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Steam Series - Path of Exile
Oriath has bestowed a gift upon you, a chance to redeem your crimes. A new life. Do not squander it.
Seen as a game that is very similar to Diablo I & II. It follows the dark, realistic, and gritty fantasy world atmosphere akin to Diablo. Some have stated that this is the spiritual successor to Diablo 2.
You will begin your adventure in this new land, by taking to the game's menu screens that are placed on the prisoner ship. You will be set in front of the characters you may choose from:
The Witch, Templar, Shadow, Marauder, Ranger, Duelist, and the final class requiring to be unlocked first by playing the game.
After choosing you'll be put into the game's world and can start your adventure!
Being Free to Play
I'd like to get this out of the way.
Now, if you've seen this game before or are being newly introduced, yes this game is Free to Play. But there is nothing to fear, should you have played a free to play game in the past especially some of the MMO's on Steam. This game is not like that.
Grinding Gear Games has instituted one of the fairest free to play business models I've ever seen in a game. All of the content is given to you. The focus of the model is on cosmetic effects that people can purchase to enhance the look of their characters. Grinding Gear does not in anyway make this game Pay to win (a term coined for FTP games, that generally benefit people with extreme benefits for paying. While those who haven't payed a cent tend to be weaker)
You can trust this game to give you a wonderful and unique experience. With no paywalls or pay to win content.
Story behind Wraeclast.
While the character's themselves explain their story of how they achieved becoming exiles. What isn't spoken clearly is what Wraeclast is.
Wraeclast is an isolated island. The land itself is shrouded in mystery, dark energies course through the earth itself, manipulating the natives and newcomers to the island. Inhabitants of Wraeclast are nothing more then unfortunate people who had their ships wreck upon the shores, those who have been exiled by Oriath, and the native tribes of the island.
The environment of Wraeclast is that of a tropical island. In-land is strewn with jungle forests, beaches dot the shores, and the coastal cliffs are rocky and treacherous. You'll find many natural caves and caverns dotting the island.
There is an abundance of natural and unnatural life on the island.
Should anything die, it does not stay dead long. Crewmen who have wrecked upon the shore recall burying their friends and fellow crew who did not make the journey to shore. Only to see them later, wandering the shores and stumbling around.
The wild life has been corrupted. Example, the native ape species of the in-land jungles once ate nuts and drank from fruit, now seek to drink blood, and eat brains and hearts.
While dangerous individuals linger in all of the areas, crazed cannibals and bandits roam the island and set up various encampments.
Attributes - The main attributes are: Strength, Intelligence, and Dexterity. Each attribute inherent bonuses. Such as: additional maximum life, increased evasion, or energy shields.
Skills - Skills have an interesting twist in this game. Unlike Diablo where leveling your character will earn you more skills, instead, Path of Exile has skills contained in Gems. Each character has a set of base skills that they can potentially unlock with coming across a skill gem. These gems are colored dependent on their type of attribute. Red - Strength, Green - Dexterity, Blue - Intelligence. Collecting these gems and placing them in the correct socket will earn you a new ability to use. These gems have their own separate levels that are gained by defeating foes. You can use the hot-bar (hot-key bar) to edit the spells and place them on the corresponding button that you feel most comfortable with.
Flasks - These are your potions in this game. You have two types. Life and Mana. These also have an interesting twist on them. Instead of finding them off of enemies or buying them. The flasks are permanent. They can be used, each use will empty them to a certain amount. To refill these flasks you much slay enemies. Enemies have a chance of dropping even better quality flasks that either net you some extra stat properties, or they'll have an increased amount they can hold.
Equipment/Accessories - Each class has their designated armors, but there are no limits. Some Classes will have a preference and better skill with certain ones. Such as Shadow: He deals best with one-handed weapons such as daggers, claws, and using clothing with evasion. But he could use axes and be decked out in metal armor or maybe use a Bow instead. Some weapons and armor might require certain attributes to be met before using them. Accessories come in rings, belts, and necklaces that also have no limits.
Passive Skills - Every time your character levels up, you will be rewarded with passive skill points to place into this tree. Each character has their unique starting point within the large network. But much like with the gear, any character can potentially make use of every passive skill. There are large sockets for certain gems to be placed into this network of skill, netting you different passive rewards. Note: Passive skills give you you automatic and constant effects, these are not the same as skills provided from gems. This passive network allows you to create any potential build for your character. Making each one unique to play.
Magical Items - Diablo players will know that they are rewarded with gold to spend on new gear and other items sold by Merchants. In Path of Exile, there is no money, there is a type of bartering system. Should you sell a type of clothing or found a replacement weapon and are selling your old one. You will see the merchant will give you magical items in exchange for your goods. These items will most likely be pieces or fragments. Collecting enough of these will allow you to construct the item that they were fragmented from. Enemies will commonly drop these various magical items as a whole item or more fragments. Should you want to buy goods from merchants you'd better brace yourself for letting go of some of these items.
Path of Exile's Passive Skill tree.
Style and Sound
This game does a very good job of providing a dark atmosphere to wander through. You'll travel through cannibal camps seeing their recent catches strewn on fire pits or carved up ready to be cooked. While traveling amongst a disheveled farm will have remnants of its inhabitants from before. The shores of Wraeclast are littered with debris from ships and corpses of the drowned.
The music while they didn't try entirely to capture Diablo II, the music is unique, and adds magnificent elements to the game. It also certainly sets the tone and mood of the game.
Famous last words.
Path of Exile, certainly one of the best Free to Play modeled games I've ever seen. Being truly in spirit with Diablo. This game has been my alternative to Diablo III. Exploring the many unique areas in this game have all been memorable, while conversing with NPCs and learning the lore of certain creatures and characters after encountering them in combat. This game does it all well and I can't wait to play it over again.
Currently there are 4 acts to this game. Also an expansion called The Awakening was added to the game not long ago (also free to experience)
It can take about 8-12 hours to complete. There is an extreme amount of re-playability and with the true genius of being able to construct the characters how YOU want them, and not how they were intended to be constructed by the developers.
This game is full of unique ideas, it's also completely free of charge. I greatly recommend this game for RPG fans. It's also quite an interesting experience with co-op partners. So bring your friends!