Trial of the Ancestors is the new Path of Exile Expansion and it launches on August 18th. During ExileCon 2023 they gave quite a few sneak peaks into what can be expected, let's go over what they covered while we wait for more to be unveiled in the near future!
Trial of the Ancestors
The Trial of the Ancestors is a Auto-Chess style tournament where you enter the afterlife, to battle Chieftains and earn valuable rewards. Collect Silver Coins as you play through the new League, these are used to enter the tournament. You'll assemble a team of 3 warriors and compete against 10 other Tribes in a double elimination format. After each round you are able to choose which team you want to battle against next and after a second loss your tournament run is over!
When you start a match you'll see the configuration of the enemy team and get to place you warriors on the battlefield to fight against theirs. Unlike other Auto-Battle style games you get to simultaneously fight alongside your chosen warriors the entire time, this rewards players who build powerful characters. You spawn into battle at your designated totem and have the goal of destroying the other teams totems. When a warrior dies they respawn at their totem after a short time, once the totem is destroyed the warrior is instantly killed and can't respawn (Don't worry, Hinekora protects your hardcore character, preventing you from dying in the afterlife).
Strategy and tactics are very important to win matches. Different warriors have different strengths and should be placed wisely on the battlefield for best results. Here's what we know about the available warriors so far:
Turtle (Tank) - Slow and hard to kill, perfect for defense or for tanking the enemy front liners. The turtle's low movement speed means you need to place him where he'll have easy access to enemies, or where enemies will have easy access to him.
Tuatara (Balanced) - Quick, deceptive and well balanced for all positions. The Tuatara looks like an ideal warrior to slip past enemy defenses and take out their totems before they have a chance to rally.
Goliath of Night (Disruptor) - the Goliath can be placed in the center to intercept enemies chasing after you and disrupt enemies going for your totems. His control effects help give you enough time to deal with an enemy push.
At the end of a match you gain Favour and other special rewards. Favour is gained individually with each Tribe and is used to purchase Warriors, Field Items and Equipment for the upcoming battle. Each Tribe has their own specialty and they can be mixed and matched to grant the perfect team.
Field Items are placed on the battlefield and can be activated during a match to enable their special effect. If not activated they'll persist into the next match. All Warriors, Field Items and Equipment are all wiped entirely between each tournament leading to a fresh start and experience in each one.
Success in a tournament increases your ranking with the associated Tribe. Each round won grants a unique reward, which is visible as you're selecting which Tribe to play against next. One new exclusive reward is Passive Skill Tattoos, these allow you to enhance your Passive Tree by replacing your basic attribute nodes. Each Tribe has their own unique passive tattoos as well as an exclusive unique item! There are also additional exclusive Unique Items and Passive Skill Tattoos for winning the whole tournament. Here are some examples;
- Ngamahu Firewalker replaces small Strength Passive Skills with +8% to Fire Resistance.
- Loyalty Tattoo of Utula replaces a small Strength Passive Skill with Trigger Level 20 Summon Spirit of Utula on taking a Savage Hit from a Unique Enemy.
- (limit 1 Loyalty Tattoo)
- Ramako Scout replaces small Dexterity Passive Skills with 2% Increased Movement Speed.
- Valako Storm Conduit replaces small Intelligence Passive Skills with Adds 1 to 7 Lightning Damage.
- Honoured Tattoo of the Hatungo replaces small Attribute Passive Skills with 1% Increased Reservation Efficiency of Skills.
- Honoured Tattoo of the Wise Man replaces a +30 to Intelligence Notable Passive Skill with +1 to Level of All Intelligence Skill Gems.
- (Limit 1 Notable Tattoo per Attribute)
If this wasn't enough the Trial of the Ancestors also rewards a new item on full completion called an Omen.
An Omen sits in your inventory and is activated once a certain condition is met. In one example given, the Omen of Fortune guarantees an item will become Unique (if possible) when using an Orb of Chance. Only 1 Omen can be consumed per battle area allowing you the relief of not having to carry an inventory full of Omens everywhere you go. Omens are single use, here's what we've seen so far:
- Omen of Return: On death, this Omen is consumed and a Portal to town is created.
- Omen of Refreshment: Upon reaching 25% Life, this Omen is consumed and Flasks recover all Charges.
- Omen of the Soul Devourer: On leveling up, this Omen is consumed and you gain Soul Eater.
- Omen of Fortune: On using an Orb of Chance on an item, it will become Unique if possible and this Omen will be consumed.
Chris confirmed that the Omen of Fortune functions similarly to the Trash to Treasure Prophecy. They are not adding junk Uniques to block you from deterministically creating high rarity items.
A new currency item that allows you to see the result of the next currency item used on a craft. For example, you can see the result of Exalting an item before actually doing it!
16 New Atlas Passive Keystones
The Atlas Passive Tree lets you alter your endgame experience by allocating Skill Points to customize the League Mechanics you encounter and increase their rewards. By adding 16 new Passive Keystones they've changed up the endgame drastically opening up even more ways to play Path of Exile. They'll be showing us the rest over the next couple weeks but let's take a look at the ones they've shown us so far :
Speaker of the Dead
14 New Support Gems
The META is changing a lot and 14 new Support Gems will be altering the way many skills are used. Here are seven of the ones they've shown us so far.
Corrupting Cry - Turns Warcry skills into damage dealing skills by making them inflict Corrupting Blood on enemies in the Warcry's radius, or hit by attacks your Warcry exerts.
Returning Projectile - Causes projectiles from supported to return to you, piercing all targets but dealing less damage.
Fresh Meat - Minions gain Adrenaline, Critical Strike Chance and Damage for a short duration after being summoned. Keep refreshing those Minions!
Flame Wood - Causes Totems to shoot mortars at enemies that hit them. Works well with taunt totem.
Frigid Bond - Supports Link Skills and causes a Cold Mist to come over them, enemies caught in the beam are dealt cold damage over time.
Locust Mind - Supports Attack Skills usable with bows and wands. You now throw mines that shoot your projectiles at your target when detonated.
Sacrifice - Supports Spells that you cast yourself or by your totems. Sacrifices a portion of your Life or your Totem's Life to gain additional Chaos Damage depending on the amount sacrificed.
14 New Unique Items
Each of the 10 Karui Tribes reward a unique item that embodies their essence. These items are only earned by defeating that Tribe through the Trial of the Ancestors tournament. Hinekora, the Goddess of Death, offers 4 additional Uniques to tournament winners.
Sanctum to Core!
Sanctum is back this Expansion and it's better than ever! Sanctums are now tradable items in the form of Forbidden Tomes. A Forbidden Tome represents a floor of a Sanctum, when a floor is complete the next floor is generated as a tradable item that keeps all your progress, Resolve, Boons & Afflictions. You can choose to play your Sanctum or Trade it away depending on the rewards or dangers ahead.
The entirety of Sanctum has been re-balanced, including the difficulty in later floors as well as adding new floor and monster variety to runs. New Boons and Afflictions were added, and many existing ones have been adjusted. Your Primary Defenses now protect your Resolve loss as well.
- Armor grants a % Resolve Mitigation from enemy hits and scales with your armor.
- Evasion now grants a chance to avoid Resolve loss entirely.
- Energy Shield grants Energy Aegis which acts just like Energy Shield does for Life.
Relics are now tradable and have been rebalanced around this. Sanctified Relics have not returned yet but may in the future and Unique Relics have been reworked and replaced as well. A complete Sanctum run requires you to kill the final boss in both her first form Lycia, Unholy Herald and her second form Lycia, Herald of the Scourge.
All New Chieftain
The Marauder's Chieftain Ascendancy got a full redesign. The old version hasn't seen much use in recent Leagues, so it was time for a bit more than a fresh coat of paint.
- Tasalio, Cleansing Water - Modifiers to Fire Resistance also apply to Cold and Lightning Resistances at 50% of their value, Unaffected by Ignite.
- Valako, Storm's Embrace - Modifiers to maximum Fire Resistance also apply to Maximum Cold and Lightning Resistances.
- Arohongui, Moon's Presence
- Recoup 25% of Damage Taken by your Totems as Life.
- Totems Regenerate 1 Life per second per 4 of your Life Recovery per second from Regeneration.
- Totems Taunt Enemies around them for 4 seconds when Summoned.
- Ngamahu, Flame's Advance
- Non-Unique Jewels cause Increases and Reductions to other Damage Types to be Transformed to apply to Fire Damage.
- Non-Unique Jewels cause Small and Notable Passive Skills in a Large Radius to also grant +3 to Strength.
- Tawhoa, Forest's Strength - Trigger Level 20 Tawhoa's Chosen when you Attack with a Non-Vaal Slam or Strike Skill near an Enemy.
- Tukohama, War's Herald
- Skills from Equipped Body Armour are Supported by Level 30 Ancestral Call .
- Skills from Equipped Body Armour are Supported by Level 20 Fist of War.
- Ramako, Sun's Light - Nearby Enemies Fire Resistance is 0% against Damage over Time while you are Stationary.
- Hinekora, Death's Fury - Enemies you Kill have 5% chance to Explode, dealing 500% of their maximum Life as Fire Damage.
(Updated for Patch Notes on Aug 10th, 2023)
The Templar Ascendancy Guardian also got a revamp and some much needed buffs. Once known as the tankiest Ascendancy in Path of Exile he's seen low play rates in recent Leagues.
- Unwavering Faith - Auras from your Skills grant 5% increased Recovery Rate of Life, Mana, and Energy Shield to you and Allies.
- Radiant Faith
- Grants Armour equal to 25% of your Reserved Mana to you and nearby Allies.
- Grants maximum Energy Shield equal to 10% of your Reserved Mana to you and nearby Allies.
- Time of Need
- Every 4 seconds, remove Curses and Elemental Ailments from you.
- Every 4 seconds, Regenerate 100% of Life over one second.
- Radiant Crusade
- Grants Level 20 Summon Sentinel of Radiance Skill.
- 10% of Damage from Hits is taken from your Sentinel of Radiance's Life before you.
- Unwavering Crusade - 25% chance to Trigger Level 20 Summon Elemental Relic when you or a nearby Ally Kill an Enemy, or Hit a Rare or Unique Enemy.
- Bastion of Hope
- If you've Attacked Recently, you and nearby Allies have +25% Chance to Block Attack Damage.
- If you've Cast a Spell Recently, you and nearby Allies have +25% Chance to Block Spell Damage.
- Harmony of Purpose
- Enemies in your Link Beams have -20% to all Elemental Resistances.
- Allies between you and Linked Targets have +5% to all maximum Elemental Resistances.
- Enemies between you and Linked Targets cannot apply Elemental Ailments.
(Updated for Patch Notes on Aug 10th, 2023)
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Written by: Facefoot, Tenkiei