I am very sorry for the slowness of posting this! The leadup to the 3.1.0 launch has been hectic.
How are development resources allocated at the moment? Is there a dedicated Xbox One team?
Most of our team members are working on the War for the Atlas expansion, which releases on both Xbox One and PC in December. We have a small group of Xbox developers who are fixing bugs and working on the below features. I am very keen for our developers to be able to take time off over the New Zealand summer and Christmas to spend with their families, so we'll be running a skeleton crew from mid-December (after the War for the Atlas launch) to mid-January. This is why many of the below large Xbox One features are marked as 2018.
Do you plan to add an in-game text chat for Xbox One?
Yes. It'll be easiest to use with a real keyboard, but we will support controller text entry also. This is likely to be a 2018 feature.
Will I be able to log into the pathofexile.com website using my Xbox account?
Yes. You'll be able to use all pathofexile.com features when logged in with your Xbox account. (In order to support this, we are re-architecting our website to be able to talk to both the PC and Xbox Path of Exile realms at the same time, allowing users from both games to share the same forums. This is time-consuming, and is likely to be ready next year).
Are there plans to add PvP to the Xbox version?
Yes, we intend to enable dueling and the Sarn Arena. This is currently just waiting on some minor UI work and integration with additional Xbox multiplayer features.
What are the differences between the Xbox One and Xbox One X versions of Path of Exile?
We initially authored our art assets at higher resolution than 1080p, so it was not necessary to release a specific set of different art for the new console.
Our Xbox One X version takes full advantage of the power of the console by running at 60fps at 4k resolution, or by rendering at 4k then downsampling to 1080p if you don't have a 4k TV. This means that it'll look a lot better, regardless of what type of TV you have.
Do you plan to add Couch Co-op?
We would like to, but have not started work on this. It's a massive change for Path of Exile, but one that is frequently requested.
Do you plan to add support for Guilds?
Yes. This is not too difficult, but is behind some of the other above items in the priority list. In the longer term, we do want to significantly improve guild functionality on both PC and Xbox.
Will the Xbox One version get support for Race events?
Yes. We just need to finish the user interface for it. Expect this in 2018. Once this is enabled, we'll be able to run events like the Turmoil/Mayhem ones running on PC at the time of writing this.
Why does the Xbox One version have desync? Wasn't this solved with the Lockstep update on PC?
Desync is when the player is in a different location (out of sync) on the client and the server. This means that monsters can hit you when you think that they're far away, for example. It's often noticed when the server re-syncs you to the correct position. This is also called rubber-banding.
Short technical explanation:
The lockstep network model has too much input latency to be used with a controller, so on Xbox One we use a hybrid predictive/lockstep model where actions are predicted locally but the simulation freezes when data hasn't arrived from the network. This is a compromise between fast response to player action and desync reduction under network latency.
In online games, every action has to be checked with the server (to prevent cheating). This can take up to a few hundred milliseconds, depending on your distance to the server. During that time, the positions of any relevant entities are at best unconfirmed, and at worst, wrong. Over time, this can compound to a significant divergence between the clients and the server (with the server being the authority).
Historically, Path of Exile used a "predictive" system, where your actions take place immediately on the client, and the results are predicted while waiting on confirmation from the server. This meant that there were immediate responses to your actions, but desync could build up and would only be corrected when it was detected. Rubber-banding would then occur. A big problem with predictive mode is that if there's a lack of data from the server (for example, when a lag spike occurs), then the system keeps predicting away with the old data, getting quite out of sync.
In the 2.0.0 release of Path of Exile on PC, we added an alternative "lockstep" system, where confirmation is required from the server for every action. This added a delay between when you click the mouse and when an action occurs, which is tolerable with low latencies but feels terrible if you're far away from the server. Approximately 85% of Path of Exile users are close enough to their server to use this mode.
For Path of Exile with a controller, lockstep is not an option. Having to wait up to a fifth of a second after pressing the stick just isn't an option (it feels like playing drunk). However, we were unhappy with pure predictive mode, due to its propensity to get out of sync. Our solution was to create a hybrid mode that works as follows: Actions are predicted immediately, so you get snappy responses to your controls. However, if data from the server is delayed, instead of continuing to predict (the wrong stuff, getting really out of sync), the game pauses until data has arrived. This means that the only desync that can occur is from tiny differences in timing, rather than the significant exposure that can happen when there's extra latency. For a controller, this mode is superior to either the pure predictive or pure lockstep approach.
Unfortunately, it can still occasionally get out of sync, which is a bad experience for users. We are planning to tighten this up as much as we can and to be smarter with how we detect and correct sync issues.
Why does Path of Exile occasionally stutter/freeze and then speed up again afterwards?
This is related to the previous answer. Check out the "long explanation" there to see the technical details. Stutters of this type occur when your game client hasn't received data from the server and the game doesn't know what to do next. This is likely because of some bad network route between your home internet connection and the game servers. Sometimes it's caused by Wifi connections that have poor signal strength (such as ones that have to go through too many walls).
What are you planning to do with Trade?
For a detailed background on the evolution of our trade systems, please check out this post
. It's important to note that some difficulty to trade is intentional.
Overall, we are happy with the fundamentals of how the trade market system on Xbox works. We do plan to make improvements to the user experience based on player feedback, but have been devoting resources to other areas so far. We expect to add the trade board to hideouts in 2018.
We also plan to allow community trade sites access to items in public stash tabs and trade forum posts on Xbox, in a similar way to how the PC ones work.
When are French, German and Spanish language packs being released?
With 3.1.0 in December.