On September 18, 2020, Grinding Gear Games will release one of the largest League updates for Path of Exile, ever. So large, we cannot fit all the information in just one article. Welcome to a new way of playing PoE with the Heist League!
What to Expect from the Heist League Update:
Overall, this is what you can expect from the Heist League:
- 13 new NPCs (including a giant)
- New town-like area
- Alternate quality gems (about 900 new gems)
- Replica unique items
- Experimented base types
- New unique items
- New spells
- New curses
- New steel skills
- And reworks to the spells
- Cat with monocle and bowtie
Like I said, there is a ton of changes going into this update and for the sake of not making your eyes bleed from too much information, there will be a second post dedicated to the spell reworks and the cat with a monocle and bowtie.
Welcome to Rogue Harbour
Rogue Harbour is the new town-like area where you will assemble your crew to go on heists. In the harbor you can pay various thieves to assist you. The crew members have various skills that will be critical in helping you complete the heist. Without them you will fail and come back empty handed. Their skills include:
- Disarming traps
- And more…
There are 13 Rogues you can hire to assist you in your heist. The Rogues are scattered throughout Rogue Harbour ready to be hired with Markers. The harbor is where you will conduct your business of planning heists, talking to NPCs, buying and selling goods, and crafting. You can access the harbor by consuming a Marker in town or at your hideout. Once in Rogue Harbour, the planning begins!
Not all of the 13 rogues are able to come with you on a heist. Four of the rogues offer services in helping you plan your caper. They offer things like transportation or intel. Intel is extremely important in ensuring the success of the heist. Without it you could find yourself at a dead end fighting for your life as endless waves of guards come at you. If you die, you come away empty handed.
Nine of the rogues have a set of specialized talents like lockpicking. Along with the main talents, Rogues also have up to three sub skills at their disposal. Each time you successfully complete a heist, the Rogues’ skills that they used to assist you gain experience. As their experience grows and you open up more and more intel, you can plan for the Grand Heist. Before any of your heist begin, you will need to get Contracts and Markers.
Contracts and Markers
Contracts and Markers are new Heist-specific items that drop from monsters throughout the game to include heists. Markers are a new form of currency that you can exchange with Rogues for various skill and services. They are mainly used for all the functions of heists. While in a heist if you are able to steal the contracted artifact, the artifact can be sold back to the Fence for a large amount of Markers.
Contracts are the world areas or maps that represent the heist location. Each contract is attached to an artifact that needs to be stolen. You can either use Contracts that drop or you can craft your own with modifiers. The higher the quality of the Contract crafted means the higher the difficulty you will fact on you heist. As you can see in the screenshot above, the modifiers can make your heist a bit of a challenge.
To compensate for the ramped-up difficulty, your rewards will be more… rewarding. The rolls for the different modifiers are random, but like all crafted items in PoE, players will quickly discover the pool of modifiers that come with the specific currency used to modify them. Like most PoE Leagues, heists can be accessed at about level 3. The heists are essentially new maps that have been added to the game that can be accessed before the endgame content.
Your objective in a heist is to reach the artifact and get out without dying. To start a heist, you take your contract to the Wayfinder in Rogue Harbour. There the Wayfinder will accept your payment of Markers to pay for the various aspects of the heist you will need. This is when you will gather your intel and hire the rogues that will accompany you on the heist. You will then be teleported to the location. On your way to the artifact you will find rooms filled with rewards. Keep in mind, you can only leave the heist with what you can carry. You will need to make sure you have enough room in your inventory to carry the artifact out.
That is if you make it out.
During the heist you can steal items from lockers, trunks, lockboxes, and the enemies you kill. Killing guards and making too much noise can raise the alert level. If the alert level meter fills up you trigger the alarm and will have a short time to get out before you are swarmed with guards. If the alarm is sounded and the timer runs out, the artifact will be locked down. If you succeed and steal the artifact, the alarm sounds automatically and you will have to race to get out before you die from the swarm of guards. If you succeed and escape, you will need to go to the NPS Whakano to exchange the artifact for Markers. Each time you succeed in a heist it helps gain intel for future heists and the Grand Heist.
Grand Heists require blueprints. Blueprints are a new item introduced in the Heist update to plan Grand Heists. They are very similar to Contract in the way that they are new areas in the world and are craftable. It is like your own instanced area where you can steal until your heart is content or until your heart is ripped from your body. You have several options when planning your Grand Heist, you can:
- Solo it
- Bring some friends
- Sell your blueprint on the market for a profit
If you choose to complete your Grand Heist you will need to select a team of Rogues to help you. That team will need to have items equipped to make them more efficient. These special items will drop during heists. On normal heists you can only take one Rogue with you, but on Grand Heists you can take up to three Rogues. Each wing of a Grand Heist has its own alert level. Your blueprint comes in handy to help you navigate each wind and know how to escape the best way. A major part of Grand Heists is the planning phase. Unlike most of PoE where you just run and gun your way through enemies, heists take a bit more finesse to complete. It is not always best to kill everything you see you stomp around with a team of giants. Not to say you have to be stealthy, but it does help, especially with Grand Heists.
With the Heist update there will be a whole slew of new rewards to obtain. Not only are there about 900 more gem variations, there are replica items, trinkets, and heist enhancements. Replica items are very interesting. If you are not new to PoE you know that according to the game lore, there is only one of each unique item that exists in the world. In reality we know that is not the case because I can have the same unique item as a million other players, but in the world of PoE that unique item is, for a lack of any other word, unique. Replica items are based on that lore as a copy of unique items. Like any copy, they do not always come out exactly the way the original is. That can be bad or in the case of PoE having a massive passive skill tree, it is a good thing. For example, take the bow pictured above. Say you are running a marauder with a high amount of strength and your dexterity cannot meet the requirements of the Iron Commander Death Bow, you can now have a Marauder that uses the Replica Iron Commander Death Bow. If you thought the builds in PoE were endless and daunting before, Grinding Gear Games just opened up more paths to play the way you want.
For the first time since the launch of PoE, a new item slot will be introduced in the Heist update. Trinkets specialize in improving the rewards from your heists. Trinkets will not change your build, but they will help you during heists. Take the example above, the trinket on the left gives a 15% chance for corrupted items to drop, increases rarity of items by 26% and give a 46% chance for Double Divination Cards to drop from chests in a heist. It will be awesome to see the different modifiers on the new trinkets in the game.
Remember when I said this update was huge and your eyes would bleed if I put it all in one article? With the Heist update there is going to be a couple more gems with alternate quality to them. As I said before, the couple gems are around 900 more. That is roughly 1-3 for each existing skill and support gem. During a heist you will be able to see what exotic benefits are on them when you are choosing what to steal. If that wasn’t enough, there are new heist enhancements you can add to weapons and armor. Enhancements are a special type of modifier that does not take up a modifier slot. There are about 15 new themes of enhancements, but even then, there are variations that can affect how powerful they are. These enhancements scale up too. The build possibilities in Heist are going to be mind-boggling!
- Heists is the first game system where you can choose a reward before completing an encounter.
- The ability to explore new itemized world areas while doing the campaign.
- Almost all aspects of Heist are itemized and tradable. You can trade coins, contracts, blueprints, and Rogue equipment. If you don’t want to play much of Heist, just trade what you get away to other players.
- New way to play! Build your own party.
- New AI system that causes them to defend an area in an organized fashion.
- Tech and monsters that was originally designed for Path of Exile 2. I’ve seen it first hand, the new areas look beautiful!
- Play a heist the way you want. If you want to rush it you can, but if you want to play as stealthy as possible, you can do that too.
- Unlike in past leagues, you can now run heists without negatively affecting your own progress.
- Cat with a monocle and bowtie!!
All this is just the tip of what is coming with the new update Heist. The second article in the series is going to cover reworked skills and more unique items to come. You might want to check that article out to see what this is all about…