Path of Exile | Synthesis League Overview
In Synthesis zone level matters and it brings the loot tables from quite a few past leagues together all in form of the Memory Nexus. That feels a bit like putting together a puzzle with the pieces you are holding to try and reach an end goal of a distant memory lost and forgotten.
Cavas the main instigator with his crazed rambling takes you on a bit of a story as you enter his memories as he starts to change things that affect reality slightly. There is so much more they could have done and I hope this is a sign that future leagues will be a bit stronger in that aspect. Since they have toyed with that idea before in the past with how leagues like Betrayal changed things up quite a bit.
While out running different zones or maps you will find Cavas or depending on how far along you are someone else. These fragmented memory zones are often densely packed and can be a decent place to farm some experience and rare items while waiting for it to collapse.
These memory zones start to decay and parts of them become inaccessible in a very short time frame. Often times you are making split-second decisions trying to find the right path in finding the memory stabilizers within these fragmented memories
Unlike a few past leagues like Betrayal where the zone level did not matter. This time around it does and it’s best to farm in the highest level maps you can to get higher level memories and distant memories to spawn.
The Memory Stabilizers will always be on the edges of the map. Often times the decaying memory will try and push you down one path that can lead to one of these while taking its time to fully blocking off all routes.
You can pick up memories that require either 2, 3 or 4 stabilizers. You have to get them all but once you do you are able to place down a memory in the Nexus that has that many connecting paths to other memory. These memories will have anywhere from 2 to 3 runs on them.
Getting killed or touching the almost black deep blue part of the fading memory will send you out. Without any chance to go back inside. It also spews out any loot you have acquired so no need to pick it up inside.
The loot you get from these Fragmented Memories can contain items dropping with a fragmented stat on it. I only ever had seen a single one. The max an item can drop with is three.
Once you collect 10 memories you are at the maximum amount you can hold at any one time. It would be best then to run some. If you did not get anything you wanted you can always from the memory map (press v to gain access) right click and delete ones you don’t want.
This is the main staging zone where you can find the device called Synthesiser and be able to run and place all the memories you have acquired.
Outside of boss rooms, you cannot summon your own personal portal to exit. You need to open up the Memory map via a stabilizer and click on the main Memory Nexus in middle itself. Sometimes it will open a portal and other times you will have to exit the game and restart it. If you open up a portal that memory could linger around active for hours on end. Keep in that in mind if you rather not have that be an issue.
These are almost like puzzle pieces themselves as you use them to build pathways out to distance memories, bosses or other islands of choosing. Keep in mind that zone level has an impact and therefore acquiring once from higher level zones can yield better loot.
Right-clicking allows you to remove memories placed on the map or that you are storing. This is important to know as you can only hold ten at a time and you won’t always have the necessary pieces to do what you want while inside of the Nexus.
Memory stabilizer is used to activate memories or deactivate decaying ones. Often times boss and distant memories will not be removed from the map for hours on end after finishing that decaying island unless you run back through the adjacent memory and click on the memory stabilizer on that end to have it fully deactivated and removed.
You can have up at any one time 20 special title islands called Distant memories. 19 of these islands can be with modifiers and chests (such as currency, weapons, jewelry and so on). In addition, one slot is reserved for a boss encounter. Since these islands have zone levels it would be a good idea at some point to clear out all your lower level ones to spawn in better ones.
Memory Chain Farming
One way of farming is setting up several memories in a row that have three runs on them and make sure they remain connected to the main memory nexus. You would also want to make sure these memories are your highest zone you can run for higher level monsters. Then you go out and run a bunch of memory modifier islands that are also connected to the Memory Nexus. As long as everything is all connected up those modifiers will stack for quite some time.
Memory modifiers themselves are a special island with the reddish—pink glow icon above them and can contain a single to multiple modifiers. To be able to trigger them you need to run to them before the memory decays and click on them.
You can have over 200 total cap across all of your islands from what I could tell of these modifiers. With the ability to stack them around a similar amount on a single one if you choose. On top of this, it is possible to get a bonus on that island piece itself that has bonus runs increasing far beyond three. Making those even more profitable to run with enough modifiers on them.
While you could try and stack as many modifiers as possible onto a single island hoping for one giant jackpot in the end. You could spend tens to a hundred hours farming for memories just to the cap. Instead, you might be better off setting up a small chain of 5 to 10 islands and stalking them. Since each memory modifier will land on all connected islands.
While you are safe once you make it the platform they are on. If you are able to trigger them all before the memory finish decaying you could run into the memory and get sent back to the zone line you enter in. This is in particular useful if you are trying to hit a cluster of modifiers as once. If the memory happens to finish closing in on you while on the modifier platform itself if you run off it will just send you back to that platform. Forcing you to run all the way from the Nexus start in hopes that zones are still open and you are not consuming another use on those islands.
In addition, if you do not close out that memory itself from the other side by clicking on the memory stabilizer that modifier memory could bug out and remain open for hours. Possible blocking or making it harder for you to reach any other distance memories around it.
The drops that will be impact themselves focus on magic and rare synthesized monsters. They will have a title of that under their name noting they are a synthesis monster. You can even get modifiers that that cause resurrection or additional synthesized monsters to spawn.
You can get all kinds of different modifiers from 500% quantity to currency drops. The modifier themselves provide loot opportunity that is representative of former leagues. Examples would be divination card, breach splinter, fractured items, fossils, abyss, elder items, maps and so on.
While this method could yield a chance at some huge payoffs it is also very time-consuming. Perhaps you loot some headhunter cards or exalts. On the other hand, you could just end up with a bunch of elder items that have flooded the market and are not worth much this league.
There are a number of lesser bosses you are able to fight and they spawn on their own islands: Altered, Augmented, Twisted, and Rewritten Synthete. Once you realize if you fill up your distant memories you can easily trigger a boss with only a couple of memories invested in the process.
These bosses can start occurring once Zana has taken over for Cavas. This will happen while you are running maps. I won’t spoil anything more from the story regarding Cavas and his random ramblings.
You can stand at a memory stabilizer and place down a new memory. Trigger it and then check your map to see if it triggered a boss island. Then you simply delete that island by right clicking on it while in the memory map and placing down another one.
The area level itself for the boss island is affected by the level of the memory you are placing down trying to trigger it. As such you would want to use your highest but not as useful pieces you have. Such pieces could be duplicates and ones with a low-level run count on them such as two.
Once the boss island spawns then you just need to build a path out to it. Often times it will be a good five or more islands away from the center. You might luck out and have it spawn in the arena you already have connected to or in the middle of nowhere. Also, it could spawn right next to you if you happened to stay and try to spawn another one after defeating a boss.
On the boss island itself, there will be a device where you can trigger six portals in. Just like any map or other encounters once you run out of portals you cannot reenter. The zone you first enter is just filled with a bunch of trash monsters. It is also one of the few places you can place your own portal making a trip back if you die during the boss encounter quicker.
Each lesser boss encounter itself is rather straight forward. In the first phase, you just need to move out of the way for any powerful slow attacks while you attack them. Then they will enter a phase where they start doing very quick spiral damage that is best to avoid. There are also a few things going on around the room from where damage is coming from directed towards you as time progresses on.
The lesser bosses where best known for having a high chance to drop these leagues rings such as Circle of: Nostalgia, Fear, Guilt, and Regret. The drop rates were later nerfed since they were easy for everyone to farm and I’ve not had a single drop in my last 5 boss runs. These are fractured unique. With these rings, you can combine three of them the Synthesiser to unlock a more powerful modifier. You can also get some of the lesser unique to drop as well such as Mask of the Tribunal and March of the Legion.
Lesser boss killing can also yield a higher chance of two and three implicit fractured items. Where the player markets might still be interested in items with energy shield or high item level. These also hold a higher value for Synthesis crafting.
Due to the nature of how easy it is for a player to farm a number of these bosses in a single hour if they luck out on spawn location. Many of the items have become worth only a few Chaos Orbs each. Perhaps once the market of supply and demand makes a new equilibrium with lower drop rates prices will increase somewhat. We are also at a stage now in the league where players are making builds around these items so overnight an item could be worth double or more in price.
Despite running dozens of bosses after I started to farm red maps I’ve yet to have a single Cortex Memory spawn in. The chance of this seems quite low or there is something further I’m missing. Perhaps there is another story trigger that needs to happen before there a chance for it to spawn in. Could be similar to how bosses started to show up in the first place.
Either way, this is the end game boss for Synthesis League where I suspect can get items like Bottled Faith and Garb of the Ephemeral Savant's Robe. This place would also yield the highest chance of getting three implicit fractured items.
Fractured Items make up the base of the crafting system for the league focused around a device called the Synthesiser. This can be found in the Memory Nexus. Fractured items can drop from Synthesis creatures and have between 1 to 3 fractured Implicit. These items can be combined to upgrade in the device to unlock their full power.
The fractured Implicit themselves are a different color than the other stats and remain unless used in the Synthesiser device. With this feature, some very interesting crafting items can be made with up to three of these stats on them and being able to target them.
It takes three rare items of the same item class (chest, boots, or helmet to name a few) to be combined into a single item where it will inherit some of the stats on that item.
The item itself will take on the highest item level of the three items placed into the Synthesiser device. As such you want at least one as high as possible such as 80 or higher
The exact type of the item like a robe or battle plate will depend on your luck and what items were placed inside the device. If you placed three robes into the device then you will get a robe item back in return. However, if two of them wear robes and one of them where a battle plate you would have a 66% chance to get the robe.
The amount of Implicit the end item can be depended on RNG of how many were on each item. If you want to guarantee to have 3 implicit you would want to use 3 items with 3 implicit on each of them. Otherwise, you are leaving it up to chance for the item to have the highest implicit amount on a single item to the lowest. An example is if you put 1 item with 3 implicit and 2 with 1 the chances are you will get 1 implicit item as a result.
The hardest part is getting the stat on the item you want. Any stat on the item could end up as your net implicit(s). As seen in the screenshot above those are horrible for that item! The game will pick a random stat then check all the items placed to determine the range of that stat on the final possible range. Thankfully Poecraft has created a calculator where you can copy and paste your items in to see possible outcomes. It will also include a very detailed breakdown of all the different stat ranges for the items posted to it. So you can see if you're close to getting past a certain threshold and therefore it might be better to find a higher stat item.
With how the Synthesiser works you could use an Orb of Scouring to remove all the non-implicit off items in an attempt to better target what you want. Just keep in mind you need a rare item and single fractured implicit items are downgraded to a magic item when you do this.
There is quite a lot of RNG going on in this crafting. Just getting the exact items you want could be costly and then you are taking on a further gamble in hopes of it paying off. Since many players are playing Energy Shield builds this league with some of the changes and there are very few things like chests types that will even have it. Those items could be worth a considerable amount even if they were not six-linked.
Notable Spell And Some Changes
There was a massive skill overhaul as well included in the Synthesis League. Along with some increase to Energy Shield playstyle that is the current Meta again. Where they wanted to bring more power to spells the player had to cast themselves compared to it auto casting or triggering. Which included some new skills as well and a big item nerf to the old way of playing for many.
Thankfully Grinding Gear Games (GGG) was kind enough to include all gems changed in one place this post. I’m frankly no expert in such a massive change. They seem to favor more spell casting over melee. It was, however, a very massive undertaking and change.
I did happen to a player at the lower level one of the new spells-- Soulrend. The skill itself sends out a purplish projectile and as soon as it kills it spreads like crazy at an ever-increasing speed causing great devastation.
It does take a slight second to kill way the very powerful damage over time works on it. It also ignores energy shield on monsters which is amazing. It did take some getting used to as it’s not an instant clear your screen. It could also kill for quite some distance as I was traveling around using it.
I end up using Syreith’s Soulrend Trickster guide. I’ve yet to play it to a high level so it’s hard to say how effective it is. This person did create a few version of it and from the comments on that thread, it seems to be very well received by the community. Perhaps later in the league I’ll circle back around and play it up into maps and beyond.
Nerf Bat Strikes Again
It was, in fact, a sad day seeing them strike again on a very popular build Arc Poet’s Pen. Cyrix1337 a creator behind a very popular version of it sited that it’s now dead. With how they changed a key item to work making it much slower and lacking the fun element it once had.
GGG has a history of just destroying something to the point players no longer want an item. Thankfully they also have a history of going back many leagues later and messing with it again like Mjolner. Sometimes making it better than it was before.
The main item to this build that was affected was The Poet's Pen Carved Wand which should be trading far above 1 Exalt (110 Chaos Orbs) or near there this early into a league. Can be bought for the small sum of 10 Chaos Orbs or less on the player market.
A long time ago they nerfed the daylights out of Energy Shield to the point no one would dare play a build around it. Only the older players remember these very dark days. Ever since they have been increasing it’s the lure to the player base to get them to play using it again over life.
Energy Shield (ES) use to be mid to end game thing to do where you would switch over from being a life build once you 60’s to 70’s and start focusing on ES instead. This lead to boss fights being way to easy for players to kill with zero effort.
This league they have included many items with some ES on them such as unique items drop by the bosses like Garb of the Ephemeral.
A new passive skill node was introduced called Ethereal Feast. They gave them ES damage Leech. Which with the right builds could be quite powerful.
This makes it very tempting to switch from life build over to ES again. As this meta becomes stronger once again. Only time will tell if this is the monster the game developer wants to create or if they end up sending it back into the abyss for future league players to remember the good old days again when ES use to be good.
I can appreciate what Synthesis League is trying to do I just don’t think it went far enough. It feels like it is missing something that could have taken it to the next level. Which in the end makes you think it’s just ok so far.
Since so much loot from so many past leagues can drop in a single area it seems like it’s trying to tie so many different things together. I wish they would have gone one step further and allowed enchantments from Labyrinth to drop as scrolls that you would apply to items. Most people don’t ever get for instance the helmet enchant they want on the helmet they desire unless it’s really popular and worth the every few peoples time who “enjoy” farming Labyrinth. There are hundreds of helmet enchants alone and no way to target the one you want without just endless farming in Labyrinth. That would fix a pain point for many.
With it drawing from so many different leagues future players who have not to experienced them are missing out on the setting those items drop in. This also means you have a bunch of items dropping and someone might not have a clue how it’s even supposed to be used like fossils since there zero content to where it even belongs in the grand scheme of things.
While loot should be amazing if you stack a lot of memory modifiers. Often times it just fell short and even more so the chest items seem to have missed the boat in being included. On top of that when you do get something that was worth a lot in past leagues like double spell elder items. So many end up dropping that they are just not worth much. Removing that special feeling of wow I can’t believe that just drop.
It’s a fun league and I’ll keep messing around with it. We are only over two weeks in now from when the PC version launched. There could be future changes or better ways to think about doing certain aspects. It is fun trying to work out how best to use the islands you have looted to reach a target and move forward from there.