My Thoughts And Speculation On The New League In POE 3.21 - Crucible
Mar 17, 2023 Source: POECURRENCY
GGG just announced the name of the POE 3.21, which is also the name of the league – Crucible. Accompanying the reveal was a short teaser video. I want to go over this teaser and speculate a bit about what this league may be like.
My initial thoughts are that this looks to me like a crafting league. A “Crucible” is a tool used in forging and metalsmithing, and we can see some sort of giant anvil in the center of this room. All of this is just screams “crafting”.
However, “Crucible” also has another meaning-a crucible is a type of trial, and is often used by video games to describe arena-style combat. I believe that this double-meaning was 100% intentional by GGG. As such, I expect this to be a crafting league that has some sort of combat component – perhaps directly tied into the crafting of the item.
What Might That Look Like?
Well, I’m imagining a mix between Rog crafting, and Ultimatum. Where you fight ever-increasingly difficult waves, and your reward for clearing that wave is you get to use another craft. If you fail a wave, the craft ends, or perhaps you lose the item entirely – adding a risk/reward element to crafting.
It could, of course, be far simpler than that. Pretty much all crafting mechanics have some sort of combat mechanic to them after all – you might just kill extra monsters in maps to get some sort of metal currency that you use at the forge to craft items, for example.
However, let’s take a closer look at the area shown in this video. There’s no waypoint, and no portal. The lack of a waypoint implies it’s not a zone you can travel to whenever you wish, like the Menagerie or Azurite Mine, and the lack of a Portal means it isn’t a map, either. That could mean that it’s an in-map sub-zone, like an Incursion or a Sanctum room, but… honestly, that doesn’t quite fit.
The room with the anvil doesn’t seem quite big enough to have combat encounters – you would have far less room to maneuver than even a Ritual. My guess is that this is a zone like the Menagerie, and they just deleted the waypoint for the purposes of this trailer. After all, the area the exile starts out looks like the perfect size for a waypoint.
Where Does That Leave Us?
I’m predicting an in-map mechanic that gets you the resources you need for some novel new crafting mechanic. As for predictions about this new mechanic itself, I have two ideas:
*The first is that this could be the return of Recombinators, in a new form. This new crafting mechanic could take the idea of slamming two items together, and have new ways to manipulate the outcome – building an entire crafting mechanic around it.
Recombinators were incredibly popular, and incredibly healthy for the game and its economy. It wouldn’t surprise me if GGG recognized that, and decided to bring back the mechanic in a way that would be a pillar of POE crafting going forwards.
*My second idea, is that this could involve GGG borrowing some crafting ideas from Last Epoch, another ARPG which recently released its multiplayer beta.
For those who aren’t familiar, Last Epoch has a crafting system that allows you to easily use powerful, deterministic crafts – not unlike original Harvest in POE – with the tradeoff that POE Currency have a certain amount of “crafting potential”, that depletes by a random amount with each craft.
It’s a pretty neat system, and could fit into POE nicely as an alternate way to craft items. I can definitely see GGG taking inspiration from it and making a league mechanic built around those ideas.
Related: Latest Thoughts On Crucible Expansion In Path Of Exile 3.21
Regardless of what Crucible turns out to be, I’m really excited that it looks like it’s going to be a crafting league. My all-time favorite leagues are all crafting leagues – Synthesis, Harvest, Sentinel… and I’m hopeful that Crucible may join them as an all-time great.
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