Last week was a huge one for Path of Exile with the launch of War for the Atlas. The expanded content brings a whole new level of challenge to end-game players. We sat down with Grinding Gear’s Chris Wilson to ask about the launch and what may be coming next.
MMORPG: The last time we checked in, there were a ton of people waiting for the doors to War for the Atlas to open. How did the servers fare?
Chris Wilson: There were no major issues with the servers. We always make sure that we have extra available for any expansion launch. We did encounter some launch day issues but these were resolved relatively quickly. We're continuing to look at any issues that arise and fix them as soon as we possibly can.
MMORPG: Building on the first question, how did the developers fare?
Chris Wilson: The team did a great job. They've all participated in a significant number of launch days now and are well prepared to take care of their particular areas of expertise during the day. We're really grateful for all of the hard work they put in.
MMORPG: How many players would you estimate took part in WftA? Do you keep tabs on concurrency?
Chris Wilson: Player concurrency between the two expansions is surprisingly close! Despite The Fall of Oriath being years longer in development and having much more marketing, War for the Atlas is rivalling its concurrency figures. With the launch of The Fall of Oriath, we reached so many new players that we're really happy to have retained through to this expansion.
MMORPG: What has been the biggest surprise for you as players have started in the expansion?
Chris Wilson: We haven't been surprised by anything in particular. Before a launch there is always a sense of curiosity as to how the players will respond and which elements of the new content they'll be most engaged in. They're really enjoying the new Abyss Jewels and we've seen many posts and comments about the new uniques that were introduced with 3.1.0. This is great to see.
MMORPG: What have been the biggest challenges since launch on Friday?
Chris Wilson: We had a team of people working throughout the weekend to make sure that any issues that were found were submitted to the team to be fixed. The work week has just begun here in New Zealand so we will be continuing to monitor this and the players' responses to see what we need to do next.
MMORPG: Will you be pushing out a patch in the near(ish) future? If so, what will it contain?
Chris Wilson: We have a few things coming soon that will improve the experience of the Abyss League. For example, our Visual Effects Artists are adding a more significant effect on the Abyss cracks so that they'll be easier to follow when playing in low-light areas. We hope to have this update out later this week.
MMORPG: And, finally, what's next for Path of Exile?
Chris Wilson: With summer and Christmas coming up, many of the developers will be taking a break over this time. However, we'll still have many team members in the studio to continue development. We'll be introducing many new updates, fixes and microtransactions over the coming weeks and also beginning production on some other exciting future content! Our next big release is scheduled for March.