ExileCon 2023, held in late July, was an exciting event for Path of Exile fans eagerly awaiting news about Path of Exile 2. Four years ago, at ExileCon 2019, Jonathan Rogers, the director at Grinding Gear Games, announced that Path of Exile 2 would be released as an expansion to the original game. The plan was for both campaigns to be playable in the same client, with a shared endgame.
However, the scope of Path of Exile 2 has expanded significantly since then. As revealed during this year’s ExileCon, PoE 2 has evolved into much more than a simple expansion. It now offers new classes, monsters, mechanics, and skills, making it a next-gen ARPG experience that surpasses its original concept.
Initially, when Path of Exile 2 was announced four years ago, it was intended to enhance and expand upon the first game. The original campaign would still be playable, but PoE 2 would introduce a new storyline and alter the endgame, much like the transition from Overwatch to Overwatch 2.
However, during this year’s ExileCon, Grinding Gear Games made a surprising announcement. Path of Exile 2 will now be a separate game and will run on its own client. The sequel will feature:
- 100 bosses
- 1,500 passive skills
- 240 active skills
- 600 new monsters
- New mechanics, such as a dodge roll with no cooldown
The co-founder of Grinding Gear Games explained that they realized replacing Path of Exile with Path of Exile 2 would essentially eliminate a beloved game for no reason. Since Path of Exile has millions of players, they decided to make both games separate entities. Each will have its own balance, mechanics, leagues, and endgames.
However, Path of Exile 2 and the original game won’t be completely isolated from each other. In-game purchases will be available for both titles. Any items purchased in the past or in the future will be usable in both games, unless the item is specifically tied to one of them. For example, a bear form reskin won’t work in Path of Exile, but stash tabs or other skins can be used in both versions.
During the ExileCon, Rogers showcased a lengthy demo set in Act 3, giving players a glimpse of what they can expect from Path of Exile 2.
Path of Exile 2 will introduce two new classes: the Monk and the Sorceress. The Monk has access to skills such as Killing Palm, which grants power charges and culls enemies. Other skills include Falling Thunder to enhance attack power, Wind Blast to keep enemies at a distance, and Shattering Palm to place an ice bomb on a single target.
The Sorceress, in contrast, is an Intelligence-focused character specializing in elemental destruction. Her skills include Ice Nova, which damages enemies in an area and slows them down, and Spark, an electric-based attack that bounces within tight passages.
In Path of Exile 2, quest rewards will offer two variants tailored to the stat combinations of the two classes. Additionally, gems dropped in the sequel won’t come with predetermined skills. Players will have the option to select skills that suit them best by interacting with the uncut gem. The level of the uncut gem will match the area level it dropped in, making it easier to switch between different skills.
Path of Exile 2 will introduce Ascendancy classes, with each class having three unique Ascendancies. These Ascendancies allow players to further specialize their chosen class in a way exclusive to that class. Details about the Ascendancies have not been disclosed yet, but more information is expected to be revealed during the closed beta.
In Path of Exile 2, players will have the ability to summon NPCs to assist them during quests, providing answers and extra help without the need to travel back to town.
Players who had the opportunity to play the Path of Exile 2 demo in 2021 praised it for its stunning overhaul of the classic ARPG. However, Grinding Gear Games announced that the Path of Exile 2 beta won’t be starting for another year. More details about the sequel will be shared on July 7, 2024.
With its impressive features and improvements, Path of Exile 2 is shaping up to be a true sequel that will make waves in the ARPG genre, rivaling even Diablo 4.