With how many Path of Exile races there are, leveling has never been talked about as much as now. We’ll throw our hat into the ring with our PoE Heist Leveling Guide, aimed at newer players looking to speed up.
The Different Kinds of Heists
There are three different types of heists.
First, there are quest heists. These appear differently in your inventory, and to execute them, you must talk to the client NPC, then talk to Adiyah. Since they are quest missions, you don’t need to spend Rogue’s Markers for them. You can only find these heists in the crates that you open. These heists are a single map with a quest item at the end – they award experience for the rogue you bring but do not grant an item to sell for marks.
Second, you have normal heists. Normal heists can drop from the crates or from killing normal mobs. These are a single leg, grant experience; if you bring back the item at the end, you can sell it for marks.
Lastly, you have grand heists. These are obtained the same way as regular heists but can also be found in regular heists. They have one wing by default, but you can add up to three wings by talking to several NPCs in the harbor, including Whakano. Adding wings costs quite a few Rogue’s Markers but will add an entire secondary wing to the grand heist. You also get a special item at the end, either a rare one with a unique modifier or a replica unique, which is an existing unique, but with an exciting twist. These rewards are great and are worth the marks required. Grand heists are the goal of Heist so far.
This section is mainly aimed at people who are trying to speed up their leveling process. Once you’ve decided on what skill to play, familiarize yourself with it. Plan yourself a skill tree, and either have it on a second monitor or know it well enough that you don’t need to check it often.
Know which colors you need, and check the vendor for them religiously. Don’t go back to town without checking for a three-link with your colors. On the same note, check for boots with movement speed until you find a pair. Ten percent movement speed doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a huge difference over a 5-8 hour leveling session.
If you’re playing in a trade league, know which unique items you’ll need and have ‘whoops’ up for them. If you don’t know what a whoop is, it’s when you have a live search running on the trade site – it makes a ‘whoop’ noise when one is found. Grab your essential items early before they become too expensive – or be willing to overpay early if it’ll push you further into maps.
But the most crucial thing for faster leveling is to practice running the zones. Every zone has a set number of layouts that it can be. You'll speed up considerably if you know how to get from A to B fastest. This is half practice and half research. There are tons of guides out for every layout. If you’re struggling with one, then look it up! You can do this with any build at any pace—just practice where you’re going. On the same note, know which missions are necessary and skip the ones that aren’t. Doing The Den is great if you don’t have a second Quicksilver, but if you do, don’t waste your time. Little things like that. Just practice.
Why Should You Care About Leveling Faster?
There are several reasons to care about leveling faster. First, there are races occasionally in which you can win prizes or just be able to compete and enjoy yourself. Second, leveling kind of sucks, and being able to blast through it much faster can lead to enjoying Path of Exile a lot more.
Moreover, the first people to level to maps are the first ones to break into the economy. If you’re not a tryhard like myself, you might not know that Exalts started the league around 20 chaos and rose exponentially over the first few days. Nearly every costly unique starts very low because that’s all the market can currently support. If you’re looking to get rich and have fun with a ton of currency, playing a crapload the first weekend is the way to do it. Being the first one to maps means you’re the only one with maps up for sale, bases, or a variety of uniques that only drop in maps. Being first means you can do whatever you want.
What Loot to Expect in the Poe Heist League
Heist brings with it the regular set of new items and uniques, but rather than have hundreds of new items, Heist’s gimmick is that it offers new twists on existing items. For example, rather than finding a normal Abyssus with increased physical damage dealt and taken, you can find a Replica Abyssus which will give increased elemental damage dealt and taken. Many replicas will change existing uniques, enabling dozens, if not hundreds, of new builds.