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Inspecting Incursion

By Red Thomas on June 21, 2018 | Columns | Comments

Inspecting Incursion

I’m not really a fan of Path of Exile.  I played it a bit after release, but it’s not the sort of game that typically appeals to me.  My nephew recently told me he’d started playing and was enjoying it, so I decided to give it another shot.  It’s not uncommon for a game that’s sort of on the edge of capturing my attention to not make the cut the first time, and then scratch an itch for me when I check it out again later.

Even though I didn’t jump in with both feet when I’d played it before, I still easily recognized a game that was solidly made and likely to appeal to a pretty large audience.  When my nephew encouraged me to give it another shot and I found out a new league had just launched this month, I was pretty easily sold.

Leagues give players a chance to start a new character on a fresh server with a fresh economy.

I’m really enjoying the game a lot more than I did the first time around.  The new update made getting back in a lot easier for me, though.  For one, new skills meant the passive skill tree was rearranged, causing old builds to be out dated.  I like that because it gives me a chance to sort of experience the game like it’s new and without all the min/max guides that tend to take away from the experience for me.

The Incursion leagues included in the June update also included a new story element that sends players into temporal incursions.  Players are sent into the past in attempts to impact the building of a temple.  Trips are restricted in time, so keeping an eye on the clock is important.

Once in the temporal rooms, you have a few objectives.   You can spend your limited time just slaughtering as many mobs as you can, which has the added benefits of increasing your time in the incursion and increasing the post-incursion rewards.  When the timer runs out, the player is teleported back to where they entered the incursion and the loot gets kicked out to the ground for pickup.

Use a Stone of Passage to unlock doors giving access between rooms that are connected in the temple graphic.

Another option is to find and loot a Stone of Passage during the incursion.  With the stone in hand, find one of the locked red doors and open them.  This will open a door in temple later, which gives you access to more areas and thus more loot.

Lastly, you can find and kill the architects.  There are supposed to be two in each incursion, but I’ve yet to kill more than one.  Damage to an architect extends the time you have in the incursion, allowing you to kill more mobs for more loot.  Killing them upgrades the room, or I’ve heard can also sometimes totally change it.  Upgraded rooms drop better loot later.

You should find Alva Valai in each zone you visit, where you’ll be given the chance to enter an incursion.  Complete eleven incursions to activate the quest to the temple, and Alva Valai will open several portals to in a ring around the player.  Each can be used once and represent another attempt at the temple.

The mobs are tougher, but the loot is a lot better in the temple. You’ll use up your portals just making runs back to town in order to sell.

The whole temple system is randomized and includes a number of meta-objectives like the one to open doors in the correct rooms through the incursions to allow access to the temple boss.  It’s a really neat way of creating a lot of content without a lot of developer overhead.   That’s impressive alone, but I really enjoyed the incursions a lot in general, as well.

All in all, Path of Exile is a solid game and has just added a really solid update with the Incursion league.  Considering that it’s free to play, it’s an easy game to recommend.  Jumping in now with the new league just makes it that much better.   If you’ve been in a game slump like me, you should definitely give this one a try.

Red Thomas / A veteran of the US Army, raging geek, and avid gamer, Red Thomas is that cool uncle all the kids in the family like to spend their summers with. Red lives in San Antonio with his wife where he runs his company and works with the city government to promote geek culture. Follow him on Twitter:
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