Path of Exile, an online action RPG, has deployed a major beta patch and will open up the closed beta to significantly more testers.
The upgraded beta includes improved graphics and gameplay, new areas, items and skills. It also features a revised passive skills screen that contains a unique starting location for each character class. The new tree has doubled in size, now containing 1,500 passive skills that players can allocate. "Some players called it a skills forest rather than a skill tree," says producer Chris Wilson.
Gameplay-wise, all classes have been rebalanced to promote their core strengths. Melee classes are substantially stronger with regard to dealing damage up close. Spellcasters have had much of their damage output moved to bonuses from items and can be formidable if left unchecked.
Seven new skills were added, including Dominating Blow, which allows players to convert monsters to fight on their side, and Lightning Warp, which performs a delayed teleport from one location to another dealing considerable damage at both ends.
Due to the significant improvements, Grinding Gear Games also wiped the beta realm and reverted all characters to level 1 so that they can compete from a fresh start. The developers intend to release multiple patches per week leading up to the open beta early next year.
"We're a small indie team, so this beta is a genuine product test beta, not a marketing stunt. The feedback we've had from the community so far has been invaluable and led to this big patch," says Wilson.
To be considered for the closed beta, sign up for an account at www.PathOfExile.com.
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