This Heist league guide aims to teach you how to pull off the perfect heist, make the most out of your hard-earned currency, level up your rogue companions efficiently and understand the whole concept of the 3.12 challenge league in general. Things mentioned in this guide are based on the current pre-release state of Heist league and are potentially subject to change as the reveals and information provided progress. We will make sure to update the guide as soon as possible once more information is available.
Other Path of Exile 3.12 Guides:
- Path of Exile 3.12 all reworked skills
- Path of Exile 3.12 Starter Builds
- Path of Exile 3.12 Loot Filter Guide
- Alternate Quality Gems Guide
Heist League is coming soon, with the impending launch of Path of Exile 3.12. Players will be sent on daring missions to claim loot and currency from a mysterious network of hidden bunkers and vaults, all in preparation for the grandest of all heists. Basically, you’re putting together a crew and pulling of jobs for fame and fortune.
General Tips for Heist League
- The Heist mechanic is pretty difficult to master thanks to all of the moving parts. Don’t feel bad about taking your time to figure out things in the first few runs.
- Anyone playing Minion builds will want to use a Meat Shield support or other option to prevent minions from wandering too far. This is because errant Minions killing enemeis can raise your alert level too high and trigger Lockdown.
- Always try to bring Alert Level mitigation into your Rogues. There are various gear bits that have modifiers that help with this. Always check out your gear before a heist.
- Always try to unock the secret rooms and other rewards hidden for each Blueprint on later Heists, the rewards are almost always worth it.
- Also, be sure to unlock doors as you go first when on a Heist. Being able to move around the map more freely, especially with an open path to the Artifact room, makes traversing quickly so much smoother. If you need to rush in and pick up the Artifact right at th end of the Alert Level meter or Lockout, this strategy makes that much simpler.
- Don’t ignore chests, even small ones. You never know what can lurk in even the smaller chests in each room. These only count for Reward rooms, or the ones your Rogue needs to unlock.
- Always try to save Markers where you can. If you get deep into the mechanic, there can be Blueprints which cost thousands of Markers to run. The Grand Heists are almost always worth the investment in prep, so save for those as soon as you are able.
The patch also includes a major rework of Unique items and skill gems, by introducing Replicas and Alternate Quality respectively. You can gain these rewards by going on heists and pilfering the bounty, such as “Replica” unique items, alternative quality skill-gems, new item bases, as well as introducing the possibility for weapon and armour enchantments.
There will also be a new “Contraband Items” mechanic which sees players having to unlock the full potential of the items they steal from their targets. This is part of where the new Rogues come in. These new NPCs are recruited as part of your crew for a heist, and each has their own unique skillset.
Every heist requires a crew. More and more complex jobs will be undertaken over time, so you will need to build out your crew before each Grand Heist. When your inside the Rogue Harbour area, you will find that there are multiple NPCs that can be recruited. There are 9 different skillsets that each NPC will have varying degrees of skill in. The Rogues will have a specific skill that they are best in, and that’s their specialty. There are 9 total fields that each ROgue specializes in, and these are very important later.
The Rogues will level up their skills as you bring them on heists, depending on which skills they had to use during said heist. The Contracts and Blueprints you take on will bring a certain number of NPCs on them. You will bring one Rogue on the basic Contract Heists, while the Blueprint Grand Heists bring up to three.
Check out the cheat sheet made by the POE community below for what each Rogue NPC has in terms of skills, and what levels they need to unlock certain rewards in Heists. The level also corresponds to the level listed on Blueprints. The levels will also scale somewhat, so a level 75 Heist map will have more chests of a listed type than a lower level one.
And don’t worry, this isn’t an escort mission. You will be able to bring NPCs onto the quest without fear of them being killed. You will, however, have to protect them while they perform their task, like picking a lock.
As a reward for your heists, you will also sometimes acquire rogue-specific equipment, which will allow you to further specialize your Rogues for the heists to come. This is vital to do properly. Make sure to read the tooltips on items for your Rogue. Some very powerful modifiers like “X%+ reduced alarm level generation” can give you extreme boosts to your runs by granting you more time.
Each heist is different, but there are some unifying systems here that make it possible to understand what’s happening in each job. Each heist in Heist league has a set of rooms, filled with loot, puzzles or traps depending on the type. Each of these is networked together and access is controlled by Alter Level.
Each heist in the patch has a security system. The starer heists are pretty simple, just get in and get out. Later variants will have more complex mechanics involving having to deal with traps, guards and more. You need to be quick and stealthy to a degree though, The Alert Level fills up as you take actions and cause chaos. The more vaults you crack open and enemies you slay raises the alert. Raise it too high and the Vaults will start to lock on their own.
Once this lockdown happens, you’re essentially out of options and have to make your exit. This is where you should have already made you run on the final Artifact room, the big reward for that heist. GGG has intentionally designed the league so that there’s a careful balance of reward and risk here. Players who want to rush the Artifact on a heist can, others can spend a little more time if they wish looting side rooms. For the sake of brevity here, just focus on getting the Artifact and Intel in the early heists.
So remember, be on the lookout for items that grant “X%+ reduced alarm level generation” for your Rogues to help with this.
So how do you find new heists to take on?
Heist Markers are a unique type of currency added in Heist League which can be traded in to access deeper mechanics for the league. The Markers are found throughout each heist, and you should hold onto them when you get them. Markers will function as a secondary currency that’s paid out when you complete Contracts. You can then use these Markers in the Rogue Harbour to gain new items and Contracts from various NPCs.
These are the maps that generate basic Heists in the league. The main difference is that Contracts (read: Heists) lay the groundwork for Grand Heists (read: Blueprints) and yield Markers and other regular Path of Exile items as rewards, while the more complex Blueprints contain your Unique rewards and more. These can include Trinkets, Alternate Quality Gems, Rare Body Armour and Weapons with enchantments, Experimented Base Types and Replica Unique items.
Contracts drop all the time, as they are a normal loot drop. You can expect to see them drop every few maps on average. To run a Contract, you’ll need to take it to Adiyah, the Wayfinder in the Rogue Harbour. Pay her in Markers to run each heist.
Blueprints are the big, end-game reward system for this league. These are the endgame of the league mechanics and are randomly generated maps. You will need to put in a ton of work to prep for a Grand Heist, as it will require a talented crew and lots of experience. Each Grand Heist is different, so you need to tailor your skills and your overall gear loadout for each one.
If you want to know the possible rolls on each Blueprint type in detail, check out the relevant data on POEDB.
You can skip the Intel process and jump right into the Grand Heist if you want, but you will miss out on some hidden rewards if you do. It’s highly advised to always fully reveal your blueprints for the maximum reward. Here’s how the intel process works.
There are two options to unlocking more Intel. you can also choose either Gianna, the Master of Disguise or Niles, the Interrogator, in order to reveal intel to unlock more pathways through the Blueprint. Depending on the NPC you choose and what resources you invest, this will result in certain Wings and Rooms being unlocked. Whakano, the Barber should be used to unlock the cheaper rooms, while the other two are for the most expensive rooms.
To run a Grand Heist, you’ll need to pay Whakano, the Barber in markers for the intel on where the heist is located. The more intel you trade in, the more is unveiled in the blueprint. Once you’re ready with your crew and gear, take the Blueprint to the Planning Room in the Rogue Harbour, where Kurai, the Administrator will help you plan things out. Once you’re ready take it to Adiyah, the Wayfinder to begin the Grand Heist. You may also trade the Blueprint to another player at this point if you wish.
The reward you’re really after is Curio Displays. These contain the big reward for each of the rooms in a Blueprint run. But you won’t be able to tell what rewards are in chests, lockers and side-rooms along the way. As a result, if you’re hunting unique rewards in Grand Heists, you will have to likely do multiple runs. The basic idea seems to be that the best strategy will be to rush the Curio Displays.
Be aware that Grand-Heists, due to them granting exclusive rewards, do not offer Artifacts at the end of their individual wings. This means that these are meant to be a currency sink for Markers. The real reward is the contraband and other unique drops.
Rewards and Contraband
Each of the rewards for the Heists themselves is based somewhat on the level of the Rogue you bring in with you, as well as the skill level listed on the Blueprint. This is why the unveiling process is important. Players have managed to unearth the following correlations. Each type of skill rewards a particular item type and often League mechanic. These will be listed on Blueprints, so commit the following to memory:
- Agility – Harbinger + Essence + Delve
- Brute Force – Weapons
- Deception – Armor
- Demolition – Delirium + Oils + Metamorph
- Engineer – Unique Items + Maps
- Lockpick – Currency + Fragments
- Perception – Cards + Prophecy
- Thaumaturgy – Jewellery + Gems
- Trap – Legion + Abyss + Talisman + Breach
Contraband items are the unique rewards for the Grand Heists. This is where you get the Replica Uniques and Alternate Quality Gems for example. Each time you run a Grand Heist via a Blueprint you will encounter the loot type from Curio Displays, and possibly other loot chests. These can include Trinkets, Alternate Quality Gems, Rare Body Armour and Weapons with enchantments, Experimented Base Types and Replica Unique items. This is very important that you be careful once you have them in your inventory. If you die with the Contraband in your inventory, YOU WILL LOSE EVERY SINGLE CONTRABAND ITEM IN YOUR INVENTORY.
Any item can be marked as Contraband as well, and it can be random. You can have currency items like Exalted Orbs that will be marked as such. You need to be careful that you don’t die with these items. This process involves moving out with your NPC crew and
Alternate Quality Gems
There are more than 900 new skill gems in Heist League. These new gems work somewhat the same to the current ones already in the game. But the Grand Heists add in the ability to loot items that have new modifiers. The Alternate Quality Gems will have new effects that differ from the normal bonuses for Gem Quality found on basic Gems. The majority of these gems will likely not be TOO interesting or impressive, but it’s worth testing them to see what’s possible.
You can also reroll these Gems too. With items called the “Prime Regrading Lens” and “Secondary Regarding Lens” you can alter the modifier on a given Alt Gem. These rolls appear to be based on the implicit rolls possible for each Gem. That means that each Gem has 1-4 possible alternative rolls you can land on.