Path of Exile Developer Grinding Gear Games has finally officially confirmed the existence of the long-rumored hard-mode version of the game, titled “Ruthless”. Although the free-to-play hack ‘n’ slash has offered a number of endgame tier expansions to its most hardcore audience over the years, it was always only a matter of time before super-powered meta builds ended up dominating the new content.
With that in mind, Path of Exile have often struggled to retain players who want a slower, more strategic and perhaps punishing gaming experience that will keep them on their toes for long periods of time. The existence of a dedicated hard mode has long been rumoured, as production is apparently taking place in the background with no dedicated announcements to speak of.
Now, however, Grinding Gear Games seems ready to make an announcement Path of Exile: Reckless. Players looking for more things to ruin Path of Exile’s playthrough will be thrilled to hear that Ruthless Mode aims to crank the difficulty to the max with a comprehensive set of changes to the core gameplay loop. “Ruthless is not for everyone,” reads the official announcement. “Ruthless is a mode about friction, tension and anticipation.” With extremely scarce item drops, very few reliable sources of currency, and limited crafting, the goal of making progression is painstakingly difficult, but all the more meaningful.
The GameRant interview Path of Exile developer Chris Wilson back in 2021, where he talked about the difficulty of properly balancing the game’s loot sources. Wilson specifically noted how GGG looks into the way players expect to receive twice as much loot for killing enemies twice as fast as they otherwise would, and how this approach also affects game design. The announced changes to the game loop that come with Ruthless mode go some way to addressing this issue, it seems.
According to the announcement, Ruthless Mode is currently undergoing a small alpha test and is scheduled to launch alongside the game’s December expansion pack. In the meantime, the players must keep up Path of Exile: Lake Kalandra content while they await more information about Ruthless and other related content.
Ruthless Mode can be especially important now that it’s newer Diablo 4 gameplay leaks suggest it’s a slower, more methodical ARPG with meaningful progression systems. Path of Exile may have captured the previously dedicated Diablo players a while back, but everything indicates that Blizzard takes things seriously, and that the company aims to deliver a very comprehensive genre offer right from the start.
Path of Exile is available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
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Source: Path of Exile