Grinding Gear Games made good on its promise by unveiling a critical update for Path of Exile 2 at ExileCon 2023, held recently in Auckland, New Zealand. A key revelation in this update was the developer's confirmation that Path of Exile 2 would stand as a full-fledged sequel, a significant deviation from its prior classification as a standalone campaign.
Path of Exile 2, under development, has significantly expanded in scale over the years, adding an array of new monsters, skills, classes, and mechanics. Its developers have described it as 'huge', stating they wish to avoid interfering with the original game, hence the decision for the two to co-exist as standalone titles.
They've also confirmed that applicable microtransactions will be accessible across both games. To exemplify, unlocked stash tabs or acquired aesthetic sword items will be transferable. In a major move, the developers have designed new character classes to align with introduced mechanics for every attribute combination. Each attribute combination pairs with two classes, such as the Strength/Int class having the option of a Templar or Druid and Dexterity featuring the Ranger and the Huntress.
Every class will also come fully equipped with three unique Ascendancies for further singular class specialization. The developers have also enhanced the melee combat experience by adding mobility to the skills, with every class now having an unrestricted dodge roll.
An integral part of this update includes an extensive reconfiguration of how debuffs function in Path of Exile 2. The game's crowd control mechanics now possess internal meters that steadily accumulate over time. This innovative approach allows developers to circumvent the initial game's issue where bosses had to be bestowed with immunities to effects like freeze to maintain balance.
A new element, termed 'Spirit', has been incorporated into the game. This resource serves as a dedicated reserve for Heralds, Auras, Minions, and more. All characters start with a default value of 100 Spirit, but this can be augmented via mods and through passive tree progression.
In another major shift from the original Path of Exile, Weapon Swap has been enhanced to facilitate automatic transitions not only between weapons but also respective passive tree builds. This allows characters to leverage the best attributes of each weapon set. However, this feature will apply only to passives derived from Skill Books rather than encompassing the entire passive tree.
In conclusion, these significant changes and additions highlight the evolution of Path of Exile 2 from its predecessor into a standalone sequel. By streamlining crowd control mechanics, introducing the new 'Spirit' resource, and enhancing weapon swapping, Grinding Gear Games promises a more dynamic and versatile gaming experience in Path of Exile 2.