Path of Exile fans are extremely happy about all of the news coming out of ExileCon today. Grinding Gear Games has dropped a ton of news about the upcoming December expansion with Path of Exile 3.9 and the MetaMorph League. The Path of Exile 2 announcement really excited me and everyone else watching, what with all of completely new visuals, bosses and tons of reworked content.
With the new expansion in 3.9, gamers are very keen to get back into POE, especially with the glut of changes that are coming in the patch. The new MetaMorph League will push out a new boss-based system that introduces the first series of major changes to the end-game systems. 2020 will be a rather exciting year for Path of Exile.
New League and MetaMorphs
Balance in this new patch will focus on revamping bow-based attacks and ranged-attack totems at the same time. There’s new skill gems like Ensaring Arrow coming out with the 3.9 patch. Barrage is also being worked into a support gem that turns any projectile skill into a straightline multi-projectile attack Arrow Nova is basically a ranged version of Shock Nova, this should work great with DoT builds too. Sadly for some, Tornado Shot will be getting nerfed. Although on the flip side, the buffs to bow-based damage and augments to status ailments will make leveling easier. No current plans to rework flasks, but it is in the process of being thought through.
On the side of the League itself, the gameplay is centered around completing specialized encounters in normal play and collections Samples. These Samples can then be used by the new NPC, Tane Octavius, to summon a MetaMorph boss that combines the overall mods from the Samples into a single challenging encounter. MetaMorphs can also be used on map bosses for end-game challenge, be warned though, this is rather dangerous.
The major reward here ties into the Blight League mechanics and Oils, by using special drops called Catalysts to craft a bunch of different Quality mods to new item base types. For example, a 20% Resistance Quality Catalyst will be used to add a multiplicative buff to Resists, and also weight the overall chance of rolling Resistance mods on that item toward that outcome.
Watchstones, Conquerors and the Atlas
The end-game in Path of Exile 3.9 and the MetaMorph League is going to be entirely new compared to the current system. Instead of having to farm for individual maps and keeping careful control of your map drop pools, 3.9 will be changing the system to make it much easier to control. 90 maps are unlocked once you reach maps, with the core mechanics of getting new maps being the new Conquerors that are the four main bosses of the league. The overall challenge of these encounters is being adjusted as Conquerors of the Atlas goes on, as GGG is definitely making the expansion more tough.
In essence, these new bosses are the replacements for the Elder and Shaper in terms of difficulty. There are 12 Conquerors in total, and even 4 new versions of Exalted Orbs that will allow for players to unlock new crafting and Atlas options.
If you want to unlock high-level versions of all of the maps, Watchstones will do that. You can also use this system to target farm by focusing your efforts in the Atlas to create higher or lower level regions on specific areas. Sextants are now based around regions of the maps, with a much easier balance system being the goal. This means that radii surrounding Sextants are going away, to be replaced by a much more intuitive and easier-to-control system.
Skill Gems+ and New Items
Another new system in Path of Exile 3.9 and the MetaMorph League is the work being done to build the systems for the core game ahead of Path of Exile 2. The Atlas additions and the new MetaMorphs system are just the beginning, as GGG will be pushing tons of changes to the overall gameplay in a variety of different ways. One particular change concerns the chase Rares that are Elder and Shaper items.
Shaper and Elder Rares aren’t going away. Although the more overpowered mods are being locked behind more layers of RNG. The most powerful versions may be turned off though. The new system of accessing Shaper and Elder influence involves collecting pieces of an emblem similar to other leagues, and going into specialized Elder and Shaper map versions that are a one-use affair. Existing pools of Shaper and Elder fragments will still work in Standard as they currently do though.
Shaper and Elder items are still incredibly popular even so long after the launch of the original content, but GGG wants the players to move on, so that added layers of RNG to access them, as well as changes to the modifier pools, will make these less appealing. One way the developer is planning on doing this is to push a new system called Support Gem+ that allows players to create a new level of Support Skill Gems that are much more powerful than the previous heights of Level 20 Gems. Although these new Gems will not go as high as Level 20, and getting these new Gems to the maximum possible bonuses could “take 10-20 cycles of a normal Level 20 Gem to reach Level 5.” These new Gems will be much more powerful comparatively, and will be accordingly rare.