State of the Beta

Beta Stability and Deployment

We have many players providing lots of useful feedback and data. Our main issue is getting the content and balance we need tested on the beta. There are several issues related to this:

  • Early versions of the beta had a number of crashes and bugs that needed to be addressed. While there are still occasional crashes, most of the critical ones have now been dealt with.
  • The volume of work and changes going into the beta is higher than our (recently-expanded) Quality Assurance team is able to keep up with.
  • Instability of changes for sync and lockstep: We have only pushed the very beginning of sync changes into the beta. Lockstep mode is not enabled at all currently. The changes introduced so far have improved sync in regular predictive mode, but substantial further sync changes (including the full lockstep mode) have yet to be deployed to the Beta servers.
  • Work that depends on the sync changes: Work on skills that has occurred after some sync changes is not able to be put into the beta. Improvements to sync have led to some fundamental changes to the gameplay code. Skill code changed or added after those changes is difficult to push to the beta without doing work twice.

These issues have made deploying to the beta a little slower than we would like. There is a delay between us adding or fixing something and that change making it to the beta realm.

Act Four Content

We initially deployed all of the areas in Act Four leading up to the Kaom and Daresso fights.

The original plan had been to deploy the remaining (final) areas early in the Beta, once it was ready.

Based on feedback, we've been working on improving the areas currently enabled in the Beta while the additional areas are finished by the developers working on them. Both of these sets of Act Four content require more work than we had predicted.

After the content is completed, the focus will swap to completing the level and boss design for new maps based on Act 4.

Skills

We have several skills that still need to be finalised before being added to the beta. In general the same designers and gameplay programmers who work on Act 4 boss fights are also the ones working on skills. While skills are progressing well (and look awesome), it does have an impact on other Act 4 content.

Jewels

Jewels are a very complicated system. While we have added a lot of content for Jewels, we have only just worked out exactly where we want them pitched.

It turns out to be much easier to design jewels than we had anticipated, and much harder to balance and refine Jewels than we anticipated. We were able to add a great deal of Jewels to the game, and find out what worked and what didn't.

As a result we have worked out where we want rare and unique Jewels to fit into the game. We also need to outright remove some Jewels we have added to the game.

There are some changes we plan to make:
  • While the best rare jewels are about as powerful as we want, the average jewel is not as powerful as we would like. We will be making adjustments to the mod pool and systems to address this.
  • Jewels with conflicting mods are treated as broken, rather than just less valuable. We are adding systems to not add (for example) dagger mods once an item has sword mods.
  • The rare jewels do not feel as notable-like as we had intended. We plan to trial increasing the values of prefixes and reducing the values of suffixes. This change will also include changes to what is a suffix and what is a prefix.
  • We will fix the "Limited to 1" mod for unique jewels.
  • We have better worked out where we want to pitch unique jewels. We will make a lot of changes, including removing some jewels. We also have a more defined set of internal guidelines for making unique jewels. This may involve removing some popular jewels! We have worked out we will have more jewels on release than we thought we were going to.

Quest Rewards

We have been very pleased with the new quest rewards. They have been successful in guiding players to make generally good early decisions. We do still have skills to add to fill out the basic system.

We also have a secondary system to introduce: alternate gems can be gained cheaply from a vendor. The new quest rewards are more limited in variety to ensure smoother game progression for new players, so this secondary system is intended to allow the flexibility experienced players are used to. This system was intended to be added at the end of the first week of the beta. It is not yet completed.

Balance

We knew we wanted to make a lot of balance changes as part of the beta. This has included a lot of core systems, and a complete review of skills.

We have done large passes on monster life and damage, weapon balance, skill balance, defences, reflect, side content and more.

As well as refinement to the existing changes we still have the following things to address:
  • Minion life and damage
  • Vaal pact and leech changes
  • Item mod rebalance
  • New top tier mods
  • Unique rebalance
  • XP gains, and the race to 100 rebalance
  • Map balance
  • Master progression changes

Summary

The beta has been extremely useful for us so far. The quantity and depth of feedback is staggering.

Due to the changes required so far, we are behind where we wanted to be so far in our schedule. We initially indicated the Beta could be six-eight weeks (though would be as long as needed to ensure quality). At this stage, it's looking like we need around two-three weeks longer than estimated. That's putting the likely release window in late June or early July. It could be earlier or later than that depending on how the beta goes!

Thank you for your feedback and participation in the beta. We greatly appreciate your patience with this process and are looking forward to releasing a high-quality, stable expansion with your help!

Tomorrow's news will be about the one month race with mods from past leagues. They will rotate in and out, culminating in all of them running on the league at once.

Last edited by Qarl on May 4, 2015, 12:36:06 AM
I don't know how I feel about new top tier mods.

By the way, are you guys going to fix the intelligence bonus from Perandus Signet ring when equipping unique flasks? Its been over a year.

http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/885514
Played this game since 2013, 0/159 atlas completion, no hideout and 0 leveled masters in scrubcore.

Hardcore only.
Last edited by Rafurion on May 4, 2015, 12:13:43 AM
nice
Stoutarm

Guildleader: JESUSWEPT (JESUS†)
awesome
You make my ochinchin go doki doki.

hype
How to make currency in Path of Exile, a comprehensive guide:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27Ig9_8XjC8
good work
New top tier mods? so mirrored items will be trash ??
Pls gimme a key already I bought closed beta access in 2012!

Spoiler
11211
What exactly do you mean new top teir mods? Other than that nice.
Last edited by Wingnutt85 on May 4, 2015, 5:41:00 AM
First page?

Aww..

I meant.. yay!
Last edited by yamaneko1920 on May 4, 2015, 12:20:34 AM

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