as mentioned on the YT vid
as mentioned on the YT vid
POE’s endgame has a lot of possible activities in it.
This flowchart isn’t a guide to endgame, more an outline of what activities are available, a rough estimate of the difficulty of each, and partial information on prerequisite chains to access activities. Difficulty isn’t something players will all agree upon – for example, many people believe I overstate the difficulty of the Cortex encounter and understate the difficulty of Uber Atziri.
Activities become more challenging the further down the list you get.
You’ll need to open the flowchart in a new tab. It kinda doesn’t work otherwise.
Not mentioned: Delirium, fractured mapping and more. Actually mapping in general is really glossed over here – it’s the glue that binds everything on this chart together.
Feel free to download this, distribute it and create derivative works. Use it in any way you see fit except claiming authorship.
Guides to some encounters found here:
The Elder: https://youtu.be/Ct8WMU6WqKE
The Shaper: https://youtu.be/9mmoGPh_1fI (this is an old guide, this will show, it’s still accurate though)
Uber Elder: https://youtu.be/q8AX8hHCwKY
Conquerors of the Atlas:
Al-Hezmin guide: https://youtu.be/hqlV5WooyLE
Drox guide: https://youtu.be/PdDWQ_fg9tc
Veritania guide: https://youtu.be/uWc3j1wVCYA
Baran guide: https://youtu.be/I_raBI0KpQA
I don’t have a Sirus guide. I recommend Twitch streamer Don The Crown’s guide instead, it’s outstanding.
“Low Effort” Heists:
My main Heist guide:
My main Delve guide (embedded below):
This is the spreadsheet version. Full detail to follow in later videos
It will open with most spreadsheet viewers (it’s a Libre Office file but Excel understands the file type)
As a teen in the 90s I’d been obsessed with traditional RPGs like Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy 6 – then when I got a PC, I fell in love with the faster pace of Diablo and Diablo 2.
By the early twenty-tens I’d moved on to Dungeons and Dragons Online, but was looking for something new – and heard of a spiritual successor to Diablo 2 and thought I’d check it out.
I took the Path of Exile plunge during the Anarchy league, and went in blind. I knew the game was complex, but I jumped in at the deep end, creating some monstrosity of a Shadow using Viper Strike and no life nodes. My build was terrible, but I had a lot of fun muddling through, full clearing monster level 47 zones over and over at level 54 before finally meeting a boss I simply could not beat. I then followed guides and reached maps in Torment league.
From Incursion onward I’ve been solidly at endgame, getting 36 or 40 challenges in each league (except Legion which I didn’t enjoy much and stopped at 24).
I also created a now very outdated video guide on Youtube on the strategies I’d used to trade for a Headhunter in Incursion league, which got unexpectedly popular and sent me down an unexpected path – working in aviation technical records by day, while making POE related videos in my spare time. These are mostly aimed at ’24 challenge a league’ players who aspire to improve to the 36 or 40 challenge level. This also got me to the point of trying to learn streaming, and I go live two or three evenings a week (AU TZ) on Twitch.
Inspired by Betrayal’s “The Nurse”, I purchased a divination card commission originally planning to make a divination card for The Fiend, which would have been named Deadly Sins. But then Synthesis league came out just before I submitted the design.
I fell in love with the newly added divination card Arrogance of the Vaal after trading for and turning in 20 sets of it on day 5 of Synthesis. Arrogance is my favorite card, surpassing the two I have commissioned (and my third which is in the pipeline).
I like Arrogance because it is high variance, super high maximum payoff but low expected value (like a lottery), and because it adds strange, unique and cool treasures to a trade league economy that otherwise would not exist. Threshold jewels with two powerful corruptions, levelling uniques that get enough of a boost to work into endgame, and more. As someone with a maths background, the two “hardest” math related problems in statistical inference related to POE are working out the expected value of Arrogance of the Vaal turnins, and Stacked Decks – and this makes me love both of them.
After seeing Arrogance I considered a two-implicit krangled power unique like Zerphi’s Heart or Headhunter, then realised I’d enjoy something with higher variance more, to capture more of the feel of turning in Arrogance of the Vaal.
The design coalesced in my mind when someone in global chat linked a two-implicit Tabula with two +2 gems mods and I snarkily replied “shame to waste those corrupts, they would be amazing on Skin of the Loyal”.
At this point I knew my original plan for an influenced, ilvl 86 atlas base was out the window, and I was going to change the commission to a double corrupted Skin.
I quickly decided on ilvl 25 as Skin is an all-offense piece of armour, so you do not want the weak defensive corrupts that become possible at ilvl 45, nor the very strong one that comes online at ilvl 80. 20-44 is basically always the “correct” choice and so rather than penalise players that do not know the mechanics of how to influence the ilvl of items sourced by divination cards, I just set it at a number arbitrarily chosen in that range.
I also find it poses an interesting puzzle for builds. If your build usually uses 4 blue gems and 2 red ones, can you use a 3 blue 2 red 1 green Skin if it has good corruptions on it? Is that better than using a crafted chest without the incredible corruptions, but with the ‘perfect’ colours? These sorts of build puzzles appeal to me.
Thoughts then turned to the card flavour. Given that the card reward deals with three intersecting horror themes – the Vaal’s ruthless cruelty, the name ‘Skin of the Loyal’ and the otherworldly, almost Lovecraftian horror themes of Chayula, I knew I wanted to design a self-contained horror story.
This made me ask questions.
I settled upon answers of “a useful idiot”, “an idealised version of Chayula that they believed would grant them power”, “someone Chayula didn’t regard as useless – perhaps Zilquapa, Architect of the Breach or someone under his command”, “to stop power-hungry petitioners pestering them”, “no” and “noone alive will ever know”, respectively.
I wanted the flavour text to convey both the horror and a sense of utter contempt for the skinned cultists. This wasn’t a High Cultist making a human sacrifice in an important rite, this was someone taking out the trash because they were told to do so. When I initially submitted it the quote was attributed to Zilquapa, but this did not fit cleanly at certain resolutions so the attribution was removed. However, the card does drop from Zilquapa.
I came up with the following art directive for the commission
About three cultists (of diverse appearances) in identical garb stand in a line, staring blankly into the distance.
A fourth cultist is using a ceremonial dagger (the Chayula unique United in Dream) to skin one of the three cultists alive. The victim is not reacting at all to the mortal wounds and neither are the other two cultists who will be next. The victim has a chunk of skin hanging loosely to their side.
The soul of the dying cultist, instead of escaping, is being drawn to this skin. As it leaves the body it is white, as it enters the skin, a sickly red.
which Shaun did a phenomenal job of.
I did have a few other ideas in mind when submitting The Price of Loyalty, which I ultimately decided against. These were:
If people are interested in commissioning a divination card, email GGG support. It’s not cheap as you are buying a professional artist’s time at enough of a markup that it also helps fund POE2 development, but The Price of Loyalty cost me less than my gaming monitor.
These are the notes for the Heist league challenges (Videos as they become available)
Video for 12 challenges
Video for 24 challenges
Video for 36 challenges
This is advice for before leaguestart, rather than after it. It isn’t a build guide, although I intend to produce one for Glacial Cascade Mines and possibly something else. It’s the first step to building your own.
Unless you are Ghudda or Jousis, the first step in designing a build is usually to find a starting point – a previously proven build that has many similarities to the build you want to play, then treat that build as a template to modify.
This can be done unless a new interaction completely transforms the way a skill plays (e.g. when Archmage was added, non-Archmage builds couldn’t transform to Archmages easily)
The single best resource for this is the build indexer at the website poe.ninja
It keeps downloads of the top builds – both by character level achieved, and also by solo delve depth – from the most recent league. It tracks trade league, SSF, HC and HC SSF.
Importantly, it also keeps older versions from early in the league, when items are scarce and character power is weak.
You can get useful information from looking at what worked in both the league ruleset you wish to play, but also from stricter ones (e.g. if you intend to play trade-enabled hardcore, also check out HC SSF)
If you intend to play a brand new skill, you’ll need to look at the most similar skill gems that actually exist now. For example, Crackling Lance isn’t Arc, but it’s closer to Arc than anything else.
This will help you discover the most popular combinations of support gems, Ascendancy choices and overall ‘textures’ of passive trees.
I highly recommend looking at the historical data from days 2-6 of the league. At this point, even top end players won’t have bonkers gear – they are likely running 5 links or bad 6 links.
Builds that reach 500 Delve depth over a league in Hardcore are especially solid choices to investigate, although if you play SC you should definitely adapt them to do more damage. Likewise, HC SSF builds with multiple boss uniques (e.g. Crown of the Inward Eye on the same character as a Watcher’s Eye) indicate a very strong bosskiller.
This article is also available in podcast format on Youtube, see below:
Day 1 of a new league provides unique challenges and opportunities. Everything is fresh and new, and there’s not yet the mid-league phenomenon where every item save the very, very, very rarest is in extreme oversupply.
Some new build-defining items will be super common – but that information won’t be widely known. If you get these items early they sell; get them late and you might not pick them up.
Items that would be 2-5c late in the league can sell for an exalt or more.
It’s also a time where a small minority of players get a single, very big drop that they just want to sell off to buy gear. There’s more people selling exalts than there are people with the capital to buy them; ditto for Doctor cards, etc etc.
If you have any goals in Heist that require a lot of currency, this is the best time to set yourself up. Going hard and smart on day 1 can result in you getting ten to twenty times as much wealth as playing that much later in the league.
Five universal tips:
First Major Decision: New Content vs Familiar Content
This is a big choice. I’m not going to express a recommendation here – you should be able to succeed with either choice.
Make sure you pick your build around your choice.
Familiar Content Options
Going with familiar content doesn’t mean you won’t try the Heist mechanics, just that you will spend a large majority of your time using tried and tested strategies.
There’s seven main ways you can go with familiar content. I won’t go into each in depth, except to add that I do not recommend competing with Eternal Lab carry services; so many people do it that the prices are low. Eternal lab can be profitable, and by all means carry friends, but it’s more lucrative to run them solo quickly than it is to assist inexperienced people who experience high latency on your home server in Lab.
All of these strategies revolve around getting to maps super fast. The advantage to being in the first fifty thousand people to maps (ideally first five thousand) are enormous.
Proven Strategies for Familiar Content
I’ll refer a bit to item level here, it’s a stat that shows up in game with advanced mod descriptions, and constrains what mods can be rolled on an item. 91 on these uniques. 86 is the magic number to be able to roll all mods (at the moment)
There’s 7 new types of rewards.
General Notes for Interacting With Heists
Economic Strategies Revolving Around Heists
E-commerce seemed to be a lot to learn and my due diligence indicates that the Youtube channel is nowhere near being able to provide even a modest living for me, so I hadn’t done this yet.
But it’s kinda easy to get into now through third parties that don’t hit you too hard on fees, so I set up a merchandise store through Stream Elements. (I’ve got no other relationship with Stream Elements, they are just a service provider)
Here’s the link: https://merch.streamelements.com/sirgog
and some silly image ad
Origins of the Toucan meme and ‘Krangled’:
Toucan originated as a measure to fight RMT cheat sites.
If they advertised in global, someone would post a copypasta to cause the cheat site’s ad to scroll off into oblivion.
An ASCII Toucan became the most popular one and it became a meme within the POE community – especially when GGG started clamping down on it. “You have been muted for 12 hours for spamming” was a common reaction.
As for Krangled – that’s from the greatest Reddit post in the history of the Path of Exile subreddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/pathofexile/comments/g1ksx2/what_returning_after_a_few_years_feels_like/ was a joke about complexity creep. Everything on it is nonsense but it’s so well crafted that the Krangled word stuck.
This article is available in podcast format on Youtube here:
Path of Exile’s 3.12 expansion is around a month from release.
Each of the last few leagues I’ve posted a challenge guide. Whilst these aren’t my most popular videos, they sometimes come close, and they definitely are a lot of people’s first introduction to my channel. I pay a lot of attention to the challenges that come up.
Each time I see the new challenges in a league I get to thinking “We’ve seen this before” about a lot of them.
Here’s some suggestions I have for new challenges. Note that these vary a LOT in difficulty. Some are aimed as tutorials for new players (e.g. ‘Achieve 75% or higher resistance to each of fire, cold and lightning while suffering Kitava’s Cruel Afflication’; aimed at level 50-ish characters piloted by newer players; or ‘Equip a fully upgraded Major God Pantheon Power and at the same time an upgraded Minor God Pantheon Power’; aimed at level 85-ish characters piloted by newer players)
At the same time, others are designed to be… a little brutal. But to do so in a way that’s less about grind, and more about overcoming a specific challenge.
The only game mechanic change needed to facilitate these challenges is adding a new (not Harvest related) drop location for the Uber-Doober Lab keys. I suggest a 30% chance for them to drop in Labyrinth Trials encountered in tier 14+ maps (10% for each variation).
Achieve a 75% (or higher) resistance to each of fire, lightning and cold resist while suffering from Kitava’s Cruel Affliction
This is a purely training mechanic. Among questions posted to Reddit by lower level characters that ‘brick wall’ in progression, it’s usually due to underestimating resistances. This provides an in-game tutorial and calls more attention to Kitava’s Cruel Affliction than the game itself does.
Can’t Be Too Careful
Achieve 75% or higher resistance to each of fire, lightning and cold resist and at least 20% chaos resistance while suffering from Kitava’s Merciless Affliction and the curse Elemental Weakness
This is another training mechanic, explaining that reaching ‘Ele Weakness Capped’ and decent chaos resist is an important early endgame goal. 12/40 players would benefit a lot from this one.
Equip a fully upgraded Major God Pantheon Power and at the same time an upgraded Minor God Pantheon Power. (Pantheon powers can be acquired through the use of Divine Vessels)
This is intended to educate, again. Past Divine Vessel challenges have focused upon ‘going wide’ and upgrading all Pantheons. Most players don’t do that, they pick one and upgrade it first, THEN get the others if and when they become relevant. This fits the natural playstyle.
Do four of the following:
Upgrade an Incursion unique item using a Vial with the Altar of Sacrifice
Use Alva’s two-implicit krangle chamber on a Cluster Jewel or Sacrificial Garb
Raise the quality of a map or flask above 20%
Raise a ring, amulet or belt’s quality to 20% with Catalysts
Create an item with two corrupted essence modifiers
Raise the quality of a Vaal Temple map to 20%
Corrupt a unique map into a rare map
Split an item into two at the Beast Altar
This covers a wide cross section of crafting options that a returning player might not know about, and that a newly enfranchised player might want to learn about. Some of these are definitely easier than others, but all of them are possible.
Solitude Empties The Mind
Kill Sirus at Awakening Level 8 twelve times. You recieve triple credit for kills where there are five portals left when Sirus dies.
This is one of two challenges intended to undermine ‘service trading’ and incentivise learning the fight yourself. This is trivial for anyone that is good at the Sirus fight, even in SSF, but a considerable hassle if you need to go to /trade 820.
Turn in a set of any two of the following divination cards
The Long Con
House of Mirrors
This is again educational, although it doesn’t have all of the information needed, encouraging players to look for more information. The cards are listed in order of difficulty to compile, and SSF 24/40 players should have little difficulty self-compiling Hoarder and Saint’s Treasure.
Slay each of the following at monster level 86. (Some unique Ivory Watchstones increase the level of maps).
Atziri, Queen of the Vaal
This is intended to be a brutally hard challenge (impossible in SSF except for the masochistic), but less RNG-based, less grind based and more challenge based than other brutal challenges from past leagues.
What Lies Beneath
Complete the following ultra-rare Delve nodes multiple times. You will gain credit equal to the depth of each encounter. (0/12000)
The Crystal King’s Throne
The Grand Architect’s Temple
The Lich’s Tomb
I’m not actually sure that 12000 is reasonable here. This incentivises digging deep, but without prohibiting staying shallow and going wide.
Destroying Paradise To Chase Perfection
Corrupt items with five of the following influences:
This is intended to make people think of crafting possibilities. It can be done cheap, but some people will have a mindset of “what’s the BEST that could happen here?” and that will cause some cool items to get created.
Crafting With Scrolls
Identify three of the following unique items. All are common drops from bosses.
Crown of the Inward Eye
Hands of the High Templar
Any Synthesised unique item
This is intended to get people running bosses. Assuming you can kill Atziri, this is very accessible as you only need three.
Eight Mod Guardians
Kill 6 of the following bosses while in maps that have 8 mods (8 mods)
yes, the Vaal Temple boss is in there deliberately…. no, you shouldn’t do that fight… 6/9 is chosen here to keep RNG reasonable.
Do all three of the following:
Using a Vaal Orb, ‘brick’ a unique jewel into Fragility, Pacifism, Powerlessness or a rare item
Using a Vaal Orb, ‘brick’ a unique item into a rare item with 6 mods
Use a Vaal Orb on an item with 19% quality
This is about teaching the potential uses and misuses of Vaal Orbs.
Survival In Trying Times
Defeat six of the following encounters without any players in the group dying:
Vaal Temple Trio
Atziri in the Alluring Abyss
High Templar Venarius in the Cortex
Aul, the Crystal King
Kurgal the Blackblooded
Sirus, Awakener of Worlds
Abaxoth, The End Of All That Is
Ahuatotli, the Blind
The Domain of Timeless Conflict with five factions present
Kosis, the Revelation
Again this is a focus on careful execution not brute force, but it’s less unforgiving – and more challenging – than many of the “Defeat X boss without taking damage from Y mechanic” that we’ve seen lots lately.
Eight Mod Map Grind
Complete 256 tier 14 or higher maps when they have eight mods. You recieve octuple credit when the map is completed while 5 portals still remain. (8 mod maps are uncommon occurences when using Vaal Orbs on maps)
I’m not an SSF player, but this is a bone thrown to that playstyle – a challenge that’s easier to do solo than grouped. Octuple means 8x.
Le Scarab Has Arrived
Complete six eight mod maps while they are affected by at least 3 sextant modifiers and 3 scarabs. (8 mod maps are uncommon occurences when using Vaal Orbs on maps)
This is a simple one – an introduction to the world of high investment mapping, a strategy usually used by 36/40 and 40/40 players, but one that should be accessible to every 24/40 player. If they like it… well, plenty more opportunity to continue running heavily scarabed/sextanted mapping later…
End Game Grinds:
Complete 20 maps at monster level 84 or higher while 60% (or more) delirious.
Complete 20 Augmented Eternal Labyrinths. (Kill Izaro at monster level 83)