Note that you won’t need to uninstall and reinstall Path of Exile. Patching to 3.11.2 will automatically re-download the necessary data.
Why Now? While there may be small issues, GGG hopes this doesn’t occur on Heist’s launch day. Therefore, GGG will be releasing this 3.11.2 patch beforehand so that they have time to fix any minor issues that crop up.
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Files are bundled together. It means the files being downloaded are now a lot larger on average.
Players without an SSD will have a much, much better time. The benefits for users with SSDs are more marginal.
It has a better performance with both Vulkan and DirectX 11.
A newer compression system produces much better-looking results. This results in much sharper textures throughout the game.
It also re-exported all of the audio files using the most recent version of the audio library.
The Steam version of Path of Exile will now patch a lot more quickly. Small patches will be basically instant, and large patches also a lot faster than before. It should be a similar speed to using a standalone patcher.
GGG will be making a 3.11 (Harvest) client for it available for some community testing before Heist’s release.
GGG will be able to list the Path of Exile in the Epic Games Store in preparation for Heist’s launch.