Mapping in Atlas of Worlds
Not every Path of Exile gamer is a seasoned veteran. The game has been around since 2013, and not everyone has reached the endgame. The population of some 14 million players is a wild mix, with some users embracing excitement and fast paced action, and others more geared to grinding for items and exploring the maps at leisure. Some play the game obsessively, even on a daily basis, while others may put the game away after beating the campaign only to come back upon the release of a new update or patch. Some players are even more casual, engaging only in player-vs-player mode, staying away from immersing themselves in the seemingly arduous task of mapping and leveling up their characters.
With the upcoming Atlas of Worlds Expansion to be released on September 2, Grinding Gears Games seeks to appeal, in varying degrees of satisfaction, to all players of the game. There will be new PoE items, bosses, and maps. Some of the lower maps will have new bosses as well. This enables newly minted players to encounter them, while seasoned veterans can revisit those levels to take them on. There may even be a possibility of seeing the newer items integrated in existing maps, providing an incentive for players to explore those maps with the diligence they would normally reserve for new content.
The Atlas of Worlds system will feature the ability for players to choose what maps they play, taking into consideration personal preferences for maps such as whether to have them unlocked or disabled to varying degrees. These preferences will undoubtedly allow players to customize and maximize their goals.
In previous as well as current iterations of the game, some maps have been better than others. Layouts have varied from being linear to being wide open. Others have monsters and bosses with vast differences in difficulty. With Atlas of Worlds, the maps may become more comparable. The addition of monsters to the maps invariable increases the frequency of appearance of Path of Exile items to be dropped. This offsets the added challenge and time by implanting greater rewards for the effort spent.
Another concern that GGG has considered for their users is the tricky decision to unlock all maps. For the most part, players are wary about unlocking the wrong maps, as it adversely affects their accounts. To solve this, the developers have implemented three currency items, one for each color of map. These currency items will be available from vendor recipes for the purpose of re-specification of the player’s map completions. Most likely, the currency items will be valued in terms of the new currency, Cartographer’s Sextants, carrying with them the element of keen decision making that Path of Exile players have come to learn.
Perhaps these new additions will also encourage players who have been stuck at Tier 15 maps to push through to the next level. New content, when well implemented, is what keeps players in the game, and as long as the skill cap is taken into consideration, brings more players into the community.