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Rants about Time Travel as an advertiseable feature


#1

"Last Epoch combines time travel, exciting dungeon crawling, engrossing character customization and endless replayability".

Well, every other umm… game feature (I can’t find a more specific umbrella term for reasons explained below) listed in this slogan has an appealing adjective (exciting, engrossing, endless). The Time Travel does not. Because reasons.

Dungeon crawling, character customization and replayability are gameplay features, which are pretty self-descriptive. But Time Travel is a broad fiction concept that is not self-descriptive, and is not prsented in Last Epoch as a gameplay feature worth mentioning.
When you say “our game has character customization” I say “cool!”.
When you say “our game has Time Travel” I ask “what do you mean?”.

Turns out we don’t have Bullet Time or Time Rewind, or any other features, that could enrich existing gameplay.
What it boils down to is a waypoint system. Sure, you invented a clever way to rationalize the fact that we visit same (palette swapped) locations several times during storyline. We can visit any moment in time we want! Yep, all four of them, two being available in Beta (if you discount the Tutorial Era and the Hideout). Yay?

Time Travel definitely exists in Last Epoch as visual and plot themes, and an amusing ones at that. But somehow I find it inconsistent to “combine” visual/plot elements and gameplay features as comparable entities in your slogan.

Now, how would I put it… "Last epoch combines time travel theme, exciting dungeon crawling, engrossing character customization and endless replayability ".
Eww… Well, I tried.


#3

Well the game is only in beta, there is so much content revolving time travel to be added. But there is already a quest that makes you go to the future and back to open a door. Also the monolith of fate puts forth options of different time lines.
There is another endgame system to be added, that makes you able to put an item into a chest, the go forward in time, fight a boss, and the claim your reward, but upgraded due to traveling in time.


#4

Well said, and justified by your facts presented (open a door, monolith of fate) & future additions of the endgame upgrade. Happy gaming Gladiators. :smiley:


#5

“Open a door” is not a game mechanic. It’s a plot twist. The key is found in a different location that you have to access by backtracking to place you’ve already played through. Time travel is all talk no real action here.
Monolith has no game mechanics related to time travel. All there is it has “timeline” written somewhere. It’s just flavor.
Same goes for the mentioned future content, where you have to “travel in time to fight a boss”. Same content can be implemented without mentioning time travel, for example you need this boss monster’s body parts to upgrade the item. Monster Hunter, cough. It’s just a flavor.

All I have found so far that can pass as a “time travel game mechanic” is a single Void Knight’s skill, Volatile Reversal, and a few passives. They actually try to affect gameplay by sending you/enemies back/forward in time. In a very basic way, but I’ll take it.

So there’s it. a single skill of a single spec of a single class.


#6

I do see your point, that currently there aren’t many mechanics that really take on the time travel. Sure it feels like you just go to a different location, but the character does travel in time to get the key.
Again, the game is still only in early beta, and the monolith is a very new system. For now it is just flavour. But later on the time travel aspects will be vastly expanded on. Like depending on which timeline you pick the path or quest line will change, or something like that. Maybe you can jump between the timelines.
I respectfully disagree about the “travel in time to fight a boss”, since you place an item in a chest or something, then travel in time to fight a boss, which will affect the item in different ways, depending on how much time or which period you go to (at least that’s what I’ve heard). That sounds very time travel’y to me. We can’t know for sure what the future of the game will bring, but I’m sure there will be many more things using time as a core game mechanic.
Hmm… there are more than 1 skill. There is also ‘Anomaly’, ‘Shield Rush’ with the right nodes, ‘Time Rot’ which slows the time of enemies, and ‘Future Strikes’. Sure it’s just for the Sentinel and more specifically the Void Knight, but I think that’s fine, since it makes the Void Knight very special.
You sure have a lot of criticism, but not a lot of it is very constructive. What game mechanics using time travel as a core element would you like to see in Last Epoch in the ‘Future’? :wink:


#7

It’s not that I beg to see more time-travely game mechanics in Last Epoch. I don’t think the vision that devs have for this game can be changed to incorporate time travel as a core game mechanic (apart from a few specific skills).
Rather, I feel that the way Time Travel is advertised makes it look like it’s one of core game mechanics, which it is not. It’s a big theme and story element, but themes are not mechanics.
Just look at this Wikipedia page, it illustrates my point https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_games_containing_time_travel

I feel that currently Last Epoch resides in the first category, but is advertised as being in second one.

It doesn’t matter what it sounds like, it’s what it boils down to gameplay mechanics wise. You select an item you wan to upgrade, you select a type of upgrade, you fight boss to get the upgrade. While the game says to you “you have time travelled to get that upgrade”, it’s what it is. Storytelling. Not mechanics.

Now about Time Rot. It’s again, just a name. In games history, there have been countless slowing debuffs, like nets, molasses, entangling vines, crippling wounds etc.


#8

If we “boil down” things, we can discredit many Features in that Game by arguing (as example) that the “Skilltree” is nothing more than an visual glorified Skill-Enhancement System which other Games like Grim Dawn have in an classic Skilltree… well it’s not as fleshed out sure in other games compared to LE, but the same goes for your Argument as well claiming that upgrading via monster-body parts is the same as an full fledget out concept of chests with it’s time mechanic upgrade concept.

And to claiming the way you experience the World and Mechanics doesn’t influence the way gameplay feels is rather wrong. If you say to someone the Progression of Monster Hunter hunt for Materials feels the same as Diablo-esque Looting, i’d argue he would slap you straight in your Face. (and tbh i would do that as well if i could so). /Edit: To clarify my example: It’s simply differently if you grind for specific “materials” and basically crafting your items with your own hand, or to get an iconic, legendary items dropped from specific Bosses (like MMO’s) which they might even carry in fight, or if you have an RNG lootsystem where the “surprise mechanics” make it rather looking forward to, to pick up hundrets up to thousands items like ARPG’s do. So your “Boils down” is absolutely nonsense to, besides the point where i don’t see any issue, even if we would consider most of the time-travel aspects to be focused on lore instead of gameplay-mechanics, because i argue lore and story is for many people out there equally important(and yeah, even for hns) than gameplay mechanics, and it’s nice to have game-mechanics which build around said lore… instead of killing of this unique way to implement such features, simply because some individuals intepret some “advertisment” wrong…

And yes, i agree, it’s a clever usage of “recycling” stuff, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad or can’t be advertised as an Feature, because Genre’s, Scenarios etc overall influence how you experience even on gameplayterms the world, sometimes more directly influenced by what type of Enemies are possible due an more advantaged technology or due an differen era with an differen ruler etc… You argument would be like saying that it wouldn’t influence your gameplay experience if you could run around in middle-earth versus Sauron as Darth Vader with an Lightsaber… because i’d argue that would be problematic in both partys - for one due it’s inconsistency which breaks the immersion for another they would’ve to adjust to powerscaling to an point, where it’s either break the game or the an reasonable world. And that’s something which is differently for Time-Traveling because you can swapping the scale, the world etc.

Last but not Least, and that’s the most bothering about your whole rant, is that YOU mistake Time-Travel with “Time-Manipulation”. Time-Traveling can be part of “Time-Manipulation”, but Time-Traveling isn’t the exact same as Time-Manipulation. Time-Manipulation comprises alot of different aspects like your mentioned Bullet-Time and / or Time-Rewind" and also time traveling but Time-Traveling itself is simply that: Travel through Time… So you have to give me a source here please where they hugely advertised Last Epoch as an “Time-Manipulating” Game… and if not it’s rather an fault in your end and not the Game-Devs or their Advertisment.


#9

Skill tree boils down to a skill tree. It’s a mathematically precise term that describes certain character progression mechanic. A set of enhancements that are gated by some progression: level, prerequisites, whatever else. The term is self-explanatory in the sense that there are branches (prerequisites) and higher brances are harder to reach (level, devotion or whatever).

Monster Hunter and Diablo have fundamentally different loot mechanics. in MH you can choose your prey, and aim for specific parts. In Diablo it’s all random. There’s only itemlevel that influences what can and cannot drop.
So no, I would never say they are the same.

The slogan says “The game combines Time Travel with X, Y and Z”, where X, Y and Z all are gameplay mechanics. This, at least to me, makes it sound like Time Travel should be gameplay mechanic as well, which it is not. It’s a flavor.

Exactly, Time Manipulation is what can be put together with other mechanical gameplay features. Time Travel cannot. This is what my rant is about.


#10

As a one day new learned studied Ardent Gladiator, you certainly make a strong, sincere & passionate argument for our beloved Devs, and you’re humbly & solemnly congratulated by this struggling Acolyte. :clap:


#11

And yet you didn’t get my Point, due that’s why i said, if we boil down everything, than everything sounds simple and not for much, but if you look at the Skilltrees at different Games in this Genre, you’ll see that many of this Skilltrees give their own vibes and gameplay-exerpeince. It’s simply different if you have an Talenttree like Path of Exile, where the Tree itself is only playing with Numbers, but for new Skill you need to put specific skill-gems into your Items similiar to the Materia-System of Final Fantasy 7 or if you have an classic Skilltree like Grim Dawn, where an Skilltree not only plays with numbers, but also the way where you acquire new skills - so to give you new tools to play / fight with, or in case of Last Epoch, if you acquire the Skills via Leveling and Passive Tree, but have an seperat Skilltree for each Skills, which also not only playing with numbers but can change the Skill in an fundamentally way! That’s why your “Boiling Down” doesn’t help, because what’s important is the bigger picture and the way devs implement said features.

Than go to your previous posts and re-read it, because that’s what you basically did. You compared an fresh approach of Item-Progression via Time-Travel to the mere simplified approach of simply kill an monster and than upgrade it… because if we would “boil down” this whole Monster Hunter vs Diablo like you did with other aspects of LE, i could also simplify and argue “well but with both you acquire new items… so no difference if i boil it down…”.

You miss the Part, and that counts for almost every Videogame out there, that small up to big nuances can have a (huge) impact of how we as players can experience certain features, even if you simplify what they added with your arguments, in reality the way some features are implemented can do a huge difference. An obvious example? Well let’s focus in this Argument to an Singleplayer Experience and Lootboxes. I never saw any folk argue about SP Games where you have chests hidden in the world which drops you “random loot”, because with that such RNG stuff are implemented and part of the World. But to have Lootboxes which you open via Main-Menu and might even buy it outside from the Game can feel like an foreign object which doesn’t suit well the core game. Nuances and how well said features are implemented is impoprtant for Videogames, but you rather ignore that and boil that down.

Which than in the eEnd makes your Argument sound like an childlike Attitude who’s rant is similiar to a childs one, which rant at his Parents because he misunderstood something and didn’t get the candy he wanted to have. I mean besides the Fact that Time-Travel is already part of the Gameplay-Mechanics, but you are incapable to comprehend, it’s actually pretty common for Videogame-Advertisment to add Lore, Story / general Art / Scenario-Direction to their Advertisment and mix it with their Gameplay, due for majority People said Aspects are equally important as Gameplay and “core-mechanics”. You make a big deal out of something, simply because YOU couldn’t catch what Time-Travel meant in context of this Game and mix it up with Time-Manipulations, and than blame it on Devs instead of working on yourself so you comprehend the context of advertisment properly for the next time.

Time-Travel can put together with “other mechanical Gameplay”, even if it would be the case that Time-Travel doesn’t have any Gameplay / Core-Mechanic context within the Game(which is in case of LE not the case, because we have time-travel as core-mechanics, you simply are unable to accept them because you prefer to get time-manipulation as core-mechanics) , because like i mentioned, in Videogames for the Majority of Player Scenario and such is equally important(look at the rant about Call of Duty offering unrealistic Sci-Fi Scenario, whlie arguing it at the same moment that Call of Duty is every year the same and it’s basically a reskin… let aside that the futuristic approach does have fundamental changes to the gameplay). Though to be honest, i’m done with the topic, because it feels like we are running in circles and you don’t even look at the bigger picture but boil down things for the sake of your argument. And than you are neither being able to recognize gameplay-feature & core-mechanics as what they are, and mix it up with an complete different definition which more your own “time”-mechanics definition. And last but not least - even if there would’ve been some truth your argument, you trying forcefully to seperate something, which is tied together anyway, because Lore, Scenario itself can impact your gameplay-experience, either by actual mechanics, items, enemies whatever which might implemented in a way to fit the lore / scenario up to the way how you experience / see the world itself. I know many people who love Titan Quest as example simply for it’s Mythology Scenario, even if said Scenario doesn’t that much impact the core-mechanics / gameplay itself… and i can’t help and imagine you would also be the first who cry out in the forum for their advertisment to put their scenario with gameplay-features and genre together…

Thank you. Though i’ve to point out, that my Argument was an general statement and not particular meant forward the Devs(for that i don’t know this Community, Devs etc well enough). It simply bothers me to unfairly rant against devs (of any company), simply the wrong one is the users end… and people shouldn’t blame devs with issues of their own like lacking in comprehension skills or to intepret way to much into things. Even more try to dictate how advertisments needs to be done, and that with “boiled down” arguments to simplify and discredit features for the sake of their own arguments. Heck, and i don’t see any source of where said devs advertised the Time-Travel as Time-Manipulation. He only copied their main-advertisment-sentece "Last Epoch combines time travel, exciting dungeon crawling, engrossing character customization and endless replayability to create an Action RPG for veterans and newcomers alike. Travel through the world of Eterra’s past and face dark empires, wrathful gods and untouched wilds – to find a way to save time itself from The Void." where it’s obviously that that they point out their Mainpoints. (And even on that he ripped of half of that advertisment, otherwise it would make it more obviously that something about his rant is fishy and wrong).


#12

Let me reiterate my points:
Time travel may exist in this game as a story element.
Time travel may exist in this game as an aesthetic theme.
Time travel in this game may have a big influence on “the vibes”, the atmosphere, and “overall gameplay experience”.
(I, for one, do care for game’s atmosphere (but it’s a subjective term), and there are games that I don’t play because they don’t meet my standards. D3 for example).

But none of the above changes the fact that:
Time travel does not exist in this game as a gameplay mechanic, in any meaningful way or amount.

So far there’s no “time-related” meachnics in the game, where the “time-relatedness” wasn’t superficial.
That one Void Knight’s skill is the only exception, and even then I consider it’s entire base effect (life/mana/position rewind) as nuisance/drawback most of the time.
Everything else is either not a mechanic or is mechanically equivalent to something that has existed before, without being related to time travel/manipulation.

My rant is specifically about wording of the phrase “Combines Time Travel, X, Y and Z”, where X, Y and Z are all gameplay mechanics, while Time Travel is not.
The fact that it is not, makes the whole phrase soud weird to me.
If you are okay with phrases like “Nesquik combines rabbits with chocolate-flavored milk”, more power to you.

I like the game the way it is, I like it for strong gameplay and fresh approach to skill trees.
I do not beg for rabbit meat to be added, or milk made of rabbit bones.
I just point out that the wording of a particular ad is weird/inconsistent/misleading.


#13

Just want to add that we have “Eternity Cache System” on the feature list that will add a great use of time travel.

Eternity Cache System

Hidden throughout the world are Eternity Caches, special containers with the unique quality of being immune to the changes of time around them. By placing an item within an Eternity Cache along with certain rare materials too potent for mundane crafting, a player may return to the same cache hundreds or even thousands of years later to retrieve the resulting synthesis. This is no easy task, for the Eternity Caches lie in places dark and forgotten, places exalted and under the watch of fierce guardians, or worse of all may have attracted the attention by foes eager to snatch the treasure you’ve locked away for themselves.


#14

That is exactly what I’ve been talking about. This is Time Travel for sure. :smiley:


#15

Isn’t there a jump back in time to regain ressources skill ingame for Sentinel? :smiley:


#16

Yep, the one skill of one spec of one class in the game.
But if you want to use it for something that’s actually worth a skill slot, like proccing buffs/debuffs, you want to lower it’s cooldown significantly. And it just so happens that cooldown reduction nodes also switch off the regaining of resources.
All that’s left there is resetting position, and most of the time it’s a nuisance rather than something beneficial. You want to spam buffs/debuffs, and position reset is just sometihing you have to live with. Makes you dizzy as well, just like PoE’s Flicker Strike. Most of the time I just use Lunge to jump back into action. Except for those precious moments when the skill teleports me into a concentration of enemy attacks for lethal damage.


#17

Okay this was ment as a joke but it looks like the topic is gettin hot :D. I get everything that is said here but I never saw timetravel as a gameplay mechanic for LE ever and always thought of it as a story element that is simply there to explain the changing landscapes in an easy as possible manner. Now I wait for a “You can’t change the past because it will destroy the future!” questline where you are forced to watch the worst things happen you maybe were able to avoid ^^.
In another discussion about this topic I had ideas that you are the one that starts some bad things to happen to protect the timeline and stuff like that, like telling Hitler he might be a good Führer just to make you happen to be able to travel through time and clear out even bigger messes. The possibilitys from a lore perspective are big.

On the other hand what do you want to see as an ingame feature? Bullettime? Naaaaah. A rewind button you can press after you did to bring you back up to 30 seconds in the past? Well this would be reviving in a diferent way but nothing else. A Timemaster button where your skills have no CD? Lame! It’s pretty easy to loose it over this topic and on top of it it needs to be something that is well made, good for all toons and possible speccs and not gamebreaking as well as doable on the programming end. So rather then saying “It’s not there!” I see little to none advice for the devs what could be there to get that timetravel feeling.


#18

Well I also see time travel in LE as a story element, and I’m fine with that.
The rant is about particular LE pitch line (“combines time travel with yada yada”), that, to my picky taste, sounds like it should be a gameplay mechanic.
It’s up to devs to decide how the game should work and be advertised. Us people have a right to nitpick.