A Beginner's Guide to Racing
The Medallion Race Season launches this weekend! In preparation for this new season we've put together a guide for players who are new to racing that further explains some of the Medallion Season Races and offers tips on how to progress quickly and keep your characters geared!
We've outlined a full racing guide in this post, however, if you would like to check out specific information you can head over to the Race Discussion forum to check out the individual posts: The Medallion Race Season In Depth, General Tips for Racing, Class Specific Recommendations for Racing. At the end of this post there's also bonus insight from one of the developers into the design behind the Signature Medallion Race that can also be viewed here in the race forum.
The Medallion Race Season In DepthDescent (listed as Mistress of Flame kill)
Descent is an alternate game mode. This article outlining the Descent race type has most of the information you'll need to be prepared. Two out of the twelve events of this type available will have the Onslaught mod. This race type is voided (your items and characters are not migrated to a parent league).
Descent Champions (listed as Gravicius DC)
Descent Champions is another alternate game mode. It's a bit more complex in terms of choices available to players. At the end of some areas you get a choice of starting in different areas with different item chests. Two out of the twelve events of this type available will have the Onslaught mod. This race type is voided.
Endless Ledge is the third alternate game mode. You receive a chest at the beginning with low level gems. Four out of the eight events will have the Winterheart modifier (areas have chilled ground, players are 45% faster when chilled). This race type is voided.
Alternate Start Races (Act Two or Three)
These races start from either the Act Two or Act Three towns instead of the traditional starting position of Twilight Strand. You start with a premade character but with your passive skills unallocated. It's recommended to log in slightly early for the race so that you can allocate your passives in your desired build. There's a list of recommended skill trees here.
Quicksilver Flasks and spellcaster weapons cannot be stashed in these races, however it is possible to stash other parts of your gear if you desire. This race type is voided. This article has a list of the gems and gear provided at the beginning of the race.
Players may join another player's instances by using Ctrl+Click at waypoints and doorways. You are able to kill other players outside of town. Slain players grant experience and drop all of their non-gem equipment when they die.
Boss Kill Races
In these races, your objective is to kill a specific boss on a timer that starts at the beginning of the race. This differs to regular races where typically your goal is to gain the most experience as opposed to fastest time. There are races to kill Brutus, Merveil, Piety, Dominus, Malachai and Izaro.
Descent and Descent Champions are also Boss Kill races this season. The area seed is shared between players, but not revealed. Some of these races have specific mods attributed to them. If you're not familiar with race mods be sure to check out the list below for more information.
All areas other than towns and the Twilight Strand will be inhabited by 10 additional Tormented Spirits. Spirits will spawn regardless of their usual level restrictions. This race type is voided.
All areas other than towns and the Twilight Strand are inhabited by 20 additional Rogue Exiles. Specific Rogue Exiles are not restricted by level, so any Exile can appear in any area. This race type is voided.
These acronyms stand for a combination of the mods (you can find more information listed below). Blood Magic, Lethal, Ancestral, Multiple Projectiles, Turbo and the same with Sentinel instead of Ancestral. These races hold the hardest content you can encounter in the game. It is advised to go slowly and make sure to engage a minimal amount of monsters at a time in the beginning. Prioritise ranged monsters as they cover a lot of ground with the multiple projectiles mod.
Modifiers Included in the Medallion Race Season
General Tips for RacingHow to get started
At the character selection screen, you'll find a box below your list of characters with upcoming racing events. When the event is close to beginning, you'll be able to click 'Join' and create a character for the race. You'll log in at the Twilight Strand (or other starting areas depending on the type of event) and wait until the race begins. The schedule is available here: http://www.pathofexile.com/events
Decision making is an important aspect of racing, learning to make them quickly comes with experience and practice. This applies to many aspects of racing including inventory management, gem setup, skill tree decisions and gear choices. It's better to start off with a plan than to figure it out during a race where you can feel pressured.
Just like saving time, area knowledge comes with time and practice. Some resources are available but your ability to identify what layouts you are confronted with is going to determine how quickly you can go through a zone. Some areas have very clear tells, others don't. This is an example of how you can analyse an area.
If you are going to spend an hour or more playing the game, spending a minute reading about what you are going to play is a smart time investment to avoid any unwanted surprises. Some of the races have mods designed to challenge experienced players and are likely to drastically change your experience from the original game.
You will be spending a lot of time running through areas, so you'll want to get as much movement speed as you can. It's also a layer of defence against monsters, especially if they have mods benefiting them.
Wearing body armour or a shield slows you down. You have to make an informed decision between what the gear provides and how penalising it is to wear it. As a general rule, prioritising evasion-based gear is usually the way to go as the penalty isn't as significant as the other body armours. Evasion is arguably the best defence for the early game.
Keeping an eye out for unidentified boots and checking the vendor is also quite important, as 10% movement speed can become the difference between first and second place or life and death.
Make sure to complete the Mercy Mission quest to get the Quicksilver Flask early. If a second flask drops, it is more often than not providing more utility than any other type of flask at this point in the game. If you can afford it, use currency on it. Having extra charges or charge recovery helps a lot in sustaining your movement speed potential.
Life and Mana Flasks
Life flasks keep you alive, so upgrading them to their next tier is necessary. Be aware of the specific threshold levels (such as 1, 3, 6, 12, 18) to know when to look for them. You cannot afford the continuous mana cost of your skills at level 20 with the initial small mana flask. They are available at the vendor for scrolls of wisdom if you cannot find one. It is also possible to upgrade to the next tier if you have three of the same tier below (for example, 3 Large Life Flasks = 1 Greater Life Flask).
Socket Colours and Links
In addition to having an idea of which skills and support gems you are going to use, having an appropriate item filter highlighting what you need will save you a lot of trouble. Some item filters specifically designed for racing should be available, but global ones like NeverSink's item filter will also help. It's also good to be familiar with the Quest Rewards article for this purpose.
You can find some information about these here but later in this post we'll also detail these further based on which character archetype you're going for.
Each of the NPCs can provide you with gear: - base items you need, magic items, jewelry, flasks or specific gems. Some magic items can cost two Scrolls of Wisdom which makes them a very good purchase depending on the mods.
Selecting what you need to pick up from the monster drops is one of the most important components of racing. Unidentified rare or magic items give you transmutation shards. Once they're identified they give you alteration shards and those are both currencies that you will need in order to buy jewelry that grants attributes or gems at the vendor. Picking up white items that take up minimal space in your inventory is also a good way to sustain your Scrolls of Wisdom.
Area GuidesThe Twilight Strand: Run straight to Hillock. Don't bother killing spare monsters on the way, however opening up chests can sometimes give you a crucial extra item.
Another area where killing monsters isn't rewarding enough for the time you spend, but contains many chests. Make sure to grab the waypoint. For beginners, it's suggested to go to the Mud Flats before Tidal Island.
The Mud Flats:
Be aware of charging Rhoas. Get the three required quest glyphs as quickly as you can without spending too much time killing monsters. Once you've opened up the Submerged Passage, enter the area and take the nearby waypoint back to The Coast so that you can easily access Tidal Island.
The Tidal Island:
The first challenging fight, not to be taken lightly. Run straight to Hailrake and engage him cautiously. Kiting is encouraged as you can quickly become overwhelmed or targeted by Hailrake's spell. After you've killed him you can log out to get back to town more quickly. Make sure to pick up the Quicksilver Flask from Nessa, and your gem reward from Hillock. (Casters: Orb of Storms or Flame Totem. Melee: Ancestral Protector. Ranged: Siege Ballista). It's usually a good time to check the vendor for the early gear (rings, and possibly magic items).
The Submerged Passage:
Zombies and Spawns are easy targets for gaining experience and flask charges. Look out for the bridge leading up to The Ledge, it's usually populated by a rare monster. If you find The Flooded Depths, you went the wrong way. The skill point quest isn't worth doing in races.
You should kill most of the monsters in this area, just make sure to not spend too much time on the isolated ones. If you went back to town and are hesitant about which direction to take, check the waypoint. It has stones that indicate the direction to The Climb. It is recommended that you skip Kuduku.
Goatmen are harder monsters to fight, and the casters are dangerous to melee players because of their Molten Shell. Fighting the ranged monsters in this area is more efficient and less risky. The boss in this area represents a real threat, skip it if you feel vulnerable.
The Prison Level 1:
This rewards you with your first support gem (Added Fire Damage for melee and archers. Added Lightning Damage for casters). It's also an opportunity to buy an attribute amulet if you've picked up enough unidentified items for currency. Don't get lost in The Prison's Trial of Ascendancy.
The Prison Level 2:
Don't spend too much time fighting the monsters unless you are sure to level up while you're there. Between the revive and the enfeeble curse, it can become quite inefficient. In the warden's quarter, you can follow the blood trails on the ground to avoid a small dead end.
Brutus - Use your totem or utility skills. If you aren't confident in your ability to manage him, buying a Large Life Flask should help you mitigate the amount of damage he can deal. Prioritising evasion gear and dual wielding also helps.
Once you've killed him you can log out to return to town. You are awarded the Prisoner's Gate waypoint automatically after killing Brutus.
Two bosses populate this zone. Both should be skipped if possible. The Burning Menace can be hard to deal with and you can run away from the The Guardian of the Mound easily.
The Ship Graveyard:
Monsters are a bit sparse in this area. Knowing where to go is a plus.
The Cavern of Wrath:
This is where you are rewarded with your level 12 skill gem. (Firestorm or Lightning Trap for casters. Sunder for melee. Sweep is an option but not as efficient.) Unless you've overfarmed, you won't be level 12 by the time you reach Merveil. It is possible to buy a sapphire ring or check the vendor again. Using your movement skills to cross a gap can save you a lot of time.
The Cavern of Anger:
Be aware of the exploding monsters, don't let them reach you.
Merveil - Most of the damage she deals is cold so having some cold resistance at this point will make the fight a lot easier. Use your totem or utility skills. Make a note of her using her teleport when reaching specific amounts of life, and react quickly to her barrage of Ice Spears. The second form should be easier to deal with as long as you don't stand in the geysers. If you run out of mana, using a portal to refill your flasks is an option.
If you haven't picked up your gem reward, you can log out after you've killed her to get it and take the opportunity to vendor your loot. You are awarded with the Southern Forest waypoint automatically on kill.
The Southern Forest:
Reaching level 12 and socketing your previously acquired skill gem will help deal with the density of monsters in this area. Don't spend too much time chasing after those fleeing monkeys!
The Old Fields:
Follow the road, skip the boss, try to gather multiple packs of monkeys at once for efficiency.
Grab the waypoint, then head left towards the Chamber of Sins. Killing Calaf is usually not worth the time but he is hard to escape.
The Chamber of Sins Level 1:
This is where you start seeing guaranteed magic packs: they are worth killing though some layouts might make it a bad choice.
The Chamber of Sins Level 2:
Having some lightning resistance will help here. Fidelitas is a hard-hitting boss. Engage him with your totem or utility skills that you have available. Getting rid of the pack of monsters accompanying him first is safer. Having a Greater Life Flask at this point is advised. Once he is killed, make sure to pick up the Baleful Gem before logging out to go back to town. In town you'll be rewarded with your choice of Herald Skill Gem.
Follow the road. Use your movement skill to get across the bridges. Grab the waypoint. From the waypoint, you can see a cobblestone road indicating the location of the Wetlands. You don't need to go there yet, but it's good to take note of for later.
The Western Forest:
Follow the road. Grab the waypoint. The greyed out part of the minimap/forest indicates where the Weaver's Chamber is. In a similar manner to how the Wetlands are indicated, a path to Alira can be seen. From the the road there is a torch that indicates where this path begins. It is not worth killing the blackguard soldiers for the skillpoint in a short race. Be aware of the exploding monsters - don't let them reach you.
The Weaver's Chamber:
This area has rewarding monster density. At this point if you don't have a Greater Life Flask you should start struggling with the incoming damage. The boss is a hard-hitter and has a pack of magic spiders enhancing his abilities through frenzy charges. Try to get him down to 50% quickly to have some breathing room. Once killed, pick up Maligaro's Spike and then log out. You are rewarded with the second set of support gems. Make sure to have a 3 link with the appropriate colours to use them as soon as possible.
Kill The Bandits:
This is usually your next stop after killing The Weaver. You should be sufficiently geared at this point for them to not be too much trouble. Use the Crossroads' waypoint to reach Kraityn. Help Oak in the Wetlands for his +40 to maximum life.
The Vaal Ruins:
This area has good density although the snakes can become inefficient to kill because of their behaviour. Don't get hit by the Vaal Fallen. Their elemental-status-on-hit ability makes them quite dangerous. This area has the hardest layout in the game, it will take you time to decipher it.
The Northern Forest:
This area is linear so you can essentially run in one direction from the entrance to the exit at the other end. Skip the devourers. The spiders and snakes should be easy to kill.
Skip magic and rare bears unless you have high damage output. There is also a boss to avoid in this area.
The Ancient Pyramid:
Be aware of the elemental damage in this area. Having at least a lightning resistance ring is advised for killing Vaal Oversoul. Getting familiar with his mechanics should make him easier to deal with. Don't log out after completion, you need to go through the door to get the waypoint!
Class Specific Recommendations for RacingMelee and Archer Racing - Gearing up
Iron Rings are a very important part of your damage. At a low level they have a huge impact on your damage output. While it can make your character vulnerable in other ways, reaching specific thresholds of being able to kill monsters in 1-2 hits is where you want to be if you aim to go fast and compete. They can also be used at later levels in vendor recipes for elemental resistance rings.
Gloves and jewelry are another source of potential extra damage.
Belts - Since most of your damage is physical or scaled from physical, a Rustic Sash belt can provide a fair amount of damage (up to 24% increased). You can also use them for upgrading your weapons through a vendor recipe. Using an Orb of Alchemy early on can provide very useful mods, reduced flask charges used for instance, and it can be used for recipes later on. It's a good investment. In this case, keep a spare to avoid running around beltless.
Dual Wielding or Two-Handed - Depending on your drops, both can be used. However, at level 12, using two-handed weapons is the most efficient strategy. It's also at this point where your passive skill tree separates into different branches and you have to stick with your choices until the end of the race.
Beware of the stat requirements of the items or gems you intend to use. Each class has different requirements and there are no guarantees to have either the currency to buy an amulet or the specific type that you want at the vendor.
Marauder recommended skills:
Ground slam (Area of Effect), Ancestral Protector (Single target, Utility), Heavy strike or Molten Strike (Single Target), Sunder (Area of Effect). Until you get Sunder, you should stick with maces but by level 13 you can switch to axes as they have higher base damage. Be aware that you are going to struggle with accuracy early game.
Duelist recommended skills:
Cleave (Area of Effect), Ancestral Protector (Single target, Utility), Dual/Double Strike or Molten Strike (Single Target), Sunder (Area of Effect).
It's recommended to use either axes or swords in order to use cleave to get the most out of your Iron Rings. Make sure to pick up higher base types as you go, they are a significant upgrade. Once you get Sunder, maces are an option but as noted for Marauder, the axes are more effective with their higher base damage.
Engage a pack of enemies with Ancestral Protector, then use your Area of Effect ability. The totem provides damage and utility and is able to pick off leftover enemies that survived your Area of Effect. With Sunder, you gain significant kiting abilities. Monsters trailing you tend to line up, going forward and engaging several packs at once is optimal. Ancestral Protector isn't always relevant by then, but against magic packs or bosses it's always a good tool to have out.
Once you reach level 10 and after you've killed Brutus, you will also gain access to Leap Slam which is a useful movement skill.
Ranger recommended skills:
Shrapnel Shot (Area of Effect, Single Target), Siege Ballista (Utility).
Ranger recommendations cannot be as clear cut as the above classes because of preference of playstyle. Both Lightning Arrow and Rain of Arrows are good Area of Effect skills but differ significantly in gameplay. Lining up monsters benefits both of your main skills, Shrapnel Shot and Siege Ballista. While you have the ability to fight monsters from afar, engaging them in close range to group them in clusters allows you to clear them efficiently.
Caustic Arrow's base damage isn't high enough to be solely relied upon, but has a very good Area of Effect and helps with finishing off monsters.
Lightning Arrow has to be used with the Lesser Multiple Projectiles Support gem in order to have a decent Area of Effect, whereas Rain of Arrows can work by itself but has a delay between the use and the hit. They are both viable options it just depends which option works best for your situation.
Once you reach level 10 and after you've killed Brutus, you get access to one of the best movement skills in the game: Blink Arrow. It helps with single target, aggro on monsters and movement. As it has a cooldown, make sure to use it to the best of your abilities.
Caster Racing - Gearing Up
Your damage is based in the following weapon types: Wands, Sceptres and Daggers. The affixes having the most impact are +1 to socketed skill gem level of the appropriate elemental type, and flat spell damage of any elemental type.
There's a vendor recipe to address the +1 to socketed skill gems, but it doesn't work on daggers and you cannot dual wield a sceptre and a wand. For the flat spell damage, pick up the relevant weapon type to try to get the highest ones possible. Having an idea of which ones spawn at what level is one way to optimise your gear choices for casters.
Unlike Attack based players, you can pick the jewelry for their survival aspects: Coral Rings or Elemental Resistance rings. You can keep Iron Rings for their recipe use.
Be aware of the stat requirements of the items or gems you intend to use: each class has different ones, and there is no guarantee to either have the currency to buy an amulet, or have the specific type that you want at the vendor.
Staves are a bad option for racing, so you're better off dual wielding. A shield can be considered, but doesn't provide as much damage as a weapon and slows you down.
Scion and Witch recommended skills:
Freezing pulse (Single target, Area of Effect), Fire Trap (Area of Effect).
Orb of Storms and Flame Totem can both be used but their damage output is fairly low. While you have the ability to fight monsters from afar, engaging them in close range to move them into clustered groups allows you to clear more efficiently. Use Fire Trap to engage monsters and Freezing Pulse to pick off resistant targets. Freezing pulse also has a survival aspect due to the chill or freeze component.
At level 12, you get access to Firestorm (Area of Effect, Single Target). You can use it as a main skill or to optimise your character, use it combined with the supports Trap and Multitrap for very good Area of Effect coverage. Use Flame Surge for single targets.
Shadow recommended skills:
Freezing Pulse (Single target, Area of Effect), Fire Trap (Area of Effect).
As with the Scion and the Witch, Orb of Storms can be used but its damage output is fairly low. Use Fire Trap to engage monsters and Freezing Pulse to pick off resistant targets.
At level 12, you gain access to Lightning Trap (Area of Effect, Single Target). Make sure to have it supported by the Multiple Traps Support gem.
Templar recommended skills:
Freezing Pulse (Single Target, Area of Effect)
Orb of Storms and Flame Totem can both be used but their damage output is fairly low. Unlike other caster classes, you don't have Fire Trap available so you are more likely to rely on Flame Totem. Freezing Pulse should take care of most of the packs. Alternatively, you could kill Hillock with a Shadow and stash the Fire Trap Skill Gem reward to use for more efficient pack clearing.
At level 12, you get access to Firestorm (Area of Effect, Single Target). You can use it as a main skill.
Spark is an option for all of the above caster classes, especially if you use it in conjunction with Orb of Storms, but it has limitations.
Flame Dash is a decent movement skill, but has a short range and limited use with a cooldown similar to traps. However, it can be used to kill monsters with its base damage and the trail of burning ground left behind. Lightning Warp is another option but doesn't cover as many situations as Flame Dash does, however it has far better range.
General Gem Recommendations:
Level 16 gems:
Level 18 gems:
This is where having an item filter that highlights gear with specific three-link set ups will be a huge help. The majority of the time it is more beneficial to wear a white item which allows you to use your skill than a magic or rare one without the appropriate sockets.
Level 24 gems:
Class Specific Skill TreesAlt start Act Two races: These are just recommendations. They are not necessarily the best passive skill trees available and we welcome members of the community to post improved suggestions.
Alt start Act Three races:
These are skill trees that you can also build towards when starting a character from scratch. You can also take inspiration from the way these characters are setup to pick your gems.
Designing the Signature Medallion Race (written by the designer)My initial plan was to use Tormented Shavronne, Daresso at Merveil, and other unique monsters possessed by Tormented Spirits, such as Fidelitas and The Weaver in Act Two. However, playtesting these ideas amplified some issues with the design. For instance, the raw difficulty or some minor aspects of them becoming more significant in a racing environment. For instance, with a Tormented Shavronne at Brutus, you can end up with Brutus having a higher HP pool depending on how far away from Brutus the Tormented Spirit spawned.
The Tormented Spirits for Act Two would have been selected randomly, resulting in heavily RNG-dependant results, which is something competitive players are not so fond of.
I also wanted to use the Monstrous Treasure Prophecy which would mean that areas only spawn strong boxes. This would increase monster density in some areas and give choices to the player, such as, "Do I go fast while under-leveled or do I get a lot of experience with a time cost?". However, despite it being fixed seed, there can still be a variance in the way they are spawned.
Having events with multiple rare monsters at fixed locations was also considered (like the rare weapons at Lioneye's Standard in the The Climb), but it's very easy to be overwhelmed, especially if you get a bad combination of auras.
I ended up going with a mix of existing mods and minor prophecy types. The difficulty should be challenging without going to extremes.
The Lethal mod is a reduced version of the existing one. It doesn't have 50% extra cold damage. The length of the Signature Race is one hour.
The Mud Flats
Onslaught + Extra Shrine
The Submerged Passage
The Prison Level 1
Brutal + Extra Shrine
The Prison Level 2
The Ship Graveyard
Brutal + The Cursed Choir
The Ship Graveyard Cave
The Cursed Choir + Onslaught
The Cavern of Wrath
Onslaught + Soil, Worms and Blood
The Cavern of Anger
The Southern Forest
The Old Fields
Brutal + Onslaught
Turbo Gmp + Fallow At Last
Chamber of Sins Level 1
Brutal + Extra Shrine
Chamber of Sins Level 2
The Broken Bridge
The Western Forest
The Weaver's Chamber
The Vaal Ruins
The Northern Forest
Lethal + The Cursed Choir
The Ancient Pyramid
The City of Sarn
The Slums Sewers
Onslaught + The Cursed Choir
The Warehouse Sewers
Onslaught + The Cursed Choir
The Market Sewers
Onslaught + Soil, Worms and Blood
The Warehouse District
Turbo + Extra Shrine
Turbo + Soil, Worms and Blood
Turbo + Soil, Worms and Blood
Turbo + Extra Shrine
on Jul 18, 2016, 12:00:08 AM
Grinding Gear Games
Meanwhile, PVP season 2 & "Endgame"....
[Gear & Club] ¯\(°_°)/¯ #1 Professional Afk Club /2133058
[Hideout] New Oriath /2505008
[Pvp Trophy] PVP #1 EU & US EA /1591888 | | BM EA /1431163
[Dead] PSC La /1682118, Build BM PA /1296491, BM IG LL ST /1121092, Shop /874905
"God's in his Heaven, All's right with the world!" IGN: Libritannia
Last edited by 1Tokimeki2003 on Jul 18, 2016, 12:01:26 AM
on Jul 18, 2016, 12:00:25 AM
To Die Is Not An Option, To Fight Until DIESync Is The Only Answer. ☺☻☺
Happy Hunting Exiles.
on Jul 18, 2016, 12:02:06 AM
These aren't the patch notes...
on Jul 18, 2016, 12:07:34 AM
Nice. But was hoping expansion news would start trickling in soon!
on Jul 18, 2016, 12:07:58 AM
The teasers have started. Keep an eye out for hidden information!
on Jul 18, 2016, 12:17:13 AM
Grinding Gear Games
on Jul 18, 2016, 12:18:37 AM
Really? I mean, we had all off this already, I think it's nice to have it all in one post, but please make it happen, that all this information is accessible really quick. Up to now I struggled everytime to find the information thread for all the different mods over and over again, maybe I should have bookmarked it. I wish there could be a category in the "Game" section of the website where you would put all these information in.
The signature is too much for me :S(
Last edited by Lifesprigguy on Jul 18, 2016, 1:08:01 AM
on Jul 18, 2016, 12:26:24 AM
very nicely written, gg
on Jul 18, 2016, 12:30:33 AM
on Jul 18, 2016, 12:37:00 AM