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Path of Exile's next expansion is Siege of the Atlas

The Atlas is under attack on multiple fronts in Path of Exile's next expansion, Siege of the Atlas.

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Path of Exile has established a long history with one specific element of its lore. The Atlas was first introduced back in 2016, taking players across the damned continent of Wraeclast, offering new challenges, and unveiling more of the game's comprehensive narrative. Players last defended the Atlas against the powerful Sirus, but with this foe vanquished, a new threat has arisen. That threat takes center stage in Path of Exile's next expansion: Siege of the Atlas.

Following the events of 2019's Conquerors of the Atlas, the villainous Sirus is now dead and Commander Kirac has assumed the tall task of defending the Atlas. Another threat on the level of Sirus was expected eventually, but nobody could have foreseen that multiple ones would emerge at once. That's the story behind the new Siege of the Atlas, where two new Eldritch Horrors, The Searing Exarch and The Eater of Worlds (no, not that one!), now seek the power of the Atlas and to consume all of Wraeclast. This expansion will see players attempt to hunt down these two Eldritch Horrors and their lieutenants, The Black Star and The Infinite Hunger, and can do so simultaneously or one at a time. Which boss you hunt down depends on the maps selected. Mid-tier maps will randomly radiate with the essence of either The Searing Exarch or The Eater of Worlds to start, but afterwards, players will be able to choose which Eldritch Horror to pursue. Be aware that the closer you get to either boss, the more powerful their influence will become, consequntly making the enemies of a given map more difficult.

The Searing Exarch is here to rain down misery!

The Searing Exarch and The Eater of Worlds (pictured in the header, not a professional wrestler) pose a grave threat, but for more advanced players, their battles can be farmed more than once. This gives them a crack at exclusive rewards, but these fights will not be for the faint of heart. If you want their drops, you'll have to earn them. Additionally, as players roam through influenced maps, they'll occasionally encounter altars devoted to either Eldritch Horror. Those altars will allow players to adjust their character modifications, enemy modifications, or the boss to make them more difficult and make the reward drops greater.

In an effort to get more players moving along, the Watchstones introduced in 2021's Echoes of the Atlas have been removed. Hidden maps can be found once more from the base Atlas. Watchstone power has been transferred to Atlas passives, which should help offer similar benefits without cumbersome busy work. Replacing the Watchstone mechanic are four different Voidstones, which can be earned through encounters with the Uber Elder, The Maven, The Searing Exarch, and The Eater of Worlds. The Voidstones will uniformly raise the tier of all of your maps.

As part of an Atlas overhaul, the Regional Atlas Passive Trees have been replaced with a single Atlas Passive Tree. It looks similar to the Path of Exile skill tree and anybody who has played this game for more than a few minutes should know that this means it's gigantic and intimidating. There are more than 600 passives to choose from with players able to earn 117 Atlas Passive Tree points through completion of their Atlas. This allows players to customize their Atlas their way without region restrictions. The team at Grinding Gear will reveal the full skill tree next week in order to give players time to craft a game plan ahead of the expansion's release.

That sure is a Path of Exile skill tree!

On top of the new additions to PoE lore, players can look forward to the start of the new Archnemesis Challenge League. This will introduce 60 new monster mods, giving players more control over their boss encounters than ever. Look for more than 35 recipes to open the door to mod combinations and new challenges. Once you have an Archnemesis mod ready to roll, you can search for a monster bound to an Archnemesis statue and bring it to life with that mod. Survive the encounter and receive a reward. There are four petrified monsters in total and any mods applied to early encounters will carry over.

This is just the beginning for what's set to be an exciting new expansion for Path of Exile. The wait for Siege of the Atlas won't be very long. PC players can jump in on Friday, February 4. Console players will get it shortly thereafter. There's much more about the expansion that we weren't able to cover in this space, so be sure to jump over to the Path of Exile website for more details.

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?

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