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Path of Exile Patch 3.2, War for the Atlas, has been one of the most exciting updates the game has ever received. Aside from offering new content such as PoE items and giving the players one of the most unique leagues, if not the most, it also tweaked the Ascendancy classes. These new classes added to the game two years ago provided further progression and specialization for the six main classes. It was a welcome feature, but it was not perfect, so GGG, true to the same level of commitment and quality they’ve consistently shown, has made some adjustments to make sure that each Ascendancy is unique, useful, and most importantly, enjoyable.
The Ascension of Ascendancy
GGG’s official forum post, entitled Development Manifesto: Ascendancy Changes, has expressed their desire to ensure that the power levels of Ascendancy Classes are consistent and that all 19 of them would be considered as good choices. A lot of players feel like a lot of these classes are “noob traps.” Thus, they decided to carefully evaluate the classes using two metrics: identity and power. While most of the classes were doing fine when judged according to those two criteria, others didn’t fare so well. With that in mind, GGG has decided to revamp all Ascendancy Classes for Patch 3.2.
All Ascendancy classes received changes. Some got substantial buffs, while some got what would be considered as mild or arguable buffs, or even mild or very mild nerfs that were most likely inadvertent. This is to ensure that all classes not only enjoy a sense of identity, as well as the same level of viability, and hopefully, love from the players.
A Creed to Assassins
The example GGG gave for the classes that were returned to its former glory and essence was the Assassin, one of the Shadow’s often overlooked Ascendancy classes. Following archetypal RPG class tradition, the Assassin, according to GGG, was a “’glass cannon’ critical strike chance character.” While “fragile speedster” may have been a more appropriate description for all Shadow Ascendancy classes, GGG isn’t wrong about bringing the Assassin back to what defined it as an Ascendancy class. As such, it became one of the most prominent “returning” classes for Patch 3.2.
The other two Ascension classes that were given a spotlight in GGG’s post are the Guardian and the Hierophant classes, both from the Templar class. The former is the example of those classes that remained the same, save for particular skills that were given a considerable boost. It may not seem that much, but every Path of Exile player knows that one buffing a few skills, especially important ones, make a world of difference.
As for the Hierophant, it’s one of the most extensively buffed classes in War for the Atlas. While Totem Hierophants have been reliable go-to builds for quite some time now, Patch 3.2 makes them even more of a powerhouse than they’ve ever been before. It now has a strong tri and quad totem capabilities without any repercussions, plus it’d be able to sustain Arcane Surge, permanently if it must easily. The Hierophant’s other trees have also been buffed, making it one of the most dependable builds in the current league.
Lastly, GGG has clarified that they intentionally didn’t have overt nerfs. That will come later after they have evaluated which buffs they should keep and which ones they should tone down.
Tweaks in classes will always have a ripple effect in MMOs. Given how big or small and simple yet meaningful those Ascendancy class changes are in Patch 3.2,
Path of Exile has officially changed forever.