ExileCon 2023 revealed tons of new information including a Closed Beta Date for Path of Exile 2! Grinding Gear Games also announced their 3.22 Expansion and League Trial of the Ancestors! Here are some of our thoughts;
Aer0 gave his opinions on the Trial of the Ancestors Expansion and some of the Path of Exile 2 gameplay shown in ExileCon's first day.
After watching the demo gameplay, a lot of players had concerns about the speed, pacing and general difficulty.
"I think the reality is, it won't look anything like that when it comes out. Because every single time GGG has given us a build showcase or a showcase of new leagues, they showcase it as if it's incredibly slow." ~ Aer0
Aer0 goes on to explain this is because Grinding Gear Games uses these presentations to give players a "feel" for the skill, something that's simply not possible when the character has 600% movement speed and turns the screen into a mess of blood, pixels and loot with a single click. To properly showcase the skills, animations, and environments, you need to slow the pace of play down. But maybe GGG went a bit too far in making things look cinematic, and gave players an inaccurate picture of what Path of Exile 2 gameplay looks like. Over the coming weeks Aer0's going to be brainstorming new builds. With Vengeant Cascade as a support gem, 2 reworked Ascendancies, and new Unique items he's got his work cut out for him!
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Grimro recently got hands-on experience with the Path of Exile 2 Demo at ExileCon 2023! He spent a lot of time trying the Monk (Act 1), Huntress (Act 2), Sorceress (Act 3), and Warrior (Act 4) showcased in the demos. When it comes to gameplay, Huntress was the most similar to the Path of Exile 1 experience. You focus on a couple skills and spam them to decimate your enemies. On the other hand, the Sorceress had a lot of cooldowns which Grimro describes as similar to a Diablo 4 build.
The Warrior and Monk builds were melee which put them in a tough spot. As a result of the way Path of Exile 2 handles status effects like Stun, it was easy to be overwhelmed and stunlocked to death in the gameplay demo. However, it's important to keep in mind that Grinding Gear Games stressed the difficulty in the demos was increased to an extreme level!
But if you know Grimro at all you'll be expecting a full spreadsheet with an in-depth analysis of the Path of Exile 2 demo builds, and best farming strategy for each. Unfortunately 45 minutes of a demo with a premade build where the Skill Tree was both locked and invisible, made writing a full guide impossible. But Grimro did notice the characters stats were significantly below what most players are likely to have leveling through the campaign through normal gameplay.
ExileCon Demo build stats:
Huntress (Act 2)
- Blue 1-mod Weapon
- 10-15% Resistance
- Main Skill, 0-1 Support Gems
Sorceress (Act 3)
- Blue 2-mod Staff
- 20-25% Resistance
- Main Skill, 1 Support Gem
Warrior (Act 4)
- Blue 1-mod Weapon
- 30-35% Resistance
- Main Skill, 1 Support Gem
- Unrolled Flasks
Even in a campaign with more gear scarcity, players are likely to have significantly better gear as they can use the Gold dropped by monsters to improve their items as they progress. There were also rumors that enemies had 60% more Health and Damage, on top of 15% movement speed, putting them on par with the Gauntlet. While this certainly led to an excitingly brutal experience, it also means there's a good chance the game will look and feel totally different when players get their hands on PoE 2 June 7, 2024 when the Closed Beta begins. Over the coming weeks, Grimro will be looking into the best ways to farm Trial of the Ancestors.
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Over on Youtube I shared my thoughts and excitement for both Path of Exile 2, and Trial of the Ancestors. Grinding Gear Games has a long history of under-promising and over-delivering, but I had no expectation of them making Path of Exile 2 a completely separate game!
I know a lot of players have concerns about Path of Exile 2 cannibalizing the Path of Exile 1 playerbase. Personally, I'm not worried, at least not yet. Because a lot of my gaming background isn't ARPGs like Diablo I & II, it's a mix of singleplayer games, and MMOs like World of Warcraft or Runescape. Back in 2007 Jagex made a huge shift which included many unpopular changes like the removal of free trade, changes to the Wilderness, and the Evolution of Combat update.
This nearly destroyed Runescape because it took the game in a direction different from what the hardcore fans wanted. The Evolution of Combat was Jagex's attempt to modernize Runescape as part of the move from Runescape 2 (released in 2001) to Runescape 3 (which came out in 2013). In response to this, Jagex polled the players and released Oldschool Runescape, a version of Runescape as it was in 2007. Since 2013 both Runescape 3 and Oldschool Runescape have experienced parallel development.
Many of the most loyal longtime players prefer Oldschool Runescape, but much like the Path of Exile passive tree, many new players take one look at the Behemoth that is Oldschool's content and immediately nope out! So new fans of the game often got their start in Runescape 3 which does a remarkably good job of teaching new players and making the experience approachable.
Hopes for the Future
It's my hope that Path of Exile 1 and 2 function much the same way. If you want the Path of Exile experience as it is now, complete with all its strengths and flaws then you'll still be able to play Path of Exile 1. The game will continue to get new leagues, improvements, and regular updates. But maybe you bounced off of Path of Exile before, or perhaps you're coming from other ARPGs and want a more approachable experience? Then Path of Exile 2 looks to be much easier for new players to jump into while still maintaining the difficulty and depth of the Path of Exile sandbox. I especially like how much more immersive the Path of Exile 2 campaign looks to be.
To add icing to the cake, Grinding Gear Games confirmed that wherever possible, MTX will be fully transferable between the games, so everything you have now works in PoE2, and PoE2 supporter packs you purchase should be available in PoE1 as well. I see Path of Exile 1 and 2 as an opportunity to make 2 games for 2 similar, but slightly different audiences. Some people will play both; while others will stick to their favorite so hopefully everyone wins at the end of the day! I look forward to covering Path of Exile 3.22 and hope to find time for Baldur's Gate 3, Armored Core VI and Indie Games in between!
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Tytykiller went to compete in the ExileCon Race, and wore his Tabulast on stage. He didn't end up winning, but said the race was good. When asked for comment he said to mention that 3rd place is working on a large guide for PoE1. Always one to take things in stride and with good humor, Tytykiller's always a winner in our book! When he's not speeding through Path of Exile, you can often find him chilling on World of Warcraft and Oldschool Runescape.
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The ExileCon 2023 Keynote opened with huge news for Path of Exile 2! Unlike what we heard at ExileCon 2019, Path of Exile 2 is a new game completely separate from Path of Exile 1. We also have a date for the Path of Exile 2 Closed Beta, June 7th 2024!
There were a series of developer talks featured at ExileCon covering a wide variety of topics focused on Path of Exile 2 including the Rendering Engine, Sound Design & Music, Character Skills, Item Design and Mechanics, plus Bosses and Monsters.
Rendering in Path of Exile 2
Alexander Sannikov's developer talk focused on how he built the Path of Exile 2 Renderer. His talk had a large focus on re-using resources to get graphical uplift without increasing the resource costs (in terms of RAM or Processing power).
He also spent some time breaking down his secrets like how background elements look better when they're merged slightly with the floor. Or how the Renderer blends animation to make them smoother. While the topics Sannikov covered are highly technical in nature he does a good job of breaking it down for the average viewer.
The Path of Exile 2 gameplay showcase looked extremely fluid and this is largely thanks to the new animations and rigging. Skills in Path of Exile 2 are designed to flow from one to another as they combo together. GGG also discussed their ongoing efforts to remove janky interactions such as when the Ranger loses her spine.
Another big change is that Support Skills now revolve around specialization and utility rather than increased damage output. Supports which bolster damage will now come with penalties that make the Support more conditional, similar to Controlled Destruction Support.
The Path of Exile 2 put a big spotlight on weapon swaps! Skills are tied to a specific Weapon Set and your character automatically swaps to the relevant weapon when you use a Skill. To find out more, look out for our upcoming "Everything we Know so far about Path of Exile 2" post!
Bosses and Monsters of PoE 2
Mark Robert got a bit of help from Octavian in showing off the new Bosses we can expect in Path of Exile 2! Their new hitbox tech makes the fights more dynamic. You can roll between the legs of larger bosses, and striking exposed limbs allows you to damage them in ways not previously possible!
Bosses can also be crowd controlled, though they grow resistant to repeated attempts in a manner similar to Poise from Elden Ring. The goal here is to make boss fights more dynamic, interesting, and cinematic while giving players new ways to interact with them.
Fighting bosses in Path of Exile 2 is going to be similar to fighting Delve bosses in Path of Exile 1. If you die during the fight, the instance restarts and the boss fully heals. Portaling out can be done, though unlike everywhere else in Path of Exile 2, during a boss fight your portal has a cast time. Therefore, proper timing is required if you want to pop back to town and refill Flask charges (Flasks themselves have also seen significant rebalancing). Finally, the game stores your character state when you log out, so if you try to use a logout macro to avoid a slam all you do is delay the inevitable death. If you happen to DC on accident however this could come in handy, letting you get right back into the action.
Item Design and Mechanics
Base types in Path of Exile 2 have a large focus on attribute identity. The goal is for each base type to have a distinct name to identify its item class, a clear visual defense so you instantly know a Dex item from a Str item, and stats matching the attribute identity. The same design philosophy is being applied to weapons as well.
Currently in Path of Exile 1, caster weapons are little more than stat sticks, but in Path of Exile 2 they have built in 0 mana cost "spell auto attacks." The Spell used varies between base types.
GGG Also promised to bring most iconic Path of Exile 1 Uniques into Path of Exile 2, and preserve their modifiers whenever possible. Headhunter and Shavronne's Wrappings were confirmed to be in Path of Exile 2, but you can expect many of your other favorites to be there too!
Sound Design and Music in Path of Exile 2
Kane Bennett spoke about the sound design in Path of Exile 2, and how important sound cues are to the player experience. From major things like audio-telegraphs on boss fights to smaller touches like the "clank" of a metal weapon vs the "thud" of a wooden one. You won't want to mute PoE2, at least for your first run through the campaign. He also spoke about some of the weird and wacky things they got up to in the sound booth
One of the goals with Path of Exile 2's sound design is to clear up the sound space. Between sound effects, ambiance, and music, right now there are times when Path of Exile's gameplay sounds downright messy. But the game wouldn't be complete without music and that's where Kamil comes in.
Kamil Orman-Janowski took the stage to speak about the Music in Path of Exile 2. He talked about how music sets the mood and tone for an area. This is used to make the player feel like an area is warm and inviting, or hostile and desolate. Kamil spoke about his choices for different areas in Path of Exile 2 and some of the instruments or musical styles he used. After watching this talk you're definitely going to feel guilty the next time you mute Path of Exile.
On top of the Developer Talks, Grinding Gear Games put on a series of Q&A type panels with developers, content creators, and industry figures.
Wacky Path of Exile 1 Mechanics Q&A
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you fired 500 Rolling Magma Projectiles with Return? How about 0% Projectile Speed Spectral Throw? Or maybe you've considered what would happen if a player cast Vaal Detonate Dead on 1,000 corpses?
GGG sat down to demonstrate these weird, wild, and wacky interactions in a rare look behind the scenes. It turns out Path of Exile is surprisingly robust and difficult to crash, even if you add near infinite Chains to your Arc.
Path of Exile 2 Q&A
The devs sat down to answer questions and spend more time going into the thought process behind their choices for Path of Exile 2. They went into the thought process behind porting Skills from Path of Exile 1 to Path of Exile 2, including a promise for Cast on Dodge Support, while talking about overall systems and design. Crafting in Path of Exile 2 is going to be very different, with each system focused on making one type of item really well. GGG stressed one of the big reasons for making Path of Exile 2 a separate game was because they wanted the freedom to experiment, but didn't want to throw away all the aspects of Path of Exile 1 which fans know and love, or at least love to hate.
Action RPG Roundtable
Many of the greatest legends in ARPG history sat down to talk about the genre. If you're a fan of Diablo, Torchlight, or Path of Exile then you'll find these names quite familiar!
They took turns answering questions about game design, their past work and some of their favorites. What game would they play if they could only play 1 for the rest of their life? Should you skip the story in ARPGs? These questions were answered and so much more!
To close out ExileCon 2023, Tytykiller, Havoc616, ImExile, and Tie23he took the stage for the ExileCon race. The early game was filled with a wealth of Shrines leading to record breaking splits in the early acts, and as the race continued it was incredibly close. In the end, Tie23he took victory, but ImExile was only seconds behind him! Tytykiller took 3rd, and won himself a chunk of the prize money, with Havoc616 struggling after a death to Innocence and coming in 4th. But these are just some highlights, to read more check out our ExileCon Race post.
New Guide Overview
The Maxroll Team has been hard at work providing new guides! Whether it's builds, crafting, or farming we've got a little bit of something for everyone. So if ExileCon inspired you to come back to Path of Exile before 3.22 you'll have something new to try.
- *NEW* Cobra Lash Deadeye (Midgame)
- *NEW* Lightning Arrow Deadeye (Midgame)
- *NEW* Ignite Vortex Elementalist (Midgame)
- *NEW* Righteous Fire Juggernaut (Midgame)
- *NEW* Arc / Storm Brand Scion (Endgame)
- *NEW* Poison Spark Pathfinder (Endgame)
- Updated Poison Spark Occultist (Endgame)
- *Coming Soon* Ice Shot Deadeye League Starter
Over the past months we've been working hard to update many of our existing guides along with adding new ones to keep up with the ever evolving META. If you want to know more, be sure to browse our recent releases!
Here are our new and updated build guides hot off the presses and ready for the "patchnoteswhen" moment where they all have to be updated!
Cobra Lash Deadeye
Cobra Lash is an often misunderstood skill, and for good reason! The gem first rewards scaling critical strikes and Poison. Poison and critical strikes currently do not pair well, but there is much more to this skill. Cobra Lash has inbuilt Chaos conversion, and enemies naturally have less Chaos Resistance than Elemental Resistance.
Ignite Vortex Elementalist
The Ignite Vortex Elementalist is an ice skater, flying through the rink that is Delirium Orb mapping. This build clears maps with Vortex on Left Mouse Button, allowing you to focus completely on Shield Charge and looting quickly.
Righteous Fire Juggernaut
Righteous Fire Juggernaut is a Path of Exile classic. The build leverages Juggernaut's defenses for a comfy playstyle, throw a few Fire Traps and Pinnacle Bosses won't be an issue either. Mapping more your thing? Explosions are fun, between Legacy of Fury and Oriath's End the build has explosive clear speed!
Poison Spark Occultist
The Phantasmal Spark Occultist is an endgame all rounder capable of taking on the toughest content in the game. Thanks to Profane Bloom explosion chains it is able to provide satisfying clear unmatched by any other Ascendancy. Phantasmal Spark mechanically behaves exceptionally well in smaller arenas, as the projectiles bounce around, hitting a single target multiple times per cast.
Lightning Arrow Deadeye
The Lightning Arrow Deadeye is a great mid-budget ranged bow build that stacks Life Regeneration to achieve a high uptime on Berserk.
It is a mapping beast capable of farming at high efficiency with a mid-range budget. If you want a build that fires countless projectiles that chain through every enemy while moving at very high speeds this is the build for you!
Arc / Storm Brand Archmage Scion
The Arc / Storm Brand Archmage Scion is a well-rounded character that excels in defenses but is still able to do all content, including all Uber Pinnacle Bosses.
Poison Spark Pathfinder
Poison Phantasmal Spark Pathfinder is a well-rounded monster suitable for all content. The build focuses on quality of life, ensuring it feels good to play wherever possible. Luckily, Pathfinder excels at this, if you've ever played with a Mageblood, Pathfinder feels similar by enhancing Flask uptime and potency. Fill your screen with Sparks to clear enemies and take down Uber Bosses!
Farming & Crafting
Essence Farming Guide
Essences are a core crafting currency in Path of Exile, therefore there's almost always a demand for them. Luckily, it's a frequent flier on Kirac's Map Device so it's easy to add Essence into your usual farming routine.
Delve Farming Guide
The deeper you go into the mine, the greater the rewards, and the more dangerous enemies become. Just remember that it's not efficient to go so deep that you consistently fail nodes, so know your limits and don't be afraid to delve sideways if you run up against your build's current limit.
If you're following along with one of our build guides you might be curious on how to craft one of the featured items. To that aim we're continuing to fill out our crafting guides and provide details on how to recreate our recommended items in a reliable and cost efficient manner. So whether you're following a new guide or just looking to learn how to craft, check out our Crafting section!
Trial of the Ancestors
Path of Exile's 3.22 Expansion introduces a new League inspired by auto-battlers such as Dota Auto-Chess and Teamfight Tactics. Enter the Trial of the Ancestors to compete against legendary Karui tribes, and win prizes from Hinekora herself!
Trial of the Ancestors rewards various currencies, exclusive Unique items, and two new types of items! Omens, which are once-use charms that trigger an effect like creating a portal when you die, and Passive Skill Tattoos. These Tattoos adorn your very soul, transforming Attribute nodes into other bonuses like Adds 1 to 7 Lightning Damage or 2% Increased Movement Speed. With Attributes being transformed into other useful effects, the Timeless Keystone Supreme Ostentation may see more use than ever before.
Atlas Passive Keystones
There are 16 new Atlas Passive Keystones coming in Trial of the Ancestors league, the effects teased so far focus on changing how players interact with various league mechanics, like turning Blight into more of a tower defense, or turning Expedition into one single big boom!
Alongside the Uniques players are gaining access to 14 new Support gems. The most interesting of which being Returning Projectile Support, which allows all Projectiles to return. That's right, Vengeant Cascade was so popular that GGG turned it into a Support Gem!
The Roguelike mode introduced in 3.20 is returning. Step into the Forbidden Sanctum once more, now with greater layout diversity, reworked boons & afflictions, and your Armor, Evasion, and Energy Shield now all protect your resolve in different ways. Or you can sell your fully itemized Sanctum to another player (even if you've already run some of the floors). To complete a Sanctum you need to defeat the "secret boss" Lycia, Herald of the Scourge and if you're lucky you'll be rewarded with a Unique Relic. Sanctified Relics and Lycia's Invocation aren't returning at this time.
Chief & Guardian Rework
Two of Path of Exile's ascendancies got a rework. The Chieftain was reworked to focus on Defense, Slams, Strikes, and ignoring enemy Fire Resistance. Between P0hx and CaptainLance, someone's definitely going to figure out how to make RF Chief work. On the other hand the Guardian looks purpose built to support Group play. The reworked Guardian offers several new Minions that look similar to Herald of Purity and Summon Holy Relic.
Want to Know More?
For more details check out our Path of Exile 3.22 Trial of the Ancestors Post here!
League Launch & Beyond
Moving into Path of Exile 3.22 we'll be bringing out new and updated builds with a huge focus on League Starters. If you're interested in Path of Exile 2 then stay tuned for our upcoming "Everything we Know About Path of Exile 2" post complete with juicy details from Grimro!
If you haven't already, 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. In the meantime, stay tuned for more information and remember: Stay sane, Exile!
Written by: Tenkiei
Reviewed by: Facefoot, Xtra37