Last week we asked the community for questions for our developers to answer. We received dozens of pages of questions and have already answered some from the first eight pages. Today we're posting the answers to ones from the next eleven pages.

Any chance Siosa can be moved out of the library after completing the quest?

Our intention was to make the gem vendor someone other than Siosa, but that 3.0.0 NPC hadn't been added to the game yet. I'd personally prefer to remove the gems from Siosa and move them to the other NPC once 3.0.0 is released, because Siosa is an NPC who can't access your stash (for security reasons, when out of town). The team are still discussing which way to go with this.

Can you please relay any information regarding Summon Spectres, and other summoner quality of life mechanics?

There are many changes we want to make to both Spectres and summoners. I spoke to the team to see what they wanted to reveal here, and an example they're comfortable will make it into 3.0.0 is that the movement speed cap on Spectres is being increased so that they can get the same movement speed increases as other minions. I'm hoping we can go into more detail about other changes before release, but the team are being careful to not overcommit to changes that may not make it into the initial version.

We plan to post a minion life/damage/armour spreadsheet and small manifesto about 3.0.0 minion balance improvements next week.

Any chance we can get the move command to be not a spell? I like to map move to space bar but to do that I have to use up a spell slot on my hotbar to do it.

This is a frequently requested feature that the team are very aware of. It's currently in the "would be really great as a QoL update" list, but isn't done yet. Core 3.0.0 work has to come first.

Do you really expect to be able to release 6 acts at once without months of gamebreaking bugs? How do you plan to smooth out the 3.0 release, what do you have in place to keep the gamebreakers down to a dull roar? Have things improved much behind the scenes since, say, Perandus launch?

The number of acts doesn't necessarily increase the number of bugs, because bugs generally come with new features rather than new content. Having said that, there's a lot changing in 3.0.0 so there's a lot of scope for problems to creep in unless we find them. To deal with this, we've expanded our QA team over the years and it's currently the largest it has ever been. In addition, we're running a Beta for 3.0.0 specifically to find problems before they affect the live realm.

Have you given serious thought to providing people who don't like Labyrinth-style content options to play the rest of the game without going through the content they do not enjoy? Is there some reason it's not being done? Is there any chance it might happen in the future?

This is discussed occasionally but there are no plans to change it in 3.0.0. We're worried about the slippery slope of players wanting the rewards from a system without engaging in that system (although we do understand that Ascendancy classes have been so successful that they are no longer considered rewards but instead intrinsic parts of your character). I am sure we will continue to discuss this and related topics.

Is anything planned between when the Legacy league ends, and when 3.0 is released?

We don't yet know the release date for 3.0.0 accurately, but as we get closer to the Beta, we'll have a better understanding. If we need to fill time between the end of Legacy and the release of 3.0.0, then there are a variety of interesting events that could be run.

Would you consider allowing ignore lists to be longer?

Absolutely. It's entirely a technical issue on our side where we need to make sure the realm infrastructure is happy with us sending the longer lists around. It's probably fine, but good to test extensively before doing so. There are other improvements we need to make to ignore lists as well, like allowing you to view/edit them.

With SSF support officially in the game, are there any plans to further extend or expand upon the concept? I'd love to see an "Ironman Party" style using fixed parties that can trade between each other, with the restriction that the party has to be formed before any member ever enters The Coast, can never break party, and does not have access to a stash of any kind.

This sounds like more of a "custom league" thing, if you want to play with a small group of your friends under specific rules. That's certainly something that we'd like to support.

With all the talk of trade improvements over the years but very little concrete to show for it, it's clear that GGG wants to take steps, but is being held up by various concerns. What actual goals and restrictions are you guys working with in your efforts toward improving trade? Are there concerns that these goals are even attainable?

Being able to trade items is critical to the success of an Action RPG. This is why Path of Exile has no item binding and why SSF items can become regular items with the click of a button.

Given that we want trade, the next question is how easy the trade should be. It seems obvious to jump to the answer of "as easy as possible, of course!" but more care needs to be taken. The easier that trade is, the more trades that traders can perform, increasing the utility that items provide to them. This has a few consequences:
  • The gap between traders and non-traders widens. This gap is apparent when you see feedback that the game is too hard for some people and too easy for others. Most of the time, that is proportionate to how much they have traded.
  • Item pricing becomes more skewed towards only very-cheap and very-expensive. Items either become trivially cheap or unaffordable. If you have ever felt that it's going to take too many 1-alch sales to finally save up for that 80 exalt item you want, then this is the reason.
  • Progression is trivialised. While trading for an item to get a leg up on difficult content is of course fine, being able to trivially and cheaply quadruple your clear speed on a whim isn't something that should be expected on your first character in a league. In addition, the fewer item upgrades you make on a character before capping out your items, the lower chance you have of sticking around for a decent portion of the league. Upgrading items more times (in smaller steps) is more fun than jumping right to the perfect gear.

The existing community tools (combined with our public stash tab API) already put us pretty far down this spectrum, compared to the old days of trade chat. We already view this as a crisis. That is why we are hesitant to add more convenience features.

I know this explanation doesn't mention any solutions, but the things we're experimenting with aren't ready yet. Thanks for your patience.

Will Act 9 and 10 be released right at the start of beta or just in a later phase?

Acts 9 and 10 will probably not be featured in the Beta.

As an avid and religious coffee drinker, I must know: instant or brewed? What brand(s)? @heads of GGG

Jonathan and I do not drink coffee. Erik says "I'm not exactly a connoisseur but rather a quantity over quality guy in this case so any excessive source of caffeine including energy drinks does it for me."

Aside from the founders, there are some serious coffee drinkers in the office. Their dedication scares me.

When will we be able to organize the MTX tab?

This is all fixed in 3.0.0 by removing the tab.

Will you return the credits sequence to the game with 3.0? Perhaps after Act 10?

It's still in the game, on the main menu. We removed it from playing automatically when you finish the storyline because it was causing people to stop playing (perhaps thinking they had finished the game).

Have you ever considered color-coding map mods? For example: Green for things added to the area (strange barrels, twinned boss, etc.), Blue for general area changes (increased item quantity, monsters have onslaught, etc.), Red for character specific mods (curses, less block chance, etc.).

No, and the reason we don't want to do this is because coloured mods are a limited communication space that we need to use in the future to support game mechanics that haven't been added yet.

Do you regret making all skills available to all classes? As an SSF player (this league anyway) I don't think the Siosa gem thing was a good idea (probably a very unpopular opinion though). I feel it made gem drops in the wild completely irrelevant and made it too easy to get anything, you don't have to get work to set up your build as much. Just farm or craft gear (also made easier with divination cards (which I'm fine with due to their rarity) and essences (also pretty fine with this due to RNG nature of essence rolls of other mods)) and buy your skill setup.

We don't regret it - it was already trivialised by trade, which was something that wasn't available for SSF characters. There's too much class lock-in if you have to find entirely wild gems for off-class skills (it would drive people to level another character just to claim a quest reward, which isn't a fun emergent behaviour).

What kind of office antics do you guys do? Things like messing with each other or little pranks?

Generally very few. It's honestly pretty civilised here.

Do you have plans on releasing more acts after the expansion or do you guys wanna focus on something else for the future?

There are a lot more expansions coming, and they'll likely cover many types of content. Only one of our five expansions released so far includes a new act for example! We'll likely continue to make more new acts in the future.

As far as the Xbox launch goes... Will we retain our MTX and support pack purchases, or will it be completely separate from PC?

They are completely separate.

How do you plan to handle the zone-specific divination-card drops in patch 3.0 when there is only one play through? An example can be "The incantation" that only drops in cruel/merc western forest. But there are many others.

Many cards need to be re-homed to new thematically-appropriate areas. Like all the Prophecies, we're going through them with a fine-toothed comb to make sure it's all set up correctly.

Are Kitava and the Beast the same entity? The Karui appear to be pretty sure that they're the same, but some things, like the Pantheon image, seem to imply otherwise.

They are not the same entity.

Would it be possible to make yellow top 50 death messages from HC Challenge League and SSF HC Challenge League appear in both? I'm interested in seeing who is dying in both and it's confusing when someone types "reeeep" and you don't know the context because you didn't get the death notice from the other league.

This is a very good point and I hadn't considered it. I can't promise that we can make them cross-league but it certainly does highlight a problem with the shared chats there.

When the team was designing Path of Exile's currency system, was there discussion around whether the currency would be exclusively used by players to craft or was the expectation always that currency would be balanced to act as a sort of replacement for gold in other games (e.g. chaos & exalted orbs more often used for trading than for crafting)?

I don't think there was any expectation that it was going to be exclusive for crafting - the intention was that people would use it to trade but that it would have a useful underlying use. It is called the Currency system, after all!

Why can't we control+click to guild stash? Why can't we move guild stash tabs around, like we do with personal stash? (at least for guild leaders)

Simply because these haven't been implemented yet. They're things we'd like to get in but rely on senior people finishing with other urgent tasks. It is surprisingly difficult to implement due to the security model of the stashes.

I've graduated as a game dev a few years ago and ended up in the fin tech sphere. While I enjoy programming I don't see an equitable process for living in the gaming sphere in the Syd environment. I am aware that the NZ gov has been pushing hard for studios to receive funding (resulting in a nearly 3 times boom in the local industry). As such the only real way it appears to me in Syd is to either treat it as a full time job and take out a business loan or slowly build it as a hobby. Seeing as you guys started from scratch I thought I might ask here; what processes or methods did you undertake to try and move from the "garage gaming" unit to a full blown studio, and more importantly, to keep developer retention that you would be willing to share? Thanks.

I'd only recommend starting a studio if you already have some money (either from your savings or from friends/family). Starting by borrowing money makes it very difficult. It's both hard to get loans at good rates before you have anything to show (they want to see validation that your business will be able to pay them back) and the need to earn money so urgently can encourage releasing too early or with too aggressive monetisation. Treating it as a hobby is probably a sensible way to start. Or working for someone else who can pay you to make games!

We didn't receive government funding but did burn through our entire life savings, got into debt and also raised money from friends. I wouldn't really recommend that plan to anyone else. We don't really have any tips for developer retention other than providing an interesting project to work on, free drinks and smart people to work with!

When you started working in the passive tree, how did come to your minds passives like Avatar of Fire, Blood Magic, Eldritch Battery or Chaos Inoculation? What's the process behind thinking how these kind of passives will/would work in the game? I mean, e.g it is not like I'd say "hey, let's add something that makes ES protect Mana just because" There must be something that made you believe that it is important that this passive should be in the tree, so why and how do you know what is needed or not. They are mechanically different to any other and they are really cool to play with. I believe that there are also other 'complicated' passives like these that didn't make it to the final tree, can you please let us know about them and also if it possible that you might add new nodes in the future? Thanks in advance.

Initially, we didn't have any keystone or notable passives at all. We never predicted that we'd add something like keystone passives to the tree, but once it was suggested, it was clearly an awesome route to take. The idea was to add things that have a positive impact but also a large drawback (for example, turning something off, like your shield slot or life pool). The set we came up with is mostly still intact, with a few extra ones added over time. We don't have firm plans to add more currently but would like to in the future if we think of any that fit well.

What are some ARPG mechanics from other games that you don't think you'd ever like to see in Path of Exile? e.g., things like D2 mercenaries that so far are not part of PoE.

Gold, set items, stacking potions (like Titan Quest), inventory-occupying charms, stat jewels that socket into items (we put them in the passive tree instead). Some things like mercenaries and durability might make a showing if we can work out a good way in the future.

How many of the employees are native New Zealanders?

Most of our team are New Zealand citizens, but we have recruited an increasing amount of talent from overseas in the last couple of years. I love work visa paperwork so much.

Will controller support be integrated into regular POE once you're done with the xbox version?

No. The controller makes it a different game because of skill function and balance changes required. If we did add controller support to a PC version then that version would probably play on the Xbox One realm rather than the current realm. We don't plan to do this currently.

What sort of content makes good game designer portfolio work? I have a mainly programming background but I really want to work in design (not art).

Game design and game programming are different things! If you want to be a game programmer, create small games, make it really clear which parts you worked on, and present a portfolio showing a variety of work in the type of programming that you are best at. For a designer, design small games/systems and present a portfolio showing these. It's much harder to find work as a pure designer because everyone thinks that they're a game designer.

What is necessary to develop a game like Path of Exile? How many people are currently working on the game? Who has the longer beard/hair on the staff? (Question from Brazilian community)

Developing Path of Exile involved quite a large investment in infrastructure, in addition to the game itself. Things like the online realm, good client-server security, logging, the game engine, developer tools, customer support tools, billing/payment infrastructure and so on are all things that people don't really consider when they scope out just the game itself. We currently have about 95 staff, most of whom are working on the game (some are customer support people who work on supporting the game). In terms of beards and hair, I believe that our head gameplay programmer Mark takes that crown.

Well, that's another set of questions done. We'll try to do more in a follow-up post! Thanks for the questions as always.
Posted by 
Grinding Gear Games
Stop with your "first" for each GGG post ...
Oh ! First :)

More than 3 years playing, still enjoying a lot, and you still having so much consideration for your players community, like these Q&A answers post. Live long and prosper GGG \\//
SSF for ever :)
Last edited by LoloTwingo on Mar 23, 2017, 7:45:21 PM
Thx for answers.
There is a sure way to die.

Билды - это листья на дереве Path of Exile. C каждым патчем одни опадают, и каждую лигу вырастают другие.
Thanks for these answers. Nice!
IGN: Cast_On_Queue
Ascendancy classes should not be tied to the labyrinth. This content is really unfun and uninteresting. Locking core progression in there is asinine at best. I am extremely disappointed that this is not being addressed. I would rather see ascendancy class progress integrated into the core game than new acts or anything else. The current setup with the labyrinth would be like making it so you could only earn XP for a certain range in vaal side areas. Frankly I think even that would be better since that content is comparatively much more interesting.

There is no slippery slope to worry about here, how often do you plan to hide skill tree nodes in horrible side content? Asking GGG to not do that and to rectify the one time it was done in the past is not a slippery slope to fall down, but a mountain of stubbornness you've asked us to climb.
Last edited by Astealoth on Mar 23, 2017, 8:03:43 PM
Just thinking about something i would like to have for every league i played : have a button to force a league character to go standard (or HC league to standard HC) before the end of the league.
Starting a new character in a league with an empty stash is a challenge and finally fun. But when you reach 70+, you still have "nothing" really good in your stash, and would like to go standard to access your treasury. One could say "trade", but when you play SSF, it will never be an option.

For example i started a tornado shot ranger, having in mind the use of my standard death's opus and cospri's will. Now i'm reaching 70, and i must wait the end of the league, this is not fun anymore. I wish to go standard, finish building the character to 80-90, then eventually start a new one back to the league.
SSF for ever :)
Last edited by LoloTwingo on Mar 23, 2017, 8:10:11 PM

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