Path of Exile: Incursion Expansion Announced
Grinding Gear Games has announced the latest free expansion for its action RPG Path of Exile. The Incursion expansion introduces a new set of Challenge Leagues that revolve around the lost temple of Atzoatl. Players will assist explorer Alva Valai in locating the temple through time-warping rifts, leading to a raid on the temple.
The temple of Atzoatl was built by the Vaal Empire a thousand years earlier, but was swallowed by the jungle after a cataclysmic event. However, when players meet Alva in the present day, she sends them back in time to during the temple’s period of construction. The brief visits give Alva insights to the temple’s location, but also let players influence its construction, through the game’s traditional method of rampaging through its inhabitants.
Players will get eleven (subject to change based on final balance adjustments) incursions before the temple’s location is found; at this point players enter the jungle and raid the temple, with its rooms and rewards influenced by what players did during the incursions. After this, Alva sends players back to the past once more, resetting the temple with a new layout and set of rooms, and the cycle starts again. Players can come upon Alva once per area in the game, which potentially correlates to around one complete temple cycle for each of the game’s ten acts.
When players first enter a temple, it will generate a layout of rooms, some of which will be connected. In their incursions, players have a limited amount of time within one of these rooms, which is increased by defeating enemies in a similar manner to the previous Breach Challenge League. After the incursion is over, all the associated loot dropped by enemies will pop out in a fountain back at the rift. While in the past, players can also unlock doors to other rooms or defeat the Vaal Architects of those rooms. There are two Architects for each room; leaving the one associated with the room alive will cause that room to be upgraded, while killing them but leaving the alternate will cause it to become a different room. The rooms in the temple at the end will affect rewards and the temple layout, with higher level rooms producing greater effects. This may not be entirely positive; for example, having a level three Poison Garden may result in the entire temple being filled with damaging poisonous plants, not just that room. However, these top-tier rooms will potentially provide unique items not found anywhere else. Though the incursions have a time limit, there is no time limit on the final, present-day run through the temple.
On top of the Challenge League content, Grinding Gear Games is also making some changes to various skills. The biggest changes, coinciding with the Vaal Empire-theme of Incursion, are coming to the Vaal Skills originally introduced in 2014. The ultimate abilities required that players charge them up first by killing other monsters, but were often overlooked because of the effort cost. Now every Vaal Skill has its own non-Vaal equivalent attached to the same support gems, making their general use more worthwhile. The charging costs have also been reduced, and various skills have been buffed. Six new Vaal Skills have also been added. The expansion also adds new options for trap-based builds, various skills have been revamped, with five extra trap-based skills added that allows these builds to deal more direct damage and let other types of builds utilise traps effectively. Grinding Gear Games has also made some upgrades to existing skills, including greatly improved visuals, including Incinerate, Rain of Arrows, Infernal Blow, Cold Snap, Charged Dash, Double Strike, Lacerate, Ground Slam, and Power Siphon.
Incursion is set to be released on PC on June 1, 2018. The expansion will also be released for Xbox One in that same week.