Grinding Gear Games unveiled what’s to come for the upcoming season of Path of Exile this past weekend at ExileCon, and I couldn’t be more stoked.
The new Conquerors of the Atlas league is going to be spicy as heck. With new endgame bosses, new OP-looking support gems, and a major overhaul of the map mechanics, this may be one of the best updates yet.
Mapping has certainly gotten a little stale over the leagues–players have pretty much just been grinding through to Shaper and Elder ad infinitum with the only significant flavor changes coming from league mechanics. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed playing tower defense in Blight with all the fun upgrades to Summoner builds, but having some extra motivation to get through maps sounds like a treat.
In 3.9, players will have a totally restructured Atlas. Instead of starting at the edges, you’ll be working from the center and outwards through an initial 50 maps, until you reach the Conquerors–the 5 new endgame bosses that we’ll get to in a minute. Once you’ve beaten these challenging foes, you’ll earn Watchstones that you can socket into different regions of your Atlas. The Watchstones change the tier of the maps in that region and uncover new maps, allowing you to eventually upgrade all your maps to Tier 14+. There will undoubtedly be a strategy to how you customize your map, depending on if your goal is farming or otherwise.
The Conquerors you’ll fight have a chance to drop a new type of support gem called Support Gem Plus, which are better versions of existing support gems. They’re more powerful at level one than the normie version at level 20, so forget about max leveling your basic AF Ancestral Call and corrupting it, you’ve got a shiny new alternative.
The Conquerors have a backstory as well:
The War for the Atlas has ended. The Exiles who defeated The Elder have become a danger to Wraeclast. Zana has trapped them in the Atlas but their power is growing and will soon find a way back.
Which is great and all, but I’m more intent on learning about the new loot.
Along with those two mega game-changers, you’ll of course have new uniques to play around with. But better than that, four new influence types for rares will be introduced on your journey to conquer the Conquerors. These are paired with specialized Exalted Orbs that grant you enchants from the new Crusader, Adjudicator, Hunter, and Warlord mod pools. You’ll be able to combine influenced items and make hybrids, bringing a whole new level to the already well-developing crafting mechanics in PoE. Much craft, so wow.
There’s also a huge Bow rework coming to Conquerors, including five new bow-related gems and re-balanced bow skills. I’m definitely a basic Cyclone bish, but it may be time for me to check out a new build.
Path of Exile 3.9 is dropping December 13, and this exile is ready. Are you ready to conquer the Atlas?