Review: Path of Exile: Scourge Expansion
With the long list of new items, features, and mechanics found in this League I can say confidently that if there was ever a time to start playing Path of Exile, this is it! New players and battle-hardened veterans will find a refreshed game that feels much smoother and more current than recent Leagues have been.
Hold fast exile, the demons are approaching!
The latest Path of Exile expansion, Scourge, is everything I have ever wanted from Grinding Gear Games (GGG): fast-paced and exciting content. This league introduces the Scourge, a rag-tag group of demons seeking to bring disruption to Wraeclast, but not the Wraeclast that you or I know. They come from a dark timeline where they have infiltrated every corner of our once (relatively) tranquil island.
Path of Exile’s passive tree is certainly daunting to say the least. With over 500 passive skills available, the possibilities are endless. Scourge Leagues brings a refresh of the game’s passive tree allowing players to further customize their mob-smashing to extreme levels.
With Scourge League, you can now allocate an extra passive node on clusters with Notable passives. From simple “You can Cast 2 additional Brands” to “Corrupted Blood cannot be Afflicted on you” the customizability and power available is endless. I personally took several QoL nobles for my build to reduce (or in some cases eliminate) the need for some flask mods and movement speed mods.
If you are a seasoned player, you may have noticed some of your favorite passives have been moved or changed. For example, the famous Rectangle Of Health found between the Duelist and Marauder starting points has been updated to a circle and features one less health node but adds a notable upgrade.
GGG has done a fabulous job with this League, from new base items and uniques, to a clan revamp and end-game rework. Notable changes include Clan Hideouts and a new Energy Blade base item that pairs with several active skill gems. New players will find a simplified, streamlined leveling process and seasoned adventurers will see a complete passive tree rework alongside a smooth end-game Sirius grind.
One change I find very appealing is to the Clan system. Clan Leaders can now create a Clan Hideout, a full-sized hideout for your clan to gather, trade, and map together. This new lounge features the same Stash and Clan Stash boxes you know, along with a map device that can be used by all clan members! No more do you have to jump from hideout to hideout to run maps. You can now rotate seamlessly between Clan members for full up-time, monster-mashing fun!
The League mechanic allows players to fight hundreds of demons and resurrected monsters in an alternate Wraeclast after meeting The Last To Die, Scourge League’s newest NPC. After escaping the clutches of the demon hordes he travelled to our timeline where he warns us of the dangers coming to our little slice of the world.
Our new friend also opens our eyes to a new way of crafting through the Crucible. Place an item into the Crucible and syphon corruption from slain demons to charge your item, changing it unpredictably into a new corrupted item. Worried about bricking your hard crafted item? Worry not adventurer! There are now corrupted versions of your favorite crafting currencies. Chos, Jewelers, Fusings, and more allow you to alter your corrupted items without the need of a crafting bench or Vaal Orbs. This is a welcome change alongside a League that features only the best corrupted items. This is also the first League that allows players to turn the League mechanic off and on at will.
After slaying a certain number of monsters you can turn on the Scourge and fight a plethora of monsters to gain corruption and level up your Crucible. This is huge for lower-level players that previously were scared to turn up the heat on their map crafting in a (again, relatively) safe way to effectively double the number of monsters available for that all-elusive Exalted Orb.
With the long list of new items, features, and mechanics found in this League I can say confidently that if there was ever a time to start playing Path of Exile, this is the League! New players and battle-hardened veterans will find a refreshed game that feels much smoother and more current than recent Leagues have been. Stay sane, Exile!