Path of Exile Preview

The Penny Arcade Report is offering a brief preview for Grinding Gear's free-to-play Diablo-clone Path of Exile, and it's a pretty positive one all things considered. Here's a snip:
One of the most addicting principles behind action RPG game play is the quest for more, and better, pieces of equipment and items. Chris Wilson, CEO of Grinding Gear, told the Report he himself became (hopelessly addicted) to collecting loot in games like Diablo and Dungeon Siege when he was younger.

So, when it came time to design the way items would work in Path of Exile, Wilson wanted to push the concept as far as he could. Path of Exile doesn't just add new a list of new modifiers to weapons, it makes items and collecting a core concept in almost every aspect of game play.

(Because we felt that traveling to town to constantly stock up on potions was unnecessary, we've itemized Flasks that are reusable and can get properties that change how they work,) Wilson said. Let's say you have a life Flask. Instead of buying potions every time you go to town to stock up in case you need health while adventuring, the Flask can refill with charges when you land a killing blow on a monster. A Small Life Flask can hold 21 charges of healing, so you kill 21 normal monsters to fill it up, and each use causes you to heal 60 points of damage. The rarer the monster, the more charges you get.

There are also random properties and modifiers on the Flasks. An (Ample) Flask gives extra charges, and a Flask (of Fending) knocks back foes while you heal. Combine the two and you have an Ample Small Life Flask of Fending. The game already has more than two dozen combined prefix and suffix modifiers, and that's just Flasks. Even endgame maps can receive random properties and be traded between players.