Unique Items

Wraeclast has a long history and a rich past, and many ancient treasures lie forgotten, awaiting rediscovery. Many are items with legendary and unique powers, which were often wielded by influential and famous people of bygone times.

These Unique items have special names and hand-crafted mods, as opposed to the randomised Magic and Rare items. They may grant abilities to item types that do not normally receive them, or give skills from the passive tree. Some Unique items even have effects that are not found anywhere else.

Unique items can enable completely new builds as well as facilitating more builds across a wider range of character classes. There are few limitations to the abilities that can appear on Uniques, so eventually, almost any effect or mod may eventually be found on one. Through Uniques (among other features), we hope to push our itemisation further than in any other action RPG and allow great customisation and re-playability.

Keyword Mods

Because our item system is complex and potentially daunting, it is important that our item properties are instantly understood. Unique items can have keyword mods that can't be found on Magic or Rare items. These mods can be very mechanically complicated, so much so that to spell out the entirety of the mechanic would clutter the layout. This would negatively affect the usability and lore flavour of the item itself.

One example of a Unique keyword mod is "Culling Strike" which is shown to the left. The long explanation of Culling Strike is: "Kills monsters on less than 10% life left after an attack".

Although keyword mods are not always immediately obvious in their function, not knowing exactly what an item does adds an element of mystery and magic. Savvy, min/max players can still read up on exactly how the mechanics work on the character screen or on our website.

A Thousand Life?!

Unique items offer the opportunity to give huge bonuses in a fair way that would simply not be possible on Rares because of balance issues. On a Unique item, we can add drawbacks or keep the remaining mods from being too powerful. We can also also give mods with nice, round numbers that are memorable and fun, for example we can make a maul with +150% Damage or some armor with +1000 Life.

As you see, we can make items much more focused than Rares, catering to a specific build or supporting an interesting theme. We can also sometimes have one or two mods with a variable range, to give players something they can upgrade towards perfection.

Flavour Text

The flavour text helps strengthen the identity of an item, and makes the player feel like they have uncovered something ancient and special. Finding Unique items in the world can also reveal pieces of the puzzle that is Wraeclast’s mysterious past.

The item’s concept can be conveyed through the name, icon, art, and perhaps most vividly, flavour text. It can be used as a vehicle for storytelling, for example revealing details about important historical events, or divulging clues about important characters from Wraeclast’s turbulent history. Flavor text can also be used to emphasize the concept of an item, or give a hint as to how mods on the item are interconnected.


Unique Items in the End Game

As exciting and special as Unique items are, we know that most hardcore players find it boring if everyone in the end game is equipped with the same uniform set of items. To prevent this, we want to balance the power level of high-end Rares so that they are generally the most powerful items in the game. This means that we won’t have Unique weapons that deals a lot more damage than Rares, unless there is some severe drawback.

While Unique items may be used for specific builds, as they grant abilities that do not occur on Rares, the ideal situation is that Rares occupy the majority of item slots on your character. In the end game, we ideally want to see Unique items only being used for very specific purposes and builds. This will create an interesting and diverse end game, with top players having to rely mainly on near-perfect Rares that are so statistically unlikely that they would take thousands of hours to find by chance. We want clever trading to be a viable path to wealth and power in Path of Exile.

If we meet our design goals with both Rare and Unique items, we will accomplish two things. Firstly, we will keep the end game compelling and interesting for far longer, as players strive to incrementally upgrade and perfect their Rare equipment. Secondly, we will give new players a nice boost through a section of the game whenever they acquire a Unique item that fits their build well.


Path of Exile is currently in Closed Beta and is ramping up to enter Open Beta in the next few months. If you don't have a forum account yet, please sign up for one here. Beta access is granted to these accounts at random.

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Grinding Gear Games
IGN: Fataiity
Kuduku giveth and Kuduku taketh away.

IGN: QueenAtziri
The chance to roll +1% maximum resists on an amulet is less than 1/300.
keep making uniques in this crazy way! itemization 10/10

Good joob
captain_rom wrote:
keep making uniques in this crazy way! itemization 10/10

Good joob

Have to agree Itemization in the game is topnotch . GJ guys .
IGN : xXxNocturnexXx
Good job
omg omg omg omg:D
The chance to roll +1% maximum resists on an amulet is less than 1/300.
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