Update: The open beta is now live.
Original story: New Zealand-developed online action RPG Path of Exile will be entering open beta Thursday at 10am.
The game is free-to-play and will be supported by microtransactions. The microtransaction system will go live with the beta.
"There's a decent selection at launch but will be expanded substantially," lead game designer and producer Chris Wilson said.
Users will be able to buy a wider range of pets for their characters, including a Giant Weta (below) for patriotic Kiwis, and Spectral Basilisk.
Beta codes for Path of Exile have been floating around for some months, and users have been able to buy into the closed beta since April of last year, when developer Grinding Gear Games began to sell 'supporter packs'. Those supporter packs will become unavailable when the beta opens.
However existing Path of Exile characters will be deleted when the open beta goes live, Wilson said in a blog post.
Wilson also warned that the beta may have issues on day one.
"Traffic to the site has been absolutely insane over the last few days. We've been aggressively ordering more servers, but it's quite possible that we'll have long queues and general server unstability on launch day," he said.
"We may be operating under player load levels far above what we've tested to. Needless to say, there are a team of dedicated people here who will try to make sure you have the best possible experience."
Grinding Gear, which is based in the Auckland suburb of Titirangi, has previously hosted successful open beta weekends, but the game will now officially be open to all long-term.
View the official open beta trailer below: