Cut-throat is an optional fun mode where players can invade each other's instances. Full hostility is always on (friendly fire even when cooperating with friends), and players drop their equipped items (but not gems or flasks) when they die. There's constant combat with other players, so you're rarely safe for long. It's really worthwhile to build up spare sets of gear in the stash so that you have items to fall back on when your current ones are taken.
I should stress that this mode doesn't use your normal characters and is completely optional. If you aren't interested, then you don't have to make a character in one of these events.
For some videos of Cut-throat mode in action, check out this one from Kripparrian during the Closed Beta and this even older one that I made in August 2012.
Here's a summary of general Cut-throat rules:
- This is a separate short-duration league that has its own stash (as usual). At the end of the event, characters and stashed items will be moved to Standard.
- There's a PvP damage multiplier because players start with a lot more life than they do damage. This multiplier will be adjusted substantially based on feedback from this event and others.
- Players are hostile by default to all players.
- You can ctrl+click on the entrance to an area to use the Instance Management screen to manually enter other players' instances of an area.
- Cut-throat instances can hold a maximum of 12 players.
- This test is not a hardcore league. When you die, you lose the normal experience penalty for your difficulty plus 30% of your current level. You also drop all inventory and equipped items. Your flasks, skill gems (even ones in your inventory) and quest items are not dropped.
- If you were killed by another player, your lost experience is given to them.
- If you attempt to abruptly leave the game (such as pressing Alt+F4) in a non-town instance, you have to wait 5 seconds and are unable to move or use flasks.
- The grace period of invulnerability upon entering an area is 20 seconds. This should start once the player is mostly done loading.
- Non-partied players only show up on the map if they're nearby.
- There are no notifications for players joining or leaving areas.
- Portals cannot be used until they have been up for five seconds after they have been cast.
- You cannot apply microtransaction effects to items in cut-throat. You may dance and have pets.
- Cut-throat events are not experience races. There's no prize for being highest level. There are no prizes at all other than the fun of participation.
- There's now a level limit on entering areas that contain other players. If you're much higher level than the lowest level player in the area, or much lower level than the highest level player, you can't join. Let us know what you think about the numbers we chose and we can tweak them for subseuqent events.
- The guild stash is not available.
- Players may not party up in this event. We are going to experiment with parties-with-friendly-fire in future ones.
Remember to approach these optional events with the expectation you're going to get griefed repeatedly. They're very different than normal Path of Exile play but feel so rewarding if you're the guy with everyone's items standing in a pile of dead foes.
We generally find that the players who have the most fun are the ones who know they're going to lose their items and keep spare stashed sets of gear so that they can still kill other players after dying. Players who rage and quit are those who only kept one set of gear and then have nothing to fall back on. You will die and you will need spare items. Stash everything - even arbitrary normal and magic items are far better than nothing.
We welcome feedback on these events. There's a lot of tweaking to do before they're going to be fun at the longer durations, so we need your help with that. Thanks!