Grinding Gear is continuing to provide its community with information about significant changes coming to Path of Exile as the time for The Fall of Oriath expansion beta launch nears. In this week's Exiled Tribune, we take a look at announcements ranging from new manifestos, the extension of Legacy Leagues and a partnership with Twitch Prime for free stuff.
TWITCH PRIME PARTNERSHIP
Over the past week, GGG announced that it had partnered with Twitch Prime to bring some exclusive new Path of Exile microtransaction items to players who join up or already belong to the premium service. Players can get hold of a trio of purple items including a portal, weapon effect and footprints.
We asked the team a few questions about the new program.
MMORPG: You announced that you've partnered with Twitch Prime with players able to earn free cosmetic items. For those who may not know yet, what is Twitch Prime and how does it benefit you as a company (since we see how it benefits us as players!)?
GGG: Twitch Prime is a service which provides premium features that are exclusive to users who have an active Amazon Prime subscription. This includes advertising-free streaming, monthly offers of free add-on content, game discounts and you get a free monthly subscription to a streamer of your choice!
Partnering with Twitch Prime benefits us by allowing us to offer free microtransactions to our community while also spotlighting Path of Exile to many potential new players, just in time for our largest expansion ever - The Fall of Oriath.
MMORPG: Right now you're offering Purple items (weapon effect, portal, footprints) for Twitch Prime membership. Do you have plans to change what players can earn? Will you keep it "themed" (i.e. like the "purple" phase you're in currently)? What about around the holidays?
GGG: This offer is only available from May 23rd - June 19th. We won't be changing the rewards during this time.
MMORPG: These cosmetic effects are, at least for now, exclusive to Twitch Prime. Will there ever be an opportunity for non-TP members to gain access to them?
GGG: Yes, absolutely. The microtransactions will be available in our store for sale at some point after the Twitch Prime promotion has ended.
NEW MANIFESTOS - LABYRINTH & ENERGY SHIELDS AND LIFE
The site was updated with a pair of new articles that are part of a larger series devoted to changes coming in Fall of Oriath. These articles provide information to the community about the changes, but more importantly, about the reasons behind those changes.
In the first article, the Labyrinth goes under the microscope. There will still be four total Labyrinths with the same rewards and the necessity of completing trials, though the number of trials will be reduced. This is in response to the community's thoughts on the overall difficulty and length of each Labyrinth as well as how "bad" it feels when a player fails in a run.
You will still fight Izaro three times, but the time between each fight will be significantly shorter. This also means that a failed run will generally feel less bad, since you'll be able to regain lost ground more quickly. We will also be looking at ways to simplify certain mechanics in the earliest Labyrinth.
MMORPG: You are making big changes to the Labyrinth system and mention "future Labyrinths". What are some of the ways that any new ones might be seen as significantly different than the current one? GGG: The Labyrinth content will remain relatively familiar to those who have experienced it in the past. However, in the Beta and 3.0.0 the process will be slightly more streamlined in the earlier Labyrinth and Trials.
The second manifesto deals with some significant alterations coming to Energy Shields & Life. Even GGG admits that there are "a large number of changes" coming to the system, as well as other defenses, when Oriath launches.
The combination of a huge effective health pool and complete access to recovery mechanics removed almost all of the challenge from the very toughest encounters in the game. To solve this problem, we've made some changes at certain points that reduce the power of Energy Shield at the very end of the game, without undermining it at lower levels.
The article is, of course, packed with a very detailed, comparative explanation of the process and examples of how things will manifest when Oriath launches. You can read the full article above. We did, however, ask a few questions of the team.
MMORPG: Several significant alterations are being made to the Energy Shield / Life mechanics. How have your plans been met by the community now that the manifesto has been published? Do you anticipate having to make tweaks or other changes once 3.0 launches? GGG: The community has had a lot of feedback about the changes to Energy Shield and Life which is to be expected as these changes will significantly change the character builds that players are running. We're planning to keep a close eye on how these changes function during the Beta and will make any appropriate changes before The Fall of Oriath goes live. MMORPG: For players who have become somewhat dependent on Energy Shield, how do you see their game play style changing in the expansion? What changes will they notice first? GGG: The Fall of Oriath is basically an entirely new game as far as the balance and content are concerned, so many users will find the gameplay experience different and will want to make changes to their build to work around it. Most Energy Shield users won't feel those specific changes as much as they suspect, but the players who really abused the old way that Energy Shield worked will certainly find the game more challenging now :-)
LEGACY LEAGUE EXTENSION
Last week, GGG announced that Legacy Leagues would be suspended during the Fall of Oriath beta phase, though special events would be held throughout. However, the community came back with feedback hoping to keep Legacy Leagues running through the beta process.
To clarify, while the 3.0.0 beta is running, you'll also have the option to participate in a schedule of events that we're arranging on the regular realm as well as continue to play your characters in the Legacy Leagues. We've updated the Beta FAQ to reflect the information in today's post and include answers to some questions that came up in response to the post.
It's a wrap, folks! What do you think of this week's happenings? Leave us your thoughts!