When Path of Exile 2 was announced four years ago, it was going to expand on and overtake Path of Exile 1. The original action RPG's campaign was still going to be playable, but PoE's transformation into Path of Exile 2 would add in a new campaign and alter the endgame—sort of like how Overwatch 2 replaced Overwatch. Well, plans change.
During this year's ExileCon keynote, developer Grinding Gear Games revealed that it has changed its mind, and Path of Exile 2 will now be a separate game that runs in its own client.
"PoE2's scope has continued to grow and grow" since that 2019 announcement, said Grinding Gear Games co-founder Jonathan Rogers. The sequel so far adds six new classes, 36 ascendancy classes, 600 new monsters, 100 bosses, 240 active skills, 1,500 passive skills, new mechanics (a dodge roll with no cooldown got one of the biggest applauses), and more.
"This thing is just freaking huge," said Rogers. "There was a point where we realized that our plan to replace PoE1 with PoE2 would essentially be getting rid of a game that people love for no real reason. So we made a decision: Path of Exile 1 and 2 will be separate, with their own mechanics, balance, endgames, and leagues."
The two games won't be totally isolated from each other, though. Rogers added that in-game purchases will be available in both games, except where incompatible, and promised that this will be the case for as long as the games exist.
"Everything you have ever purchased or will purchase in the future will be usable in both games unless it's hyper-specific to the content of one of them," Rogers said. "You can't transform into a bear in PoE1, so a reskin of your bear form isn't going to work. But you absolutely can equip the awesome sword skin you got and use all your stash tabs."
The developers are now demonstrating a portion of Path of Exile 2's campaign, the "Jungle Depths" of Act 3, with the new Monk class, one of the six being added in the sequel.
The Monk won't be the only high-mobility class in PoE 2, as Rogers says that melee combat in PoE2 generally has "a very different feel" than it did in PoE1, with some kind of movement attached to nearly every melee skill.
The stream goes deep on PoE2's combat, and we break down all the new Path of Exile 2 stuff here.
At the end of the presentation, Rogers announced the slightly disappointing news that the Path of Exile 2 beta won't start for another year, on June 7, 2024.
"Path of Exile 2 has been a long time coming, and we're incredibly excited to near the finish line, but we are not quite there yet," he said. "We are determined not to rush this, and make sure we get it right. In the meantime, there's a lot in store for PoE1."