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Path of Exile 2 director says a huge endgame is “mandatory” for ARPGs

Path of Exile 2 director Jonathan Rogers discusses the importance of a large endgame, as the Diablo 4 rival prepares for early access launch.

Path of Exile 2 director says a big endgame is "mandatory" - A barbarian with long hair swept down one side of their head raises an arm in victory.

With Diablo 4 Season 3 well underway and the Last Epoch 1.0 launch just around the corner, 2024 is looking to be a big year for the action RPG. Path of Exile 2 is certainly set to be one of the headline acts, marking the launch of a full, standalone sequel that’s set to run alongside the now decade-old champion. With the original PoE regarded by many as the go-to ARPG for hardcore players and those looking to truly invest themselves into buildcrafting and systems, its director takes a moment to talk about what the PoE 2 endgame will look like.

Speaking to Twitch streamer and YouTuber Max ‘Wudijo’ R. in a two-hour interview, Path of Exile 2 director Jonathan Rogers from Grinding Gear Games discusses all manner of design decisions as the team prepares to kick off its first public beta test in June this year. While many topics get discussed over the course of the video, Wudijo kicks things off by jumping to the endgame, and what players expect to see from the best RPG games.

Rogers says that, going into the early access period, “There certainly won’t be as much content as Path of Exile 1 has.” You can expect to see the endgame map system, which is fairly akin to that of the first game’s core endgame level generation, and “a few other things that you can do as well on the side – without spoiling too much.”

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Going into the full release, however, Rogers says, “There will certainly be a very large amount of endgame content – we definitely appreciate that you can’t really launch an action RPG without having a huge amount of endgame. It’s just mandatory. We’re very, very cognizant of that.”

It’s certainly a pointed statement to make; Rogers doesn’t draw any direct comparisons, but following the Diablo 4 Season 3 gauntlet delay, Blizzard’s third season has seen plenty of criticism for a fairly one-note endgame that largely amounts to running Diablo 4 nightmare dungeons and facing off repeatedly against its Uber bosses, introduced in Season 2, for a chance at the rarest gear.

So what can we expect to see in Path of Exile 2 at launch? “Not only do you need to have really big endgame fights to do,” Rogers explains, “but you need a variety of different things that you can go between – different types of parallel end games as well. I would not consider the game to be complete as far as entering into full release without having a lot of that stuff.”

Path of Exile 2 - A Mercenary fires guns at onrushing enemies in this top-down action RPG.

Pinnacle bosses are one of those key pillars, and you can expect those to make a return, although Rogers notes these won’t be present at the start of the early access period. While things should be a little less systems-dense than the first Path of Exile has become, Wudijo asks what we can expect once Path of Exile 2 leagues (their seasonal updates) begin to roll out, to which Rogers says to expect a similar cycle to that of the first.

“What we’ve always done with our leagues is we make sure there’s an endgame element to every league we do, and it will be the same in Path of Exile 2 as well. Some of the challenge of the league extends all the way to the end.” He points out that not every league is necessarily as successful as the others, but that the plan is to find ways to integrate the popular ones in a more permanent form.

“We’re running up to the line here,” he notes about the team’s preparations for its planned early access launch on Friday June 7. “We were really hoping to get a lot of that PoE1 content ported in before that point, but it looks like it’s going to be during early access – and I think that will honestly be fine, because given that the campaign is new, even just getting through all of the content that’s there will take people a very long time.”

Stay tuned to PCGamesN for all the latest on the Path of Exile 2 release date, beta, and news as it happens. We’ve also picked out the best games like Diablo in 2024 if you’re looking to broaden your horizons even more.

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