We'll be releasing a major update to Path of Exile's PvP featureset in December. This will be released in the 1.3.0 update, alongside new challenge leagues. Today's news post outlines our plans for these PvP features.
We'll be starting our first formal PvP season in December. Each season will feature a variety of different tournaments, ranging from shorter casual events with rapid matchmaking to larger-scale multi-hour tournaments with swiss pairings. We're also planning a type of free-for-all event inspired by the Sarn Arena.
The PvP seasons will last roughly a month each and will feature alternate art unique items as prizes. There are are also the PvP equivalent of Demigod uniques, awarded to the best competitors. The first season will focus around 1v1 level 28 dueling, but will include a few team and no-level-cap events. Later seasons will shift the focus to different types of events.
We've been putting a lot of effort into improving the tools for PvP balance. We want to make sure we can balance skills and damage scaling in a way that doesn't affect the core PvE game. In order to give players the tools to combat various popular builds in the PvP metagame, we are designing unique items that are both very useful for PvP characters but also have some niche uses in PvE (like Dream Fragments).
We typically tease out news on major updates during the month before they are released. However, for this PvP update, we want to have a more transparent process with the community. We'll be posting frequent news updates about progress, balance changes and other improvements to how PvP works. We also plan to involve the PvP community heavily in testing these tournaments on our alpha servers.
Last week, we flew out community member GreenDude to our office in New Zealand and spent three days learning everything we could about how people play PvP in Path of Exile. While we've played it a lot on our internal test servers, it was extremely valuable learning what rules the community prefers, what metagame has developed and what problems they have encountered that need improving. GreenDude has been involved in decisions about every part of PvP, ranging from tournament structure to metagame tools to damage scaling and balance of specific skills.
In addition to the new PvP features, 1.3.0 introduces new challenge leagues. The properties of these challenge leagues will be revealed closer to launch, but they are not PvP focused.
The December 1.3.0 update is at roughly the half-way mark between Forsaken Masters and the 1.4.0 Act Four expansion we'll be releasing early next year.