Path of Exile (POE) continues to be the sleeping giant of the MMO industry, garnering more players as time passes, making Wraeclast one of the more populated fictional settings. New players have come at a great time as the Elder makes its presence known in POE as it steadily corrupts the world ala pre-expansion WoW style. Many of the familiar places that veterans often frolic in have been gathering dust, soot, decay, and all sorts of nasty business as the Elder’s influence continues to seep into the world of POE. While the Shaper, the main antagonist of POE’s expansion, The Fall of Oriath, gave everybody a run for their money, the Elder is shaping up to be an even more significant threat, inspired as a true Old One in proper Love craftian fashion.

Akin to Guild Wars 2’s world system, much of Wraeclast continues to rot with dynamic and special events popping in and out for players to experience and enjoy. Maps start to show permanent scarring, usual areas players go to are permanently destroyed, and Cthulhu-like tentacles sprout out from the ground, taking players by surprise, among many other anomalies. If this isn’t an Old One-inspired influence, then it doesn’t exist.

Atlas can still get explored the same way it has been for the past year, but many missions have changed, focusing more on warding off the Elder’s influence on the world. It’s refreshing to see that POE is taking great lengths to ensure that players do feel the sheer awesomeness of the upcoming expansion, “War for the Atlas.”

It’s been teased by Grinding Gear Games that players will be fighting gigantic monstrosities known as Guardians that have chances to spawn at usual boss locations in POE, created by the Elder as it siphons off the power of the normal boss. Players will need to fight multiple Guardians to be able to face the Elder itself in eventuality.

While Shaper isn’t exactly a favorite of many POE players, GGG has also expressed that you can let the Elder take territories belonging to this old foe and will have repercussions on the world. However, there might be severe consequences for letting that happen which would be much worse for players than it is on the Shaper. As to what those “serious consequences” are supposed to be are yet to be revealed.

As with every expansion, there’s a whole new tier of gear and items to be introduced in “War for the Atlas.” These new POE Items will get based around the aesthetic of the Shaper and Elder, each with unique abilities never before seen in the game.

However, the most hyped and anticipated aspect of this upcoming expansion is to finally be able to roll as a Necromancer with all new skill gems that are necromancy-based. Of course, the standard raise-undead-and-make-them-fight is all there, but GGG has put in a bunch of unique abilities you won’t find anywhere else. As long as there’s a corpse, there are plenty of skills to use on it, and your creativity is the only thing to stifle your necromancy practice.

The upcoming expansion will also introduce the Abyss League that lets players travel the world to find anomalies due to the influence of the Elder. These anomalies or cracks in the world will spawn waves of monsters similar to rifts in RIFT or FATEs in FFXIV. As players clear more of these things, more anomalies will appear with strong monsters coupled with increased rewards. Anybody can participate in the Abyss League as longtime players will find new challenges to conquer and new players will find a great way to level faster.

At the time of writing, “War for the Atlas” releases on December 8 and most likely for the Xbox a few weeks later for Xbox. Get ready for some old god action as the Shaper and Elder go at it for the Atlas as you reap the rewards! We’ll see you out on the battlefield!