Path of Exile 3.9: Conquerors of the Atlas
Path of Exile 3.9 Conquerors of the Atlas comes out on December 13th and brings with it the new Metamorph challenge league. There’s an absolute truckload of new information to cover, but we’ll do our best to go over some of the major changes to the game as a whole, as well as a few details about the upcoming challenge league.
What can we expect, story-wise, from PoE 3.9 Conquerors of the Atlas?
This expansion comes along with a massive re-haul to the story of Path of Exile. We don’t know much about it yet, but there will be an entirely new story mode for you to run through prior to arriving at maps. They have confirmed that the current story will still exist, but it is currently unclear what that means in terms of how you would play the new story versus the old story.
Once you get to maps there’s a new story there as well. Zana and four Exiles in the past went on a crusade to defeat the Elder, and they succeeded. However, the Exiles weren’t satisfied, and they kept pushing for more and more things to kill. Eventually, Zana sealed them inside the atlas. Now they’ve returned and it’s your job to stop them!
There are five Exiles, each with their own end-game fight. Four of these fights are considered “Elder tier” fights, while the fifth is “Shaper tier”. The current Elder and Shaper fights will still exist as well if you are looking to experience some of the current endgame content instead. There’s an insane amount of new story content to cover, and we’re looking forward to seeing it all when it releases!
What do we need to know about the Atlas?
The Conquerors of the Atlas map has changed massively. Now, you start with only a few maps on your atlas, and the ability to upgrade quadrants of the atlas itself. As you upgrade the quadrants, you gain access to more maps that rank up in difficulty. These upgrades are done through socketing ‘Watchstones’, which “increase the tiers of maps within a region while also revealing previously hidden maps within that region”.
Watchstones are mostly unknown currently, but they have blatantly hinted towards Watchstones that give additional modifiers to maps within the region. They have also made it clear that you can easily unsocket Watchstones if you want to de-level a region for a new character to level up in. Whether this has any consequences on the region or the Watchstone itself remains to be seen.
We don’t know all of the details yet, but we do know that if you so choose, you can make every single map on your atlas equal to or higher than tier 14. We also know that the current Elder map farming strategies will still work if you choose to go that route.
Are there any changes to items and gems? Conquerors of the Atlas Items and Gems Information
There will be four new types of influence for items, similar to the way that Elder and Shaper influence works now. These influences will likely correspond to the new Exiles that are being introduced. This will obviously create a ton of new item variety. Shaper and Elder items reshaped the entire meta several times over, four entirely new sets of influence will change absolutely everything.
There are also four new types of Exalted Orbs that will drop from the Conquerors of the Atlas bosses, which can force a modifier from that boss’s influence onto an item. More testing will be needed before we see their true strength but, judging from current Shaper and Elder influence, they will be considerable.
Lastly, we’ve been informed that there will be an entirely new type of skill gem, referred to as ‘Plus’. They have taken existing support gems and renamed them by including the word Plus–I.E. Ancestral Call Plus–and added a ton of additional stats and effects to them. In the case of Ancestral Call Plus, it simply reads “Supported Skills Strike 3 Additional Nearby Targets”. This is up by two targets in the original Ancestral Call, making it far superior. They also only level up to level 5. These gems are obtained very rarely as drops from the new bosses in Conquerors of the Atlas, making them rare and expensive drops that you will be chasing after. Since they are so much stronger than their non-upgraded counterparts, they will definitely be worth chasing.
What do we need to know about the Metamorph Challenge League?
The challenge league accompanying patch 3.9 is called Metamorph. The gimmick for this league is entirely based around bosses. You can harvest enemies for materials that are then used on maps to make the bosses significantly stronger, and drop much better rewards. Obviously, you’ll have to play the game of trying to make the boss hard enough to give great rewards without making it too hard that it will destroy you. For Path of Exile, this might be tricky since bosses can hit incredibly hard already!
The awesome part about this league is that we haven’t had a league based around boss killing in quite a while. The meta has been all about speed for a very long time, with players clearing entire maps in two minutes. This league, if the bosses give enough rewards, could see a resurgence of builds built specifically to kill bosses, sacrificing speed to do so. If the rewards from the bosses are good enough, this has the potential to change the shape of the meta entirely!
Is there anything else we should know?
For all of you wondering, this massive expansion is not Path of Exile 2. Path of Exile 2 will be releasing alongside patch 4.0, in just over a year from now. This is the last major expansion before then, although there will still be several challenge leagues as well.
As mentioned, the Conquerors of the Atlas release date will be December 13th, it will come out at the same time as the 3.9 patch that brings Metamorph. As for supporter packs, the Metamorph supporter packs have already been released, but Conquerors of the Atlas should bring with it a whole new set of supporter packs stretching up to several hundred dollars for the top one. The last set of supporter packs of this caliber included physical items in the higher tiers of rewards, complete with sweaters and a replica atlas that they would send you. We’ve certainly got some things to look forward to seeing when the expansion is released!
Keep your eyes peeled for more PoE 3.9 Conquerors of the Atlas and Metamorph information, and be ready to play the new expansion when it is released on December 13th!