Grinding Gear Games have unveiled the latest expansion to their hit action RPG Path of Exile via a live stream. The Forbidden Sanctum will be released on December 9th for PC and on December 14th for Xbox and PlayStation and will include a new game mode (Ruthless), a new Challenge League and numerous endgame and balancing improvements.

During the stream, Grinding Gear Games co-founder Chris Wilson revealed that Path of Exile is getting a brand new Challenge League and endgame improvements with The Forbidden Sanctum. In addition, there are two new Skill Gems, seven new Vaal Skill Gems, more than 15 new unique items, major balancing changes to jewels, curses, monster modifiers, unique weapons, and more. The expansion also introduces Ruthless, a new option to play Path of Exile with extreme item shortages.

An ancient sanctuary awaits players

The Forbidden Sanctum is a roguelike set in Path of Exile. Players will explore an ancient sanctuary hidden beneath the Fellshrine Ruins. Abandoned long ago, a malevolent presence has made its home here. In each region of Wraeclast that players roam, they have the opportunity to explore a sanctum room and search for treasure there.

Two new skill gems for melee characters have been introduced: Volcanic Fissure, a fiery slam, and Frozen Legion, a spell that summons a ring of icy melee statues. A number of new Vaal Gems have also been introduced. Vaal Gems are alternate versions of existing Skill Gems that come with a recurring and massive power boost.

An optional game mode that can be selected during character creation. Ruthless is all about extreme item scarcity that creates new challenges to play Path of Exile. The expansion introduces more than fifteen new unique items scattered across Sanctum and Wraeclast. These items open up new opportunities to create specialized characters.

The nemesis monster modifier system has been replaced with an evolved set of modifiers. These only have one effect and do exactly what they are supposed to do. Rewards have been adjusted accordingly and are no longer tied to specific modifiers. In general, combat with magic and rare monsters is less complex but can still produce a combination of modifiers as a result that get the player's heart racing.

The Atlas Passive Tree has been improved to allow players to invest even more in content they enjoy. Two new Atlas memories are also now available, telling the story of the Dominion and the Bestiary.

Ten unique endgame weapons have been upgraded with massive buffs to match some of Path of Exile's most iconic weapons. Of course, they are now all extremely rare. Also, many balancing changes have been introduced in various areas, such as Gems, Curses, and Eldritch Altars.

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