III. The Endgame, Unique Items, And Skills
Those mentioned earlier are the biggest changes coming to Path of Exile in Betrayal, but there’s still a lot more to look forward to. For those aiming to reach the endgame quickly, there are four new randomized maps. These are all based on tilesets introduced in Delve, such as cavernous areas.
As for unique items, one that we already know about is the Bitterbind Point. This is a unique rarity shield that has a Veiled Mod. Veiled Mods are usually not possible on unique items, but you might be able to find some Betrayal uniques that have them.
The Bitterbind Point boosts your summoning capabilities and minion damage output when you land critical strikes with spells. It’s meant for a summoner/spellcaster type of playstyle (think Necromancer). It’s just one of 15 new Unique Items coming to Betrayal. Some of these new Uniques can be found on existing content though many are exclusive solely to the upcoming Betrayal League.
Winter Orb and Storm Brand
Two new skills we know of are the Winter Orb and Storm Brand. This is how these skills are defined:
Winter Orb is a channeling skill that creates and powers up an orb that floats above you. It regularly fires projectiles at nearby enemies, firing faster the more the orb is powered up. The projectiles explode on impact.
- Supporting the skill with the Additional Projectiles support gem causes the extra projectiles to be fired in a line, giving the skill a unique damage pattern.
- Supporting it with the Increased Duration support gem lets you keep the orb active longer after you stop channeling, letting you run while the orb destroys enemies.
- Meanwhile, supporting it with the Increased Area support gem increases the damage area and overlap of the projectiles’ bursts.
These are just some possible combinations, with more that are left open for discovery. This is actually fairly interesting given that this is a Cold element spell. We do know that Grinding Gear Games has made some tweaks to existing spells such as Ice Spear, as well as Ice Nova and Vortex. Looks like this will make Cold damage-focused builds more viable depending on the synergy.
Storm Brand zaps three nearby enemies, damaging around enemies struck.
- Supporting it with the Chain support gem causes it to affect additional nearby enemies.
- Supporting it with the Increased Area support gem causes the bursts to damage more enemies.
- Additionally, supporting it with the Concentrated Effect support gem greatly increases the damage while reducing its spread.
- Supporting the brand with Life Leech will restore life to you, unlike Trap, Totem and Minion skills, as the brand counts as your damage.
To be more detailed, the Storm Brand is just one of several yet-to-be-revealed elemental Brand spells in the Betrayal. Your character places a rune on the ground that activates when an enemy is within reach. It will keep damaging the enemy until the end of its duration or when that target dies. If the target dies, the brand returns to the ground and waits for another enemy, or it can jump to a completely new target. It’s made for a more mobile style of play where you’re laying down brands and crossing through packs, letting your rune do all the work.
All in all, players can look forward to 10 skills that will be adjusted or introduced. That means more tweaks and adjustments to builds, and of course, an ever-evolving meta.
What Does Chris Wilson Think?
Well, that’s all the time we have for today. We hope we’ve provided you with everything you need to know for Path of Exile: Betrayal. If this isn’t enough, don’t worry. We actually conducted a couple of interviews with POE‘s co-creator and Grinding Gear Games CEO Chris Wilson.
We’ll provide you with an in-depth look about the design philosophy behind these new features as well as anything under the sun about Path of Exile — such as why there’s no “True Solo Delve Record” system announcement, more new spells that the team’s crafting, cross-play viability, or possible controller support for PC. We’ll also be adding more exclusive gameplay videos for Syndicate gameplay as well as the newly announced skills.
Oh, and just in case you might be new to Path of Exile — maybe a newcomer who came from Diablo — you might be interested in knowing more about first impressions when starting out in Wraeclast, as well as the philosophy behind the Private Leagues which went live recently.
Path of Exile is completely free-to-play, and you can check it out on Steam. If it’s not available for your region, you can download it via the official website. As mentioned up top, Path of Exile: Betrayal will go live on December 7 for PC players. Console releases will follow for the Xbox One on December 10 and the PlayStation 4 in mid-December.