Grinding Gears Games, the New Zealand Development house behind Path of Exile, has been quietly working on the beta since August last year. Today, it announced that it would open the Beta for public access this weekend, March 30-April 1.
"The open weekend will include the first two acts of the game, Default and Hardcore leagues, five character classes, approximately 55 active skills, 40 support gems and hundreds of item types," Grinding Gears said in an email to all beta testers this morning.
The online-only RPG is free to play, and has been likened to Diablo 2, among other games. You play as one of five classes: Marauder (strength), Ranger (dexterity), Witch (intelligence), Duelist (strength/dexterity) or Templar (strength/intelligence).
Characters adventure through the dark fantasy environment, tackling monsters and quests, and level up via skill-trees. Skills are also acquired through "Skill Gems" that can be added to equipment to boost skills and these gain powers as characters gain experience.
The game can be played in solo, co-op or pvp mode. Trailers and videos showing some of the game details are available on Grinding Gears Youtube channel.
Grinding Gears says that several events will be run over the weekend, including area-clearing and ladder races for experience. Details will be posted to the website.
The full Open Beta will commence in a couple of months, and this weekend is designed to stress-test the servers, but it's a great chance to try out the game.
Grinding Gears has prepared a list of frequently asked questions about the open weekend for anyone considering getting involved.
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