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Grinding Gear Games announces Path of Exile 4.0, or Path of Exile 2

Path of Exile 2

Path of Exile 4.0 is finally here boys and girls. The wait for the newest massive content update to the best ARPG out there has been long and arduous. Since 3.0 and the launch of Fall of Oriath, fans have been waiting to see what Grinding Gear Games has planned. As 150,000+ viewers watched live on Twitch, and hundreds of hardcore fans watched live and in-person, Grinding Gear Games announced, the major expansion to their game, The company just announced Path of Exile 2.

The new expansions — both Path of Exile 3.9 and the Path of Exile 4.0 mega-expansion — were revealed during the ExileCon keynote today, showing off GGG’s plans for the future of their ARPG. These two content patch cycles will bring massive and sweeping changes to the game, completely altering how the game is played, much like 3.0 did.

If you want to take a deeper dive into Path of Exile 3.9 and the Conquerors of the Atlas patch, check out our more thorough rundown.

What is Path of Exile 4.0?

The mega-expansion is due out in 2020, the first expansion of the new year. The expansion is built around one simple idea, building the world in a new way. With all this new content, the world of POE is being changed, arguably for the better. The new League is all about following up on the killing of Kitava and the rest of the gods that follows from 3.0 and beyond. To that end,it seems like GGG has put a lot of effort into creating all new versions of all the characters, locales and more that fans have come to know and love over the years.

In short, Path of Exile 4.0 is an entirely new campaign that takes the entire content library of existing patches into account. But in the last 20 years since the death of Kitava, things have taken a turn for the worst. The old Exiles are seemingly going to end up dead and gone, with a new crop of heroes coming in to bring the change needed about.

New Bosses Galore

The 4.0 expansion will build on progress GGG has made in 3.7 and later patches that the developer has used to revamp the boss battles in the ARPG. The early-game bosses were already reworked in an earlier patch, and now we’re getting a massive set of changes across the board. With the new set of Acts and story content, Path of Exile 4.0 is pushing older bosses out to replace them with new versions or new bosses entirely. And in Chris Wilson’s own words, “brutally hard is something we’re trying to get back to in Path of Exile”, so it looks like things are about to get extremely difficult. Judging from the talk on stage in the pre-show, there are some plans to make the game give a genuine sense of fulfillment for the most hardcore of players.

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A ton of these reworks are immersed in the story of the new expansion. With all the dead gods around, there’s basically a whole new world to be reworked and improve for the people in-universe. For example, the showcased gameplay demo details that the side quests in the game now roll directly into new boss fights, massively expanding the stable of content. The whole idea on GGG’s part seems to be making the entirety of the gameplay loop more challenging and rewarding.

This expansion will deliver on the slow burn of these ambitions after so long of a wait. In the last two years the company has been working on this new expansion for some time. And in that time the devs have massively increased the overall depth and challenge of every aspect of Path of Exile 2. There’s so many changes coming that the game is essentially two games in one in 4.0.

A New Engine and Campaign

The game will now be split into two separate campaigns, with ALL of the old content folded into the main game. This means that all of the content you’re used to will be supported across both versions of the game. GGG has also committed to fully supporting the original version with all the performance improvements for both versions applied. And yes, all of your MTX effects are coming along for the ride.

Infinite Six-Links

One major gameplay change coming in Path of Exile 2 is that item links will no longer be an issue. EVERY SINGLE SKILL GEM HAS SOCKETS NOW. This allows a ton more build variety and a bunch of options for crafting as the overall system has been rebalanced. The sheer volume of potential for skills and mods is even further augmented with Meta-Gems that give players a ton of streamlining. And yes, most old currency for Six-Link crafting will work on Gems, but Fusings won’t be necessary as all Gems will be implicitly linked a certain way.

Path of Exile 2 new skill gems

New Skill Gem System for Path of Exile 2

You might be wondering how Uniques and item modifiers that reference implicit Sockets will work in POE 2. The change in this expansion will be that every item and Skill Gem will be carrying implicit Sockets with certain effects on the overall item. The new Meta-Gems pair with this system as well. For example, a new Meta-Gem called Proficiency has been debuted which caa socket one of each color for Auras, with a 5% reduction to Mana Reservation implicit.

Sockets and implicit will be linked to item base types in the early game, but with late-game crafting being introduced to reroll colors on item sockets as a high-level option.

Skills, Classes and Ascendancies

Speaking with Ziggyd, TarkeCat and Kripparian onstage during the 4.0 deep dive, Jonathan with GGG spoke about a full revamp of the Class and Ascendacny system coming along with this absolutely insane item revamp. There will be 38 Class/Ascendancy combos in 4.0, with each one being unlocked by playing the old game through and unlocking the desired Ascendancy in both versions. We saw a bit of the new Ranger Ascendancies, and the focus of the new trees seems to be focused on adding new skills with new gameplay mechanics worked in too. For example, a new Flare ability allows this new class type to rain down ranged fire on enemy packs. Another choice allows players to turn any attack skill into a hybrid AoE and Barrage ranged skill. The developers haven’t revealed the full breadth of the skill tree and class changes, but we’re going to see more of that soon.

There is no firm release date for when 4.0 is coming, although GGG estimates that Path of Exile 2 will be out in a year. Check out the official site for more details. If you want to see more, we have some Path of Exile 2 gameplay as well.

Check out the new trailers and footage of the expansion above. Make sure to keep an eye on the POE Twitch stream if you want these announcements live. You can find the stream below as well.

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