MMOSO POE - What is the Path of Exile "Ruthless" mode? When will it be released?
Path of Exile developer Grinding Gear Games has officially announced POE's long-rumored "Ruthless" mode, an additional character creation emblem alongside Hardcore and Solo Self-Found, featuring "extreme item scarcity" and other dynamics. The developers are expected to release the flag with the 3.20 expansion in December, and will conduct a small alpha test of Ruthless based on 3.19 to get feedback from the community.
The article published to promote the news stated that there are currently no patch notes for Ruthless stats, but a summary of the general impression players can expect. Ruthless will not replace regular POEs, but will act as a "challenge mode for certain types of players". It doesn't monetize differently, keeps the game free, and allows players to use existing microtransactions.
Ruthless is a mode that "reimagines the traditional understanding of where the endgame is in Path of Exile", which makes the entire experience of POE in this mode an endgame. Grinding Gear notes that "reaching higher campaign behavior, let alone maps, is an achievement."
Traditionally, weak items are more valuable, while high-level characters and rare items are actually sacred and worthy of immediate bragging. All items and crafted currency drops will be fully shredded. Players will not be able to buy gems from vendors. Even Flasks won't regenerate after entering a town or your hideout, and hardcore Ruthless characters die forever and won't transfer to Standard.
Now, Grinding Gear Games appears to be ready to announce Path of Exile: Ruthless. Players looking for more of a potentially disruptive Path of Exile game will be happy to hear that Ruthless mode aims to max out the difficulty with sweeping changes to the core game loop. "Ruthless is not for everyone," the official statement said. "Ruthless is a mod about friction, tension, and anticipation." With item drops being extremely rare, reliable sources of currency very few, and crafting limited, our goal was to make progression very difficult, but more rewarding. If you're eager for alpha testing and want to help Grinding Gear find the sweet spot for Ruthless, you can sign up via the article. Otherwise, all players can expect to see the mode in December in a pseudo-beta, which will likely have mid-cycle tweaks and no challenges.
The Ruthless mode may be especially important right now, as recent leaks of the Diablo 4 game suggest it's a slower, more structured ARPG with a meaningful progression system. Path of Exile may have captured previously dedicated Diablo players not too long ago, but everything shows that Blizzard takes things seriously, and the company aims to deliver a very well-rounded genre product right from the start.
According to the announcement, the Ruthless mode is currently undergoing a small-scale alpha test and will launch with the game's December expansion pack. In the meantime, players will need to stick with Path of Exile: Lake of Kalandra content as they await more information on Ruthless and other related content.