Grinding Gear Games has announced that its next major expansion for Path of Exile, Echoes of the Atlas, will launch on PC on January 15th. According to the press release, the expansion delivers new end-game content, a new challenge league, new skills, and a new pinnacle boss simply known as The Maven.
Path of Exile: Echoes of the Atlas promises to test the mettle of players brave enough to face its many challenges. Slaying three map bosses in The Maven’s presence will earn players a summon to her realm where she will request they defeat these bosses simultaneously. Once players defeat ten bosses, The Maven will challenge combatants herself.
As players prove their worth, they’ll take control of their Atlas by unlocking regional passive trees. Content they encounter and rewards received will be augmented while exploring various regions. New end-game rewards include three types of Craftable Watchstones that allow players to upgrade their Atlas and boost rewards found from maps. These new Craftable Watchstones can be traded, do not expire with use, and their benefits are stackable, making them superior to regular Watchstones. Another new end-game reward, called The Maven’s Orb, is able to randomly upgrade items that have two or more influence modifiers. While one of these influence modifiers will be upgraded, the others will be removed, so choose wisely. If a modifier that’s being upgraded has already reached its highest tier, it’ll be upgraded to a new elevated tier. A total of 13 new unique items and a number of Divination Cards can be earned in Echoes of the Atlas.
A new challenge league called Ritual League will pit players against a combination of the Ritual Altar’s arcane powers and escalating waves of monsters enclosed within a Ritual Circle. The more rituals completed, the better the rewards and the more difficult the enemies. As players slay monsters during Rituals, they’ll earn Tribute which can be spent on a variety of items and rewards. Rituals can be enhanced end-game by obtaining tradeable Ritual vessels. Up to four vessels can be placed within a map to add their monsters to the rituals already present, which substantially increases both the difficulty and rewards for those Rituals.
In addition to all of the updates available in the Echoes of the Atlas expansion, Harvest and Heist are being rolled into the core game with a few improvements as well. In Harvest, players will discover portals to established gardens instead of planting and managing their own Sacred Grove. They’ll need to carefully weigh the encounter difficulty from each pair of options against the crafting outcomes prior to making a choice. Slaying monsters that spawn will reward players with Lifeforce, which can be used to greatly improve items. For Heist, contracts will begin to drop from Act Six and onwards. Rogues level up their skills faster, markers drop with higher stack sizes and quest contracts are now dropped for you at the next smuggler’s cache as soon as that quest is available.
Path of Exile is also launching two new sets of Supporter Packs to celebrate the launch of Echoes of the Atlas and the Ritual League: the Renegade and Faithsworm Packs. Both packs have different price points and feature tons of points and several exclusive microtransaction items, such as armor sets and character effects.
Lastly, a total of eleven new maps have been added to the Atlas of Worlds. These maps cover a wide variety of environments and, of course, come with their own challenging boss fight. The visuals of these maps are a huge improvement over previous ones thanks to the ongoing work of Path of Exile 2.