We’ve professed our love for Grinding Gear Games’ Path of Exile in the past, and it’s a frequent favorite over on RipTenTV. It’s a free-to-play action RPG that, in many ways, hopes to differentiate itself from the likes of Diablo III. The game features a 1,300 node passive skill map (which reminds me of Final Fantasy X’s fantastic Sphere Grid), that allows for a great deal of customization and variety in character builds. We’ve also talked about the unique approach to end-game content that the Maps system will bring, and you can read more about that here.

If you happened to miss the custom ladder race that Producer and Lead Designer Chris Wilson set up for our stream team using the game’s League system, that allows for competition. It was an exciting evening, and Chris was kind enough to answer viewer questions in the chat room. This is a company that’s dedicated to player feedback and a strong community. Along those lines, the game will feature “ethical microtransactions” (aesthetic customization only) that ensure it will never be a pay-to-win scenario.

While the closed beta continues to push forward (you can gain access right now by purchasing a supporter pack for as little as $10), it’s time for the New Zealand developer to pull an all-nighterweekender. Starting this Friday (July 27) at 5 PM PDT and ending on Sunday (July 29) at 11:59 PM PDT, the studio will be holding a public stress test. You can get all the details and download the game client here. This is a perfect time to get an early look at Path of Exile, find out if it scratches the click-click-loot itch we know you have and, if you are so inclined, make an early purchase to get access beyond  this weekend.