Path of Exile’s first digital expansion, Sacrifice of the Vaal, was released on 5 March 2014. The expansion included new bosses, currency, areas, leagues, and PvP modes.
The second expansion, Forsaken Masters, was announced on 31 July 2014 and released on 20 August 2014 at 3pm Pacific. It comes with a host of new features, including crafting, recruitable NPCs called Masters (who remain at your hideout offering you daily training missions and specialized items), reworked passive skill tree, and customized personal hideouts.
The Awakening, the third and biggest expansion, entered closed beta on 20 April 2015. It includes the addition of a fourth Act containing new map tilesets, quests, and monsters. Other additions include new skills and items, passive skill tree sockets and jewels, item filters, two new challenge leagues, and game balance. The expansion also added an optional “Lockstep” mode in an effort to fix the “desync” network synchronization issues at the cost of latency. The Awakening expansion was released on July 10, 2015.
The Ascendancy expansion pack was released on March 4, 2016. Including more than the usual new items and skills, the expansion added several new skills and 19 new ascendancy classes. This expansion was also timed to be made live at the same time as the Perandus Challenge Leagues. The ascendancy classes are each tied to one of the base classes, with three ascendancy classes for each base class, except the Scion which only has one ascendancy class. Each of these new classes will contain its own unique ascendancy skill tree to advance. These new skill trees are much smaller than the base classes full-blown passive trees, but provide a unique specification to one’s class not previously seen in the game. An example is the ascendant Necromancer skill tree, which would allow a witch’s summoned minions to release chaos-damage explosions on death, increase the effect of auras, or increase spectres’ health and damage.