Path of Exile's next expansion helps you to decide the fate of your war between gods

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Last summer, Path of Exile launched the Fall of Oriath, an enormous expansion that completely restructured the leveling experience by introducing six new acts to try out through. It was, for folks like me struggling to obtain into Path of Exile, a whole game-changer. Path of Exile's next expansion, lead designer Chris Wilson tells me, will never be as big—at the very POE Orbs least not with regards to size—but it lets you do shake the other side from the coin for Path of Exile: the endgame.

"With the Fall of Oriath we focused squarely for the storyline, providing only minor improvements to your endgame," Chris Wilson tells me. "Now we're going all in about the endgame."

'X' marks the area

For those not aware of how Path of Exile's endgame works, it largely centers throughout the Atlas of Worlds, an enormous network of randomly generated maps that become harder the deeper you progress through them. During normal play, monsters can drop a map that may then be taken with a special oral appliance used to conjure a portal you or your buddies can traverse. These maps, like items, have random properties that dictate the types of monsters you'll encounter, limit or buff your abilities, as well as a lot more.

It's a method that, at its simplest, is just like Diablo 3's Rifts—you're running randomly generated maps at progressively higher difficulties searching for powerful loot. Where it gets interesting is always that more difficult maps can drop whilst you're clearing out a atlas level, producing greater challenges and, yes, the opportunity to drop much more difficult maps. Eventually, players can function their way with the Atlas towards the final four maps, each protected by the powerful Guardian. Killing one among them helps you to then accept The Shaper, the Cthulhu-looking big bad of Path of Exile's universe. Well, until December 8, when War for that Atlas launches.

War for that Atlas revamps this whole system by introducing 32 new maps, a different layout, and a brand new threat towards the Atlas: The Elder. Though they share a similarly vague name, The Elder and The Shaper have reached war and its as much as you to make a decision which one wins. Wilson isn't happy to divulge much information within the why of computer all, as it really is a mystery how the community could have to band together to solve.

But when you begin checking Atlas of Worlds, you can see map locations which have become tainted by either The Shaper or The Elder. These taints manifest physically from the level, adding greater challenges to deal with. For example, The Elder's minions are tentacled beasts that suck abdominal muscles color from the game, weakening your character as long as they're caught with this monotone aura. Shaper-tainted maps, around the other hand, may have glowing orbs that detonate, ripping the pad of space-serious amounts of dealing fatal injury to characters that arrive at close for the rip.

Each time you develop a map, the Elder or Shaper taint spreads like mould to new maps, and it also's nearly you to control it. By completing maps through an Elder or Shaper taint you'll cleanse it, allowing one other to move in and go over. Players can select to either destroy the Shaper, the Elder, or attempt to stop both from spreading and taking over the full Atlas of Worlds.

There's a assortment of reasons players will need one or one other to win, Wilson says, and plenty of strategy too. As the taint spreads, players will need to encourage it to grow from the direction of harder maps by cleansing it on easier maps, enhancing the challenge but the rewards. If the Elder's taint spreads far enough, he'll manifest in most maps, killing its boss and stealing its powers to produce a guardian similar to your four you'd fight wanting to kill the Shaper.

Of course, we have a lucrative material reward for planning to war against these gods. When clearing either kind of map, you can find Shaper or Elder gear, which has an exclusive starry or tentacled background. On its very own, this gear is probably not any different as opposed to normal loot you'd find, but Shaper and Elder gear may have special extremely rare properties randomly appear while crafting it. One special mod for boots that Wilson showed me enable you to walk across fiery surfaces without taking damage—a definite bonus for several areas in Path of Exile. "These will unquestionably be the best products in Path of Exile once they've had them for awhile," Wilson says. "But it's going to take a great deal of resources for doing that."

Getting these items will probably be a challenge, because whenever you develop a zone seeking them to lower, you're also effectively shrinking that god's taint. There's no solution to eliminate it entirely, but Wilson says players will need to "responsibly farm" zones to hold each taint a healthy—but never to big—size.

Skills to pay for the bills

War for your Atlas also introduces four new skill gems and six new support gems that players can fool around with. Of some new skills, every one of them are themed around corpse manipulation. How morbid. Unearth, for instance, fires a projectile that produces a body to rise outside of the earth. Wilson then paired this with another new skill, Cremation, which turns corpses into exploding geysers of fire. Obviously the two band together extremely well.

Another skill is Volatile Dead, which consumes a corpse and fosters an exploding orb that chases down enemies. Wilson paired this that has a Cyclone melee character and gave Volatile Debt a support gem that managed to make it cast automatically after killing an enemy. This essentially turned his character to a spinning-axe madman that launches a regular flow of orange orbs that locate monsters and explode.

Some new support gems can also be welcome additions. I love Spell Cascade, that causes any area-of-effect spell to cast thrice beside the area that you cast it. It's kind of hard to describe, though the idea is always that if you cast similar to Frost Wall, Spell Cascade can establish another wall in the front and behind, a huge chunk of ice you'll be able to use to wall off enemies.

Into the Abyss

As is usual with expansions, War to the Atlas also introduces a fresh challenge league for players to get started on new characters in. This one is known as the Abyss and works comparable to last year's community favorite, Breach. In the Abyss league, you'll possess a random possible opportunity to happen upon cracks inside earth teeming with nasty enemies. By following these cracks since they spread and killing the monsters that crawl out, you'll eventually get a gaping hole with hordes of baddies to kill. Slay them fast enough, and new cracks will form leading you to your new hole. Each Abyss hole which you clear consecutively will make another one very complicated and reduce some time limit you ought to kill everything.

Wilson says there's a good deal more to unpack regarding the Abyss and the way works, but he's leaving that to the community to determine. Still, the rapid pace of chasing cracks and clearing holes sounds just like a fun challenge. Since most from the expansion is concentrated purely about the endgame, the Abyss league will be the only major change that new players will feel directly.

War with the Atlas certainly just isn't as big connected with an expansion as Fall of Oriath was, however its massive upheaval from the endgame is promising. As with all of expansions, this one will probably be completely free. If you've never tried Path of Exile before, now is really a great time and energy to jump in. I finally pushed from the veil of complexity that surrounds it, and it also's get one of the best games in 2010. When you buy Cheap POE Orbs from MMOAH, you find out the process is very simple. On MMOAH you will find the best supplier who are guaranteed to send product fast against the best prices.
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