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Level 82 Sorc, 35 hours play - review and feedback


#1

1. Introduction

Hey guys, want to start off by saying thanks so much for all the hard work, and how awesome the game is so far (even though it’s only beta)!

There are a lot of kickstarter projects that don’t go over too well (delayed releases, missing features, and a broken product at the end), but even with only 35 hours so far I can already say that I’ve gotten my moneys worth ($100 supporter), the game is in a really good state, and cannot wait for what is to come over the next year.

2. Good things about the game so far:

  • The forum is really nice to use
  • The steam-client works really well, can easily open and play the game, no hassle
  • The skills are really unique, and passives are really nice to use. I enjoy seeing all the builds being made (as mostly a sorcerer), and there are endless combinations
  • Monolith is really fun and can see myself grinding for a while when the game releases. The unique drops feel good, the max monolith (150%~ rarity) is really enjoyable to see large drops
  • Crafting (contrary to some opinions) is really good. I think it’s in a fine state. You tend to find a lot of endgame blues / yellows, and eventually through crafting can get really nice pieces
  • The transparency, frequency of patches, and the communication between devs and the community is outstanding
  • The “world building” in the campaign is really fun, and can’t wait for the “world” to be fleshed out more

3. Thinks I think can be improved (some of these things I know are already being worked on):

  • The performance needs a lot of love over the beta and future
  • The beginning to the game / campaign is a bit vague and hard to get into at first. Text might have been too small as well. I was mostly just clicking through the dialogue and following the arrow on the map. I started “getting it” more near the end of the campaign, and started to actually get interested, but it ended. Would love it to maybe go a little slower at the start and work your way into the campaign, to get interested. Even now, I don’t really know who my character “is” in the story of the world. It feels a lot more like the story is being thrown at me, than I’m being immersed in it.
  • Lack of customization of character. I totally get the reasoning behind not doing like a Monster Hunter-esk customization, because animations are costly… but I’d love if we can at least pick a female and male version of the class, keep the same body animations, just change the head / hair?
  • Sorcerer having a shield is kind of odd. I love the stats, but it just seems out of place. Would prefer a more mage / warlock / caster type item
  • Even holding alt / ctrl, I am still a bit lost on what a lot of the stats do in comparison to each other. Like is 10% necrotic resistance more EHP than 100 hp? Is 10% crit chance better than elemental %, or spell %, or fire %? EHP and DPS just aren’t displayed. Is HP better than ward? How does glancing blow vs armor vs dodge compare? It’s just incredibly hard to know when there are no complete calculations shown. Theory-crafting (which is necessary because of re-specing… I’ll talk about later) is of the upmost importance, but the synergy between stats hasn’t “clicked” yet for me. All I know is “spell, fire, elemental damage”, int, vit, armor, glancing blow, ward retention, hp are all “good”, but again, I have no ideas about priority or synergy
  • I find the arena not as interesting as the monolith. Maybe because I get lag spikes (even on lowest settings) and die around wave 40, or 50, or 60 due to lag spikes… even if it doesn’t seem like my fault. For example, I have maybe 30+ arena keys sitting in my bank, and can consistently farm monolith in the very very high stat ranges.
  • Gold is pretty much useless. The only use is re-spec, but you’ll get my re-spec rant below. Would like to see it useful to maybe add additions to the “end of time”, or buy pets, or armor paints (maybe have an endgame “gold” color that costs 1million per paint… something to show dedication and wealth), or create your own flag / stat statue… I don’t think gold even has to tie to items / bazaar, just have a really nice use for it.

4. Re-specing critique and why restricting for the sake of restricting will hurt the game in the long term

My final point to discuss is why I’m taking a break from “grinding” Last Epoch, and why I’ve gotten sort of disinterested with the game at the time being until more content is released.

I started my character not knowing much about the game, but went with a meteor and blackhole sorc build because it looked fun, and aoe-farming in games like WoW is super interesting and fun.

Now my character is level 82, and I have reasonable items with lots of t4s-t5s, int, vit, lots of resists, so grinding items for my current build isn’t super necessary for mediocre upgrades. I have almost 1million gold, have at least 1-3 of every unique / set item it seems. So grinding for my current build would just be to get slightly better rolls on some of my pieces.

I have seen others builds, and I want desperately to create a new build with my new knowledge, and make monoliths even quicker, me do even more damage etc… In my mind I wanted to try going a sword / melee mage, there are a couple builds I wanted to try out, or try going an ice build or a lightning build. I was super excited to try out some of these builds, and re-specing spells isn’t that big of a deal, can take like 15min of arena to get to level 20.

But then I realized the passive re-spec for 20x4 re-specs would cost way way way too much gold, I could maybe re-spec once, but not more than that. So I would have to literally guess at a build (because a lot of skill points / passives are vague / need to be tested). This really discouraged me as I realized I’d probably have to grind millions of gold, or it’d be quicker to re-level to 80 on a new toon (which could take 20-30 hours, which is crazy, just to “test” / “play” out more than 1 build), or more than 1 toon, having like 5-10 mages with various builds sitting on my menu, which just doesn’t feel right. Again, I’ve pretty much maxed out the gear and playability of my current build.

Granted, rolling a different class outright would probably add more hours to the game, but then I’d be in the same loop as before.

Forcing players to grind endlessly on what is essentially 1 build on their main character in a game with millions, trillions of possible build combinations seems really out of place.

Until more content comes out, or re-specing becomes easier to do, I’ve sort of hit a content wall that is just “play another class” until I get them to near level 100, and can’t re-spec so have to stop playing or repeat 50~ hours to grind the exact same class back to 90-100.

5. Conclusion:

I’m happy with my purchase. I’m excited to see what comes! I have some critiques, and one major contention that is stopping me from playing at the moment, but I’ll stick around and see what the future holds.

Although I have some critiques, still want to thank the devs immensely for all they’ve put into the game, and can’t wait to see where it ends up in the years to come. Users only critique your work if they really care about it and want it to be great. Thanks for reading.


#2

:ok_hand:


#3

The whole re-spec system is getting reworked, and will be much less punishing :slight_smile: It was just an easy-to-implement system, that is quite old now.


#4

From what I’ve gathered from the dev posts, they still want to keep it as a costly system, so that players can’t (I believe this is a direct quote) “freely respec”.

I tried to give a very common scenario above, that might discourage players from continuing to play when they realize that they can’t try out the millions of possible builds / variations of builds. It’s such a vast sea of a game, but it feels like the player is stuck in a tiny puddle, arbitrarily.


#5

It’s not arbitrary. It is to give permanence to builds and costs to sustain longevity of the game. But you’ve heard both arguments already and cannot accept them. I suppose we just have to see how much the devs choose to sway one side or another.

edit: quoted for context.


#6

I was just giving my perception of the changes. It’s not so much I don’t want to accept them, but rather try and explain why I feel they’re arbitrary and why I disagree with them.

The whole point of the feedback forum is to offer feedback against the current design decisions. It’s not a sub-forum to just agree with everything that’s happening in the game.

I see permanence to builds is actually a negative. Is it really a positive game quality to have players playing the same build for months, years? Letting players evolve their build, create, and find new interesting builds gives a game more longevity. Stagnance is not something I see being strived for in any modern game.

Also, if sustaining the longevity of the game is tied into stopping the player from trying other builds, then the game is sorely missing end-game content in it’s own right, and restricting players is just a band-aid, a false veil of longevity.

It’s like if in Dota, you had an arbitrary “time out” stopping you from playing every 3 hours, because… well it gives the game more longevity if you have to take breaks, and thus not playing all the possible heroes / not getting burned out.

Or in WoW, not being able to re-spec between pve, pvp, raids, or after patches… because we want permanence for bad builds… to sustain longevity.

Or in 2007scape, arbitrarily restricting how much time you can play in “members” areas, as a way to “sustain longevity” by making sure players don’t try out too much content.

It just seems like a non-argument for a system that is essentially arbitrarily restricting the ability of players to actually play the possible content in the game, and try out builds.

Again, there are millions, trillions of variations for 1 single build, on 1 single class. The possibilities are endless, and to not let the player even try out 2-3 builds without grinding 40-50 hours on a new toon just feels wrong.


#7

Sure. And I am just offering my view against yours.

As I said, we clearly have orthogonal perspective. I have seen your argument multiple times and more patient posters have not been able to help you see mine. And that is why I simply concluded to say we just have to see how the devs choose to balance respec for the two opposing camps.


#8

You started off by stating I was not “accepting” the arguments that are put forward for the current re-spec design decision. So I was saying that I am offering feedback, in my “review and feedback” thread. It’s was not about “accepting”, it was me giving feedback,

I’ve seen arguments on both sides, and I still think that what I posted above is logical and gives a good perspective. I don’t think I’ve seen a reply to the above argument, rather just “it gives permanence, longevity” which doesn’t really satisfy the arguments I had put above, more of just a flat statement. If someone can convince me otherwise, I’m open to hearing any side, but currently I’m on Side B.

Yes of course. I wanted to discuss my feedback of the game after 35 hours (I made many many more points than just about re-specing) in the hopes to get some back and forth discussion either from other users, or a dev themself. When we’re in the feedback forum it makes sense to be able to discuss feedback a bit in depth.

In the end, it’s obviously the developers choices, and I’m excited for what’s to come in the next year with the game as it’s something that will change the ARPG community.


#9

You did. @Elgareth patiently argued extensively why respec should have a cost in this thread (Respeccing is painful, punishes new players for not knowing what to pick early on).

If you think his argument there as nothing more than a flat statement, I think there is no point in me trying to convince you otherwise.


#10

Elgareth seemed to agree with me for the most part, or at least took a center opinion, leaning towards my end. Also the above posts do 100% not challenge the arguments I put above in my post.

Also what you initially wrote was a flat statement. You wrote a total of 3 short sentences in regards to my post that has many many paragraphs on differing issues with many examples and possible changes. You didn’t offer any argument or example, nor any changes or prescriptive claims.


#11

You’re kidding me. Find me quotes that support your impression.

Maybe I should have quoted. I was replying to your reply on the specific point on respec. I do not disagree with any other of your feedback.


#12

I have no horse in this race, but never understood why I can’t respec freely in some ARPG’s, D3 lets me do that, and this game is still played today by a lot of people, I have put around 2000 hours in it. I don’t get that permanence thing at all. Or just make it an option when you create a character (same as solo or masochistic), simple as that. And if you don’t like it, don’t use it? I still had two characters of every class in D3, all slots are filled. I don’t like restrictions in that way.


#13

Ehm…well, partially I’d say. I mainly see two Scenarios:

  1. Complete Respecs
  2. Fine-Tuning/Tinkering with your build

I don’t think 1) should be possible on a regular Basis / should come with a significant cost. The values Need to be tuned with changes to loot of Course, but the General direction currently is fine IMHO.
Reasoning, as @Jerle said, in the according thread.

On the other Hand, removing single Points, maybe 5 Points out of a node every now and then is fine IMHO. Which, again, the current System does fairly well. All that’s missing is a decay of the cost-multiplier, so that… I don’t know, each day 10% of your total passive Points Count as “Not respecced” in Terms of cost. The costs for a total respec/increase per additional Point removed would probably have to be increased in that case.
(So a character with 50 passive Points could respec 5 Points per day, starting with the base Price everytime. But when he respecs completely, it takes 10 days until his respec costs are back to base Level. A character with 100 could respec 10 accordingly.)

The only Problem at the Moment is the scaling of costs to infinity, making respecs impossible at a certain Point.

I want People who don’t think about their build and just spend their Points mindlessly to be punished by high respec costs that Need a few days of farming at least, but I don’t want to have to delete the character just because a lag-spike, misclick, or slight Balance Change leaves my character forever gimped.

I’d consider it a good Balance when People regulary have three characters of the same base class for the different ascendancies, and maybe even for example two Primalist Shamans, one as Pet, one as Caster, or even three with a melee build, because changing from one to the other on a daily Basis by respeccing would be prohibitively expensive. While at the same time there won’t start a new leveling craze after each patch because minor Things changed or a new unique was added.

I like Diablo 3’s Approach for it’s simplicity, but that also makes it incredibly dull. It’s a completely different approach compared to a serious ARPG, it’s like the Fast Food variant of an ARPG. The playerbase of D3 is assumingly tiny nowadays, with a spike for two days each new Season, while PoE still has a massive playerbase, but PoE for me is massively OVERcomplicated, every single aspect is so intricate and huge, you can’t “just farm” in that game, there are ~52 different Things to tweak before you even open your farm area…

Noone is stopping you from trying other builds. You just Need to create a new character with that build. Starting a new journey with a mage who didn’t take the same path as your first one, creating his own experiences and memories. Making a build a build, and not just some arbitrary shifting of numbers from A to B.
(Besides of that, leveling a twink is much faster anyway, and with MP there will probably even be a way to powerlevel twinks with friends…)

And the result was an incredible interest for a vanilla-WoW Server, where respecs cost a reasonable amount of Gold, and there were no dual-specs yet…
What happened in WoW is exactly what I DON’T want in Last Epoch. People lost all attachment to their characters. I started with vanilla WoW, as a holy priest, as healer of my Group of friends I played with. Solo questing SUCKED. Finding Dungeon Groups again and again, in times before teleporter Stones in front of every dungeons and LfG/LfR-Tools was effort.
But in the End, I had a nice healing priest, and I still fondly look back on all the memories that created. And now? “Go full damage till max-lvl, skip Most quests and go full tank for LfR”…well… Or directly buy yourself a max-lvl char. There are reasons why WoW subscriber numbers are dropping increasingly fast over the last expansions.

Finally, on all other Points I’m with you. Many Passives are boring stat-sticks, but they will be overhauled later, the Story suffers most from bland presentation at the Moment, just visually Long Texts from People I don’t know about stuff I don’t understand yet…yeah, especially the first hour or so Needs improvements, first impressions matter. All other Things, seconded.

PS: Oh, and respec costs for beta purposes should probably be much lower. Noone will want to test if a really bad passive at least works as it should if respeccing is so expensive :smiley: (Would also be alleviated by decaying respec costs)

PPS: I’d even consider if it should be impossible to change your ascendancy once chosen :thinking: By the time you get there you have a pretty good idea of what you want your character to be.


#14

Thank you sir. For explaining what I would not. :smiley:


#15

You’re kidding me. Find me quotes that support your impression.

Ehm…well, partially I’d say. I mainly see two Scenarios:

So if I have (in my example above), played a meteor mage literally to the point that there is nothing else going on, I can beat all the end-game content, I have every unique and t5x4 item… and to intrigue me back into the game would be to try out a lightning sorc, or melee… I should be restricted? Me grinding another 40-50 hours to “re-spec” only to now finally be able to “play” doesn’t feel like a great feature.

Most non-casual players who’ve played D3 have hundreds, thousands of hours. I really really don’t think that the main reason D3 isn’t successful is because of the re-spec being free. There were hundreds of viable, meta builds that were “discovered”, and players still discover.

I think this is where we fundamentally differ. I feel like you’re romanticizing leveling / campaign. It is not as enjoyable for me, or other players who have level 80-100 characters (at least in the current state of the game) to make the exact same character and relevel it back to 80-100 to start playing the game again. You’re just doing the exact same thing you did before.

For a lot of players, the “end-game” is the game, and before that is not as enjoyable. Restricting being able to play fun, meta, different, or goofy builds at the end-game is a fun killer, because leveling is not necessarily a journey, there aren’t necessarily memories, it’s can just be mindless grinding. A big reason people didn’t like having to do Diablo 3’s campaign over like 4 times to level to 60, because it was mindless, and players already experienced this content.

The problem is… a lot of builds are figured out, and almost all specs in WoW are valuable. WoW was much more about gear, pvp, trading, money, and skill, THEN builds. If you had a few misplaced points, it wouldn’t ruin your entire character, and changing a couple points here or there wouldn’t show a drastic difference for a lot of content in the game.

In ARPGs, the game is definitely about killing monsters and getting loot, gold… but it comes to a point endgame where you have very little room for improvement, and the game has very little left to offer at your current character, so changing specs is the only way to continue enjoying something new, without restarting over again, or tweaking your current spec.

I agree, but also, this gives beta players an advantage. It’s not like the game will be entirely figured out by end of beta, but new players on release will still suffer the fate of not understanding what points do, and then they’re stuck with uninformed decisions.

Being punished later in a game’s life cycle because you don’t understand early on, is a very common anti-pattern in game design.


#16

Um, aren’t you replaying the exact same content over and over and over in every ARPG? How do you farm? How many Greater Rifts did you do? 2000? 20000? ARPGs endgames are nothing but grinding.

As I have, too. D3 failed because everything waa free, nothing mattered. Because of this, all Activision Blizzard could do with every expansion, every big patch was power creep, because there was no incentive for anything. Goofy builds were tried for 10 minutes, found goofy, respecced to speedfarm again and it was back to grinding again.
I’m still there every season, for two days. Then I’ve tried every build for my char, played the endgame with each a few times and leave bored again.

No. Because if you are nearly maxed out on your gear, you have endgame-farmed for weeks already and can easily respec your character, and even after the respec tweak passives of the new build, because you’ll have the gold.
You just can’t respec to lightning each monday, meteor on tuesday, frozen orb on wednesday etc.

What advantage? Many skills don’t have skilltrees, most existing passives will either change drastically or be completely replaced. Skills might be added, moved, or changed. Entire Gameplay aspects (see Primalist Forum) will change.
Yes, Beta players will know more, but that is always the case. This is a “real”, technical beta instead of a pure marketing beta, bug reports about nodes not functioning properly are requested and needed, big changes can occur multiple times a week, the situation is just different from release.

You said it. Without restarting over again. I don’t get why you are fine with levels 1-84 at all then, shouldn’t you advertise for leaving that out directly, starting with 90 passive points and decent yellow gear if leveling is such a chore?
Yes, it is effort. But that’s what makes the build your build.
When changing from meteor to lightning, you also need completely exchanged gear. You can’t just trade-in your current gear and get lightning-based gear in return. You need to find it, craft it, put effort in.
When you reached a point where your build is maxed out, you have BiS Slot gear everywhere, you simply finished the game (with this build). It’s no different in Diablo 3.

PS: Sorry for messed up order of quotes, hard to format on mobile.


#17

Hey guys, I like a spirited discussion so I figured I would poke my head in and possibly very foolishly get sucked in haha. General disclaimer: this is all still very malleable and will change.

You’ve all got really good points and I think that it’s really important to know that so many of these systems work together to make the whole experience and it’s really hard to judge how it’s going to be from what is there now.

I think that the scenario that @Korinokiri is trying to avoid will end up happening to some extent only in the standard league. I think that most players will not really play standard league very much. I’m using PoE terms for the characters which get moved to a long term mode after a new league/season.

1st up, let’s talk passive tree.
So what do we hope our current plan will look like? We do really like having some character permanence in the builds. We like that feeling of “I’m a fire mage.” That’s not to say that you won’t be able to change if it’s not fun for you. Large scale character changes will be available in 2 main scenarios (possibly more). 1: Large scale changes to the passive tree will probably refund your points so you can respec your character if you want. 2: Some sort of very high cost investment in gold and/or some sort of found item. Maybe something like the tokens from D2 after they added respecs.

We are going to add single node respec items to the drop tables. I’ve been working on this recently. It’s a little tricky but it’s coming along. The big problem with the current respec system (which is 100% placeholder) has the primary problem of requiring you to remove your most recently placed point first. These items will ideally have a pretty low drop rate but will allow you to change that one point near the bottom of your tree that you just didn’t quite get right.

The goal with this system is to give you the capability to experiment if you want but make wide sweeping changes a little costly. Changing from Meteor to Volcanic Orb as your primary big skill would probably not require too many changes in your passive tree but with a few respec items you would be able to tweek your tree to fit just right. Want to switch from a Sorc to a Spellblade and completely change your playstyle entirely? That’s going to take quite a bit more investment. We don’t want that to be something you’re doing daily. I’d like switching between mastery classes to be a really big deal. Not as large a change as switching between Barb and Wizard in D3 but more similar to that than putting on a new 6 piece.

As for skill trees, their leveling rate will change pretty dramatically going forward. We’re also planning individual respec items for skill trees too.

One of the biggest problems with looking at it as a whole right now is that the game is still growing so much that the end game systems and the speed that you get to them and the content that’s available is all going to change. The top end gear doesn’t even exist yet in game. Being able to experiment with your character is an important part of our game and is something that we want to be possible. We don’t want it to be as quick and easy as D3 was but also not as restrictive as D2 was. Somewhere in the middle is where we are currently aiming.

I’d also like to say thank you @Korinokiri for the kind words about the game so far :smile:
Being able to pick your gender is something that we get as a request a lot. I’m sorry to have to say this but it’s not going to happen at launch. That’s not to say that it will never happen but we just don’t have the throughput to make it for launch. It would delay the launch and as an indie studio we sometimes need to make difficult decisions like this.


Free respec
#18

Thanks for clearing it up :slight_smile: .
Got nothing to add or criticize. The plans seem to be exactly how I’d do it as well :+1:


#19

Glad to get such an in-depth response, thanks so much!


#20

Also, as a temporary thing to help but not actually fix the problem yet, I’m going to put a cap on the respec cost so that it can’t balloon in to infinity. It will be really high but it will cap out.