Path of Exile 3.20 Balance Manifesto – Jewels and Ailment Mitigation

According to this here balance manifesto, the upcoming Path of Exile expansion will adjust the game’s approach to both rare and unique jewels while also changing the way they deal with various status effects. There’s also this FAQ that tells us a bit more about the updated jewels.

Here’s what you can expect:

In our upcoming 3.20 expansion, we’re making a number of balance changes that we’ll present over several balance manifestos that each cover an individual topic. In today’s manifesto, we’re discussing changes to Jewels, most notably increasing their potential for ailment mitigation.


Jewels have modifiers that provide various forms of ailment avoidance or protection. However, because their current values are moderately low, you often need to stack several Jewels in order to have adequate levels of protection. We feel that this is an excessive amount of investment for how necessary ailment mitigation is to a character’s build. This issue has been exacerbated by some of these mods being gated behind corruption, making them more expensive and difficult to acquire.


We’re expanding the pool of mods available on magic and rare Jewels and are making their modifier values more generous so that players have better access to sources of ailment mitigation, with less investment.

Regular Jewels (i.e. Jewels that are not Abyss or Cluster Jewels) now have mods that provide Reduced Duration or Reduced Effect for a wider variety of ailments than before. Abyss Jewels now have mods that provide avoidance of various ailments.


This means that Jewels should be a more reliable and less expensive source of ailment mitigation through their higher mod values and better variety of mods.


Many unique Jewels are not exciting to find. There are a few reasons for this. In most cases they are simply underpowered, or apply to a too-narrow window of usage, or both. There are also many corruption-only Jewels that don’t fulfill a good purpose.

Previously, we were hesitant to revisit unique Jewels and improve them beyond their initial designs because many of their themes are somewhat rigid in nature, meaning there is little room to improve them without completely remaking them.

An example of this is the Fireborn Crimson Jewel. It has no values that we could increase to make it more useful; it simply changes the damage type within a radius which has very limited opportunities for use. Any improvements we could make to this Jewel would have to fundamentally change its identity and would therefore essentially remove the Jewel in its current form from Path of Exile.


We’re making it so that every unique jewel that drops is very rare and highly desirable. This means that many existing unique Jewels have been removed from the drop pool. The intention is that now when you find a unique Jewel, it should almost always be a very positive experience.

To help make jewel drops special, we’ve designed a new set of unique Jewels that are powerful chase items. These can drop from the core pool. You can learn more about these Jewels in our upcoming announcement livestream for the 3.20 expansion.

With that said, there were some unique Jewels that were still useful for a subset of players because they had build-enabling modifiers or other very niche uses (like the Brute Force Solution or other attribute-transformation Jewels). Instead of getting rid of these, we’ve made them corruption-only unique Jewels. We feel this has benefits for both players who want them and players who don’t, as generally players who don’t want them won’t come across them as core drops and players who do want them can still actively pursue them.

Some build-enabling unique Jewels can now be found from more deterministic sources throughout Path of Exile. One example is Combat Focus which can now be obtained through a vendor recipe.

Some other build-enabling Jewels that affect Golems can no longer drop but can be found from another more deterministic source. While we want you to discover this new source on your own during gameplay, we will say for clarity that these Jewels do not come from vendor recipes.


Our goal is that finding a unique Jewel is an exciting experience. The unique Jewels that drop naturally should be those that are very valuable with broad appeal to the average player, either to use in your own build or trade to someone else. We’ve worked towards this goal by removing uninteresting unique Jewels, adding more chase unique Jewels, and moving Jewels that do appeal to a smaller subset of players to other places so that they can be pursued by choice.


Many of the unique Jewels that are currently granted through quest rewards are not very desirable. Additionally, because they’re offered to all players who make their way through the campaign, they’re extremely common, which inhibits them from having value or being meaningful items to find. We have also come to feel that it’s thematically incorrect to offer unique items as quest rewards, as it undermines their feeling of uniqueness and prestige.


Unique Jewels will no longer be offered as quest rewards. Most of the Jewels that were previously offered have been removed entirely, though some important ones have had their effects preserved in the form of new unique items or by being added to the pool of rollable Jewel modifiers.

These quest rewards now offer a random Rare Jewel. Because the rewards are not static like the unique Jewels were, they may have a better chance of being useful to the receiver or something that may be valuable to trade to others. At the very least, they should be less predictable.


Players should no longer be burdened with predictable unique Jewel quest rewards but will not entirely miss out on some of the valuable aspects they did have.


Jewels should be more exciting than before and provide a better source of ailment mitigation than they were in 3.19. Jewels with effects that are useful only to a subset of players should still be attainable while moving them out of the way of players who aren’t interested in them. You can find out more information in the patch notes for the 3.20 expansion and in our announcement livestream.

As we mentioned, we have several other balance manifestos coming out. These will cover topics such as Curses, Archnemesis and Eldritch Altars, among other things.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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