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Path of Exile’s Scourge expansion asks you to take on armies of demons

Path of Exile 3.16 Scourge

Path of Exile: Scourge has finally been revealed after weeks of teases by Grinding Gear Games. And it’s a biggun’ as we’re getting an endgame reshuffle, a new league, and a passive tree redo. The big focus is on the ability for Exiles to fight off a demonic invasion. The new league content will be focused on having exiles go into an alternate version of Wraeclast that’s undergoing an apocalypse. Players now have to fight off the demons encroaching on this alternate dimension.

The Blood Crucible is the core of this whole expansion. As you fight back the demonic horde, it gains experience and new levels. This tool has a life of its own, and it can be very useful. By taking out enemies, you gain blood. And the more enemies you slay, the longer you can stay in future Scourge encounters as well. If you’re observant, you might even be able to uncover hidden items and challenges.

Players can spend the levels they gain with the Crucible to earn new modifiers on future Scourge runs. Another aspect of the Blood Crucible is that you can slot items into it to “Scourge” them. This equivalent to Influence mechanics offers another pathway to powerful weapons and armor.

Endgame Going Boom

Grinding Gear Games have once more reworked the Atlas content in this expansion. Path of Exile has had a lot of problems with player stagnation regarding the endgame over recent expansions. The core focus is a smaller number of maps to churn through, adding a bit more smoothness to the Atlas grind. Future patches will also bring in much more substantive changes, as GGG has previously teased.

One of the more challenging aspects of the new expansion is the new Hard Mode content. These will be a special map variant that offers much tougher versions of the Breach, Blight, Legion, Delirium and Delve leagues. If you really want to test your build, this is how. You can slot maps into the Blood Crucible to access this content.

And speaking of builds, the passive skill tree is getting a ton of shuffling. Skills and nodes are being reworked numerically to offer more and less defensive options, depending on the node. Another new addition drops here too. The Mastery Nodes are a new multi-layered skill node. You spend one passive point to unlock the node, and then more passive points to layer on new effects.

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 Path of Exile: Scourge Mastery Nodes

With the disaster that was the last patch and it’s nerf-heavy content, gamers want something new. GGG has announced a ton of reworks that are planned for this expansion. Flasks, ailments, defensive layers and more are all getting into the mix. The developer is definitely continuing to nerf some skills and builds, but things will be a bit slower thanks to the backlash from 3.15 and its nerfs.

And yes, there are new skills as well. Tornado offers a new ranged AoE option to use in situations with a lot of fast targets. It summons a big, slow-moving homing tornado that does damage over time. The cool interaction here is that the actual AoE can grab the effects of other projectiles. So if you fire a fire arrow into the vortex, it does fire damage. I expect a lot of experimentation with that.

An awesome and much-needed quality-of-life change is that currency stacking will be much more common in POE 3.16. The complaint of too many item drops resulting in too many clicks is a very common refrain among the playerbase. As part of the expansion, currency items will be less common, but in a good way. As a Tweet thread about the announcement revealed. Currency drops now stack across many modes, that stacks will be easier to pick up. Players will also note that older league content is being removed as content is added to the game. With POE 3.16, Perandus League content will be removed from the core game.

You can watch the full livestream here:

 Path of Exile: Scourge arrives October 22 for PC gamers.

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