Lately, I have been playing an online role-playing game titled Path of Exile which is very similar to the more established Diable franchise where you take up a character from the four to five which has different abilities & powers that grow as you finish missions & collect artifacts. Image source: Sean Do/Unsplash
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This free-to-play RPG game was first released in 2013 which makes this game almost 10 years old but is a much more modern, upgraded game compared to Diablo 2 which was released 13 years before i.e. in 2000. The graphics are crisp and clear enough to see the details, reflections, and shadows.
Path of Exile in Summary
Path of Exile is set in a dark fantasy world, where you play as an exile who has been banished from the island nation of Oriath to the continent of Wraeclast, a land of ancient secrets, horrors, and gods.
The game’s storyline is divided into ten acts, each with its quests, town, NPCs, and boss. The acts are further split into two parts: Part One (Acts 1-5) and Part Two (Acts 6-10). In Part One, you explore Wraeclast and learn about its history and factions, while facing the wrath of Kitava, the God of Corruption. In Part Two, you return to Oriath and witness the consequences of your actions, while trying to stop Kitava from devouring the world.
Unlike many other online games, Path of Exile does not hold your hand or guide you through a linear storyline. Instead, it throws you into a vast open world and lets you explore at your own pace.
One of the standout features of Path of Exile is its deep and complex character customization system unlike many other online games, where character creation is limited to choosing a class and customizing the appearance, Path of Exile takes customization to a whole new level.
In Path of Exile, players can choose from seven core classes, each with its unique starting point on the passive skill tree. This skill tree is massive, with hundreds of nodes representing different passive skills and abilities. As you level up, you earn skill points to allocate on the tree, allowing you to create a truly unique character build.
Seven Core Classes
Path of Exile has seven core classes that you can choose from when you create your character. Each class is associated with one or more of the three main attributes: strength, dexterity, and intelligence. These attributes affect your character’s health, mana, damage, defense, and other aspects of the game.
The seven core classes are:
The Marauder is a pure strength class that excels at melee combat and physical damage. He has a lot of health and armor, but low mana and evasion. He can use skills like Ground Slam, Heavy Strike, and Ancestral Warden to deal massive damage to his enemies. He starts at the top left corner of the passive skill tree.
The Ranger is a pure dexterity class that specializes in ranged attacks and movement speed. She has a lot of evasion and accuracy, but low health and armor. She can use skills like Rain of Arrows, Split Arrow, and Blink Arrow to shoot her foes from a distance. She starts at the bottom right corner of the passive skill tree.
The Witch is a pure intelligence class that focuses on spell casting and elemental damage. She has a lot of mana and energy shield, but low health and evasion. She can use skills like Fireball, Frostbolt, and Arc to unleash powerful magic on her enemies. She starts at the top right corner of the passive skill tree.
The Duelist is a hybrid strength/dexterity class that combines melee and ranged combat. He has a balanced mix of health, mana, armor, and evasion. He can use skills like Double Strike, Cleave, and Shrapnel Ballista to strike his enemies with both weapons and projectiles. He starts at the bottom left corner of the passive skill tree.
The Templar is a hybrid strength/intelligence class that blends physical and elemental damage. He has a high amount of mana and energy shield, but low evasion and accuracy. He can use skills like Glacial Hammer, Molten Strike, and Divine Ire to smite his enemies with both melee and magic attacks. He starts at the top center of the passive skill tree.
The Shadow is a hybrid dexterity/intelligence class that relies on stealth and critical strikes. He has a high amount of evasion and energy shield, but low health and armor. He can use skills like Viper Strike, Ethereal Knives, and Essence Drain to poison, pierce, and drain his enemies’ life. He starts at the bottom center of the passive skill tree.
The Scion is a unique class that can use any combination of attributes. She has a balanced amount of health, mana, armor, evasion, energy shield, accuracy, and critical strike chance. She can use any skill in the game, but she has to unlock them first by completing quests or finding items. She starts at the center of the passive skill tree.
The 19 Ascendancy Classes
In addition to the seven core classes, Path of Exile also has 19 Ascendancy classes that you can choose from after completing the Lord’s Labyrinth for the first time. Each Ascendancy class is a specialized subclass that gives you access to an exclusive Ascendancy skill tree with powerful passive skills that enhance your character’s abilities.
Each core class has three Ascendancy classes to choose from, except for the Scion which has one Ascendancy class that can pick two passive skills from any other Ascendancy class.
The 19 Ascendancy classes are:
- Marauder: Juggernaut (tanky), Berserker (damage), Chieftain (fire)
- Ranger: Deadeye (projectiles), Raider (speed), Pathfinder (flasks)
- Witch: Elementalist (elemental), Occultist (chaos), Necromancer (minions)
- Duelist: Slayer (leech), Gladiator (block), Champion (impale)
- Templar: Inquisitor (crits), Hierophant (totems), Guardian (auras)
- Shadow: Assassin
This level of customization gives players the freedom to experiment with different playstyles and create characters that suit their preferred playstyle. I started with the Marauder class and thereafter into the Berserker ascendancy class.
The number of character customisation in any role-playing game can be restrictive or can be wide and in this game, one has to say that the number of character customisation is so much wide because it is also influenced by the gems that you attach to the weapons & armor.
Complex Economy and Trading
Another aspect that sets Path of Exile apart from other online games is its complex economy and trading system. In Path of Exile, there is no in-game currency. Instead, players trade items directly with each other using a barter system.
This unique approach to trading adds a layer of depth and strategy to the game. Players must learn the value of different items, negotiate fair trades, and keep up with the ever-changing market trends. It creates a dynamic and player-driven economy that constantly evolves as players discover new items and strategies.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Path of Exile is its endless replayability. With its vast skill tree, deep character customization, and random generation of maps and dungeons, no two playthroughs are ever the same.
Each time you start a new character, you can explore different areas, encounter new challenges, and uncover unique loot. This keeps the game fresh and exciting, even after hundreds of hours of gameplay.
After playing the free-to-play Diablo Immortal online which brought back my interest in the Diablo series and without the need for heavy graphic hardware requirements, it was very enjoyable but after some time, it got boring because the locations & the upgrade simply seemed to be the same.
Path of Exile shares many features with Diablo Immortal like free-to-play online, role-playing, and game flow, there are some things here that one can improve in Diablo Immortal and it is here in Path of Exile. I have just started playing Path of Exile game over the weekends & when I am free and it is quite refreshing every time I log in to play the game.
These are my first impressions of playing this game and I hope to explore more using the other characters in the future as well.