The next adventure for Path of Exile players is right around the corner. With an expected release date of June 1st for PC players, and slightly after for console, Path of Exile Incursion will introduce an expansion-sized league update with new areas, monsters, bosses, and loot.
Temple of Atzoatl
The focus of the new Path of Exile Incursion league will be the Temple of Atzoatl, the jewel of the Vaal Empire constructed 1000 years ago, and the relic hunter Alva Valai. In order to uncover the Temple of Atzoatl in the present time, players will need to interact with Alva and complete a Temporal Incursion, which will take them back to the time of the temple’s construction.
Players will have the opportunity to augment the present-day Temple of Atzoatl based on their actions in the past during each incursion. For example, certain doors will be locked and if the player cannot find the key and open the door during an incursion, it will remain locked in present time. Additionally, there are architect boss monsters scattered throughout the temple and defeating one will allow another to fill their place. This can lead to rooms transforming into new rooms or becoming a higher tier of the current room.
The first opportunity for an incursion encounter is very early in the game at the Mud Flats. Due to this mode only being available in the upcoming league, the developers wanted to make sure that players got to experience the new content relatively soon after creating a new character. In total, players will be allowed to participate in 11 incursions before the location of the present-day temple is revealed to them and they can explore it at their leisure with no time limit. After completing a present-day temple run, it will be reset and players will have another 11 incursion attempts to transform their next temple.
Temple Run Info
According to producer Chris Wilson, each full temple run should take 1 to 2 hours and multiple temples can be cleared before finishing Path of Exile’s main storyline. This will allow veteran players to more easily progress through the base game, and be better geared, before unlocking the endgame content.
Each incursion will only last a few seconds, but this time can be extended by killing enemies. Picking up loot will not be a concern because no loot will be dropped during incursions. Instead, loot will be handed out at the end of each incursion based on how many monsters were killed.
Rooms can contain locked doors or architects. The goal is to unlock and connect as many rooms as possible before the 11 incursions are finished. Slaying architects will either transform or tier up rooms. This can have a significant effect on a playthrough because certain rooms will grant effects to the entire temple or provide unique loot.
For example, the Poison Garden room will spread spores throughout the temple and provides no loot until tier 3 where it will drop the unique Apep’s Slumber shield. There are expected to be 10 unique items that can be obtained by leveling up certain rooms. These unique items can also be upgraded at a specific location in the Temple (if the player has unlocked it).
The final boss room, Central Chamber, and tier 3 rooms will have the best drops in the temple. However, the more tier 3 rooms the harder the entire temple can be and this creates a risk vs reward scenario. Therefore, the best temple runs require planning from the start.
Currently, incursions are only planned to be implemented into the next league but the team will consider feedback and potentially bring it to the main game or future leagues.
Core Game Changes
In addition to the new league, there are also a variety of quality of life changes planned for this update. The first is the revamp of the Vaal skill system. Vaal skills will now grant both their ultimate ability and the non-Vaal equivalent skill; both abilities will be assigned to the same support gems. Furthermore, many Vaal skills will receive buffs and soul cost reductions, and six new Vaal skills will be added to the game.
Vaal skills are not the only ones to receive a major change. Trap skills will now trigger almost immediately and function similar to grenades. There will be five new trap gems and a new support gem. Finally, nearly 20 other basic abilities will receive balance and/or visual effect updates including: Incinerate, Rain of Arrows, Infernal Blow, Cold Snap, Charged Dash, Double Strike, Lacerate, Ground Slam, Power Siphon and more.
Hopefully, these modifications will allow Vaal skills to find a place in the meta and make sure older skills aren’t forgotten. It’s always great to receive new content in a game, but it often comes at the price of making older skills, gear, farming areas, etc. obsolete. With the Path of Exile Incursion update, it seems like Grinding Gear Games is attempting to satisfy the desire for new content while not completely leaving the old stuff behind.