There’s no need to beat a dead horse but it should be mentioned – yeah, Diablo 3 was a pretty disappointing experience for me, too. It happens. However, just as the third Godfather movie didn’t mean the end of good gangster flicks, neither does the third Diablo game mean the end of good point-and-click action RPGs.
Path of Exile is one of the newer entries to the genre, and the one I’m most excited about. Unlike Torchlight, the theme and graphics are dark, gritty, and almost oppressive. And unlike Grim Dawn, PoE will be available to play later today, as an open beta. Unlike all the other Diablolikes, the game will always be free-to-play, with cosmetic microtransactions being the only source of the developer’s income from it.
One of the biggest problems with Diablo 3 were its lackluster items, which arguably moved the game’s most exciting moments from the dungeon floor to the in-game auction houses. In Path of Exile, however, items are everything – almost literally. Not only can weapons and armor be socketed with active skill gems, but potions and even playable dungeons can be dropped as loot and then enchanted or traded (PoE has no gold and uses on a bartering system instead).
A vast amount of customization seems possible with PoE’s itemization, as well as a
passive skill tree that looks more like a forest. The six starting classes will place you on one end of the tree, but after leveling up enough it’s possible to wind your way over to the opposite side. Certain passive skills, called “Keystone passives” will drastically change the way your character plays.
On top of that, the developers are promising a fun PVP system with leagues and ladders that will last anywhere from one hour to months on end. Could you really ask for anything more of this type of game? Well, an offline mode might be nice, especially on launch day… but if you were willing to put up with “always online” to play Diablo 3, then PoE certainly seems worth it. At the very least, the price is (better than) right!
Links: NeoGaf thread