Hall of Grandmasters Development Update 6

For previous news articles about the Hall of Grandmasters, check out development updates One, Two, Three, Four and Five.

The Hall of the Grandmasters map is currently a level 69 unique map with a similar rarity to the Coward's Trial. The entrance of the map is a safe zone and is laid out as one long hallway with many doors. These doors lead to the halls that contain the Grandmasters. Each hall contains fifty Grandmasters and nine force field barriers.

You'll fight the Grandmasters in waves of five at a time. As you clear a wave and move forward, the force field between you and the next wave will dissolve and release the next wave of five Grandmasters. When you clear the tenth and final wave, you'll be granted access to the Grandmaster's Cache, which is a random Unique Strongbox created for this map. From here you will enter a portal back to the entrance of the map, where you can enter the next hallway. The waves become more difficult as you progress through a hall.

The submitted characters vary in difficulty from those that die almost instantly to those that are powerful and hard-hitting. It's proving to be a very challenging map to complete. There are no other areas in the game where you will encounter such a diverse range of damage types in one area. If your character is to survive you will need to be well prepared.

The Grandmasters are designed to behave as a player would. PvP damage scaling will be applied to both the players running the map and to the Grandmasters. Both will do less damage than in a typical PvE battle, but party-buffs will still apply.

Grandmasters using Vaal Skills will gain one Vaal Soul per skill every five seconds. It's currently possible to encounter Tormented Spirits in the map. You will not encounter Strongboxes (other than those at the end of each hall) or Rogue Exiles.

As new Grandmasters are completed, we will continue to add them into the map, in groups of fifty at a time. If you haven't submitted your character yet, there’s still time! We will announce the deadlines for these submissions in advance.

The process for creating this map was slightly different to creating a regular map. A typical map is laid out with monsters that already exist in the game, that have a comparatively simple AI. We then create one unique boss to add to the end of the map which may has been modified slightly, but retains similarity to other monsters in the game.

By comparison, the Hall of the Grandmasters map contains no monsters that are found elsewhere in Path of Exile. Instead of having several packs with the same or similar monster types, and one unique boss, the map contains packs that are made up of what are essentially many unique bosses.

The idea was first conceived during a team discussion about ways to add new community content to the game. It was initially thought that perhaps players could start to create Rogue Exiles for the general game. A concern arose that Rogue Exiles might saturate the game if they were submitted in vast numbers. Creating a map that contained them all in one place was the logical next step. Thus, the Hall of the Grandmasters concept was born. The next step was to work out the logistics of how to make it happen.

It was agreed that players should export their own characters. This would give players full control over what gear and skill tree they would have and how they would look. Players would then export a snapshot of their characters as they are for us to begin work on. The skill tree and gear values from the export are loaded directly into the game.

After importing, we first test, and then develop an AI for the submitted character. This means determining the general play style of the character. For example, what distance it would stay from attackers, how frequently it would use skills and in what order, as well as the speed and style of movement. In most cases the intention of the character was very clear and it was easy to configure the AI.

Once the individual Grandmasters were completed, it was a matter of deciding how all Grandmasters would be used together; how many waves, how many Grandmasters per wave, which characters should be grouped together and their rewards. The Grandmasters are grouped randomly in each wave so that their synergies provide interesting gameplay.

It's going to be really interesting to watch how the community tackles this new type of challenge. The map difficulty is more severe than most other maps. However, it is achievable! There are so many elements of the map to factor into your gameplay. It's a great way to test out how strong and diverse your build really is, or isn’t, as the case may be.

We can't wait to see the builds that you guys create to try to tackle the Grandmasters. Some of you will fight your own characters. If you die to yourself are you still the victor?

Have fun and good luck!

If you'd like to immortalise yourself in the map, you can buy a Grandmaster pack here.
Last bumped on Dec 20, 2017, 12:48:18 PM

-Also, so excited for this :) It makes me sad though that we'll have to wait another week for 1.3.1. I thought it would be tomorrow or so.

-Upon some further thought, it seems to me that some builds that would be able to handle this would be perhaps RF (for obvious reasons), as well as lowlife spectral throw. I'm not sure how CoC would handle this, as it might be difficult to handle multiple moving targets.

-Also, how would party play affect this? currently it seems to me that a bigger party would make things easier, as you simply would easily be able to outnumber the Grandmasters. Or would the difficulty curve be similar to Atziri where multiple players make the instance much harder?

-Last question is are the Grandmasters going to have similar drops like rouge exiles (or rares perhaps), or simply going to have white/magic monster drops?
Sure, the lab can be hard, but it's pretty easy if you're properly geared, and not terrible at the game.
Last edited by Rowanbladex on Jan 27, 2015, 9:11:32 PM
ing @MoJo_Z

Also im pretty sure dieing to your own master is still technically you winning, since not only has one of your characters won, but you have helped created content that is challenging. is that a double win?
Hey this is a signature! pretty cool stuff...yeah...
Last edited by websterep on Jan 27, 2015, 8:53:56 PM
Hols S*#T Nicely done fellas

Still Yet to upload mine :)

Last edited by I_BEARS_I on Jan 27, 2015, 8:49:00 PM
Rowanbladex wrote:

-Also, so excited for this :) It makes me sad though that we'll have to wait another week for 1.3.1. I thought it would be tomorrow or so.

I was hoping it'd be tomorrow also, but if our quality assurance department asks for a few extra workdays, we give it to them happily.
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Sounds amazing!
"Oblique satire is the only avenue of truth remaining in the wake of compliance masquerading as mandatory civility"
One of the best writers I know, 2021
This sounds terrifying... I'm betting people have sent in some really strong/sadistic builds :D

Also, they're randomized. So you might get a combo of, say, 5 summoners and have to fight a massive zombie horde :D
Last edited by Lahel on Jan 27, 2015, 8:53:33 PM
Just let us invade instances and be the "rogue exiles" ourselves. Provide the option to password or disable the option for those that wish to not be troubled by such gameplay.
GGG, the ADA of gaming....huuuur i gotz mai skilz.
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