Path of Exile Leagues and How Do They Differ?

One of the great things about playing Path of Exile is there are many different ways to play it, which fits various types of players. Whether you are a casual player or someone who is totally immersed in the game, there should be a league that suits you. There are 4 leagues in Path of Exile at one time, as well as race leagues, which can be selected upon character creation. Each have their own ways of making you want to roll up a new character.

There are not a lot of online role-playing games out there that offer such a variety of options when it comes to different ways of playing, which is perhaps one of the main reasons why Path of Exile has become so relevant in the genre. There are two different types of leagues in Path of Exile permanent and temporary leagues.

Permanent Leagues

There are two permanent leagues: Standard and Hardcore.

In Standard, it's basically the game without any modifiers added. You can play as much as you want and die repeatedly, so perhaps you can call it "softcore" in that way. New players usually start here, and it is pretty much the relaxed league that players can go back to if they just want to play without a lot of pressure.

As for Hardcore, dying in it just once automatically moves your character to Standard league, so it's a lot like permadeath. You can still play your character after dying in Hardcore, but you'll have to re-roll a character to play in Hardcore again. At least your efforts wouldn't totally be in vain and you get to keep your Path of Exile items.

Temporary Leagues

These are named so due to having set durations that can range from as little as 12 minutes up to 4 months, and they would have specific modifiers and features that you can't find in permanent leagues. Once a temporary league ends, the characters you played in it get transfered to a permanent league so at least your efforts wouldn't be totally wasted.

The main premise for temporary leagues is simply challenge and sport. Being able to play the game with set rules and a time limit means game knowledge and playing skill get stretched further than what's possible in permanent leagues, and it also adds some interesting twists to what is already known about the game. This keeps Path of Exile from getting too boring. Meanwhile, not losing the characters mean that players need not feel like they are totally wasting their time in playing them.

Another reason why they are "temporary" is because each pair of leagues take place like events; once they are done, they are absolutely done. They have names like Warbands and Tempest, Torment and Bloodlines, and so on. Each are unique in their own way, with one being standard and the other being hardcore. They are there to mix things up and keep the game interesting.


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