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Path Of Exile 2's Skill Gem System Explained

While Path of Exile 2 isn't due out until 2022, developer Grinding Gear Games has shared new information about the ARPG in a preview for IGN. Originally announced in 2019, the follow-up to the successful free-to-play game is looking to make improvements upon the original, while still allowing players to bring their pre-existing cosmetics and other paid items to the sequel. Path of Exile 2 will also retain all of the expansion content from the first game and share its endgame content with Path of Exile, according to the developer. 

In the IGN preview, Grinding Gear Games' Chris Wilson detailed many of the changes and improvements coming to Path of Exile 2, including improvements to the game's tutorial, which should serve to give new players better direction earlier in the game. Wilson also said that the game will still feature deep customization in the game's skill tree, explaining, "we think there's an advantage to not doing too much hand-holding." 

The developer also gave insight into the big changes coming to gem sockets in Path of Exile 2. One of the biggest changes coming to Path of Exile 2 is that support gems will get socketed directly into skill gems, removing the need to resocket new armor to try to get the exact sockets you need.

Fewer restrictions on support gems mean more freedomFewer restrictions on support gems mean more freedom

For those who haven't played the original Path of Exile, support gems augment the skill gems with which they're socketed. Armor pieces in the original game would have specific colors for the skill slots and the support slots, so whenever you pick up a new piece of armor you typically couldn't swap in your preferred gems straight away. Now, armor will have specific colors for skill gems, and the skill gems will accordingly have their own set of colored support gem slots.

The IGN preview provided further insight into this change, stating that this updated system allows for a smoother transition between armor pieces without having to break or rethink your character's build. The developers see this as a positive change for all players, as newer players won't feel bogged down by complex gem slots and veteran players will still get the freedom to combine gems however they see fit.

Path of Exile 2 is set to be released in 2022. For those who can't wait to get their ARPG fix, Diablo 2: Resurrected is set to release later this year for consoles and PC.