Path of Exile’s forth major expansion, Ascendancy, launched today.
The patch notes themselves are massive, but the general gist is this: the new expansion features the Trials of Ascendancy. Complete those to unlock the Lord’s Labyrinth, and then finish that to unlock Ascendancy classes.
To break it down into specifics. Each of the three difficulty levels have six Trials of Ascendancy. These are sort of like tutorials for the Lord’s Labyrinth, introducing you to some of the traps and other dangers found within. Once you complete all six in a given difficulty level, you unlock the corresponding Lord’s Labyrinth. There you’ll have to put what you learned to the test. Die and you have to start over. Succeed (for the first time) and you can unlock an Ascendancy for your class. The trials and labyrinths get harder on the higher difficulties, but complete them all and you can unlock more skill points for your ascendancy. Each class has three ascendancy classes available to them, save for the Scrion who’s a special snowflake with just one. Completing the Lord’s Labyrinth will also allow you to enchant your gear. If I had to guess, this is a way to keep the Labyrinths viable, or else nobody would do them once they unlock their ascendancy class.
In addition to the above big features, the Ascendancy expansion also adds new gems and unique items. There is also a new league that lets you unlock additional cosmetic options by completing challenges. Then there’s the usual swarm of bug fixes and rebalancing.
It’s been a while since I last played Path of Exile. I’ve always come and gone with it, but it’s never gripped me long enough to make it to the end game, but maybe that’ll change with this expansion. I’ll definitely be giving it another go. I have to do something while I binge on the latest season of House of Cards, and if that isn’t enough, it’ll give me something to do while I binge the new season of Daredevil, too. Action RPGs, for me, go hand in hand with binges of TV shows and podcasts. It’s just the way of (my)world.
And Path of Exile’s Ascendancy expansion seems like a really good time to jump back in. It might not have anything too enticing for new players, but if you’re new to Path of Exile, then the entire thing is enticing, is it not?
Don’t forget that Path of Exile is free to play, and Ascendancy is freely available to anyone who plays. I’ve always admired Path of Exile’s business model, even if it’s so lax that it doesn’t tempt me in the least to spend money on it.