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Affliction League Information Revealed

Last Updated: December 2nd 2023

Affliction 3.23

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The Affliction League Reveal brings new secondary Ascendancies, reworked Skill Gems & Labyrinth, the return of Ultimatum and much more! If you want to read the full Affliction League patch notes that came with the reveal you can do so here.

PoE 2 Mercenary

The Path of Exile 2 portion of the Affliction League Reveal began with a quick reminder of what we've seen so far about Path of Exile 2 classes. While the following specialties are the core identity, this is still Path of Exile. Therefore you're able to use the skills and weapons on any class of your choice, provided you have enough attributes.

  • Monk - A quick combo based fighter who builds momentum over the course of a fight.
  • Warrior - An unstoppable train whose attacks land with armor cracking force.
  • Huntress - Dance between melee and ranged combat flawlessly controlling distance to your foes.
  • Sorceress - Freezes your enemies solid, slips away then drops a comet on their heads for good measure.
  • Druid - Transform into various bestial forms to shred your foes while using spells for support.

The Mercenary joins this rugged roster bringing with him a reworked crossbow system which turns Path of Exile 2 into a third person shooter. Crossbows fire much more immediately in exchange for a short reload after the bolt is fired. Each weapon and ammunition combo is listed below.

Burst Shot

A crossbow that fires flechette bursts similar to a Shotgun.

  • Armor Piercing Bursts Pierce enemies.
  • Incendiary Bursts deal more Ignite damage for each enemy hit.
  • Permafrost Burst shots Chill and Freeze enemies.

Rapid Shot

This full-auto crossbow can be fired while moving.

  • Armor Piercing Rapid Shot breaks armour.
  • Permafrost Rapid Shot can be fired at the ground to create ice crystals which explode when touched, Chilling the monsters.
  • Incendiary Rapid Shot must be charged before use, but the damage increases as it heats up.
  • When the Crossbow is heated up it adds Fire damage to any Grenade you launch.

Power Shot

The Sniper rifle of crossbows,
360 noscope not included.

  • Armor Piercing Power Shot penetrates armor.
  • If an enemy has its armor broken, Power Shot hits a weak spot, doing extra damage and inflicting a Stun.
  • Permafrost Power Shot creates walls of Ice which block enemy movement and explode when they are destroyed.
  • Incendiary Power Shot is more like a rocket launcher, creating a large explosive blast at a distance.
  • Grenades caught in the blast radius explode instantly.

Combos

You can combo your skills together. Freeze an enemy with Permafrost Burst, then shoot it with Armor Piercing to explode the ice dealing massive damage to nearby enemies. Similarly, Incendiary Rapid Shot immediately ignites Oil Grenades in addition to adding Fire damage. You can even charge up with Incendiary Rapid Shot, drop grenades then swap to an Incendiary Power Shot to detonate them!

Attachments

The Grenade Launcher attachment was also showcased. Attachments work exactly like Skill Gems and even have sockets for Support Gems. Grenades have a short delay before detonation so it pays to crowd control enemies with a Stun or Freeze to keep them still until the big boom.

  • Explosive Grenade detonates after a short delay, dealing damage to enemies.
  • Flash Grenade does low damage contributes high amounts of Stun to enemies.
  • Oil Grenades coat nearby enemies in oil and leaves behind a surface that Slows foes.
    • Burning enemies, and explosions ignite the oil causing extra burning damage.

WASD Movement

Because the Mercenary Class drew inspiration from Shooters, the click-to-move standard in Path of Exile wasn't quite enough. So they added WASD movement to Path of Exile 2! Players will be able to swap between mouse movement and WASD at any time and on any character.

Affliction League

The Affliction League reveal wouldn't be too impressive without an Affliction League so let's take some time to explore the new content coming in 3.23. Step into the Viridian Wildwood and follow the Wisps to meet with Azmeri Wanderers. Affliction League brings 3 new Wildwood Ascendancies, 100+ Transfigured Gems, the return of Ultimatum, a new boss and much much more!

The Viridian Wildwood

Sacred Wisps appear near the beginning of your map and beckon you to enter the Viridian Wildwood. Within the Wildwood, your Wisps burn away the Affliction. But tread carefully, you'll only be able to clear so much and doing so reveals dangerous monsters. As you explore, you'll encounter Wisp Trails, follow these to uncover the forest's secrets.

When the Sacred Wisps run out of energy they return you to Wraeclast. You also retain any other Wisps you collect during your time exploring the Wildwood, these Wisps disperse and inhabit random monsters in the area increasing their power and rewards.

Wisps can inhabit monsters which aren't yet spawned such as those from Breach or Legion, so long as they give loot and experience. Yes, Wisps can inhabit bosses and multiple types of Wisp can stack on the same monster.

Wisps grant the following loot bonuses:

  • Primal - Item Rarity
  • Wild - Item Quantity
  • Vivid - Drops Currency Items

Because an entrance to the Viridian Wildwood always appears near the start of your map you don't have to worry too much about saving monsters for Wisps to inhabit.

Similarly, you can't kill off every monster in the map but the boss to guarantee it gets inhabited by all 3 Wisps. There's a chance for the Wisp to inhabit the boss, so you could end up with a Primal-Wild-Vivid Kitava, or waste the loot Wisps would have added.

Monsters inhabited by Primal Wisps

Wildwood Ascendancies

Aid the Azmeri Survivors in defeating the King in the Mists to unlock 3 new Ascendancy Classes (these stack with your regular Ascendancy!) Regardless of which Ascendancy you choose you're able to trade with all 3 vendors and sell most of your unwanted rewards to other players.

Complete quests for the Azmeri Wanderers to unlock 8 Ascendancy points for each of the new Ascendancies. You can swap your Wildwood Ascendancy at any time by speaking to an Azmeri Wanderer, but if you haven't used the Ascendancy before you'll still need to complete the Wanderer's quests to get your points.

Warden of the Maji

  • Oath of the Maji
    • Defences from Equipped Body Armour are doubled if it has no Socketed Gems.
    • +50% to all Elemental Resistances if you have an Equipped Helmet with no Socketed Gems.
    • 25% increased Maximum Life if you have Equipped Gloves with no Socketed Gems.
    • 30% increased Movement Speed if you have Equipped Boots with no Socketed Gems.
  • Wildwood Blessing - Grants Level 20 Barkskin Skill.
  • Lesson of the Seasons
    • 10% chance to Avoid non-Damaging Ailments on you per Bark below maximum.
    • 10% reduced Duration of Damaging auilments on you per Bark.
  • Enduring Suffusion - Tinctures applied to you have 75% increased Effect per empty Flask Slot.
  • Coated Blade - Can apply Tinctures to your Equipped Weapons.
  • Nature's Concoction
    • Flasks adjacent to applied Tincture gain 3 charges when you Hit an Enemy with a Weapon, no more than once every second.
    • Flasks adjacent to applied Tincture have 30% increased Effect when used if you've Hit an enemy with a Weapon Recently.
  • Detect Evil
    • Your Hits against Marked Enemies cannot be Blocked or Suppressed.
    • Rare and Unique Enemies within 120 Metres have Minimap Icons.
  • Primal Wisps found - (Small Nodes) 10% increased Quantity of Primal Wisps found in the Viridian Wildwood.

Tinctures & Barkskin

A Warden of the Maji can put Tinctures in their Flask slots to apply permanent bonuses to their weapons. Only 1 Tincture can be active at a time, but activating the Tincture swaps between different effects. Or if Tinctures aren't your thing, you can invest into the powerful Barkskin defensive skill. Bark spreads across your skin increasing your Armor, but enemy attacks chip away at your defences removing the Armor bonus and replacing it with an Evasion bonus. Over time the Bark will regrow and the bonus swaps once more.

Warlock of the Mists

  • Warlock Curses - choose one of 3 powerful Curse skills:
    • Black Mass - (Level 20 Affliction Skill), a Curse which puts a Physical degeneration effect on your minions and causes them to explode when they die.
    • Creeping Lobotomy - (Level 20 Pacify Skill), a Curse which prevents Cursed enemies from dealing damage during the latter half of the effect.
    • Choir of the Damned - (Level 20 Penance Mark Skill), a special mark which causes hostile Phantasams to be spawned when you hit the Marked enemy. They will attack you, and can be used to trigger both on hit and on kill effects.
  • Foul Pact
    • Enemies Pacified by you take 20% increased Damage.
    • Minions affected by Affliction have Onslaught.
    • Phantasms from Penance Mark grant 50% increased Flask Charges.
    • Phantasms from Penance Mark have a 50% chance to grant a Vaal Soul on Death.
  • Crimson Power
    • Removes all Energy Shield.
    • Gain Maximum Life instead of Maximum Energy Shield from Equipped Amour Items.
    • -6 Maximum Life per Level.
  • Sanguimancy
    • Skills cost Life instead of Mana.
    • Skills reserve Life instead of Mana.
    • Removes all Mana
    • 30% increased Life Reservation Efficiency of Skills.
  • Cannibalised Faith - Spells you cast yourself gain Added Physical Damage equal to 20% of Life Cost, if Life Cost is not higher than the maximum you could spend.
  • Blood Hunt - Grants Level 20 Ravenous Skill.
  • Wild Wisps found (Small Nodes) - 10% increased Quantity of Wild Wisps found in the Viridian Wildwood.
Now you can play Guardian Spectremancer on a Guardian!

Ravenous & Special Corpses

Mouse over a corpse and Ravenous identifies the type of monster, then use the skill to consume the corpse and gain a bonus against that type of monster. You can only have one damage bonus at a time and consuming another corpse will swap the bonus. Some monsters like Bosses have the "Eldritch" subtype, which doesn't naturally occur on corpses. Purchase special corpses at the Breaker of Oaths for Eldritch monsters. If you're feeling experimental, you can Spectre these corpses (such as the Guardian of the Hydra). These monsters cannot be Desecrated, so if your Spectre dies you'll need another corpse from the Breaker of Oaths.

Wildwood Primalist

  • Howl of the Wolf
    • Your Warcries attempt to shake extra items from Corpses.
    • Your Warcries open Chests.
  • Might of the Bear
    • 5% increased Character Size.
    • Equip a Wildwood Rucksack which has 20 Inventory Slots.
  • Charm Socket
    • The Wildwood Primalist has 3 Charm Sockets, Charms are a new unmodifiable item which grant Ascendancy Effects from any of Path of Exile's Ascendancy classes for you to mix and match.
    • Purchase Charms from the Primal Huntress with your Vivid Wisps, and even if you're not a Wildwood Primalist check the stock to see if there's anything worth selling to other players!
  • Vivid Wisps found (Small Nodes) - 10% increased Quantity of Vivid Wisps found in the Viridian Wildwood.

Charms

Use the Charms purchased from the Primal Huntress or other players to build your own custom ascendancy.

This Intelligence-aligned Corvine Charm has 2 bonuses, 1 from the Occultist and 1 from the Inquisitor

Charms are unmodifiable, magic and Attribute aligned. So a Strength Charms roll Ascendancy effects from the Duelist, Marauder, and Templar Ascendancies. An Intelligence Charms roll Ascendancy effects from the Templar, Witch, and Shadow Ascendancies. Finally, Dexterity-aligned Charms roll Ascendancy effects from the Shadow, Ranger, and Duelist Ascendancies.

In the Q&A after it was clarified that not all Ascendancy effects appear on Charms and some have their potency reduced. But, you can use up to 3 Charms and the effects do stack.

Most interestingly, the Wildwood Primalist has a small extra backpack with a 4x5 grid offering 20 total inventory spaces. What can you bring back to your hideout with 33% more inventory space?

Ultimatum

As part of the Affliction League reveal GGG confirmed that Ultimatum is back by popular demand! Ultimatum is going core replacing Metamorph. The Vaal Trials now last 10 Rounds, with increasing risk and reward for each stage. There's been a full rebalance including new rewards and affixes to hinder your progress. This includes new and reworked Unique items.

Metamorph has been removed from the game, but the Metamorph Uniques were added to the core drop pool, and Catalysts have been moved to Ultimatum. Additionally there's a brand new Tainted Catalyst which applies a random quality type and amount of quality to a corrupted Jewelry item.

There are many new Ultimatum passives being added to the Atlas Passive Tree in 3.23, including Greulling Gauntlet. A keystone which extends your Ultimatum encounters from 10 rounds to 13 but comes with some harsh downsides. You cannot choose which Ultimatum Modifier is applied each Round and cannot encounter the Trialmaster at the end of the final Round. In exchange, the rewards offered have been described as "insane".

Transfigured Gems

Affliction League also brings one of the largest meta shakeups in Path of Exile history (something many players have been requesting for a few leagues now). Currently in PoE Labyrinth Enchantments, Threshold Jewels and Alternate Quality Gems obtained from Heist modify your skill gems in significant ways. Both of these are being removed in 3.23!

The effects from these systems have been combined into the new Transfigured Gems system. The quality effects of most Skill Gems have been significantly enhanced, for example 20 quality Tornado Shot used to give 20% increased Projectile Damage. It now gives +1 Secondary Projectile, (scaling up to +2 at 40% Quality).

Read the Patch Notes to find out the quality changes for all your favorite skills!

Transfigured Frost Bomb

Transfigured Gems are new to Affliction League and only a few have been revealed so far, but they fill the niche previously held by Alternate Quality Gems. For example the new Frost Bomb of Instability transforms what is normally a support/utility skill into a main damaging ability by removing the cooldown, lowering the damage and removing the Cold Exposure.

Some other Transfigures Gems include:

  • Detonate Dead of Scavenging.
    • You can't use it on player created corpses, but it deals much higher damage.
  • Raise Zombie of Falling.
    • Summon Zombies which fall to their death dealing Physical Damage. This Spell scales off of bonuses to Minions and triggers on death Minion effects.
  • Blight of Contagion.
    • Spread your Blight debuffs with Contagion.
  • Animate Weapon of Ranged Arms.
    • Animate Ranged Weapons or Lingering Blades, any Blades which you animate become bows.
  • Blink Arrow of Prismatic Clones.
    • Summon Clones which use Elemental Hit.
  • and much much more!

Obtaining Transfigured Gems

The Divine Font at the end of the Eternal Labrynth has been changed into a gem crafting Device that can modify skill and support gems in many new ways.

You're able to add Skill Gems to the Font and modify it in a variety of ways. In addition to the above you can also add Experience to a Gem, or transform your Gem into an Exceptional Gem. If you choose to Transform your gem you can pick from 3 Transfigured Gems, or close the window and take your original skill back if you don't like any of the options offered.

The Eternal Labyrinth offers 2 uses of the Divine Font by default, and when you Transform a gem it retains its Level and Quality. The rewards from Heist Blueprints have been buffed to compensate for the removal of Alternate Quality Gems from Heist.

Stay Up to Date

That's everything we know so far about Path of Exile's 3.23 Affliction League and Path of Exile 2's Mercenary Class. Are you looking for more news on Path of Exile builds, events, and upcoming patches? Then head over to our Discord and select the Path of Exile role in #roles to stay up to date with our content development. Stay sane, Exile!

Written by: Tenkiei

Reviewed by: Northwar

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