There have been a lot of features added to Path of Exile, even before The Awakening expansion came out. Grinding Gear Games continually keep the game fresh while still maintaining its free-to-play status, and that certainly doesn't seem like it has been easy. But with a loyal player base that has kept coming back for more, there'd be so much to work for. One of those additions is the inclusion of Hideouts, which gives each player his/her own personal town of sorts.
Hideouts are awarded by level 3 Masters, so you have to get into the content in the Forsaken Masters expansion to reach this point. Once you have a hideout, you can then invite NPCs into it so you have your very own hub that you can decorate and customize, including being able to invite up to 4 Masters. Visiting your hideout is just a matter of typing "/hideout" on your chat while in town or from any Waypoint.
With the amount of things you can do to your hideout, it can be its very own quest in a way. Hideouts can have their own unique look from a chosen tileset. Each master who can award hideouts has his/her own hideout and tileset, so you can just talk to the one whose tileset you prefer. You can also switch your hideout to a different one if you want, and there's no penalty or any other drawback in doing so. As for decorations and microtransactions, they are placed in the hideout stash so you can access them without difficulty.
Hideouts can't be discussed without mentioning Masters since they all came out in the Forsaken Masters expansion and are intertwined in the game. Masters in your hideout can offer daily missions that provide 250% of the Reputation and Favour of a normal mission, so you'd definitely want to do them. They also sell Path of Exile items, and their inventories refresh upon the start of a daily mission. The higher the Reputation level, the rarer the items you get to buy. They also sell magic PoE items with special crafted mods unique to each Master.
In addition to the 4 masters you invite, Leo Redmane can be invited as well without counting into that limit. Of course, this is dependent on your current Reputation level; the higher it is, the more things you can do and the more Masters you can invite to your hideout. The Masters also have crafting benches for you to use for making your own stuff. Upon receiving a crafting bench, you don't need the master present to use it, which is convenient.
You can purchase decorations for Favour from masters in either your hideout or in towns. You can move and rotate them as you please when editing so you can have control over how you want your hideout to look. After making it look just right, you can have other players visit your hideout by having them right-click on your name and selecting "Visit Hideout". They can then take time to appreciate your efforts in making your hideout reflect how you are as a player.