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Path of Exile's next update revamps the endgame and lets you design your own boss fights

Path of Exile's developers just announced an expansion so big that it's practically a sequel (even though it's still one game). But long before Path of Exile 2 arrives in 2021, the game will continue pumping out new updates and temporary leagues for players to challenge, two of which are coming next month.

Path of Exile's 3.9 update is called Conquerors of the Atlas and, among many smaller changes, features an entirely reworked endgame. Currently, once players beat Path of Exile's campaign they set out to explore the Atlas of Worlds, a map of randomized alternate dimensions that go from mildly challenging to batshit insane. Once the new Conquerors of the Atlas expansion releases next month, the Atlas of Worlds will be significantly changed to present an even stiffer challenge.

Path of Exile's endgame is enormously complicated and hard to explain, but the gist is that after defeating the original villains of the Atlas, the players themselves have become corrupted and now need to be put down. To be clear, the character you will be playing isn't the boss, but Conqueror's of the Atlas adds five new endgame bosses that are based off the main character classes you choose.

Like any Path of Exile update, there's going to be dozens of new changes and new items. One of the biggest is a complete rework of bows, including new skills and buffed damage. Bows will now be more viable as a weapon type, and abilities like Ensnaring Arrow, which prevents enemies from moving, will give bow users more options in a fight.

This new update will also introduce an optional new league called Metamorphosis. For the uninitiated, these temporary leagues force players to start new characters but offer fun new systems that remix the core gameplay in interesting ways. In this case, Metamorphosis introduces a new character named Tane Octavius who will periodically join you while you play.

Tane will take DNA samples from monsters you kill, and once you have enough you can call on Tane to combine them to create your own boss battle. Each DNA sample Tane collects will have different properties that will change what abilities this new boss has, with more powerful samples increasing your chances of getting more powerful rewards—assuming you can defeat your creation that is.

Both the Conquerors of the Atlas update and the Metamorphosis league launch on December 13 on PC.

Steven enjoys nothing more than a long grind, which is precisely why his specialty is on investigative feature reporting on China's PC games scene, weird stories that upset his parents, and MMOs. He's Canadian but can't ice skate. Embarrassing.