When Path of Exile’s Siege of the Atlas arrives, it will not only introduce two new bosses, their sub-bosses, and related content, it will also make big changes to the Atlas Passive Skill tree, swap out Watchstones for Voidstones, introduce a new way to create powerful items, and add new unique items. Of course, it will also add an all-new league as well. Today, Grinding Gear Games hosted a stream introducing the new expansion and what players can expect from it. They highlighted the new storyline and several important changes that will either streamline things or make them more interesting. Patch notes for the update can be found on the Path of Exile site.
Siege of the Atlas picks up after the defeat of Sirius. Zana has left Commander Kirac to defend the Atlas and Wraeclast against whatever might come next and Kirac has decided to move some of the map devices to an island in the Karui Archipelago. He’s also assigned a militia to help prevent another major event. You’ll be joining this militia and helping out on the front lines. Of course, a threat is on its way, a fact you’ll discover after running into the Maven who, despite being a horror herself, has less-than-terrifying motivations and warns you of their arrival. The Eldritch Horrors in question are The Searing Exarch and The Eater of Worlds. Both are driven by a need to consume and both bring troublesome sub-bosses with them – The Black Star and The Infinite Hunger – that you’ll have to defeat before ever reaching them.
In this new Pinnacle Content, players will be hunting both bosses at the same time, although which they’re chasing at any given time will be decided by the player on a map-by-map basis. While running maps under the influence of either boss, players will find that the number of monsters influenced by them will increase the closer the boss gets to them. Of course, they won’t run into the Eldritch Horror right away. First, they will encounter one of the sub-bosses, which they must defeat before continuing to pursue the big boss, which can only be found in the highest tiers of the maps. Defeating either of the bosses will earn players drops of exclusive items and Eldritch Currency items related to them.
Slaying these bosses will also open up the ability to farm them – provided the players have completed a series of Tier 14 or above maps with the Eldritch Horror’s influence applied and have found the key needed to challenge one of the sub-bosses again. Continue to farm Tier 14 and higher Horror-influenced maps to earn yet another key that will allow you to face the big bosses again. It’s important to note that these keys are tradeable, so technically, players don’t have to defeat the first boss to do your farming, but the devs do strongly encourage you to do so as you’ll want the related rewards.
A new expansion means a new way to create the game’s most powerful items, generally tied to the expansion’s bosses. In this case, Siege of the Atlas will introduce Eldritch Implicits. These will allow players to apply Eldritch mods to items they already have, offering more freedom in creating the best items. They can also be used earlier than previous Implicits. Eldritch Implicits don’t just replace existing mods, they do it in a way that allows players to combine Implicits from both The Searing Exarch and The Eater of Worlds.
To do this, players will use the new Eldritch Ember (corresponding to The Searing Exarch) and Eldritch Ichor (corresponding to The Eater of Worlds) to overwrite an item’s regular implicit mods with new ones from two pools of modifiers. The system is designed so that players can eventually create an item with a Tier 6 and a Tier 4 mod, making the most of both modifiers.
The Siege of the Atlas also introduces Voidstones. These will replace Watchstones in allowing players to raise the tier of their maps to 16. There are four of these stones, each obtainable from the Uber Elder, The Maven, The Searing Exarch, and The Eater of Worlds. They will not be used in quite the same way. With the removal of Watchstones, Grinding Gear Games has restored hidden maps back to the base Atlas so there is no need to unlock them. The power from craft-able Watchstones has been added to Atlas Passives so that players may still access the benefits attributed to them – without needing to manage Watchstones.
Another big change coming in this update is the revision of the Atlas Passive Skill Tree. Siege of Atlas eliminates Atlas regions and the Regional Atlas Passive Trees. Now, players will have one massive Passive Tree with over 600 passives to choose from. Players can acquire 117 Atlas Passive Skill Points by completing their Atlas. Each completed map will add an additional point and even more can be earned by completing Maven’s multi-boss fights. Allocated passive skills will apply in every map a player runs, no matter where it is on the Atlas. Players will also be able to more quickly establish their layout thanks to the speed at which earlier maps can be completed.
Of course, we wouldn’t be talking about Path of Exile if we weren’t talking about new items. The Siege of the Atlas adds quite a few unique items, all as drops from the four new bosses. In today’s stream, Grinding Gear Games highlights six of them. These consists of the Ashes of the Stars Onyx Amulet, the Dissolution of the Flesh Prismatic Jewel, the Polaric Devastation Opal Ring, The Ceaseless Feast Spiked Gloves, and a pair of very rare inspirational unique jewels, Forbidden Flame and Forbidden Flesh.
Ashes of the Stars increases the level of all of a player’s skill gems and grants an additional 20% quality as well as improving the reservation efficiency of their skills. Dissolution of the Flesh changes how players interact with incoming damage, making it so damage is taken in the form of a temporary reservation to their life pool. If 100% of a player’s life is reserved, they die. Plaric Devastation introduces a new debuff, Covered in Frost, and creates another way for players to apply the Covered in Ash debuff. Ceaseless Feast introduces a new debuff named Corrosion. This debuff can be stacked on enemies to remove their armor and evasion.
The final two items, Forbidden Flame and Forbidden Flesh, are designed to work together – provided all the right requirements are met. First, the user must be a specific class, determined by the jewel. If they meet that requirement, they then roll with a modifier to specify a random Ascendancy skill from that class’ Ascendancies. Players who meet the requirements and are able to equip both a Forbidden Flame and a Forbidden Flesh jewel that specify the same skill will be granted that skill.
Finally, Siege of the Atlas will bring with it the new Archnemesis Challenge League. This league is intended to revive fights with rare monsters, introducing approximately 60 new monster mods and giving players a way to customize their rare boss fights and determine their own risks and rewards. This system works by occasionally having rare and magic monsters drop an item that players will be able to apply to monsters they find frozen throughout an area. Using the item frees the frozen monsters and empowers them. Defeating the empowered monster earns players rewards tied to the modifier used. As players progress and use the mods on subsequent monsters in the areas, the previously used mod will apply as well, making them more difficult and offering not just the rewards for the most recent modifier, but also those tied to the previously used modifiers. This means that players will receive the rewards for the first modifier four times, the second modifier three times, and so on. Depending on the modifier used, this means a player can walk away with a lot of loot.
About the Author
QuintLyn is a long-time lover of all things video game related will happily talk about them to anyone that will listen. She began writing about games for various gaming sites a little over ten years ago and has taken on various roles in the games community.
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