PoE: War for the Atlas Expansion Preview

Posted by james bonds on November 28th, 2017

Path of Exile released in August to the adoration of many. Featuring deep hack-n-slash gameplay inspired by genre favorite Diablo 2, tons of content and all for free,the economy in Path of Exile is different from other MMORPGs. You do not need gold to buy things, but you can exchange the items in PoE Currency. It was everything fans hoped it would be.The Fall of Oriath expansion was huge, adding five entirely new acts to the game, but the upcoming expansion is focused almost entirely on improving the quantity, quality, and variety of endgame content.

poe expansion

Based off of the steady trickle of information from Grinding Gear Games about War for the Atlas since it was announced, it’s clear that the expansion is being designed with the wants and needs of “hardcore” Path of Exile players in mind.

New Maps in War for the Atlas
War for the Atlas will add 32 new maps. For the uninitiated, “maps” are endgame content—you can’t access the “Atlas” of maps until you’ve finished the game. Grinding Gear Games is also making some adjustments to the Atlas in the new expansion. Several maps are going to be moved around slightly, and the rarities of other maps have been tweaked as well. For example, Graveyard and Dungeon will be tier one maps in War for the Atlas, instead of their current status as tier four maps. Beach and Desert will swap rarity values—Beach will be a tier one map, and Desert will be a tier two map.

The 32 new maps slated for inclusion in War for the Atlas brings the total map count up to 158. As long as the current systems remain unchanged, this means it will be much easier to sustain high tier maps.

The Elder
Previously, the Shaper was Path of Exile’s “final” boss, but War for the Atlas adds a new endgame opponent for players to challenge: the Elder. If you’re wondering where the inspiration for the expansion’s name comes from, Grinding Gear Games is introducing a new mechanic to the Atlas—over time, the Atlas will fill with “influence” from both the Shaper and the Elder. Killing monsters in a map controlled by one of these bosses will cause the other to gain influence.

In other words, if you want the Elder to take over a certain map, you will have to fight your way through maps controlled by the Shaper until the Elder has enough influence to claim it. Both characters will make surprise appearances in the new maps—for example, players will have to deal with Shaper balls following them around while they’re taking out mobs.

Once you reach the end of an Elder-controlled map, there’s a chance that the Elder will intervene and replace the regular map boss with one of his four guardians. And if you make it to an Elder-controlled tier 16 map, you’ll be forced to fight Elder guardians. It’s still not clear how players will actually get to the final boss battle with the Elder, but it’s likely that beating his guardians will play a part in reaching that content.

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james bonds

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james bonds
Joined: October 14th, 2015
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