Grinding Gear Games are ramping their Path of Exile race seasons up a notch when the third season gets underway next week with the introduction of the Descent league.
The new league, which has been created based on player feedback from the previous two seasons, is quite different from what’s come before. The new league will feature a complete new set of levels to bring new challenges to players, and the fact that there are no waypoints, towns, and no ability to party with other players, this hardcore experience is taking the leagues to a new level. Players will start on outskirts of the Phrecian Forest and must search out a forgotten cathedral where their race begins.
To make things interesting, at the end of each Descent level, players will be given a choice of two chests which contain a set of “predetermined items” but only one chest can be chosen and the contents will influence the way in which you play the event. These chests will not be random and are set in advance, the community will have to figure out the contents.
Normal hardcore rules also don’t apply in Descent, items and characters are permanently “destroyed” at the end of the event. GGG’s Chris Wilson commented on this decision:
“We wanted to design Descent as a standalone experience where we don’t have to worry about items making their way back into the regular Path of Exile economy. This freedom allows us to structure how characters receive items so that there are interesting choices as they progress. We’re able to give out complex crafting items at certain levels without it being unfair to players who don’t play the Descent events.”
“Allowing players to replay the same event every few days is really interesting from a game design point of view. We’ve designed the Descent events so that they’re difficult at first but get easier as players work out better strategies. The contents of the special chests are not known in advance, so players can pool their community knowledge to work out which ones are best for their own play styles. We expect that as players work out the best ways to build characters to handle the challenge we’ve constructed, they’ll get deeper and deeper into the cathedral.”
This new Descent league is a really interesting addition to the game and should challenge the most dedicates POE players. It’s great to see a developer experimenting with new ideas to keep the game fresh.
Descent events will only last for one hour and GGG plan on running around fifty of these over the next six weeks.
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Check the full update on the POE website and check out POE: IncGamers for more on Path of Exile.