Path Of Exile's Legion Update Will Revamp Combat And Set The Stage For The Future

The Legion expansion releases on PC June 7, with console versions out shortly after.

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Now Playing: Path Of Exile: Legion - Official Trailer and Developer Commentary

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In 2019, Path of Exile has seen several changes that have grown the action-RPG in some exciting ways. Along with the launch of the ambitious Synthesis update, which added in dynamic levels, loot, and new leagues to take part in, the free-to-play action-RPG finally made its way to the PS4 in March--bringing the game to all three core platforms. However, the developers at Grinding Gear Games still have a lot in store for the game, and their next major update plans to set the stage for what's to come in Path of Exile in the years to come.

In the upcoming Legion update--releasing on PC June 7 and on consoles June 10--Path of Exile will introduce a suite of new changes and quality-of-life upgrades to the game's meta. In addition to adding new class archetypes and a new league, there are also some unique forms of loot to find and monsters to fight. However, the most significant change is the overhauled combat system, with the intent to make melee in PoE feel more responsive and punchy.

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Speaking with managing director Chris Wilson from Grinding Gear Games, he detailed what was to come with Legion, and some of the surprising lessons they learned from their last expansion Synthesis.

"Synthesis was a tricky one for us, because to some extent we may have bitten off more than we could chew in terms of complicated designs," said Wilson. "We were pretty happy with how it went out the door, some players weren't, so we made a bunch of improvements and were happier with it after that. Looking ahead after that, we knew we had to make melee better, and that was going to take quite a lot of extensive improvements. So are our initial plan was to do this alongside our mega-expansion, which is coming out in another year or so. We have to make a lot of updates to it so it can stand up alongside other games that are coming in the future. So we worked out a plan and managed to get it done in time for Legion. We figured instead of saving it; we would make the game better now and release it."

In terms of cotent, Legion is a bit more light in terms of large-scale content compared to the Delve and Synthesis updates--both of which added in procedurally generated maps and complex progressions systems assigned to each. While Legion has its story missions and unique enemies coming in the form of the generals, this particular update is about upgrading the game's existing systems and improving the meta. However, as Wilson stated, the primary focus for Legion was to offer enough content for "repeatable fun".

Here's a quick breakdown of features coming with Legion:

  • Legion League: The new expansion will focus on two warring armies who fight in perpetual conflict over the course of thousands of years. Engaging in these fights can yield powerful weapons and artifacts to use for your character.
  • Melee Overhaul: The core combat of PoE will see some fundamental changes. In addition to changes in attack animations, speed, and flow, all attacks can be canceled before their use, allowing you greater control in combat.
  • The Map Device: Legion will offer an update to the existing Map Device, which allowed players to access hidden areas of the world. Previously, devices had only four slots, but in Legion, it's possible to find devices that have five slots--greatly amplifying the effectiveness when used.
  • Incubation Items: In the past, Path of Exile has included numerous ways to gain new items outside of the flow of combat. With Legion, another unique way to acquire gear is through incubated items. Dropped from enemies, these unique forms of loot will gradually unlock after enough enemies have been wiped out.
  • New Archetypes: As a refresher, archetypes are suggested builds that allow you to mix skills from a variety of different classes. One of the new builds is the Blood and Sand Gladiator, a unique form of Duelist that can use blood magic and sand-based abilities.

Of course, this is only the just a brief rundown of some of the key features of Legion. In addition to these new features, this update will also include a whole suite of quality-of-life improvements to the atlas map, new socketed jewels, and also a substantial rebalance to monsters found in the early portions of the campaign. The Legion update is still one of many planned expansions for Path of Exile, which is gradually building to the announcement of its next large-scale expansion in November at ExileCon.

For more on Path of Exile and its new Legion update, be sure to visit GameSpot in the weeks ahead.

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