The Breach Challenge League is coming to Path of Exile on December 2nd, and it’s bringing with it powerful Breachlords, new unique items, and awesome microtransactions. I spoke with Chris Wilson earlier this week about the content update, and I wrote about 5 of the biggest takeaways from our conversation. Everyone, let's talk about the Breach Challenge League.
1. So, there are Breaches.
In the Breach Challenge League, you’ll encounter tears in reality, or Breaches, approximately every 10 minutes of gameplay. Breaches will expand in a ring, revealing another world with monsters, chests, and bosses. The more monsters you kill inside the Breach, the larger the ring will expand and the more monsters you’ll face. How long the Breach stays open is determined by how well you take down monsters. If you fight too slowly, the Breach will only stay open 30 seconds. If you fight amazingly, the Breach will stay open for 60 seconds - that’s the cap. The longer the Breach is open, the more powerful monsters you’ll face and the more exclusive Breach items you’ll receive.
Here's some Breach gameplay footage:
Once the Breach has collapsed, the bodies of the monsters you’ve slain will disappear and the ground will turn back to its original color. It will feel almost as if the Breach was never there. You'll still be able to collect items you’ve earned from the Breach encounter, though - don’t worry about that.
Not all Breaches are the same. There are five types: Fire, Cold, Lightning, Physical, and Chaos. Each type of Breach has its own monsters and special unique items, and some breaches (Physical and Chaos) are rarer than others.
Additionally, each type of Breach has its own Breachlord. They sound important, so let’s give them their own header.
2. Breachlords. They’re dangerous, and you can only kill them in their Domain.
If you’re in a Breach for long enough, you’ll draw the attention of a dreaded Breachlord. When one appears, you’re bound to have mixed feelings - they’re very dangerous, but also quite rewarding. You cannot kill Breachlords in Breaches - you can only damage them, and they’ll always escape once the Breach collapses. How much you damage them impacts what kind of Breach items are dropped.
So, if you can’t kill a Breachlord in a Breach, where can you slay them? You’re going to have to head to their Domain. Each Breachlord has their own, and it’s a special area that has no regular monsters; it’s just one giant Breach. But how do you get there?
You’ll need to collect Splinters. Monsters, chests, and Breachlords drop Splinters for their respective Breaches. When you collect 100 of the same type, they’ll convert to a Breachstone. With the Breachstone, you’ll get one attempt to travel to the Domain and take on the Breachlord. It’s worth mentioning that Splinters and Breachstones are tradable, so you can work with other players to get exactly what you need.
Once you enter the Domain, you won’t face the Breachlord right away. There's a test first. You’ll need to fight difficult monsters in order to expand the breach to the end of the map, as this is where a portal to the Breachlord’s arena lies. Just like with other Breaches, your performance will determine the expansion of the Breach. If you kill monsters too slowly in the Domain, you won’t expand the Breach enough to reach the portal, and the Breach will collapse. But, for the sake of this article, let's say you reach the portal.
Here's some Domain and Breachlord footage:
Once you enter the portal, there’s no time limit for defeating the Breachlord. The fight will be very difficult, but if you manage to emerge victorious, the Breachlord has a chance to drop a Blessing. Blessings can upgrade a unique item associated with its Breach type.
But we haven’t even talked about the unique items yet, and they're pretty exciting. Let’s do that now.
3. Breach unique items will change the way you typically build characters.
There are 5 types of Breaches, and each type has 3 unique items - an armor piece, a weapon, and a piece of jewelry. So, that’s 15 unique items that can drop from Breaches, and you can get them from any monsters, chests, or bosses in a Breach.
Now for the cool part. These unique items have some pretty interesting stats that are going to completely change the way you build your characters. For instance, The Infinite Pursuit Goliath Greaves grant 15% increased movement speed while bleeding. So, what will you alter about your current build to make sure you’re bleeding more? There’s also The Formless Flame Siege Helmet, which increases armor by uncapped fire resistance. Clearly these are some pretty big twists, but it’s something vocal community members have asked for.
So, as previously mentioned, Breachlords drop Blessings that can upgrade Breach unique items. Those Greaves we mentioned before with the 15% movement speed buff from bleeding? When you use a Blessing on them, they transform into The Red Trial Titan Greaves, which allow you to gain a frenzy charge on hit while bleeding.
Each unique item from a Breach can be upgraded with a Blessing, so there are a total of 30 Breach unique items in this Challenge League.
Now, there’s one big thing left to cover when it comes to Challenge Leagues - the challenges themselves and their rewards.
4. This League’s microtransaction rewards will be better than ever.
I realize that’s a bold statement, but it’s true. These microtransaction rewards will be a bit nicer than ones you’ve seen in past Leagues, and there’s a reason. Grinding Gear Games is eager to see if nicer microtransaction rewards for Challenge Leagues will get more players involved. Could this also backfire and negatively impact microtransaction sales? Possibly, but it’s worth a test and benefits the community.
The microtransaction rewards for this Challenge League are:
- Demon Hand Gloves microtransaction at 12 challenges complete
- Breach Portal microtransaction at 24 challenges complete
- Demonic Wings microtransaction at 36 challenges complete
There are both standard and hardcore versions of the Breach League, and both contain 40 challenges that can only be completed during the three months the League is running.
As you likely know, the 2.5.0 content update isn’t solely about the Challenge League. Let’s touch on some other improvements and content coming to the game.
5. I heard you liked cloth physics.
There are two new Supporter Packs, and they primarily showcase cloaks with cloth physics simulation. They also include effects, social portrait frames, supporter titles, and points. They’re actually for sale right now, so if you’re as excited about cloth physics as Chris says you are, there’s no better time to grab a Supporter Pack.
Additionally, there’s a new game client, more unique items, improvements to the Forsaken Master system, visually revamped early areas, and many other fixes for community-reported problems.
So, what are your thoughts? The twists with the Breach unique items seems pretty cool, and it’s really evident that Grinding Gear is catering to its playerbase here. Will you be the Wraeclast enthusiast that perfects a new build around these new items?
Don’t forget, this is all coming December 2nd, which is only two weeks away. Fighting in breaches - the perfect holiday pastime.
For more information on Path of Exile, visit the Wiki on Gamepedia.
Thanks, pumaofshadow. There are 40 challenges.
Brianna engages with the Gamepedia community through editorial content and social media. When she’s not busy tweeting about gaming news, she enjoys playing tabletop games, spending time outdoors, and binge-watching sci-fi.