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Path of Exile: Incursion Preview: The Temple of Time

Path of Exile's latest Challenge League adds a slew of new content that will send players across time to discover, but also revamps a handful of the game's existing content. Shacknews gets a first look.


The Path of Exile journey has brought players across many exciting landscapes over the path couple of years. It's taken players beyond its island of dangers, treasures, and loot and has taken them across crazy dungeons and even beyond the outer reaches of other dimensions. But for the latest content update, Grinding Gear Games is looking to go across the very reaches of time.

Path of Exile: Incursion is being called a cross between an expansion and a new Challenge League, offering some new challenges, along with some story content that will further flesh out the mysterious island of Wraeclast. The Incursion Challenge League will introduce a relic hunter named Alva Valai, who seeks out the lost temple of Atzoatl. Within the temple walls lie the secrets of the Vaal civilization and also great fortune, but there's a little problem. The temple is hidden from human eyes. But on top of that, it's completely dilapidated, with many of its rooms inaccessible. At least they are in present day.

The idea of Incursion is for Alva to send players back in time via Temporal Incursions. This gives players a chance to walk through the walls of the temple as it's being built. The trouble is that it's full of demons, monsters, and other hard-hitting enemies.

But there's more to the temple than that. Alva's power can only send players to the temple for a mere ten seconds. Players can extend their stay in the past for a few more seconds for each enemy they manage to defeat. This makes the run through the past temple an exciting race against the clock. One thing that should be noted here is that players don't have to waste their time collecting loot, as any drops will appear after the player returns to the present day.

Following roughly 11 Temporal Incursions, Alva will find the present day location of the temple, allowing players to explore its present day layout. But that won't be the last opportunity to visit the temple in the past. After finding the temple in the present day, players can get the opportunity to re-visit the past temple to help shape it in different ways. Upgrading the temple means connecting various rooms and potentially connecting to a boss room, containing a powerful foe, who guards powerful treasures.

Players can also influence the temple in different ways, opting to make it either easier or harder. One example given was a poison garden room, which can be opened up and cultivated. Doing so in the past will cause toxic flowers and other dangers to show up in the present. Avoiding the poison garden will make the temple an easier trek, but enduring the additional hazards will also open up better rewards, like a guaranteed poison-themed unique item. Players' main methods of influencing the present will involve taking out any Vaal Architects in the past that are overseeing the temple's construction.

Beyond the temple run and the encounters with Alva, Grinding Gear wasn't able to resist the temptation to refine other elements of Path of Exile. Remember Vaal skills first introduced way back in Path of Exile: Sacrifice of the Vaal, all the way back in 2014? The developers revealed that the core mechanics for these are being reworked. Beyond adding whole new Vaal skills, the developers have also made it so that players can equip Vaal skills and also get the corresponding regular skill attached for free. On top of that, the soul costs for many of the Vaal skills are being reduced.

Other skills are also being revamped, some getting a visual coat of paint and others getting a few mechanical upgrades. Examples include the Incinerate and the Rain of Arrows skills, which are getting some visual polish. But the biggest change will arguably go to the game's trap skills, giving them an extra degree of aggressiveness. Grinding Gear helpfully sent a list of the upgraded trap skills, which are:

  • Explosive Trap: Throws a trap that creates a large explosion when triggered, dealing spell damage in an area. A number of smaller explosions occur around this area in quick succession after the first.
  • Lightning Spire Trap: Throws a trap which, once triggered, will repeatedly strike multiple areas around it for a duration, dealing lightning damage. Modifiers to cast speed will affect how frequently it strikes.
  • Flamethrower Trap: Throws a trap that will release a number of flames in different directions around it when triggered. The flames will last for a duration, rotating around the trap and repeatedly dealing damage.
  • Siphoning Trap: Throws a trap that applies debuff beams to a number of nearby enemies for a duration. The beams will chill enemies and deal cold damage over time. A beam is also applied to you, granting life and mana regeneration based on the number of debuff beams affecting enemies.
  • Seismic Trap: Throws a trap which, once triggered, will repeatedly release a number of waves for a duration. Each wave deals damage in a series of small bursts in a line, ending with a larger burst. Modifiers to cast speed will affect how frequently it releases waves.

Those looking to get into this freshly revamped Path of Exile won't have to wait too long. Incursion is set to hit the PC version of the game on June 1, with the Xbox One version set to jump in less than a week later.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 10, 2018 2:00 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Path of Exile: Incursion Preview: The Temple of Time

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      May 10, 2018 2:28 PM

      sweet im on holidays the week its out

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      May 10, 2018 7:46 PM

      Yessssssss. Free game keeps getting better!

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      May 11, 2018 3:55 AM

      so. much. content.

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      May 11, 2018 4:32 AM


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        May 13, 2018 2:53 PM

        you must not of seen the end game, which is really the fun part of the game for me

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      May 11, 2018 6:55 AM


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        May 11, 2018 7:22 AM

        I'm digging the shit out of the new portal effect coming in the Incursion update. I've purchased some stash tabs before but this might be the first time I throw down some cash strictly for a cosmetic item(s).

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      May 11, 2018 7:24 AM

      I've been doing a LAN for this game, first time playing very much. Last night was our second time getting together and our group of five made it to act 4. I just looked at the wiki and saw it has 10 acts wtf. That's an insane amount of content.

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