In this week's Path of Exile: The Exiled Tribune, we take a look at some of the amazing community questions that were asked and later answered by Grinding Gear. In addition, you'll be able to hear some of the new environments in The Fall of Oriath as well as listen to the thematic music that accompanies them. It was another great week to be an exile!
Community Questions, Grinding Gear Answers
Over the last couple of weeks, Grinding Gear collected a plethora of community questions and submitted them to the team. Many centered on development itself, some asking what types of games team members play, how items are acquired, what technologies are used in developing Path of Exile and a ton more. There were so many, in fact, that the experience had to be split into two massive posts covering these topics and more. It was like an AMA without Reddit!
Here are a few representative samples from Part 1:
When will this game be released on xbox? An estimated date or month would be amazing.
We're aiming for "very close to the PC release of 3.0.0" which is targeted at "the middle of the year".
Do you do systems simulations on multiple spec variations to determine balance? Do you use Machine Learning to grow the tree/balance stats or to find anomalies? Any other systems automations you guys use?
We do run simulations when developing new systems. I personally did the Prophecy simulation myself. We don't use machine learning. There is a lot of automation on the build/testing side of the game, but not so much on the game design side. Making things fun and addictive is more of an art than a science in our opinion (we design on gut feeling more often than trying to optimise some data).
Virtual Reality, when?
And here are a few from Part 2:
Do you really expect to be able to release 6 acts at once without months of gamebreaking bugs? How do you plan to smooth out the 3.0 release, what do you have in place to keep the gamebreakers down to a dull roar? Have things improved much behind the scenes since, say, Perandus launch?
The number of acts doesn't necessarily increase the number of bugs, because bugs generally come with new features rather than new content. Having said that, there's a lot changing in 3.0.0 so there's a lot of scope for problems to creep in unless we find them. To deal with this, we've expanded our QA team over the years and it's currently the largest it has ever been. In addition, we're running a Beta for 3.0.0 specifically to find problems before they affect the live realm.
Will controller support be integrated into regular POE once you're done with the xbox version?
< No. The controller makes it a different game because of skill function and balance changes required. If we did add controller support to a PC version then that version would probably play on the Xbox One realm rather than the current realm. We don't plan to do this currently.
Phew...and that's just a sample of all the questions ranging on a ton of topics you can find so be sure to head to the links above.
The Music Sets the Tone
The Fall of Oriath will be coming with new zones and nothing creates the mood, the tension and the overall ambiance of a location than the music. With that in mind, the team put out a short video showing several locations in The Fall of Oriath along with samples of the music you can expect to hear under the screams of your enemies.
A Peek Inside GG Game Development
It's always fun to see how a team operates from the inside. To show off the inner workings at Grinding Gear, more than a few photos of Devs At Work (sounds like a Broadway musical!) were published. You can see them all here, but here's a sample (check out that mouse pad!):
The bottom line is that now we have proof that GG, at least, actually plays the game!
What week would be complete without a few gorgeous new microtransactions. This week, you can get hands on Verdant Wings, Arcane Shield and a Tiger Pet.