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Zizaran Interview with Mark Roberts

Last Updated: March 28th 2024

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Zizaran sat down with Mark Roberts for an interview about the upcoming Necropolis League, Scarab changes, and Mark's design philosophy as Game Director for Path of Exile. Check out the full interview below or check out our notes written by Crouching_Tuna!


Watch the full Zizaran interview with Mark Roberts.


Mark began the interview with Zizaran by revealing many of the new Scarabs and some of his thoughts on the future of the Ritual League mechanic.

If no limit is mentioned for a Scarab, it's limited to 1.
  • This is NOT TWWT.
  • In the future, King of the Mists might get implemented into Ritual.
    • This could be the return of items from Affliction, like Charms and TWWT.
  • Mark plans to give Ritual more of an endgame and an objective outside of it being a superficial mechanic where you just kill monsters.
  • This could go in a lot of different directions, but the intention is to modernize the content.

Breach Scarabs

  • Beyond Scarab of the Invasion, Unique Monsters slain in Area create 8 to 12 Additional Beyond Portals.
    • Rogue Exiles are Unique monsters.
  • Breach Scarab (Limit 4), Area contains 2 additional Breaches.
    • 8 total Breaches if you stack 4 of them.
  • Breach Scarab of the Dreamer, Breaches in area will always belong to Chayula.
  • Breach Scarab of Lordship, Breaches in area each contain a Breachlord.
  • Breach Scarab of Splintering (Limit 2), Breach Monsters and Clasped Hands in area drop 50% more Breach Splinters.
    • Combine these Scarabs with Breach Passives for tons of Splinters and a chance at Breachlord Uniques.
  • Breach Scarab of Snares, Breaches in area have 5-10 additional Clasped Hands. Clasped Hands in area are guarded by a rare Breach monster.
    • Rare monsters have a high chance to drop Scarabs if you spec into it on the tree. This in combination with the amount of Breaches you can get per map and some of the Atlas passive skill nodes it feels like you'll be able to drop a ton of Scarabs, breach rings, and splinters from Breach. Overall, it opens up farming avenues in the endgame. Really exciting!

Domination and Essence

  • Domination Scarab of Terrors, Shrines in area are guarded by an additional Map Boss. Modifiers to the final Map Boss also apply to these guardians.
    • You can get around 11 shrines, and the boss also has the normal boss drop items like dropping guardian maps and all that stuff. WHAT THE HELLLLL? The wisp Atlas node might be broken with this too.
  • Essence Scarab of Ascent, Essences Found in area are a tier higher.
    • Re-adding what we lost on the tree.
  • Essence Scarab (Limit 4), Area contains 2 additional Essences.
    • Up to 8 additional Essences.
  • Essence Scarab of Calcification, All rare monsters in area are imprisoned by Essences.
    • This only applies to native monsters in the map but not league mechanic monsters. However, it is not 100% confirmed which mechanics are included and which aren't.

Harbinger, Harvest and Incursion

  • Harbinger Scarab of Discernment, Harbingers in area drop rarer currency shards. Harbingers in area drop a single type of currency shard.
    • This could potentially result in full fracturing orb/Mirrors dropping.
  • Harbinger Scarab of Warhoards, currency shards dropped by Harbingers in area are duplicated.
    • Multiplicative with the previous one. Could potentially drop 2 Mirrors, but this will be extremely rare!
  • Harvest Scarab of Doubling, Lifeforce dropped by Harvest monsters in areas is duplicated. Harvest monsters in area have 100% more life.
    • The Sextant is back in Scarab form and has no color dependency either.
  • Harvest Scarab of Cornucopia, if area contains the Sacred Grove, it will contain up to 1 additional tier 4 seed of each type, if possible.
    • Giga Sacred Blossoms.
  • Incursion Scarab of Timelines, final Architect slain in area will drop an itemized temple. Itemized temples dropped in area are generated based on current temple layout, but with randomized room tiers.
    • This raises a lot of questions/speculation:
      • Looks possible to waste it, this is not a “default include” Scarab for every map.
      • Once you have T3 Corruption, or T3 Doriyani, you may not want to use this scarab anymore (kinda weird) or do you?
      • Temple Gamble. It probably can drop dead ends because it copies your current layout therefore you want to be using these later on once you sort of have your temple “set up” 33% chance to get a t3+ room per Scarab usage.

Ambush and Sulphite

  • Ambush Scarab (Limit 4), area contains 5 additional Strongboxes.
    • You can have up to 20 Strongboxes. People will rarely stack these since the opportunity cost of a Scarab slot is now higher than ever! Still, an insane amount of power.
  • Ambush Scarab of Containment, area contains many additional Strongboxes. Area's inhabitants are lying in ambush.
    • This is basically just a monstrous treasure.
  • Sulphite Scarab of Fumes, Sulphite found in Map area releases Enraging Fumes. Monsters affected by Enraging Fumes have 500% increased item quantity. Sulphite in your Maps is guarded by monsters from the Azurite mine.
    • Only affects monsters around the Sulphite piles. It has a cap to discourage pulling things into the piles so that they breathe the fumes and gain the buffs. Potentially a cool alternative to enraged Strongboxes etc. Could still lead to people dragging monsters onto the Sulphite piles.

More Scarabs

  • Influencing Scarab of Conversion, tier 14+ Maps found in area have a chance to drop as Shaper Guardian, Elder Guardian, Conqueror or Unique Synthesised Maps instead.
    • Note: This is not “cartography type” Scarab.
    • The effect is weaker than before due to “Map Duplication” being removed from the atlas tree.
    • You might need to use “Duplication Cartographer's Scarab” if it exists.
    • At this point, we have no idea yet what kind of % chance to drop Guardian Maps.
  • Legion Scarab of Eternal Conflict, Legion Monsters in area can be broken out of Stasis multiple times.
    • Confirmed you get multiple HH mods as you’re breaking the one mob out -HOOOLY.
  • Cartography Scarab of Ascension, Maps found in area are a tier higher, up to a maximum of 16.
    • Very nice early progression Scarab.
    • Straight forward but increases your T17 drops too (more T16s with a chance to be converted).
  • Cartography Scarab of Corruption, Non-Unique Maps found in area are corrupted with 8 modifiers.
    • Nice one for the Blasters.
  • Cartography Scarab of Duplication (Limit 2), Maps found in area have a 30% chance to be duplicated.
    • This will pair nicely with the Guardian Map boss one and can be stacked to a 60% chance.
  • Scarab of Monstrous Lineage, 40% increased magic pack size.
    • BIG juice for certain mechanics.
  • Scarab of Adversaries (Limit 2), area contains 4 additional packs with mirrored rare monsters.
    • This is really insane, like the essence scarab for example. Great synergy between many of these scarabs, it’s insane thinking of all the possibilities. (This doesn’t give you reflect immunity!)
  • Scarab of Stability, portals to area have a 50% chance to not be consumed on use.
    • There is still a limit to how many people can be in a map (6).
    • But this Scarab is for when you do really difficult content or something, so that you can mitigate the risk.
  • Ritual Scarab of Selectiveness (Limit 2), rerolling favours at Ritual Altars in area has no cost the first 2 times. Ritual altars in area allow rerolling favours 1 additional time.
    • Ritual rerolling is going to be really nice.
  • Reliquary Scarab of Vision, area contains the Nameless Seer.
    • He gives you one Unique item from his inventory, which in some cases can be very rare and expensive.

Horned Scarabs

Horned Scarabs are a new "uber" endgame scarab offering powerful effects, these are found as world drops but may be exceptionally rare.

  • Horned Scarab of Bloodlines, all monsters in area are at least magic.
    • This one + 40% magic packsize. This is kinda stupid.
    • Mark confirmed that these are UBER, they don’t have any league association and are meant to be combined with other content. You have to be really wealthy to spam these and will be very, very rare.
  • Horned Scarab of Nemesis, rare monsters in area have 2 additional modifiers.
    • Note: Good Combo for New Atlas Passive Node: “Amplified Artifacts” (+100% Scarab Chance)
    • Giga reward mod possibility, as well as it stacking with for example the nodes on the atlas passive tree that grants additional Scarabs per rare modifier.
  • Horned Scarab of Preservation, other Scarabs are not consumed on use.
    • Hopefully so rare that there’s no FOMO involved in using this one. But also there’s a hefty downside because it takes up a slot.
  • Horned Scarab of Awakening, you can select one imbued crafting option on the Map Device.
    • Adds some cool new crafting options. For league mechanics, this gives an elevated version of what you are getting from the map device.
    • The nullifying crafts also come with the downside that they remove the packsize, quantity, and rarity bonuses of the Prefix or Suffix modifiers.
  • Horned Scarab of Tradition, all rare monsters in area have at least one reward modifier. Player modifiers to item rarity and item quantity do not apply in area.
    • Note: Combo with +2 rare mods scarabs. Map Quant/Rarity still works.
    • The reward may work like Legion, so it creates a new way to juice endgame without being pressured into MF meta quant farming while still incentivizing stack packsize and getting giga loot from it!
  • Horned Scarab of Glittering, players in area gain increased item rarity and item quantity for each monster slain recently, up to 200% and 100% respectively.
    • Kill streak quant and rarity multiplier!
    • This is sort of intended to let strong builds catch up to MF builds since Mark believes MF builds are so heavy into diminishing returns with Quant and Rarity that they will get a lot less benefit from this, relatively.
  • Horned Scarab of Pandemonium, monster packs in area have a 15% chance to be replaced by a random Atlas boss. Modifiers to the final Map boss also apply to these Atlas bosses.
    • This is like the atlas invasion event. Will we be getting the boss loot from these guys? He confirmed fragments, so...we’ll see.


During his interview, Mark explained some of the design philosophies behind Necropolis League to Zizaran and the Path of Exile community.

Configuring monsters in your maps through the necropolis mechanic will make them more challenging. Once defeated the Undertaker collects and stores them in the morgue. You can then visit the morgue to craft items with the powers provided by these corpses.

You will be able to store a limited amount of them - They expanded the capacity to 60 because they were having really annoying pressure.

Author's Note: I still feel like 60 is too little though so this will force us to put them in coffins which cost 1 chaos and a little bit tedious to do so. I suspect it will be a little like Harvest, where we had quad tabs of crafts.

  • If you at any point want a targeted item, Mark believes you’ll just be able to go and craft it!
  • They shortened the guy yapping when you make crafts, which is a nice small QoL buff, but he still feels like there needs to be suspense or “pre-craft stress” so for large graveyard crafts he’s still going to do the long version.
  • People are going to find deterministic ways to craft certain things and Mark welcomes people breaking them.
  • Making the league harder gives you more crafts - so you can control your difficulty and rewards you for engaging in harder content.

+Flat modifier rating - +100 will mean that the bottom 50% of Physical modifiers will not be able to roll on the item - and it makes the others more common. Effectively cutting out bad mods like t8 physical damage on weapons. If you run enough of those you can cut off everything besides the top 2 tiers. HOWEVER, it still does not guarantee them to roll. But it does guarantee that you won’t get a bad one if you do roll a physical modifier. 

  • The Power charge modifier is group exclusive.
  • You probably want to be running different types of content because of the corpses they provide.
  • There are also powerful new stackable crafting effects.
    • 20% chance to create a Mirrored copy.
    • 25% chance to Fracture an explicit modifier.
  • You could technically have a 6 Fractured mod item.

Tier 17 maps.

Another thing to come out of Zizaran's interview with Mark is more information and clarity on Tier 17 Maps, Path of Exile's new penultimate content.

  • A tier 17 Map cannot drop a T17 Map, therefore you can’t self sustain them.
  • Voidstones are the thing that give you a chance to upgrade a T16 to a T17 Map. The 0.5% per voidstones has been lowered to 0.4 - but this effectively multiplies to 6.4%.
  • Sequential T17 Map drops have less and less chance to drop Maps, this is because they were initially balancing around super juicers but found that it would be too punishing for normal players, therefore diminishing returns were necessary to ensure that the first map is common and more people would have access to them without allowing for giga juicers to get infinite of them.
  • Specific T17 Maps only drop from certain places - if you spam 1 map, you will only get 1 type of T17.
  • Design decision as to why the fragments come from a completely different source of content?
    • Mark doesn’t like the fact that you have already conquered Uber Shaper, then you are forced to go do normal Shaper to farm the Uber version because he feels that will be boring. Therefore T17s will still be a fun challenge for people and content diversity to give some challenge to stronger characters.

What kind of difficulty level are T17s at?

  • They are meant to sit between the halfway mark between non-uber and uber variants of the Maps, but because of the modifiers, they can be really brutal. Also, the difficulty is very swingy, so there will be some extremely hard ones and less hard ones. Lastly, some modifiers affect certain builds differently than others, so you can possibly specialize in some Maps.
  • You can fully juice T17s - your Atlas and Scarabs affect the Maps.
  • T17s are twice the size of a regular map and twice the amount of monsters.
  • Packs will drop more items because of their heightened effectiveness and value.
  • The downside is that they don’t drop Divination cards but you could use the Scarab to favorite other maps etc. This could be a new group farming strategy.
  • You will be able to spectre all of the T17 monsters.
  • When raised as Spectres, T17 boss corpses have the highest HP in the game, so if you're playing Detonate Dead you might want to seek these out!
  • The Betrayal boss encounter: Caterina has now been re-designed but nothing more was given away as Mark would like to keep it a surprise!

QoL and Other Thoughts

During the interview, Mark and Zizaran also discussed various quality of life features, getting into the design philosophy behind what Mark does and doesn't want to add.

  • Mark doesn’t want doors to auto open. He thinks doors should feel physically realistic.
    • “I like a game that feels as grounded as possible.”
    • He doesn’t want to cross the line of “automate everything, auto do everything.” 
  • He would like to implement a larger item pick up radius, NPC interaction in PoE.
  • Mark seems to be wanting to commit to Path of Exile long after the Path of Exile 2 launch.
  • Mark is not happy with where memories are, how hidden/rare they are, the fact that some are broken and some are terrible. But the team didn’t have time to go through and update/rework them yet, unfortunately.
  • He wanted to make a Scrying orb that lets you click a map, and then click another map which would allow you to move the divination cards from one map, to another map without the opportunity cost of having to use a Scarab.
    • It’s something they have been discussing recently but not yet implemented in the game. It may or may not happen but would be amazing.
  • Their intent with removing the Harvest swap Scarab reroll is that they can actually add more scarabs to the drop pool in general. They want to give Scarabs out a lot and not force players to interact with Harvest.
  • One month of testing has gone into the scarabs because they wanted to be cautious about not killing endgame juicing.
  • Mark mentioned potentially wanting gems to level further beyond level 20 or toying with gem XP so that you get 20 sooner. Potentially also giving the feature of gems possibly becoming socket agnostic (white).
  • There is a total of 109 scarabs - This league will be interesting for endgame juice.


During the interview, Mark also spoke with Zizaran about Bingo cards and how valuable they are for gathering feedback from the playerbase.

  • Target Dummies - He doesn’t want to go too into the efficiency meta.
  • Auras no longer reset on death - probably going forward.
  • Fragment stash in map device - Mark doesn’t want the stash there because of P2W implications. But he could see an inventory there. Something that they can look into implementing.
  • Sorting stash tabs & inventory - He’s not personally against it but it's sort of a coin flip whether they will implement it or not.
  • He is keen on a larger pickup radius, it’s a matter of getting it right before they do it. 3.25 could have this.
  • Mark likes inventory pressure. He thinks too many items are dropping is the problem. He would like to reduce the amount of item drops but increase the quality.
  • He doesn’t want to streamline the game to the point where you’re just riding the wave and not thinking about stuff, that’s why there has to be friction.
  • Death recap - He wants to make a recap on what debuffs you had on you when you died and what monster contributed what damage.
  • He is in favor of having more icons on the minimap but not monsters. He recognizes that if monsters are off-screening the player it’s something that they need to work on.
  • Boss health bars are something from PoE2 to add to PoE.
  • One click to pop harvest - Will be implemented.
  • Button to corrupt essence - Yes.
  • He is trying to get away from having to open your inventory during combat.
  • You can’t cast multiple warcries with Call to Arms Support.

3.24 On the Horizon!

In his interview with Zizaran, Mark Roberts went over upcoming changes and his design philosophy. This was almost a second reveal stream! Are you seeking 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: Crouching_Tuna

Reviewed by: Dredscythe, Tenkiei

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