Echoes of the Atlas, Path of Exile’s next expansion, launches Jan 15

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Echoes of the Atlas, the latest expansion for Grinding Gear Games’ popular action RPG Path of Exile, is just around the corner. In a livestream yesterday to reveal the new expansion and share details about it, Grinding Gear also announced a January 15 (PDT) release date for PC and January 20 for consoles.

Echoes of the Atlas introduces a new pinnacle boss, The Maven. In order to fight her, players will need to prove their worth by fighting through groups of other bosses that increase in number with each fight. Only after killing 10 bosses at once will The Maven herself appear to fight players herself.

The expansion will also see the addition of new regional passive skill trees that augment the encounters and rewards found in different regions of the Atlas. New endgame rewards include three new Craftable Watchstones that, unlike regular watchstones, can be traded and don’t expire with use, and a new endgame currency called Maven Orbs can be used to alter Influenced Modifiers on your items.

There’s a new challenge league called the Ritual League that pits players against increasingly challenging waves of monsters, with better rewards the further you get. The Harvest and Heist modes are also being rolled into the core game, allowing players to discover portals to secret gardens and plan elaborate heists.

Finally, Echoes of the Atlas has the usual assortment of new stuff that you’d expect from an expansion. There are 11 new maps to explore, including the likes of the Dry Sea, Forking River, Frozen Cabins and Grave Trough. There are new items, rebalanced classes, and two new Support Packs that players can buy to help support the ongoing development of Path of Exile.

Echoes of the Atlas launches January 15 for PC, and January 20 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Path of Exile is a free-to-play game that’s been kicking around since 2013 and going from strength to strength, with a global community of some 20 million players.

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Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.