Path of Exile: Siege of the Atlas Announced
Grinding Gear Games announced its latest expansion for action RPG Path of Exile. Siege of the Atlas will release for PC and Mac on February 4, 2022, and for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on February 9, 2022. Like all other Path of Exile content and the game itself, it will be available for free.
Siege of the Atlas focuses on the endgame Atlas of Worlds system and takes place after the events of Conquerors of the Atlas. Following the defeat of Sirus, Commander Kirac has taken on the responsibility of defending the Atlas of Worlds from the otherworldly threats to it and Wraeclast. Several of the devices to access the Atlas are now on an island in the Karui Archipelago, with players joining Kirac’s new militia geared to help prevent further disaster arising from it. Soon enough, players encounter the Maven and learn that two new Eldritch creatures are soon to arrive with the desire of devouring everything they can.
Siege of the Atlas tasks players with defeating the two new horrors, the Searing Exarch and the Eater of Worlds, as well as their sub-bosses, the Black Star and the Infinite Hunger. Players take on the mission of hunting down these threats by entering the maps within the Atlas of World. While players can hunt for both at the same time, only one is the subject of the pursuit in each individual map. In mid-tier maps, players will find that it comes under the influence of either the Searing Exarch or the Eater of Worlds through altars that appear. These altars give players two options that may increase the map’s difficulty but provide greater rewards. Meanwhile, the Maven lets players add her influence or the influence of other horrors previously encountered by the player.
As players go through maps and get closer to the horrors, the number of influenced monsters within each one increases. Eventually players will come across the Black Star or the Infinite Hunger, who must be defeated before players can continue their progress towards the Searing Exarch and the Eater of Worlds. In the higher-tier maps, players will finally have a chance of encountering the Searing Exarch or the Eater of Worlds, who drop their own unique items. Once the horrors defeated, players can farm them using tier fourteen or higher maps.
Siege of the Atlas features some significant alterations to the Atlas of Worlds. In the previous expansion, players used Watchstones to unlock new maps and raise those maps’ tiers by optimising the placement of the Watchstones. These Watchstones are being removed and hidden maps are being added to the base Atlas so they do not have to be unlocked over time. Instead, map tiers are now raised universally through new Voidstone. Up to four of these can be obtained, one each from the Uber Elder, the Maven, the Searing Exarch, and the Eater of Worlds.
The expansion also removes the concept of Atlas regions and combines all of the regional Atlas passive skill trees into a single large tree. The tree has over 600 nodes and players will be able to earn 117 skill points to spend on it by completing the Atlas. Each map in which players complete the bonus objective will provide one point, with additional points available by beating the Maven’s multi-boss fights. Every skill allocated in the Atlas passive skill tree will apply to all maps. The tree includes a mixture of skills from previous regional trees as well as brand new ones. This change is designed to give players more freedom to do what they want to in the Atlas of Worlds, including letting players manipulate the rate of new map drops.
Siege of the Atlas introduces a new item mechanic called Eldritch Implicit Modifiers. These let players apply mods to items that they currently have. Eldritch Implicit Mods replace the existing implicit modifiers on an item, with each item permitted to have one modifier each from the Searing Exarch and the Eater of Worlds. Mods are applied by using the new Eldritch Ember and Eldritch Ichor currency items, which come in four tiers based on the maps. For example, tier four currency is only dropped by the Searing Exarch and the Eater of Worlds themselves. These currency items apply a mod associated with the relevant Eldritch horror of the relevant tier. However, there are two additional tiers that can be gained by using the Orb of Conflict. This can be obtained from the Maven’s encounters and randomly raises the tier of one Eldritch Implicit Mod on an item while dropping the tier of the other one. By planning, and with a bit of luck, players can manage to end up with an item containing a tier six mod and a tier four mod.
These mod tiers introduce the element of Eldritch domination on an item. If one of the mods is a higher tier, that item is said to be dominated by the relevant Eldritch horror. Domination is used by three additional new, rare currency items. Eldritch Chaos Orb will reroll the item prefix modifiers when the item is dominated by the Searing Exarch, or the suffix modifiers when dominated by the Eater of Worlds. The same applies for the Eldritch Exalted Orb and Eldritch Orb of Annulment, which add or remove prefix or suffix modifiers respectively under the same rules.
As with previous expansions, Siege of the Atlas introduces new unique items that drop from the four new bosses. It also reworks the favoured map system, giving players up to twelve slots that can be unlocked by completing various objectives. These slots each provide a ten-times stackable multiplier to the chance of the slotted map being dropped.
In addition to the base game Siege of the Atlas content, the expansion also introduces the new Archnemesis Challenge League. The league focuses on fights against rare monsters and altering their risk-versus-reward. It adds around 60 new monster modifiers, letting players customise fights, and these modifiers can be combined through new crafting recipes. Rare and magic monsters defeated in the Archnemesis league can drop an itemised version of a monster modifier. In each area, players will find four monsters frozen and bound to an Archnemesis statue. Players can free a monster by using an Archnemesis modifier and if they defeat it, they will obtain the reward corresponding to the modifier. While the first monster encountered in an area will only have the single modifier applied, subsequent monsters freed will also have the previous modifiers, meaning the final monster found in an area might have four monster modifiers acting upon it.
Like previous expansions, Siege of the Atlas will include some rebalancing. The focus this time is on improving the endgame viability of hit-damage bow-using characters and
hand-casting spellcasters. More details can be found on the official Path of Exile forums.
Path of Exile: Siege of the Atlas images
Path of Exile: Siege of the Atlas trailer
Full Path of Exile: Siege of the Atlas presentation