The Very Best Maps (subject to change if div cards move, or there are drop rate changes)
All natural 16s (I expect Shaper fragments to be valuable with the necklace being made more rare)
15 – Desert Spring (for absolute monster count – high count = better returns and more XP).
15 – Summit (balance of smooth layout and high monster count, boss is a killer though.
13 – Shrine, 11 – Precinct and 12 – Lava Lake (div card and map returns).
13 – Tower (div card)
11 – Crimson Temple (div card, if Headhunter was made much rarer The Life Thief may be the best source of Soul Eater. Have not personally seen this card drop so may be wrongly attributing it to this map)
10 – Bazaar, 9 – Arsenal. Each has good monster count, each has a good div card.
7 – Spider Forest. Premium div card.
4 – Crater
Currency/Loot optimized: Complete all 1-8. 9 – Arsenal. 10 – Bazaar. 11-12 all. 13 – Tower. 14 – nil. 15 – All. 16 – All.
Run Towers where possible. When out of Towers (may happen at times), take your Arsenals and Bazaars and run them with Zana’s +5 tiers to a map.
This isn’t a plan for a farming atlas. This is about the journey from a blank atlas, to having around 120/159 Atlas completion bonus.
The key summary:
Always run your highest tier map (unless you can’t beat them).
Use alchemy orbs on maps. If you run out vendor bad uniques and/or run Delves. Delves drop heaps of alchs.
If you want a Tabula, farm Humility div cards in Channel map (T3). Do this by completing Strand as your only tier 2, then Channel, then just farm more Channels. If you run out and are capable of doing so, run an Atziri (her trash mobs will drop a fuckload of Channels)
Have a razor focus on getting to Zana’s “Alternate of the Same Tier” mod. Use it liberally when repeating maps.
Focus next on completing a tier 10 Elder influenced map to unlock “Shape a tier 1-5 map”.
Run tier 5 maps with this +5 tiers effect. Sell many/most of your map drops.
Push toward red maps and a tier 15 Elder influenced map to unlock the higher tier Zana shape mod
Do one Guardian. Not Minotaur, do one of the others.
Farm tier 10 maps with +5 tiers. Sell your tier 16 drops.
If you’ve watched any of my Youtbue videos on currency generation at league start you will know I am a huge believer that the actual beginning of a league is an incredible opportunity.
The opportunity is too great for me to pass it up.
So I’m aiming for maps within 6-7 hours. This is not even close to a world record time – there will be at least a hundred in maps within 4 hours. But it’s what I can achieve.
This guide has been inspired by many videos produced by talented racers – Kammell, Zizaran and many more.
I’ll league start as a Cold Damage Over Time Occultist. Later I will transition into a Hand of Wisdom and Action Molten Strike Occultist.
Here’s my key milestones:
Beers in the fridge. (This part is important).
Build outline done
Atlas plans made
The three S’s: Shower. Shave. Shit.
LOOT FILTER. This is to be done during the patching.
Check, double check, triple check the time league starts
Snacks. Start with carb light ones (cold meat, etc). Carby stuff should wait.
Double check the beer situation.
Decide upon the silly stuff. What MTX am I using (Sin set with the wings, Crucible weapon, the most flashy and ugly Heralds possible)
Get Baby Shark out of your head
Triple check the beer.
Create a Scion. Get Onslaught Support. Kill Hillock, check vendor for BGG, BBG weapons and for 10% speed boots. Exit to character. DO NOT FUCK UP and alt-F4 or exit to login. That results in another queue.
Create a Witch
Kill Hillock, rush Mud Flats. Complete mandatory quest there. WP back to the Tidal Island. Kill Hailrake. TP (don’t log due to queue). Quicksilver – transmute/augment it.
FROST BOMB. Frost Bomb – Onslaught – X
Straight to Ledge (skip passive quest until A2).
ONLY KILL BLUE PACKS and shit that is in the way, or to recharge zoom zoom flask.
Skip Prison trial unless in group
After Brutus dies loot then TP (don’t log). Added Cold or Added Lightning as appropriate to gem colours.
Wear a dex ammy if available (deviate for good items)
No chest armor for the moment (due to move speed penalty of 3-6%). Alter if dying.
Do Fairgraves ASAP, skip turnin until Cavern WP. Then FLAME DASH and BUY STORM BRAND.
Ignore cold res, just dodge Merveil’s casts
Do the Den. It sucked once, it now has a guaranteed zoom zoom flask that’s high enough level to roll Adrenaline
Do Chamber of Sins trial
Riverways – follow road, flame dash over rivers. Get WP.
Kill Oak, get WP, WP to Riverways. HELP ALIRA. Emblem. Spider. A1 skillpoint crab.
Path of Exile is produced by Grinding Gear Games, once a tiny indie game studio and now a medium size NZ game studio. It is in many ways the spiritual successor to Diablo and Diablo 2, featuring similar action RPG gameplay and an immense degree of character customisation.
The game attracted my interest by being the first “Free-to-play” game I had seen that wasn’t a pay-to-cheat shitheap. And the developers have kept it this way through over five years. The game sells storage space which is the only gameplay relevant cash shop item, but mostly is funded by sales of cosmetics.
There are no ‘cheat codes’ for sale in the form of XP boosters, game currency, consumables or items, and all of the game’s content can be accessed by free players at the same pace a paying player would experience it. The game sells cosmetics, in-game storage space, and very expensive (but cool) IRL swag like t-shirts and hoodies.
At the highest pricepoints the game sells the ability to leave a slight mark on the game through designing unique items, divination cards and other things, as well as developer-signed IRL swag.
I made a video on the Path of Exile business model and making the case that it is not a pay-to-cheat game, that can be found here:
I plan to produce a number of videos and guides aimed at players from newbie to veteran. I’ll use the following terms throughout:
Beginner: A player that has not yet completed the Normal Labyrinth. Beginners will often have major misconceptions about the game, may not yet understand even the basics of the Ascendancy system, the Passive Skilltree or the support gem system.
Novice: A player who has completed the Normal Labyrinth, but has not completed Act 10. A novice should understand the basics of Ascendancies, the passive tree and support gems, and will be starting to develop a basic idea of which currency items are common enough to use frivolously and which ones are precious. However, a novice will not understand the intricacies of those systems.
Early Endgamer: Upon completing Act 10, a whole new world becomes available to players. An early endgamer is exploring this new world. You graduate past this step when you feel confident that you can comfortably and easily beat all yellow maps, plus the Eternal Labyrinth.
Veteran: Once you pass the Early Endgamer stage, you are One Of Us.
I’m an Australian gamer in my 30s that got hooked on games as a young kid during the “Nintendo Hard” era – an era when game designers were unable to design long games for technical reasons, and so they made games tough to extend the time they would remain engaging.
I loved that era of games.
Games that tested you, that made you fight to progress.
As a kid and teenager, my favorite games were the original Super Mario Bros, Bubble Bobble and Tetris from the NES era, and Secret of Mana, Super Metroid and Final Fantasy 6 from the SNES era. Honorable mentions to Ninja Gaiden 1 and 2, and Super Castlevania 4.
During this era I also played Magic: The Gathering, mostly competitively at low level tournaments. I still play MTG and occasionally write about it at www.mtgbrainstorm.com
After the SNES era wound down, I switched to PC gaming and loved Diablo and Diablo 2, Dungeons and Dragons Online (before it became the pay-to-cheat cash shop grindfest it is today), EVE Online and now I’m consumed by Path of Exile.
I’m also a prolific Reddit shitposter (with the same screenname there, /u/sirgog) who works full time in aviation, dealing with aircraft technical records and in teams handling end-of-lease transitions for jet aircraft.
Games are not my job, and I’m no web professional. This page is amateur, and it will look amateur. It’s done in WordPress after all.