Path Of Exile Expedition League Changes
Before the release of the Path of Exile 3.15 league, GGG introduced us to the changes in the Expedition league. Now let’s introduce the content of the interview with the GGG general manager.
Since the release of Path of Exile, 30 leagues have been updated, and there are different changes in each league. Many power spreads and mechanisms have led players to pursue uninteresting strategies and face fewer challenges than the studio and the community hoped.
So after Wilson announced the upcoming Expedition expansion, he also dove into a series of balance changes and additions to address Path of Exile’s metagame and difficulty, including a rework of Act One.
Path of Exile, like many online games, has been riding high when it comes to player numbers during the pandemic. But the Ultimatum expansion didn’t hold on to the momentum, for a variety of reasons, including a rocky launch.
“Our Day One Ultimatum result, as in the number of players turning out for launch day, was 99% of our previous record. And the reason why it was just 99% is we had a day of terrible, terrible server problems. Worst day ever,” Wilson said in a video interview Tuesday. “And so I think we would have got to about 104% of our previous record for launch day if we hadn’t had those server problems.”
But Grinding Gear also learned that the mechanics for this expansion didn’t sit well with players.
“Retention during the league was poor. I would say it was in the bottom 40% of leagues, a bit below average. And this is partly because for the league, both its combat was a bit spammy and its item rewards were a bit spammy,” said Wilson [no relation to the writer — Ed.]. “These are two things we hadn’t determine during playtesting that became apparent throughout the league. And so the fact that it was quite heavy with its reward systems meant that players played it for less time than they normally would, and this was quite useful to learn from.
“So overall player numbers dipped a little more than they would have done by the third month, which is disappointing, but it’s a consequence of the way that Ultimatum was designed. ”
Even though Path of Exile has been live for virtually 8 years now, Grinding Gear learns one thing new about its players as well as exactly how it creates a game along with every expansion. And also Ultimatum possessed some good lessons for the center.
“And the good news about having four releases a year is you can do it better the next time,” Wilson said.
Expedition is just one-way Path of Exile is showing off the lessons that Grinding Gear Games has learned over the year.
“If you’re generous with stuff, and if the combat is a little uninteresting, then the players kind of feel finished earlier. They finish the characters quicker, they feel that there’s less to experience than they’re still looking for,” Wilson said. “And so with Expedition we’ve tried very hard to hide a lot of cool secret stuff and give them cool locations to go to, and to be more careful with the pacing of the rewards so they don’t get everything they want in the first couple of days.”
Change now, before Path of Exile 2 launches
The changes that Grinding Gear is introducing with Expedition address problems the studio has seen with Path of Exile over the years. It's acquiring 19 new skill and support gems, along with a various technique to including these capabilities than with other growths. Harmony adjustments will take care of electrical power creep coming from support gems. The campaign will acquire a full rebalance also, starting along with Act One away from Expedition's entrance (those of you that participated in Path of Exile in beta may keep in mind simply how fatal streets once were and also shudder). Grinding Gear is going to nerf support gems to ensure you don't choose damage-dealing treasures over utility jewels that could produce brand-new, intriguing personality builds. You won't manage to induce spells with gems without spending the mana price for all of them. And also movement skills have been modified to make sure that they don't bypass monster assaults. This may cause us to spend more poe currency in the Path of Exile, but don’t worry, we will become stronger.
Flasks will change as well, enabling playstyles in which you can take advantage of the benefits of these items without using the so-called “flask piano,” in which players would tap together their fingers or use weird contraptions to hit multiple keys at once for their flasks. Wilson even showed a flask-only build that turns characters into mad bombers … as long as they don’t use weapons.
Grinding Gear has been working on these changes for some time now.
“Some of the changes here have been in the works for more than a year. We could have made them earlier. To some extent, doing many at once is a good thing because then it changes the game substantially enough that players enjoy the fact that is different if you see what I mean,” Wilson said. “If you say this is the game from before, it’s the same but there’s one small change, they’ll work out what that means for them, and then they’ll just be annoyed about it. Whereas if you say look at all these changes, they will struggle to know which is the best build to plan over the exciting process of trying to find out the new best strategies to play the game.”
The new NPCs that come with Expedition are Kalguurans, and they want you to find artifacts left from an ancient exploration expedition. A key to this league is selling the treasures you find, but each of the four merchants handles them in different ways.
When Grinding Gear started work on Path of Exile over a decade ago, one aspect of Diablo II that it wanted to capture was its gamble mechanic. One way it’s doing this is with Haggle. The merchant might set a price for something, and you can counter it… but you may risk losing a chance to get the item.