Path of Exile 2 Showcased, Path of Exile: Ultimatum Expansion Announced
Grinding Gear Games held a new livestream presentation during which it showcased the upcoming Path of Exile 2 and announced the new Ultimatum expansion and challenge league for Path of Exile. The presentation videos can be viewed below alongside trailers for both Path of Exile 2 and Ultimatum.
Path of Exile 2 is billed as a true sequel to Path of Exile, however, both games will be available through the same game client and share the same endgame content. Path of Exile 2 will feature a new skill gem system, new items, new monsters, and new character and Ascendancy classes. It will include a new seven-act story campaign, with the presentation focusing on the second act, which takes place in the Vastiri Desert and sees players joining up with the Ardura tribe’s caravan as they chase down the caravan from the Faridun tribe.
The sequel will include new weapon types designed to feel distinct. One such weapon type is the spear, which offers ranged and melee attacks and focuses on mobility. The presentation highlighted a particular spear’s Engage and Disengage skills that respectively provide bonuses to range and unleashes projectile attacks, in addition to a Whirling Slash skill that creates a sandstorm.
Another new weapon type is the crossbow. Crossbows feature a unique mechanic that grants an implicit attack skill affected by the bolts that players currently use. The example loadout uses Permafrost Bolts to freeze enemies in place before unleashing Armor-Piercing Bolts to inflict large amounts of damage, occasionally switching to Incendiary Bolts that have been modified to fire multiple projectiles.
Path of Exile 2 places a greater emphasis on making each area’s miniboss more interesting and will also feature significant graphical improvements. One example shown sees the miniboss causing the ceiling to fall down, with light shining through to show safe places to stand as more of the ceiling comes down. Other visual improvements include animations being given lots of attention, including different run animations based on how fast characters are moving, while some monster packs will patrol areas rather than just spawning, and monsters will leave behind corpses based on how they were killed.
Path of Exile 2 is being developed for multiple platforms. It does not have a firm release date, but Grinding Gear Games has confirmed that it will not be released until 2022 at the earliest. However, new expansion and Challenge League Path of Exile: Ultimatum does have an imminent release date of April 16, 2021, for PC and Mac, followed by April 21, 2021, for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Like all other Path of Exile content, it will be free.
Ultimatum focuses on the Vaal civilisation and the concept of risking items for rewards. In the Ultimatum Challenge League, players will encounter the Trialmaster in each area, who is an emissary of an entity known as Chaos. On Chaos’ behalf, the Trialmaster sets players challenges where they risk their rewards in progressively more difficult encounters. In each encounter, players are presented with a reward, an objective, and a set of modifiers, of which they must select one. If successful, players are given the option to claim their current rewards and walk away, or risk their current reward for another item if they can complete a new encounter with an additional modifier applied. Endgame maps will allow for up to ten trials to be chained together, with a special surprise in the final one.
While playing endgame maps, players may find Inscribed Ultimatums. These let players travel to the Trialmaster’s domain provided they bring the item required on the inscription as an offering. The reward will generally be valued at around twice of the offering, and players are able to trade their Inscribed Ultimatums with others.
For multiplayer parties, Ultimatum lets parties complete trials together, but grants rewards separately. Each player can vote on which modifier is selected, with ties being settled by a random draw. Players choose individually whether or not to continue the trial chain, so some may opt out while the rest of the party continues on.
As with previous expansions, Ultimatum will include new unique items. Two examples are the Glimpse of Chaos Vaal Mask and Mahuxotl’s Machination. The former grants powerful benefits to life and shields at the cost of elemental resistances and can be corrupted multiple times. The latter grants six keystone passive abilities, which can result in unusual combinations. Ultimatum will also include new support gems and skills. These additions focus on builds that spend life rather than mana for their skills.
The release of Ultimatum will also see some changes made to the reward systems across the whole of Path of Exile. The core drop pool from regular monsters is being adjusted and will include two additional currency items: the Harbinger expansion’s Orbs of Binding and the new Veiled Chaos Orbs that are used with Veiled mods. There are also five new Atlas Base Types that drop in Atlas of Worlds content. Act final bosses will now drop more and better items, while some powerful, formerly league-specific unique items drop from sufficiently high-level monsters. A new type of Vaal Reliquary Key is a rare drop that will grant players access to a vault containing a special version of a Vaal-themed unique item. The remaining reward changes are geared towards specific past expansion content.
The launch of Ultimatum will be rolled into the base game like the previous Challenge League Ritual. As part of this, Grinding Gear Games is adjusting the rate at which these integrated expansions are encountered in the game. Previously, each had been generally given a 10% chance of being encounter in any area in the game, with some given a 5% rate, but now there is a universal 8% chance for every expansion. Certain Leagues are being rebalanced to make up for the adjustment.
Path of Exile 2 Trailer
Path of Exile 2 Gameplay
Path of Exile: Ultimatum Trailer
Path of Exile: Ultimatum Content