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With two days left before The Fall of Oriath expansion for Path of Exile releases on August 4th, we get the complete patch notes that cover everything that's getting tweaked or changed there. I'm saying everything not to sound vague, but because the patch notes run for over 15 thousand words and offering even a brief overview of all the new stuff would be utter madness.
Thankfully, most of the major changes had been previously described in a series of development manifestos we've already had a chance to familiarize ourselves with (DoTs, Labyrinth, Damage Mitigation, Core Mechanics). There's also a new one that details the upcoming changes to Chill, Shock, and Power and Frenzy Charges.
You can check out the patch notes at your own leisure, or just read about the major new features of the expansion and its accompanying Harbinger League here:
Major New Content and Features:
The Harbinger Challenge League:
- Added Acts Five through Ten.
- Removed the Cruel and Merciless difficulty levels. Path of Exile is now a single ten-act playthrough.
- Added a new Character Selection Screen.
- Added a new feature - the Pantheon system: Best the ancient gods of Wraeclast in battle and you can claim a portion of their power. There are four Major god powers and seven Minor god powers to be claimed in The Fall of Oriath. You can have one Major and one Minor power active at a time, and can return to any town or hideout to change which powers are active at no cost. Later, each power can be upgraded by placing a Divine Vessel in your map device before you defeat certain map bosses.
- Added a new feature - the Help panel: As you play Path of Exile, you can unlock Help panel pages. These can be viewed by clicking on a new Help button next to the Shop button. Each panel is designed to introduce you to an aspect of Path of Exile's gameplay, and give you the tools you need to explore the features yourself.
- Significantly updated the tutorial. It is integrated with the new Help system.
- The game HUD has been updated to the Eclipse theme used throughout The Fall of Oriath.
- Added 8 Vaal Side Areas with new bosses, found through areas in Oriath.
- Added a Passive Skill Tree planning system.
- Introduced new technology for rendering water throughout the game.
Challenge leagues are a great opportunity for a fresh start in a new economy. All of your old characters and items are still present in the Standard and Hardcore leagues, but you're encouraged to join the new leagues, complete challenges and demonstrate your mastery of Path of Exile!
- With 3.0.0, there are Standard and Hardcore variations of the Harbinger challenge league available, as well as solo self-found variants of both. They have the same core mechanics and items.
- In the Harbinger challenge league, mysterious Harbingers have appeared throughout Oriath and Wraeclast. These Harbingers can create and command monsters from the area, and empower them with their own abilities.
- Successfully defeating a Harbinger earns you currency shards of both existing currency types and new currency types that have never been seen before.
- One of these currency types may lead you to the source of the Harbinger incursion. If you can halt their arrival, you'll find pieces of shattered unique items that can be arranged to form powerful Harbinger-summoning uniques.
- The new challenge leagues include a set of 40 new challenges. When you complete 12 challenges, you will receive the Harbinger Glowing Eyes Effect. At 24, you will receive the Harbinger Crown Effect. When you complete your 36th challenge, you will receive the Harbinger Character Effect. These microtransactions are only obtainable in this league.
- From the 19th challenge onwards and for every third challenge after that, you will receive pieces of the Harbinger Totem Pole decoration to display in your hideout. The Totem Pole permanently showcases how many of the Harbinger challenges you completed during the league.