One of the unique features of Path of Exile is leagues. When you create a character in Grinding Gears Games’ action RPG, you select your character’s league. Currently, there are default and hardcore leagues. Default is default. Hardcore means you get one life. If you die, your character suffers a fate worse than death; she is kicked downstairs to the default league. Oh, the ignominy!
However, as of tomorrow morning, Grinding Gear Games will offer additional leagues. 109 of them, to be exact. It’s the start of what they’re calling “season one”. This is a series of temporary leagues. They’re events, really, over the next month and a half, starting with a one-hour solo play league tomorrow morning at 9am Pacific. This means you start a new character and play solo for an hour to get as far as you can. Then your character is demoted to one of the permanent leagues and your account is credited with prize points based on how you ranked, whether you were first to clear a quest, what level you reached, and so forth (scoring for S01E01 — season one, event one — is listed here). Other leagues last varying amounts of time, they allow grouping, or they have superfast turbo speed monsters. You can click on upcoming leagues in the schedule for specifics.
So what’s the point? Prize points are the point. As you accumulate prize points, you work your way up a list of unique items, available only this season and listed on the season page. Maybe I can get Redbeak, a fast, hard-hitting, life-sucking sword that does more damage when you’re hurt. Could I possibly get Wanderlust, a pair of speedy, mana-charging, wool shoes that make you immune to freezing. I’d love to see what the “extra gore” trait does on those Facebreaker gloves. I’m guessing it’s something like Fallout’s “Bloody Mess” perk. But do I like Path of Exile enough to play 240 points worth of league events in the next month?
Frankly, given the way the scoring works, I’ll be lucky to have my own Redbeak by the end of season one. But I love that Grinding Gear Games is doing this sort of thing.