It’s been a bit since I spoke or wrote about Path of Exile. On my podcast I am going to go into the concept of Conquerors briefly, but I wanted to take a moment to discuss what it’s doing, and how big of a deal this is (At least to me) and what this potentially might mean for casual players like me.
First, let’s show off the official trailer:
Now, when I first saw this I was confused as to how this would interact with the current endgame Map / Atlas system. Right now, when you finish Act 10 you meet up with Zana, who asks for your help mapping out the Atlas of Worlds, finding the Shaper of Worlds and the Elder. The big eventual goal of the game (if you are good enough to manage it) is to face the Uber Elder fight, where you fight Shaper and Elder at the same time. Only the best players tend to make it this far, as it requires a massive amount of grinding. Hell, even facing Shaper alone requires a ton, as he sits in the dead center of the Atlas, and its RNG gated to a point on getting to him (Dependent on map drops and trading maps). Elder is a little easier as there are white, yellow, and red versions of him you can do.
Sadly, I have never personally faced either. I have managed to get to Red maps a few times, but my RNG is always poor when it comes to Elder spawns and map drops, and I am too busy to ever grind out to face these foes.
However, with the upcoming Conquerors of the Atlas expansion all of this is changing, in a very massive way. And this is not the first time Grinding Gear Games has done something like this. Originally, the Maps ended with JUST the Shaper fight. Then, in War of the Atlas they ADDED Elder and the entire end storyline changed to reflect it.
Now Elder and Shaper are going away (mostly). You will still be able to face these foes if you so desire, but they are no longer the focus. In fact, the timeline has, in effect, advanced.
Turns out, if you watch that trailer, that our “exiles” have sorta kinda gone mad from diving into the Atlas in search of loot and power. 5 Exiles specifically (which apparently will be built to copy meta builds from POE’s history) got so power mad and corrupted that Zana collapsed the Atlas of Worlds and trapped them inside. This was AFTER they helped her defeat both the Shaper and Elder.
And now they have found a way out, and they want revenge.
You can see in this forum post the exact changes coming but its a lot.
The High Points:
- We no longer start in one of the corners, but the center.
- The Atlas is divided into 8 Regions
- All maps in a region will be the same tier at all times
- By defeating a Conqueror we will get a Watchstone
- Conquerors will appear in Strongholds in a region as part of the progression
- Socketing a Watchstone in a region will increase the tier of ALL maps in that region up to max tier
- Socketing a Watchstone will ALSO reveal more maps
- We can repeatedly kill Conquerors for their Watchstones to upgrade all 8 regions
- Sextants will now apply to a Watchstone, and effect the WHOLE REGION and not a radius
These are huge deals. The fact that as a casual player I might actually encounter a Conqueror early on means I can experience the boss fights that are a big part of endgame. Further, having ALL maps upgraded means if you got a few favs you can just focus on those without feeling like you are not progressing far.
The sextants change is also great. I also had issues making the most of em as a casual player, because my map pool was always thin. Having them apply to an entire group of maps makes it much easier while still allow for customization of the endgame experience.
Also I love the fact that our loot hungry exiles repeatedly doing Maps is now the canon reason we have gone mad with power and our new exiles have to go take em down. The timeline will obviously make more sense come Path of Exile 2, which advances the overall timeline by 20 years.
I am very much excited about these changes, and the new league accompanying them (Metamorph), and am looking forward to the update which goes live on 12/13/19 (both Conquerors and Metamorph)