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Eye of Newt and Lizard’s Leg. Brew me a Potion to fend off the dead


#1

Welcome Travelers,

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.

image

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.

-Mike


#2

I like this conceit in general, but I do think characters should have 1 potion slot by default regardless of their belt. This would make the current “start with Traveller’s Belt” concept still start everyone off with 3 slots total, and would give some flexibility in belt choices. At that point there could be Unique Belts that trade off additional slots entirely (+0 potion slots) in favor of stranger affixes that turn your 1 remaining potion into a super-potent buff item, for example.

Also this has the potential for a new Unique chest / base chest with a bandolier of potion vials on it, which would be visually appealing.


#3

When we were redesigning the potion system, we went back and forth on 1 potion by default and 0 by default several times.

In the end, we went with 0 by default for 2 reasons.

  • If we have 0 by default, the number of potions you get from your belt is just the number of potions you have. It’s more intuitive for new players. If you have a belt that says 2 potion slots and you have 3, you might not understand exactly what’s happening.
  • Making it possible to have your potion slots go to 0 opens up some more design space. We can give abilities which take the potion away completely. I think this ties in to what you’re suggesting. We can now make unique belts which give +1 and have it be a huge buff item and we can also make unique belts which give +0 but maybe they hold a bunch of knives instead and you get some sweet ability out of it.

And yea, this stat can go on any slot, probably will appear almost exclusively on belts and some select unique chest pieces (maybe).


#4

Sounds nice ! I already have a unique belt effect in mind :stuck_out_tongue:

Potion inoculator : You have 0 potion slots. Every second you are healed for X% of the potion regen value. When you pick a potion, the inoculator gets a temporary boost for X seconds, increasing the regen by X%.


#5

I love that idea @Baltax


#6

Yea, I’m a big fan of that one. I was just added it to our unique suggestions list but Judd beat me to it.


#7

That’s a very good idea.
And I do like this system, Mike. I’d prefer sticking to belts for it, though.


#8

Yeah I can definitely dig this take on it, and the rationale is strong. The + on +2 made it intuitive to me that it’s additive to an existing number, but I do enough pen-and-paper game design that I know a lot of players gloss over those details. :V


#9

How will the Alchemist’s Prefix be affected by the change? For some reason I feel like increased potion drop rate would be weird, but maybe increased number of potion charges? Only other sort of potion modifier I can think of is the range it is picked up from.

Aesthetically speaking I feel that the potions should have an entirely different feel/UI to them compared to items. During combat items are generally clutter and health is not, it would be a shame to not see a pot amidst a pile of other loot.

I feel like rip blood should get a node that allows the acolyte to sap a potion to them from range.


#10

This is like how D3 potion works. And I don’t recall I found it making combat more tactical but I’m not saying this is a poor system either.

I agree having potion customization through a belt gear could make itemization more interesting. But I’ll just caution against getting too creative with them (eg making health potion/globe do other things besides health gain). POE potion system was also lauded as such in the early days, but had powercreeped tremendously since then.


#11

It’s currently planned to be increased drop rate. It doesn’t make quite as much sense as before, but it’s probably the safest bet for now. We’re planning to have potion capacity almost exclusively on belts, so that probably wouldn’t work too well as an affix (or it would be a very limited affix).

The tooltips for potions are highlighted so they are pretty clear, but this is definitely worth keeping in mind.

We are definitely aware of the problem, I believe more ‘creative’ potion effects are planned to be the exception rather than the rule. It’s a very fun design space, but we do need to be careful to not let it become too dominant.


#12

I suppose I’ll just mention here that in late game currently potions are pretty much not relevant. So this all sounds good and all but I’d like to remind you guys that as it stands now potion affixs are among the worse mods possible. It just doesn’t make sense to build around an active component when you could have better passive mods. Especially when most of the danger comes from being one shot maybe or hit by a group all at once with no time to potion(ok basically all of it). I can’t think of a single build that I would ever consider using, even with passives that affect potions, where I would ever choose to craft potion affixs.

For example I used a build (which I’m sure will be nerfed haha) that could stand in a large pack of wave 1500 monsters and generate thousands of ward. I have a screen shot with me at around 150k ward. Uses very low life and lots of dodge. I didnt hit the potion key once from level 60 to 100. At least not on purpose:P So you can see why from my point of view this is all a bit silly. I think potions not only need a these changes in the thread, but a complete overhaul to their mods and functionality to make them viable compared to other strong gear. I never think about potions and the changes alone in this thread won’t change that.

Beyond overpowered builds think about how absolutely nothing a potion is even when you build for it compared to a high melee leech rate and a great weapon. Or a decked out void knight build with just the passive leech alone.

Basically I directly disagree with Jerle on potions doing more than just healing health. I think youll find that unless you nerf everything else to the ground(which would be horrible) that potions will remain irrelevant at high gear levels unless you add other effects or hugely increase their healing (think full rejuvenation potions in d2 without the mana heal:P). In fact when I first read the title I thought “Oh good they are going to add additional effects to potions.”

Just the thoughts of a player who plays this very very promising game way too much:)


#13

Sounds good to me too!In that way you can open a lot of option,like one belt can have %range pickup with % reduced amount of heal,another for party eg "when pick up a potion,it won’t heal you but all party members for % amount.


#14

Every time you post, I pay attention. Because clearly you know what you’re talking about :slight_smile:

Based on your experience, I agree making potion actually useful maybe more important than the changes described here. But I stand by what I said about the effects of potion. To address your issue, the correct thing is to make life and health potions relevant - not to convert health potion into some other periodic buffs. Otherwise we will end up with potions being just some sort of DPS/defence boost like we see in POE.


#15

I agree with you man:) Like I said its ok if potions only heal but it has to be a very substantial amount. Maybe Percentage life based? If you’re well geared with a huge life pool as it stands right now the potion will feel like nothing. In addition, as I’ve said before… dodge/ward builds get almost no benefit from potions other than the move speed on potion use affix on boots. A very very low priority affix.

If you plan to use potions as a way for life builds to compete with dodge/ward builds then I get that. But its very limited in its scope and not very interesting as a game mechanic. That being said I would hope you factor in the potion uselessness factor and the increase in completely useless mods when balancing dodge/ward. This gives a wide range of affixs that make a dodge/ward item unusable.

To clarify: For a dodge/ward build any potion stat is a complete failure along with any +hp or %hp mods. This is because ward will provide a huge % of the ehp pool. Also, additional hp based on the current dodge rate formula will rapidly reduce overall dodge chance. Side note: I would hope this ratio is changed so that hybrid dodge/hp builds are possible. Drastically increasing the complexity and range of builds that are competitive at a high level.


#16

Yes. Basically the devs need to rebalance dodge/ward vs life pool/life regen as a defense mechanism. Because based on what you describe, everyone would use dodge/ward for endgame builds, completely ignoring life as well as it’s recovery mechanisms like potions.


#17

Pretty much nails the point. However, i want to emphasize that potions will be completely under powered at high character level/gear levels even for life builds. Gear level being the total number of tier levels on the given item. My arbitrary system: If the combination of tier levels on a piece of gear is between 16 and 20 then its considered highest level. It’s at least t4-t5 on all 4 affixes. A lot harder to hit than it sounds.

Lets examine the relationship between flat life affixes and % life. Basically as both increase it becomes exponentially better. Its absolutely best even for a sc character doing arena to maximize the total life pool. This is because of the way damage works in last epoch. Almost all protections act as direct ehp. So, you can think of potion heal as ehp. But in this instance(potion use) you have to actively engage it at the proper time. This is a serious down side. Because of this any life player would prefer additional life or additional protective mods rather than any potion stat.

When I’m making a life build I would only want flat life/+% life affixes as priority. The same way you build a gg dodge build. For dodge you would only stack precent dodge and flat dodge on every possibly item. Stacking repeated mods to scale them as high as possible. Also hard stats that affect a variety of stats like str/int/vit/dex depending on the class. Once again, there’s no room for potion mods in the current build of the game.

For sorc or acolyte you would stack as much int as you could. Str for beastmaster and most likely void knight as well.


#18

I must agree with what both Sirius and Jerle have stated. Potions are fairly usless in the late game. While my build is completely different from either of theirs (focused on minimum health, maximum health regen, and high damage mitigation), potions still are quite useless by the time I reach the Arena. I have tried using potions as an escape tool, by adding movement speed and stun avoidance on potion use, but have found that by the time I click to use the potion, I am either dead or my character is out of danger.

As far as the changes go, they make me less likely to rely on a potion than I have been. Going from a deterministic to a probabilistic model for getting potions may sound good in theory but with all things, once you base acquiring an item on RNG, it can lead to frustration by players when items don’t drop when they need them.

Fir example, my main character has a potion refill rate of 16.67% per kill, or 1 potion per 6 kills. Now when I run low on potion, I know what I need to do to get to the point to use it again and can decide how to fight enemies accordingly.

Now, convert that to a probabilistic model, so that I have a 1 in 6 chance to gain a potion on a kill. Then the numbers of potions that I have after 6 kills is given by the binomial distribution, B( 6, 1/6). In other words after 6 kills, there is a:

33.5% chance that 0 potions dropped
40.2% chance that 1 potion dropped
20.1% chance that 2 potions dropped
6.2% chance that 3 or more potions dropped.

So, just over one-third of the time, there will be no potions dropped after 6 kills. That would make it extremely hard to base a build around potions or even consider potion use a vital part of a build.

That is just my perspective. I am sure others will have differing viewpoints based on their builds and party configuration once multiplayer is introduced.


#19

Hm I think it might have been more fun to leave the potion mechanic as it was and add something different. Why not add rare drops that can be mixed in a cauldron to get a new kind of potion, from more healing up to PoE levels of crazy. So people have to experiment with stuff and you can build in a mix and match system like Diablo 2 Runewords or stuff like that, just for potions.


#20

The way I see it what separates potions and the potion mechanic in general from say ward or protections is that potion use is highly reactive whereas the other life based protections are preparatory/static.

In order for reactive life to feel rewarding the following must be true of the overall game:

  1. There must be enough time to react to a life threatening situation to utilize the skill. (Late game mobs one shotting players negates this).
  2. There must be a chance to save oneself from a dangerous situation. Getting stun locked and CCed lowers the usefulness while escape skills like teleport and higher health gains increases it.
  3. Supply must be limited but recoverable: too much and you can simply spam it (thus no longer making it reactive), too little and you will never have it “when you need it”.

1 + 2 are at odds with one another in the current design since players will want to have high health (so they aren’t one shot) and a high percentage of health gain (so that they can fully recover from a bad situation. To that extent making health potions heal relative to % of health would make sense. but could also make HP even more mandatory, and would also separate it from other EHP protections.

Some ideas for other modifiers related directly to the specific points above:
X increased (reduced?) dodge entropy when using a potion. Dodge entropy naturally falls as a result of being attacked, being able to control that entropy allows a user react to a bad situation before actually taking a fatal hit. This would allow low hp builds to still fare well with regards to point 1. As it is still reactive to taking damage (to entropy) it still fits the context of the mechanic.
Temporary Invulnerability. Imagine if the potion drinking animation rooted the player and also made them invulnerable. Mod such as increased and decreased potion drinking time would both be viable depending on the build. This would tie into point 2 as it could directly affect their ability to then “get out” of the bad situation.
Potion Drop Entropy. @ChillGameTheorist mentioned the issue of a probabilistic vs. deterministic potion spawning model. This relates directly to point 3 as the player no longer can accurately determine the future supply of potions. This is a similar issue to the purely random dodge chance issue, it would follow that a similar solution could be effective. As more instances of not finding a potion occur, the odds of finding a potion on the next kill goes up until it eventually approaches 100%, a potion inevitably dropped, and the odds returning to a low number.
Potion Breaking. Going back to point 1, some of the issue comes from the inability of a human to react quickly enough to the situation. A mechanic could be added so that a user could set a threshold at which a potion will break and be used for a reduced effect.