I missed the Twitch presentation on the new expansion for Path of Exile today, and it looks like I missed a lot. Echoes of the Atlas is bringing a ton of new content and changes to the endgame while not forgetting the usual new skills, items, and twists of a new league. Here is a link to Path of Exile’s announcement in the forums with everything you could possibly want to know, but I’m going to hit the highlights.
The biggest changes will be in the endgame content in the Atlas, and it’s going to be challenging. A new NPC named the Envoy tells you there are new visitors in the Atlas. One of those visitors is called The Maven, and she likes to watch you fight. When she watches you fight, the difficulty increases. She also wants you to fight all of the bosses in the Atlas…at the same time. You’ll work your way up to fighting as many as ten bosses at a time. As usual, overcoming these challenges will grant you great rewards.
The first type of reward is passive skill points in the Atlas Skill Trees. Each area of the Atlas has its own tree with twenty nodes, and you can earn up to ten passive skill points per area. They have different effects from spawning more monsters to encountering Oshabi (from Harvest) more often. I’m glossing over these a bit, but each point will need to be spent strategically as usual.
The other two rewards are The Maven’s Orb and craftable Watchstones. The Maven’s Orb will elevate one influence modifier on an item while removing another. It only drops from The Maven, and it’s a way to get some of the best gear in the game if you can earn it. The Watchstones modify the Atlas maps, and there are eleven new maps. You can equip four Watchstones to add up to eight modifiers. Neither of these items will not be easily obtained.
The Ritual League is the new challenge league, and, even if you never see the endgame, there is plenty of content to keep you busy. Each area will contain a few altars with enemies around it. After you kill those monsters and activate the altar, you will be trapped until you fight the same monsters again while an altar modifier is active. Whenever you activate a new altar, all of the monsters from other altars will appear as well. Each new altar is harder, and the rewards are better.
Beating those monsters provides Tribute points. These can be spent on items that can vary greatly. You could buy several cheaper ones or spend some Tribute points to Defer it to another area where it will be cheaper. Tribute points do not transfer between areas, and the rewards you can unlock and buy will become very expensive.
All of the Ascendancy Classes have been tweaked as well, but a few have had major changes. The Elementalist, The Inquisitor, and The Deadeye have had major skill reworkings. The changes for all the classes were to make them more easily understood and to concentrate the powers more effectively.
I am skipping a lot of details, but the core gameplay league also will incorporate both Heist and Harvest mechanics with some changes. There are new skill gems and new unique items to create a wild build. A lot of these new assets will look even better, because the Path of Exile 2 team helped to create them. It’s a lot of improvements, and we’ll be able to play them when the Echoes of the Atlas expansion hits consoles on January 20th.
I’ve added the trailer at the top, and the full Twitch presentation video at the bottom for a better look at everything in detail.