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Feedback Corner: Potions, Consistency, and Ward

Feedback Corners: A Redux

Welcome to our first #feedback-corner of 2019!

The idea behind the Feedback Corner format is to provide a brief summary of feedback we have received on a particular topic, and to then explain how we will be addressing that feedback. The somewhat similar #dev-blog format differs from this in that it concentrates on our own plans - often serving as an introduction to something not yet implemented.

This Feedback Corner pertains to potions. Earlier this year we posted a Developer Blog on the subject - and since then we have been monitoring community sentiment regarding that reimagining of potions, and periodically discussing the topic in our design meetings.
 

Feedback We Have Received

Concerns which have been highlighted by the community include;

  • Either boss fights will be designed around potions - e.g. every boss will summon allies (‘adds’) to assist it - or potions will not be obtainable during boss encounters.
  • Potions being designed as items which drop from enemies with an element of randomness contributes to them being a defense with inconsistent availability.
  • Ward-focused characters struggle to make use of potions due to a large proportion of their eHP (‘Effective Health Points’) being comprised of a secondary health pool.
  • If the amount of potions you have access to is inconsistent, class passives and unique items which interact with them will either be overpowered to compensate for that inconsistency, or will be skipped in lieu of more consistent mechanics.
     

The Scope of Changes Being Discussed

Before we begin discussing changes we will be making, it is worth taking a moment to clarify the scope of the discussion. We are aware that potions are one of a number of systems that currently do not scale particularly well for higher level characters with better equipment. Other examples of aspects of the game which currently do not scale well into the late game include - but are not limited to - protections and stun chance.

This thread focuses on the design of potions and our goals for this system. The issue of some systems not scaling well will be addressed in one or more future threads.
 

Potions in Last Epoch

On the whole, we are happy with how the potion rework has changed the game. While it is true that the rate at which you obtain potions is less predictable than under the previous system, potions are not intended to replace other forms of defense or life recovery.

The previous system revolved around a single potion with multiple charges, the generation of which was steady and predictable. We like when different systems feel different and are used differently, so we wanted to better differentiate potions and skills.

Reducing the certainty of how many potions you will have access to in the future makes the decision of whether to use one more deliberate, and dissuades players from overly relying on a resource in which they have not invested. We also like the potential for potions to drop in inconvenient locations, as it results in more decision making than the previous system, where if you had one or more potion charges you were very likely to use your potion.

The community has done an excellent job of highlighting some pain points in how potions currently work - and we will be making some targeted adjustments accordingly.
 

Some Specific Upcoming Changes

We are going to have bosses drop potions as you fight them so that potions can be accessible during boss encounters without every boss fight needing to include adds.

We will also be adjusting the affixes which interact with potions. The goal of these changes will be to make potions more consistently useful by allowing them to grant Ward on demand.

 
We will be implementing the following affixes;

  • Extra Potion Slot and Added Potion Health
    • This will be available on Belts.
  • Ward Gained on Potion Use
    • This will be available on Helmets, Amulets, Gloves, and Belts.
  • % of Potion Health Converted to Ward
    • This will be available on Gloves, Belts, Rings, and Relics.

 
We will also be removing some or all of these affixes;

  • Added Potion Health
  • Increased Life Regen on Potion Use
  • Increased Potion Health

 
We also plan to adjust the rarity and power level of Dodge Rating on Potion Use to make it a less common affix, but one that is significantly more impactful than it is currently.

Finally, we will be making some additional adjustments to potion-related affixes unrelated to this feedback - and these will be listed in the relevant #patch-notes thread.

 
Thank you for your help in making Last Epoch the best game it can be.

6 Likes

Speaking personally, this feels like a particularly unhelpful direction to take potions. Why give players even more affixes to scramble for in a pool of gear that is already oversaturated? Why keep potions base effectiveness in its current atrocious state, and then moderately improve drops under narrow circumstances? This feels… I don’t know.

If they’re still going to be inconsistent, drop-based, lootable items… I’d almost rather not have potions at all, and instead move to an orb-based pickup system ala Warframe, with affixes and skills related to spawning and improving their potency. Maybe I’m misunderstanding the scope of changes you’re discussing, but it seems like this is a lateral movement, not a step forward.

5 Likes

Agreed

The total number of potion affixes is going down in this update, and the remaining/new ones will be rarer than the old ones and roll on fewer slots.

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Yes, at the moment I doubt someone is actively looking for Potion affixes when you can have really helpful and consistent attack or defense affixes instead.

I think the problem with potions is indeed the inconsistency. You can’t rely on potions as a defense mechanism. I feel nobody will want to waste one affix for potions except if they are really, really good. Like a game-changing thing.

PS: just read Trasochi message. Less potion affixes and new ones being rarer look like a good change to me specially if the new ones are more powerful.

2 Likes

As we continue to release content patches there will be a growing number of unique items, passives, legendary items, and specialization tree nodes which support potions - increasing your number of potion slots, the amount of health potions restore, and their chance to drop.

A year from now you might be buying a unique belt with 8 potion slots from the Bazaar, or playing a Runemaster build that causes rare enemies to be guaranteed to drop potions if they were killed by one of your runes. The potion rework wasn’t all that long ago - and in some ways I would liken potions to a skill which does not yet have a specialization tree. The core concept is available, but is currently stunted due to the limited ability to invest into it.

The more consistent and powerful we make potions, the less room we leave ourselves to create exciting items around them or to have skills and passives meaningfully interact with them. We want your characters’ builds to improve potions in different ways. The alternative would be homogenization, which would likely reduce the longevity of the game.

3 Likes

I agree also.

I really agree with @Ariamaki I think devs are overly investing in the potions. I play a high ward sorcerer build and i nearly never use potions. At some point in the late game its either you have enough lifesteal to sustain any damage taken or you are getting oneshoted. In addition removing an affix/preffix from an item for a potion one seems like a bad item design. Either remove the potion affixes/preffixes or add an additional affix/preffix slot with a chance to spawn on an item that will be only potion oriented and will not take a slot from normal affix/preffix lines.

I would really like to see some unique effects on the potions. Like increased move speed/Attack speed/cast speed/spell damage/Melee damage/ward retention etc, etc. for a short period of time which will scale in late game. Potions in my opinion should be a way to get some hp/ward back here and there with some short time buffs and not a spammable/must option for survivability.

I can see the vision here. come on peeps, this is Beta with several other things in the pipeline. they have already said this is like a non-tree skill.

I think the re-work would be beneficial in the long run, stop thinking short term.

Personally the only time I use potions is on non-add bosses or rares in a 20+ Lith run, so I just use a 4 slot belt with tons of armour and go from there.

Thanks Dev’s for listening to the feedback we, as a community, are giving. VERY much appreciated. Keep up the great work <3 x

I must say, I like this whole concept of a feedback corner. Even if it is time consuming, collating community sentiment can be an excellent way to distill good ideas, or clarify key points about the direction of a game concept. Thanks for the efforts!

Regarding potions in particular, all these plans look like a nightmare to balance! I myself would just make potions give characters a moderate, but persistent buff. This still allows creativity in choices, combinations and item interactions, as well as power by increasing potion slots, or finding rare potion types.

If you feel like you still want the inconsistently useful aspect of potions, make monsters with auras that negate their effects, either partially or fully.

If you feel like you want the ‘players dance around to collect potions’ aspect, make orbs that players can collect which enhance existing potions. Or make ground effects that negate potions, and players can get the full effect of potions all the time, but only if they dodge around the ground effects.

Seems to me that this way you could get the gameplay and future items you desire, address the concerns listed above, give players an option for a potion focused role, and make the balancing of all this much easier.

First up, I’d like to give you top marks for community engagement. Here and elsewhere, the transparency of thought that has gone into your design process is not only interesting but thoroughly enjoyable. So, despite what I’m about to say: thank you.

I don’t doubt there has been tonnes of effort which has gone into this system, and I think the design of the potion system is in a good place in the current game. Embedded entropy is as fine a system as any for adding a layer of excitement in those hairier moments.

What I worry about is the extension of this system into other aspects of the game. Potions are for healing health. Adding self-buffs to potions, and adding affixes to items which support a “potion-oriented playstyle” seems a little … niche?

As you noted (a couple of times), the intent is to lay the groundwork for where the game will be at a later time. That’s fine, but…

I won’t use a potion for a temporary damage buff if I only have 4 potions on my belt; I need those (and more) for the boss fight around the next corner. Further, does the time I saved killing with my potion-granted damage buff outweigh the time I spend walking over to pick up another potion that just dropped?

Likewise, a defensive buff after using a potion feels awkward. I needed that buff five seconds ago when I was standing in fire! I’m even less likely to preemptively use a potion for a defensive buff; why give up guaranteed effective health for a chance for some effective health?

Overall, it feels like a system that, right now, exists only for a small audience. Either a streamer who is bored or a newbie who doesn’t know better. It may well morph into something that could be an add-on to a build (if you have the right items, on a fine day, when you have nothing else to do), but I’m not feeling it right now. Sorry :frowning:

1 Like

I have question, does anyone here actually build around potion affixes? I honestly don’t know because I never used them and I don’t really think you need to invest in them the game’s current design.

I find potion affixes on gear kinda pointless unless they are not taking up a slot where I can put offensive or defensive affixes. I personally have never put a potion affix on my gear, they seem pretty stupid when I can just go more damage or defensive stats. I also personally HATE the idea of inventing one of my limited affix slots to a potion addition which is a “reactionary mechanic”. The benefit of that affix is hard to really perceive and justify putting it on your gear because you have to account of how many potions might drop in combat verse what the potion benefits and if its even worth using it just for a buff when you can just save it when you get a big hit. For example, one play style could use it as a buff every time you go into combat but you might not get enough potions back from enemies to maintain that play style. It’s just a weird thing to invest in that seems iffy to judge the effectiveness/sustain within combat. Wouldn’t everyone rather just run another defensive stat that mitigates damage so you don’t get in a situation where you have to spam a potion?

I don’t like giving criticism without offering some optional ways to change or adjust the system:

A) Move potion affixes to be implicit mods on gear. Have lower armor based gear with implicit mods ward related mechanics on potion use and have heavy armor lean toward implicit mods with increase health potion. Then have some gear which is hybrid implicit potion mods.

B)Have belts be for strictly potion affixes and remove other defensive/offensive affixes on belts (your already kinda there with having maximum potion amount as an implicit) . Cater belts specifically to building how you want your potions to function. Maybe even put set bonuses on belts that increase the effectiveness of ward gain (for example) if you wear more light armor.

I don’t think personally, unless you are going to massively increase affixes on gear that potion mods as affixes would be more beneficial than the countless amount of other mods you can put on your gear. Also potion affixes for me are boring and the benefit is hard to put a real value on enough to invest in it where I can get more damage or defensive that would make me either kill the enemy faster so I don’t need a potion or mitigate enough damage before so I don’t need to panic heal up and use a potion.

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Hey guys, lots of good discussion going on here. Unfortunately not all of the information made it in to this initial post so it has been a little misleading. We will be following up with a more complete post so that the whole picture is clear.

Sorry about the confusion.

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I think there is too much in the game that relies on affixes.

Passives are important too but they are in a limited pool for a character (passive trees) and we have to rely on the affixes to get what the trees don’t provide.

The more obvious is when we see the attributes. Each attribute innately provide some nice bonus to stats. We should be interested in the attributes because of those bonus they provide.
But because the main way to get them is the passive trees, we don’t have much choice in what attributes we build and, in the end, we build them because of the scalling of the skills instead of their innate bonus. Those effects become secondary to the improvement of the skills.
If we want a passive effect provided by an attribute we don’t naturally have (because a character with a lot of necro and void resistance but no elemental resistance at all is not that fun to play), the only option is the affixes.

I think attributes should have been a way for all characters, whatever their passive trees look like, to improve some basic stats like health, potion effectiveness, resistance, etc. Not necessarily enough to allow to go all in with damages with the affixes. But just enough to allow more fun with the affixes. Or even less luck with the crafting (to not have to wait for a T5 health affixe before improving other affixes).

I would like potions to be simplified to be less present in affixes and passive trees, but made stronger, maybe using the attributes that could need more love.
On the other hand, there could be funnier way to make potions interact with affixes and passive trees. Like a node or affixe to add new effects to the potion (providing a buff in addition to the healing) or completely replace its effect.
Just some way to make the loss of a node or a passive point more attractive. As for now, if I have the choice between improving the potion that I have a limited number of use of or improving a leeching effect that is always passively active, I will always make the second choice.

The primary gain from this news is making potions more effective for ward users outside of Chains of Uleros.

I’d also like to make another suggestion for bosses outside of adds: health bar checkpoints. Diablo 3 did this with health globes. Just guarantee 3 potions at the 75%, 50%, and 25% mark.

There’s always a worry about “too many modifiers” but I’m sure in time you’ll have enough unique avenues to deliver mods people can specifically work for.

I’m not too worried about that.

As someone who has played the game maybe more than anyone. While I appreciate what you’re trying to do, i’ll say what I said before. If you’re making your build with the idea of making it as good as it can be potions literally do not matter. At all. Even with these changes. Its the basic idea that potions are reactive. Not preventative. The only time I even think about potions is when something has gone horribly wrong and I’m mashing the potion key while running away. They NEED to be a consistent way to do something more than just add ehp for it to ever be conceivable to possibly waste even one single affix on potion stats. That includes dodge on potion use, even if you buff it a ton. It still will be a waste to ever use an affix slot on potions. Again, because you could use that affix slot on something that will passively prevent damage that could “one shot” you or kill you faster than you can react. Which is what kills you in this game.

A possible way to make this stat useful in actual game play would be to couple all potion affixes with an additional potion effect duration increase. This of course would have to be coupled with effects that are not just the standard gain x life. This would make them possible to use ahead of time when engaging a particularly dangerous mob. 4 seconds just isnt enough. Period. Sure if you have some legendary that increases potion effect by a lot then that’s one thing. However, then you’re just requiring an already weak build to waste a valuable gear slot on a legendary. The legendary would also have to have really good other stats to make it worth while.
If the added ward/life to ward conversion on potion use is a very very large amount of ward then possibly it could be useful for a very small number of builds. Builds with extremely high ward retention basically. Only due to the fact that ward actually can be used as a preventative defense.

Final Additional edit: In conclusion, I understand you don’t want it to be like path of exile flasks where you are basically just constantly mashing flasks at set intervals. I totally agree with that. However, there needs to be a middle ground. Potions need to be a selective use but highly effective source of bonuses that can be used preventatively for them to ever be worth using affix slots for. Remember for a lot of builds the additional potion drops are not beneficial at all because they require you to run into danger (a huge group of enemies during a fight) where otherwise your build might be able to stay at far range and stay safe.

7 Likes

I would like to point out the fact we don’t have enought affix slot on items , only 4 max total make thing harder/impossible/heartbreaking to give up a slot for thing like potion affix. It’s too restrictive.
So i guess the game will profit from 2 extra affix slot ( +1 preffix , +1 suffix) It would solve the headache.

I see your point but if that was the case I would certainly still use the additional affix slots for other things other than potions:P Doesn’t solve the core issue of potions being underpowered based on how they are used.

2 Likes

Not false but at least it would be less painfull

Belt modifiers could simply be more or less “forced” to be hybrid potion modifiers. To be more clear, belt modifiers have the normal stuff but depending on what you pick, they are also potion modifiers.

You picked the dodge affix for belts? It also gives you a dodge bonus on potion use. This leads potions to be directly related to the stats you picked for you belt and therefore your build. This would making passives that effect potion duration or frequency more valuable too since they’re more than just health potions.

Still leaves room for customization, but also makes potions a more integral part of a build.

2 Likes