Grinding Gear Games has announced the latest content update for its free-to-play action RPG Path of Exile. Though not considered a full expansion by the developer, the Bestiary 3.2.0 content update nonetheless adds plenty to the game, and Lead Designer Chris Wilson gave RPGamer a preview of what it includes.
The primary addition to Path of Exile comes in the titular Bestiary Challenge League. Like previous Challenge Leagues, players are tasked with starting a new game with unique aspects to it. The Bestiary Challenge League tasks players with finding, weakening, and finally capturing various beasts throughout Wraeclast, with around 250 regular creatures and 40 legendary creatures in total. As beasts are captured, they are added to the Bestiary, providing a record of what players have captured so far.
When a creature has been captured, it is transported to players' Menageries, where players can visting them and use them to fuel a new type of crafting called Beastcrafting. Beastcrafting requires the ritual of Sacrifice by Combat, where players must defeat the beasts, and results in various powerful items, with different recipes requiring different combinations of beasts to be sacrificed. In addition, capturing and crafting special selections of beasts can reward players with spirit boss encounters that have unique item rewards. Bestiary has four unique item sets based on those spirit beasts. Chris stated that the developer is looking at adding the Bestiary content to the base game at a later date, albeit with some adjustments to the balance.
In addition to the Bestiary Challenge League, the 3.2.0 update adds new content to the base game. High-level players will now be able to use a special item to fight both the Shaper and the Elder, from the recent War for the Atlas expansion, simultaneously in the toughest boss fight created for the game so far. There are also 29 new Unique items, and various tasks called Prophecies, that can transform existing items into one of 30 new Fated Unique items, as well as three new gems including the 'Spectral Shield Throw' skill gem and 'Summon Phantasm on Kill' support gem. The game's Ascendancy class system, initially released in 2016, has also received an overhaul, giving players the opportunity to experiment with new specialised builds.
2017 was a strong year for Path of Exile, with the launch of the game's 3.0 version as well as its arrival on Xbox One. Grinding Gear Games stated that 2017 saw double the number of hours logged by players compared to 2016, with over 3.5 million playing the Fall of Oriath expansion. The Bestiary content update is scheduled for release on March 2, 2018 for both PC and Xbox One.