The year 2014 was pretty big for Path of Exile, which underwent some significant changes including two mini-expansions that made it even bigger than before. The game is now over a year old as a fully released product, and Grinding Gear Games is looking to add even more to the table with some more big additions. Before the end of the year, they are introducing Patch 1.3.0, an update that is set to add a lot of new things as well as overhaul one of the most in-demand features in the game. Also, there are new challenge leagues, a new NPC, new unique Path of Exile items and gems, and an updated passive skill tree. Obviously, this list is of very significant changes that will make Path of Exile feel just a bit more diverse than before.
This patch will give the PvP mode a huge revamp to make it even more competitive. This has been planned for a long time now and it could pave the way for even deeper competitive play in Path of Exile to accompany the race leagues, which have given Grinding Gear Games invaluable insight into supporting competitive play with prizes and regular news coverage, among other things. The biggest changes are PvP-specific rebalancing outside of the regular game and the inclusion of tournament seasons. There are also new UI improvements that include an Events Screen for showing upcoming PvP tournaments and other events within the game itself. The first tournament seasons will start as soon as the patch is released.
There are two new challenge leagues, namely Torment and Bloodlines. They both have their own economies and unique theme that add new dimension to how Path of Exile is played. Torment Challenge League is the standard one, wherein spirits of dead criminals haunting the lands, and you can get their ill-gotten gains when you slay them. They are all about protecting their treasures, so they run away when you get near and they can also strengthen nearby monsters with powers. That enhancement effect also has an effect of improving their item drops, it playing this league can be quite rewarding for those who farm hard.
As for the Bloodlines Challenge League, it's the hardcore league that has packs of magic monsters with a shared Bloodlines mod which gives them effects during combat. Some of those effects come up while they are still alive, and some when they get killed. It is a bit similar to Nemesis, but that one was more on individual monsters with additional powers, while the Bloodlines league is more on groups of monsters with their own powers as a whole. Different strategies and approaches are needed to go up against these groups in order to fight them effectively.
Hundreds more improvements are coming for Path of Exile on top of all this, which will top off 2014 and welcome 2015 for Path of Exile players of all levels. Of course, it still does not stop there as the new year will expect even more new things for the game from Grinding Gear Games.