Fans of Path of Exile have been on the edge of their seats to hear more about update 3.13. Back in October, we were told that the expansion announcement was pushed out of December to avoid the thundering juggernaut that is Cyberpunk 2077. Today, developer Grind Gear Games pulled back the veil. Path of Exile‘s next expansion is Echoes of the Atlas, as shown off during the developer’s livestream on Twitch. If you missed it, you can still watch the VOD.
Naturally, as this is Path of Exile we’re talking about, the stream was a massive info dump. I won’t be able to cover every tiny detail, but below you will find some of the more important bits involving the expansion — which may become the largest we’ve seen for the game.
As you can glean from the name, the new expansion, erm, expands the endgame content: the Atlas. Echoes of the Atlas introduces you to The Maven, a woman with absurd hair and a desire to throw some hands. The expansion also brings along regional passive trees for the Atlas, allowing you to modify and even direct the content you encounter during the endgame. Echoes of the Atlas will offer 11 new maps, and more endgame rewards.
As you begin the expansion, The Maven challenges you to a series of difficult battles. These fights pit you against powerful enemies and bosses that increment with every victory. You’ll start off battling against four bosses, then five, all the way to 10. If you’re successful, The Maven challenges you herself.
Beyond the Atlas
It would be disappointing if the expansion was just a series of boss fights, but don’t worry: there’s more. A lot more. Path of Exile: Echoes of the Atlas reworks the game’s meta, buffing more than 40 gems such as Lightning Strike and Artillery Ballista. Beyond the Atlas endgame, the expansion brings the Ritual Challenge League. Throughout your journey, you may stumble across an alter. Activating the alter and slaying the enemies grants Tribute points, which you can exchange for weapons or items. If you can’t afford it, you can Defer the item, making them show up again until you have enough points for the purchase.
One of the changes I’m most excited for is how the expansion will update Ascendancies. Every Ascendancy class will be rebalanced, with a focus on Deadeye, Elementalist, and Inquisitor. Working toward the endgame with new characters will be a thrill, and I can’t wait to see what’s been reworked. Below is an example of the rebalanced Hierophant for the Templar class.
Coming sooner than you think
I could spend all day going over the expansion in exhaustive detail, but let’s go over the remainder in summary. Path of Exile: Echoes of the Atlas will bring 10 new items to the fold, such as the Legacy of Fury boots and the Blackflame ring. The Harvest League will return in Echoes of the Atlas, in a way. You’ll be able to use the garden for items, but Grinding Gear made it easier and more enjoyable by removing seed management and harvest planning. Sacred Groves are instead pre-established, accessible via portals. The Heist League will also be available, now with contracts dropping in Act Six onward.
There is a lot more going on with Path of Exile: Echoes of the Atlas. The Twitch link above will allow you to watch the recording of the announcement. You can also head off to the official page to get a good rundown. Grinding Gear Games will publish patch notes in a few days, with even more details. During the livestream, Grinding Gear’s Chris Wilson spoke briefly on Path of Exile 2. It sounds unlikely we’ll see the game this year, however the team will provide more information in the months to come.
Path of Exile: Echoes of the Atlas begins on January 15.