The first part of a new developer Q&A series from Grinding Gear Games has revealed some plans and justifications for the designing and development of Path of Exile. The new report is a deep dive on the state of the game, how GGG develops it, and what their plans for the game are. It’s really interesting to see how GGG responds to different forms of player feedback and how they plan to address concerns. Of course players have taken the news and justifications as a bit of a mixed bag.
One major area of contention has to due with the way the company has approached trading and mapping balance in the game. Players, especially on the PC version, have complained that the game is getting cluttered with content, but that the content isn’t as easily accessed at higher levels in the end-game.
A common complaint is the lack of accessibility to trading for example. Players who run maps constantly have to consistently return to the externally-powered trading system to pick up currency to craft maps with, and it’s a burdensome system that many players just don’t like. GGG has reiterated that they stand by their approach to not implement a more automated trading system on the main PC version of the game, much to the chagrin of players.
The really strange thing about this whole mess is that it is obvious that the technology to allow a trading market in-game already exists. In fact, it has already been implemented in the Chinese version of the game. It’s worth mentioning that the game launched in China after Tencent, the Chinese entertainment conglomerate, bought a majority stake in the New Zealand developer back in 2018. This development has led to a mixed reaction from the fans of the game, and now we’re seeing the fruits of favoritism for certain versions which making the game worse. Here’s some footage from early 2018 which shows the in-game market. Of course, the Chinese version also has controversial elements which many consider “pay-to-win”. And apparently a version of this system also exists on console versions to make the game easier.
This is of course just one singular area of the game that GGG has addressed as there is plenty more to be unpacked in this developer post. GGG talks through a variety of development areas; including dealing with spam bots, updating and fixing games, as well as a huge amount of minor expansions that the company has planned.
Though there are now details about future expansions, like 3.7.0, 3.8.0, 3.9.0, 3.10.0, fans are still eagerly awaiting more details about their favorite ARPG.