Path of Exile: Crucible Expansion – What You Need to Know

Path of Exile’s Crucible expansion is packed with exciting new content and mechanics. In this guide, we’ll walk you through all the key features, offering tips and insights to help you make the most out of this action-packed update. 

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Crucible Forges

The Crucible Challenge League brings in this new gameplay mechanic with Crucible Forges, which are special places in Wraeclast where you can summon monsters by channeling molten energy.

When you find one of these Crucible Forges, you need to put a weapon in it and start channeling energy. The longer you keep channeling, the more monsters (which get progressively tougher) show up. 

As the monsters get harder to beat, the rewards also get better. So you can choose to go for shorter, easier fights or longer, harder battles that could give you unique items, valuable PoE currency, and special geodes.

Crucible Passive Skill Trees

In the Crucible expansion, you can find weapons that have their own passive skill trees. Each tree has multiple tiers of skills that can boost damage, add special effects, or give other bonuses, allowing you to customize your weapons to fit your playstyle. 

You need to earn experience from Crucible encounters to unlock these skill trees. The more experience you get, the more of the skill tree you can see. But you can only pick one skill per tier, so you have to be careful with your choices. 

Here are a few tips: 

  • Gain Experience: Do as many Crucible encounters as you can to unlock more skills on your weapon’s tree.
  • Choose Wisely: Since you can only pick one skill per tier, choose the ones that fit your build best. Some boost damage, others add effects, and some increase the weapon’s resale value. 
  • Consider Currency: Certain skills can make your weapon worth more to vendors, which could get you valuable currency like Divine Orbs. If you’re into making a profit, these are worth checking out. 
  • Balance Risk and Reward: The harder the encounters, the more XP you’ll get. Find your comfort zone between challenging fights and manageable risks. 

The Forge of the Titans

The Forge of the Titans is a risky endgame crafting area in Wraeclast where you can combine the passive skill trees of two weapons into one. The new weapon ends up with a random mix of skills from both, giving you some cool new customization possibilities. 

Since the process is random, you might lose or change some skills during the merge. There’s no guarantee you’ll get what you’re hoping for. So, when you head to the Forge, you need to bring a strategy, a good dose of luck, and maybe a backup plan. 

To get the most out of the Forge, try merging weapons with skill trees that work well together. Don’t be surprised if things turn out differently from what you expected. What’s important is to keep an open mind about what you can create.

Atlas Getaways

The Crucible expansion adds Atlas Gateways to Path of Exile’s endgame, which is a big deal because it changes how you move around the Atlas Passive Tree. These gateways are like teleportation points that connect specific places on the tree. 

Basically, you have three pairs of gateways, and you can activate each with an Atlas Skill Point. Once you’ve done that, you can hop between these linked nodes instantly. 

With these Atlas Gateways, you get a few big benefits: 

  • Reduced Travel Time: You don’t have to spend a bunch of skill points anymore just to get across the Atlas. You can teleport between gateway pairs instantly.
  • Increased Flexibility: You now have more options for customizing your tree. You can check out content on both sides of the Atlas without having to use a lot of skill points for travel. 
  • Streamlined Progression: The gateways let you focus on whatever endgame content you like, whether it’s boss fights, map farming or unique challenges. It makes it easier to get where you want to go. 

Changes to Breach Content

Crucible also updated Breach encounters to make them smoother and more balanced. Here’s what’s changed:

  • New Breachstones: Instead of multiple types, there’s now just one standard level for regular Breachstones. This makes progression easier because you don’t have to worry about different tiers. 
  • Improved Pacing and Density: Breach encounters now have a more consistent flow. You get a steady stream of monsters without any sudden spikes in difficulty. 

Changes to Passive Tree Masteries

Almost half of the Passive Tree Masteries have been revamped with new stats to give players more options for customization. This means more flexibility and opportunities to build your character in different ways. 

Updates to Abyss Mechanics

Abyss content got some pretty big changes in the Crucible expansion: 

  • Guaranteed Abyssal Lich: Now, every time you dive into the Abyssal Depths, there’s an Abyssal Lich waiting for you. That means you get more high-stakes fights and better loot. 
  • New Stygian Spire Rewards: Instead of just a regular reward chest, you might find a Stygian Spire in the Abyss. These drop unique items, Stygian Vises, and jewels, so you’ve got more stuff to look forward to. 

New Clusters for Link Skills, Stun Mitigation, and Marks

The updated Passive Tree includes new clusters that support different playstyles:

  • Link Skills: Boosts support for skills that connect party members for unique bonuses.
  • Stun Mitigation: Helps you avoid or recover from being stunned, which is great for staying alive in tough fights. 
  • Marks: Gives bonuses to skills that put debuffs on enemies, making them even more effective. 

Overhaul of Saboteur and Pathfinder Ascendancy Classes

Two Ascendancy Classes got major updates in Crucible: 

  • Saboteur: Specializes in Traps, Mines, Triggered Skills, and Cooldown Recovery, with the ability to slow down enemy skill cooldowns.
  • Pathfinder: Introduces Concoction-like abilities that allow flask charges to be used for special effects.

New Vaal Skills and Unique Items

Vaal skills are supercharged versions of regular skills that build power over time where you can unleash it all at once when activated. Crucible brings nine new Vaal skills that cater to all sorts of playstyles. 

  1. Vaal Absolution: Turns your Sentinel of Absolution into an apparition of Innocence, with more spells, damage, and resistance. Recasting it extends the duration. 
  2. Vaal Arctic Armour: Encases you in ice, making you immobile but giving you massive damage reduction, mana regeneration, and energy shield. It lasts for a while or until you’ve taken a few hits. 
  3. Vaal Lightning Arrow: Shoots a bunch of arrows that bounce around, striking enemies and triggering lightning bolts. It’s chaotic but deals a ton of damage. 
  4. Vaal Reap: Delivers a physical attack and creates Boiling Blood on the ground, causing damage over time. Also gives you extra Blood Charges to boost the base Reap skill. 
  5. Vaal Animate Weapon: Animates several weapons from the ground, turning them into flying minions that fight for you. It’s a great way to add extra firepower. 
  6. Vaal Domination: Turns a Sentinel of Dominance into a huge Templar statue with better attacks and resistance. You can refresh its duration by recasting it with full Ascended Sentinels. 
  7. Vaal Ice Shot: Fires an Ice Shot and summons Mirage Sharpshooters that also shoot Ice Shots, making it great for freezing and damaging groups of enemies. 
  8. Vaal Rejuvenation Totem: Summons a totem that provides life regeneration for you and nearby allies. The totem also absorbs some of the damage from hits taken by those in its aura. 
  9. Vaal Firestorm: Calls down several meteors, dealing massive area damage and leaving Burning Ground that keeps causing fire damage over time. Perfect for taking out large groups or controlling enemy zones. 

Changes in Ruthless Game Mode

Ruthless is where you go if you want to test your skills against a much tougher game. In the Ruthless game mode, everything is harderᅳthere are fewer items, fewer crafting options, and progression is a lot slower. You can’t just buy your way to power; you’ve got to earn it the hard way. 

The Crucible expansion shakes things up in Ruthless with some interesting changes: 

Reintroduction of Eternal Orbs

Eternal Orbs, which are super-rare currency items, are back in Ruthless mode. What they do is let you make a copy of an item, so if your crafting goes sideways, you can restore it to how it was. They’re so rare that you’ll probably never see one, but if you do, it’s like finding a winning lottery ticket. 

Path of Exile Crucible Vaal Improvements

Ruthless-Specific Challenges and Rewards

Ruthless now has its own set of challenges. There are eight of them, and they’re meant to be hard. If you can finish them, you get unique items and other cool loot that you won’t find in other modes. These challenges are no jokeᅳyou’ll need skills and patience to get through them. 

Ruthless Gameplay Adjustments

There’s also a bunch of little tweaks to make Ruthless run smoother. Monsters are tougher, items drop less often, and the whole pace of the game is slower. These changes mean you really have to think about every step you take. 

Get a Chance to Win Big Prizes at a PoE Boss Kill Event

The Crucible expansion brings a big event that’s got everyone excited. You have to beat the Uber Searing Exarch and Uber Eater of Worlds in Ruthless Hardcore Solo Self-Found mode. That’s right, hardcore modeᅳif you die, your character is out of the ring for good. 

Here’s what’s on the line: 

The first player to conquer both bosses earns two exclusive rewards:

  • Design a Unique Item: If you’re the first player to kill both bosses, you get to work with the developers to create a new unique item. Talk about leaving your mark on the game. 
  • Ultra VIP Ticket to ExileCon: You also get a premium ticket to ExileCon in July, which comes with all the special perks. It’s the event every PoE fan wants to be at. 

Second and third-place finishers also score big:

  • VIP Tickets to ExileCon: Enjoy exclusive access and benefits at the big event.

How to Join the Event

To join the event, just create a new character in Ruthless Hardcore Solo Self-Found mode. From there, it’s all about leveling up fast, building a strong character, and taking down the Uber bosses. Be prepared for a tough fight!

And that’s about it for what’s new in the latest Path of Exile update. With so much new content and the promise of big rewards, you won’t be short on things to do. 

Ferdinand is a multifaceted individual with a passion for lifelong learning and a love for both the virtual and real realms. His journey spans diverse talents, from mastering game strategies to exploring video game landscapes. With a keen eye for detail and an inquisitive mind, he seeks new horizons and endless growth in gaming universe.