Everything We Know About Path of Exile: Lake of Kalandra

Path of Exile is set to release its next expansion (and consequently, league) in August, titled Lake of Kalandra. It’ll go like on August 19th for PC and August 24th for consoles.

The reveal stream – which I’m sure tends to feel like Christmas morning for a lot of us long-time players – will be taking place on August 11th, and will go deeper into what new features, mechanics, balance changes and quality of life improvements are coming with the 3.19 patch.

You can read their original announcement here and we’ve embedded the expansion name teaser for your convenience:

What We Know

So far, we’ve been given three key pieces of information (remember, the bulk of it arrives on August 11th, including full patch notes after the stream ends). One tidbit, revealed through a tweet, is that the new league will introduce a new type of Oil that can drop from Blight content which allows you to anoint Mirrored items. We’ll get into why that’s important in the next section.

The second piece of information is the actual balance manifesto. This is something Grinding Gear Games would occasionally write up ahead of a big change (like mega-nerfing Harvest). In response to the very controversial 3.15 changes, GGG have been posting a balance manifesto a couple weeks ahead of the league’s launch for every patch. This serves a few goals:

  • Emotionally prepares players for the full patch notes.
  • Gives the community time to provide feedback while balance changes can still be adjusted.
  • Provides a space for GGG to explain why they’re changing something, a better way of communicating with the playerbase compared to tweets or Reddit replies.

Thirdly, 3.19 will bring buffs to over 100 uniques. Can’t wait.

Manifesto Quick-Fire Round

Now, I would suggest reading the balance manifesto in full, since there’s lots of small changes to take note of, but here’s the gist of what’s coming in 3.19:

  • A rework to the Trickster ascendancy (proper reveal during the livestream)
  • A rework to how players can attain Spell Suppression – reducing its values from item mods and increasing them in passives on the Dexterity side of the passive tree.
  • Buffs to Arctic Armour and Flesh and Stone.
  • A rework for Defiance Banner where its increased Armour & Evasion is reduced but its Critical Strike Chance reduction for nearby enemies is increased.
  • A buff to the Ward mechanic to make it less reliant on the Olroth’s Resolve flask.
  • A buff to Fortification.
  • Nerfs to most minion builds and a focus and putting more minion power into gear rather than gems and passives.
  • A Fire Trap nerf/fix (3.17 unintentionally buffed it). Sorry, Righteous Fire Inquisitors!
  • A bunch of buffs to underperforming skill and support gems.
  • A nerf to Crystallised Omniscience (need more Omniscience to achieve the same effects).
  • A nerf to Melding of the Flesh (now has -4 to -6 to all Max. Elemental Resistances).
  • A nerf to mana reservation efficiency (a little harder to invest into it on the tree now).
  • Removal of Veiled and Crafted mods that cause Skills to cost no Mana of Life while Focused.

As you can see, that’s already a pretty long bullet list, and it’s only about half of all the changes coming with Lake of Kalandra. I’d suggest taking a look at the buffs to underperforming skills if you’re looking to try something new this league!

Decoding The Theme

While I have reservations when it comes to speculating about things in articles – mainly because of the amount of empty-calorie clickbait that exists all over the internet – there is some value to engaging in a little bit of forensic analysis for this league.

We know the name is Lake of Kalandra. Kalandra is the lady whose mirrors serve as an item dupe in the game. For those unaware, the Mirror of Kalandra is by far the most valuable currency in Path of Exile. Most players go through life never seeing one drop; not even a Mirror Shard (combine 20 to create a full Mirror of Kalandra); even seeing it in a trade window is about as close as most of us will get to actually holding one!

Kalandran Context

To understand just how valuable this currency is, we can compare it to the other two orbs that are mainly used as currency: Chaos Orbs and Exalted Orbs. This comparison will be mostly anecdotal, since different players will have different results depending on how they play the game.

Chaos Orbs drop fairly regularly once you’re in the endgame and are the main currency you trade most items with. For me, I reckon I make about 10-15 Chaos Orbs per map when I reach the farming phase of the league (raw drops + selling items that drop from the map).

Exalted Orbs are rarer. I get roughly 4-6 raw drops per league (a league lasts 3-4 months), and whatever other Exalts I get come from selling valuable items or exchanging Chaos Orbs for Exalted Orbs.

Taking the current prices for these currencies from poe.ninja, in Sentinel League, today gives us the following stats:

  • Exalted Orb is equivalent to 132 Chaos Orbs.
  • Mirror of Kalandra is equivalent to 700 Exalted Orbs, or 92.400 Chaos Orbs.

Now that we have a frame of reference for how rare and valuable Mirrors of Kalandra are, we can start to see why this league’s name is so important.

Mirror of Kalandra
This picture is worth at least 10 Chaos Orbs.

The ‘Mirrored’ Mod

The Mirror of Kalandra is essentially an item dupe. It creates and exact copy of the item you use it on. The created copy, however, has an additional mod: Mirrored. This mod prevents you from changing the item in any way. You can’t change the colors of the gem sockets, you can’t change the mods and you can’t change its quality.

If anyone creates a mirror-worthy item, generally they start a mirror service for it. Buyers trade a Mirror of Kalandra and a ‘copying’ fee – could be anything from 50 Exalted Orbs to more – and the owner of the mirror-worthy item uses the Mirror of Kalandra to create a duplicate, then trades the duplicate back to the buyer.

Basically, unless you’re in the .1%, if the game drops a Mirror of Kalandra for you, you can basically fund almost any build you want for the rest of the league.

For context, what goes into crafting a mirror-tier item? This video does a pretty good job at showing the effort and currency it takes:

He lost two Mirrors worth of currency over a simple mistakes. High stakes!

Oils, Mirrors, Mysterious Ladies

From the tweet that announced the new Oil (that allows you to anoint Mirrored items), we can safely assume that Lake of Kalandra will toy with the Mirrored mod. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Mirrors of Kalandra will start dropping like leaves in autumn, but it’s likely that a good chunk of the reward structure from the new league content will included Mirrored items dropping. For reference, anointing an item means being able to put a notable (medium-sized) passive tree effect on an item – generally an amulet.

This won’t be the first time players get their hands on Mirrored items off the floor. The most common instance of already-Mirrored items dropping for players comes from opening Strongboxes with a certain modifier that duplicates all items. They’re worthless 99.9% of the time, but hey, you can exchange the original and mirrored version to a vendor for an Orb of Chance!

This league is actually pretty on-par with what GGG has been doing as a sort of theme with their recent leagues, which was to take previous concepts and toy around with them in unexpected ways:

  • In Archnemesis, we built our own rare monsters. The next league reworked Archnemesis mods to become the default mods that monsters spawn with, replacing the old system of Bloodlines and Nemesis mods on monsters.
  • In Sentinel, recombinators (new crafting currency) allowed you to bypass the usual crafting restrictions, like Corrupted items being unmodifiable.
  • In Lake of Kalandra, we can assume Mirrored items will be modifiable to some extent, even if it’s just allowing them to be anointed with the new Oil.

The Lake

We can immediately make the connection that the “Lake of Kalandra” is tied to the mirror concept. Look into the lake and see a reflection of yourself, like looking into a mirror. That’s all nice and poetic, but could this… could this finally be the boat league?

The boat league meme has been around for a long time, perhaps as far as Bestiary league (March 2018), perhaps even older. Every time we get close to a new league reveal, speculation on whether this one’s finally going to be the boat league increases. With this whole lake thing going on, I reckon we don’t get a better shot at boat league becoming a reality.

We can probably also expect fishing to receive some new secrets (or rather, player bait)! GGG doesn’t let prime opportunities such as these go to waste.

The Road to Launch

There might be a couple more tidbits of information coming out before the reveal stream on August 11th, but don’t hold your breath. Most teasers are posted after the stream, leading up to launch.

I would wholly recommend watching the livestream if it’s at a non-ungodly hour for you. Twitch drops will be enabled if you’re in the market for some new mech-wings, and why wouldn’t you be? It’s free!

How do you feel about the balance manifesto? Are you excited to see what Lake of Kalandra has in store for us? Let us know in the comments below!