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Interview: Atlas of Worlds Expansion Reshapes Path of Exile’s Endgame

If you thought Path of Exile’s last content update, Prophecy, shook things up, you’re in for some serious world-shaking this time around. Atlas of Worlds, the new expansion for PoE, goes live on Sept. 2 and fundamentally changes how players will approach the game at high levels while creating tons of options for advanced players of Grinding Gear Games’ popular ARPG.

As with our Prophecy preview, I scored a chunk of time with PoE’s Lead Developer Chris Wilson to talk about everything that’s going into Atlas of Worlds – and it’s a lot. While the core gameplay of Path of Exile – find stuff, kill it, get its loot – remains unchanged, the exact nature of how you get to it will undergo some major changes in just a few weeks.

Before I get into the content, let’s talk a little about the performance improvements PoE is undergoing. Multithreading the game engine “will use all the cores of the CPU a lot better than we previously did,” Wilson said. The performance gains are notable during big fights, with lots of enemies and effects on the screen, and especially important in emerging regions like Brazil and China.

Working on the mainland China version of the game “takes about half of my day,” Wilson said. “No exploding corpses!” More European languages are also part of the plan, even though players in many parts of the world – Wilson called out the German PoE community – are content to play the English-language version in their home countries.

All right, enough of the technical talk… let’s get to the killin’!