Path of Exile Legion Expansion Announcement
Hey everyone! Colt here for MMOHuts.com and I’ve once again teamed up with Grinding Gear Games to help them announce the next expansion for PoE entitled Path of Exile: Legion.
Path of Exile: Legion is broken down into two major parts: There’s the new Legion challenge league, and on the flip-side of the update is a complete rework and overhaul of everything to do with melee combat in Path of Exile.
The story of the Legion league centers around 5 ancient armies who are now locked in eternal conflict in an alternate plane. In each map with Legion content, you’ll find a Monolith. Activating this monolith will teleport you to a field with two armies frozen in battle. You’ll have a set amount of time to run around tagging enemies in this map who will spring to life and attack once the timer has expired. Clearing the enemies you chose to fight will yield rewards. Sometimes enemies will have markers letting you know that they’re either a boss monster or have some kind of challenge factor that will yield a better reward. This allows you to choose more carefully the monsters you’d like to fight while you’re doing Legion content. More advanced players will find that this leaves them with a lot of difficult choices to make on risk and reward.
In addition to normal rewards for killing monsters, monsters in the Legion drop items called splinters that can be combined to form an Emblem related to the specific legion they represent. To see all of the Legion expansion’s content, you’ll have to assemble several emblems from all 5 of the legions.
As you collect these emblems, you’ll be able to place them into the map device in pairs to unlock the Domain of Timeless Conflict where you can fight armies from the Legions whose emblems you used. For more challenge, you can use more than two emblems. There’s even a way to unlock a five slot map device, which allows you to face the ultimate end-game content in the Legion league, a five legion Domain. This will be very hard to unlock, let alone complete, but will be possible for the most hardcore players. Your reward for unlocking the five slot device is that you can also use all five slots to modify other maps as you would normally but with more modifiers at a time.
Another new addition to the Legion league is a new type of item called an Incubation item. These items modify a piece of equipment to guarantee a certain type of item after you kill a certain number of monsters. You can even track your progress toward your reward item by mousing over the host item. Incubation items are stackable and tradeable, and you can have them applied to every piece of gear you have on at once if you want to. There’s a large variety of incubation items, and some are much more rare than others.
Legion also contains 12 new unique items for players to find alongside 15 existing unique items that have been completely reworked to make them more valuable. Each of these reworked items is themed around one of the five armies and will be found as rewards for completing league content.
One of the biggest items to drop in the new expansion, however, are the new Legion jewels. There are jewels for each of the five armies, and each drastically change the passive skill tree when socketed. For example, the Vaal jewel corrupts nearby passives into Vaal passives that are completely different from the normal ones. Each distinct gem for each faction has a different function depending on which slot it’s in. They’re also tradeable and very hard to come by.
In addition to all the new league content, there’s also the complete melee rework in this update. A common piece of feedback Path of Exile has been receiving since 2013 is that melee combat feels clunky or awkward. To that end, Grinding Gear decided to fix most of the core issues with melee combat in one fell swoop. For starters, you can now cancel attack animations after they deal their damage or right at their very beginning. This should make melee attacks feel more responsive. Movement skills all activate instantly now as well, and new low-level movement skills have been added for many of the game’s classes, making dodging more simple at early levels.
All melee attacks now deal small area of effect damage, too. The timing of the damage has been tightened up so that it all occurs where it should in the animation instead of all in sync. In addition to these changes, the animation system in the game has been overhauled, with support for animation chaining and dynamic speed changes. Basically, this means that sword swings chain together fluidly from left to right and back again instead of resetting to a neutral position for each attack. Melee targeting also got fixed so you can now begin attacking a new target once the first is defeated without releasing and re-clicking the mouse button. Accuracy is also no longer capped at 95 percent.
To go with these sweeping changes to the melee combat, Legion introduces a new character archetype for melee: the Blood and Sand gladiator. This is a Duelist that uses the new Blood and Sand skills which take advantage of two mutually-exclusive stances that your character can be in – Blood stance and Sand stance. These stances are mana reservation effects that give different benefits depending on the theme of the stance; for example, Blood stance is great for dealing lots of damage to close enemies, while Sand stance is defensive and has a wider area of effect. This build uses new skills like Blood and Sand, Flesh and Stone, as well as Bladestorm. Skills like Lacerate have also been updated to benefit from these stances.
There’s also a brand new Rage Berserker build you’re encouraged to try. Rage has been changed in that it no longer drains life over time, but instead provides buffs that stack up to 50 times. You can choose to restore the life draining effect in exchange for more power, if you want to though. A number of new skills added to the game like Chain Strike generate Rage and the berserker still consumes Rage to grant powerful multipliers to their attacks.
In the interest of making the game more challenging across the board, the early game encounters have been rebalanced. Since players will have movement abilities at low levels now, early game monsters and bosses will now perform more telegraphed attacks. In exchange, these attacks are much more punishing now for players who manage to get hit.
The Atlas Map was also subject to a few improvements; more specifically, eight of its maps have had their pathing and layouts improved, and their boss fights improved as well.
Finally, Path of Exile is planning to launch in South Korea! Grinding Gear Games have entered into a partnership with Kakao games to handle the launch in the region and will feature local Korean servers, Korean customer support, and a full Korean translation.
Curious as to what’s next on the horizon for Path of Exile? You’ll have your chance to find out at ExileCon! The first-ever Path of Exile convention will happen in Auckland, New Zealand in November of this year. The event will run for two days and plans to have around 2000 attendees. They’ll be announcing several products including December’s 3.9.0 patch and next year’s 4.0.0 mega-expansion. As for Legion, you can get your hands on the new expansion when it launches on June 7th for PC and on June 10th for Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
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