MMO/ARPG Path of Exile has been on our radar before for taking what the developers call an “ethical” approach to microtransactions where purchasables are simply cosmetic, as well as for its in-game charity runs which have brought in over $20,000 at a time. It’s a strategy that seems to be paying off given that game has garnered 5 million users since it came out of its long beta-phase last year. The good news that a new, and free, expansion entitled Path of Exile: Forsaken Masters is coming out soon.
The expansion is based around the story of the titular Forsaken Masters of Wraeclast, seven masters of their trades who were exiled by Dominus. The Forsaken Masters will act as quest givers, offering: “separate and unique quests, training, mission variations, item crafting and modification options, secret and customizable towns known as Hideouts, tiers of Hideout decorations”. Hideouts can double as impromptu Guild Halls.
Two new 3-month long Challenge Leagues, “Rampage” which is a standard Challenge League and “Beyond” which is a “hardcore” Challenge League will also be added. Though developer Grinding Gear Games promises that both leagues will be have their own “set of extremely difficult challenges”. Microtransaction effects will be awarded to players who clear 5/8 challenges, with another reward effect for those that clear all 8. The effects themselves were not detailed.
In addition there’s a helping of other goodies that you might expect: 16 new items, revamped boss encounters, rejigged game balance, Wraeclast lore expansion and some hefty changes to Passive Skill trees, in particular to the Witch, Shadow, and outer Ranger class areas.
Path of Exile: Forsaken Masters will go up download as a free-update on August 20.