1.3.1c Patch and Answers to Developer Q&A

What was the initial motivation to create what we now know as Path of Exile? I assume you didn't just wake up one day and say "You know, I think I'll make a video game."

We kinda did. "It can't be that hard!"

Do you have any advice for aspiring game developers?

Create and maintain a portfolio of hobby projects. Almost every developer we've hired has such a portfolio. They really set you apart from other candidates.

What are your short term plans for expansion of GGG, in terms of employees or possibly new locations?

We've expanded up to 57 staff at our office and are hopefully moving to a larger office location in the next couple of months!

Chris, is there anything in the game that you feel doesn't work as intended/as expected? In a general sense do you feel like you could have done a bit better in a certain area and intend to work on it?

I don't like the lock-in that occurs when you want to to swap a rare item you're using for better one that has worse sockets (which require a heap of work to roll first). Over time we've been gradually making this easier, but it's still not there yet.

Which developer has the highest level character?

Mark Roberts. I suspect he doesn't sleep.

If you could change one thing about PoE instantly (and with no work!), what would it be and why?

There's a slew of netcode improvements that are taking a lot of work. Making them take no work would be a great fantasy.

Have you been happy with the quality of uniques released in the last 6 months?

We always seek to improve what we do, so we look at all our past work quite critically. We have recently put a lot of focus on our unique design - you'll see these new ones in the expansion. This doesn't mean we think the past ones are bad, but we want the entire roster of upcoming uniques to be excellent.

How large is your balance team, what are their main tasks and how is the company lead satisfied with their work?

The balance team is Carl, Rory, Mark, Nick, Nikolaj and Dan. Their responsibilities range from pure design to general content creation to pure numeric balance. I'm really happy with how they're going. I supervise their work but rarely have to suggest improvements. The balance team get a hard time from players (everyone believes they're an armchair game balance expert), but it's incredibly hard work with very high-stakes decisions.

Can you please edit the animated logo you use in trailers occasionally to work as a loading screen? The gears would try to turn and stutter, and once you approached fully loaded would grind faster and faster, eventually coming apart. It would really improve the wait.

That'd look cool, but we're careful not to make the loading time longer by adding pretty things to the loading screen :-)

Are there any plans to add cut-scenes to the game?

Not currently. They're expensive and we have other improvements/content to spend money on.

Are there any unknown recipes still?

There are definitely unknown things that the community haven't worked out yet.

Is it still GGG's policy to let the community discover unknown recipes and will you ever provide hints for things that go undiscovered after a certain length of time?

Yes, it is our policy for the community to discover recipes. We have hinted at some stuff in the past, but try to avoid doing so.

What's the ETA on the pole decoration for the hideouts and will it be available while the leagues are still running?

It's going to be ready quite soon. The art side may be ready this week and the code side is probably going to be complete the week after GDC. I'm sorry it has taken so long to get in!

Do you have any intention of revamping the forum in the near future?

I certainly feel the forum could be improved a lot. It's not scheduled for the very near future, but I'd love to see improvements.

What does "hearing a sound in the distance" do?

It does what it's intended to.

Do you have any plans to publicly address/discuss the growing cheating problem in various forms?(RMT, illegal macros, etc)

While we haven't been posting stats on the number of players banned, we have been taking a very aggressive stance towards banning players for running cheating software. It has made a big impact (not only by banning the cheaters but by discouraging other people from starting to cheat).

About a month ago, players who had cheating software on their computer were issued a "final warning." Have any bans been issued yet for players that continue to cheat?

Yes, many.

When will you provide another passive reset for players?

With the release of the next expansion.

Will the next full respec also give a free respec for bandit rewards?

Probably not. This may change though.

Why didn't you alter the 2D art for Agnerods slightly?

When they constructed Vinctar Square, the four rods were cast from the same mold.

Right now (and for a long time) the only way to efficiently farm sacrifice fragments is spamming instances. Is this intended? If not, do you plan on changing this?

It's not intended and will probably be changed at some stage.

Will there be a POE-o-pedia in game with definitions and knowledge?

Probably not in-game, but the PoE wiki is really well maintained and has a lot of information.

Do you think there is room for mercs/companions in PoE?

Yes, eventually.

Are you doing anything to address the public stigma of this being a "one-button game"?

The stigma is a marketing issue, but our stats show a really pleasing diversity of skills used. It's apparent when it takes me half an hour to work out how a Build of the Week character is even controlled :P

Any plans to increase drop rate of unique items in general?

As we add more, we've historically drifted the overall drop rate up. They're in a pretty good place at the moment.

Any plans on releasing new totem related uniques?

Not in the immediate short term, but its always something we seek to support.

Can you guys give us a picture of how the hirings are going?

We've filled our current offices, and are generally happy with the current team size. Once we have some more room we'll continue slowly expanding so that we can create upcoming content more quickly.

Are there any plans for Path of Exile 2? If so, is it already in progress?

We have no other games in progress at the moment. There are many years of Path of Exile expansions lined up. With the growing success of each one, there's no need to release any other games for quite some time.

Why is it so hard to craft a 6 link body gear in game?

It's an end-game goal. There has to be something hard to aim for! There are plenty of good builds that work with four or five-link items.

You guys at GGG have any plans of adding "hideout blueprints" as in some way for the players to save the hideout's layout? And have you ever thought about making them tradeable?

This is a cool idea that has been discussed a lot but it currently hasn't been implemented.

How do you feel about the current balance for the low-end currency recipes that require the player to collect large numbers of fragments (e.g. 10 magic items) or 40% total quality to create basic currency items?

They're being reviewed for the expansion, but we're generally happy with how they work currently.

Do you have any plans or ideas for revamping/fine-tuning the general mob AI?

Yes, it's undergoing constant iteration. The new expansion has lots of small tweaks so far.

Is there any leeway to allow for longer instance timers?

Over time, yes. We have tech coming in the future that may allow instances to stay dormant for a lot longer.

What's GGG's stance on updating the game's voice acting?

We update the voice acting as the text changes or as new text is needed. It's sometimes batched up until the next time we have the particular voice actor in the studio.

Will we ever see the high-res versions of the 2D unique item art in some sort of in-game gallery?

We generally don't have high-res versions of item artwork. It's really expensive to make stuff larger than it needs to be made.

Do you actually read all the questions that are asked on this thread?

Yeah, once again we underestimated the enthusiasm of our community ;)

You guys do very well with randomized levels which is great. Do you plan on working on more set-piece level design in which the levels / environments are dynamic in some significant way (as opposed to randomized static environments)?

Set-piece levels can be expensive to construct and aren't very re-usable. Having said that, there's definitely a place for them and you'll occasionally notice cool set-pieces in future content.

During the development of PoE, have you ever considered porting your game over to the consoles?

There are various challenges related to controls and user interface.

Without compromising my sources, I have heard rumours that daily fishing limits will be imposed because of the increased number of fishing spots. Can you confirm or deny this?

Your sources are already dead.

Will there be a up-to-date list of unique items so its easier (for noobs) to theorycraft new builds?

The wiki has a good list, but we're considering adding them to our site once discovered by the public.

Is there any chance we will see a linux client anytime soon?

Probably not in the near future, sorry.

Will you guys be adding any other new weapons/armor types in the near future?

We will be adding more weapon and armour types over time in various expansions.

Will we see new elements? For example, Earth or Holy.

I can't rule it out (crazy ideas are brainstormed when we're planning new expansions) but adding whole new elements is an awful lot of work and affects systems like resistances and existing skills.

What direction will you take with the game development after Act Four?

More expansions. I don't yet know what the release cadence will be (whether they're frequent small releases or less frequent larger ones), but we'll prioritise the most-needed features and content first.

Paid leagues - Is this still something you plan to do? Is it still a few years away?

We're still keen to do this. It's something to investigate once Act Four is out of the way.

We will have a new currency item?

Yeah, it's very likely new currency items will be introduced over time. There are some cool ideas that we haven't used yet.

Is it still going to be an act planned per year?

Full acts take a lot longer than a year to make even with our current large team size. I doubt you'll see one per year.

Will the game be opened up to modding? or to player creativity in any higher degree?

We're very happy with the player creativity encourages by systems such as Hideouts. It's likely that more player creativity would be in that direction rather than direct modding. Path of Exile is designed to be an online game rather than a modded single-player game.

Are you planning on introducing the missing male/female models for their respective classes any time?

It's incredibly expensive (so many animations required), so if we did this it'd have to be as a microtransaction. We don't believe there's enough interest in alternate-sex skins to justify that microtransaction yet.

Are there any plans for competitive gameplay outside of racing and PvP?

Yes, though those ideas are early enough that there's nothing to say about them yet. Some types of PvP that requires less up-front item investment would be popular.

Do you have any plans to change party mechanics? (loot allocation, monster difficulty, loot boost, etc)

Any decent rebalance also includes a careful reconsideration of all of those systems.

Are you thinking about rising the level cap?

Not currently.

Will you add more ways to get additional skill points or quests like bandits to gain a charge or another additional stat?

Sure. This is an easy answer because of Act Four.

Phase run. Is it coming back?

No comment ;)

Will we eventually see more mechanics that promote active skill rotation (cooldowns, charge usage, other resources, ally-based skill synergies, etc)?

We're always on the lookout for alternate interesting resources to consume when using skills.

Will there ever be gear sets in the game?

This type of "will there ever" question isn't really fair because while we're not planning to have any at the moment, we may change our mind in the future. Item sets have big problems that we haven't found solutions for. It's entirely possible there will be more uniques that are themed around each other and form kinda-sets in terms of synergy.

Are higher level armors going to be introduced into the game? If they are introduced into the game, does that render our current end-game 6-linked valuables less valuable?

If new high level items were introduced they could indeed render current end-game items less valuable (depending on their relative merits). This is something we're very careful about. If we do introduce such items it'll be after a lot of consideration. We'd be aiming for them to complement rather than replace existing choices.

Do you have any plans to make characters less generic / much more different to each other? For example, would you add class skills, make differences in life/mana/stats per level, change base attack speed for specific weapons, etc?

We constantly think of crazy ideas to achieve this kind of thing but so far none of them have made it into a version of the game that the public has seen. We'll see!

Are there any plans to create a "customize character" option? I know we have classes and armors, but are there any plans to create a more in-depth character creation process? Specifically, changes to hair, body type, skin color, default base model clothes, gender, and facial features?

It's expensive and may be hard to see at the default zoom level. The characters are generally covered in armour.

Will the categories of this site's Game section be expanded upon? (Database please)

Despite this not being underway currently, I'm going to go with "Yes" because that'd be awesome.

Will there be an incentive for players to do certain side areas such as Dread Thicket, and Catacombs?

Currently the Catacombs is a better-than-average place to get Maps.
In the future we will probably make these two areas have more incentive. Guaranteed Strongbox, maybe?

What countries will get own language version after Russia? How far is the german translation? Will you provide german only servers or just let us play on the internationals with a german client?

I can announce that we have German, French and Brazilian Portuguese translations underway as well as a few languages we can't announce yet. It's likely that German and French will be released alongside the Act Four expansion, and will function as alternate client languages on the existing international servers. We are not planning to re-dub the voice acting for those languages at this stage.

Are we going to see a Brazilian/South American gateway this year?

Once our server host opens a data centre in South America, we'll immediately create a gateway there. We should have our Brazilian Portuguese translation ready by that point also.

What's the vision GGG have for guilds in the game? What will be the focus of them?
What will you improve in regards to guild logs and leaders?


We really want to improve guild functionality and are planning a bunch of improvements to it in the future. I don't have any other news to report on it currently.

Will there be any guild events/challenges in the near future?

Possibly not in the near future, but it's something we'd really like to introduce.

Are there any plans to also implement stash tab highlighting for the Guild Stash?

Hmm. Good point.

Will there be an 8th forsaken master focusing solely on unlocking more potential to skill and support gems like offering quality or extra levels for the cost of GCP?

Aren't there already nine masters?

Can you add a Leo's craftbench? Something like a dummy for fighting against that displays the amount of damage taken?
Would you be able to create a target dummy for hideouts to practice on?


This is frequently requested as is on our list of nice things to have for hideouts. It's not currently started though.

Will there be any more masters added?

The new expansion doesn't contain any. I'm going to go with a "probably yes" though regarding the future.

What do you think about a master dedicated to trading?

We almost had a master trading system but we eventually decided it'd be bad for the game in the form we were planning.

What guides the skill creation process?

Rory has been writing up an excellent series of articles about this in the news recently. They were published over the last couple of weeks - I'd recommend checking them out)! Here are links to posts one and two.

Will Blink Arrow and Mirror Arrow be changed so that they function with wands? (Blink Shot and Mirror Shot as the rename)

No. These skills were designed around the goal of being transportation tools for bow characters.

In the future, will we be able to see 2-3 basic "skill" gems(not support gems) fusing into one augmented and completely different skill not normally found on drops or quest rewards?

Maybe. It's an interesting design idea which has been discussed internally.

How happy are you guys with the state of alternative defensive skills, such as Frost Wall, rejuvination totem, etc? Will they be buffed if/when the standard defensive CwDT setup (EC, IC, inc. duration) is nerfed?
Do you plan to end the IC + EC + CWDT setup with the new warcries coming out? Will any of the new warcries potentially replace this as an answer to large spike damage?
As someone that plays Incinerate a lot moving away from having an option to cast something like Enduring Cry without interrupting the channel through CwDT is impacting channeling builds, and especially Incinerate and Flame Blast with it's ramp up time, more negatively than others. Is this something you considered? If so do you think it's something that is acceptable or do you have any ideas on how to give an alternative solution to the problem?


We are looking at all the defensive options in our current rebalance. Trigger gem changes aren't something we feel needs to be fully accounted for with some equal and opposite buff. We are happy with any reduction in the utility of trigger gems related to Enduring Cry. As it happens, Enduring Cry is being buffed and improved, but not as a specific compensation. (Carl answered this question assuming it is directly referring to the Warcry/trigger stuff)

Will mines ever get some love?

Yes. Not a full rework in the expansion, but there is a Unique item and some other changes for mines coming.

Can we please get some new cold skills? The last one we got was Glacial Cascade, and it's 33% not a cold skill. A cold skill with a DoT/duration element would be fantastic.

Yes, there will be new cold skills. The expansion has some impressive cold skills and in general we are looking at adding cold skills in the future.

What are your thoughts on making more skills available at much lower levels?
Are there any plans to have a comprehensive look at the spread of power of active skills?


We are both increasing the number of skills and changing the levels of some skills. We are happy to say that there will be better coverage of low level skills. We are specifically looking at some low-level gaps for some classes and builds.

Have you considered to have Enduring Cry give one charge as a base in order to allow us to preemptively prepare ourselves even when no monsters are around?

We are happy with Enduring Cry requiring monsters to be present.

Are Herald of Stone and Herald of Anarchy still planned? If so, for when?

This is something that may be explored in the future, but don't expect anything soon.

Are you planning to make more non-damage skills?

Yes.

Will we see some kind of revamp/update of old mechanics like vaal skills and nemesis mods?

Aside from general rebalance, not in the short term. They were popular features, so they may well be revisited in the future.

Do you have any plans for adding shape-shifting skills?

This is requested so frequently! The biggest impediment is that we'd need to animate all of the game's skills for the shapeshifted form as well.

Are there plans for new keystones or will most new mechanics be on unique items?

We don't currently have any new Keystones in the expansion, but there are certainly some new progression features. Unique Items get to do some very special things, and we are working hard on some very interesting uniques that are in the pipeline.

Could you talk about the process behind deciding what gets made a keystone and what gets puts on a unique?

Keystones need to be a lot broader to be added to the game.

Are you planning to make Grace/Determination to have 40% mana reservation like vitality?

No.

Can we ever expect to see vaal skills revamped and make less cumbersome and mostly ignored?

Yes.

Are there any new and interesting Vaal skills in the works?

The next expansion introduces a decent pile of new skills, including at least one new Vaal skill. The new one I'm thinking of has an interesting twist to it.

Any chance to see some love for people who mainly play summoner?

Yes.

Are you happy with the current state of elemental damage and resistance? Right now, resistance feel like an unnecessary gear check. Without 75% resistance you are very likely to get oneshotted. This becomes worse when you face unevadeable attacks like Arc. I for one feel like it is just annoying to find equipment, just to see no resistance on it, and basically trash it.

This is an intentional design choice. Setting up the right resistances is an important part of gearing up for higher difficulties.

Will you take a balancing look at Devourers with such a change? (Suggestion would be to change how they spawn in addition to slightly reduce their physical damage. Basically force them to spawn around you at range when they emerge allowing the player to choose engagement style.)

We are looking at the pack sizes of Devourers, and various other balance related to them. We do still want Devourers to be a very scary encounter.

Various skill-specific balance questions (for example: Will Elemental Hit be buffed? Will Frenzy be buffed? Will there be major rebalancing of old items? Any plans to change the way animate guardian works? Are there any more nerfs coming to crit? Are you planning to balance the damage of the shield chargers , rhoas and remove the one shot mechanics (by reducing the damage) such the touch of god and vaal smash from the game. Any changes for making Armor-based chars more useful or in line with evasion/dodge/acro chars? Will increased spell/attack damage ever be a viable option for +crit? Can you buff solo XP gain? 6-man public Ledge/Fellshrine/Docks runs are so much more effective now. How do you guys feel about the interaction between frost wall and kinetic blast?

As part of the preparation for the next expansion we are looking at all the existing game elements and their balance. This is a long process, and needs to take into account all the new game elements being added also. These skills, items and systems will be examined as part of this process.

It takes the most dedicated players about 2 months to reach 100, are you happy with this balance?

With two months, yes, but our players are starting to get a lot faster than that. During the introduction of the next large block of content (and appropriate relevelling), we are looking at the progression and experience on the path to 100 and working out where it should sit for the next challenge leagues.

Do you have any thoughts about having specific areas that have an increased chance of finding specific things?

We have experimented a little with specific drops, such as with Atziri and some chests. While this does have a place in the game, the more universal anything-can-drop system does suit Path of Exile. While we may use specific drop tables for rare situations, it won't be common.

Do you have any ideas for gem sinks? I'd like a recipe that adds quality (like any leveled gem + 20 lvl 1's = +1Q on lvld gem).

We like gems to be easily available. We wouldn't want to add a recipe that might make us regret how easy it is to get gems.

Will we be seeing a nerf for any bow skills before 1.4 launches?

We are not planning on deploying major balance changes prior to the next expansion.

Do you have plans on adding/improving ways to progress your character over a longer period of time?

Always! We are very pleased with how thoroughly our players have explored and taken to Path of Exile. We are very gratified by the amount of time players choose to spend on the game, and want to reward our most enthusiastic players with as many interesting things to do and find for a long time to come.

What are your thoughts on the current state of the death penalty?

We are happy with the death penalty in its current form.

Could we get a STR/DEX variant on Staves?

A lot of the game design is focussed on the rule of three, and using the three attributes as the basis of core game elements. The weapons are associated with specific attributes, and it is a core game system that isn't changed lightly. While staff fighting in real life involves real strength and dexterity, there is a strong association in fantasy with staffs and magic.

Are you planning to make balance changes to crit?

It is highly likely! Critical strikes are a big part of the game, and are usually looked at keenly as part of the game balance.

For the sake of reducing the necessity of BIS uniques, can we finally make equivalent nodes of every unique on the tree?

Not all unique features are appropriate in the tree. In fact, uniques are a great place to put specialised game elements we would never put in the tree. If a unique becomes best in its slot, then that is a balance issue. We do have detailed statistics on unique item usage. While some are more prevalent than might be ideal, none of them are currently dominantly used.

What's the state of trading improvements? Are they gonna be ready for expansion release?

I don't have anything to announce about trading improvements at this stage.

Do you have any plans in the works to deal with malicious traders, who do things like price fix or scam?

Players are allowed to set their own trade prices. If players use the trade screen and check trades carefully before accepting them, then they shouldn't be scammed.
I understand that there's a bit of an anti-scammer movement and that our policies of preventing witch-hunts are criticised. The issue is that the fine line between ruthless traders and scammers is often blurred by people who feel bad about a trade they just willingly performed. Labelling the other person as a scammer and ruining their reputation isn't a great solution.
We really want to encourage people to trade carefully and to take responsibility for their own trades. Having said that, we've banned (and will continue to ban) many people for impersonation and other malicious trading habits.

Are you making a new game engine, or are you reworking the existing one?

We're making extensive improvements to the current engine. You'll see some of these in the expansion.

Are there gonna be any synchronization improvements in the/prior to act 4 expansion?
Will the desync issue ever be dealt with or improved?


Yes.

Will anything be done about the very frequent raining map crashes for players on laptops?

Crashes are reported to us and we fix them as aggressively as we can.

Will we see improvements or support for the client based Twitch features?

Yes, there are numerous changes we want to make over time there. They're not currently high priority improvements though.

Can we expect "%username join a channel" spam fixed for ingame Twitch chat?

Yeah, I believe that one is a high priority one.

Will you make the UI more customizable? For example, being able to move where debuffs are shown on the screen.

It's not really designed for that. Traditionally MMORPGs allow user interface customisation and Action RPGs don't.

Currently, the game limits to 32 sounds. When can I expect an improvement for the amount of sounds that the game outputs simultaneously? Do you have enough resources to switch to another audio engine?

It is discussed internally but we don't have a solution yet. This is honestly not the highest priority QOL issue for us.

Could we also pls get some kind of visual indication for Corrupted Blood rares (like ele/phys reflect have)?

This is a good suggestion - I'll make sure the rest of the team sees it.

Can we have an option to pan the camera or have a "smart" camera?

The game is designed around the camera working how it currently does.

Have you considered adding an option to see our own health/es as bars hovering over our character?

I personally managed to miss this as being a QOL request from players. I'll talk to the team. Can someone please PM me to explain the reasoning behind it. Thanks.

Will we ever be able to see players names on map?

I'd like to see this also.

Will there finally be an option for remove-only tabs to delete all items in them?

This sounds good at first glance but is a very dangerous feature. We don't support any form of restoring from player mistakes, so if a player misclicks and destroys all their items, our customer support department wouldn't be able to help them out.

Are there any plans for updating the friends list? For example, having a last log in date?

I'd certainly like to have a last login date for friends and guild members. It's not done yet though.

Have you guys been able to make any improvements regarding the "EOUTOFMEMORY or Unable to Map File or Unable to MapViewOfFile" errors in the Common Technical Problems thread?

Almost all the time, this is due to using 32-bit windows and can be solved by upgrading to 64-bit. I understand that's not an ideal solution. There are improvements coming (and I honestly can't yet predict whether they'll be in the next expansion or not) that will help reduce the frequency of this problem.

Do you have any plans to change loot clutter?

Yes.

Is it possible to get an advanced option to turn off the automated movement when targeting monsters? Basically as if you were holding down shift permanently in regards to monsters but everything else function as if you didn't.

I'll discuss this with the UI guys.

Could you make doors the dominant entity so that it's easier to click doors when there's monsters behind them?

Our UI programmer says that he's trying to include this in the next expansion.

Is there any information that you can give about future QoL improvements that are in the works?

This is a tricky one to answer. We have a slew of changes that are being made, but they fall into several categories:
  • Changes that can be patched in immediately, like the stash tab highlighting improvements, text rendering performance improvements, and the item hover speed rendering improvements that are in today's patch.
  • Changes that we're experimenting with. We can't commit to them publicly yet because there's a chance the experiment will fail and the next solution will not be ready until a bit after the current expansion. There's super exciting stuff here that we can't wait to announce as soon as it's definitely going in.
  • Changes that we plan to make in this expansion but haven't started yet. Committing to these publicly at this stage is similarly problematic.
  • Problems that we don't have a solution for yet. These are still being researched and there's nothing to say. I think we could be more transparent here, so I'll try to get a list of those together for feedback.

The short answer is that the new expansion has a bunch of improvements, both in areas that you were hoping for and in areas that you don't expect us to improve. There will continue to be improvements after the expansion too, of course.

Right now, half of our programming manpower is allocated to QOL/performance/sync improvements.

Will there ever be a ping metre on the normal HUD(outside of the F1 graph) If no, can you elaborate on why?

If we can fit it in (in a subtle way) in the next HUD overhaul then that'd be cool. Those graphs certainly need improving.

When are we getting extra zoom levels?

The art and engine aren't designed for zoom levels other than our current ones.

Will there be an option to reclaim all microtransaction effects?

This is surprisingly difficult to implement :(

How will the XP curve change with incoming act four? Will the expansion finally have non map areas till lvl 80?

Despite the expansion introducing a lot of new content, we're only creeping the level of the highest content up by a little bit.

The maximum level of non-map and map content will change. We have revamped our existing acts and made changes to their layout and levels where it makes sense. This makes room for Act 4, while not increased the content level by too much.

If marketing for Act 4 won't start until approximately April, is there any possibility or information you can give us about another league or race to fill the large gap in content?

There will be two things to fill in the gap. Can't announce them today though.

Me and my friends always skip Solaris by getting the waypoint from someone else. With Act Four do you plan to make this rather annoying and non-rewarding area smaller?

Yes.

Will Act 4 be Patch 1.4?

It is in our next expansion but that expansion isn't currently called 1.4.0.

Do you have any plans for new endgame content besides maps and Atziri? If so, what?

Yes, many of the upcoming expansions include a bunch of stuff to do in the end-game.

Will you be doing anything to introduce some of the later-game build options/synergies earlier on (maybe untradable early game uniques/gems such as the ones in descent champions)?

They're staggered for a reason - we've found that introducing too many game mechanics too quickly can be confusing to new players. Having said that, this is being reviewed at the moment for the next expansion.

When will you release the list of the first 50 (legit) people who completed all challenges in Bloodlines/Torment?

Currently we're culling people from the list if they're found to be cheating, so we'd rather leave it a little longer before posting the list. I understand people are waiting for confirmation of who the first 50 are, so I'll try to hurry that up.

Are mods from drop items changed between temporary leagues and permanent ones?

Not currently, but they can be. We would mention that in the patch notes if it were the case.

Is it intentional that leagues start out harder and become easier? We have seen nerfs to Invasion, Beyond, Bloodlines . . .

If a challenge league is actually too hard and we make it easier, then players are generally okay with it.
Whenever we make changes that make content harder, there is a small-scale riot. We've learnt to structure these difficulty changes in other ways (for example between challenge leagues).
Because of this, it's often better to release very slightly on the hard side and tone it down, rather than slightly too easy and upset more people by making it harder.

Is there no concern that having Exiles, Nemesis mods, Strongboxes, Vaal areas, Masters, Tormented souls, Bloodline packs, AND whatever mods the next leagues will have, can get very confusing to new players, especially the ones that don't explain what they do in advance?

Part of the current content revamp includes examining when and how often these features are introduced. We find that players do quickly understand them, but I agree with the concern that we need to introduce them carefully.

It's really important that there's lots of stuff to encounter in PoE as you're playing. All of these systems help populate the areas with stuff to do other than killing regular monster packs.

Any chance for a longer super hard mode league? Something like LAMT for example (BLAMT without the "B"), but for a few months?

I'd personally love this, but data suggests it'd have a low population. Few of the players are thaaat hardcore.

Thoughts on having the HC version go to Void league for the duration to prevent buying of items/currency with the intent to transfer it to Standard?

We're okay with the economic impact of items going to Standard as characters die or leagues end. Voiding the hardcore leagues would heavily discourage people from playing them.

Thoughts about having some kind of reward for reaching/being top in the top of the temp leagues?

They're mostly about their challenges, but we're looking to make the challenges more complex in the future (so there are multiple degrees to which you can achieve them). This could mean that players who complete a levelling challenge first are rewarded.

Any plan on making HC leagues really attractive ?

This is a relatively dangerous thing to do. Currently players play them because they're so much fun. We've found that if we incentivise them too much, then players who wouldn't normally choose to play in hardcore will play and have a bad experience when they lose their character. We're very happy with the number of players who choose hardcore leagues currently.

Now that we've had a few different temporary leagues do you guys like the current 3 month temp leagues or do you think that is to short or too long?

It really depends what else is going on with the game at the time. After big expansions like the next one, there's so much new stuff that the challenge leagues can afford to be slightly longer. I should note that the current leagues (Torment and Bloodlines) are of unannounced duration. Some people assume they're three months, but they will last longer than that. We'll give a few weeks of notice before they end.

Do you have a timeframe for when Cutthroat leagues will start being a thing?

I don't have a timeframe but I'm keen for it to be a thing.

What are your thoughts on a 1 or 2 week "all previous leagues" race before 1.4 release?

We have plans prior to the expansion. They may not be this though.

Now that PvP have gotten a big update to make it more accessible and fun, can we expect something similar for racing?

Racing has had more total development time and is in a much better place than PvP. We plan to improve racing over time, but it probably won't be in a racing expansion.

Will you change the way points are awarded, mainly letting players keep some points if they die in a vanilla race?

This is being discussed internally for future seasons but no decision has been made yet.

Why don't we see more ridiculous races like BLAMT? Does the team feel like they're not as demanded as much as the standard races, is the team trying to focus on making racing a more serious competition, or something else?

While players do love the very hard races, we have noticed there can be too much of a good thing. If we run too many, the attendance of these races drops a lot and we start to get complaints about them.

Have you considered any kind of end-game races?

There are some cool options that we could do here - we'll likely be exploring them in future expansions (not the upcoming one though).

Will you balance the early game for each of the 7 classes so they can all have an equal chance at finishing first in a race?

We are looking at how much balance we perform regarding races. We used to focus heavily on balance for races, as a way to lead general game balance. We shifted away from that model, but we have discussed increasing the amount we balance around races again. One difficulty is the differing race lengths, and how much better players are at racing now. Previously we focused on three-hour races, and the levels players reached was much lower than they reach in the same time now!

Any concerns about the accessibility of low-level dueling, considering how hugely impactful perfect gear is?

"Constructed" PvP (where you have to provide your own character) is always going to have accessibility issues. It's meant to be equally about your build/gear and your playskill. There are various other PvP possibilities in the future that don't require providing a character that uses items you've found in game. These possibilities would probably help accessibility a lot.

A lot of players believe that melee is still not in a particularly good place. What are your thoughts/plans on this?

This has dominated our thoughts for a while now and it's taken care of in the expansion.

Have you ever considered removing the "must be of the same type" policy regarding skin transfers?

There are animation considerations to this, so it's unfortunately not that easy.

Can we see pilgrim hat again in shop ?

When we re-sold an effect that wasn't exclusive (Valentine's Heart), players were angry. The Pilgrim Hats were exclusive time-limited microtransactions and we indicated we wouldn't be selling them again. If you see an exclusive microtransaction that you like the look of, you should grab it while it's available!

When will the new supporter packs come out?

A few weeks before the Act Four expansion.

Is there any momentum towards getting permanent skin unlocks, over the temporary skin transfer consumables? The current system of skin consumables doesn't seem to mesh with the ephemeral nature of randomized gear, hardcode characters, and league game cycles.

This is an idea that I like in principle, but it'd be a lot of work to change the system over. We'll probably do some small experiments prior to committing to anything.

What will we see in terms of microtransactions prior to the 1.4 release?

There are a few slated for release over the next few weeks. You'll see them soon!

Is there any plans for more avian/bird pet microtransactions?

Yes.

Why don't you make more alternative skin effects, especially for launching new skills with more than one MTX available, as well as FOTM skills. Wouldn't that boost their sales?

I'd love to sell more skill effects, but most of our effects artists are working on future content currently.

There seem to be a huge backlog of supporter uniques. When you first introduced this option, did you anticipate having to devote so many resources to this aspect of the game?

When we launched the feature, we certainly didn't anticipate that it would be as popular as it has been! The backlog is getting cleared at a decent pace. It has certainly required a shift of resources over time, and we have learnt so much about how to handle this in a good way. The community have some great ideas for Unique items, so we're very pleased with the items that have resulted from the process.

The option for players to create a unique at a cost of $1000 became disabled awhile ago. How soon will that option become available again?

Once we've cleared out the backlog. They'll probably cost more than $1000 next time.

What are some ideas/hopes you have for future supporter packs?

I can't discuss that, sorry. The next ones are awesome though.

Are their any regrets with PoEs current pricing model or are you generally happy with the results?

Free-to-play is awesome. No regrets there.

We're pretty happy with the prices of microtransactions themselves, but as we learn from various experiments we adjust the prices of new microtransactions going forward.

If PoE was a project today would it be funded by Kickstarter or do you believe you'd go it alone like it had to be back then?

Kickstarter was an option when we did our crowdfunding, but we chose to use our own supporter pack platform instead.

Does GGG plan to monetize beyond microtransactions?

The Beyond demons would be an interesting thing to theme microtransactions around. There is, however, a risk that Abaxoth might be summoned.

Will you be making any microtranactions for staves?

It's very likely.

Will the Koala pet ever come back, at least temporarily?

The Koala pet was designed and funded by one of our supporters (Charan). He generously suggested we run a fundraising promotion involving the pet on Australia Day. It'd only come back with his approval.

Who do I have to bribe (and how much) in order to get those mini-rock golems available as pets?

This will be a thing.
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Last edited by Chris on Feb 24, 2015, 11:26:26 PM
That is a lot of questions answered. O_O
Sometimes you can take the game out of the garage but you can't take the garage out of the game.
- raics, 06.08.2016

Thanks.
Very nice :D
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Kappa
My brain.
"Danger is like jello, there's always room for more."
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that wall of text :O

thx! :)
But when are you going to do a Q&A?
IGN: Emfx
Wow. That was nice read! Thanks a lot!
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Nice!
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