Path of Exile 2 Interview

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Eschalon: Book II

Developer:Grinding Gear Games
Release Date:TBA
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay

GB: Some of Path of Exile's recent updates introduced certain quality of life improvements, namely the ability to individually toggle skills to be used without moving and the extra skill bar. Do you have anything else of this kind in the works?

CW: We generally announce and release these quality of life improvements in the next expansion after they're ready, rather than stockpiling them for the far future. So this means we don't have any new ones to announce, but that as soon as we do, we'll try to get them out and in the players' hands.

GB: Currently, high level gameplay can get quite hectic where characters zip around the map clearing entire screens in mere moments and if they don't, they can easily get one-shot. Are there any plans to adjust the game's pace for the sequel?

CW: This "clear-speed meta" as the players call it is a consequence of the game having so many ways for players to specialise their characters. While we'd prefer that the end-game were played at more methodical pace, we're very careful to not make changes that drastically reduce the power of characters, as this would remove a lot of the fun that players have with those builds.

With careful changes to the right systems in Path of Exile 2, we can hopefully keep speed-creep under control while still having scope for end-game builds that do some insane stuff.

GB: Path of Exile features a built-in loot filter now, and there are plenty of third-party ones floating around the Internet. With that in mind, are you happy with how the game handles loot at the moment?

CW: We have a plan to substantially change the way that item drops work before Path of Exile 2 is released. While we will announce this in more detail later, the broad goals are that players will find a lot fewer terrible normal items, and that the rare items they find are better. This will both reduce the extreme clutter that can accumulate in some circumstances, and will mean players are meaningfully able to find improvements to their items on the ground (without feeling that the only way forward is crafting or trading).

GB: What are your plans regarding the game's performance and optimization?

CW: We have been making big improvements to the game engine with each expansion for the past few years. Releasing on console platforms (and later, Mobile) has also helped performance on PC immensely. Many of the graphics techniques we're using in the sequel (such as new rain, new grass, etc) both look better and perform better than the techniques that we used in the original game. In addition, the sequel has been a great opportunity to create new art assets the right way, with a strong eye towards their performance.

GB: In your Path of Exile 2 announcement you briefly mention some changes you wanted to implement previously but weren't able to without breaking the existing game, and now you're finally able to work them in. Anything you can tell me about those?

CW: A good example of this is the new skill system. Moving the sockets away from items and into the gems themselves is a massive change and isn't one that we could just make in a regular expansion without causing chaos. By releasing this change in the sequel, players will expect to have to re-learn some systems and will likely be creating new characters to play through the new storyline, giving them time to both learn the new system and to build their characters around the way that it now works.