In a Descent event, you start in the outskirts of the Phrecian Forest and must search out a forgotten cathedral. As you descend into its depths and explore dungeons, caves, ruins and more, you encounter challenging combinations of monsters and bosses from all areas of Path of Exile. There is no town to return to. There are no waypoints or portals for travel. Players cannot party up with each other - they start out alone and will perish alone. The only way to restore flask charges is to kill monsters or to level up. You can't backtrack to previous areas or re-run an area that you have completed. At the end of each Descent level is a pair of a special chests. Each contains a different set of predetermined items that help focus your character build in specific ways. The catch is, you can only choose to open one of these chests per level. While almost all of the resultant items are useful, the choices that are made can drastically change how the event is played. For example, the chests at the end of the first level contain a choice of either Life Flasks or Quicksilver Flasks (which increase movement speed when consumed) and Scrolls of Wisdom. As the event is timed, a decision to focus on survivability over racing speed can have large consequences. The predetermined items from chests (and lack of NPC shops) reduce the random variance that players often experience in traditional races.