Path of Exile’s Echoes of the Atlas expansion has been revealed

Grinding Gear Games provided a close-up look at its RPG's next major update today

Path of Exile’s 3.13 update is coming out in just over a week, and developer Grinding Gear Games has now revealed the major expansion. It’s called Echoes of the Atlas, and it introduces a host of new content heavily tilted toward Path of Exile’s endgame.

Echoes of the Atlas adds 11 new map types to the RPG game, as well as important new characters who have new challenges to take on. You’ll encounter a new NPC known as the Envoy, who has news of visitors arriving in the Atlas. Once you’ve traveled to the new area, you’ll meet The Maven, who will ask to observe while you fight a boss. When the Maven observes a fight, she’ll make it more difficult, and after the first time she watches, you’ll be able to call her to observe subsequent boss encounters.

Eventually, you’ll receive an invitation to the Maven’s astral realm, where you’ll be up against an increasingly difficult boss rush. The Maven will pit you against multiple bosses simultaneously – first three, but increasing each time to a maximum of 10.

Eventually, you’ll have to take on the Maven herself.

There’s also an exciting new trailer to whet your appetite:

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Completing the Maven’s challenges will earn you a new kind of skill points that you’ll be able to spend in the new Atlas passive trees, and each new region has its own tree with its own new bonuses. You’ll be able to earn 10 points to use in each tree – but you’ll be able to respec those as your character’s needs change by using a new type of orb.

As with past expansions for Path of Exile, Echoes of the Atlas introduces a new challenge league. This one is the Ritual League, and the challenge here will be to defeat increasingly difficult waves of monsters that spawn in when you activate altar sites on each maps. You’ll be sealed into the summoning circle inscribed around the altar, and each time you activate a new altar, you’ll have to defeat all the monsters you’ve slain in previous rituals.

You’ll earn tribute for each successfully cleared ritual, and this can be used to buy ritual items. Some of these are pretty expensive, and you’ll have the option to spend a portion of an item’s cost in order to have it deferred and offered later – potentially when you can better afford it.

There are of course brand new endgame rewards coming with Echoes of the Atlas, including 10 new unique items. These include the Legacy of Fury Wyrmscale Boots that leave fire in your footsteps and the Blackflame Amethyst Ring that adds chaos damage to any ignite effects you cause.

The reveal stream was densely packed with information, and that included some details on some of the heavily reworked ascendancies – namely, the Elementalist, the Inquisitor, and the Deadeye. While those classes have seen the biggest changes, every ascendancy has seen some significant tweaks and alterations in this expansion.

You can read more about Echoes of the Atlas at the official site. The expansion arrives January 15.