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In a couple of weeks, on March 13, 2020 to be precise, Path of Exile will be getting its Delirium expansion, and as a little taste of what to expect, we get this preview article focusing on the new Blade Blast skill and its various interactions with other skills. Here it is in action:
More on that:
Path of Exile: Delirium introduces a skill called Blade Blast. Alongside this new skill, we're making some changes to some existing spells that it can interact with. Among these are Ethereal Knives, Bladefall, Blade Vortex and as a follow on effect, Animate Weapon.
Casting Blade Blast deals damage in a medium sized area at your target. Enemies hit will be Unnerved, increasing their spell damage taken. If there are any blades from Ethereal Knives, Bladefall or your own Blade Vortex in the area of effect, Blade Blast will detonate those blades as well, creating a chain reaction. This way, you can set up and detonate a long sequence of explosions to finish off enemies in a large area, or deal high damage to targets in a cluster of blades.
Ethereal Knives has received some visual improvements while also allowing one in every three knives to remain as a small blade in the ground. A blade in the ground will do nothing and fade away after a duration but these blades can be interacted with by other skills.
To make the most of Ethereal Knives with Blade Blast, using the Slower Projectiles Support lets you create a dense field of blades close to you, and adding the Unleash Support will result in easily setting up a huge damage burst for taking out bosses. Using the Ring of Blades unique jewel will let you spread out the blades in a ring around you, which results in a large circular area of Blade Blast explosions.
As Blade Vortex already has respectable single target damage, Blade Blast has a different purpose when interacting with it. Blade Blast can detonate blades as they spin around you and for each Blade Vortex blade detonated in sequence, the area of the Blade Blast is multiplied, gaining over three times the area on the tenth blade destroyed. This lets Blade Blast cover a large area around you in a burst of damage that can clear out a dangerous group of monsters (or your delusions) in one quick cast.
Blade Blast won't detonate Vaal Blade Vortex or other player's Blade Vortexes so you can't destroy your Vaal Skill or 'accidentally' end your party member's Blade Vortex.
Bladefall will leave one blade per volley, resulting in 6 blades per cast. The blades are placed relatively central in the volley, so with Concentrated Effect you can place them close enough to create a lot of overlapping Blade Blasts.
Combining the skill with the Unleash and Spell Cascade Supports, you can place a huge number of blades with one cast, actually going over the maximum of 50 blades. Use Awakened Spell Cascade instead to spread them over a wider area.
Having a setup where Blade Blast, Bladefall or both are triggered by a trigger support or cast by totems lets you create a devastating area of effect combo with ease.
Blades from Ethereal Knives, Blade Vortex and Bladefall can now be Animated by Animate Weapon, making the skill much easier to sustain.
Blades animated this way have base attack speed, crit and range similar to a Glass Shank, but Animate Weapon adds bonus physical damage to Ethereal Blades based on the level of the Animate weapon skill, on top of the added damage granted to all weapons by Animate Weapon. This also means that blades from a low level Bladefall can be used by a high level Animate Weapon as effectively as a high level Bladefall's blades.
We've rebalanced Animate Weapon to lower the maximum number of blades and lower the time taken to reach full power, which also improves server performance. To compensate for the minion count loss, we've significantly improved their speed and granted much more added damage. The skill now has a faster cast time, lower mana cost, and grants More Attack Speed. The skill grants increased minion movement speed as the gem levels and a higher minion limit as the gem levels.
There’s also this announcement that shares Grinding Gear Games’ plans regarding the mechanics introduced by the current Metamorph expansion. Have a look:
In December we released the Metamorph League and Conquerors of the Atlas expansion. Both of these updates have been very well received by players, and as such, we've decided that when Metamorph League ends, we will be rolling it into the core game. Today's news post details how exactly that will happen and what you can expect when the next league begins.
We'll be giving Metamorph a 10% chance to affect Map areas. As Metamorph is the only way to get Catalysts, we'll be taking a similar approach to that of Blight league when it was added to the core game. Every Map area that contains Metamorph Monsters will always have a Catalyst reward available, providing consistent access to Catalysts should you so desire.
Metamorph Bosses will continue to drop Itemised Samples provided that you fill the bar. Tane's Laboratory will remain and will be the place to bring your Itemised Samples to, providing you the ability to continue creating unique encounters not ordinarily possible.
We'd like there to be some form of determinism for players that want to engage with Metamorph more often than the base 10% chance. For that reason, we will be adding a set of Scarabs for Metamorph encounters. Here is a preview of these Scarabs[...]
As you can see, a Rusted Metamorph Scarab will simply add Metamorph monsters to a Map area. The experience will be exactly what you've come to expect in Maps in the current Metamorph league. Polished Metamorph Scarabs will cause Metamorph Bosses which drop an Itemised Sample to drop an additional Itemised Sample. The rewards of the additional Itemised Sample will be rolled independently of the first sample. Finally, a Gilded Metamorph Scarab will cause all Metamorph monsters to have a reward. You'll still be limited to picking one reward per organ type, but you'll have many more rewards to choose from.
To make room for these Scarabs in Betrayal Rewards, we have combined Aisling's Veiled Jewellery rewards with her Veiled Weapon and Armour rewards. This means that you will get the regular amount of Veiled Weapons (or Armour) and in addition, you will get the Veiled Jewellery rewards that Intervention safehouses used to give. Defeating Aisling in Intervention safehouses will give Metamorph Scarabs, with the rank of Scarab (Rusted, Polished or Gilded) being dependent on Aisling's rank.
In addition to Aisling's Intervention rewards, we have also added Metamorph Scarabs to the pool of Scarabs that the Mastermind can drop when defeated. All other sources that give a random Scarab will also be able to give Metamorph Scarabs.
Oh, and yes, we have updated the Fragment Stash Tab to hold these new Metamorph Scarabs.
Finally, we have added a Sextant modifier which will add Metamorph monsters to a Map area. This works just as Metamorph does now. You'll be able to get this modifier by using Awakened Sextants on Watchstones.
Given historical precedence, it is probably a safe bet that you'll end up seeing Metamorph as a Zana modifier in future leagues (though not 3.10.0), providing even more control for those of you that want Metamorph monsters in every single Map that you run.
Hopefully this implementation hits a good balance between random encounters and providing determinism for those that want it. We look forward to seeing how this plays out and can't wait to share more information about what to expect next from Path of Exile very soon!
Then, you should check out this brief PCGamesN interview with GGG’s founder Chris Wilson that lets us know that Path of Exile 2’s beta may launch later than expected due to the latest health scare.