Grinding Gear Games has announced their next expansion for ARPG Path of Exile, titled "Forsaken Masters." Without adding any large new areas or expanding on the campaign, Forsaken Masters looks to expand on the already existing world as it stands. Seven exiled masters have come out of the woodwork, offering to train the player should he be willing to perform missions (grind reputation) with them. Each master offers different rewards and ever-changing quests. But that's just the beginning
Once players reach certain reputation milestones with a master, that master will then offer additional services. The largest of which is access to the player's own Hideout, where they can customize their very own small city of sorts. Each master's Hideout tile-set is different, so picking your favorite is key. These Hideouts can hold all sorts of crafting gear, as each master embodies their own craft, as well as a Guild Hall and "hundreds" of decorations. Can they hold a Pokemon Gym, though?
There's lots more coming as part of the Forsaken Masters expansion, however. There are new items and mods, including 16 new Unique items, new support and skill gems, an updated passive skill tree that reworks the Witch, Shadow and Ranger areas, and a bunch of revamped boss fights.
Finally, something most players will be very excited about. Forsake Masters will introduce timed Leagues to Path of Exile. These "Challenge Leagues" will push players to complete 8 specific challenges, with rewards provided after completing 5 and then 8 of the missions. The rewards will be League-exclusive microtransaction effects, which is to say that once the League is over then they can't be acquired again through gameplay. Each league lasts 3 months, comes in both casual and hardcore variety, and
A bit smaller than Grinding Gear's first expansion, Sacrifice of the Vaal, perhaps the rush is to match Diablo III's upcoming patch which will also be introducing Seasons/Leagues. Path of Exile found quite a bit of success early on as an alternative to Diablo III, one that perhaps showed more respect to Diablo's origins than its sequel does. Grinding Gear Games is almost certainly aware of what their ARPG friends are up to and I'd imagine they want a piece of that hype pie.
Path of Exile's "Forsaken Masters" expansion is scheduled for launch on August 20. This will also mark the start of the first two Leagues, the Rampage standard Challenge League and the Beyond hardcore Challenge League. Expect more details to be shared over the coming weeks.