In a new preview/interview with Grinding Gear Games' Chris Wilson on Shacknews, we learn about the independent studio's plans to finally release Path of Exile on October 23rd and include a new Scion prestige class to boot. Accompanying the news is a countdown on the official website and a release trailer on GameTrailers, so it's readily apparent that the date is firmly planted in time. Word is:
The Scion is the daughter of a nobleman, exiled to the game's continent for killing her husband. Because of her circumstances, she won't be among the selectable classes at the start of the game. Rather, this new female combatant must be unlocked after a full playthrough. Path of Exile "She's actually more complicated to play than a normal character," said Wilson, "so we don't want beginner players to immediately choose her." The Scion's complications stem from Path of Exile's unique skill tree system. Our last preview briefly mentioned the passive skill tree, a gargantuan map of skills and attributes that determines a character's abilities and attacks. While normal characters start at the edge of the skill tree, the Scion will actually be positioned near the center of the tree, allowing players to branch off into multiple paths and potentially make her a multi-level threat. For example, a Scion could quickly learn to specialize with both magic spells and ranged bow attacks.
The Scion also has some of the cooler attacks in Path of Exile, including the ability to toss spectral versions of weapons at opponents. This gives players the power to unleash powerful melee attacks from a safe distance.
The other major content addition including six Trigger Gems and three new Skill Gems. The most impressive of these new gems allows players to bring inanimate objects to life. I watched Wilson discard a useless piece of armor from his inventory and proceed to apply a Skill Gem to it. The armor suddenly came to life and began fighting enemies.
In terms of new areas, Wilson walked me through a new area known as The Library. On top of introducing new monsters with new strategies, like the skeletons that deploy magical bubble shields, this stage also offers some history of the continent. "The Library is a great place to squirrel away these books," Wilson said. "So we're hoping that the very lore-oriented users will have a good time finding the pieces of different text about the backstory of the game."