Next up on the design docket is a discussion

  • Next up on the design docket is a discussion of the poe currency design and advancement of Gems. Most importantly, the thought process behind the most recently-introduced gems is explored. As you may recall, nine new jewels were added "including four wrought stone that concentrated on Necromancy", one of the trademark features in War for the Atlas. Senior Game Designer Rory discusses moving from an overall discussion of skills that would be inserted and how gems could fit in that design matrix. For example, carrying the base skill of Detonate Dead and changing it with the addition of a gem was something the team actively explored. Obviously, some abilities worked better than others in this regard, but, as Rory states, all of that is a part and parcel of game development. .

    We'd also prototyped a ability codenamed "Infernal Sweep" which was a fiery area of effect sweep assault that exploded nearby corpses. Early testing revealed it felt awful to use, having to swing two to first kill several enemies then again to detonate their own bodies for bigger area damage. The ability was visually spectacular, but didn't play well unless it was boosted in both starting area and damage to the point where it both invalidated the roles of Sweep and Infernal Blow. This ability went back to the drawing board and we'll probably see it again in future with added mechanisms or without the reliance on corpses.

    The article further goes into details about Support Gems and how layout iterates from concept to finished job. You can check it out here.

    Similar to stone, a range of "elder uniques" were added in War for the Atlas that can simply fall from The Elder himself. Game Designer Hrishi took some time to discuss the Cyclopean Coil, Blasphemer's Grasp, Nebuloch, Hopeshredder, Shimmeron, Impresence and Watcher's Eye. Each has its own unique market in Path of Exile, both in terms of its distinctive look, but also with regard to what it adds to the overall player more guide experience through characteristic focus, ailment focus and much more.