The Diablo Podcast #30: Path of Exile’s Chris Wilson

The thirtieth episode of The Diablo Podcast. In this episode we take a break from Diablo III to focus on another game, the upcoming free-to-play, dark fantasy MMORPG, Path of Exile. PoE’s lead developer Chris Wilson joins Flux for an in-depth conversation about the game’s innovative features, their financial plans to fund development through “ethical micro-transactions,” the game’s impending beta test, and much more.

Besides the game feature info, II was curious to hear about the experience of making a game. PoE is Grinding Gear Game’s first title, and as far as I know, many of the developers, including Chris, had never worked on a video game before. What’s it been like to go from a fan of games to a developer? Dealing with the press? Meeting fans? Handling forum fights over nerfs in patches? Listen for insight into all of that.

  • The Diablo Podcast Episode Guide in the wiki provides easy navigation with a short summary of every show.
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Here’s a newer quote from Chris, updating us on the first days of the Path of Exile beta test.

We entered Beta this week, and it has been an awesome experience. Right now, the game servers are bustling with players who seem to be having a great time and are writing up some useful notes with their impressions and feedback. The game itself hasn’t run into any major technical issues, but we’ve ironically been struggling to keep the website up. Daily traffic has ramped up to 20 times our previous average now that we have tens of thousands of fans eager to play.

We wanted to avoid swamping the game/patching servers by inviting users in waves, so we decided to trickle users in at a controllable rate. Our solution was to add a countdown timer to the Path of Exile site which invites a new user every (currently, but has been lower) 15 minutes. It shows who the last/next users to be invited are. Many fans seem to spend much of the day watching it count down to each new user. This “beta troll device” created a lot of controversy. Many people applauded the the novel approach, but a lot of fans really hated to see dozens of relatively quiet users get invited to the Beta for each prominent community member. After a lot of discussion with the community, we settled on having a second timer, which invites “veteran” community members who signed up before the recent Beta rush and actually posted on the forums.

All in all, it’s really exciting as developers to see our game getting played. We really look forward to adding content, revamping systems and generally improving the game over the next few months!

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22 thoughts on “The Diablo Podcast #30: Path of Exile’s Chris Wilson

  1. Congrats on 30! 😀 I was looking at some of the screenshots of the week and I must say, I am impressed with the tone set by the visuals.  Can’t wait to listen to the podcast after work.

  2. Path of Exile looks pretty sweet.  I love their item and UI artwork.
    -this is one game which was clear from the start about whether all game play would be online or not.

    • -just finished listening to the podcast.  Fun!  Sounds like they are doing a lot of neat things with this game.  I’m pretty excited for it.

  3. damn i hate the random beta key giveaways
    i signed in 4 beta april 2010 …. everytime i checkout the random beta key guys they signed in 2011 🙁
    i really could rage about that fact 🙁
    awesome potcast btw =)

  4. then there must be something wrong with their date server :O
    i swear the date in my profile is 16. april 2010

  5. What happened to the podcast that was recorded sometime last weekend regarding the pros and cons of the RMAH for which you kidnapped a random volunteer from this site’s community?  I was looking forward to that simply to hear opinions argued in a form other than raging or snarky forum posts, but I never saw it in the podcast list on itunes.  Thanks.

    • Blizzard sent out their minions and killed Flux’s PC so he has to re-record it. (true story… well partly)

      • Oh I believe it, they even attacked skype the last time we recorded and Flux had to record one on one and put the recordings together…..the price I have to pay for taking Bobby’s eyes in vain?….It is a curse I must live with…..

      • That is ridiculous.  Are we sure it is Blizzard (in some form) that is perpetrating this?  I was also curious about the D0S attacks and whether Blizzard was really stooping to that low low level.

        Anyway, I will look forward to that podcast when it is re-recorded.  Thanks for the quick answer.

    • I had a computer death earlier this week; had to replace the power supply and hard drive, and lost the 3 podcasts I’d recorded last weekend.  Happily I rediscovered the Chris Wilson interview last night; I’d forgotten that I had uploaded the raw file to IncGamers FTP since Rushster was going to listen and pull some quotes for news items on IncGamers.

      The RMAH ones remains lost, alas. Re-recording is scheduled for tonight, now that I’ve finally given up on trying to recover the data from the corrupted HD. I think the 2nd time will actually be better; the first one went way long (100 minutes) and was rambling. I’d have had to do a lot of editing and still have posted it in 2 parts.  2nd time we’ll focus more on the key issues and stick more to the point. I’ll plan to post it Monday morning.

  6. What I like about the PK league is people can pick up other peoples items that have been killed by monsters, I think that would be a cool thing to have in a persistent world. The rest of the PK league I don’t like at all, because a game that allows PKing tend to engorge bullies and douchebaggery behavior.

  7. All the different leagues sound fun. I liked the idea of a 6 hour ladder league, or 128 person tournament. All the different options add so much fun to the game.

  8. Played for the first time last night, hit level 7 and it was a lot of fun. Passive trees were mental though, I am going to have to play more tonight.

  9. I’m ever impressed by what i hear about PoE.  Like when he talks about the Darkfall mode, i’m thinking “these guys get it”.

  10. Nice podcast. Chris sounded quite sharp for a guy who, I suspect, hasn’t had a lot of sleep over the last few days.

    @Rushster – I wouldn’t get too attached to the current passive tree. These things…… change.

    Flux – my thanks for your original info about PoE which led me to the site.

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