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You - Yes, You - Can Play Path Of Exile This Weekend

This is, of course, only after the enemies spent many hours planning a strategy and smartly taking note of their surroundings en route to calculating the perfect moment to strike.

Weekends are such joyous things – so full of freedom and possibility, and utterly devoid of unpleasant obligations. Unless, of course, you’re an unreleased multiplayer videogame. Then your weekends are all about crushing, senses-overwhelming stress. Well, stress tests, anyway. This time around, it’s Path of Exile‘s turn to see whether or not its servers will groan and creak under the weight of the stampeding masses’ electronic masses. Would you like to scream, stampede, and stab many, many things for a good cause? Then read on.

The test kicks off on Friday, and you need only create an account and download the game client to join in. And, if you choose to do so, it sounds like you’ve got quite a lot to look forward to. For one, Grinding Gear notes that its last test went “really well,” so rickety servers shouldn’t be too much of a concern. Also, this is no Diablo III beta. You won’t be click-click-clicking your way through all its content in, well, three clicks.

“All of the current Closed Beta content [is in the stress test]. This includes two acts repeated over four difficulties (about 69 levels worth of content), our new end-game Maps, Default and Hardcore leagues, six character classes, approximately 70 active skills, 40 support gems and hundreds of types of items. The new Act Two boss fight is included in this patch!”

So basically, it’ll be impossible to get through everything. On top of that, Grinding Gear’s planned a few events with “prizes” (hopefully candy!), so even previous beta players who’ve already spent ludicrous amounts of time hacking and slashing both paths, exiles, and ofs won’t be completely at a lack for things to do.

The long-in-development ARPG seems to be shaping up extremely well, too, so if you’re looking to justify your non-purchase, there are reasons. For instance, the modifiable map system is a brilliant extension of gear-slotting in other games, and the skill tree… web… minotaur labyrinth looks as versatile as it is complex. Long story short, this one shows serious promise, so why not give it a go?

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Nathan Grayson

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