One remarkable aspect of Path of Exile is that after nearly a decade, the island of Wraeclast continues to be shrouded in mystery. Strange events continue to unfold across the isle of exiles, but the mysteries will also extend to seemingly random moments that players will experience over their time in the game. One of them has led to Path of Exile's latest update, titled Lake of Kalandra, and it pays off something that dates all the way back to the action RPG's launch period.
"Path of Exile's had this really cool item called the Mirror of Kalandra that's been in the game since the first day," Grinding Gear CEO Chris Wilson explained to members of the press. "It's been obnoxiously rare to the point where 99.999 percent of Path of Exile players will never have seen one before and they've always asked, 'Who is this Kalandra entity that this mirror is named after?' So this expansion, the very name... hints that they are going to find out a lot about that."
The winged entity Kalandra will play a key role in her namesake challenge league. In the Kalandra Challenge League, players will explore the mirrored lake that granted Kalandra her reflection and duplication powers. To get to the lake, players will find Mirrored Tablets across Wraeclast, which will open a portal to Kalandra's domain. Using Mirrored Tablet pieces, players can lay out customized paths filled with dangerous encounters, mirrored from other parts of Wraeclast. As users customize their path and find more Mirrored Tablet pieces, they'll eventually unlock special abilities that allow them to skip, reroll, or totally exile choices entirely, allowing them greater control over how they customize their Tablets. The longer the Tablet's path, the more dangerous the encounter, as difficulty values will increase for each area as the player gets farther away from their path's entrance. Completing these more difficult paths will result in greater rewards. If any of the encounters are themed after a previous league, expect to find corresponding rewards related to it.
In keeping with the Lake of Kalandra theme, reward chests may contain items affected by the lake's reflecting mists. Players will have a choice between items with positive and negative stats. Whatever the player selects, that item will then be duplicated with each choice offering inverse mods. In the end, players may only keep one item. Reflected stats will be a major component of the Kalandra Challenge League and there will even be instances where players can gamble with their current inventory, buffing up certain stats at the expense of others. In this instance, players will have to make a choice between one item with higher stats in one category and negative stats in another or another item with those stats inverted.
As Grinding Gear Games continues its march to Path of Exile 2, the team hopes to significantly revamp the current adventure's endgame over the next few years' worth of updates. In this update, players will find new Atlas Memories that allow them a chance for greater rewards without having to specialize the Atlas Tree. High-level maps will contain rare Memory items that will give players a crack at Alva, Niko, Einhar, or Kirac. Users can tackle these encounters by applying them to their Atlas or use them as trading chips with other PoE players.
Path of Exile's Sentinel update saw GGG conducting an experiment, which saw zero balance changes. That experiment is complete and now the team is back to buffing up some underpowered classes and builds. The Trickster Ascendancy class has been overhauled to better emphasize defense and speed manipulation, minion-based builds have been adjusted for greater effectiveness, and new skill and support gems will help boost up poison and shock builds.
All of this is just the beginning and Grinding Gear Games has a substantial list of patch notes, which includes revamps to the Harvest, Beyond, and Archnemesis leagues, over on the Path of Exile website. Look for the Path of Exile: Lake of Kalandra update to go live on PC and Mac next Friday, August 19. PlayStation and Xbox users can jump in on Wednesday, August 24.