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Slow the game pace and increase combat inter-activeness

The more i play last epoch the more i come to the same conclusion that something just feels off about the combat. The mobs are great. The diversity is great. Density is great, but something is missing? What is it??

For me it is the interaction of skills and the combat. Here are IMO the 3 main flaws
1)Most builds are based around the use of just 1 dps skill
2)Buff related to on hit on kill or skill usage are WAY to short duration
3)Trash mobs die to easy and Rares with increased health take to long

Lets dig into these
First, Lets pick on vengeance a little more (sorry!) If you look at the top builds vengeance is not only the main damage dealer its also the source of defense used along with other skills that either boost your defense or boost your damage.
Why is this bad? Since to obtain Vengeance DR you must use it every 2 seconds which means your not going to be using anything else with it or you risk the chancing of the damage mitigation going away. This leads you to use the same skill in a build the entire life of the build and its very boring and leads to a boring interaction with mobs. Im just going to sit here and hit the same fire golem 245 times with vengeance until it dies. The same can be said for a glacier build. An avalanche build. A swipe Build.
How do we change this?!?! Make more interactions like Meteor and Fireball and increase the buff durations you recieve from skill usage. If you have used the Meteor/Fireball setup you know just how much more interactive it is in combat to go back and forth with damage skills. Single target slam fireball, huge density of mobs 1 giant meteor to take them out. WAY more fun.

Second, on hit and on kill procs and buff duration’s as mentioned above need a major rework and im not the first to bring up the on kill procs.
Lets start with on hit and on kill first. On kill needs to either be removed entirely and changed to on hit or the buffs granted from an on kill need to be 10x longer to benefit from killing trash mobs during a long boss fight.
Buff duration’s need to be longer. 1-4 seconds is just useless. If vengeance gave its damage reduction for 10 seconds instead of 2 seconds it means that you could use it once and then use rive or something more DPS oriented and it would change combat completely as well if you made every skill have its own unique buff and the object was to get more buffs and use skills manually to obtain as many buffs as possible this would definitely make combat more interactive than just ok lets sit here and use vengeance until its all dead.

Third! Now i understand as an ARPG blowing through loads of trash mobs and body parts flying everywhere is the fun part but right now it feels the difference between a trash mobs health to a magic mob to a rare mob to a boss to anything with increased health is just HUGE jumps and the difference between 2 rares is HUGE as well just depending on the mob. Trash mobs need about 2 to 3x the health they have now while rares need about 75% of there current health. One thing i hate at the current moment is trying to drag trash mobs to the boss so i can get the procs of on kill on hit skills and passives for at least the first few seconds only for most to die before we even get there and then the boss fight drags on way longer because there is no trash mobs to help boost your build.

Ideas? Thoughts?

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I agree with many of these points.

One thing I like about LE is the combat seems at a less chaotic pace than some other games where its go-go-go-go-go spamspamspam. What I’ve been finding is that with LE the builds that really appeal to me are the ones where I have to use different abilities with the stragegy of really knowing when to use them. Yes, this happens in other games but I like the way LE is doing it.

That said, there are definitely some issues that you’ve brought up, ESPECIALLY with regards to the massive gap between trash and rares/bosses and also buff durations. I actually always hesitate to choose things with buff duration (especially on kill) because you just know it won’t be available when you most need it. Then I grumble and choose it anyway because, well, they do at least buff for trash generally.

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I’m not sure I entirely agree. I think you’re usually going to be more effective with a single DPS skill that you can focus on. Just look at PoE, the most successful builds focus on a single skill even though their use of skill gems allows any build to use any skill (notwithstanding the benefits that ascendancies give to certain archetypes), and it’s the same with damage types, you’ll be able to do significantly more damage if you can focus on a single damage type (you’ll do twice the damage, in fact, if you focus on 1 rather than 2).

I disagree that the on kill effects need their durations buffed massively to enable you to keep them up during a boss fight. Ignoring the fact that an on kill effect is almost the definition of temporary buff & that means you won’t/shouldn’t be able to keep it up all the time, otherwise you might as well make it a permanent buff. PoE got round this by giving the buffs (or some of them at least) a chance to proc on hit against rares/bosses which I think works well.

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Isnt this exactly what LE wants to stay away from? I domt want to be like PoE I want to go into battle and have an arsenal not just use the same skill over and over and over. This can easily be dome by adding interactions like fireball/meteor where 1 benefits the other so using both is beneficial

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Yeah, but specialists will always be more effective at <thing they’re specialised at> than generalists. The alternative would probably be to cap the amount of “increased damage” you can get for specific elements (ie, physical/necrotic/etc as compared to melee/spell which would not be capped).You’d probably also want to introduce a “dodge” ability or reduce the cooldown/cost of the movement skills so you can react a bit more tactically to get out of the way of the big hits (or medium hits).

Yes but why would that mean you cant run mutiple dps skills. Case and point meteor and fireball again
Both spell damage both fire damage. Fireball is great for single target. Meteor for clearing out hordes of mobs. This interaction could easily add in a 3rd dps skill like a fire volcanic orb if say using volcanic orb in the last 4 seconds increases meteor amd fireball damage by 50%. Fireball tree has a volcanic orb double cast if you’ve cast fireball last 2 seconds. Interactions like that, that can give you multiple great specialized skills to really make ypur build fun instead of just alright max atk speed amd physical melee damage amd now lets stab everything with vengeance until we bored. Also we dont even have to look at the screen. Hows everyone doing today? Brb I numlocked vengeance gotta pick up some eggs

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First of all, I am very much in favour of longer fights that require tactics, even on normal mobs. I hate games that are just about spamming flashy stuff on the screen and you look at the loot after lootfilter. Bleh, boring.

To get away from spamming the same skill I suggest more use of long cooldowns on most skills, together with already suggested longer (de)buff durations.

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I think this is what Boardman was suggesting (and I concur with) as well:

Get rid of “spam one button” + Support / Mobility Skills…
Can i sign?

There is not much that i really liked about Classic Diablo 3 but it really had me using more skills per build activly (not just once a minute to buff) than most other RPGs do per 5 builds.

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Absolutely agree with @boardman21 observations in OP. I dont have good solutions to propose. Just hope this is something the devs would look into and make combat more fun. I would just say that bosses and rares in general doesnt feel like they, on their own, bring about tactical, interesting combat. But somehow arena waves feel interesting and engaging to me. Almost like a combat situation in a MOBA game (i.e. tactical and engaging).

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I mean, in general when referencing real life. Games are magic though, don’t have to be bound by those rules.

But like, look at DnD for example - earlier editions moreso. I’m aware of descrepency between turn-based and real time but “multiclassing” type things, tactics, and multiple ability use in general should certainly be a thing in at least some arpg’s - remains to be seen which route LE will end up on but I’ll probably play it either way lol…

D3’s combat is pretty sick actually in the arpg realm, especially launch inferno. Such a shame it’s other mechanics are lackluster.

Yeah, it’s a fine balance between sticking to real life rules that the player doesn’t need to think about & going, er, non-RL (magic, respawning after dieing, etc). But unless there are other synergies (such as being able to keep a mob frozen while whailing on it), specialists should still be more effective at <thing they’re specialised at> than generalists, otherwise what’s the point in specialising?

I actually agree with a lot of what has been said here.

Overall i like the Last Epoch combat’s pace. It feels powerful to one shot a pack with your meteor. Having to dodge a bit and cast a few more of them per rare is also very nice. I came to dislike a lot PoE for its combat pace. I think it something that has been done well with Grim Dawn and D3, but quite differently for each of them.

You’re not the first to bring the trash/rares health issue, but i’ve not personnaly been bothered too much by that. I wouldn’t mind a few tweaks and see how it affects the overall strategies used in combat.

Talking about strategies : yes i again agree with you. I don’t think having a single DPS skill is healthy for the game. Having to chose your skills depending on the situation, or just play with 2 or 3 DPS skills that synergizes very well gives a whole other feeling to the combats.
I hope they go this route because it’s what i liked about D3. That’s what made me stick with the game so long. (I had something like 2k hours when i stopped.)

I wanted to add that one of the reasons PoE is starting to burn me a lot quicker each new league is that you actually build like this : 1 spell that deals damage. 1 movement skill. One defensive proc when getting hit. and two utilities skills : Auras / Warcries whatever.
I reached the point (in 3K hours) where I tried most of the skills and the build “archetypes” i could.
What PoE actually lacks is the ENGAGING aspect of the combats that Grim Dawn or D3 has, and i think both the PACE and the STRATEGIES would be very beneficial if different “active and damaging” skills were used.
I don’t want to see Last Epoch make the same mistake, especially when PoE 2 might tackle this very issue by giving the possibility of having a lot more of 6 links available to the players. (and therefore more interesting spells available.)

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You respond to this partly later on in the thread, but I want to say that your initial statement is clearly only true because RPG systems designers make it true.

Also, for specialists to always be better at the thing that they’re specializing in than generalists might be a desirable design outcome, but it certainly doesn’t follow that generalists shouldn’t be good at anything, or that specialists should always be the best.

I very strongly agree with Boardman’s point. This is a constant point of frustration for me in arpgs (my only really serious experience is with Grim Dawn and Median XL, maybe other games avoid it). At the same time, I think there’s an important point to note here. A lot of people play these games to completely tune out and crush monsters mindlessly. Even though I’m not one of those players, I think if an rpg doesn’t at least partially cater to them, it’s not really an arpg. I think the proper niche of specialist builds should be to cater to those players — there should be some pretty safe and slow melee builds that only buff up and hold down one button, and there should probably be some high DPS but glassy ranged builds that do the same. But the tendency in arpgs is for characters with a single active skill to be the almost the only “meta” builds for endgame, and I think LE is not only well equipped to avoid that, it would be a vastly better game if it did.

I have some specific suggestions related to this, but I’ll hold off until after I finish the campaign tomorrow to post them.

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I probably wasn’t clear in that case, I think that specialists should be better at that one thing, but worse at everything else compared to generalists.

I agree with you, the more types of builds that there are that are “good enough” to get through the story & to a reasonable level in arena/monolith the better, to give people more ways to play.

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Watching. Good thread, @boardman21 :+1:

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Some wishes from me in this area.

I am fond of games that have skills interact each other and combine to powerful effects. Like throwing oil then a fireball to create burning area. Or freeze then chance to shatter with melee.

I think more cool down could help against single skill spamming being the best option. I can also imagine a ‘build up’ time for a skill like meteor where the skill increases its power on next use if you do not use it for a while.

Last, I wish for more skill slots. Add one or two at least.

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Mmmmm, if you add cooldowns, then the damage per hit should be increased to compensate, otherwise you’re just decreasing people’s dps & making them wait. I do think that it would be nice if skills interacted with each other &/or the environment a bit more, though you’d need to balance for that as well.

Yes. A system with interactions giving a stronger effect will lead to use of more skills. Reward player’s willing to push more buttons in a specific/clever order instead of punishing them by introducing cooldowns for powerful skills, so they use other ‘lesser’ skills just to fill the time till their skill of choice comes back online. The latter only leads to heavy investment into cooldown reduction, which is often again nerfed/discouraged by the designers, etc.
Introduce (more) positive feedback and interesting interactions between skills and players will embrace every new skill, instead of just look at what gives the best performance per investment (which leads to cookie cutter builds, like in D3, where 1000 players have identical buids). Leaderboards inevitably always lead to ‘meta’ builds = optimal performance. There is always going to be the one skill that performs slightly better than the rest, and once it does, the snowball effect leads to ignoring other skills entirely.

It almost feels like synergies should either be at the elemental level (frozen mobs have a chance to be shattered by physical attacks, ignited mobs hit by lighting do an AoE lighting damage, mobs hit with void damage have a chance to spread dots per tick) or at the class/mastery level (though this might feel like it’s more of a mastery bonus).