New Zealand game developers Grinding Gear Games are set to release their new expansion to the acclaimed Free to Play ARPG Path of Exile entitled Prophecy. And with a new expansion brings about new content and changes to current content. Available to the public June 3rd, Prophecy will introduce a new Karui NPC Navali. This new NPC can be found in every act town and will offer the player "prophecies" that the player can chooses to complete or turn into an item to be completed/traded later. This game will be replacing the successful Perandus league, to which Chris Wilson from GGG had stated on an episode of State of Exile that it had been the most successful launch since releasing on Steam. The new expansion also offers a rather interesting new mechanic into the game, which is upgrading a unique item into a stronger version of itself, such as turning Death's Harp into Death's Opus which adds a second additional projectile to the item. This quest to upgrade the unique item is also being presented to the player in the form of lore, where it will expand upon the items flavour text to give the player more of an understanding. Players must find silver coins new to the league in order to trade with Navali, who will in turn offer these prophecies to the player. Coins can be found by killing a certain boss monster that has a chance to spawn in each area.
GGG have also included an end game labyrinth, including the previous 3 that exist for each difficulty. This end game labyrinth is much harder and is found through end game mapping. It will include a new trap, new puzzles and more enemies while now offering successful players the chance to acquire a higher tier item mod after completing the labyrinth. The Trials of Ascendancy have also been streamlined for player convenience, a common gripe amongst the community being that running the labyrinth multiple times each character was tedious and time consuming. Players now only have to complete them once on each difficulty level per league, freeing up time to build your character without having to spend the extra few hours just to get the ascendancy points.
New skills have been added into the game including Spirit Offering, Ancestral Warcheif, Lacerate, Frost Bolt and Vortex. Spirit Offering is a summoner skill gem that gives increased offensive and defensive bonuses that the player can then claim as their own. Ancestral Warchief is a new melee totem skill that has an AoE attack and buffs the players offensive capabilities. Lacerate is a melee skill that fires to projectiles in different arcs, with each projectile overlapping in the middle. Frost Bolt fires a slow moving bolt of frost that deals damage to each enemy it comes into contact with, which when combined with the new skill Vortex causes each bolt to explode, creating more vortexes.
Along with new items, players will also have new divination cards. The new items will include having new uniques, as well as rebalancing items. Balance seems to be the name of the game for this expansion, with GGG promising to balance skills, monsters, end game content and the passive tree, namely the ascendancy skill trees. This includes now giving players an extra +2 ascendancy skill points. Path of Exile Youtuber ZiggyD recorded a video covering his Top 5 affected ascendancy classes which is worth watching. Some classes have had their tree redesigned while others have had their effects balanced. These bonus 2 points are a big deal, potentially enabling certain classes that felt just short of being impactful.
Probably the most important changes however are backend improvements to the game itself. It was no secret that the Perandus league was graphic intensive, constantly causing frame drops and causing frustration for players. Improvements for SSD users, fixing audio bugs and correcting the memory dump that would cause major crashes for users have been taken care of, leaving players with a much smoother experience.
The new expansion drops June 3rd, and while the Perandus Flashback league has ended, the Perandus League will continue for another 10 days before moving your characters to Standard league. Be sure to try a few builds out in preparation for the new expansion. Chris Wilson also appeared on this weeks State of Exile podcast to explain some of these changes, which can be found here.