At ExileCon, Grinding Gear Games revealed a significant change to the release model of Path of Exile 2 and a closed beta date.

Path of Exile 2 Now a Standalone Game, Beta Release Date Revealed

At its latest ExileCon event today, Grinding Gear Games provided a range of new information about Path of Exile 2, including a change to its planned release model and a beta date. The game is probably still a little further away than fans might hope, with the closed beta set to begin on June 7, 2024.

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Path of Exile 2 was originally planned to be an expansion to the original game. However, as the project grew in scope, the team realized that doing so “would essentially be getting rid of a game people love for no real reason,” according to game director Jonathan Rogers.

As such, the two games will continue to live alongside each other, with Grinding Gear Games CEO Chris Wilson overseeing the original while Rogers and Mark Roberts will direct PoE2. The two games will each have unique mechanics, game balance, endgames, and leagues.

Despite this separation, any microtransactions you purchase can be used across both games, unless it’s connected to an exclusive mechanic. Rogers used the example of a werebear skin because PoE1 doesn’t support that mechanic.

And that’s just a single example. A video introducing the sequel covered the range of content that will be available at launch, which includes 12 classes, 36 Ascendancy classes, 1500 passive skills, 240 active skills, and 100 distinct environments with a unique boss for each one. There are also hundreds of regular monsters and equipment pieces.

The highlights reel was followed by an extensive live gameplay demo. Roberts played, while Rogers commentated, detailing a range of new and revamped mechanics including a dodge roll, passive specializations, weapon swapping, spellcasting, gemcutting, and much more. The demo was taken from the third act of the six-act story, featuring the characters traversing a set of ruins amidst a jungle area.

Afterwards, Wilson returned to the stage to explain how the two games will live alongside each other, stating that update releases will be offset so that players can continue to play both games if they so choose.

He followed it by revealing a trailer for the next expansion to the original Path of Exile, Trial of the Ancestors, which will release on August 13, 2023.

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Damien Lawardorn
Editor and Contributor of The Escapist: Damien Lawardorn has been writing about video games since 2010, including a 1.5 year period as Editor-in-Chief of Only Single Player. He’s also an emerging fiction writer, with a Bachelor of Arts with Media & Writing and English majors. His coverage ranges from news to feature interviews to analysis of video games, literature, and sometimes wider industry trends and other media. His particular interest lies in narrative, so it should come as little surprise that his favorite genres include adventures and RPGs, though he’ll readily dabble in anything that sounds interesting.