Path of Exile Marches On To Delirium

It’s been six and a half years since Path of Exile initially launched, creating a fascinating adventure that picked up many fans over the years. In fact, this past year alone has seen excessive growth for the game, with just over 500 million hours played. This year should be no exception, as Delirium is set to enter the picture.

Set to release this March for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, this new expansion promises to be one of the biggest yet. With its addition, both action combat and customization options will be pushed beyond their usual boundaries.

That said, when we spoke to Grinding Gear Games’ Chris Wilson, he explained that the story wasn’t going to be let out of the bag, so to speak. According to him, he prefers to let players “experience it on launch day,” in order to go in without knowing what the surprises really are.

Now, let’s take a look at the different aspects of the gameplay, and how they come together with this new Path of Exile expansion.

Path of Exile Delirium

Looking Into a Mirror of Delirium

Ever hear of Alice Through the Looking Glass? Well, in Path of Exile you come across the Mirror of Delirium. When you first come across it, you’ll discover a reflection of yourself within it. Now, if you touch the Mirror or go through it, you end up entering the state of Delirium for a short while. And here’s where things get really interesting.

As you cross over into the Mirror, you’ll begin to notice some changes to the environment. Namely, with a mist that gathers around you. This is put in place to heighten fears, as the state of Delirium is made to basically bring your greatest fears to life. (No, not cookies that want to eat you — we’re talking real monsters.)

You’ll have to deal with original foes that you’d normally come across in Path of Exile. But, on top of that, you’ll also have to face off against new ones that specifically strike you in a state of Delirium. As a result, the screen fills up rather quickly with these foes, and you’ll have your work cut out for you.

As you go further into the mist, the monsters will actually begin to pile up further. But, in return, you’ll also be able to access additional mods the further you go. These, in turn, will boost your combat and assist you with taking down your foes. The deeper you go, the more risk you take; but also the more rewarding these mods become.

Now, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the larger beasts in the game, which appear as you manifest yourself even deeper into the Delirium. They utilize powerful telegraphed attacks. They can be somewhat easy to avoid unless you’re surrounded; and if they hit you, they’ll do a significant amount of damage. You’ll also want to watch out for both normal and Delirium monsters with mods, which gives them various kinds of both debuff-on-hit effects and on-death mechanics.

You’ll also have to contend with bosses when you deal with Delirium. As expected, they become even tougher than before, and sometimes even contort depending on where you face them. For example, you come across one called the Brine King in act six. He’s capable of not only doing punishing damage, but also opening up his back, revealing an all new Delirium Horror.

Delirium can also have effects with items that have previously popped up in Path of Exile. These include Ambush Strongboxes, Betrayal Encounters, Incursion and Beach. So you’ll want to prepare accordingly for when you come across them. They’ll prove to be extremely difficult. However, you’ll also reap better rewards by getting through them; so they’re worth the effort.

Path of exile Delirium

Controlling the Fear

What’s neat about how Path of Exile: Delirium seeps into other elements of the game (and its rewards) is that you still maintain control when it comes to combat. Those of you familiar with Breach should get an idea of what’s in store with Path of Exile’s latest addition, since it feels like a larger version of that. The stacking of content really piles on the difficulty, instead of sitting apart like a separate segment within the game.

And the difficulty changes in Delirium as well, ranging to areas like Delve or Metamorph. This keeps things interesting, compared to how Breach usually stays the same. As you fight your way in this state, you become better with your character and see more reflected growth. And not just in the mods, mind you. The more you build, the better you get rewarded for your efforts.

There are specific Delirium items depending where you visit within the level. These include currency items, rare armor pieces and map items, among others. If you rack up enough of a kill count with the monsters, you’ll see these rewards. But as you get one, the progress goes back to zero and you’ll have to start all over again as you attempt to build them back up. It’s a give and take, really.

You can also find Delirium encounters when it comes to end-game maps, so keep an eye out for those as well. You’ll also want to keep an eye open for Orbs of Delirium. You can apply these to certain maps, increasing the density of the area, pushing up the difficulty and reward scale. What’s more, you can see the reward theme clearly for each Orb.

The goal of being able to apply Orbs of Delirium and tweaking each map is to challenge the community, particularly the most skilled Path of Exile players. Wilson explained that the team encourages this, if only to see just how much players will push themselves when it comes to tackling these outrageous new challenges. But, again, you’ll pick up Currency Items, Delirium rewards and more as you do so.

And these can add up to even more challenges. Some Orbs of Delirium will actually drop Simulacrum Splinters. With these, you can form the Simulacrum and create a special new end-game challenge just waiting in the wings. What that is yet, Wilson isn’t saying. Again, it’s all about surprising players on day one.

There are also cluster jewels. With these, you can actually increase the power of your skill tree. Simply place them in the necessary external sockets of the tree, and new passive skill clusters will open up, with even more slots to put jewels. These offer the most significant change to characters for Path of Exile since Ascendancy classes first came around way back in 2016. You can also reroll jewels, in case you want to find one that’s ideal for your character.

The Jewels of the Exile

Wilson then went on to provide a few examples. First up are fire resistance passives, as well as minor passives (with additional properties) and notable passives, which can create additional sockets. Once you get to the larger clusters, you’ll start to really open up what the minor passives can do for you, doing some modding in the process. The more you progress your tree, the more it can really open up when it comes to potential.

Eventually, you’ll reach the Keystone passive known as the Hollow Palm Technique. This opens up a new play style in the game, in this case being an unarmed monk-style combat. This is excellent for those that want to give melee strikes a try, as this character is quite powerful, based on what we’ve seen thus far.

Wilson explained that “The more winding the path you take to get to the socket, the more powerful the result is.” Considering the immense size of the skill tree overall (you’re going to be a while, newcomers), there are all sorts of possibilities. And that’s before you even get to unlocking the new play style within the game.

Necessary Improvements

As part of the expansion, Wilson then broke down how there will be touch-ups to Conquerors of the Atlas. He explained that the Atlas changes introduced in December’s Conquerors of the Atlas expansion were big hits with fans, but weren’t quite perfect. Improvements have been made since that time, with a variety of little patches that fixed everything from Conqueror spawning to scaling the difficulty and rewards to the proper level, depending on the chosen variation.

But there are more to come with this addition. This includes changing the Conqueror spawning to be more “deterministic,” according to Wilson. This introduces a new user interface element with a breakdown of how many maps are left to be completed before you take on the boss.

Other things include the addition of a Sextant 3:1 trade-up vendor recipe, perfect for those that are into concoction; as well as additional incentives for those that tackle higher Awakening levels. Again, you’ll want to be primed and ready for this, but you’ll be promptly rewarded for doing so.

There are also improvements coming with the Vaal Side Areas, first introduced in the previous expansion. They will now spawn more as rare, with a number of modifiers in tow. What’s more, there will also be extra boss life/defenses, along with extra rewards and giving monsters greater densities. So, yeah, your work will be cut out for you.

In addition, the Metamorph challenge league, initially introduced last December as part of Conquerors of the Atlas, will also become part of the core game. That way, you’ll have better access to the content when you’re good and ready for it.

Path of exile Delirium

Skill Up and New Items

Skills will be introduced with Delirium, namely with the Blade Blast and Kinect Bolt. Let’s take a look at each one.

With the Blade Blast, you’re actually able to leave blades behind. What’s more, you can actually use other skills to interact with them. For instance, one modification and suddenly your blades will be able to explode, creating additional damage for any enemies within their blast radius. You can also trigger this blast via Cast on Crit, or setting up the Unleash + Spell Cascade support gems to create more explosions, as well as rain-like “blade falls” on opponents. Set up a number of these and you’ll do significant damage via chaining. You can also tune these with the Animated Weapon skill.

Next up is the Kinect Bolt. It’s a wand skill that lets you send a forking bolt towards enemies, doing physical damage with the help of your wand. Level it up properly enough, and you’ll be able to combo it into shots, and use support gems such as Barrage. Two additional skills are also set for reveal, but they’ll be shown off closer to release.

Delirium will also come with 13 new items, including four that are equipment that can become a cosmetic set together. A Skin Transfer can get this done for you, so that you look like the main antagonist you come across in the expansion. You can also use Perfidy as a melee-focused body armor, providing yourself additional protection.

You can also acquire the Algor Mortis UNique Gloves to open up additional cold/lighting build opportunities, along with Sap, which creates an alternate lighting ailment. You won’t give up Shock to use this either, so that’s extremely helpful.

You can also create “chilling areas” with a combination of freezing storm and lightning, which can leave the enemies literally out in the cold. And, finally, you’ll find the other nine items within the game with help from special Delirium jewels.

In short, there’s a lot that this expansion will unpack, setting the tone for Path of Exile updates to come in the months ahead. While Wilson didn’t detail that far ahead, he did promise that the new expansion will have a lot to offer. It’s set to hit PC first on March 13, and then arrive a week later, March 20, on consoles. It’ll be free of charge to players, so don’t miss out on the fun.

If you need a better idea of what kind of madness awaits with Path of Exile: Delirium, scope out the launch trailer below. We’ll see you in mirror-land!

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Phantasy Star Online 2 Beta Begins Today

The initial Phantasy Star Online 2 Xbox One Beta will begin on Friday, February 7, at 5pm PST and end on Saturday, February 8, at 11:59pm PST.

Phantas_star_online_2

Phantasy Star Online 2 is a free-to-play, action RPG developed and by Sega that was initially released in Japan in 2012 on PC. Eventually, it made its way to PlayStation 4, Vita, and the Nintendo Switch, but it never made its way out of Japan. However, there were a few tricks that allowed outsiders to play, but there has been a constant demand from Westerners for their own servers and access to the game.

Players outside of Japan will finally get that chance starting with the Closed Beta that begins this afternoon. Those granted access to the Beta by signing up through the Xbox Insider Hub will have the opportunity to complete Urgent Quests and receive special rewards.

Here is the Urgent Request schedule (PST) for February 7:

  • Cradle of Darkness – 8:00-8:30pm
  • Giant Automata: The Awakening – 10:00-10:30pm

February 8:

  • Cradle of Darkness – 7:00-7:30pm
  • Giant Automata: The Awakening – 1:00-1:30pm
  • Cradle of Darkness – 5:00-5:30pm
  • The Raging Obsidian Arm – 8:30-9:00pm
  • Elder of the Unfathomable Abyss – 9:00-9:30pm

Participating in these quests will grant special rewards, such as Photon Halo accessories and Triboost consumables.

 

Source: Official Site

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Phoenix Labs and Dauntless Purchased by Garena

It was recently announced that Dauntless developer Phoenix Labs has been acquired by Garena, which is the digital entertainment extension of Sea Limited.

dauntless founder's alpha

Dauntless is a free-to-play, co-op action RPG in the same vein of Monster Hunter. Early in development, Dauntless received significant hype due to being one of the first multiplayer-focused, ‘Monster Hunter’ style games of the current generation. While Monster Hunter: World did temper this hype slightly, Dauntless has still been successful on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch and it is one of the few games to feature crossplay between every system.

“Our partners at Garena have been our most steadfast supporters since the early days of Phoenix Labs, and we are excited to join forces with a global games leader,” said Jesse Houston, CEO and co-founder of Phoenix Labs. “With this next step, we’re able to ensure that we can provide the best possible experience for Dauntless players around the world. We’re extremely excited about what the future holds for Phoenix Labs, as we continue to support our ever-growing Dauntless community and explore future games.

Garena is a leading game publisher and developer in Singapore with more than 320 million active users in the third quarter of 2019.

Source: Press Release

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Bandai Namco Announce New MMORPG: Blue Protocol

Completely out of the blue Bandai Namco announced their new MMORPG Blue Protocol today. The game is being made by a team known as Project Sky Blue with members from Bandai Namco Online and Bandai Namco Studios. The action MMORPG is being created using Unreal Engine 4 and has been announced for PC.

The only thing we really know about the story comes from a bit of text under the game’s logo. It reads “The world is on the brink of devastation, now is the time to unite. March on with friends and strangers, and defeat foes beyond your might. Travel through space and time, to change the future beyond this fight.” Some pretty heavy stuff there, though it could mean any number of things.

It should also be said that Project Sky Blue is working on other games as well. More information about Blue Protocol has been promised at a later date. It should also be said that while MMOCulture is saying it is an MMORPG other sites are calling it an ARPG. Which one it is we can’t say as we don’t have anyone who can read Japanese and no one should ever use Google Translate for business purposes.

The fact that an English press release wasn’t given does suggest that perhaps the game won’t be released in the west, at least not initially. It’s also quite interesting that this game is for PC. Bandai Namco, and indeed many other developers have jumped on the mobile bandwagon. It is good to see that people are still making multiplayer games for PC that aren’t just Battle Royale. Still, we’ll keep an eye on this story and when there is more information released you’ll be able to find it on MMOGames.

 

Source: MMOCulture

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Wargaming Announces OARPG Pagan Online Will Launch in 2019

Today we got our first glimpse of Wargaming’s newest game, Pagan Online in an all-new gameplay trailer, which you can see a little further down. It is being created with Mad Head Games who are well known for Rite of Passage, Shadowplay, and NeverTales. The game will be launching in 2019, but, before it does there will be a series of pre-launch tests they’re calling trials. Registration for these trials is available on the official site.

In Pagan online heroes come face to face with hordes of enemies and battle bosses based on pre-Christian mythology. They use a combination of procedurally generated arenas along with multiple choices to make every encounter feel unique and give the feel of a living world.

Talking about Pagan Online the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Mad Head Games said, “With Pagan Online we’ve worked hard to deliver a fast-paced and intense combat system that’s easy to pick up but difficult to master. We took inspiration from MOBAs to create unique characters with specific skills and specialties, and when you put them into this type of combat system you end up with a family of fighters that do different things well in different scenarios.”

Finally, they boast difficult missions, high replayability, a ton of customization options, and intense combat. Having watched some of the immensely satisfying gifs they provided in the press release it isn’t hard to see why.

So, if you want to take part in the beta tests, sorry…trails for Pagan Online next year be sure to head over to the official site and sign up now. Also, no, we aren’t really sure what pre-Christian mythology includes either. But it will certainly be interesting to find out as they reveal more about the game!

Source: Press Release

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Torchlight Frontiers Wants to Wreck their Servers

If the bluster from Torchlight Frontiers is any indication, then the MMOARPG is ready to have a whole lot of people into its first major test. A Torchlight Frontiers server stress test is beseeching potential players to wreck the servers.

torchlight frontiers server stress test

The morning of Friday, November 16th will mark the first closed alpha test, but the devs appear to want to ramp things up at 3pm PST/6pm EST in the hopes of putting the game’s server tech through its paces.

“Melt them down to their very cores until nothing remains but blistered silicon,” urges the post. “Make sure our ancestors whisper in hushed tones about the day the Torchlight Frontiers servers fell – and rose again stronger than we could ever imagine.

What’s not made immediately clear in the post is whether or not this server stress test will mean that closed alpha has a very large pool or if there will be an open alpha period. We’ve reached out to the folks at Perfect World Entertainment for some clarification.

Server stress isn’t the only focus of the closed alpha. The devs are also looking to get feedback on a number of things like gameplay balance, horizontal progression, loot economy, Forts, and multiplayer mechanics.

Meanwhile, a recent trailer showcasing the Forged class has gone online. That’s available for viewing below.

Our Thoughts

Here’s hoping that this stress test – and everything else associated with the closed alpha of Torchlight Frontiers, for that matter – is helpful for the devs and entertaining for the players. And here’s also hoping that the server stress test actually means that launch won’t be a complete dumpster fire.

Sources: official site, press release

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Torchlight Frontiers Details its Free to Play Monetization

The Torchlight Frontiers folks have been pretty busy, releasing little bits of information every little while, but today they’ve released a pretty significant one: confirmation of a Torchlight Frontiers free to play model as well as their philosophy behind the monetization.

torchlight frontiers free to play

While the game’s free-to-play model is going to do its best to sell items “that you want to buy, but do not need to buy,” the game also offers a nod to the fact that some people don’t have time to earn everything via purely in-game means. As such, certain items that accelerate earnings like gold or luck will be on offer. There are also plans to include cosmetics like Fort decor.

The team is also considering selling special items like Relic Weapons on its storefront, though normal gear will always be earned from in-game pursuits. The blog suggests the addition of Relic Weapons is not finalized, but if it ever is there will be “reasonable” means to craft or find those same store Relics in-game.

Finally, the blog post states that content will not be paywalled and that its store items won’t be pay-to-win by virtue of the fact that Torchlight Frontiers isn’t a game you can win.

“We want you to be who and what you want to be in our world,” reads the post. “We know that killing a boss and finding that cool rare item is immensely satisfying, but buying that same item from a store or auction house is less so.”

Our Thoughts

Consider ourselves extremely leery of the addition of Relic Weapons to the in-game store, especially since those are literally means to buy power. Which can be seen as paying to win to some, semantics aside.

Source: official site

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Wargaming Enters the Online ARPG Scene with Pagan Online

When one thinks of Wargaming, they usually think of historically recreated vehicles of war blasting away at one another in online combat. That perception is changing just a bit with the company’s Pagan Online announcement, which is Wargaming’s first publishing foray into a whole new genre: the online multiplayer ARPG.

pagan online announcement

Set in a world of “dark pre-Christian mythology” according to the presser, Pagan Online looks to combine the grand tradition of action RPG gaming with combat mechanics from the world of MOBAs. Players can look forward to carnage-filled missions with multiple game modes and difficulty levels, as well as a single-player campaign that will receive episodic Battle Chapter updates.

“With Pagan Online we’ve modernized how combat in a top-down action RPG works,” claims Uros Banjesevic, co-founder and creative director of developer Mad Head Games. “[We’re] taking cues from MOBAs to create something that’s fast-paced, overwhelming with enemies, and super challenging.”

Pagan Online is due to arrive sometime in 2019 and is taking names to join in its pre-launch tests known as Trials. You can get a teasing CGI trailer for the game below.

Our Thoughts

Well…it certainly sounds good, and if this game’s MOBA/ARPG combat feels as good as that which was used in a game like Master X Master, then this could be one to watch. Still, we’re going to have to stay sat here on the fence until we see some actual gameplay on display.

Source: press release

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Path of Exile Confirms its PS4 Release

Well, it looks like the early portents were true. A Path of Exile PS4 release has been officially announced by Grinding Gear Games with details and all of the pomp and circumstance that an announcement like that brings.

path of exile ps4 release

Path of Exile is making its way to the PS4 some time in December, opening up the MMOARPG to an all new audience. Naturally, it will be arriving with all of its usual bells and whistles like its crafting system, procedurally generated dungeons, and seven classes, each with three subclasses and that absolutely monstrous skill tree. The game will launch as a free to play title and promises to avoid pay-to-win tactics.

The PS4 version will also include content in the upcoming 3.5.0 update, which is said to be the game’s largest yet. More information about that is due to arrive next week, but the devs have posted a forum thread detailing one of the update’s features: Private Leagues, which will let players put together their own punishingly difficult Leagues for their friends.

As one would expect, the Path of Exile PS4 release has an accompanying trailer that sets the scene for the uninitiated, which you can see below.

Our Thoughts

Based on our time investigating Path of Exile’s F2P model, we can pretty confidently say that this one is indeed a fair free to play release while also being an excellent MMOARPG. It’s certainly one fans of the genre should look forward to on the PS4.

Sources: press release, official forums

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Lost Ark Debuts a Lengthy Open Beta Trailer

We’ve discussed before about just what the in-development MMO Lost Ark has been doing all this time, but a new Lost Ark open beta trailer has provided perhaps an even tighter look at where things stand right now with 13 minutes’ worth of gameplay to showcase.

lost ark open beta trailer

The video covers pretty much everything one would want to know about Lost Ark, from a look at the game’s different classes, to its gathering professions, to PvP and PvE pursuits. There’s even a brief look at some of the game’s social hubs, house building and sailing around the game world. The trailer is in Korean, however, so you’ll have to use your own context clues about what’s being showcased, but honestly it’s not difficult.

According to MMO Culture, Lost Ark is working on first stabilizing the game in Korea before pursuing a larger release, and even then China will be the first territory to see the game outside of Korea assuming the country’s ongoing games freeze thaws out by then. For now, you can take in the complete look in the embed below.

Our Thoughts

That is some pretty spiffing MMOARPG gameplay, to be sure! Lost Ark certainly ticks many of the right boxes for a Korean action MMO, including flashy classes and interesting locations and set pieces. We’re hoping to hear more on whether this game will be coming further West, but as our writer noted, that likely won’t be a development we’ll see until sometime in 2019. Maybe.

Source: MMO Culture

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