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Today Grinding Gear Games officially launched Path of Exile following a nine-month open beta. Path of Exile is a free-to-play action RPG set in a dark fantasy realm.

Grinding Gear is an independent studio made up of self-described "hardcore gamers" that wanted an ARPG that catered to their interests. They've been developing Path of Exile since 2007.

"It is designed around a strong barter-based online item economy, deep character customisation, competitive PvP and ladder races. The game is completely free and will never be 'pay to win,'" says Grinding Gear of the game.

Players can choose from seven character classes, each with different starting attributes. Then they can customize their characters with hundreds of combinations of passive skills, gems and items.

Path of Exile's official launch brings new content to the game. The Scion is the seventh character class and the game's first prestige class. Unlike the other characters, she's not inclined toward any of the three attributes. She's a blank slate, essentially. New players will have to complete Path of Exile's Normal difficulty in order to access her.

Version 1.0.0 also introduces two new leagues. Leagues are alternate play modes for the game with different rules. For example, the Cut-throat League allows players to kill each other and take their items. Today's new Leagues are called Domination and Nemesis. In Domination, players can wrest control of shrines away from monsters in order to get bonuses. Nemesis is a league with difficult rare monsters that doesn't allow resurrections. Domination and Nemesis will each offer sets of tough challenges for players to complete before they end on February 23rd next year.

Players will now have several new PvP options at their disposal as well. They can challenge other players to a duel simply by right-clicking them in town. Tournament Seasons are hour-long competitions that give you points toward PvP-specific rewards. Alternately, players can team up for Capture the Flag matches set in the Phrecian Forest.

The last big addition today is guild support. Players can now create guilds with other players and share a chat channel and bank tabs. Guild member accomplishments will provide points that can unlock guild-specific rewards. Guilds can also work together toward "insanely difficult" challenges.

You can find out more about Version 1.0.0's changes here. If you're looking to download and play Path, you can start by creating an account at the game's website.

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