First up is a detailed and fascinating from mtnba2k's blog

First up is a detailed and fascinating perspective on the design philosophy behind the Undying. Developers believed that the Undying had become a "relatively unremarkable monster type" and wished to do something more to help it stand out from the match. To that end, the team went through a collection of planning phases to make something unique to the race throughout the poe trade currency game.

Our aim with the participant's first encounter of Act Three has been that the first area would be quite silent, with no monsters to fight outside. Upon entering the shade, however, players could be charged by mortal City Stalkers and might have to retreat to the protection of the sunlight. Their experience with the rest of the Act will involve a game of caring very much that regions were shaded, while occasionally being made to step out of the light to travel between buildings. Because of their early encounters with the City Stalkers, they would fear every moment spent from sun, as it is 1 step away from being swarmed by the deadliest monsters in Path of Exile. We planned for City Stalkers to have enormous life regeneration, preventing players from making reasonable progress beyond them.


Next up on the plan docket is a discussion of the design and advancement of Gems. Most importantly, the thought process behind the most recently-introduced stone is explored. As you might remember, nine new gems were inserted "including four Skill gems that concentrated on Necromancy", one of the trademark features in War for the Atlas. Senior Game Designer Rory discusses moving from an overall discussion of skills that would be added and how gems could fit in that design structure. For instance, carrying the foundation skill of Detonate Dead and changing it with the addition of a gem was something that the team. Obviously, some abilities worked better than many others in this regard, however, as Rory states, all of this is part and parcel of sport development. .

We had also prototyped a skill codenamed "Infernal Sweep" that was a fiery subject of effect sweep attack that exploded nearby corpses. Early testing showed it felt awful to use, having to swing twice to kill several enemies then again to poe exalted orbs detonate their bodies to get bigger area damage. The skill was spectacular, but did not play well unless it had been boosted in both beginning place and harm to the point where it both invalidated the roles of Sweep and Infernal Blow. This skill went back to the drawing board and we'll likely see it in future with added mechanisms or without the reliance on corpses.

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