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Path of Exile’s next expansion, Expedition, adds explosive new gems

Path of Exile 3.15

Path of Exile: Expedition is the name of the new Path of Exile 3.15 expansion. The new expansion is due to launch this month. Coming off of the tail of Ultimatum, it looks like GGG is bending the likes of Delve into a new theme and metagame. Let’s dive into the depths and figure out what’s going on.

What is Path of Exile: Expedition?

The new POE 3.15 expansion is a biggun. And a big part of this new quarterly expansion is focused on skills and shaking up build diversity. The molten core of this update will be about that shift.

“For quite a while now, the way we have approached new skills in Path of Exile expansions is to make a bunch of gems themed around an entirely new build or [by] dramatically augmenting a few existing builds,” Wilson says in the announcement. The example he brings up is something that they’re clearly experimenting with for POE 2.

When Grinding Gear Games unveiled Path Of Exile 2 at Exilecon in 2019, players saw quite a big shift in gameplay tone, as well as difficulty. The teases of new bosses and locations revealed since then have been much more menacing to players. The aim is clear, reset the metagame. GGG wants players to feel less godlike in their power when the revamp finally launches. Blood Skills, something that debuted for Path of Exile: Ultimatum, will be part of that.

But moving into the future, more iteration is needed. GGG is introducing new skills. There’s one new attack skill designed around each of the nineteen ascendancy classes, adding new layers to builds. The core of this new expansion is to test the waters with a big metagame shakeup. Adding so many new skills is sure to change things, it will be interesting to see how players shift their play to adapt.

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“In order to achieve this big metagame shake-up, we came up with a crazy idea for the Expedition expansion: adding a gigantic pile of new gems at once, spread about among as many different playstyles as possible,” Wilson explains. “Each one of these gems can of course be used by many different classes, but we used the list of the 19 Ascendancy classes for inspiration when planning these gems.”

Expect nerfs to some more skills, if the other information revealed is anything to go by. GGG mentions various skills that allow too much freedom of movement as targeted for nerfs. Flicker might be about to get hit again, boys.

Another intriguing change is a new interaction with flasks and unarmed characters. You can lob your flasks like a Wraeclast molotov. “What we really love about this gem is that it brings to life the idea of throwing your flasks at enemies and having them explode,” Wilson says.

Digging up new lore

The story is also getting a stratified layer of lore, once again. This release is themed around a “group of Kalguurans who have set out on an expedition to investigate the fate of their ancestors and recover special ruined artifacts they left behind”.

As players explore the depths with the Kalguur, the path will be open ahead. You will need to blast your way in, though. Each encounter in Path of Exile: Expedition is at some ruins or a dig site. Players will lace the area with dynamite, then blow the whole place sky-high. The more dynamite you place at each node, the more mobs spawn, but the more loot you unlock. We’re looking at another risk versus reward league here, people.

Path of Exile: Expedition Digs

Path of Exile: Expedition Encounters

The treasure you unearth can then be traded back to the Kalguur merchants for specific kinds of loot. The various NPCs each run their own store with its own stock. You get to hyperfocus on your rewards, rather than rolling entirely against a massive pool of loot.

Expeditions can also reward you with items with an all-new kind of defensive item: wards. Wards are a new defensive mechanic that negate a fixed amount of damage on top of other defensive layers. Think of it as one final wall before you go down entirely.

Royale With Cheese

In a nice little surprise to fans, GGG has also brought a treat back. The April Fool’s joke from a while back has been revived in Path of Royale. And no, you won’t be shooting Marvin in the face.

The mode is live now, and can run every weekend for the duration of the challenge league. The passive tree has been massively reduced in scope, allowing for some degree of differing tactics. For another thing, there are no class start positions anymore. That’s because in Royale, your class doesn’t affect your starting location on the passive tree.

There is gear scattered around, and gems too, and you should rush to find some. Killing other players gives bonus XP, which will unlock skill points. Skill points spent in the center of the new passive tree are a bit more defense-focused, while outer nodes are for situation offense. Your goal is to use these new tools and try to survive. But, the gods have not made it easy.

As soon as the game begins, a timer begins counting down. When this timer hits zero, a storm will sweep in from the sea and cover part of the island. Other changes make this survival harder as well, Namely by making healing from Life Flasks interruptable. That’s right, players can stop you from healing. You need to be much more aware of your surroundings in Path of Royale. There will also be Flask Stations dotted around that can refill flasks to keep you in the fight.

If you do manage to take a player down, be quick about picking through their loot. You may be tougher compared to a starting Exile from the base game, but you’re not invincible.

Check out the full details on Path of Royale on the GGG site.

Path of Exile: Expedition launches on July 23 for PC.

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