Introducing the PoE Legion League for 3.7
Finally, the 3.7 league has been announced! Amidst hordes of enemies will you stand victorious? Presenting PoE Legion league! In Legion, we will see quite a few reworks to go alongside the normal balance changes, as well as a host of new items and abilities. The league mechanic itself has also been revealed, and it looks exciting, to say the least! I will be referencing the main Path of Exile page as well as the Baeclast podcast extensively throughout this article, please feel free to check them out if you want more in-depth detail!
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What is the League Mechanic?
The new league mechanic is, as the name suggests, Legion! Legion is the unabashed remastering of an old favourite, Breach league. In Legion you will come across monoliths in the world. These monoliths can be activated by touching them, at which time massive armies will appear around you, frozen in time. You’ll be given a fairly short window in which to hit the frozen enemies, and once the time runs out the enemies you hit will come to life and fight you. There will also be chests hiding amongst the enemies for you to find and break so that they too remain once the timer runs out.
Sounds similar to Breach so far? Well just wait. The enemies you kill will drop splinters, which can be combined into an Emblem. They stack up to 50 rather than 100 because you need to use two of them in order to activate the map device. Once activated with two Emblems inside, the map device will open portals to a warring land between the factions whose Emblems you activated. There are five different factions, and a map device with five slots was teased, enabling a crazy conflict between all five legions at once – or so we speculate.
The intent of this league was to call back to some of the favourite leagues of old, in which the goal wasn’t to create temples or manage charts, but rather to mindlessly blast through hordes of enemies. From what we’ve seen so far, they’ve done that job excellently. I personally cannot wait to try out the new Legion mechanic and see how many armies I can take on at once!
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How about the Melee Rebalance?
We’ve long since known that 3.7 was going to be the league where they rebalanced melee skills. However, now we’re getting some of the details. On the mechanics side, there are quite a few things that will be changing. If you’re interested in some of the more technical details, the Baeclast episode with developer Jonathan Rogers went into them in depth, including using the developer build to show exactly what was happening.
First, animation canceling is now a thing. That’s huge. Now if you’re in the middle of a multistrike attack and Shaper decides to throw his balls at you, you can simply dash out of the way, even though you were mid-attack. The game also auto-cancels your attack once the target is dead. Jonathan explained that the last 15% of most attacks was just animation and that if your target were already dead and you were holding down the move button, you’d automatically start moving away. The only time you’d be seeing the full animation would be when the monster was still alive and you were queueing another attack. This will make melee feel far smoother, as well as be a speed increase for a lot of racers in particular.
Similarly, when you kill a monster now single target attacks will auto-lock to the next monster if there are several around you. No more name-lock issues with hordes of enemies! And name-lock itself was also smoothed out quite a bit, giving a bit more range and better locking on to enable single target abilities to feel good as well as look good, and be more effective.
They also added flat damage to all melee skills, similar to how spells work. It’s not nearly as much, and the damage effectiveness of the abilities was lowered to compensate. This means that leveling with and using low tier weapons with melee skills will feel much better, as there will be less reliance on your weapon for damage output. At the top end, the damage will be slightly worse, but not significantly so.
Are there new Skills?
So far, we’ve seen a handful of new skills, but there will be many more to come! As of writing this, we’ve seen one new melee skill and two new supporting skills, both reservation herald-type skills. You can see both in action here.
The new melee skill is Bladestorm. Bladestorm is the first skill that makes use of the new Blood and Sand mechanic. Blood and Sand is a mechanic that you can use by using the two new reservation abilities. They allow you to swap between stances at the click of a button and allows the supported skills to have different effects depending on the stance. In Blood stance, Bladestorm will have higher attack speed and will create a ‘bloodstorm’ that causes enemies to hit to bleed. In Sand stance, Bladestorm will grand increased movement speed and will create a sandstorm that moves forward, damaging and blinding enemies.
You will start in Blood stance by default but can use the two aura abilities to swap stances. The first of the reservation abilities enabling Blood and Sand is, well, Blood and Sand itself. It reserves 10% of your mana and while in Blood stance you deal more area damage, but have less area of effect. In Sand Stance you do the opposite, granting more area of effect but less damage.
The second reservation ability is Flesh and Stone, which reserves 25% of your mana. In Blood stance, nearby enemies are maimed, increasing the physical damage they take. In Sand stance, nearby enemies are blinded and you take less damage from enemies that are not nearby. Both of these reservation abilities will share a short cooldown.
The PoE Legion league is shaping up to be an incredible league. They have strayed away from the complex leagues that people have begun to burn out on, providing us with a mindless slaughter league that many players have been after. They have also fully retouched melee mechanics, putting them into a place where they might finally feel good to play. Not to mention the new abilities added, as well as quite a few new items and more support skills that haven’t been released yet. There is a ton of new content and news to cover, so stay tuned!