The Plan for Cut-Throat Mode

Cut-throat mode in Path of Exile is an optional league type that is reminiscent of really old-school online RPGs where players could kill each other and steal their items. We've been working hard on making this mode a permanent part of Path of Exile and we plan to involve the community heavily with feedback after test events of different durations. Today's news post details that plan.

We've experimented with cut-throat mode in the past and found that it's really polarising - some players absolutely love it and others hate the idea of being robbed of their items. We want to make it really clear that it's an optional mode and you don't have to play it unless you love the idea of being stalked and killed repeatedly! Note that because it's a league type unto itself, you have to create new characters to play cut-throat - you don't use your existing ones for it.

This news post is mostly written for people who have played cut-throat before. We'll be following up with a more general introductory one before we start cut-throat events in the near future.

From the tests we've run in the past, we came to the following conclusions:
  • Non-hardcore cut-throat is usually more fun than hardcore cut-throat. Grabbing your backup set of items and trying to hunt down your killer to get your stuff back is so much fun. While permadeath is cool, it prevents a lot of the recovery aspect of cut-throat.
  • Preventing players from forming parties helps solve the roaming-death-squad problem while also opening up some awesome friendly fire situations. You have to really trust your friends if they could take advantage of your low health by firing a few well-placed fireballs and taking your gear.
  • Cut-throat world areas could probably have much lower timeout times (i.e. close after only a few minutes of inactivity) so that there isn't a big list of empty areas when you try to select one that has people to fight.
  • To help prevent the worst cases of griefing, we'll probably be introducing rules that prevent you entering areas that have low level players in them. While people with better items will always pose a major threat, you won't have to fight people substantially higher level than you.
  • There may be merit to experimenting with changes like limiting people to certain difficulty levels, effectively moving the end-game down to lower levels and encouraging players to stalk those who are trying to grind for experience.


The above list of notes are just what we've determined from the events that we've run and participated in. You guys probably have different opinions, and we'd love to hear them as we iterate on these together. Our goal is to make rapid changes to cut-throat over the coming months and to find the right mix of danger and fun. After each event, let us know what you think and we'll try to change stuff up in the next patch or hotfix.

We're expecting to run some shorter duration events next week (2 hour, 4 hour, 8 hour, for example) and to experiment with longer ones (1 day, 3 day, one week) as we get feedback. Eventually we'd love to run multi-week (or even multi-month) cut-throat leagues if people like that duration!
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Kirielis wrote:
Backup gear is only good if you have backup gems with it. Anyone else see a problem here?


In cut-throat, gems don't drop when you die. I'm sorry for not mentioning this in the article - it's one of the small details that people who played our test events would know. We'll post a more detailed article next week that introduces people to it who didn't get a chance to test it in the past.
Lead Developer. Follow us on: Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Contact Support if you need help!
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HerrKaputt wrote:
How do you plan to prevent people from ALT-F4-ing when someone higher level than them shows up, or when the fight is going bad for them?


There's actually a quit-delay in cut-throat. You have to wait some time (currently five seconds?) before your Alt+F4 goes through. This is the value we used in past tests and may be changed.
Lead Developer. Follow us on: Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Contact Support if you need help!
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