Path of Exile: Heist – The Rogue Harbor
The Rogue Harbor is a new location you can visit in Path of Exile by using a “marker,” a special currency that’s included in the league. In this location, you’ll find several NPCs and, naturally, rogues, who are able to join your crew. At the start, you’ll only encounter a handful of these colorful characters. But once you’ve progressed further in the league, there will be 13 rogues in total:
- Four rogues will stay in the Rogue Harbor since they mostly offer transportation or intel decryption services (more on this later).
- The other nine, meanwhile, can be recruited to your crew for a heist.
Rogues in your crew
These rogues have one main skill which they’re really good at and up to three sub skills that might need a bit of work. Examples of skills include demolition, engineering, or lockpicking.
You can only bring one rogue as part of your crew for regular heists. If you successfully complete the said heist, the rogue will also gain XP for their specialization. Rogues can also be equipped with their own items that improve their capabilities during heists.
Note: To avail of a rogue’s services or get them to join your crew, you’ll need to pay them using markers. Don’t worry, markers drop from monsters and heist completions.
To start a heist, you’ll first need a contract (these also drop from monsters or heist completions just like markers). Additionally, crafting modifications with your regular currencies apply to contracts as well, and certain changes will increase the difficulty and rewards (seen below).
In some ways, you can think of contracts as an offshoot of Path of Exile‘s maps. Whereas maps are for those who want to focus on the endgame, contracts let you experience some semblance of that mechanic as you progress.
Contracts will show a particular Artifact that you can steal. But, before you can start the activity, you’ll first need to speak with The Wayfinder at the Rogue Harbor. Pay for transportation or a rogue crew member’s fee, and off you go.
Once you reach the new area, you’ll notice enemies patrolling around. Your rogue companions can help you during a fight, but their main reason for being there is to use their specializations (such as lockpicking or engineering).
You also have an alert level bar at the bottom of your HUD. The alert level increases through the following means:
- Stealing items from chests or trunks.
- Killing guards.
- Grabbing the Artifact which automatically raises the alert level to maximum.
What exactly happens when it’s at maximum? Well, let’s just say you won’t like it. Lots of guards will start spawning out of corners, swarming you until you have nowhere left to go. Your goal now is to escape this “lockdown” phase and get back to the Rogue Harbor. If you die, you’ll lose all the items you’ve picked up during the heist since they’re considered contraband.
One more thing to take note of is that if you’ve raised the alarm level to maximum and the lockdown has begun, you still have a scant few seconds left to grab the Artifact. If you’re close to it, maybe you should take the risk. Alternatively, you might want to get out of Dodge in case you don’t want to lose all your loot from various rooms and chests.
Note: It’s possible to remain in a heist map for a prolonged period even during the lockdown stage. It’s just that it’ll take a very sturdy character with a lot of survivability and, even then, the sheer number of mobs might be too much.
In any case, here’s a gameplay video of Path of Exile: Heist‘s main activity:
Let’s say you’ve successfully stolen an Artifact during a heist. Go ahead and return to an NPC named Whakano. He’ll reward you with markers and gain some intel.
At the same time, it’s possible that you’ve found a blueprint. Similar to contracts (and maps), blueprints are also craftable itemized world areas. The difference is that a blueprint will eventually lead you to a Grand Heist. If you bring this blueprint to Whakano, he can use the intel he’s gained to help you plan your Grand Heist, revealing important info such as wings, escape routes, reward rooms, and more.
Path of Exile‘s Grand Heists will require your best effort—and your best rogues—because it’s going to be a doozy. Unlike a regular heist, which is a shorter activity, a Grand Heist may have several wings, each with its own alert level. Oh, and these wings have multiple obstacles with which you’re allowed to bring three rogues to tackle those depending on their specializations.
The objective of a Grand Heist is to eventually reach the vault in each wing. These vaults have multiple rewards displayed in glass cases. However, you can only choose one and forego the rest. From there, you can make your way to another wing and reap all the rewards from the vaults, or make your escape in case things get dicey.
Here’s a Grand Heist gameplay video:
So, what exactly can you expect from your sneaky activities? Well, head over to part two of our Path of Exile: Heist preview. It’s time to check the rewards.