Announcing Act Three

The Mysteries Deepen in Action RPG Path of Exile’s Third Act

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – 17 October 2012 – Upcoming dark and deep indie action RPG Path of Exile has unveiled details of its Act 3 expansion. Set in the ruined city of Sarn, players will face those who exiled them to Wraeclast and how it was corrupted.

Act 3 will become available when Path of Exile enters Open Beta in December. The game is currently in Closed Beta but has already raised over USD$1.2m in crowd-funded support, with those supporters gaining beta access.

PvP arena combat will be introduced in the next major patch, making the wait for Act 3 more bearable but bloodier. The game’s gigantic skill tree and skill gem combo system means thousands of unique character builds will be able to challenge each other.

“Act 3 adds an extra 50% of content to Path of Exile’s world,” says Grinding Gear Games producer Chris Wilson. “Our already gritty game gets a lot darker as players explore Sarn and witness the full extent of the corruption and cataclysm. High-level characters will really enjoy some of the enemy encounters and combat challenges.”

Path of Exile’s lore and mysteries deepens as you explore Sarn’s abandoned docks, markets, temples and sewers. For reasons unknown, General Gravicius and the Ebony Legion have sailed from your homeland Oriath to scour Sarn for its secrets, joining Piety of Theopolis in a race against the player to plunder Sarn’s tombs for wealth and power.

In the Solaris Temple, a magical army of floating constructs known as the Ribbons continually sterilize the temple even as the centuries wear on. Even though thaumaturgist Malachai the Soulless is long dead, evidence of his dark experiments remain.

In addition to undead, magical constructs and corrupted horrors, players will encounter some unlikely allies. An encampment of exiles survive on the man-made island in the middle of the river, led by wise and well-spoken Karui warrior Maramoa.

When released, the game will be free to play, but not ‘pay-to-win’. The game is currently in a Closed Beta, but fans who pre-purchase at least USD$10 of credit for the game’s ‘ethical microtransactions’ receive a beta key. Beta keys are also regularly awarded to random community members.

To take part, sign up at www.pathofexile.com.

About Sarn: A shattered city, a sinister mystery, a land tainted with insanity.

You’re standing at the edge of Sarn, the ruined capital of the Eternal Empire. Not so eternal now. Its citizenry is gone, taken by death and undeath in equal measures. Where hawkers shouted their bargains, ladies browsed for silks, young lovers walked hand in hand... creatures of nightmare stalk and feed. Beasts born of corruption. The restless dead, bitter and lethal. A cursed city of painful promises and preternatural peril.

You are an exile, banished for your crimes to Wraeclast, and given a life sentence in the land of the damned. But Wraeclast wasn’t always like this. It was once an empire of ten million souls, a beautiful and bountiful continent that prospered for more than a thousand years.

Something happened. A cataclysm. A corruption beyond reason. Wraeclast took itself off to bed one balmy evening and, come morning, it failed to wake. It slumbers, tossing and turning in the perpetual nightmare that enslaved it during the darkest hours.

Players must fight their way through the necropolis to answer a question: Who murdered Wraeclast?

You’re not alone in your curiosity. Others explore the twisted capital city of the Eternal Empire. The Ebony Legion has sailed from Oriath to scour Sarn for its secrets... avaricious maggots on a fecund carcass. General Gravicius plunders its tombs for wealth and power.

Piety of Theopolis harnesses corruption like a lover to her bedhead. Her lovely visage hides an imagination most monstrous.

Is everyone and everything in Sarn out to kill or maim you beyond recognition? Pretty much... with a few exceptions. As a fellow exile, Hargan, will tell you: “Welcome to dirty, old Sarn, the metropolis of opportunity. The opportunity to make something of yourself or the opportunity to have a very messy death.”

Key features of ‘Path of Exile’:

  • A dark and deep action RPG
  • Build unlimited unique characters on a gigantic skill tree
  • Combine over 110 skill gems to create unique combat strategies
  • Explore a dark and gritty world rendered from a fixed 3D perspective
  • Download and play for free, but never ‘pay-to-win’
  • Explore randomly generated levels for extreme replayability
  • Craft weapons, magic items and even end-game maps to become more powerful
  • Cooperate or compete with thousands of other exiles in a persistent online world
  • Ascend online ladders in every game mode
  • Battle in PVP tournaments for worldwide recognition

View gameplay footage at www.youtube.com/grindinggear

HD trailers are available from www.pathofexile.com/video

For more information or to request media interviews please email chris@grindinggear.com


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Public Weekend 3

Indie Action RPG Path of Exile Hosts Open Beta Weekend

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – 23 July 2012 – Upcoming Indie Action RPG Path of Exile is opening its doors to everyone for two days with a public test this coming weekend.

Currently in a Closed Beta, Path of Exile has its own dark and highly customizable take on the Action RPG genre. It has been in development for five years by Grinding Gear Games, an independent studio of hardcore RPG fans in New Zealand.

The Path of Exile Beta servers will open for public access at 5pm PDT on Friday, July 27. Public access will end at 11:59pm PDT Sunday night, July 29. A full FAQ about the public weekend is available at www.pathofexile.com/publicweekend.

The game has added a host of new features and content recently. The latest version adds a challenging Act Two boss fight, weapon swapping, and a new end-game system featuring Maps whose properties, risks and rewards can be modified by players. There is also a new layout for the game’s passive skill tree which features over 1300 skill nodes, allowing highly customized character builds and hybrid classes.

The game is free to play, but does not feature ‘pay-to-win’. A previous public weekend in May attracted 47,000 players.

While the game is currently in a Closed Beta, fans who pre-purchase at least $10 of credit for the game’s ‘ethical microtransactions’ receive a beta key. Over USD$700,000 of credit has been pre-purchased to date, with over 50 fans buying the $1000 ‘Diamond Supporter’ pack.

Grinding Gear Games’ producer Chris Wilson says the news features make this weekend a great opportunity for action RPG fans.

“The Path of Exile community has been growing rapidly and always give us valuable gameplay feedback. We’re particularly looking forward to their feedback on our new end-game content.”

“Two of the most important things in action RPGs are items and the end-game. Almost everything in Path of Exile, including skills, can be itemized, traded and upgraded. We thought it would be cool to design the end-game the same way - as itemised areas that players can trade, modify and build characters around.”

The Open Weekend will also feature special events, such as two hour ladder races and competitions to clear areas first. To take part sign up at www.pathofexile.com.

Key features of ‘Path of Exile’:

  • A dark and gritty game world rendered from a fixed 3D perspective
  • Unique and extremely customizable skill gem system
  • Completely free to download and play, but never ‘pay-to-win’
  • A persistent online world capable of supporting hundreds of thousands of players
  • Randomly generated levels and items for extreme replayability
  • Online ranking and ladders for every game mode
  • Visceral combat with dozens of combinable skills
  • Battle in PVP tournaments for worldwide recognition

View gameplay footage at www.youtube.com/grindinggear

HD trailers are available from www.pathofexile.com/video

For more information or to request media interviews please email chris@grindinggear.com


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Shadow and Public Weekend 2

Play Indie Action RPG Path of Exile’s latest Class the Shadow this Weekend

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – 9 May 2012 – Indie Action RPG Path of Exile has announced its latest character class, the hit-and-run trap-laying Shadow. Although currently in closed beta, Path of Exile is opening its doors to everyone for two days with a public test this coming weekend. Supporters can also pre-purchase credit for the game’s ‘ethical microtransactions’ and receive a permanent beta key.

The Shadow is a hybrid dexterity and intelligence class, a professional assassin exiled after getting on the wrong side of a former client. He employs deadly traps and spells against opponents, finishing off survivors with quick dagger strikes while darting in and out of combat.

In Path of Exile, any class can use any skill, weapon or trap, allowing for a huge variety of possible character builds. The Shadow is particularly well suited to traps and fast weapons like claws and daggers.

Using Path of Exile’s support gem system, the Shadow can turn any spell into a trap or remotely detonated mine. For instance, the Shadow can link a Frost Wall skill gem with a Remote Mine support gem to create a Frost Wall Mine which they can place to strategically trap enemies.

The first chance to play the Shadow character will be in this weekend’s public stress test. The Path of Exile Beta servers will open for public access at 5pm PDT on Friday, May 11. Public access will end at 11:59pm PDT Sunday night, May 13. A full FAQ about the public weekend is available at www.pathofexile.com/publicweekend.

A previous public weekend in March attracted 47,000 players.

Grinding Gear Games’ producer Chris Wilson says the Shadow is one of the more difficult classes to play due to his fragility. “He more than makes up for it if handled with skill. His hit-and-run style of combat makes the most of his natural Evasion and Energy Shield, and rewards strategic coordination of attacks, spells, and traps.”

His signature tactic is to lay hidden traps and to lure his opponents in. When they step too close, the trap springs and his foes find themselves caught in place, missing a leg or blown to pieces in a fiery explosion. Alternatively, he can place remote mines which are manually detonated, ideally in the middle of clusters of enemies.

As an indie game developed by a team of hardcore action RPG fans, Path of Exile has several unique takes on the genre. It features a unique skill gem system, a huge passive skill tree, extensive character customisation and PvP combat in a persistent online world. The game is free to play, but does not feature ‘pay-to-win’ microtransactions. Path of Exile will enter Open Beta in late June.

Path of Exile has been in development for five years by Grinding Gear Games, an independent studio of hardcore RPG fans based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Key features of ‘Path of Exile’:

  • Completely free to download and play, but never ‘pay-to-win’
  • A persistent online world capable of supporting hundreds of thousands of players
  • A dark and gritty game world rendered from a fixed 3D perspective
  • Randomly generated levels and items for extreme replayability
  • Online ranking and ladders for every game mode
  • Visceral combat with dozens of combinable skills
  • Battle in PVP tournaments for worldwide recognition
  • Dynamic skill system

View the trailer at www.youtube.com/grindinggear

HD trailers are available from www.pathofexile.com/video

For more information or to request media interviews please email chris@grindinggear.com


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Press Release - Crowd-Funding

Indie Action RPG Path of Exile crowd-funds $200,000 over Easter

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – 11 April 2012 – Following a hugely popular public test weekend, the makers of Indie Action RPG Path of Exile, New Zealand-based Grinding Gear Games, have launched a ‘crowd-funding’ campaign where players can pre-purchase game currency and receive rewards such as Closed Beta Keys and exclusive in-game pets in return.

In first six days the free-to-play ‘ethical microtransaction’ funded action RPG has sold over USD$200,000 worth of supporter packs to 13,000 fans.

The previous weekend 46,911 players stress tested the game. “We literally had hundreds of people asking how they could support the game to get to Open Beta sooner. We were blown away by the community enthusiasm at the stress test weekend, so we moved quickly to open our shop earlier than planned. We’ve been blown away again by the support over Easter,” says Grinding Gear Games’ co-founder Chris Wilson.

13 people have bought the $1,000 Diamond Supporter package, which will let them help design one of the game’s Unique magic items.

Path of Exile features its own dark, gritty take on the Action RPG genre, a unique skill gem system, a huge passive skill tree and PvP combat in a persistent online world.

“The crowd-funding presales mean Path of Exile will enter Open Beta in June with three acts of content. Although we plan to pile on the content for years to come, further support will greatly accelerate it and help pay for our US and European servers.”

Grinding Gear Games have committed to never charge for content or power. “Selling supporter packs and currency has also been a great test of our ‘ethical microtransaction’ philosophy. We hate the concept of pay-to-win games, so it’s great to see that players are willing to support the game and to buy purely cosmetic items,” says Wilson.

A range of supporter packs are available on Path of Exile’s website. The cheapest tier is $10 which includes Closed Beta access. Higher tiers come with in-game Kiwi bird Pets, a collector’s edition copy of the game, t-shirts, soundtracks, signed posters, and the option to design a Unique Item. All packs include game currency which can be used to buy extra character slots and stash tabs for compulsive item hoarding. More personalisation options and player services are planned for the Open Beta.

Any purchases made now will continue into the Open Beta, although Closed Beta characters and non-microtransaction items will be wiped upon entering Open Beta in approximately June.

During the stress test weekend, 46,911 people tried the game with the servers successfully handling a peak load of 7310 players. “The stress test was great - we learnt a lot about how people are playing and enjoying the game. We’ve built Path of Exile as an online game with PvP and support for various leagues and game modes from the ground up, and we’re really pleased with how the servers performed,” says Wilson.

Path of Exile has been in development for five years by Grinding Gear Games, an independent studio of hardcore RPG fans based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Key features of ‘Path of Exile’:

  • Completely free to download and play
  • A persistent online world capable of supporting hundreds of thousands of players
  • A dark and gritty game world rendered from a fixed 3D perspective
  • Randomly generated levels and items for extreme replayability
  • Online ranking and ladders for every game mode
  • Visceral combat with dozens of combinable skills
  • Battle in PVP tournaments for worldwide recognition
  • Dynamic skill system

View the trailer at www.youtube.com/grindinggear

HD trailers are available from www.pathofexile.com/video

For more information or to request media interviews please email chris@grindinggear.com


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Press Release - Public Weekend

Indie Action RPG Path of Exile opens up its Beta for This Weekend Only

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – 27 March 2012 – Grinding Gear Games, the New Zealand developer of the much-anticipated action RPG Path of Exile, have announced that its Beta will be open to the public for stress testing this weekend: March 30-April 1.

The game has previously been in a restricted Closed Beta test, and this public stress test will be the first opportunity for many patient fans to play Path of Exile.

The Path of Exile Beta servers will open for public access at 5pm PDT on Friday, March 30. Public access will end at 11:59pm PDT Sunday night, April 1. A full FAQ about the Public Weekend is available at http://www.pathofexile.com/publicweekend.

Featuring its own dark, gritty take on the Action RPG genre, a unique skill gem system and a complex passive skill tree, Path of Exile is on track to enter permanent Open Beta within a few months. PvP combat and cosmetic purchases are planned for the Open Beta.

“We’re really looking forward to getting feedback from the wider gaming community,” says Chris Wilson, Grinding Gear Games’ co-founder. “We’ve arranged a number of interesting events for the public weekend, and we’re looking forward to meeting you in game.”

Players participating in the stress test weekend will be ranked on a ladder web page, showing who has gained the most experience. A separate ladder is available for players playing in 'Hardcore' mode where characters are removed if they die. Developer-run events, such as two hour ladder races and competitions to full-clear areas first, will occur throughout the weekend with details posted on the Path of Exile website.

All of Path of Exile’s current content may be played during the public stress test weekend, including the upcoming 0.9.8 Beta patch, which adds new skills, improved social features and numerous balance improvements.

To take part in this Beta, sign up for an account at www.pathofexile.com.

Key features of ‘Path of Exile’:

  • Completely free to download and play
  • A persistent online world capable of supporting hundreds of thousands of players
  • A dark and gritty game world rendered from a fixed 3D perspective
  • Randomly generated levels and items for extreme replayability
  • Online ranking and ladders for every game mode
  • Visceral combat with dozens of combinable skills
  • Battle in PVP tournaments for worldwide recognition
  • Dynamic skill system

View the trailer at www.youtube.com/grindinggear

HD trailers are available from www.pathofexile.com/video

For more information or to request media interviews please email chris@grindinggear.com


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Press Release - Beta/PvP

Action RPG Path of Exile Launches Closed Beta Next Week, Details Hardcore PvP Combat

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – 3 August 2011 – After four years of development, the indie studio Grinding Gear Games has announced that their online action RPG, Path of Exile, will enter ‘closed beta’ on August 10th. They have also unveiled plans for a range of Player vs. Player combat options designed to encourage a competitive online playing field.

With the closed beta, members of the game’s online community at www.pathofexile.com will be periodically selected at random and granted access to the game’s beta. Players will be added continuously to stress test the game’s servers, as the game is played entirely online to facilitate a secure item-based economy. The beta version of the game includes the first two acts of gameplay and five character classes at first, with more content added frequently.

Path of Exile has also been designed to provide a fair, competitive playing field for Player vs. Player combat, in addition to cooperative play.

“Your character’s build really matters in Path of Exile. The game’s deep itemization, innovative flask system and emphasis on skill combos will encourage players to plan character builds carefully so they can compete with the realm’s best players,” says producer Chris Wilson. “We won’t be selling any form of power in the game, only aesthetic improvements, so if you’re fighting someone you know they earned their place the hard way.”

Taking advantage of Path of Exile’s advanced random level generation, the PvP arenas will be dynamic environments with dangerous threats and hostile opponents of their own. The PvP modes available range from duels to large scale team combat in a variety of scenarios with different level caps. Organized tournaments are planned in future.

Players in the optional “cut-throat” leagues will get to experience a more horrific form of PvP – the ability for players to invade their instances and kill them, taking all their items. “Of course, only a hyper-competitive player would ever choose to play in this league in the first place,” says Wilson.

Accounts rather than individual characters earn PvP rating in each mode and are scored on ladders with seasonal prizes awarded.

Grinding Gear Games will also be demonstrating Path of Exile and distributing copies of the beta to the public at PAX Prime in Seattle from 26-28 August.

To be considered to take part in the closed beta, sign up for an account at www.pathofexile.com.

Key features of ‘Path of Exile’:

  • Completely free to download and play
  • A persistent online world capable of supporting hundreds of thousands of players
  • A dark and gritty game world rendered from a fixed 3D perspective
  • Randomly generated levels and items for extreme replayability
  • Online ranking and ladders for every game mode
  • Visceral combat with dozens of combinable skills
  • Battle in PVP tournaments for worldwide recognition
  • Dynamic skill system

View two new gameplay videos at:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9bAe96bMik

www.youtube.com/grindinggear

A HD trailer is available at http://s3.amazonaws.com/pathofexile-video/templar/templar_720p_5882kbps.avi

To request media interviews or more information please contact:

Stephen Knightly
Pursuit Public Relations
stephen@pursuitpr.com

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Press Release - Templar

Action RPG Path of Exile Unveils Templar Class and Beta Date

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – 8 July 2011 – A new trailer for dark indie action RPG Path of Exile has unveiled the Templar class, as well as hints as to how the land of Wraeclast became so devastated.

Path of Exile has been in development for four years by New Zealand indie studio Grinding Gear Games. Select members of the game’s online community at www.pathofexile.com will be given access to a closed beta of the game in August. Players will be added continuously to stress test the game’s servers, as the game is played entirely online to facilitate a secure item-based economy.

The Templar favours both strength and intelligence attributes and skills – a valuable combination as he seeks to uncover the mysteries of the corrupted continent where players have been exiled.

The Templar can also be seen using several new skills such as Spark, a spell that launches lightning bolts that rebound off obstacles. The Sweep skill allows him to spin around, knocking enemies back with his mace or staff. When equipped with a shield, he can use Shield Charge to smash his way through hordes of foes, dealing a crippling stun to his eventual target. The Templar also has easy access to both Endurance and Power Charges, which, once charged up, spin around the player and grant extra endurance and damage respectively.

“In battle, the Templar can play as a traditional melee character or a hybrid battlemage, able to endure substantial damage while slaying monsters with spells” says Chris Wilson, Grinding Gear Games’ co-founder. “By dealing some of his damage with strong melee weapons and the rest with a barrage of spells, he offers many new combat options over the traditional warrior or spellcaster classes.”

Grinding Gear Games will also be demonstrating Path of Exile and distributing copies of the beta at PAX Prime in Seattle from 26-28 August.

To be considered to take part in the closed beta, sign up for an account at www.pathofexile.com

Key features of ‘Path of Exile’:

  • Completely free to download and play
  • A persistent online world capable of supporting hundreds of thousands of players
  • A dark and gritty game world rendered from a fixed 3D perspective
  • Randomly generated levels and items for extreme replayability
  • Online ranking and ladders for every game mode
  • Visceral combat with dozens of combinable skills
  • Battle in PVP tournaments for worldwide recognition
  • Dynamic skill system

View the trailer at www.youtube.com/grindinggear

A HD trailer is available at http://s3.amazonaws.com/pathofexile-video/templar/templar_720p_5882kbps.avi

High-res screenshots are available from www.grindinggear.com/templar

To request media interviews or more information please contact:

Stephen Knightly
Pursuit Public Relations
stephen@pursuitpr.com

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Press Release - Duelist

Path of Exile’s Second Act Trailer Reveals New Class and Combo Charges
Hybrid classes, combo charges, flasks with magic properties and more added to anticipated indie online action RPG.

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – 8 April 2011 – Anticipated indie action RPG Path of Exile has lifted the lid on the free-to-play hardcore RPG’s second act, a densely forested land that houses warring bandit factions. These in-fighting groups provide the ideal opportunity for Path of Exile’s latest character class, the melee expert Duelist, to display his strength and dexterity.

Path of Exile has been in development for four years by Grinding Gear Games, an independent studio of hardcore RPG fans based in Auckland, New Zealand. The game will be free-to-play online with ‘ethical’ aesthetic micro-transactions and a novel system of skill gems. A beta release is scheduled for August.

The Duelist is the game’s first hybrid class, which favours both strength and dexterity attributes and skills. The Duelist can deal out substantial damage and move quickly in and out of combat.

The new trailer shows the Duelist accepting a challenge from one of the forest’s bandit lords to wipe out his rivals. Unlike other characters banished to the devastated land of Wraeclast, the Duelist sees exile as a chance to prove his swordsmanship.

The trailer also reveals new combo mechanics which add further depth to the game’s combat action. Certain skills grant charges, which spin around the player. Strength skills grant endurance charges, dexterity skills grant frenzy charges and intelligence skills grant power charges. In combat, these charges bestow abilities and protections or can be discharged for a one-off devastating attack.

“The charges were designed to make combat more interesting and tactical,” says Chris Wilson, Grinding Gear Games’ Founder. “They’re a core part of Path of Exile’s combat system and they are supported by other mechanics in the game in particular ways. For instance, there will be plenty of items and passive skills that add to or modify your charge abilities.”

For example, the Duelist could build up both his green dexterity-based frenzy charges and red strength-based endurance charges. While he is on a killing streak, frenzy charges will continue to accumulate and the Duelist will attack faster, until he chooses to discharge them with a skill such as “Flicker Strike” which teleports him to attack multiple enemies one after the other – an additional strike for each frenzy charge.

If the Duelist uses the “Enduring Cry” skill he will gain endurance charges and hence resistance to damage, based on how many monsters surround him. When the action gets too intense, he can discharge his endurance charges with the “Immortal Call” skill, ideal for breaking the stun-lock from a horde of enemies attacking him.

Path of Exile will also feature a novel flasks system for healing.

“The potion system is broken in many RPGs,” says Wilson. “The flask system is our way of addressing the ‘potion spam’ you often see in action RPGs where players fill their inventory with potions and use them every few seconds in combat. That’s not fun and doesn’t make sense.”

Instead of potions, Path of Exile will feature a system of refillable flasks that have magic properties just like other equipment. Flasks lose charges as you drink from them, but partially recharge each time you kill a monster. Some flasks have properties that provide protection, heal faster, share healing or give buffs that make them useful for more than healing alone.

“We don’t have any pure support classes, so in Path of Exile everybody must be able to heal themselves. Having to kill more monsters to heal drives the player forward. Finding flasks with specific properties becomes an essential part of your character’s development.”

Path of Exile is scheduled for a large-scale closed public beta around August. To be considered to take part in the beta, sign up for an account at

www.pathofexile.com

Key features of ‘Path of Exile’:

  • Completely free to download and play
  • A persistent online world capable of supporting hundreds of thousands of players
  • A dark and gritty game world rendered from a fixed 3D perspective
  • Randomly generated levels and items for extreme replayability
  • Online ranking and ladders for every game mode
  • Visceral combat with dozens of combinable skills
  • Battle in PVP tournaments for worldwide recognition
  • Dynamic skill system

View the trailer at www.youtube.com/grindinggear

HD trailers are available from www.pathofexile.com/video/

High-res screenshots are available from www.grindinggear.com/duelist/

To request media interviews or more information please contact:

Stephen Knightly
Pursuit Public Relations
stephen@pursuitpr.com

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Press Release - Witch

Path of Exile unveils Witch Class
Grinding Gear Games’ Free-to-Play Online Action RPG Coming in 2011

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – 20 December 2010 – Independent games studio Grinding Gear Games today unveiled the third playable character class - the Witch - and new areas and skills from Path of Exile, their upcoming online action Role-Playing Game (RPG).

The magic-using Witch can hurl fireballs and freeze enemies in place, as well as draw upon occult forces to raise zombies or detonate nearby dead corpses, amongst other skills. The powerful but volatile Witch was exiled to Wraeclast for good reason - when cornered by street thugs she fought back violently with her devastating magic. Everyone in that part of town was instantly killed, or worse. The Witch must now learn to control her powers as she explores the post-apocalyptic continent.

A new trailer focusing on the Witch also shows previously unseen areas of the corrupted land of Wraeclast. In the video the Witch moves from the coast through an abandoned prison into a cliff-side cave system which leads to a confrontation with the Merveil, the Siren, at the end of the game’s first act.

The final game will have six character classes, randomized loot, randomized levels, hundreds of skills and hundreds of enemy opponents.

“The game is designed to be incredibly flexible, and the number of possible character builds is virtually limitless. Anyone playing any class can use any of the skill gems, items and weapons they find in Path of Exile. Nothing is wasted,” said Chris Wilson, Grinding Gear Games’ Founder.

“Players will have a lot of fun experimenting with different combinations. Although they are generally rewarded for choosing abilities and items relevant to their class’ strengths, some of the best combinations could involve using off-class concepts in interesting ways.”

This character building flexibility will lead to diverse and challenging Player vs Player combat (PvP), which is optional in the game. Path of Exile will feature a variety of leagues including Hardcore, Attrition and Cut-Throat modes which have customised game rules, challenges, limited durations and valuable rewards.

The dark fantasy RPG will be free-to-play with players able to purchase in-game perks, such as extra animations, clothing and special effects. However, players will not be able to buy abilities or experience – ensuring a competitive and level playing field.

Path of Exile has been in development for four years by Grinding Gear Games, an independent studio of hardcore RPG fans based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Key features of ‘Path of Exile’:
  • Six character classes
  • Dozens of unique monsters
  • Complex randomized item system
  • Free to download and play on persistent servers
  • Freedom to use every skill and item with any class
  • Dynamic skill system
  • Competitive online PvP play
  • Randomized indoors and outdoors levels
  • Liven things up with in-game perks

High-res screenshots are available from www.grindinggear.com/witch/

View the trailer on at www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gTzQ735vB8

An HD (78MB) trailer is available from s3.amazonaws.com/pathofexile-video/Path_of_Exile_Witch_Trailer_720p_5579kbps.avi

To request media interviews or more information please contact:

Stephen Knightly
Pursuit Public Relations
media@grindinggear.com

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Press Release - Announcement

Path of Exile Puts the Dark Back into Dark PC Fantasy Role-Playing Games
Grinding Gear Games Announces Free-to-Play Online Action RPG Coming in Early 2011

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – September 1, 2010 – Independent games studio Grinding Gear Games today announced Path of Exile, a free-to-play PC online action Role-Playing Game (RPG) set in a dark fantasy world. The game will be available in early 2011.

Playing as one of six character classes, players find themselves banished for their past misdeeds to the dark fantasy world of Wraeclast. There, they will encounter hundreds of species of opponents laden with loot and mysterious artefacts as they explore the abandoned continent.

Players will be able to purchase in-game perks, such as extra victory animations, clothing and special effects. To protect the integrity of the game for all players, Grinding Gear Games has decided not to sell abilities or experience points – ensuring a level-playing field for everyone in game.

“We listened to the fan communities of several popular online action RPGs as we designed Path of Exile and are focused on replayability, depth and accessibility,” said Chris Wilson, Grinding Gear Games’ Founder. “We’ve designed the game that we would want to play ourselves, and we know hardcore Diablo, Titan Quest and Dungeon Siege players will find the style familiar and addictive.”

Wilson believes there has been a shortage of dark fantasy worlds in recent RPGs. “While the art style is a return to the classic dark fantasy that many hardcore players grew up with, we’re confident the difficulty curve is accessible enough for anyone. There are no rainbows and unicorns in our game, but there is plenty of blood and rare items to collect.”

With an open-ended and flexible skill and item system, randomised items and random dungeons, the game promises three acts of visceral combat gameplay, with additional expansions already planned.

Path of Exile has been in development for three years by Grinding Gear Games, a independent studio of hardcore RPG fans based in Auckland, New Zealand, the land that brought you the Lord of the Rings movies. The team comes from around the world with many team members meeting each other online through their passion for RPGs.

Key features of 'Path of Exile':
  • Six character classes
  • Dozens of unique monsters
  • Complex randomized item system
  • Free to download and play on persistent servers
  • Freedom to use every skill and item with any class
  • Dynamic skill system
  • Competitive online PvP play
  • Randomized indoors and outdoors levels
  • Liven things up with in-game perks
  • Coming early 2011

Grinding Gear Games will be attending Penny Arcade Expo, 3-5 September in Seattle. We will not be publicly exhibiting but are available for media previews and interviews.

To request media interviews or more information please contact:

Stephen Knightly
Pursuit Public Relations
media@grindinggear.com

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