As you know, we're announcing our 3.13.0 expansion very soon! We've revealed that it features enhancements to Path of Exile's endgame, a new challenge league and new ways to build characters, through skills and balance changes. Before we reveal the expansion's contents live on Twitch and enter a new era of endgame for Path of Exile, we wanted to take a look back at past endgame expansions to see how the Atlas of Worlds has evolved over time.

The Atlas of Worlds

Prior to our Atlas of Worlds expansion at the end of 2016, Path of Exile's endgame consisted of a pyramid-shaped progression of maps, disconnected from one another with no progression system that connected them and no pinnacle boss content aside from the highest tier maps. You were able to craft your maps to modify their properties but that was the extent of the control you had over the experience.

We wanted to design a system that would unify these maps through story and mechanics and also provide new ways for players to visualise their progress and have to have more control over their gameplay. Thus, the Atlas of Worlds was created, introducing dozens of new maps and 19 new bosses - including the guardians and Shaper which represented the hardest content in Path of Exile at the time.

War for the Atlas

2017 was an absolutely massive year for Path of Exile - perhaps the most formative to date. We released the Legacy Challenge League which was our send-off to Path of Exile as it used to be with the old difficulty level system, before launching The Fall of Oriath in August. This was an epic expansion that introduced acts 5-10 and transformed Path of Exile from a four-act campaign with three difficulties to ten acts with a single play-through of the storyline.

Later that year, we launched the War for the Atlas expansion which was also immense in its own right. It introduced the Elder, a new Atlas entity who was an enemy to both players and The Shaper, alongside 32 new maps. It also added the concept of Influenced Items, which draw from exclusive high-tier pools of modifiers.

Path of Exile: Betrayal

Path of Exile: Betrayal launched at the end of 2018 and completely changed how master missions work - saying goodbye to Tora, Haku and the other original Forsaken Masters and introducing Einhar, Alva, Niko, Zana and Jun as the new roster of Masters.

While this expansion was focused more on master missions and their rewards, it did introduce one key element that is still a big factor in Atlas play today - Scarabs. These are map fragments that are placed into the map device alongside your maps to control what content spawns in those maps.

Conquerors of the Atlas

The Conquerors of the Atlas expansion launched at the end of 2019, shortly after our first ExileCon convention in New Zealand. It introduced five new bosses - the four Conquerors and Sirus, Awakener of Worlds. This expansion also fundamentally changed how the Atlas worked. Instead of starting from four outer points in the Atlas and working your way to the centre, players now started at the centre and worked their way out.

Conquerors of the Atlas also separated the Atlas into Regions and introduced the concept of Watchstones, items that can be placed into your Atlas in order to increase the level of maps that drop within that region. When you place enough Watchstones into your Atlas, it increases the level of the entire Atlas so that every map is between tiers 14 and 16.

The Future of the Atlas

On January 7th (PST), we'll be announcing our 3.13.0 expansion via an exclusive livestream on While we can't reveal the details just yet, you can expect new endgame content and rewards, a new combat-focused in-area challenge league, balance changes, new items and more.

We will see you then!

Posted by 
Grinding Gear Games

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