In the coming week, we'll be deploying the 3.11.2 patch which contains many technical changes to the internals of Path of Exile in preparation for the release of Heist. This patch changes the way that Path of Exile stores its data, requiring a complete redownload of the game. There are a number of improvements we have been waiting several years to make which each require a full redownload, so we were able to bundle them all together at this opportunity. Today's news post explains what has changed and why.

Changing how Path of Exile Stores its Data

After a decade of our current technique, we're changing how Path of Exile stores its internal data files. The technical specifics of this are irrelevant to the playerbase, but there are some advantages that we'll detail in this post.

A Full Re-download

Firstly, it's important to understand that this will require a re-download of the entire game for all users. That's a large cost (both in terms of time and bandwidth), but we felt it was better to only do the full re-download once and to simultaneously include enough additional benefits that we feel it's definitely worth it for everyone.

Note that you won't need to uninstall and reinstall Path of Exile. Patching to 3.11.2 will automatically re-download the necessary data.

Faster Patching

Patching Path of Exile with the standalone patcher will be a lot faster than before. With the new system, files are bundled together, which means the files being downloaded are now a lot larger on average. The previous patcher had to make hundreds of thousands of separate web connections, so there was a significant amount of overhead. With our fast CDN, it should now plow through it much more quickly.

Improvements to Steam Patching

Another important consequence of this patch is that the Steam version of Path of Exile will now patch a lot more quickly. Previously, the entire GGPK file had to be copied by the Steam patcher, which meant that even small patches took quite some time to apply. With the new system, small patches will be basically instant, and large patches also a lot faster than before. It should be a similar speed to using our standalone patcher.

Preloading Improvements

The new way of storing files also improves how we preload important assets. The most noticeable improvement is that players without an SSD will have a much, much better time. The benefits for users with SSDs are more marginal.

Texture Quality Improvements

As everything is being re-downloaded, we re-exported all of Path of Exile's textures with a newer compression system that produces much better-looking results. This results in much sharper textures throughout the game.

Audio Re-export

In a similar way, we have also re-exported all of our audio files using the most recent version of the audio library we use. Normally this would be a luxury that we couldn't justify (as it'd result in a large patch), but if we're redownloading everything anyway then we'll take the free improvements to audio.

Engine Improvements

This patch also includes many small engine/renderer bug fixes and performance improvements. We don't want to promise specific improvements because it will vary from system to system, but we are excited to see what impact it has on performance with both Vulkan and DirectX 11.

Why Now?

While we have been testing this patch thoroughly, there may be small issues that only come up when a million or so community members try to use it. We'd rather this doesn't occur on Heist's launch day, so we'll be releasing this technical patch beforehand so that we have time to fix any minor issues that crop up. It's also an opportunity for you to get the large download out of the way in advance.

macOS Version

While Path of Exile for macOS is officially launching alongside Heist on September 18, we'll be making a 3.11 (Harvest) client for it available for some community testing before Heist's release. Sometime after 3.11.2 is deployed, we'll probably post a link to a macOS client for people to start giving us feedback on. The important reason why this needs 3.11.2 to be deployed beforehand is so that the game's data is stored in the new way rather than the old way.

Epic Games Store Version

In a similar vein to the macOS version, once we have the 3.11.2 technical patch deployed, we'll be able to list Path of Exile in the Epic Games Store in preparation for Heist's launch. We hope to make it available a week or two before release so that players can check it out and report any problems to us before the official launch day.

We're very excited about all of the improvements that 3.11.2 brings. It has certainly been a long time coming, and will hopefully be a great baseline to deploy Heist on top of, on September 18.
Posted by 
Grinding Gear Games
Last edited by rami1337 on Jan 18, 2023, 10:50:16 AM
fk burning arrow
IGN: DillzMaster
This is awesome!
Will this fix the crashes I've been having since the... last patch? :>

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info