Path Of Exile 1 And Path Of Exile 2 Are Two Different Games! - Differences Between POE 1 & POE 2

These are all the differences between Path of Exile 1 and its independent sequel, Path of Exile 2 that we know about after the conclusion of ExileCon 2023.

Path Of Exile 1 And Path Of Exile 2 Are Two Different Games! - Differences Between POE 1 & POE 2

Crafting In POE 2

As it currently stands, crafting is entirely different in Path of Exile 2.

Firstly, the Crafting Bench no longer exists unless there is a replacement that has not been detailed yet. This means you can no longer add an extra affix to your gear with ease, whether it’s Fire Resistance, a bit of Maximum Life, or a few points of damage.

Additionally, metacrafting might be gone with this removal, too. This means all the metamods like suffixes cannot be changed that enable players to craft powerful items might no longer be accessible. This system was originally added to Path of Exile 1 in 1.2 Forsaken Masters and was seen as a good update by many. It’s going extinct in POE 2.

Alongside the removal of the Crafting Bench, multiple crafting currency items have been changed or removed in POE 2. Orbs of Alteration, the POE Currency that allow you to re-roll the affixes of magic items are gone completely. So are Orbs of Scouring, the POE Currency that allow you to transform a rare or magic item into a normal item. Chaos Orbs have also been changed.

Now, they randomly remove one affix and add another. Essentially, they’re re-rolling a single affix on a rare item, not all of them as they used to. As you’ve seen in the picture below, every currency item is getting a facelift with the sequel. The art looks objectively incredible.

Path of Exile Currency Items

Vendors & Gold

Sticking to the currency subject, vendors will not trade you shards or full-on currency orbs in Path of Exile 2. When you sell them items, they will give you Gold.

This Gold can be used to purchase POE Items from various vendors who are supposed to have well stocked actually decent items in their shops.

Plus, you’ll be able to use Gold to gamble for items, even unique items. It’s a bit like POE 1’s Gwennen Gambling system in Expedition.

Flasks are getting a major shake-up in POE 2. Normal monsters will no longer grant flask charges instead, only magic, rare, and unique mobs will. This drastically decreases the rate at which your flasks recharge.

Plus, flasks will no longer fill entirely upon visiting a town. You must use a well in the town to refill them. Utility flasks are also catered to be reactionary, not enhancements.

We don’t exactly know which flasks will remain in POE 2. But we do know Quicksilver Flasks currently do not exist in the sequel to POE 1. These are the flasks that increase your movement speed.

Big Boss Changes

The core mechanics surrounding boss fights are also updated in POE 2.

Corpse rushing or the act of respawning and rushing an already injured boss, is dead. If you die during a boss fight, you’ll need to begin the fight from the beginning. In the same vein, logging out midfight will no longer save you from Deadly Strikes. When you log back in, you’ll zone in to the moment you left. The boss will have no mercy on you. This kills the log out macro used by many hardcore POE players.

Unlike POE 1, every single area in the game will have a meaningful boss encounter. Most are as in-depth as the present-day Pinnacle Bosses. This will lead to POE 2 to launch with at least 100 distinct bosses in the campaign. This doesn’t account for a new endgame or Pinnacle Bosses.

Bosses are also integral even to base POE 2 character power progression. Certain optional bosses and core bosses will reward statistical character-based passive bonuses upon killing them. This function is in a similar vein to the current kill or ally with the bandits questline in POE 1 Act 2, except it appears the bonuses are varied and far more frequent.

For example, one boss might grant +5% Fire Resistance while another might increase your Maximum Life by 50%. Additionally, bosses will now be a good source of great items the first time you kill them. In the campaign, the first time you kill each boss, it will have a huge bonus to rarity, encouraging you not to skip them.

Those aren’t the only big boss changes. You are also able to stun and freeze bosses in POE 2. Each boss has a custom stun animation. Many bosses and creatures, for that matter, can now be much larger too as they’ve redone how hitboxes work. All hitboxes in POE 1 are square, but in POE 2, they can greatly customize that and allow for huge encounters.

Skill & Gem Updates

As discovered in 2019, we no longer socket gems into our gear. We socket support gems into skill gems.

A further difference between POE 1 and POE 2 revealed in Exilecon 2023 is that we initially find uncut gems and then can choose what gem to transfer support those into, selecting from dozens of scales.

Path of Exile 2 Skill Gem Updates

Uncut gems are various tiers, which allow access to each different tier of skill gems. Firestorm might be a tier 2 skill and always begin as a fifth level gem while Fireball might be a tier 1 scale and always begin at first level.

POE 2’s new gem system will not be brought into POE 1. The system shall remain distinctly different. Many skill gems are also hyper fixated on a specific situation or use, as you can have up to 9 six-Link skills in POE 2.

Touching on support gems briefly, many don’t add raw damage anymore and instead focus on adding quite specific mechanics to your skill gems. Pure damage adding supports do still exist, but they’re fewer in number.

Unlike POE 1, weapon swapping will be important and consequential in the sequel in POE 2. You can tie specific clusters of your passive skill tree alongside specific skill gems to either of your weapons.

For example, you can have a fire damage ax and a cold damage ax. When you use a certain slam scale tied to fire damage, you will pull out the attached fire damage ax and use a passive skill tree tied to dealing more fire damage. When you use a different slam skill tied to cold damage, you will automatically swap to the cold damage ax and the version of your skill tree tied to enhancing cold damage.

This could allow characters to actually build out a weapon and skill specifically for bossing accompanied by another set catered to clearing huge packs with the ability to swap seamlessly between. The two the possibilities here are absolutely ridiculous.

Layered on top of these gems and weapon differences is the fact that GGG is designing many skill gems to be tied to specific weapons, an amount far larger than in POE 1.

The most prominent example at Exile Con was the Warrior demos, using the two-handed mace. Many of the skills used were either tied explicitly to maces or, even more specifically, two-handed maces. This is intentional, meant to give each weapon an identity.

Additionally, weapon implicits are going to be far wilder. For example, a mace implicit might destroy enemy corpses if they are killed with a critical hit, while a dagger might break an enemy’s armor by a certain amount upon crit. This is far more very than POE 1 where, for example, sword implicits are all tied to accuracy rating.

Also Read: Everything We Know About Path Of Exile 2 So Far - 11 Points

POE 2 Character Classes

In Path of Exile 2, there are 12 character classes. The only class missing from Path of Exile 1 is the Scion, which wouldn’t mesh well with the new class identities GGG is going for with the sequel.

The six new classes are the Warrior, the Sorceress, the Mercenary, the Monk, the Huntress, and the Druid.

Like the initial six, each is tied to a specific attribute or attribute combination. Each of the matched classes starts at specific points on the new massive passive skill tree. But they all have unique gem rewards and a set of three new ascendancy classes attached.

Each of the 12 POE 2 classes has their own batch of three ascendancies, stacking up to a total of 36 total ascendancy classes. All of these ascendancy classes are different to the ones in Path of Exile 1.

For example, the Ranger in POE 2 can ascend as a Beastmaster, a Tactician, or a Survivalist. But in POE 1, she can become a Deadeye, a Pathfinder, or a Raider. These sets of new ascendancies will greaten the divide between the predecessor and its sequel.

As will the fact that you do not ascend via the Labyrinth, there is a new Ascension mechanic in POE 2.

Lots Of Small POE 1 & POE 2 Differences

Now, here’s a barrage of miscellaneous differences between the two games.

Passive skill tree masteries will not be in Path of Exile 2. They’re a POE 1 only feature for now.

Portal Scrolls now have about a 2.5 second casting animation during boss fights, only you can be knocked out of the animation. This is similar to how the Portal gem in POE 1 functions.

Many league mechanics are unlocked by specific quests. For example, the revamped Delirium mechanic is unleashed upon interacting with a quest involving the strange voice. In POE 1, most league mechanics just occur randomly at first.

Path of Exile 2 World Map

The world map is massive, sprawling, and far more detailed than Path of Exile 1’s.

Player characters, our Exiles, speak much more and dynamically adjust choices we make during our playthroughs. For example, if we zoom past NPCs without speaking, they’ll remark to us and will retort.

Fewer items drop from monsters. Vendor shops are more incentivized. Perhaps this is a campaign-only concept with loot becoming a bigger slice of the pie in the late game.

Area maps are much larger and they feel much larger due to the lower overall speed of movement. Fortunately, they do appear to be swarmed with monsters and boss fights.

All item icons will have a consistency between them, unlike in POE 1, wherein some icons might be cartoony or just enhanced pictures. Iconic unique items, like Headhunter and Chaperone’s wrappings, will be in POE 2.

Staves as a weapon will always include a mana free spell skill attached as implicits, while Quarterstaffs will fulfill the melee staff experience.

Resistances no longer go below zero. The new resource Spirit is used for all skills that usually dealt with Mana Reservation. There will be new support for it on the passive skill tree and items.

Scepters are extremely minion and aura focused weapons now. Additionally, Traps and Mines are now actual weapons, not skill gems.

Complete Wrap-Up

Overall POE 1 and POE 2 are both ARPGs set in the world of Wraeclast developed by Grinding Gear Games.

They do appear to have fundamental differences, especially when it comes to maintaining resources. But I’m confident both will be excellent games to play and I plan on continuing to play and cover both of them as long as I’m having fun.

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