This article is talking in-depth about what was revealed in the 4.0 keynote presentation, so if you want to watch it yourself without being spoiled on the content, look away now!
Ringing in the 4.0 announcement, Einhar took us on a journey for the keynote presentation, bringing hype in the way only everybody’s favorite hunter can. While it was not EinharCon, he made sure to let everyone know what would happen at his own convention, and tossed a few stupid beasts into the crowd, before bringing Chris, Jonathan, and Eric onstage to present the 4.0 Keynote. They took a retrospective look at the roots of Path of Exile, and talked about what has kept the game fresh. As we have heard, 4.0 will be the biggest expansion of all time, even one-upping the six acts released in 3.0.
Our trailer opens on the death of our own exiles, with only the witch escaping to twilight strange, followed instantly by beautiful, grim new content. The trailer shows an amazing revamp of the look of the game, with content taking place 20 years from the fall of Kitava, heralding horrors anew, transformation skills, and the amazing, unexpected announcement of Path of Exile 2, a second campaign for the game. This allows them to expand the game, with all the endgame content that is in the game already, with a new campaign but a shared endgame. Unsurprisingly, it will all come with improvements to the main campaign, in terms of aesthetics, balance, and performance.
4.0 will include massive improvements to the looks of the game, including changes to the rigging system for players, which should be huge improvements to the animations in the game. We will still be getting new content leading up to the 4.0 release.
As the announcements continue, Jonathan showed off what 4.0 will look like, with a live gameplay demo. This includes changes to the physics and rendering systems, and new mechanics, like NPC questgivers in story areas. We have huge overhauls coming to the skill system, with supports being placed into active skill gems as well. This will allow gear to be swapped quicker and without the pain of having to swap all your gems, and allows things like the casting of all your auras in a single click. You can have up to eight six links on a single character, and there are plenty of new things coming much earlier than 4.0’s release, including the vast majority of support gems that are shown off in the demo.
Shapeshifting will be coming with Path of Exile 2, with animations and the smoothness that we are coming to expect from new content. You will be able to use currently existing skills, rather than getting an all new set of skills when you transform, so you can be the leap slamming and cleaving monstrosity of a werewolf that you have always wanted to be.
The new bosses are more exciting, with more complexity and the design skills that have been learned over the many years of experience that GGG now has under their belts. Even early bosses are comparable to end-of-story bosses that are in the game now.
You can catch demos being streamed by a variety of streamers, throughout the weekend.