It’s no new news that I am a big fan of Grinding Gear Games – Path of Exile. Following my review of the game previously we as the PoE community were treated to yet another free expansion to the series to build upon the existing features.
Path of Exile – Ascendancy has been announced and over the last few weeks we have been spoon fed new information of what it includes, and not gunna lie, I’m super excited.
GGG have never let me down in terms of content delivery. Since the game was announce September 2010, the game has undergone significant changes which have led to it becoming the diverse, maddening inspired builds that it has become.
Alpha started around June 2010, and ended in August 2011. Following a period under closed beta which players could pay to join, the developers started an open beta on 23 January 2013 which was free to play with purchasable microtransactions. The game was patched for release version 1.0.0 on 23 October 2013. On this date, it was also made available on Steam;
- Official Launch, was release on 23 October 2013
- Sacrifice of the Vaal, was released on 5 March 2014 – Added new zones, and new Vaal skill gems.
- Forsaken Masters, was announced on 31 July 2014 and released on 20 August 2014 – Added a new crafting system and daily missions/reputation
- The Awakening expansion was released on July 10, 2015 – Added Act 4, a heap load of new items, major overhaul of the passive skill tree
- Ascendancy expansion pack will be released on March 4, 2016 – Will add “Ascendancy Classes” and another major overhaul of the passive skill tree, A new zone and an Enchantment system
As you can see from above, it took near 2 years for The Awakening to be release, which essentially was 2.0. What would normally be an “Expansion” was given to the community for free. Now we are receiving another large expansion not even 1 year after the previous major installment. Way to go GGG!
So, for those of you who aren’t too familiar with the game, please read my previous article which gives a brief overview of what Path of Exile is and why you should try it if you are a fan of the ARPG. For those who have some idea, I’ll give a small run down of what to expect in the new expansion coming on March 4th.
What is an Ascendancy Class
Path of Exile offers the fairly traditional character choice. Witch, Marauder, Templar, Duelist, Shadow, Ranger and Scion. Each of the previous classes now have an option to specialist in, this will offer them added abilities which will inspire and enable new builds, or make some older trickier builds more accessible.
- Witch – Necromancer/Occultist/Elementalist
- Marauder – Juggernaut/Berserker/Chieftain
- Templar – Inquisitor/Hierophant/Guardian
- Duelist – Slayer/Gladiator/Champion
- Shadow – Assassin/Saboteur/Trickster
- Ranger – Deadeye/Raider/Pathfinder
- Scion – The Ascendant
Each of the Ascendancy classes will have their own mini skill tree which can be leveled up through the “The Lord’s Labyrinth”. Each clear will give a number of skill points to assign to your Ascendancy Skill Tree. If we take the Ranger as an example. Usually the ranger is a Bow themed character, however with PoE nothing is set in stone. The Raider will turn her into a melee machine. Allowing her to gain additional “Frenzy” charges on-kill each granting more damage allowing her to clear maps quicker and more efficiently. Or you can move towards the more defensive node in the tree granting her additional evasion during “Onslaught” All of the 6 Main classes have similar choices altering their intended playstyle. With the exception of one, the Scion.
The Scion can become “The Ascendant” she did not get her own class, what she got was all of them, partially. She can choose a key node from 1 of the main classes and another key node from a different. Allowing her to truly be the free spirit that she wants to be. This enables a hell of a lot of builds. She can also chose 2 starting positions on the skill tree. Usually you are locked in ONLY choosing nodes linked to your starting position. If you choose, you can spend an ascendancy point to gain access to the specialized class and thus granting the ability to now move to their side of the tree. This means that you can skip some of sometimes unnecessary nodes and make a bee-line for some key nodes to give you the much needed power spike.
How to I clear the Lord’s Labyrinth and earn my points
Each time you reach Act 3 on each of the 3 difficulties you can enter the Labyrinth and attempt to kill Emperor Izaro and clear the dangerous trap-laden maze. Izaro’s Labyrinth is a first for Path of Exile because its random level generation extends beyond single areas and affects the entire Labyrinth at once. Every day, the Labyrinth has a completely new layout. When the Labyrinth is generated, keys to locked doors are placed behind fiendish traps, hidden passages are created that connect areas and secret rooms are placed where you least expect them. There are daily leaderboards where players can compete to solve the Labyrinth the quickest.
During the Labyrinth, you will encounter Izaro three times. Every subsequent fight will be affected by your actions in the previous encounter. For example, if you fail to kill Izaro’s lieutenants in one fight, they will be back to aid him later in the Labyrinth. As the architect of his domain, Izaro has constructed many tools to aid him in his fight against you.
Each time you encounter him, the fight will evolve very differently. In some parts of the Labyrinth, he is protected by runic circles. In others, he can call upon the power of ancient statues to receive benefits.
Each completion of the Labyrinth will allow you to imbue one item of your gear with a random enchantment. Higher Difficulty levels will offer a wider choice of random enchantments. Not all of the enchantments are known to us as of yet, but we do know that they seem to offer big power spikes to existing builds. For example, A discharge build will revolve around building up charges and then casting the spell which consumes all charges for increased damage, the more charges, the more damage. This build is usually a self-sustaining build with the charges being earned through automatic means. One of the enchantments has a chance to not consume any charges when Discharge is cast. That’s a free full power recast.
To start with it will be a gamble, as while all of the enchantments aren’t known to the community you won’t know if the one you’ve earned is best for your build or if there is a better alternative available. With each completion offering a random choice, it becomes a gamble on losing the previous on chance of getting a better version.
- 11 New Gems: 11 new gems including seven skills and four supports that encourage new and dynamic playstyles.
- Many New Items: Featuring dozens of Unique Items and Divination Cards designed by Path of Exile’s community, Ascendancy adds tantalizing power for players to discover.
- Perandus Challenge League: A new Challenge League launches alongside Path of Exile: Ascendancy for both Standard and Hardcore players. (Currently no details have been given on what is to be expected in this challenge league, but is said to be announce early next week)
Hope to see you all in Wraeclast and good luck Exile.