Path of Exile is free to play and is supported by microtransactions and supporter packs. Microtransactions do not provide direct in-game advantages. The items available in the store are nearly all cosmetic, the only exceptions being additional/utility stash tabs and character/guild slots. Supporter packs can be considered to be similar to Kickstarter backer tiers, with various tiers offering different rewards, such as microtransaction points, unique pets, the ability to work with the devs to create a unique item, etc.
Skill Gem System
Action RPGs have always been about two things: devastating skills and valuable items. Skills in Path of Exile are items – gems that grant abilities when socketed into equipment. A wide range of support gems allow the behaviour of skills to be modified. You can augment your Fireball to chain from enemy to enemy or split into multiple flaming projectiles. Up to five support gems can affect a skill at any time. Because gems level up independently and some are hard to find, they can be very valuable in trade
Passive Skill Tree
All of Path of Exile’s character classes share its vast passive skill tree. Starting at one of seven distinct locations dictated by their chosen class, players can focus on the core specialities of their class or travel across the tree to build complex combinations of skills from various disciplines. Scattered across the tree are Keystone passives that drastically alter the way a character is played. Resolute Technique removes your ability to get critical strikes, but also prevents enemies evading your attacks. Necromantic Aegis grants the properties of your shield to your minions rather than to you. Craftable Jewels allow you to dynamically modify the tree itself, adding custom properties or influencing the effects of nearby passive skills.
The World of Wraeclast
Wraeclast is a dark, brutal continent. Scarred by mysterious catastrophes of the past and inhabited by creatures of nightmare, the very environment challenges exiles who dare explore it.
We’re sick of the recent trend towards bright, cartoony RPGs. The art style we chose for Path of Exile is dark, gritty and realistic. Wraeclast is terrifying, and we’ve tried hard to do it justice.
In Path of Exile, replayability is key. All world areas including outdoors ones are instanced for your party and randomly generated, right down to the magic properties of the monsters that dwell in them and the treasure they guard.
Path of Exile is completely designed around items. Any game systems that can be itemised with random properties have been. Our flasks are persistent items that have mods. Our end-game areas can be found as Map items that have mods altering their challenges and rewards. We’ve gone as far as removing gold as a currency and basing our trade economy around orbs that can randomly reroll the properties of other items. We have carefully constructed our item system for veterans of the best Action RPGs.
Leagues and Events
One of the things that’s most fun about playing a competitive online Action RPG is taking part in a levelling race on a fresh server. In Path of Exile, we wanted to capture this feeling without constantly resetting our main economy, so we’ve created a set of race leagues that are run frequently as separate game worlds with their own ladders and economies.
In addition to regular races, leagues can substantially modify the game rules. In an Ancestral league, ancient totems exist alongside groups of monsters, augmenting their abilities. In Turbo leagues, monsters move and attack 60% faster than normal.