Action RPG’s have for the most part always been about two modes, normal and hardcore. Players play through their respective campaign difficulty under the relatively straight forward cyclical mindset of level up > collect better loot > progress. Any competition that arose within that dynamic usually consisted of who could make it through the campaign the quickest or without dying. Generally developers didn’t cater any special rewards or create any real competition guidelines based around these inner community races to the finish line, until now.
With Path of Exile, the developers at Grinding Gears have gone so far as to create whole seasons based around these once community only competitions. Called race events, these competitions are short-term leagues that are separate from the main game with separate characters and varying goals. The first season of race events were just announced today and will bring prizes to those that finish in top-place for each race along with prizes for achieving good results for a set of events within a season, and prizes for placing at the top of the realm overall in a given season.
According to Chris Wilson, producer at GG, the race league works something like this:
The leagues generally reward players who can level up quickly and place in the top ranks of their character class, but there are also rewards for meeting objectives like finishing side quests or full-clearing areas first. By structuring the races into seasons, players are motivated to participate in multiple events and it gives them something meaningful to work toward over the course of several weeks.”
Race competitions only mark the first in a series of competitive modes GG will be implementing in the near future. So if blitzing through content is not your style of competition then rest assure other modes for players with less time on their hands will be made available. Are any of you planning on competing?