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Path of Exile 2 Devs ‘Feel Sorry’ for Blizzard Amid Diablo 4 Season 1 Struggles – IGN

Path of Exile has long run in parallel to Diablo. When the original launched back in 2013, it was pitched as a fresh alternative to the then-troubled Diablo III. Now, with Path of Exile 2 in development and Diablo IV struggling, their identity once again seem inextricably linked.

Reacting to Diablo IV’s struggles since the launch of Season 1, director Jonathan Rogers told IGN, “I mean ultimately the learning process for running a live game with Seasons like this is a hard one. We’ve learned our lessons about how to do this stuff. Honestly, when I look at that, all I can think is, ‘Man, it’s tough. It’s a real tough situation to be in.'”

Path of Exile has been running its version of Seasons, known as Leagues, for many years now. With Path of Exile 2 now confirmed to be a standalone sequel, both games will feature leagues of their own.

Diablo IV, meanwhile, has been excoriated for its handling of issues like class balance. Earlier today, Blizzard held one of its regular Campfire chats in which the developers promised to address the issues as quickly as possible.

“I feel very bad for the developers, because I’m sure that they mean well, but yeah, it’s a hard lesson to learn,” Rogers said.

“Yes. There are times when a developer looks at a thing in their game that is too fast and they think. ‘I should slow this down.’ However, there is a process for that,” fellow director Chris Wilson agreed.

What separates Path of Exile 2 from Diablo IV

Asked what separates Path of Exile 2 from Diablo IV, Rogers said that Blizzard’s action RPG is on what he would call an “MMO path.”

“They certainly have a lot more around like cool down rotations and things like that, but also just the more open world design and that kind of thing,” Rogers said. “Whereas we’re going more in the kind of like Elden Ring sort of direction. It’s much more action-focused, but with a sort of hardcore bent.”

I feel very bad for the developers, because I’m sure that they mean well, but yeah, it’s a hard lesson to learn

Rogers said that Diablo IV’s approach has proven to be great, but also said that it wasn’t really for him.

“I’m definitely preferring more of the action game stuff. Like, not much in the way of cooldowns, very much more, ‘What skill is best to use here in this moment because it’s just the right situation.’ Things like the way you never lose control of your character… We just want to make sure that we’re kind of going in that direction. So that’s kind of our main focus.”

His pitch for Path of Exile 2 is that it has “much more of a focus on action” and “excellent bosses” as well as a “ridiculously huge amount of content.” He also claims that Path of Exile 2 has more depth.

“I mean, it is more complex in a lot of ways, but I think that that’s something that a lot of players crave and you can do a huge amount of experimentation in our game with the character classes and builds. It’ll keep you going for a very long time. So yeah, there’s just a lot more going on with regard to the depth in Path of Exile,” Rogers said.

Wilson pointed toward Path of Exile 2’s existing item system, which he called “best in class.” Path of Exile is geared toward rewards that scale properly with item quantity and rarity bonuses. The idea is that players should fight fewer rare monsters at once, but that they should be more challenging and rewarding. Path of Exile also features an extensive trading system.

Path of Exile 2’s closed beta will focus on getting the balance right

But while Path of Exile 2 is making progress, players won’t be able to get their hands on it any time soon. It’s currently slated to release into closed beta access in June 2024.

One priority for the developers, Rogers said, is to the get balance correct at launch, which he says is a lesson learned from Diablo IV.”

“I think, that you get the balance correct at launch, because once you have something a certain way, players are very resistant to changing it, in particular in a downwards direction. So therefore we really have to make sure that we’re going to have a good beta that actually tells us everything we need to know about that,” Rogers said, confirming that the beta will compromise “the entire game.”

I think, that you get the balance correct at launch, because once you have something a certain way, players are very resistant to changing it

“It won’t just be like one act or something like that. It’ll be the whole game and we’re going to run it for as long as we would run a league at least, so months, so that we know for sure like what the economy looks like, what everything looks like once it actually shakes out. ‘Cause it does actually take quite a while for people to kind of realize what the most efficient things are, what they’re supposed to be doing.”

He called it the “most efficient” and also the “funnest” way to play the game. In his opinion it’s needed to “nail the balance” on the skills.

“That’s going to be a challenge and with a lengthy beta, we should be able to achieve that,” Rogers said.

Path of Exile 2 was first announced in 2019 as an expansion of sorts. It has since been fleshed out into a full, standalone sequel with a host of new classes and other content. It will release simultaneously on PC and console and it’s expected to be a major competitor to Diablo IV when it arrives.

Kat Bailey is IGN’s News Director as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.

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