Last-Minute Takeover: POE 3.9 Conquerors of the Atlas
The last update Path of Exile will be getting in 2019 is PoE 3.9: Conquerors of the Atlas. Aside from it being a year-closer, it marks the end of the first Path of Exile and the coming of the sequel-update. For now, however, let’s focus on the more immediate future, as Conquerors of the Atlas is set to shake Wraeclast in a huge way!
Is there a civil war among Exiles?
For the upcoming and likely the last original Path of Exile update, you will be up against fellow Exiles. Once-valiant heroes that slew the Elder, they kept coming back again and again to the Atlas, seeking to conquer its dimensions and gain more power and prestige. Believing that they’ve become a threat to Wraeclast, Zana has sealed them inside the Atlas. However, because of the power they had amassed, Zana fears that they might find a way back. It’s up to you to stop them!
It should go without saying that it’s up to you to stop them. Ironic yet aptly so, as you fighting exiles grinding for more power (the very same thing the game encourages you to do) is a brilliant meta and deconstruction-esque narrative of the new content’s lore. Heck, that of the entire game, and even of the entire genre and any game that involves grinding.
Is the grind over?
Not really. As cool as these changes are, though, we all know that this is just going to be some sardonic jab that won’t be reflected in the gameplay loop. Proof of that are the new skill gems and rare gear that you’ll be grinding for. For the former, the update will introduce support gem plus. Obtained by defeating conquerors, these support gems are the beefed up versions of currently-existing ones. In fact, a support gem plus at level 1 gives better bonuses than a regular level 20 support gem. There will be 33 new support gems plus in the game. Hopefully, the support gems you use have a plus counterpart.
When it comes to gear, Conquerors of the Atlas will be introducing items with influence types. With the Power of Sirius, Awakener of Worlds, you can combine two influenced items, which will result in a hybrid that has mods from both items. On top of that, you can also use specialized exalted orbs, which lets the item have mods from the new pools and into the rare item.
Along with the metagame-changing loot, Atlas will be seeing quite the change as well. The devs have decided to cut down the number of available maps from the start down to fifty. The rest have to be unlocked by defeating Conquerors and earning Watchstones. The latter are items that are socketed onto the Atlas’s new layout in order to level them up and reveal new maps. Eventually, you’ll be able to raise the entire Atlas’s level.
Are melee builds and miners taking a final bow?
While previous updates did revamp on melee builds and miners, Conquerors of the Atlas will be for bow users. Bow damage while leveling up and certain bow bases will be buffed and certain skills will be re-balanced. Most importantly, however, are the new bow skill gems. A good example is the Ensnaring Arrow, a new utility skill gem for bow users.
In line with the bow updates is the change of ranged attack totems to ballista. Other than a change of models, they’ll also get passive skill gems and perhaps gear mods that can improve their damage and number of available ballista at once. Two new ballista skill gems will also be added: Artillery Ballista and Shrapnel Ballista. Each has its own pros and cons, so choose wisely.
Last but definitely not least, Conquerors of the Atlas will have its challenge league: the Metamorph League. There, you’ll be working with Tane Octavius, an alchemist who is going to help you combine your own monsters, which you’ll be fighting. The stronger the monsters are, the better the rewards. For Path of Exile’s last hurrah for the year, it’s conquer or be conquered. There’s no better time to start preparing than now. Path of Exile 3.9: Conquerors of the Atlas rolls in on December 12, 2019.