The Atlas of Worlds is a visualisation of the dream worlds that are opened by activating maps, how these worlds are linked and the way they progress towards the centre. The Atlas is separated in four quadrants which can be entered through a tier 1 map, one in each corner of the Atlas. These tier 1 maps start dropping in Act 8. When the player progresses through the maps, their tiers - and difficulty - will increase. let’s discuss the pros and the cons to a completed Atlas.
If a Map is not complete it can only drop when running its adjacent and connected maps. However, once a map is completed, along with the 1% bonus to drops the map itself is added to your “Map Pool.” This means that it has a chance to drop regardless of your current maps location on the Atlas. When you run a map and another drops it’s layout is selected from A. Completed maps and B. maps connected and adjacent on the Atlas.
The theory behind not completing specific maps is generally based on two things. Either the map drops a rare item or Divination Card, such as “The Doctor” in the Spider Forest map or it has a layout that you enjoy or find efficient for your build/play style. If you don’t want a map to drop while you are farming do not complete it. If you would like to increase the chances of a certain map dropping, ensure that the map is one of the few maps in that tier you complete to reduce the maps in your “pool” of that tier.
Depending on what your personal goal with your Atlas is, you are either going to carefully plan your completion or just go for a full Atlas. Sitting somewhere in the middle ground with an incomplete, inefficient Atlas could result in you not only running maps with Bosses that result in death’s or layouts that are simply put, bad. My advice is to decide on your goal if you plan to map and stick with it as changing your Atlas later with currency can be extremely expensive.
Atlas Currency: Shaper’s Orb
Up next are one of the new types of items added specifically designed to interact with your maps, the Shaper’s Orb. There are 15 available and these are obtained by completing specific maps on the Atlas. The tier they are able to shape is equivalent to the tier of map they dropped from minus 5. The highest tier of Shaper’s Orb that can be obtained is tier 10 from tier 15 maps. You can speed up your rankings by buying Path of Exile orbs in the store.
The Shaper’s Orb “Shapes” a map upgrading it by 5 tiers. This allows you to cause lower Tier maps you enjoy running to drop with higher level monsters, providing more experience and higher item level loot. If the Tier 2 Map “Beach” is your jam, once shaped it will drop as a Tier 7 provided you are running maps Tier 5 and higher, the original Tier 2 Beach will effectively be removed from your pool. Using this to your advantage is what it means to “Shape” your Atlas and refine your map pool to remove unwanted maps.
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