Introducing Path of Exile Blight League
Blight is the newest league coming in early September. As of writing this we have only a small amount of news, but what we do know is pretty damn awesome. A new league mechanic, new items, new skills and, my personal favorite, another master rework. Enough preamble, let’s jump into Path of Exile Blight League
The Blight league mechanic is, well, weird. As a huge fan of tower defense games, I’m both excited and trepidatious about the new league mechanic. It’s quite literally a tower defense game within Path of Exile. You’ll have a central location you need to defend, and enemies will walk in a straight line towards it. They won’t attack you unless you specifically get in their way, and you can build towers to weaken them, as they are incredibly strong without the towers. You earn resources over time that can be used to create more towers (and possibly strengthen existing ones, we did see multiple costs in the trailer).
This mechanic is very strange. Like I said, I love tower defense games, but I would never have said that they fit within Path of Exile. It will be very strange going from extremely fast map clearing to a much more thought-based, slower play-style while engaging with the Blight content. One nice thing is that it appears that certain maps will drop ‘blighted,’ so it looks like you will either be engaging with quite a lot of the Blight content or very little of it with each map you run, and that’s a decision you can make for yourself. Having to stop to do a very small Blight segment on each map sounded horrible, so I’m glad this is the way they went about it. And having more agency on what you choose to do is always amazing!
I know I’m being repetitive, but this mechanic is a head-scratcher. I won’t write it off just yet, but I expect there to be a lot of complaining in the first couple of weeks. If it’s great, it could be amazing, but if it’s not, we may have another Synthesis on our hands. I’m certainly hoping for greatness, though.
This is the change that I’m most excited for. Over the last two leagues there has been a large outcry against how much side content exists within Path of Exile. Synthesis in particular was bad for it, as you had Synthesis content, Alva’s temples, delve, syndicate, and any other stray things you ran across (abysses, Zana missions, beast capturing). Having a lot of available content is amazing, but not being able to choose when you run it is unpleasant, and much worse than that, feeling forced to do it when an arbitrary bar has filled up (12 Synthesis tiles, 11 temple rooms, full sulphite) felt awful. Well, they are finally addressing this.
First, master missions will appear more frequently as you run maps normally. Previously, there was a 10% chance for each master to spawn on your atlas per map you completed, making a 50% chance that one would appear. I don’t know what it is now, but higher than 10% each, apparently!
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The big change, however, is that the missions will no longer appear on the atlas. Now whenever you would have one spawn, it will instead be saved up in a counter seen on the side of your atlas. They will stack indefinitely, and when you decide you want to run a specific master, you can simply do so, as long as you have at least one stored. It appears that they store in terms of color of map (white, yellow, red), so it might be possible to run tons of tier 11 maps, then activate your master missions in tier 16 maps. We’ll have to play around with the system once it’s live to be sure.
This is one of the biggest changes in a very long time, and it’s the one I’m most excited for. I love Delve, but collecting sulphite is a pain. It’ll be a lot less of a pain when I can stack up tons of masters on my speed clearing build before activating them on high quantity maps on my delver!
New Skills and Class Reworks
The new skills we know about are in their very early stages. We basically only know their name and some base functionality. However, some of the skills they’ve announced look incredible! There are three archetypes they are reworking this patch: Necromancer, Saboteur Miner, and Poison Assassin. The skills announced so far have to do with these three archetypes.
For Necromancer they have primarily stated that they have “buffed the per-gem-level progression of many minion types.” This will be a huge boost to high end summoners, particularly ones making use of things such as Empower for extra gem levels. They also added a new Golem, the Carrion Golem, who quite frankly looks terrifying. This probably deserves its own entire paragraph, but since it’s directly related to Necromancer and minion builds, they are also adding an additional bar of skill bindings. This is a massive quality of life change for nearly every build, but minion builds in particular have always suffered from having too few bindings available.
Miners are being changed fundamentally. Now mines can be thrown, and can be detonated faster after placement, as well as detonated in sequence: “Mine skills now reward you for detonating long sequences.” Talk about a big boost to bossing, to already the best bossing class! They’ve added Skitterbots who “boost your trap and mine damage, occasionally activating mines then re-arming them, or triggering multiple traps,” as well as a new type of mine, Stormblast Mine, which “makes nearby enemies vulnerable to damage, with increasingly powerful shockwaves when multiple are detonated in sequence.” Sounds like there are a ton of miner changes in the works, and that miner will feel a lot better to play going forwards!
Last but certainly not least, this is the change I’m most excited for skill-wise: Poison Assassin. In order to bring Poison Assassin back into the spotlight, they are throwing gems at it left, right, and center. There will be a new poison support gem, as well as five new poison themed gems. This includes Withering Step which is a movement skill which instantly withers nearby enemies; this is massive for keeping damage up without stopping to cast wither, blight, or a totem variant.
They also added Cobra Lash, which I think I might use as a league starter. It is a new poison skill that “throws out a weapon projectile that chains multiple times between enemies.” With a poison focus, Cobra Lash sounds like a better version of the Spectral Throw poison builds of old, and I for one am excited to relive the glory days!
There is so much more to say, and so much more content coming out in the next two weeks. If you want more information on anything here jump over to the Path of Exile Blight League announcement and check it out! I’m beyond excited to try out the new skills and master reworks, and I might even give the league mechanic a shot while I’m there. We hope you’re as excited as we are, because so far things are looking good for the Blight League.