will be ready for deployment with the 3.0.0 expansion! To show off his early work, Alex created a video to....wait for it...WHET your appetite!
See what you think:
That's it, Exiles! Come back next week for more!