Path of Exile's Sixth Character Class Revealed, Another Stress Test Weekend Announced

There's a pile of great news for Path of Exile fans coming our way this morning, the first of which is the revealing of the Shadow class, courtesy of a hands-on preview over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun. In short, it's a dual-wielding, trap-setting assassin:
I'll be trying to build a creation of poisonous, two-fisted stabbing, dropping a trail of traps as he retreats, light-footed and armoured, and then returns to put the finishing touches to the ruined remnants of those foolish enough to pursue. This being an ARPG, everyone is foolish enough to pursue so I think he'll fit right in. So far I've been collecting claws and daggers, and then slotting in gems that allow me to slash and stab simultaneously, while also magically burning flesh into bacon. It's as efficient a method of slaughter as you might imagine.

The traps aren't working out quite so well as the stabbing yet, which is slightly problematic because he's a rather flimsy individual. With previous more brutish classes, I've spent a good five minutes musing over skill point expenditure before noticing that a couple of cannibals have been chewing on me the whole time. Not a problem for those manly men. The Shadow is pale, slim and heavily into Depeche Mode though. He lacks muscle.

Even if lobbing them into a packed room wasn't reward enough, traps seem a decent investment to protect that slender frame and they are effective, but there's so much variety in the way they're constructed that I'm experimenting rather than settling on efficiency. Any spell can be converted into a trap, with varying sorts of trigger available. I've mostly been chucking mines around the place, although that relies on more accurate monster-herding than I seem capable of at times. Maybe I'll steer away from the trap skills and concentrate on agility and the purer joy of stabbity stabbity.

The way skills work in Path of Exile isn't quite as simple as choosing a class and working your way up a tree though. Start as a Shadow and it's entirely possible to work your way across the web of possibilities to the preferred skills of the more hulking Marauder, or concentrate on sorcery rather than sadism. Here are three examples of Shadow builds, mostly shared in order that we can all stare goggle-eyed at the starry sky of possibilities.

And what some of you might consider even better news is that Grinding Gear Games is going to host another public stress test this weekend, so make sure you mark your calendars for May 11th:
What are the specific times that I can play?

We will make the servers public at 5pm on Friday (May 11), Pacific Daylight Time. This is noon Saturday (May 12) in New Zealand. This link will help you convert to other timezones

The public weekend ends at 11:59pm on Sunday (April May 13), Pacific Daylight Time. This is 7pm on Monday (May 14) in New Zealand. This link will help you convert to other timezones.