Path of Exile takes place in a post-apocalyptic grim fantasy world in which the player plays the role of an outcast who has been exiled from their home continent of Oriath (for reasons that vary based on their class selection) to the corrupted continent of Wraeclast. There the player encounters numerous settlements, monsters and fellow outcasts in their quest to survive in this hostile land, as well as uncover the fate of the abandoned continent.
Similar to Ladder Seasons in games such as Diablo II, Path of Exile uses a system wherein players can create characters in Leagues which are isolated instances of the game world tweaked with specific rule sets, some of which can be time limited.
Players can only interact with others who have elected to join that League for the duration of the League event - for example, Hardcore League players cannot interact with "softcore" players until they die, and their character is relocated to the Standard League (Hardcore mode in this game differs mechanically in that player characters are not deleted when a character dies, but rather are demoted to the Standard League).
There are multiple league types, with numerous variants among them.
Races: Races are (typically) temporary leagues in which a tournament style challenge is issued (such as highest level attained in 24 hours) and players may create characters for the duration of the league to take part. Players who place highly in the league rankings will receive rewards, usually in the form of rare and coveted unique items as well as a pre determined amount of reward points, these points can be redeemed at the end of the "Race Season" for items .These items are items that you can acquire when in game the only difference is, these items have unique art and are a perfect stat roll.
Types of Races: Path of Exile has a series of Races that are a dealt out over certain days of the month. These races have specific conditions on them that make them more and more challenging which include but are not limited to:
- No Projectile ( Player Projectiles do no damage )
- Blood Magic ( Spells cast use life instead of Mana )
- Party ( A race that can be completed in a group )
- Solo ( Races that can only be run Solo )
- Turbo ( Monsters move, cast, and attack 60% faster )
- Descent ( Pre determined floors, every location has two chests that have pre -set rewards.)
Alternate Leagues: Leagues in which specific modifiers to the basic game are in place. These could be anything from no potions to increased enemy damage to reduced or increased max health. The well known "Hardcore" mode would be an example of these types of leagues.
Standard League : Like most ARPG's this league allow players to continue playing after death, while later difficulties penalize deaths with a experience point deduction.
Hardcore League: Players in this league on death are transferred with all their items to the Standard League.
Onslaught: (Released for Version 0.11.0 on June 5th 2013) A hardcore League created for players who want more of a challenge, all monsters have 20% Movement, Attack and Cast Speed. ( When characters die in this league they are moved to Standard)
Anarchy: (Released for Version 0.11.0 on June 5th 2013) A variation on the Standard League, this league brought in new items only available in the Anarchy League, and rogue exiles that roam Wraeclast, these enemies are more powerful then standard enemies and will always drop an armor piece of each type. After the league ended, there is a less frequent chance to find rogue exiles in all existing and new leagues.
Nemesis: (Released on October 23, 2013) Hardcore league that introduces an additional Nemesis-specific affix on all rare monsters. After the league ended, all rare monsters in all existing and new leagues will have a chance to have a Nemesis affix.
Domination: (Released on October 23, 2013) Standard league introducing shrines, which spawn randomly in any zone that increase the monster density around the shrine. Until the shrine has been obtained by a player, all monsters within the area of the shrine are affected by its buff. After the league ended, all existing and new leagues will have a less frequent chance to spawn a shrine in a random zone.
Ambush: (Released for Version 1.1.0 - Sacrifice of the Vaal patch on March 5, 2014) Introduced random Strongboxes that can be found or rolled with different affixes, increasing the difficulty of monster that spawn after opening the box,as well as increasing the loot that drops.
Invasion: (Released for Version 1.1.0 - Sacrifice of the Vaal patch on March 5, 2014) Introduced unique Invasion bosses in each zone. Progressing through higher difficulty adds increase monster variety and invading bosses with more abilities.
Rampage: (Released for Version 1.2.0 - Forsaken Masters patch on August 20, 2014) Introduced a kill streak system by which killing monsters in rapid succession of a fixed period of time granted the player additional short period buffs as well as damage attacks.
Beyond: (Released for Version 1.2.0 - Forsaken Masters patch on August 20, 2014) Introduced increasingly large portals ( increased in size by monster killed in the area) that would summon monsters from a different realm, these monsters would accompanied by a rare type monsters, killing these additional monsters would allow the portals to grow allowing you to eventually summon a Beyond Boss Monster.
Torment: (Released for Version 1.3.0 on December 12, 2014) introduced tormented spirits that has a chance to spawn in every zone. When the spirits notice the player they run away from the player buffing enemies and possessing bosses, making them tougher to kill but also increases the amount of loot that drops. There are many sorts of different spirits that have different effects when possessing enemies. Torments parent league is the Standard League.
Bloodlines: (Released for Version 1.3.0 on December 12, 2014) introduced additional bloodlines specific-affixes that spawns on all magic monsters. Much like the Nemesis league but with the affixes spawning on magic monsters instead.
Paid Leagues: It is currently planned to allow guilds or clans to purchase their own leagues with specific rule sets that they desire, that can only be joined by those they choose to invite. In this way guilds that wish to have their own play area with their own rules may do so for a fee.
The player can choose between seven different classes. Each class focuses on certain attributes: Strength (color coded red), Dexterity (color coded green), and Intelligence (color coded blue). Three classes have one attribute they focus on; The Marauder (Strength), the Ranger (Dexterity), and the Witch (intelligence), while three other classes focus on two attributes and they are referred to as hybrids; the Duelist (Strength and Dexterity), the Shadow (Intelligence and Dexterity), and the Templar (Strength and Intelligence). There has also been an addition of a new character, the Scion (Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence), which can branch into any of the classes with ease as you start in the middle of the skill paths.
There is no in-game currency for the player to buy items with or get in return for selling items. Instead there is a bartering system, the player trades items they find in order to get materials which can be used to create items themselves, or used to in turn trade for other items.
There are two main types of scrolls the player comes across throughout the game; Portal scrolls and Wisdom scrolls. Portal scrolls allow the player to return to town from anywhere on the map, while wisdom scrolls let you unlock the properties of items.
|Armourer's Scrap||40||Improves the quality of an armour. Right click this item then left click an armour to apply it. Has greater effect on lower rarity armours. The maximum quality is 20%.|
|20||Improves the quality of a weapon. Right click this item then left click a weapon to apply it. Has greater effect on lower rarity weapons. The maximum quality is 20%.|
|Blessed Orb||20||Randomize the numeric values of the implicit properties of an item. Right click this item then left click another item to apply it.|
|Cartographer's Chisel||20||Improves the quality of a map. Right click this item then left click a map to apply it. Has greater effect on lower rarity maps. The maximum quality is 20%.|
|Chaos Orb||10||Reforges a rare item with new random properties. Right click this item then left click a rare item to apply it.|
|Chromatic Orb||20||Reforges the colour of sockets on an item. Right click this item then left click a socketed item to apply it.|
|Divine Orb||10||Randomize the numeric values of the random properties on an item. Right click this item then left click a magic, rare or unique item to apply it.|
|Eternal Orb||10||Creates an imprint of an item for later restoration. Right click this item then left click on an item to create an imprint. This imprint can later be used to restore this specific item to that imprinted state.|
|Exalted Orb||10||Enchants a rare item with a new random property. Right click this item then left click a rare item to apply it. Rare items can have up to six random properties.|
|Gemcutter's Prism||20||Improves the quality of a gem. Right click this item then left click a gem to apply it. The maximum quality is 20%.|
|Glassblower's Bauble||20||Improves the quality of a flask. Right click this item then left click a flask to apply it. Has greater effect on lower rarity flasks. The maximum quality is 20%.|
|Jeweller's Orb||20||Reforges the number of sockets on an item. Right click this item then left click a socketed item to apply it.|
|Mirror of Kalandra||10||Creates a mirrored copy of an item. Right click this item then left click an equipable non-unique item to apply it. Mirrored copies cannot be modified.|
|Orb of Alchemy||10||Upgrades a normal item to a rare item. Right click this item then left click a normal item to apply it.|
|Orb of Alteration||20||Reforges a magic item with new random properties. Right click this item then left click a magic item to apply it.|
|Orb of Augmentation||30||Enchants a magic item with a new random property. Right click this item then left click a magic item to apply it. Magic items can have up to two random properties.|
|Orb of Chance||20||Upgrades a normal item to a random rarity. Right click this item then left click a normal item to apply it.|
|Orb of Fusing||20||Reforges the links between sockets on an item. Right click this item then left click a socketed item to apply it.|
|Orb of Regret||40||Grants a passive skill refund point. Right click on this item to use it.|
|Orb of Scouring||30||Removes all properties from an item. Right click this item then left click on a magic or rare item to apply it.|
|Orb of Transmutation||40||Upgrades a normal item to a magic item. Right click this item then left click a normal item to apply it.|
|Portal Scroll||40||Creates a portal to town. Right click on this item to use it.|
|Regal Orb||10||Upgrades a magic item to a rare item. Right click this item then left click a magic item to apply it. Current properties are retained and a new one is added.|
|Scroll of Wisdom||40||Identifies an item. Right click this item then left click an unidentified item to apply it.|
|Vaal Orb||10||Corrupts an item, modifying it unpredictably.|
The store which is located on the games website offers mostly cosmetic enhancements, and convenience items in the form of capacity upgrades for your personal and guild stashes. The game can be played and finished without spending a dime, without worry of time restrictions, or other "pay-to-win" trappings. Grinding Gear Games is famously anti-pay-to-win; a notable of example of this is their refusal to give players who paid $1000 to help design their own unique item a free copy - the players still had to find the item in question by playing the game.
Rather than learning abilities by being a specific class, all skills are available to any character. This is done by obtaining gems that can socket into pieces or armor or weapons which allow the player to use those abilities. All gems can be found as drops, while most can be obtained through quest rewards. Skill gems come in 3 different colors, Red (Strength), Green (Dexterity), and Blue (Intelligence). As these skills level up and increase in damage, their respective stat requirement also increases. Additionally, gems can only socket into armor of the appropriate color, which can be modified through currency( Chromatic Orbs) to fit the desired combination of gems in one slot. By linking the sockets together through another currency (Orb of Fusing), you can augment spells and attacks through support gems. Support gems will do nothing by themselves, as they act simply as passive effects to attacks or spells that have been linked together. With a potential of 6-linked armor, some particularly effective and deadly combinations can be made from what was originally a weak attack by itself.
Like many action role playing games, Path of Exile revolves around the acquisition and imaginative use of a great many varied items. There are 10 slots into which gear can be equipped. (2 rings, an amulet, a belt, gloves, boots, a chest piece, helmet, and up to 2 weapons). Certain types of armor will have different implicit means of defense ranging from pure armor rating, to hybrid gear consisting of evasion/energy Shield. Chest armor pieces carry a penalty to movement speed, plate-type armor being the slowest. (3-5%). Shields also carry a movement speed penalty while equipped. (3%) Chests and 2-handed weapons share the capacity to roll up to 6 sockets, while smaller armor pieces (helm, gloves, boots) can only roll up to 4 sockets. 1-handed weapons and shields can only roll up to 3 sockets. There are 4 different types of rarity that gear can roll:
- Normal (white) - Easily most common pieces of gear to find. No stats other than implicit mods will be found these items, but they have the ability to drop with sockets and links, making them still quite valuable to craft into a better item.
- Magic (blue) - At most can only contain two affixes. Desirable early game with two solid rolls to ease the levelling progression (+life, +% resistance is most sought after on armor)
- Rare (yellow) - Can range from 3 to 6 affixes. Because of the large discrepancy between a rare item's stats being randomized, finding something that fits a players' build perfectly can take quite some time.
- Unique (orange) - A special item that will always roll the same affixes, but the range between how well they roll will differ. These are the rarest items. Many unique items have special affixes that unlock build defining traits which can alter that way a character can be played significantly.
When the player levels up, they are presented with a skill point to use on the passive skill tree. This tree is a universal, and all classes can obtain every slot on this tree no matter where the player starts. Although, some classes will have advantages to certain play-styles by investing less points to get there. There is no easy way to do a total refund for Path of Exile. Using currency or the amount of Refund points grants through quests (16 total) are the only usual ways. Often times when a league ends, and some changes to the passive tree are made, a total refund for all existing characters is given.
Damage reduction and Mitigation
Health: Primary form of defense. Most builds will want as much life as possible, boosted through both the skill tree and having gear with as much +life as possible. A large health pool will reduce the duration that status effects have on the player.
Energy Shield: Acts as an additional layer to your health pool. Damage will only apply to your life once your Energy Shield has been fully depleted. The exception to this is Chaos damage, which bypasses energy shield. While you have any amount of energy shield, your character has a 50% chance to avoid being stunned. Like health, there is both gear and passives in the skill tree that affect Energy Shields total, and regeneration rate. Energy shield will start recharging after not taking damage over a period of time, while health regeneration is consistent, but much slower.
Armor: Mitigates strictly any physical damage that may affect the player. This damage reduction can cap out at 90%
Evasion: Allows the player to avoid taking any kind of ranged or melee physical damage. Chance to evade can never go lower than 5% or higher than 95%. Evasion is also modified by how much Dexterity the character has. Every 5 points of Dexterity increases the chance to evade by 1%.
Dodge: Follows a similar structure to Evasion, but is harder to obtain. Only special passives in the skill tree and unique gear grant % chance to dodge. This is rolled separately than evasion, allowing an additional chance to evade ranged or melee physical attacks. One passive allows players to dodge spells, completely nullifying the damage and/or status effects that may occur with it. Dodge and spell dodge cap out at 75%.
Block: Blocking an attack mitigates all damage taken, and any status effects that may happen with the hit. If the attack would have caused the player to become stunned, a block animation plays, stunning the character for a certain amount of time which can be reduced by specific mods that can be found on gear. (Reduced stun and block recovery) An implicit amount of block can be found while having a shield equipped (24-32%), wearing a staff (8-18%), or dual wielding (15%). Like dodge, unique gear and passives allow the player to block spells. Block and spell block cap out at 75%.
Resistance: There are 4 types of resistances in the game: Fire, Lightning, Cold, and Chaos. Each element has a unique effect that applies to monsters and players.
- Fire damage: Landing a critical strike with a fire spell, or attack that deals fire damage will also burn the target for a % of the damage that was dealt over time.
- Lightning damage: Landing a critical strike with a lightning spell or attack that deals lightning damage will shock the mob. Shock is a debuff that stacks up to 3 times and increases the amount of damage they take by 10% per stack. The more damage that is taken affects the length of the debuff.
- Cold damage: Landing a critical strike with a cold spell or attack that deals cold damage can freeze. This is a crowd control effect that renders the target frozen, unable to attack or move.
- Chaos damage: Deals damage through Energy Shield. Many monsters do not have high chaos resistance making spells or attacks that deal chaos damage particularly deadly. Most chaos damage is avoidable, either dealing damage through a degenerating aura, area of effect damage over time, or single target damage over time.
All resistances have a baseline cap at 75%. This can be increased through passives, flasks, gear and auras. Fire, lightning and Cold are considered elemental resistances, which are the most important to reach to 75%. As the difficulty between leagues increase, a penalty is placed reducing the base amount of resistances you have. ( Normal: 0% , Cruel: -20%, Merciless: -40%). For chaos damage, the game is balanced around a player having 0% Chaos resistance, as most damage done by Chaos is avoidable.
|OS: Windows XP SP3/Vista/Windows 7/8|
|CPU: x86-compatible 1.4GHz or faster processor|
|RAM: 2 GB|
|GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT or ATI Radeon™ X1950 Pro or better|
|DirectX: Version 9.0c|
|Network: Broadband Internet connection|
|Free Disk Space: 5 GB|