Path of Exile Gets Delirious for Newest Expansion
Grinding Gear Games has announced its latest expansion to its free-to-play action RPG Path of Exile. The new expansion — set to launch for PC on March 13, 2020, and on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One a week later — is titled Delirium and Grinding Gear Games’ Chris Wilson was kind enough to give RPGamer a heads-up on what it includes.
Path of Exile: Delirium is designed to build on two of Path of Exile’s biggest elements: the risk versus reward trade-offs and its deep character customisation. Unusually for Path of Exile expansions, Grinding Gear Games is deliberately keeping all of the story details of the expansion under wraps for now, letting players find out all of the details for themselves when it launches.
The new Delirium content gives each area an item called the Mirror of Delirium. Players will see a ghostly reflection of their character in the Mirror and touching it causes the player character to enter a special Delirium state. In this state, the area becomes covered in mist and any existing monsters gain new abilities, while other new monsters will also spawn, acting as a manifestation of the player character’s fears. The further players move into the mist, the more monsters will appear and the more extra abilities they have, making it more challenging.
The end-game map system will also feature Delirium content. Rare and unique monsters can manifest a demon from inside of them, which uses a very powerful but telegraphed attack, while normal and magic foes gain special debuff effects and additional on-death mechanics. It can also affect bosses, such as the act six Brine King boss, which may occasionally split open to summon a Delirium Horror for a powerful attack. Delirium interacts with previous Path of Exile expansions that have been integrated into the main game, such as Betrayal, Incursion, and Breach, adding a further level of challenge and reward to those special encounters.
Players are able to control how difficult each Delirium encounter is by determining how far they want to venture into the mist. Each area comes with a specific type of Delirium-focused reward. Provided enough monsters are killed during the Delirium encounter, they will receive a reward of the area’s randomly-chosen type, with more rewards available for killing additional monsters. The end-game map system will allow players to determine the reward type — and potentially multiple types — for a map using Orbs of Delirium. These Orbs will also increase both the difficulty and rewards that can be obtained. Maps that have been affected by Orbs of Delirium can drop Simulacrum Splinters that can be obtained to form the Simulacrum. This is necessary to access a special end-game challenge, though Grinding Gear Games is keeping quiet on what exactly that challenge entails.
In terms of how Delirium affects character customisaton, players will be able to find items called cluster jewels. These can be used on the outer sockets of Path of Exile’s massive passive skill tree to add even more sockets. These jewels are randomly-generated, with an example given being one that features a collection of passive skills to increase fire resistance. Each one contains at least one specific passive, selected from a pool of 280 entirely new ones, that reflects the type of jewel.
The cluster jewels comes in three sizes: large, medium, and small. The two bigger sizes can include sockets into which another cluster jewel can be placed, though only a smaller sized jewel can be used in the socket, letting players stack up to three cluster jewels into one external socket on the standard passive tree. Some other examples of jewels include one that adds a keystone technique that can define an entirely new unarmed playstyle and a large jewel that contains three additional jewel sockets.
In other content news, Grinding Gear Games has released improvements to the latest Conquerors of the Atlas expansion and is working on further enhancements. Improvements include adjustments to difficulty, rewards, and spawning rate, as well as some updates to the UI. Other content receiving tweaks and improvements are the Vaal Side Areas that spawn in end-game maps and the Temple of Atzoatl from the Incursion expansion. The developer also confirmed that the Metamorph challenge league will be added to the core Path of Exile game.
Finally, Grinding Gear Games is adding new skills and unique items to the game. While recent expansions have focused on aiding specific archetypes with the new skills, these ones are designed to be more readily used across different styles. Four skills will be added, with two of them shown. Blade Blast uses a general change to the blade skills that now sees blades left behind once used. It causes any blades left behind to explode and can be combined with other skills to determine when and how they explode. Kinetic Bolt is a new wand skill that creates a forking bolt with a good area of effect, and is designed to be useful at low levels and work well with support gems to make it viable in the end-game.
In addition to Delirium, Ginding Gear Games is currently working on the recently-announced major expansion that it is calling Path of Exile 2. Path of Exile 2 is an additional seven-act story campaign that will be available alongside the current ten-act Path of Exile campaign. The two campaigns will work together as a single game with both campaigns ending up in the same Atlas of Worlds end-game content. The developer is also working on Path of Exile: Mobile for iOS and Android.