Path of Exile. It's dark and moody. It's free to download and play. Its
web of skill trees
is scarier than any towering boss demon. Most importantly, it seeks to be the spiritual Diablo 2 followup purists want. Open beta commenced
back in January
, and the game's community
has swelled immensely
since then. Developer Grinding Gear is now looking at launch plans and beyond, and speaking to
, co-founder Chris Wilson says it will release in six months and get yearly expansions.
When version 1.0 hits, Wilson says, it'll mark the end of the open beta period and turn Exile "reviewable," though many of its critical systems—ubiquitous piles of loot, abilities for each of the six classes, and a token-based
—are already in place. According to Wilson, 1.0's focus will be furnishing Act 3 with a full storyline and additional monsters and items.
Grinding Gear intends to release expansions "over the next 5 to 10 years," Wilson explains. Though uncommitted to a solid schedule, Wilson believes the community's size and the studio's previous experience with milling out extra content such as its
will make expansions a "once a year thing."