II. Masters, Crafting, Hideouts, And Returning Content
As Chris Wilson mentioned during our interviews, the folks over at Grinding Gear Games felt that Masters were one of the weakest elements in Path of Exile. While it’s true that there were a lot of them, he admitted that the missions they provided were of a lower quality compared to what the rest of the game could offer. And so, rather than a Master system where you just grind and repeat the same mini-quests until they’re maxed out, Betrayal will completely do away with the old guard. Literally… those Masters are gone (well, you might get a hint of what happened to them while playing).
Instead, the old bunch will be replaced by returning characters. And yes, you’ll get to experience the content from previous expansions — such as Bestiary — once more as they become part of the core game!
Einhar Frey (Bestiary)
Einhar, who was originally introduced during the Bestiary expansion/league (March 2018), will be making his return to Wraeclast in Betrayal. That means players will be able to catch monsters and add them to their tally and Menagerie once more.
The difference this time around? Einhar gets to follow you around, and he’ll be the one throwing the nets instead. That makes sense. You’re the heroic Exile, an actual god-killer. You seriously can’t be the guy throwing Poké Balls.
Watch the Exile and Einhar in action:
Alva Valai (Incursion)
Players met Alva during the Incursion expansion/league (June 2018). She was able to transport players millennia into the past to the Temple of Atzoatl. Therein, players have a limited time to kill as many monsters as possible, obtain Stones of Passage (keys), and take out Vaal Architects. After 11 temporal incursions into the past, players may access the present-day Temple of Atzoatl, which will have its layout, accessible areas, and loot change depending on your actions in the past.
With Alva’s return in Betrayal, that also means Incursion is now part of the core experience. This time around, Alva will have a chance to take you through multiple temporal incursions at a time, not just one.
Niko (Delve) And Zana (Atlas Of Worlds)
Niko the Mad is the latest Master to join a long list in Path of Exile. As part of the latest expansion, Delve (August 2018), Niko allowed players to dig through the depths of the Azurite Mine — an infinite dungeon which requires toughness, endurance, a lot of luck, and maybe an immune Pathfinder or two. He’ll also be back in Betrayal.
As for Zana, apparently many Path of Exile players consider her a favorite. She’s an absolute necessity to the endgame content, though, due to her experience with the Atlas of Worlds.
Players need not worry since Zana’s still going to be around in Betrayal handling all your mapping needs. With Einhar, Alva, Niko, Zana, and the debuting Jun Ortoi in tow, that makes five dedicated Masters in the game. But wait, what about crafting?
Master Crafting Changes
Previously, in order to gain crafting recipes from Masters, you had to keep leveling them up by repeating those daily quests. Since these are gone and replaced with the five mentioned above, there’s an entirely revamped Master Crafting experience. Rather than leveling them up, the method is now more streamlined. You can find these recipes based on the content you’re doing that’s attached to these new Masters.
For instance, we’ve already mentioned the unveiling of mods for Jun Ortoi. That’s one example of gaining a recipe. Another would be clearing certain rooms in the Temple of Atzoatl for Incursion. In the case of Delve, there are certain encounters in the Azurite Mine that would grant these recipes.
The new Masters still offer daily missions but do so via the Atlas of Worlds. If that quest is active, you can enter that map and encounter that specific Master there. All in all, you’re not forced into doing repetitive mini-quests just to level up an NPC. Crafting recipes are obtained as you progress through the game based on the content you’re clearing.
Another reason why players leveled up Masters in the past was to gain decorations for their Player Hideouts. These hubs sort of defined your personality or quirk depending on your Master of choice. However, it’s worth noting that this could be a tedious process in the past. Apart from needing to level up Masters, you also needed to refurnish your Hideout after each Challenge League.
Say goodbye to doing that, because Hideouts are now unified between leagues — including future ones. You can keep the same decorations or layouts for months, even years. Here’s one example of what your Player Hideout can look like:
You can find new tilesets for Hideouts as you progress, and even save and load certain templates that you’d like. Players can unlock new Hideouts as they clear them in a regular playthrough.