In a recent forum post by the Path of Exile team, Grinding Gear Games talks about the next expansion, and how development differs from previous expansions. The post outlines the hardships the team has gone through, and the hardships that continue to challenge them as they aim to release their next expansion in December.
The post is a lengthy outline of some initial worries the team had in the game’s early development cycle, which has since transcended into a path that was unsustainable for the foreseeable future, in a post pandemic world. The vulnerability of their development cycle has shown the teams weaknesses which includes overall developmental scope, feature creep, and general unexpected occurrences, that they may have never seen before, which has now led to the team reconstructing their development process to be more resilient, and potentially fruitful.
”Late in Heist's development cycle, we had a serious internal discussion about how we could restructure our development process so that subsequent expansions are less risky. This discussion resulted in an experiment that we decided to carry out for the next three month cycle.
We have defined a very specific scope for December's 3.13 expansion. It contains everything that a large Path of Exile expansion needs, but no more.”
Their total goal is to reduce the development time, while providing exactly what they aim for.
“If you're interested, it's an Atlas expansion (like War or Conquerors) with an in-area combat league and a few other bits and pieces. We'll also be announcing it in a slightly different way than we usually do. Stay tuned!”
Heist was released last month and has since gone through some necessary changes and improvements. It will be interesting to see how the development cycle of the next expansion changes, in comparison to what we’ve seen with Heist.