Path of Exile: Heist lets players pull off their own Ocean’s 11-style theft

On Sept. 18, players can dive into the newest Path of Exile League (the game’s version of a season). Called Heist, the new addition allows players to thieve their way through difficult strongholds, and reward themselves with some unique items.

In Heist, players can enter a new area called the Rogue Harbour. Here, players can meet up with different thieves, hire them for their crew, and prepare blueprints for new jobs.

When players battle monsters in the world of Path of Exile, they’ll come across Markers — a new currency — and Contracts. Consuming a Marker sends players to Rogue Harbour, where they can sign Rogue thieves onto their Contract. Each Contract takes players to a different facility, where they’ll work alongside their hired Rogues to steal the treasure.

During a Heist, players need to pay attention to an Alert meter on their screen. Make too much commotion, and the guards will lock down the treasure. While players can find and plunder treasure rooms inside a heist, the Artifact is the primary goal. If players can make it to the Artifact before alerting the guards, they can steal it. But once they pick up the Artifact, the guards spring into action. If players manage to escape, they’ll keep their loot. But death means leaving all that hard work behind.

As players collect Artifacts, they can sell it to the fence in Rogue Harbour, picking up more Marks and making their way toward a Grand Heist. Grand Heists are even more complex, require more help from Rogues, and offer even greater rewards.

You have to hire Rogues in town, and defend them during certain tasks
Image: Grinding Gear Games

At the end of each Grand Heist, players can pick from five unique rewards. Some of these tantalizing new items include new systems, like Replica Unique Items and Alternate Quality gems — both new additions to Path of Exile.

Replica Unique Items take 100 Unique Items (Path of Exile’s Legendaries) and make slight tweaks. Instead of a bow that usually scales off of dexterity, the Replica version of the bow might scale off strength. These small tweaks drastically alter the weapon’s use cases, and should spice up the Path of Exile meta for a few months.

Alternate Quality Gems offer a similar idea for skills. Instead of the usual gem quality — which increases a specific aspect in the skill — Alternate Quality Gems take the same skill but increase a different aspect. One example that developer Grinding Gear Games gave us was for a gem where quality normally increases critical strike chance. The Alternate Quality version increases raw attack damage instead.

These rewards are unique to Heists, and only one player can get one item from the Grand Heist. In co-op Grand Heists, only the player who put up the contract can pick up an Alternate Quality Gem or Replica Unique Item — however, they can trade any of these to a friend, and friends can loot treasure rooms inside Heists. Grinding Gear Games expects a kind of tit-for-tat approach to co-op — a thematically appropriate “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” approach to alternating heists.

The heists feature all sorts of treasure, and some giant doors like this one
Image: Grinding Gear Games

Heist also introduces the first new gear slot in Path of Exile history: the trinket. For Heist, the trinket slot only improves various Heist-related mechanics. But according to Grinding Gear Games, the studio wants to use Heist as a kind of testing ground for trinkets. If players enjoy the new mechanic, it may come to the game as a permanent fixture in the near future.

As always, the Heist update comes with additional quality of life features for the rest of Path of Exile. Grinding Gear Games improved some of the game’s Curses, and various aspects of Steel spells.

With Heist, Path of Exile also gains Mac OS support. Players won’t need to start over on Mac, and can use their Path of Exile account to jump between the two versions of the game, maintaining their progress wherever they play.

Heist comes to Path of Exile on Sept. 18 for Windows pc and Mac, with the console update coming a few days later on Sept. 23.

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