Grinding Gear Games lifted the veil on its latest expansion for Path of Exile earlier today in a livestream. Path of Exile: Scourge once more shakes things up, bringing new gems, a new challenge, and a passive skill tree rework. Don’t hold your breath too long for the latter, however. The rework isn’t massive, but GGG did change some things up a bit. For the most part, PoE remains the same grindy ARPG with more loot than pixels. But this time, there be demons.
I recall a time when some ARPGs were referred to as “Diablo clones.” The [insert game here] clone moniker is rather tiresome these days. But here we have a Path of Exile expansion containing demons, and it wasn’t that long ago when Diablo II: Resurrected launched. Coincidence?? Yeah, I think it is.
Regardless, Path of Exile: Scourge brings demonic forces and a new challenge into the fold. So, let’s talk about that. The expansion’s primary hook is a new item, the Blood Crucible. It attaches to your character, and as you kill enemies, you fill the crucible with their blood. Wholesome. Once that’s done, you can activate it and shift into an “alternate Wraeclast,” where the world is stripped of life and color, replaced by blackened stone, fire, and pissed off demons — collectively called the Scourge.
The more demons you kill, the more blood you collect, and the better the rewards. However, the longer you survive, the more difficult the challenge becomes. Placing an item in the Crucible, like a weapon or piece of equipment, will corrupt it while adding special Scourge Modifiers.
Path of Exile: Scourge, new gems and a passive skill tree rework
There are some cool new gems you can claim in Path of Exile: Scourge. Among my favorites shown in the livestream today is the Energy Blade. Based in lightning damage, the Energy Blade can be thrown forward and through enemies, allowing you to live your Jedi (or Sith, I don’t judge) fantasies. Another great gem that Grinding Gear Games was happy to show off was Tornado. You should already have a good idea of how it works. The gem allows you to create a Tornado that slowly moves forward, damaging enemies in its path. Tossing a projectile at it will cause the tornado to adopt the elemental damage, allowing you to make something like a Firenado.
Path of Exile: Scourge brings a slight rework to the passive skill tree. According to Grinding Gear Games, there are some niche passives that not many players have been using. While many of these are important for some builds, most generally ignore them. Instead of removing them altogether, the developer instead created “Passive Skill Masteries,” which unlock in the center of a node once you “allocate the first Notable passive skill.” The mastery will offer a list of options to activate, and can mean the difference between a good or great build.
There be monsters
As is typical with all Path of Exile expansion announcements, today’s brought an exhaustive amount of information. There’s plenty not covered in the above, such as Uber endgame content, balance tweaks, and much more. Early next year, GGG is planning on a “huge overhaul” of its Atlas of Worlds endgame. We’ll have more for you on those changes once they’re available.
For the rest of the changes coming with Path of Exile: Scourge, put on a pot of coffee and head to the official page. There’s a lot of reading ahead. The expansion will be available on October 22. You can also check out the announcement trailer for Scourge and get a closer look at the friendly demons that want to eat your skin.