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On December 8, 2017, alongside with the War for the Atlas expansion and the 3.1.0 update, Path of Exile will kick off The Abyss challenge league. This post on Grinding Gear Games' official website outlines the features of this new league that will have you fight abundant horrors form beneath the earth and their Lich overlords. Have a look:
The Abyss Challenge League
Released alongside Path of Exile's seventh major expansion, War for the Atlas, the Abyss Challenge League augments both existing and new content with challenging encounters and new rewards. Challenge leagues have self-contained economies and provide an opportunity for you to enjoy a fresh start and chance to demonstrate your mastery of Path of Exile. As usual, there are Hardcore and Solo Self-Found variations of this league.
Before Solaris graced Wraeclast, a race of repulsive beings, fearful of light, populated the gloomy wastes. They were thought to be long dead, with few traces and no mentions in historical accounts. That is, until the earth itself was torn asunder.
For aeons, in the deepest, blackest reaches, they have festered and multiplied. Now, they're clawing their way back to the surface in unprecedented numbers; a hateful swarm of hungering horrors hellbent on reclaiming Wraeclast. Push them back, or be swallowed by the abyss.
Horrors from Below
In the Abyss League, players will encounter cracks in the ground. Get too close, and these cracks widen and spread, allowing the terrible monsters to climb from their inky depths. Pursue these cracks, and you may discover a massive chasm from which dangerous packs of monsters emerge. Once you defeat these monsters, the Abyss continues to propagate, creating more chasms. Take too long, and the Abyss will seal shut, but if you're quick and deadly enough, a chest filled with valuable rewards will emerge from below.
The Abyssal Depths
As players progress through the Abyss League, some pits may offer access to the Abyssal Depths below. These Abyssal Depths are packed with monstrous creatures and valuable rewards, and culminate in an exciting boss encounter.
Exploring the Abyssal Depths in high-level areas might result in an encounter with a Lich boss. These difficult boss fights are quite rare, but very rewarding. Defeating a Lich is the only way to earn an exclusive Abyss Unique item.
Monsters and chests from the Abyss can drop Abyss Jewels. Like other Jewels, these can be placed in sockets in your passive tree to grant powerful bonuses. Unlike other Jewels, they have a set of exclusive new properties and can also be placed in Abyssal Sockets on your items! These sockets can be found on the new Abyss Uniques and a new base type of Abyss-socketed belt: the Stygian Vise.
The Abyss League includes a set of exclusive new Unique items that you can earn by defeating the Lich bosses in the Abyssal Depths. These powerful items all interact with Abyss Jewels in unique ways, and all have at least one Abyss Jewel socket (though sometimes more). In addition, they each have their own unique 3d art which makes up a complete set when combined together.
Challenges and Rewards
The Abyss League includes a set of 40 new challenges. When you complete 12 challenges, you receive the Abyss Helmet skin. At 24, you receive the Abyss Wings. When you complete your 36th challenge, you receive the Abyss Portal effect. These microtransactions are exclusively available in the Abyss League.
From the 19th challenge onwards and for every third challenge after that, you receive pieces of an Abyss Totem Pole decoration to display in your hideout. The Totem Pole permanently showcases how many of the Abyss challenges you completed during this league.
Coming on December 8, 2017!
Path of Exile: War for the Atlas and the Abyss Challenge League will be released at noon on Friday December 8th (PST). This is 9pm in the CET timezone and 9am on December 9th in New Zealand. Our Xbox One release will be within a week of this time. In the coming weeks we'll reveal the challenges and rewards for this league as well as the full patch notes for the 3.1.0 expansion: War for the Atlas.