The first topic I'd like to address is that of server stability. For many players, particularly European ones, this is a very hot topic. For the last few days, our servers have not been able to handle the busiest hours of the day. We're very sorry about this and are working as hard as we can to resolve the issue. It has been narrowed down to a specific problem with the connection between the European and American servers. Everything is fine until a critical mass of traffic between Europe and America occurs, at which point we encounter periodic full realm crashes. We've put many fixes in place that have reduced the frequency of the problem, and we're expecting to have this issue be a thing of the past in the near future. Until then, please be aware that if you're playing the beta at peak times, there may be occasional disconnections. Thanks very much for your patience with this issue - it's a very short term one.
The rest of the news is extremely positive and we're very proud of that! Path of Exile completely exceeded our expectations in terms of popularity and community reception. Even despite the peak-time server stability issues we're seeing amazing player concurrency, retention and engagement. We've have a daily active player count of around 287k players and a concurrent user record of 70k players online. The website currently receives about 650k views per day. Various metrics like Xfire list the game as one of the most popular online PC games being played at the moment. I just can't express with words how proud these results make us feel. Thank you so much.
We've deployed four client patches in the last week (and a lot of server hotfixes to deal with the growing popularity), with the most recent being the 0.10.0e patch yesterday. There are more patches being prepared in the 0.10.0 series that will help address important bugs and feature requests. There are dozens of usability improvements coming that we're probably going to patch with further 0.10.0 patches.
The next major patch is 0.10.1, which may include big changes such as the following ones we're testing internally:
- Different icons for each gem so that they can be distinguished easily.
- Many new end-game Map areas so that the ones that currently share layouts become distinct and interesting.
- An overhaul of a lot of the sound in game to support pitch/volume variation (which makes it sound a lot better).
This patch is probably around a week or two away, depending on how its quality assurance goes. There are many other interesting improvements that will be ready by then and I'll talk about them in future news updates once they're more concrete.
We have been internally discussing community feedback on topics such as looting options and damage displays.
Our plan for 2013 includes many big updates such as large PvP improvements, additional Act 3 areas and content you saw in the Open Beta Trailer but haven't yet encountered in the game. This year we have a schedule to develop and deploy dozens more skills, hundreds of new Unique items and many new league modes.
Speaking of leagues, race events will start soon!
Players who helped us test the Closed Beta will remember how much fun daily race events were. We're working on a busy schedule of events with new prize structures and hopefully some meta-prizes for players who do well in many different events over a season. The details of this are still being decided but we expect to unveil some early races in a variety of league formats within the next few days.
We have opened up submissions again for the Build of the Week video series. Please submit your favourite character builds! If you'd like to see some of these videos from the Closed Beta, please check out this playlist.
There are many more cosmetic effects coming to the microtransaction store in the near future. While we're prioritising development of core game features and content, a small group of developers are working on a constant stream of new microtransactions so that we can keep funding the game well into the future. Your continued support is awesome and greatly appreciated!