Today, at its ExileCon event in New Zealand, Grinding Gear Games announced Path of Exile 2, a seven-act sequel to its massively popular free-to-play ARPG.
For those not familiar, Path of Exile, while sharing the same genre as Diablo and Torchlight, has a slightly different way of approaching things. For one, gold isn't used as a currency, being replaced by orbs which can randomly reroll the properties of other items. Furthermore, instead of Diablo III's Seasons, PoE implements what are called Leagues, which are essentially methods for players to show off their mastery and win prizes. These leagues can last from one hour up to several months, and are accompanied by expansions (released roughly three months apart).
Path of Exile 2 will bring in a seven-act storyline which the developers will make available alongside the first game's campaign. Both these campaigns will lead to the same Atlas endgame content.
One of the game's most important components, the Skill Gem system, has gotten a pretty serious upgrade with the sequel, allowing players to socket Support Gems directly into Skill Gems, effectively solving the main problem with the more cumbersome previous implementation. In addition, PoE 2 adds 19 new ascendancy classes - in other words subclasses -, along with new animations, character models, an improved passive skill tree, enhancements to the game engine, and much more. The most important aspect to highlight is that all the previously purchased microtransaction items will be carried forward.
The reason for the sequel's existence has more to do with the developer's wish to make some big foundational changes. Having a separate campaign - in other words one big update - allows Grinding Gear Games to move the title forward without breaking the existing characters.
Path of Exile 2 does not have a release date as of yet, but more information about it will be released in the coming months. The developer has said that the newest version won't hit beta until "late 2020", but that new expansions will be released until then, the content of which will be made available for both Path of Exile 1 and 2.