Path of Exile: Blight Expansion Announcement
The Blight expansion consists of the Blight League, three revamped balance archetypes with new skills and support gems, lots of new items, two old leagues being incorporated into the core game, and plenty more.
This is Sister Cassia, a new NPC who tells players about Fungal Growths that have spread throughout Wraeclast. These growths control the minds of nearby monsters and need to be destroyed. Sister Cassia has built a device that can drain the ichor from the growths, but it has to be protected while this happens.
In each area of the game, you’ll find a Blight encounter with a tower to defend. As you defend this tower from monsters, you’ll earn a resource you can spend on buying defensive turrets that will help you by slowing down monsters as they pour through makeshift lanes. Certain monsters are weak to certain types of towers, so you’ll have to choose carefully which towers to build and which upgrades to give them as the content progresses.
Each of these blight encounters can yield special oils that you can use to add properties to items. Sister Cassia uses them to anoint Rings and Amulets. Anointing Rings grants them special properties that can help you with Blight encounters. Doing so for Amulets grants them all the bonuses of a notable passive skill from the passive skill tree without having to spend passive points on it. There are 12 tiers of oils of increasing rarity, and you can combine them to yield different results but order doesn’t matter. You can also trade in three oils of one type to receive the next tier up to grind for higher tier oils. Also hidden away in this league are four unique blighted items that can be anointed with notable passives, just like the Amulets can.
In the endgame of the Blight league, you’ll occasionally find Blighted maps. These can be used in the Map Device like any regular map item, but they instead take you to a giant blight encounter with no regular monsters. This encounter will be very difficult and rewarding, potentially yielding other higher-level Blighted Maps and special unique items. You can also anoint these maps with oils to improve their properties.
In addition to the aforementioned blighted unique items, there are ten other unique items that will be added to the game which are meant to be build defining items. One example is the Triad Grip Gloves, which coincide with the Necromancer minion build rework. These gloves allow you to change the damage type of your minions based on the colors of the sockets on the gloves.
Speaking of the necromancer archetype rework: summoners are one of the most popular playstyles in Action RPGs, and the Witch’s Necromancer ascendancy class is the most obvious and direct way to play one in Path of Exile. To help fix some of the problems these builds face, new support gems have been added that allow you to have control over your minions in different ways. For example, one support gem will tell all your minions to focus fire on whatever target that skill hits. This allows you to have some control over your minions without having to introduce complicated RTS highlight boxes or making the class too much about micromanagement.
Poison Assassins are the second archetype to be reworked. Ever since the correction of the math behind critical strikes, the class has fallen from one of the top ways to play to a fair but often overlooked archetype. To help this class out, five new skills have been added alongside a new support gem that will bring back some of the big damage the playstyle was known for but without the broken critical strike math behind it.
Finally, the Saboteur ascendancy class for the Shadow is getting a new archetype that will focus on deploying traps and mines. Specifically, the mine portion of this ascendancy has been reworked with a ton of new options including three new Mine skills. One of these is the Stormblast mine, a mine that makes enemies hit more susceptible to damage and causes consecutively bigger blasts when you set off a chain reaction.
One of the biggest goals of this expansion is to give players more freedom to play the game the way they want to, when they want to. To that end, Masters in the Atlas of Worlds are having the way their missions pop up reworked. While you can still encounter them organically, most of these encounters are now deferred, with a counter on the map screen showing how many of each difficulty you have available to you. You can talk to that Master in your hideout at any time to run one of these stored missions, and you give them the map you’d like it applied to. You’ll also get two master missions added to your total each day so there will always be some available to you in each play session.
Another way Path of Exile is changing is the integration of both Legion and parts of Synthesis to the core game. Legion has been added to the pool of content that can spawn on end-game maps, as well as the content pool of several of the old, previously integrated leagues like Incursion and Delve (so they can even show up within those bits of content as well). As for Synthesis, only the boss fights have been made available as unique maps in the random selection from the NPC Zana. This also introduces Synthesis specific uniques to the game but doesn’t give players access to the Synthesizer or Fractured items currently.
Finally, there’s the much awaited ExileCon fast approaching! The con will take place in November of this year, and is a two day event with around 1500-2000 attendees. The event will open with a keynote that will be livestreamed online that nobody who cares about Path of Exile should miss! The event will be loaded with blockbuster announcements and should be quite the show.
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