Announced during the opening ceremonies of ExileCon 2019 in New Zealand earlier today, Path of Exile 2 marks the fourth “mega expansion” of the free-to-play action RPG. Citing the problems with sequels splitting an existing community in two, Managing Director Chris Wilson revealed that the teams desired follow-up to their successful 2013 title will live inside the existing Path of Exile as a new seven-act campaign.
Upgrades, items, and expansion content will be usable across both campaigns, as will all content purchased with microtransactions. However, Grinding Gear Games are treating this as a sequel release, and that includes upgrades to the game’s engine, changes to the skill system, animations, and other improvements. All of these features will stretch back into the original campaign, making this an upgrade across the board.
During an on-stage gameplay demo, Chris Wilson showed off the game’s new graphics, a new Skill Gem socketing system, and some of the armor and weapons you’ll find throughout the new content. A character starting in Path of Exile 2‘s new campaign can pick from 19 new ascendancy classes, while Path of Exile veterans will keep their older class distinctions.
Path of Exile 2 doesn’t have a firm release date as of yet, although Chris did mention that the team plans on another year of updates before launching the beta for the sequel campaign. The original campaign will be getting incremental updates all throughout 2020 as work on the sequel continues. Despite the long wait, the first act of Path of Exile 2 is available to convention-goers as a playable demo on the show floor.
Grinding Gear Games, which is 80% owned by Chinese conglomerate Tencent, has been working on Path of Exile since its release in October 2013. The game, which is fully free-to-play, came to Xbox One in 2017 and PlayStation 4 earlier this year.