I love Grim Dawn. I’ve logged nearly 600 hours according to Steam. Nearly all of that on Hardcore Veteran.
But I wish I could get access to more of the ‘roguelike’ content earlier on. Randomized dungeons, I mean. I love taking a HC character into the skeleton key protected areas or into the Cthonic rifts, and while those are good, after repeated play you want some variety. Variety that a procedurally generated dungeon can bring.
An awesome model for this is the realtime brogueish game Unexplored. Unexplored has fantastic level generation.
And yes, I want the variety and potency of legendary equipment before I’ve actually beat the game. Tales of Maj’Eyal (Total play time: 16 days 12 hours 24 minutes according to te4.org) has pretty great itemization, as do most turn-based roguelikes. You’ve got a chance to get a randart or standard artifact the whole game. You’ll still die, but at least you die with shinies.
I feel like in ARPG hardcore is often an afterthought, whereas in a true roguelike it’s a critical facet of the core gameplay.
The dissatisfaction I feel with Grim Dawn because so few of my characters make it to the upper levels has allowed me to identify a couple of ways to make a better hardcore experience in ARPG land.
I’m hoping that this is on the map in terms of what’s important to Last Epoch.