Each time Grinding Gear video games places out a brand new replace or expansion for Path of Exile – and they arrive like clockwork – it creates a conundrum for me. Every new league is invariably cool and I can’t wait to play it, however I additionally am by no means completed enjoying the previous one! I’m all for frequent updates, however as a extra informal participant I can by no means get sufficient of the cool content material earlier than it’s gone. In case you are like me, then this subsequent expansion is custom-made only for you! On December seventh, Path of Exile launches Betrayal, its largest expansion shortly. Nicely, that is sensible when it’s incorporating the final three expansions into it! The truth is, it’s truly the end result of a year-long arc that GGG has been slowly introducing to gamers.
How precisely is that this mega merge going to work? I sat down with Producer Chris Wilson to talk about the ins and outs of Betrayal, from its multi-expansion twist to its distinctive story to the brand new expertise and gadgets. And of course, there’s a brand new league as properly!
Tying all of it collectively
All through my years of enjoying Path of Exile, I’ve all the time been impressed that the brand new leagues had such distinctive twists. Every was totally different from the earlier with no connection. And the identical is true for 2018’s releases — till now. It seems that Grinding Gear Video games had a plan all alongside, and Betrayal reveals that and ties all of this yr’s releases collectively. Wilson explains that the plan was to lastly give the Forsaken Masters content material, which initially got here in 2014, an replace. These previous masters (Haku, Catarina, Elreon, Tora, Vagan, Zana, Leo, and Vorici) “have been a part of the game that the players have known and loved for a number of years, but gradually they’ve loved them less as we haven’t really revamped their content a whole lot,” Wilson stated. It’s comprehensible that gamers can be weary of those self same masters’ missions they’ve carried out over and over and over for years.
So the 2018 agenda has been to concurrently part out the previous masters and introduce new ones. Are you able to guess who these new masters are? Yup: Einhar from Bestiary, Alva from Incursion, and Niko from Delve. And Betrayal introduces the ultimate grasp, Jun Ortoi, whom we’ll talk about additional in a bit. With the launch of Betrayal, each previous grasp apart from Zana the Grasp Cartographer will mysteriously vanish. The brand new masters take their locations in the primary recreation and ship their particular content material to gamers. As Wilson emphasised, every set “represents three months of development of a 100 plus-person team rather than two weeks of development of a 10-person team.”
And simply what is going to that content material be?
Your new Masters
My first questions have been concerning the Bestiary tie-in. As mush as I loved the others, this was a favourite. Wilson defined that when gamers encounter Einhar, he’ll take them on a hunt to seize a beast. In contrast to within the league, nevertheless, the grasp would be the one throwing the web, so gamers needn’t fear about managing that facet. Captured beasts can be recorded within the bestiary guide and they can be utilized to craft gadgets. Sadly, the menagerie itself just isn’t making a reappearance in that type. Although the menagerie was very straightforward to make, Wilson defined that many gamers have been horrified at what they thought was an excessive waste of assets. If you’ll miss that non-public like I do, take coronary heart: Wilson teased, “We have some interesting plans for that in the future.”
I by no means obtained my fill of Incursion or Delve both (despite the fact that Delve isn’t carried out but!). These Masters will give me the prospect to proceed with that content material as nicely. When bumping into Alva, gamers may have the prospect to be taken on a number of incursions into the Vaal temple to construct up and collect loot. And Niko is there with all of his funky know-how that may permit gamers to delve down into the mine. One distinction with the Delve content material Wilson famous was that the sulphite gained’t be as prevalent in zones, however when gamers discover it they are going to be in a position to gather rather more at one time to permit for longer delves.
The one returning grasp, Zana, will keep her place working with the endgame maps. That leaves Jun Ortoi because the fifth and last grasp. Gamers get to meet Jun and expertise her content material within the Betrayal league (and when that league is over, within the base recreation).
Betrayal, the league
As soon as once more, the brand new league goes to suck me proper in with fascinating new gameplay. In Betrayal, all the theme is investigating a felony cartel, full with a bulletin board of footage and strings to present relationships and observe vital info. Once I noticed that I used to be actually intrigued! And who will we be investigating? That may be the Immortal Syndicate. This syndicate has found a approach to revive its fallen members and convey them back to life utilizing an artifact stolen from Jun Ortio’s Order of the Djinn. Jun Ortio’s objective, with your assist, is to discover out who’s in cost, what its objectives are, and thwart them. In a nutshell, gamers might be investigating the 4 branches of the Syndicate: fortification, transportation, analysis, and intervention. Chis defined that info consists of relationships, gadgets they’ve, and who’s superior or subordinate to whom. And right here is the place issues get actually fascinating.
To start out, every department of the Syndicate has a special encounter sort. Fortification is simply because it sounds, with an encounter consisting of a fortification defending Syndicate provides. For transportation, gamers encounter a convoy of provide automobiles. The analysis arm includes stumbling throughout an underground lab the place gamers should cease members from destroying proof. As for intervention, that signifies that you’ve gotten the eye of the Syndicate and it has despatched assassins out to get you!
Though all 18 members of the Syndicate are initially unknown, gamers will uncover details about them as they play, beginning with the underlings and shifting to the leaders. However gamers don’t simply uncover info, they manipulate it! Every recreation world space may have some type of Syndicate exercise, and gamers will want to subdue the Syndicate member (or members, as there’s typically one other who comes to the help of its fellow!). As soon as subdued, gamers have choices on what to truly do with the enemy. Will they interrogate to study extra information, or will they strike a discount? Maybe gamers will simply outright execute the Syndicate member, which in flip will get that member promoted for that final act of loyalty of not divulging any information or betraying. Or perhaps, simply perhaps, they will get the Syndicate member to betray his fellow. Every determination shall be remembered, and as soon as the syndicate member is restored to life, she or he will keep in mind precisely how issues went down earlier than. Every determination has a consequence. Utilizing these strategies, gamers will get to manipulate the relationships between Syndicate members in addition to decide who’s in energy, who’s imprisoned, and who’s in every department’s safehouse that you simply get to struggle in your loot.
The safehouses are the boss encounters of Betrayal. When gamers study sufficient information a few safehouse — as indicated by the progress bar — they will raid it. They may face all Syndicate members allotted to that division (maybe one gamers manipulated to be there for his or her particular loot), and upon defeating them can raid the chests within the private dwelling quarters. Wilson identified that totally different safehouses will give totally different properties to the loot, so it matter not solely who you ship ot the safehouse for the gear you need, however which safehouse you ship them to. Safehouses are additionally the place you achieve information on the Syndicate headquarters the place the mastermind behind the entire operation is. And that mastermind is the last word boss in Betrayal.
I will not be a hard-core participant who will min-max my Syndicate, however I’ll positive as heck have a blast with this character-driven investigation. It’s a mixture of story and investigation, which is ideal for me. So as to add to the enjoyable, all 19 characters (Jun and the Syndicate members) are voice-acted, and there’s already over 40,000 phrases of textual content!
Hideouts, mods, and extra
If this expansion already sounds meaty, properly we aren’t finished but. Hideouts are getting a serious overhaul. The most important change is that gamers not want to make a brand new hideout every and each league! As an alternative, hideouts can be saved as templates that gamers can load up as an alternative of spending time beginning over once more and once more. As soon as unlocked, the hideout template may be saved — decorations and all! I admit I’ve prevented the entire hideout function (Me, ignore housing?! Loopy!) exactly as a result of I didn’t need to get a house, spend time adorning, and then have all of it wiped and have to do it over and over. I can’t bear having my housing poof, so I’ve simply pretended there wasn’t housing thus far. Now, I don’t have to! I can delve in and embellish to my coronary heart’s content material and have the ability to maintain that progress. I can even change between hideouts I’ve unlocked at will so as to do a brand new adorning venture with out dropping those I’ve already carried out. Unlocking hideouts is now accomplished via gameplay, both given to you as you progress or stumbling throughout one and clearing it out as an alternative of being tied to any grasp. Notice, templates may also be traded! In the event you don’t need to spend time adorning, you’ll be able to acquire a cool template from somebody who does.
Hideouts are fairly necessary once we are speaking about grasp crafting. That is the identify of the method of utilizing the crafting choices offered by the masters in your hideout to modify your gadgets. This technique has been revamped, from a better consumer interface (not the newsworthy change in accordance to Wilson) to altering how recipes are discovered (that is the great half!). Gone are the times of repeating grasp missions to achieve affect and refill a progress bar so as to study recipes. As an alternative, gamers will unlock recipes via an achievement system because the gamers play the sport; finishing numerous goals inside the grasp missions themselves (delving, attempting to find beasts, and temple incursions) will unlock the recipes. Wilson additionally famous that many mods are tied to locations/conditions that make sense, akin to a poison mod in a poison room in an incursion. Wilson expects the wiki to be up to date pretty shortly as gamers decide precisely the place and how to discover every mod recipe.
Within the Betrayal league, targets have the prospect of dropping any of the 15 new veiled mods, that are the uncommon and distinctive merchandise of this league. Jun Ortio will unveil the merchandise for gamers, which can uncover three potential modifiers. Gamers then select one of these three. Slightly RNG and somewhat selection, one of the best of each worlds. Wilson famous that these modifiers have distinctive results not discovered on some other merchandise, and have three advantages. One, you get to specialize the merchandise the way you need to. Two, these crating choices turn out to be everlasting crafting choices you need to use when creating different gadgets. And three, the extra you craft that mod the extra it could possibly degree up and grow to be extra highly effective for you crafted gadgets.
The endgame Atlas additionally will get a brand new function within the type of day by day grasp missions referred to as bounties. A particular icon will seem when an goal is lively, and it’ll solely be on maps that a participant can simply get to. When gamers enter that specific map, they may encounter that particular grasp whose icon confirmed up and find a way to take a mission. Talking of maps, Wilson stated that there shall be new maps launched, one being the mushroom cave from Delve. Notice: as an alternative of being day by day, Wilson emphasizes that the goals will randomly pop up, however the longer a participant performs the extra that may doubtless pop up to do. At present it’s set that every grasp will pop up every day, however Wilson stated playtesting can finally modify the frequency and such.
In fact, this expansion consists of new expertise; 10 complete expertise might be launched or adjusted for 3 participant archetypes. One introduces a brand-new mechanic. Two of these are expertise are Storm Model and Winter Orb. The remaining will probably be unveiled as we draw nearer to the expansion launch. Personally, I’m actually wanting ahead to Winter Orb, which is a floating orb that pelts close by enemies with exploding projectiles, and the extra you energy it up the quicker it fires. Gamers can study a quantity of methods of customizing this talent, together with growing space and period.
Some gamers perhaps be rather more curious about Storm Model and the brand new mechanic that it’s heralding. Manufacturers are runes positioned on the group that bind to enemies that get too shut. These manufacturers activate repeatedly till its time runs out or the enemies die (and if the latter, it resets itself to watch for the subsequent enemy to bind!). The Storm Model particularly zaps three close by enemies in addition to damages in an AoE vary. Pairing this talent with different helps like chain or elevated space help will customise it additional.
We’d like to thank Producer Chris Wilson for speaking to us as all the time. Keep tuned for the launch on December seventh!