When Path of Exile launches the Betrayal league in December, it will be the game's biggest one to date. Players will set off on an adventure that will see them tracking down members of the Immortal Syndicate and targeting them for assassination. But it's more than a simple "find and kill" adventure, but one that features twists and turns, alliances and broken friendships all on the path to finding the Syndicate's leader.
Players will meet up with a brand new Master named Jun Ortoi who is investigating the Immortal Syndicate, an elite group of villains who literally hold power over death. In fact, with the Syndicate, dead isn't necessarily dead. Ultimately, the prize is learning the name of the head of the Syndicate, but to get there will require investigative skills, fighting tons of monsters, assassination and the interrogation of members to squeeze them for as much information as possible.
One of the hallmarks of the Betrayal league is the "corkboard" presentation of the Syndicate's members. If you think of any decent detective television show you've ever seen, you've got a good idea how it works. There are tiers of membership that feature ties between members and even can reveal potential betrayals within the organization.
Along the investigative path, players will discover the four different "arms" of the Syndicate, namely Fortification, Transportation, Research and Intervention. The entire game world can be home to any one of the members of these arms. Playing in an area may reveal a supply train that is being conducted through that location. Defeating its guards will unveil the "boss" of the caravan who can then be interrogated or killed. Executing the Syndicate member may see him or her resurrected later for their loyalty in not spilling the beans and yielding better loot the next time you run into them. On the other hand, interrogation may offer information about safe houses where the leaders wait. Players can also choose to bargain with Syndicate members that is considered a "wildcard option". Players can also choose to betray them to others with whom they share a relationship. This is the most challenging course for players to take.
Encounters with these subordinates will look like this:
Fortification: In Fortification encounters, you come across a fortified area protecting Syndicate supplies. These fortifications have attack turrets, undead spawners and strong barricades that you must break through to clear out the defenders inside.
Transportation: In Transportation encounters, an Immortal Syndicate member is escorting a convoy of Syndicate supply vehicles that are travelling from one point to another with valuable cargo. You must track down and catch up with the convoy, and then kill the enemies guarding it.
Research: In Research encounters, the player encounters an underground research lab where Syndicate scientists rush to destroy evidence of the research they are performing. You must attempt to stop them and try to capture the Syndicate member who runs the lab.
Intervention: After some time, the Immortal Syndicate Intervention arm will show an interest in you and send assassins in order to disrupt your investigation. They can come at any time - you could be in the middle of a boss fight when they appear.
Safehouses are the loot pinatas of Betrayal. Once enough information about a particular type of safe house is determined, players can tackle the denizens and the boss inside of it, culminating with the looting of their personal quarters. It makes the mind giddy to contemplate the phat lewt that will be found there!
All Masters Are 'New' Masters
In addition to the above, players will find that masters introduced in all of this year's Path of Exile expansions are being reintroduced, or repurposed, if you will. All of the old Forsaken Masters minus Zana will be replaced with the ones introduced in the Bestiary League, Incursion, and Delve. These three will be joined by Betrayal's master, Jun.
The masters will offer players new missions to send them off on a journey to find hideouts and to help craft new items. For instance, Einhar from Bestiary will ask players to track down a specific beast to capture in order to craft items. In a nice nod to player communication with the team, Einhar will also now throw his own darned nets!
Alva from Incursion will ask players to take on multiple Incursions; Niko from Delve will ask players to head underground to spend time in the mines; Zana is "heavily involved with the plot of the endgame maps and has a lot of existing content".
But Wait! There's MORE!
There's even more coming with Betrayal:
- Atlas Objectives - Master daily missions are now present in the Atlas of Worlds. From time to time, players will be able to check the Atlas to see an active objective where they can go to find the attendant Master to grab a mission.
- End-Game Maps - there will be four new randomized maps that include some of the community-favorite Delve locations that have been expanded and tailored to be full endgame maps.
- 15 new Unique items throughout the content, some of which are exclusive to Betrayal
- New Player Archetypes & Skills including Winter Orb and Storm Brand. These provide really awesome new ways to play with a lot of player agency in choosing how to use them.
- Hideouts have been reworked to give players a chance to save and share some of their awesome designs and will feature one unified hideout independent of league
- the Master Crafting interface has been reworked and is so much more intuitive. In addition, working on recipes within the Master missions yields recipes rather than leveling the Masters themselves
Lastly, Veiled Mods are...awesome!
Targets in the Betrayal League can drop rare and unique items with Veiled mods. You can take these items to Jun, who can help you Unveil the items, revealing three modifiers that could be placed on the item. These are all new modifiers including powerful unique effects not found on any other item. Select one and lock it in to complete the unveiling. When you select a modifier, you also learn to craft it on items at your hideout's crafting bench, letting you place the unveiled modifier on other rare items. The more you unveil a particular mod, the more it levels up, increasing its power when you encounter it in the future.
Path of Exile: Betrayal is primed for launch on December 7th for both PC, XBox One and for the first time, PlayStation 4!
What are YOU looking forward to?