Path of Exile's Second Expansion "Forsaken Masters" Launching August 20
Back in March, developer Grinding Gear Games released the first major update for its free-to-play action-RPG Path of Exile: a mini-expansion called Sacrifice of the Vaal. At the time, Grinding Gear said it planned on releasing mini-expansions every four months. Today, Grinding Gear announced the second expansion, entitled Path of Exile: Forsaken Masters. By the time it's released, it'll be a little over five months, but try not to hold that against 'em – the amount of content being added for free is just insane. While Forsaken Masters adds a lot, as with Sacrifice of the Vaal, there's a main theme the expansion revolves around:
Some say that Dominus exiled the dregs of Oriath to the shores of Wraeclast. No, he exiled anyone who was going to give him trouble, who was going to cause ripples in his progressive theocracy.
Seven men and women, masters in their fields, stood against Dominus' tyranny. Some with words, others with steel. Seven masters forsaken, sent to die in a corrupted land. Seven masters who lived, learned, and now thrive in Wraeclast. Seven Forsaken Masters who can train you... if you choose to help them.
As you roam the lands of Wraeclast, you may come across one of those Forsaken Masters. Each master has his or her own unique missions with eight levels of reputation, opening up more options as you progress. Two of the seven Masters have been revealed thus far: Armourmaster Haku needs you to cleanse an ancestral area and recover a lost Karui spirit; Master Assassin Vorici will train you in the art of assassination. "Each Master has its own specialised crafting options, a different Hideout tileset and tiers of Hideout decorations to unlock." What's this about a Hideout?
After you've earned a Master's trust, you may unlock a Hideout (which you can personalize and decorate) that can offer daily missions and advanced crafting options – the latter being possible by the new Crafting Benches located in your Hideouts. Crafting Benches allow you to craft new mods onto an item, though only one is allowed at a time, meaning if you craft a new mod, it'll replace the existing one. Crafted mods appear in a brighter blue text on an item to make it clear which would be replaced. Each Master also sells "Magic items with a specific, new, build-defining mod" that can be used as-is or crafted further, and the expansion also introduces 16 new Unique Items. In addition, there are three new skill gems (Tornado Shot, Herald of Ice, and Herald of Ash), a new support gem (Generosity), and an overhaul of many of the game's Curses, along with some new ones, such as Poacher's Mark.
Of course no Path of Exile expansion would be complete without new Challenge Leagues. The two new leagues (Rampage and Beyond) contain eight difficult challenges, and completing five will reward you with an exclusive microtransaction effect, while completing all eight will reward you with an additional, different, exclusive microtransaction effect. The first 50 players to complete all the challenges will receive a Rampage/Beyond t-shirt. Details for Rampage, the standard Challenge League, will be unveiled on August 8. Details for Beyond, the hardcore Challenge League, will be unveiled on August 15.
As if all this wasn't enough, existing content is being revamped as well. Many of the existing boss fights "have been made more intense and surprising" and more lore has been added throughout Wraeclast. In addition, the Passive Skill Tree is being redesigned, "mostly focusing on the Witch, Shadow and outer Ranger areas." Tutorials, a new Quest Tracker, and even a PvP Spectator Mode are all being added as well. Did I mention all this is free? And in case you're one of those free-to-play skeptics, I strongly advise you to give Path of Exile a go, especially if you're an action-RPG fan. Path of Exile is free-to-play done right. Path of Exile isn't pay-to-win, it's pay-to-glow.
Source: Official Site