Path of Exile’s closed beta will open to the public for a stress test this weekend.

This weekend will also be the first time the just-announced Shadow class is playable in the locally-developed action-RPG.

The Shadow is a hybrid dexterity and intelligence class, a professional assassin exiled after getting on the wrong side of a former client.

He employs deadly traps and spells against opponents, finishing off survivors with quick dagger strikes while darting in and out of combat.

Grinding Gear Games’ producer Chris Wilson says the Shadow is one of the more difficult classes to play due to his fragility, however “he more than makes up for it if handled with skill”.

“His hit-and-run style of combat makes the most of his natural evasion and Energy Shield, and rewards strategic coordination of attacks, spells, and traps.”

In Path of Exile, any class can use any skill, weapon or trap, allowing for a huge variety of possible character builds. The Shadow is particularly well suited to traps, and fast weapons such as claws and daggers.

Using Path of Exile’s support gem system, the Shadow can turn any spell into a trap or remotely detonated mine. The Shadow can link a frost wall skill gem with a remote mine support gem to create a frost wall mine which they can place to strategically trap enemies, for example.

Those keen to remain in the beta once public testing closes can do so by purchasing credit for the game’s “ethical microtransactions” – aesthetic perks such as additional character animations and pets whose revenues aid in funding the free to play project.

The Path of Exile beta servers will open for public access at 5pm on Friday, May 11. Public access will end at 11:59pm Sunday May 13.

See the official site for more details.