ExileCon 2019: A look at Path of Exile 2, the Metamorph league, Conquerors of the Atlas, and mobile

    
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So much happened on stage at ExileCon 2019, Path of Exile’s inaugural fan convention! What started with a visit from the great beast hunter Einhar entertaining the crowd ended with announcements for Path of Exile 2, a reveal and launch date for the next expansion, Conquerors of the Atlas, and its companion Metamorph league, and the announcement of POE expanding to two more devices: mobile and Mac OS. Try saying all that five times fast! Grinding Gear Games definitely has a big year planned for its MMOARPG.

Here’s a quick peek at these new announcements. We’ll be covering each of these in deeper detail as we continue to talk with devs and get hands-on time with the builds here at ExileCon, so stay tuned for more info!

Path of Exile 2

Known also as Path of Exile 4.0, this mega-mega expansion is reworking PoE in an entirely new way. Instead of just adding more acts and story, it is developing an entirely new storyline that players can work though. It is not a stand-alone game: Players will use the same game client and share the same endgame, but they will progress through different storylines on different versions of characters. PoE 2’s characters will be from the future and their ascendancies and even visuals will be different.

More exciting news here is the ability to seamlessly shapeshift into various creatures. Wilson noted that certain classes will be better suited to certain creatures due to their skills, but there won’t be a restriction on who can do what. I am interested to see what folks can come up with, but I am personally very excited to focus my attention on the Ranger, who according to Wilson has a unique cat shapeshift specialization. No way I can pass that up!

There is no release date set, but GGG’s Chris Wilson told me the team is targeting the end of next year (but could reasonably take longer), with three-month expansions continuing to fill in the space until it is ready.

Conquerors of the Atlas

Long before we get the new story path, we’ll get more endgame with the next expansion, Conquerors of the Atlas. Starting December 13th, players will be able to socket the Atlas and upgrade the maps on top of new skills, supports, and other stuff.

Metamorph

What can you expect with Metamorph? The main premise is to collect parts and use them to make your own metamorph boss that you will face. The more components, the better the reward you get when defeating that boss.

Mobile and Mac OS

Path of Exile already exists on two consoles, XBox One and PlayStation 4, but two new devices will soon be joining the ranks. Mac OS users will finally be able to get in on life as an Exile.

Also, don’t you guys have phones? If you do and you love PoE, you have a mobile version to look forward to. Interestingly, Grinding Gear Games told us it debated until the last minute whether or not to make the mobile announcement today on stage at a con aimed at PC and console players. We can’t imagine why anyone might think that was a bad idea. Ultimately, it was a go; Wilson explained that the quality came together enough to sway the studio in its decision to share the news of this project now. He added, “After the build we were playing last night, we said ‘Do it!'”

We’ll have deeper looks at some of these projects on Saturday!

Disclosure: In accordance with Massively OP’s ethics policy, we must disclose that Grinding Gear paid for our writer’s travel to and accommodation at the ExileCon event. Grinding Gear has neither requested nor been granted any control or influence over our coverage of the event.

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kjempff
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kjempff

I like everything I see in the Gameplay preview of PoE “2”.
I thought GGG were blind to the problems of current PoE, but they are actually addressing a some of these.
Also, it appears that gameplay might be slower paced and a bit more tactical – Like the good old PoE used to be. Also it is a joy to see real movement, and movement skills only being used as escape/dodge mechanic; as they were intended to. Can always hope; but will the core players who don’t want these changes be too influential ?
Though it would be awesome to get rid of every league mechanic and start over; adding league mechanic on top of multiple others, just waters down every league mechanic so they becomes pointless; only league mechanic that seem to still have value(to me) is Delve.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

POE2 looks like an excellent way to kill time until Diablo 4 releases.

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stormheim

Only that it might come out close to the actual D4 release as it seems. They will launch the beta Late 2020. :/

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Arktouros

I don’t get the story in the Conquerer of the Atlas expansion but otherwise everything sounds pretty good. I like that they’re shaking up the Atlas again as it was getting super boring/easy to blow through to the Shaper and then Uber Elder each league in a week then ignore that content. I super like the idea of being able to upgrade ALL the maps to 14-16 as well, as only running a small pool of 14-16 maps each league and that’s all you ran was stupidly repetitive. I was going to skip this next league, but that has me intrigued.

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Bryan Correll

Skill choices no longer dependent on the gear you can find? When can I has? How will I balance this with my current ESO habit? What is I to do??

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

Clone yourself. Then you can play both at the same time. :)

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Bryan Correll

But that guy’s a jerk!

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agemyth 😩

I’m a bit annoyed that they called it PoE2 when its actually just 4.0. I need a clean break from all the annoying loot systems they design to sell stash tabs, and I would like the graphics redone from the ground up if they want to sell “PoE2” to me. PoE certainly has the best skill system of these kinds of games, but I guess that’s not enough to overlook what I dislike about it.

Also, the reception of all of this kinda demonstrates how nobody actually cares about a their money going to bad Chinese companies as long as they are being pandered to. The Blizzard/China debacle was just the catalyst that united upset gamers under a more reasonable cause than “mah gamez!”.

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Dug From The Earth

i agree about the graphics engine being redone, as well as this new ridiculous naming convention of calling expansions a sequel.

However, I cant help but think that you are one of the types of players who hasnt spent any money on the game, and still expects them to work on it so you can continue to play free. If so, fine, thats how they designed the business model. But to then come here and complain about the systems they have in place to try to earn some sort of income from their hard work on the game, is just kind of an out of touch with reality mindset.

If you have spent money on the game, great, but then I fail to see how the inventory is even an issue for you. Ive spent a total of 60 bucks on the game (the cost of a normal game), and Ive got more bank space than i know what to do with. But then, I bought all my stash space on the 3rd week rotation of the sale where they put it all up for cheaper. (which they do every 3 or 4 weeks)

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agemyth 😩

I was 100% on-board with PoE until a year or two ago. I’ve probably spent in the $30-$40 USD range and only purchased stash tabs. I still feel the skill system in PoE is so amazing that they put the Diablo-like genre in a position where nothing can surpass it until someone comes up with wholly new fundamental systems that change the genre. There are still plenty of fun arpgs coming out that do their own thing, but the skill systems in these games will always be compared to PoE’s and just won’t be as good.

I tried to play PoE more “seriously” after they added the full Atlas endgame system and after Fall of Oriath removed the need to play the campaign 3 times as part of the on every character to get to the good stuff. These were amazing additions to the game. In trying to explore the game systems I constantly found myself bogged down with inventory issues. I had a small assortment of extra tabs that helped with one type of loot or another, but it was still a pain in the butt looting them and TPing back to my hideout so I could hoard everything away. The atlas of worlds stuff seemed super cool to dig into, but managing the maps was designed as an annoyance where you have dozens or hundreds of tiny map items in your stash to dig through every time you want to do anything with them or just try to remember what you have to work with. Maps, essences, orbs, divination cards, fragments, and fossils are all designed to make you wish you had a better way to store and sort them. Some of these items don’t even do anything cool or unique. A lot of them just upgrade items to have some specific combination of stats.

They should get rid of gamble boxes, consolidate or remove a lot of their old loot systems they never did anything interesting with (essences and divination cards for example), and give all players better tools to deal with the inventories they have. Even an auto-sort would be a huge quality of life feature. IMO, I would appreciate having their dozens of currencies and tools all just fitting in a separate currency inventory that doesn’t take up space at all (like you see in many other live service games).

Sorry to ramble. I actually think I love this game but can’t enjoy it anymore because what I feel is poor monetization. My favorite Free 2 Play games don’t charge for quality of life features that have an impact on the gameplay. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on dumb Dota 2 crap that has never affected the “playing” of that game The Dota Plus subscription option is pretty new and is challenging what I think of as OK to charge money for, but I need more time with and without it to see how it feels.

edit: oh god that looks even longer after I hit submit. >.< sorry

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

I think they are calling it PoE 2 because so many of the core mechanics are being changed, and new mechanics being added that were not previously available (just look at some of the new Ascendancy Nodes that were revealed), coupled with a new 7-Act story that takes places 20 years later.

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Baemir

The wonders of competition.

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Daniel Solorzano

GGG you didn’t have to worry about mobile because you gave us more then what we were expecting anyway. Your mobile title was just a little side dish not the main course. That is what Blizzard failed to see when they made the announcement expecting it to go over.

Heck, I am sure you could have just announced POE2 alongside the mobile version and you would have been just fine

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Armsbend

Might be the first mobile I care about.

Those are some pretty damn big announcements. GGG has always been good about making a big, surprise splash. Remember when they announced Act 5, then in the same video 6, 7, 8 , 9 and 10. Fun company that’s worth the hype.

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Natalyia

The difference between the disaster of yesteryear and the not-disaster here was that they actually had stuff to announce that the audience who’d traveled to be there wanted to hear, along with a mobile thing.

If the Company That Shall Not Be Named had announced a PC game, laid out some nice updates to the existing PC game in the meantime, and then said “Oh, by the way, here’s a cool mobile thing too”, I suspect they’d have had a very different response.

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losludvig

Activision-Voldemort also didn’t care enough to make said mobile game themselves and chose to instead farm it out to a company mostly known for ripping off other games.
If that game had been made by people already at the company because it was their passion I’d be hyped.