Over the course of the last couple weeks, Grinding Gear has been teasing out the next major content expansion and that we'll all know more in a couple of weeks after a press tour. We managed to squeak in a few questions to Chris Wilson to see if we could extract any new information about 3.2.0 and about what else the team has been working on too.
Chris Wilson on 3.2.0
MMORPG: War for the Atlas was geared more to the high-end player. Where do you see 3.2.0 falling on the player spectrum?
Chris Wilson: The 3.2.0 Content Update and challenge league have a bit of something for everyone. When we design new challenge leagues we always look at how to provide content for new players early on that matches their skill level as well as content that extends all the way to end-game for more experienced players to engage in. The update also brings improvements to other areas of the game that will be available both early on and in the end-game. More details coming soon!
MMORPG: You've just put out War for the Atlas a bit over a month ago. Do you plan to keep up on this type of content release cadence going forward?
CW: Yes. Our ideal development schedule is to release a new challenge league alongside a significant content update every thirteen weeks with major expansions occuring every six months.
MMORPG: You've recently introduced a number of tabs to "clean up" inventories, most recently, of course, the Fragment Stash. How many more do you think you'll need? Any new ones coming in 3.2.0?
CW: In addition to some free Quality of Life improvements for managing your items and sorting through your stash tabs, we do have some other stash tab types in mind for future. Much of the development resources of Path of Exile can be attributed to the purchases of Stash Tabs, so it's definitely something we keep in mind. Most of the major stash tab types we had planned are out and available now but there are a few other interesting ones coming in the future.
MMORPG: Looking back at War for the Atlas, what are your biggest surprises both from a development perspective and from players?
CW: From a development perspective, we were surprised about how easy it was to keep coming up with new variations of end-game maps by combining our various tilesets together, tweaking environments and making a few new custom assets. This bodes really well for Path of Exile map creation in the future.
From a player perspective, it was really surprising to see how many cool items they crafted using the new Shaper/Elder base types. There are some pretty powerful items coming out of the community that enable variations of character builds not seen before.
MMORPG: More practically, how do you keep up developers' energy levels developing new content at this rate?
CW: The energy in the office is quite a positive one. We have a catered office-wide meeting every Monday and the developers have access to many beverages and refreshments as well. Additionally, we have a flexible schedule that allows individual developers to pick their optimal start/finish times in the work day which means they have the freedom to manage their work/life balance in a way that suits them personally.
What Else Happened This Week
This comes straight from the GGG Community team
- Developer Interview: Felipe - Visual Effects - We sat down with one of our new visual effects artists, Felipe, to get the low-down on what his experiences here have been like and a little bit about him.
- Daresso vs. Kaom: Who Would Win? - We've put Kaom and Daresso together in Kaom's arena to see who would be the victor.
- How Weta Workshop Made the Kitava Statue - A video filmed by Weta Workshop featuring creation of Kitava statues for promotional purposes in China.
- Stories from Development: What came from the Original Design? - This post outlines the parts of Path of Exile that came from the original design, and draws attention to a few that we just didn't think of until later.
- Talent Competition Highlights - Recently we started a talent competition, here are some awesome submissions from our players.
- Introducing the Fragment Tab - Due to many requests for a way to more efficiently store fragment pieces in stash tabs, we designed a new type of stash tab, the Fragment Tab.