A couple of weeks back, developer Grinding Gear Games held its first fan event ExileCon for its flagship online ARPG, Path of Exile. This year, things got a little spicy with the reveal of Path of Exile 2 and Path of Exile Mobile. Although we have with many, many curious questions, the team at Grinding Gear Games is currently busy working on the new games and content, hence this will be a short interview. Nevertheless, we would like to thank the team for their quick replies. We will have the interview for Path of Exile Mobile tomorrow!
Q: Could you please introduce yourselves to our readers?
I’m Chris Wilson, co-founder and Managing Director of Grinding Gear Games.
Q: At which point did the team go all-in and said, “Let’s do Path of Exile 2 now!”? Was there a tipping point?
Path of Exile’s original campaign was aging, as a lot of it was created ten years ago. Rather than giving it a fresh coat of paint, in late 2017 we decided to create an entirely new seven-act campaign and make it into a sequel with new character classes, items, an updated skill system and many other changes that we had been waiting years to do.
Q: Is Path of Exile 2 using the same in-house game engine used to develop the original game?
Yes, we have updated the engine frequently over six years since Path of Exile’s release and Path of Exile 2 is using the latest version. The new campaign features entirely-new art assets which fully take advantage of new engine features such as Physically Based Rendering. Many of these improvements are being pushed out earlier than the Path of Exile 2 release, including some in our December 2019 Conquerors of the Atlas expansion.
Q: It was mentioned that Path of Exile 2 will share the same end-game Atlas content and is a big update for Path of Exile 1 rather than being a standalone sequel. Could you further explain how these 2 games are connected? How would the experience be like for current players and new players?
When you run the Path of Exile game client after release of Path of Exile 2, you’ll be able to choose which campaign you want to play when you create a character. In either case, you’ll eventually encounter a Map Device and will be able to access the same shared Atlas of Worlds map endgame experience. Both new and existing players are likely to play Path of Exile 2, due to its higher quality, though can easily experience the old campaign for nostalgia reasons also if they wish.
Q: We would love to clear something up. It was stated that many changes couldn’t be made as they would break current characters. If Path of Exile 2 is “a big update”, how would this issue be avoided?
We’ll do everything we can to keep people’s characters intact, but inevitably they will function somewhat differently to how they did before. A sequel is a good opportunity for people to learn new game systems and re-plan how their characters should work under the new rules with more opportunities available.
Q: Obviously Diablo IV was just announced at BlizzCon, and for years now there have always been comparisons made between the Diablo series of games and Path of Exile. Do you think that there are major differences between fans of the 2 games, or are they all part of the same target audience?
I believe that Action RPG fans will enjoy both games, as they offer different experiences.
Q: When can the community expect the next big news drop regarding Path of Exile 2?
We’re hoping to post big news every few months!