Grinding Gear Games has unveiled the next major update for Path of Exile, Delve, which adds an infinite complex of mine shafts for players to test their builds against. As with each new Path of Exile season, Delve refreshes the core gameplay loop, while also adding new items, mechanics, enemies, skills, and environments to explore.
Delve is set in a new area called The Azurite Mines, an ancient system of mines, caves, and subterranean towns that have sustained countless civilizations throughout Wraeclast’s tumultuous history. Recently, an abyssal darkness has filled the mines, killing any who come into contact with it. Conventional lamps and torches cannot penetrate the inky black void. Fortunately then, a mad inventor has developed a new type of light that can pierce the shadows, which means you get to be the poor sod whose job it is to forge a path through the deadly darkness.
To help you prepare for the challenge ahead, we’ve gathered up every detail about the upcoming expansion into one handy guide. Whether you’re after the Path of Exile: Delve release date, or you want to know what new skills are joining the game, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in the following guide.
Path of Exile: Delve release date
The all-important detail: when is the Path of Exile: Delve release date? August 31 will be when PC players will be able to get their hands on the new update, while Xbox One players will have to wait an additional three days.
Path of Exile: Delve gameplay
Delve is Path of Exile’s first infinite dungeon, which means that provided you can survive for long enough, you can explore it in any direction – not least downwards – forever. But before you can crack on with that you’ll need to get in touch with Niko the Mad, an inventor who has created a light powerful enough to sustain you in the darkness. Attached to a vehicle called the Crawler, this light is your lifeline through the mine and you’ll have to keep up with it as you venture deeper below the surface, connecting new areas to Niko’s power grid.
You can plot your own course by using the Subterranean Chart, which indicates different types of encounters, rewards, and biomes so you have a rough idea of what you’re getting into. Once you’ve chosen your next destination, you follow the Crawler there, fighting enemies along the way, looting treasure that’s close enough to the cart to safely grab, and facing a challenging final wave before the tunnel section is complete.
Leave the safety of the Crawler’s light and you’ll take damage, enough to kill you in seconds. But there will also be plenty of areas to explore away from the cart’s illumination – so how do you get that loot without succumbing to the abyss? You can equip Flares that will temporarily light up new areas in the Delve, allowing you to explore beyond the Crawler’s path and acquire more treasure. The trade-off is simple: if your Flares burn out then you’re doomed.
The further you travel into the Delve, the more oppressive the darkness is, so you’ll need to upgrade the Crawler’s light accordingly. You will also encounter new enemies with EMP-like abilities that can disable your lights, so make sure you have some spare Flares to combat this.
Flares and Dynamite
Talking of which… two new items are essential to progressing through Delve, the aforementioned Flares and some Dynamite – as explained above, Flares will temporarily light up areas allowing you to traverse the darkness safely, while Dynamite can be used to blast through to new areas of the Azurite Mines. Both of these new Delve items can be upgraded with the Azurite you accumulate during Delve runs, so you can boost them in various ways, from effectiveness to reach.
Path of Exile: Delve builds
In addition to all your usual Path of Exile build concerns, you will also have to consider what upgrades you spend your Azurite on. Path of Exile: Delve builds will vary based on how you allocate your Azurite upgrades: you can buff the light of the Crawler, opt to make your Flares super effective, or go for a balanced build.
There are nine Delve upgrades you can spend your Azurite on:
- Sulphite Capacity
- Darkness Resistance
- Light Radius
- Flare Capacity
- Flare Duration
- Flare Radius
- Dynamite Capacity
- Dynamite Damage
- Dynamite Radius
You can also spend your Azurite directly on Flares and Dynamite. You can also acquire these items during Delve runs, so it’s possible – albeit exceedingly risky – to only upgrade Flares so that you’re not reliant on the Crawler’s light to survive.
Path of Exile new skills
A total of ten skills are being either introduced or revamped as part of the Delve update. Grinding Gear Games has only shown off two of these so far: Smite and Toxic Rain. The remaining eight new or revamped skills will be revealed in the run-up to the update’s release.
Smite is a new skill for the Guardian Templar subclass. This new Path of Exile skill attacks the selected target and sends down a bolt of lightning to another nearby enemy dealing AoE damage. In addition to this, Smite also grants a temporary buff to the player and his teammates, which gives them added lightning damage and the chance to shock.
Toxic Rain is another new Path of Exile skill for bow-using Chaos Pathfinder builds. Each rain of arrows spawns spore pods that cling onto nearby targets, slowing them down and dealing out stacks of chaos damage until the spore pods explode.
Path of Exile new crafting items
One of the more subtle additions coming as part of the Delve update is a batch of new crafting items that let you determine what kind of stat bonuses your finished item will possess. These take the shape of Socketable Crafting Items, which can be filled with Fossils that augment and narrow down the types of modifiers that can be produced from items crafted using these parts.
Metallic Fossils, for example, increase the chance of an item carrying Lightning modifiers, adds more exclusive Lightning modifiers to the spawn pool, and even removes any Physical Damage mods from the pool, which is a bonus for crafting a Lightning item. Place this into an Alchemical Resonator and it will make a crafting item that can create a Lightning weapon.
It’s possible to augment this further with multiple socket Resonators, which can hold a number of Fossils and produce some incredibly specific items.
Timeworn Reliquary Keys
A new type of item that can be found very rarely is the Timeworn Reliquary Key. The key opens a door to world containing a unique type of chest that contains Relics, which are items from previous challenge leagues.