It’s no surprise to Chris Wilson that Path of Exile players flocked to online action RPGs during the pandemic. Grinding Gear Games continues to record more player time than ever before with the Echoes of the Atlas extension.
The General Manager of Grinding Gears delivered these nuggets and more on Tuesday, unveiling the Path of Exile 2 and the next Ultimatum extension to be released on April 16th. Path of Exile is a popular online game with 35 extensions or updates and millions of players worldwide. ..
Path of Exile culminated in the Echoes of the Atlas with a 17% increase in player time in 2020. According to Wilson, players focused on the core path mechanism, the traditional grind of killing monsters for better loot, rather than experiments such as gardening and collecting monsters like Pokemon. He said he liked expansion.
Maybe so. Yeah, we sometimes tried to mix it. There was a delirium league about a year ago. This was one of the leagues focused on combat. And I think the big picture enlargement is versatile and attracts different types of gamers, Wilson said in an interview with Discord’s GamesBeat. [No relation to the writer Ed.] First, you need to make sure that [expansions] Every player has really powerful core combat and rewarding stuff to enjoy them.
The virus is almost non-existent as New Zealand has closed its borders and citizens and governments have been paying attention to the COVID-19 protocol. Wilson said the Grinding Gears staff were able to work on both the Path of Exile and its sequels in the office.
Basically, 80% of the last 12 months have returned to the office, so I work from home while the government recommends working from home. At other times, Wilson says we’ll come to the office unless there’s something to be considered, such as people living with a very vulnerable family. But the country sits there with a zero case rate, so it’s pretty safe for them to get in. [lingering] As far as I know, cases of plague that have not been found.
Grinding Gear does not experience the same problems that other studios have with delays due to working from home.
It’s a nightmare for the entire team to work from home. Our game has evolved to include developments that take place in the same room. There are developers flocking around each other’s computers, pointing at things and discussing things, and they get the information that way. It wasn’t a company with a lot of documentation. We don’t sit there and create any specs. We just talk about it directly and they go and make it.
Image Credit: Grinding Gear Games
Grinding Gear has found it struggling to adopt another issue related to COVID. New Zealand has land comparable to California, but has a small population (5.1 million as of April, the 121st most populous country on the planet). Therefore, there are not many game developers. New Zealand hasn’t brought new people into the country during the pandemic, so it can’t hire workers. Wilson said it’s okay to bring people from Australia (the game development scene is expanding), but that’s it.
So how many people did Grinding Gear hire?
According to Wilson, he hired a New Zealander who returned to New Zealand for a pandemic.
Many publishers and studios have created a local ecosystem for years to train new game developers. Ubisoft, in particular, has a good reputation for this and is partnering with local universities and colleges to open new studios. Grinding Gear has tried this, but if you’re dealing with a country with more than 5 million people, the pool is limited.
The first half of Wilsons’ presentation (you can see the entire shindig above) will showcase Path of Exile 2 (no release date yet). The video revealed several different weapon styles when the player mowed the waves after the enemy waves.
The first wielded a spear, a new weapon for the path of asylum. Its flexibility. This doesn’t mean I’m spinning it around. Can be used as a melee or missile weapon. This flexibility is what Grinding Gear is aiming for.
I also had to ask why Grinding Gear uses spears more than other polearms. Because the pole arm is the best.
Various pointed pole arms may be used. I understand that there are halberds and stuff that don’t use the exact same attack, but I hope there’s more than a spear in that weapon class, Wilson said. This is partly because we want them to have a consistent set of skills, which has evolved to plunge and throw at enemies. The spear alternates between ranged attacks, melee attacks, or both. So while the choice of weapons that work this way is surprisingly diverse, it means you’re missing out on Bardiche, Halberd, and other types of polearms. I’ll talk about this later.
Crossbows are quite different from playing bows in Path of Exile. The shooter has moved from a piercing shot that blows up armor to an elemental shot that throws a wide conical bolt. The crossbow has a satisfying thunk on each shot. I asked how Grinding Gear made the thunk so great.
Sometimes it’s a Foley sound, sometimes it’s a ready-made sound effect, but I’m not sure how audiophiles created this sound. Community manager Bex gave a more detailed answer.
The audio team designed the sound for the crossbow ammo skill using different sound layers from different sound packs. So, partly because of the artistry of audio and partly because of the library effect of sound, Beck’s said.
One of the great aspects of Path of Exile 2 is that it resides on the same client as the original game. They both share the same endgame, and all purchases from Path of Exile are associated with the same account, so they will be carried over to the sequel.
Path of Exile feels like a ripe game for local collaborators. You can play with others online, but you cannot play on the same machine. This is because you are playing with the client. You can now use Diablo III for your console to play with guests in your account. Can the same thing happen with Path of Exile, or is this a problem due to the nature of the account and client?
It would have to change, and this is what something was looking for, but [local co-op] According to Wilson, this is also something we don’t want to commit to until it works. But surely it will be useful for this kind of game. It’s also great to be able to support Sofa Corp on a PC, like a combination of mouse, keyboard and controller. It’s just a matter of changing the game and the methods needed to support it.
According to Wilson, Grinding Gear is also trying to cross-play between the console and the PC.
Image Credit: Grinding Gear Games
Path of Exile debuted in 2013. When Ultimatum is released on April 16th, there will be about 40 enhancements and updates. It has a lot of names for maps, monsters, characters, gears and powers. Is it hard for Grinding Gear to come up with a new name?
With these new skills and stuff, it’s actually very difficult to name because you want to call them slashes when you name them, but because there are 18 things called slashes, Not a slash. And they’re OK, well, what about strikes? Well, no, technically it’s not a strike, and you can’t use blood because that means this. That is, it’s sanguine, not blood strike or blood slash, and technically, neither can be used because sanguine is used here. And it’s hard to be consistent, Wilson said.
So is it harder to name a new skill with requirements based on the type of action rather than a new character, area, or lore?
To be honest, that’s also surprisingly difficult. Yes, according to Wilson, they can come up with cool, arbitrary-sounding foreign language names, so they’re a little more flexible.
And that was a problem for a while.
According to Wilson, it was definitely a problem about five years ago, but it’s just getting worse. There is a joke in computer science that there are two issues: caching and naming. And as the names start to get complicated, the same applies to game development.
It’s no wonder Grinding Gear keeps it simple with the name of the sequel. Only PathofExile2.
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