Grinding Gear Games today announced and detailed the upcoming Content Update 1.3.0 for Path of Exile – a player-versus-player-centric content update set to release on December 12 at 5:00 PM PST (2:00 PM New Zealand Time on December 13) as a free update.
Content Update 1.3.0 will bring forth various new enhancements to Path of Exile, with a heavy focus on improving and accentuating Path of Exile’s PvP elements. These additions and improvements include but are not limited to: new Torment and Bloodlines Challenge Leagues, a new PvP-focused Forsaken Master, competitive PvP tournaments with regular Seasons, PvP-only characters, new gems and Unique items, a massive update to the Passive Skill Tree, and much more.
Below is a brief synopsis of the many new features made available in Path of Exile by Content Update 1.3.0:
New Challenge Leagues: Torment and Bloodlines
December’s 1.3.0 Content Update marks the start of two new Challenge Leagues, providing players with an opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of Path of Exile. Torment and Bloodlines both have unique properties that set them apart from normal play:
· Torment: In Torment, the standard Challenge League, players are haunted by the spirits of tormented criminals that yield their ill-gotten gains when slain. Eager to protect their trove, spirits flee when encountered, imbuing nearby monsters with dangerous powers and improving their item drops. It’s possible for spirits to possess rare and unique enemies, greatly increasing their threat and potential value to treasure-seeking exiles. Grinding Gear Games will release a video showcasing Torment in the near future.
· Bloodlines: In Bloodlines, the hardcore Challenge League, each pack of magic monsters has a shared Bloodlines mod that greatly influences combat – sometimes while the pack is still alive, and sometimes after it has been killed. Where Nemesis involved rare monsters gaining an additional power, Bloodlines revolves around groups of monsters with synergistic powers. Varied strategy is needed for approaching the different Bloodlines, as they have a wide array of effects, such as constructing an Animated Guardian piece-by-piece as each monster is killed or becoming immortal in the near proximity of their slain brethren.
Like the Challenge Leagues before them, these new leagues have eight highly difficult challenges to complete. The first challenge completed will reward the player with a Totem Pole decoration that can be displayed in their Hideout, which grows taller as more challenges are completed. The first 50 players to complete all of the challenges will receive an exclusive Torment/Bloodlines t-shirt.
Leo Redmane, Master of the Arena
Like the other masters, Leo offers a hideout (in the Gardens tileset) with his own decorations and PvP crafting options. His daily missions all involve playing PvP, with rewards for completing different objectives. Unlike other masters, Leo doesn’t take up a slot in the player’s hideout. Players can have him in addition to their regular set of masters.
Huge Player vs. Player Revamp
A major focus of this Content Update is to overhaul Path of Exile‘s PvP systems and introduce formal competitive events. As Grinding Gear Games has learned from its successful racing scene, having prizes and news coverage of competitive play is critical. In addition to introducing seasons of tournaments, a lot of PvP-specific rebalancing has been implemented. New UI improvements include an Events Screen that shows upcoming events (including PvP tournaments) in the game client.
Grinding Gear Games is introducing several different types of PvP tournaments that are scheduled at specific times:
- Free-for-all tournaments take place in the Sarn Arena. They’re a massive brawl where players get one point per player kill. Upon death, players are sent to a new arena to continue the massacre.
- Blitz tournaments are a series of rapid-fire duels where players are quickly matched against a new opponent as soon as the last round finishes. The goal is to get as many victories as possible within the time limit.
- Swiss tournaments are highly competitive tournaments that match players with similar records against each other. They’re run in regimented matches with seven fights to a match and provide the most competitive structure of the three tournaments on offer.
PvP Season One
Competing in tournaments awards players with points that accumulate towards Alternate Art Unique Item prizes. PvP Tournaments are grouped into Seasons that consist of a month of themed events. Weekdays contain free-for-all and blitz events, while the weekends have larger tournaments with Swiss pairings and awesome prizes from Grinding Gear Games’ sponsors. Top players are invited to a special event at the end of the season so that they can battle for more prestige and prizes.
Dueling with level 28 characters is very popular within the Path of Exile community – so much so that it will run as the primary event type in Path of Exile‘s first PvP season. Because the fun of PvP is in creating builds, perfecting items, and destroying opponents, Path of Exile will include the option to create a blank level 28 character that is only able to play PvP matches. These PvP-only characters won’t impact regular gameplay, but will allow players to shortcut the process of trying out level 28 PvP builds and creating characters for tournaments. Players will still need to acquire their equipment in the core PvE game.
Hundreds of Other Improvements
This update isn’t entirely about the new Challenge Leagues and PvP. Grinding Gear Games has massively changed the Passive Skill Tree, added more gems and unique items, and have made a myriad of small improvements to Path of Exile across the board.