Path of Exile: The Sacrifice of Vaal Hands-On Preview

Mini-Expansions Leading to a Major One

With its first four-month content launch just about under its belt, Wilson said Grinding Gear will be looking toward the next cyclical content drop, which will probably be larger than this first one.

“We spent too long after release addressing release things — I’m not saying fixing problems because we did relatively well from a problems point of view, but just polishing up loose ends, and recuperating to some extent, and then there was Christmas,” Wilson said. “So the four months that we’ve put into this expansion was mostly focused on the last two months. We were getting the groundwork setup, but we feel by dedicating an entire four months to the next one, we can have quite a lot more stuff in it.

“This is partly because we designed the scope of this one around features we knew we could get in that were going to be big game-changers, but wouldn’t require as much work. There are always features that are more about cleverness than about long, long hours making art.”

“…we designed the scope of this one around features we knew we could get in that were going to be big game-changers, but wouldn’t require as much work.”

The Vaal orbs, for example, took a day to discuss and a day to implement, Wilson said. The bulk of the time spent working on the feature was spent on quality assurance to make sure the new mechanics worked correctly.

Wilson said there’s also a much larger expansion in the slightly more distant future — an additional full “act” that will be added to Path of Exile’s original three.

“There will be a larger expansion coming out in the future, at the point when we can deploy all of Act IV at the same time,” he said. “That’s probably a year away — so several of these four-month cycles away. That’ll be a big deal in terms of additional content for players.”

With The Sacrifice of Vaal, Grinding Gear has some solid ideas for switching up Path of Exile as it currently exists, offering players a lot more to do with some seemingly small, tight changes to the game’s systems. The new systems Rogers and Wilson showed off seem like they’ll offer players a lot more of the customization and versatility that makes the game worth playing.

Path of Exile is free to play and currently available on Steam.


Phil Hornshaw is senior editor at Game Front. Read more of his work here, and follow him and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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