Up until now, potions in Last Epoch have functioned fairly simply. You have 3 swigs to regain health and if you kill enough foul beasts, you get more of the red stuff to drink. The system was working quite well but lacked personality and was a fairly passive and predictable mechanic.
We have been working on multiplayer mechanics and different character archetypes for multiplayer and realized that in the current system tanks, healers and support characters in general won’t have many potions to use. We looked at alternate methods for gaining potion charges that could be built in to skills.
From now on, when you kill an enemy, it has a chance to drop a potion which will appear in the game world. If your potion charges aren’t full and you run over to it, you’ll automatically pick it up and refill a potion charge. This means that if you are playing as a support Warlock with your glass cannon Blade Dancer friend and they are getting most of the kills, you can still go pick up potion charges from their kills.
This also isn’t just a multiplayer mechanic. Having potions drop like this makes the combat feel a little more tactical and adds a fun element to fights. Maybe you need a potion but it spawns behind a big enemy or in a large AoE damage effect. Do you risk it for the potion or do you try to lure the fight away and go back for it?
We have been looking at the different gear slots quite closely to make sure that as many of them have a unique place in the system as possible. That can be as simple as affixes that don’t appear in many other places or move speed as an implicit value on boots. We already have modifiers for potions through the passive tree and gear affixes but we don’t have anything which modifies the quantity of potions you can carry at once. Enter, the belt! In order to make the belt feel like a key element of gear instead of a stat wrap we have tied the quantity of potions you can carry to your belt. Each base type of belts will have a different quantity of potions that they can carry. If you aren’t wearing a belt, you won’t be able to carry, pick up or use potions at all.
But Mike, does this mean that we can’t use potions at the start of the game? Do I need to get lucky and find a belt to be able to do well at the start? No! Each character has had their starting gear upgraded to include a basic belt that can hold 2 potions. I would just advise you not to throw that starting belt away until you’ve found another one to replace it with.
This is the starting belt for all characters and as you can see, it’s very straight forward. You get 2 potion slots and that’s it. As you progress through the game, you’ll find many more base types of belts which have other implicit functions like armor. You’ll have to decide if a belt with more potion slots is more important to your character or if you would prefer to wade into battle with more armor or other implicit stats instead.
We are interested to know what you think about the new potion and belt changes.