When you ask me what’s the closest F2P MMO that resembles a Diablo experience the answer is simple, Path of Exile. The more Diablo-2-then-3 action MMO has been in some form of beta for a long time now, with initial closed beta access beginning way back in August 2011.
Originally the developers had hoped for a December 2012 launch date, but as we all know, dates are always subject to change. In the case of Path of Exile the game’s open beta has been delayed, but not by much. The new open beta date is scheduled for January 23rd, 2013. So about a month delayed depending on how you slice it. Perhaps the developers just wanted to see how this whole Mayan apocalypse thing played out first.
A more realistic reason came from Path of Exile’s lead designer Chris Wilson, who explained on the game’s forum that the developers “want the first few months of Open Beta to set the precedent” in terms of reacting quickly to feedback on the game and the ability to “add features/content the players want.” Chris went on say that the developers “do not want everyone’s first experience with the game to be that nothing changes for a month. If any unexpected problems arose or the game became very popular in December, the support team wouldn’t be at full strength to service the needs of all players”
In an age of developers rushing their titles into open beta, only to be faced with numerous bugs and player complaints, it is refreshing to see developers know their limitations on what they can deliver in a timely manner so as to not impede on players’ experiences. To that I silently tip my hat to you Grinding Gear.
If you would like to know more about Path of Exile you can check out our First Look above. Are you looking forward to playing Path of Exile?