Path of Exile Delirium League: Thoughts & Speculation

Its time for another discussion about Path of Exile (I write about this a fair amount, don’t I?) and I hope you don’t mind gentle readers.

Today, I wanna talk about the upcoming announced Delirium League, launching on March 13th! Its time for RAMPANT SPECULATION YET AGAIN! That is what this is by the way, speculation and theories!

First, lets give ya the trailer (its wild everyone)

Madness am I right? Now, you can view the official launch page right here which will give you a starting point for discussion. But lets break down what we know so far.

First, obviously, we have new skill gems. This comes with every league, however, unlike previous leagues which focused on specific gem types (spell, melee, bow, ect) this time the developers have apparently been given carte blanche to do what they want. Thats why we are getting things like Kinetic Bolt which is apparently a chaining wand skill gem attack (that is supposedly available at level 1) and Blade Blast, which will detonate blades that are now left behind from other skills like EK and Bladefall. Nothing has been said about upcoming new supports at the time of writing this so I can’t speak on those. We also have new uniques which are kind of interesting, like Perfidy, which allows you to use 2 Banner skills at the same time and speeds up their charge generation.

Then of course we have the league mechanic. The basic premise is as follows: you find this “Mirror of Delirium” in a zone and walk through it. By doing so you enter a warped world where monsters are given new abilities, league mechanics from previous leagues become modified, and you can find unique rewards within it. There is also mention of “going deeper” into the madness, which I assume means that after you go far enough away from the starting point things get harder and harder, with better rewards in exchange for the risk. However, I am not sure how we leave the madness at the moment. Is there a kill counter? Is there a timer? It doesn’t way in either the trailer or on the website.

There are also indications of items that will let you “Corrupt” maps at the end game coverting them into pure Delirium Maps, which will alter the rewards of the map as well. I assume this is how you will get access to the new endgame encounter the Simulacrum, which sounds like its going to be a copy of SOMETHING that you have to fight against (thats kind of what the word Simulacrum means, my guess is you will fight yourself. What is the greatest enemy of a person? Themselves Exile…themselves…their own fear and madness!)

I like the look of this mechanic, personally. I always enjoy “breach style” encounters, especially when they are optional. I am also curious how it will interact with things like breach, the temple encounters, and especially the Blight ones! Can you imagine doing a Blight tower defense encounter while inside the Delirium Mist? Dear god in heaven Exile that is going to be, well, madness!

However, the single biggest thing that excites me about this league over all are the new “Cluster Jewel” items. These things are in a word “Bonkers”. So anyone who has played Path of Exile has run into a Jewel. These are items you socket into your passive skill tree in order to add effects. An example of a normal jewel would be this!

However, Cluster Jewels are are something special. Added specifically to Delirium League, these jewels only function when placed in a jewel socket on the OUTSIDE of the passive tree. And what they do is GIVE YOU AN ENTIRE NEW SECTION OR BRANCH ON THE PASSIVE TREE WITH NEW NODES! You can even chain the Cluster Jewels going from Large, to Medium, to Small creating new paths with unique nodes. They have a good example of this on the website, but let me show you an image with some added text giving you an idea

Cluster Jewels!

These jewels appear to come in Magic, Rare, and Unique types, meaning you can get Cluster Jewels rolled with all sorts of strange combinations. There are also roughly 280 new “Notable” nodes, which are listed on that site. I am very excited to see just what sorts of combinations you can get, and this will encourage people I think to path to the outside of the passive tree JUST so they can use these nodes. I do imagine, however, you will need to spend skill points to path thru the nodes. I also wonder what would happen if you socket a jewel, and then remove it after spending said skill points. Do you get the points back as if respeced? Do they vanish?

We need more concrete info as to just how these Cluster Jewels will work in practice. The ones listed on the website are fascinating to look at. The Large Rare jewel listed there for example adds “10 New Passive Skills” and 2 brand new Notables, all focused on attack damage (so a weapon based physical build would love it) for instance. The Unique “Voices” listed there is one I imagine EVERYONE will want as it specifically adds 3 Jewel sockets + 1 small node that does nothing, meaning you can chain a TON off it! It being a large means you could connect 3 different medium or small nodes, and if you manage 3 rare Mediums you could then in theory, assuming any add sockets of their own as shown in that image above, chain more off them.

Finally they are making improvements to the Atlas of Worlds to make it more deterministic. I got bored with my build last league but I did make it to maps and actually completed 2 of the new fights, so there is that.

I am excited to yet again dive into a new Path of Exile league, and Delirium is looking to be something amazing. It releases on March 13th, and I can’t wait to dive in.

Hope to see you there Exiles!

Magic the Gathering Legends: Game Informer Trailer Breakdown & Rampant Speculation!

Today 1/9/2020 Game Informer released a 10 minute Gameplay Trailer showing 2 of the 5 classes for Magic the Gathering Legends, along with 2 of the Planes we will be travelling in this upcoming Free to Play ARPG coming from Cryptic Studios.  Game Informer in fact will doing a full month of coverage for January!

When this game was announced I was super interested.  We havent had a game set in the MTG universe since Shandalar, which was released back in April 1997 for Windows 95.  That game by the way was an open world RPG where you built a deck of cards and beat up wizards who represented the 5 colors of magic.

Since then the only digital games for MTG have been card games (MTGO, MTG Arena, the Planeswalker Duel games, ect) but an ARPG set in the plane of Dominara?  That had my interest from the moment I found out about it.  Since then I have learned its being described as a “Deck Builder Action RPG” which is…odd to say the least.  But I am willing to try it.

So, lets have some fun and using both the official MTG Legends Website and the Game Informer Gameplay Trailer generate some wild speculation about whats coming and how things are going to play out.  First, lets link the Trailer Article and the Game Informer Hub for Legends.  I am going to do this bullet point style for what I notice.

  • Early on you can see two mana types on the bottom, white and blue, filling up under the healthbar. The LB and RB hold some sort of abilities. Controller based control scheme.
  • UI is super clean right now, easy to read and understand. I like it.
  • The lower right has 4 action buttons, some of which are summons, some are abilities, seems like the spells change. Deck based.
  • There is a small icon below the 4 buttons that seem to be your next “card” from your deck. Not sure how “random” drawing is gonna feel
  • Deck is 12 cards, you “draw” from your deck and use the card mapped to your buttons
  • Decks are separate from your class, and you can mix and match spells (so you can do Red / Green / White maybe?  All 5 colors?  Will there be Artifact / Colorless I wonder)
  • Looks like there is some sort of auto attack as the base pulse the mind mage is using is NOT draining his mana NOR rotating a card
  • Class might dictate your auto attack and your escape ability. Unless everyone has that magic pulse….
  • Every class has an escape ability. The mind mage makes a doppleganger (Classic blue trick). That seems to be LB, not sure what RB is. Self Buff based on class?
  • There is an AI Director that will make things harder / challenging on the fly?!
  • There is some sort of “mana” pickup. Is that for the character

Now that we have discussed the trailer and what is shown there, lets discuss the website itself which has some choice tidbits!  Also, they are doing alpha/beta signups on there so you might want to consider jumping in.  I did the second day it was available.

Now there is not too much on the website that bears discussion….except we have 5 symbols representing the 5 Mage Classes and a number of slides that show potential areas we will be exploring!

Two of the symbols have already been revealed: That of the Mind Mage, and the Geomancer.  Now MTG has 5 colors (Blue, Red, Green, Black, and White) each one representing a style of magic. Blue, for example, is all about control and manipulation.  Red is all about direct damage and speed.  Green is about growth, big creatures, and buffs.  Black is about life manipulation, undeath, and risk/reward.  White is about life, protection, and defense.

The Mind Mage, based on both the color scheme and the themes listed on the website is very clearly the Blue Mage of the team.  The Geomancer is clearly the Red Mage (again, colors and themes).  But what about the other three symbols?

Well the first symbol is a Skull.  That screams Black, and most likely is a Necromancer typed mage.  I am going to suggest they deal with draining life, and maybe even raising an army of expendable minions.  Most ARPGs have a minion master archtype anyway, and Black fits that bill.

The next symbol is a beastial one, with horns and a muzzle.  That screams Green to me, and given what I am seeing with the others is prolly going to be our Druid type.  Nature spells, some buffs, and most likely shape shifting into wild creatures.

Finally, we have a pair of angelic wings.  Thats a white mage, no bones about it.  My guess is this will be the class comps healer, with some buffs, defensive spells, and probebly holy magic.

Obviously I could be way off here but we got 5 classes, 5 colors.  It makes sense especially given what I personally know of MTG (I played from about 1993 and 4th Ed up through about 2007ish).  It could be that the spells each class gets access to base wise represent those “archetypes” but with both a class AND deck going on I wonder just how much one will affect the other.

Now the potential areas are interesting as well.  SO far, we have Shiv and Benalia.  Shiv is traditional associated with Red magic, so my guess is that will be a red magic themed area.  Benalia however has always had a close association with White mages (Benalish hero is a very old white creature card, for example).  And wouldnt ya know it, but there are 3 more areas….and 3 colors that are not represented!

My guess is Phyrexia or Urbog will cover the Black one.  Most likely Phyrexia as that I believe is part of the Dominaria sphere.  I cannot however recall what areas would be associated with Blue or Green off hand, but clearly we are going to have Black, Green, and Blue regions in addition to Red and White.

Overall I am very excited about this game, and while Cryptic themselves has a bit of a reputation among MMO players, I am pretty sure that being involved with a license as large as Magic the Gathering and Wizards of the Coast will help keep things on an even keel.

There are no confirmed alpha, beta, or release dates at this time for Magic the Gathering Legends.  I for one an eagerly awaiting it!