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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)