Title: Path of Exile
Developer: Grinding Gear Games (New Zealand)
Genre: Action RPG
Model: F2P, cosmetic cash shop
Status: Open Beta as of 01/23/13! The game is in soft release. It is currently free to both download and play. No purchase necessary, however there are minor conveniences and cosmetic perks available.
Check out GGG's Open Beta official Trailer here.
EDIT (1:32 PM CST, 01.30.2013): Open Beta is official as of 01.23! Updated healine game information accordingly.
EDIT (10:25 AM CST, 01.20.2013): Updated Official Open Beta release information, added a YouTube link to the Open Beta official Grinding Gear Games Trailer.
EDIT (1:14 PM CST, 10.8.2012): Updated open beta information with link from dev post.
EDIT (8:44 AM CST, 10.8.2012): Updating some info for the OP here. A few weeks ago we got patch 0.9.11. It's been great so far. The Maps end-game system is quite a success. Very accessible to start out with for a fresh 58+. Full patch notes here. Note the substantial skill tree update and free respec for everyone.
On a similar note, we've gotten a grand total of 24 more unique items implemented into the game in under 3 weeks, including the re-implemented legacy ones. If that doesn't impress you, I don't know what will. Get to hunting!
Another interesting highlight is patch 0.9.11h. Your poor mouse hand finally catches a break.
This game is developing at an amazing pace. Please support GGG.
EDIT (9 AM CST, 27.7.2012): Open beta weekend incoming in 10 hours. Come try the game so you'll buy permanent beta access. (You will) Also, let's help them stress their servers to the max.
After being disappointed with Diablo III overall, I decided to take a look at this game that a friend told me about a few weeks ago. It takes some of the best features that most of us loved from Diablo II, makes them better, and adds countless more.
I. Character build diversity
-In this game, the class you select is arguably a cosmetic choice. This is the Passive Skill Tree that every class has access to, affectionately dubbed "Skilldrassil" by some.
-Your class affects how much of each primary attribute you start with and your starting position on the Skill Tree. For example a Ranger starts with 30 dexterity and has early access to many dexterity related passives, as well as those which increase her ability to wield bows and 1-handed melee weapons. On the other hand, the Marauder starts with 30 Strength and has early access to many passives involving Strength, Armor, increased ability to wield shields, 1-handers and 2-handers, and things like that.
-The main point is that any class can eventually use ANY build, it just may take longer to access it depending on the class you select. For example a Witch would have a hard time building for strength and sword/board combat, but it's possible.
-Oh, and the level cap is 100. (Good luck ever reaching it ever.)
II. Replay value/Long-term playability
-Ah, yes. The modern ARPG's natural enemy. Well, don't worry about it. Other than an almost endless ability to reroll a new character due to the above stated points, we will also get maps. Read the link for the features of the map system.
-This was a problem that many, including me, had with how Diablo III turned out. Here's a quote from the lead POE devs at GGG:-I read that and I thought "Wow. These guys know what ARPG fans want."Whenever we’re faced with a new system to design, the first question we ask is “How can we put this on an item?”
-Let's discuss "Uniques" (legendaries, I suppose) for a second here. If you take a look at a few of the uniques created so far, you'll see that these items are truly the essence of what unique items should be.
-For example, take a look at some of these. (Scroll down for a list of viewable item links). These are great. These are unique pieces of equipment, that in many cases, completely change the way you play your character.
For the rest of the game, I think that I'd be depriving you of a ripping good read if I just copy/pasted too much more from the website. Go there, look at the game, and if you like what you see, support this game developer. $10 gets you in for all beta testing from then on.
I will say that they have used A LOT of what Diablo II had. To some extent even I would agree that it's a bit too much. I mean... item quality being white>blue>yellow>orange? It couldn't be ANY different? Fortunately that's a minor thing, and if it works why break it?
Anyway, check the game out. If you felt D3 had a lot missing from what you loved about D2, you'll like it.
Recommended reads from their site:
Barter system currency
New Player FAQ
Public Player-made Mumble Server