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Path of Exile: Scourge - Release date, Blood Crucible, passive skill masteries, Atlas changes, more

Path of Exile's Scourge 3.17 expansion is releasing this October and it comes with the new Blood Crucible mechanic, the Dream Furnace, passive skills rework, new skill gems, and a huge overhaul of Path of Exile's Atlas of Worlds endgame.
The 3.17 expansion of Path of Exile is named Scourge and it will bring us into a hellish battle against the invading army of demons.

The Path of Exile Scourge expansion has been officially revealed by Grinding Gear Games, and it comes stacked with new features, improvements, endgame content, and more.

The main theme of the 3.17 expansion is the titular Scourge. Players will obtain a special item called the Blood Crucible, which you must fill with the blood of your enemies in order to travel into an alternate version of Wraeclast, battle against the powerful demons and collect your well-earned rewards.

Here's everything new that's coming with the Scourge expansion in Path of Exile.

The Blood Crucible

Path of Exile: Scourge - Release date, Blood Crucible, passive skill masteries, Atlas changes, more
Travel into an alternate reality of Wraeclast and reap the corruption of Demons for your power. (Picture: Grinding Gear Games)

As with all quarterly leagues and expansions, you will start the 3.17 expansion with a new character, and you will be approached by a mysterious NPC, a refugee from this alternate version of Wraeclast.

She will inform you about the demon invasion which has all but destroyed this parallel universe, and she will entrust you with a demonic artefact known as the Blood Crucible.

The Blood Crucible is the main gameplay mechanic of this expansion. As the name suggests, you must fill it with the blood of the monsters you slay in the normal version of Wraeclast. Once it has enough of the red fuel, you can activate it and it will instantly teleport you to an alternative Wraeclast full of powerful demons.

These demons, known as The Scourge, are running rampant and terrorizing this reality, so you will need to slay them as many as possible, The more blood you have in the Blood Crucible, the longer you will stay there, but you will suffer more damage as well.

By killing the Scourge, your Blood Crucible will level up and you will be introduced with its passive skills screen where you can upgrade its functions in numerous ways.

The Scourge items

Path of Exile: Scourge - Release date, Blood Crucible, passive skill masteries, Atlas changes, more
Upgrade your Blood Crucible and make your items even more powerful. (Picture: Grinding Gear Games)

While slaying the Scourge's demons, the Blood Crucible will absorb their corruption. You can place items into the Blood Crucible, and this corruption will be channelled into them, making them far more powerful but also more dangerous.

The corrupted items will receive a pair of Scourged Modifiers, where the first one is a powerful beneficial effect, while the second one is a negative modification.

By upgrading your Blood Crucible, you can choose a lot of options that will modify this corruption mechanic and the way it affects items you place inside it.

The Dream Furnace

Path of Exile: Scourge - Release date, Blood Crucible, passive skill masteries, Atlas changes, more
New gems and other items are slated for release in Path of Exile: Scourge. (Picture: Grinding Gear Games)

Another new device you will encounter in the Scourge expansion is the Dream Furnace.

With this device, you will be able to put maps in the Blood Crucible. Maps placed in the Blood Crucible will also absorb the demonic corruption and will eventually transform.

The corruption-soaked maps will gain a beneficial and detrimental effect just like corrupted equipment, but will also affect the behaviour of the Scourge league in that map.

"Maps can be transformed up to ten times, increasing their risk and reward substantially each time," developers explain. "When a Map is transformed a second or subsequent time, there's a chance that the new beneficial or detrimental modifiers stack alongside the existing ones, enhancing their power, or a chance that new modifiers are added."

Passive skill tree rework

Path of Exile: Scourge - Release date, Blood Crucible, passive skill masteries, Atlas changes, more
Path of Exile's passive skill tree will now be more intuitive. (Picture: Grinding Gear Games)

Path of Exile is probably best-known for its iconic and enormous Passive skill tree, which branches seemingly endlessly.

The Scourge expansion is bringing a significant revamp of the passive skill tree, which includes rebalancing of all passive skills, focusing their power on their primary functions, and a new Passive Skill Masteries feature.

Passive Skill Masteries are tied with a passive skill and they act as additional modifiers to fine-tune your passive skills with specific niche stats.

Developers hope that this will make for more meaningful decisions making, while also changing the passive skill tree to a more easily readable look, and therefore easier to understand.

Atlas of Worlds endgame overhaul

Path of Exile: Scourge - Release date, Blood Crucible, passive skill masteries, Atlas changes, more
The Scourge is hard to fight, but the rewards are worth the effort. (Picture: Grinding Gear Games)

Atlas of Worlds represents Path of Exile's endgame content and in the 3.17 expansion developers strive to make it more streamlined.

  • The number of regions has been reduced from 8 to 4
  • The number of Watchstones required reduced from 32 to 16
  • The number of maps on the Atlas reduced to 100 plus the unique maps
  • Rebalance of the bonuses - a slightly higher level of benefit when you fully unlock Atlas

When is Scourge coming out? Release date and time revealed

The Scourge is set to be released on the 22nd of October for PC and on 27th October for consoles.

The exact release time for the PC version is 22nd October at 12 pm PT / 3 pm ET / 9 pm CET.

The exact release time for the Console version is 27th October at 4 pm PT / 7 pm ET / 1 am CET (28th October).

If you want to learn more detail about all the new mechanics and features, visit the official Scourge expansion page.

Don't forget to check out our general video games section for industry news, guides, and much more.