My Account
× My Account Media Forum Supporter Packs

Last Epoch Forums

So, I just started - first impressions and a long rant/personal thoughts on the aRPG genre

As the title says - I’ve just played a fraction of what the game has to offer so far, and barely got to level 20-ish, but still, I wanted to share some feedback while its still fresh.

Let’s start with a positive - The primeval dragon fight feels great from a design perspective of an early-ish game boss - it captures the feeling of “this is not some random creature” from the get go, and the surrounding environment amplifies that feeling even further.

But most importantly - the fight is linear and enemy moves are visible, feel intuitive - all the abilities feel like something a dragon might have, so there is no immersion-breaking “why-what just happened?”, and the dangerous skills which it uses are telegraphed just enough for even a beginner to dodge, yet pack enough of a punch that you most likely can’t afford to just stand there and whack at it. Though that does depend on your build, I suppose.

But overall - coming from games like PoE, where the visual clutter takes up the entire screen and you sometimes can’t even possibly see what just one-shotted you or even which monster - the encounter felt particularly refreshing and interesting despite its simplicity, so good on job on that one!

Now onto the less rainbow-y stuff. The damage and the leech/regeneration balance. This is just the very early game, and still my character who literally put every skillpoint and itemization possible into defenses died three times. Don’t get me wrong - that in itself would not be a problem. The issue, however, is that those three deaths were all oneshots!

And this is just the early game, so I can only imagine what lategame feels like. Actually, I can do more than that because I’ve browsed the forum a bit and watched some videos. Do take what I’m about to say with a grain of salt obviously, because I’ve only got to level 20 so far.

Now, I could say Monsters with the “Taking damage grants bonus damage” modifier, or however it is called, are particularly problematic. I could say that the damage is overall too high. I could say that, but I won’t, because I don’t believe that to be the case.

What I will say instead, is that, from my limited playtime, the game looks on route towards the precise pitfall problem plaguing lategame Path of Exile - and that pitfall is the damage vs sustain dilemma.

The inbuilt means of regaining health, especially with all the modifiers you can get from gear, skills stacking are just too powerful for anything to kill a player character within a reasonable amount of time. Meaning 2-3 seconds at the very shortest.

What does this mean? It means the only way to create any real danger is to introduce mechanics that allow monsters to produce huge damage spikes with one-shot potential, hence bypassing sustain completely. You can’t leech back any life if you’re dead from 1 hit, after all.

This, in turn, forces all characters to spec into enough mitigation to try and survive at least 1 or 2 hits from anything, because as long as they do, and truly crazy RNG isn’t involved - they will instantly go back to full health within a 0.5s or less.

This applies even in extremely early game - I’ve found a spear with +5hp/hit, and I used warpath on monster packs - guess what? Who needs regen or potions when your hp is always back on full in under a second.

So, to sum it up so far - absurd means of sustain, from my experience seem to create an equally absurd degree of need for burst mechanics in order to threaten the characters that make use of that sustain.

This spikey damage creates a need for speccing almost entirely into defence at all times in order to avoid being oneshot, particularly in hardcore. Why is this an issue?

I imagine (almost) everyone here knows how PoE works, so I’m gonna use it to illustrate an example - when was the last time that any build without at least 2/3 of your passive skillpoints spent on defensive nodes or getting to them was truly viable?

The answer is, in path 1.X.X, and its now 3.9 in that game, and the problem has been ever-growing. So -

Extreme damage spikes that are a necessity due to sustain stacking create a need for huge investments in defenses in turn, making a lot of customization obsolete - you cannot afford to spec into what you really want to, because that will just end up in you being one shotted.

There is also the other side of the coin - things cannot hit you if they are dead - so maximizing your damage output to the true extremes can ensure that you almost never get hit - which is what caused the several-million-DPS meta in PoE in the first place - no need to worry about boss mechanics when they die in 5s and cannot use them.

Potions also suffer from the same problem in the long run - there is just no room for hp recovery consumables when the state of health is so close to binary in the first place - which what I wrote before leads to - i.e a situation where you’re either dead or at full hp at any given moment, with nothing in between and no room to react to damage before it kills you.

And it all starts with sustain being outrageously good!

And it currently, from what limited knowledge I have, seems to have the potential to be that good in Last Epoch too. So I just wanted to speak a word of warning - because this is, imho, a road towards quick powercreep and trivialized content, a road towards “kill things faster” and “rigid meta builds”. A road towards “80% of all nodes on the skilltrees are never specced into”.

There is, of course, always going to be optimal builds and… less optimal ones - but the gap shouldn’t be outrageously huge, unless someone put almost no thought into the latter.

So - I truly believe sustain has to be nerfed - limited, is the better word - for the health of the game. One idea I have is to make leech/hp gain happen over time and introduce reasonable diminishing returns for hp recovery from all sources. Not a hard cap, but a soft one.

For example, if you would have regenerated 15% of your hp and leeched another 50% over one second, that would put you at 65% total recovery/second, which would be heavily reduced due to being over the cap of, say, 20%. Getting more sustain would still increase how much you can regain per a unit of time, but the value would very steeply diminish, to the point where going over, say, 40%/second would be nigh-impossible.

This change would allow the game to turn away from one-shot mechanics (save for heavily telegraphed moves that should punish players for not moving out of their aoe or otherwise reactive play), in favour of a more sustained damage model - where health would fluctuate, rather than pretty much instantly go 100-0 or 10-100 due to burst/sustain.

This, in turn, would make it possible to make encounters last longer, be more meaningful and engaging. If everything dies within 1-2s, what point is there in monsters being different - in the end, they don’t get to fully utilize their arsenal of skills anyways, not in that timeframe.

It would allow for a game where monster damage is not balanced around everyone having all resistances maxed out at all times, and monster health is not balanced around them dying quickly (because if a creature doesn’t die quickly, and gets to live longer - it gets to deal much more damage, which is a no-no in an already damage-oversaturated game balance).

It is also more fun for the player when combat is not a binary - is my survivability greater or is the damage? It makes for fun multiplayer too, and I guess that’s going to be a part of the game too in the future, and it would be a shame if it ended up like it does in games like PoE - forgotten because its non-optimal in the endgame.

Forcing players to play with others is not the way to go, obviously, but neither is forcing them to play alone in a multiplayer (in the future) game. And said multiplayer needs a reason for teaming up. If everything, players included, dies too quickly, there is no reason to do that - as there is no holy trinity of healer-tank-dps, or anything to replace it then, nor is teamwork important. Instead, it quickly devolves into button-mashing damage fiesta.

And this is the future possibilty that I wanted to warn about. I sincerely hope someone on the dev team reads this and gives it some thought.

As I said before, I’ve yet to play much so what I’ve written could be wrong outright or horribly misinformed. If this particular issue has been, consciously, considered already, great!

I really do want the game to succeed because… it really is pretty good, feels quite refreshing and seems like it hasn’t many of the issues which most aRPG’s currently on the market do.

Which, is, again, precisely why I want it to avoid this pitfall of a vicious cycle of Sustain->Burst->Mitigation, which makes no room for true character customization in the end.

Could doing away with the vast majority of possible one-shots lead to a trivialization of content? Possibly, but imho, not inevitably so, depending on how it is balanced.

Once again, I’m really enjoying the game so far and wish it all the best!
Thanks, for reading, to whoever made it so far :slight_smile:

10 Likes

I agree with a lot of this. Well said

1 Like

I definitely agree with the premise of your post. Mapping all day in POE without losing a slither of HP then randomly getting one shot to an untelegraphed attack is plain stupid and is one of the reasons I have started playing it less and less. Just look at all the recent RIP videos from the lattest POE league, every single one is literally 100% hp to dead in under one second.

One of the big balancing problems POE has that you did not touch on is players have the option to instantly disconnect from the server. Pretty much every single HC player plays with a macro that they can press at any sign of danger that will instantly log their characters off to safety. This has been confirmed by the POE devs to be a consideration as a part of their game balance design and has forced them to a point to where without untelegraphed 1 shot mechanics players will just log every time death is near and never die.

Diablo 3 got their implementation of multiplayer correct in my opinion with the logout timer(no instant disconnect), it allowed the devs to balance around characters sustain and the game didn’t have to introduce bullshit one shot mechanics to kill players.

1 Like

wouldnt a dodge mechanic help here?
i mean future arpgs rly need more mechanics then just stats and selfheal(including potions/skills/lifesteal) vs high damage,
beside the highdmg/sustain and kill anything too fast, just rotate ur skills and selfheal with longer (boss)fights doesnt help here
if u have dodge and can see the targeted area, bossfights would be fun and different,
and working right timed cc, need learn their pattern and what they do before certain skills
iso arpgs need to evolve i think, mobs should be hacknslay, and bosses should be tactical and dynamic with mechanics where stats and potions cant outheal some things, what u have to dodge or interrupt, i know this would make hardcore even harder, but maybe we just get semihardcore(die vs mobs permant, loose current loot vs bosses for example)
i think most bosses r rly boring in most isoarpgs, besides their optic and possible loot,
with a dodge mechanic(and some kind of resource) and no cc imunity u have an option more what to skill/focused gear(or not to skill),
with mobs the solution is easy, just increase their numbers, so just u cant just run in (like sry, braindead)
i grim dawn(modded) i rly like mobility skills and increased mob density,
and i hate bosses, the bossfights r long and most time u just rotate ur skills/aa + potions
they dont oneshoot u, most time u r on the edge of death, if need u just run away heal up and go in again, there is no dynamic and no tactic, and cc cause all r immun
(increased) mobs on the other hand r fun, u move around, jump, dash, try to kill/cc special targest in the mobs(mages healers for example) and try not to be cornered, even with sustain/lifestealbuild u can die rly quick, wish it had dodge

The problem with dodge - especially % based dodge, is that it is RNG - which means you will avoid some one hit kills, but not all of them, by definition. Which means you still have to built just the same way, especially if you’re playing HC.

It is an unreliable mechanic that can help with small incremental hits in quick succession, especially if the chance is pseudo-random, but it does nothing to mitigate the core issue - oneshots happen still, even at sume absurdly high values of dmg avoidance like 90%.

It is why reliable damage reduction in all its forms, especially percentage ones, is so good - it always reduces damage, so it means you will be taking that much less at all times - which means your survivability relies less on random chance.

Even with an active dodge-out-of-the-way mechanic, the player has to see and react to what is happening, and that is not always an option, especially with regular monsters, who often carry modifiers that grant them insane damage potential, with no real visual indicator of such.

Furthermore, instead of making mechanics that players need to heavily invest into in order to just survive a single hit, they should imho usually be expected to survive one, unless they have truly built as a pure glass cannon, or the hit is a particularly heavy/telegraphed one, or a combination or both. But random monsters shouldn’t carry one-hit potential with normal autos.

As for more monsters - I understand where you are coming from, but I can’t say I’d be particularly behind increasing mob density - all that does is make swathes of weaker enemies that you will inevitably kill with no difficulty anyway, thus making it purely a time sink rather than a difficulty increase. And their models/loot/damage numbers would be likely to clutter the screen even more, making it even more unclear what is going on and reducing the player’s ability to react.

I’d prefer less, but meaningful enemies, to a point of course, because sometimes less is more. But that’s just me and everyone’s free to have their own opinion :slight_smile:

2 Likes

hmm, i rly meant active dodge,
and like i wrote, the mobs can be difficult, and loot is decreased
if u have no dodge, besides every sustain mechanic u want, u stand there and rotate ur skills,
it doesnt matter if the fights r longer and u see enemies abilities, it gets boring, and they arent more meaningful, dont u think?
for oneshoot dmg would just help a passive, which dont need many skillpoints, and overhaul the dmg system, and yes random (mob)monsters shouldnt can one hit u, if they in ur lvl area

1 Like

So you mean an active dodge like a extra skill/mechanic, like a small but very quick movement skill?

I generally like the idea, but since we already have a very limited amount of active skills i think it would be cool as a extra mechanic with a seperate hotkey.

I think it should just be something that makes sense thematiclly with the class. (not just a usal dodge roll for every class)

Making harder fights, especially against bosses and tough rare enemies more mechaniclly enganging with active things to dodge is a good way, as long as everything is telegraphed in a proper manner.

1 Like

yes that what i meant, should be on space button or so, or like i hope they give us the right mouse button for a 5 th skill and give use the “normal” left move/aa combi,
the dodge should be for everyone, just the animation (and maybe range and resource)should be difference for the classes
and right, it should be telegraphed proper and balanced

p.s. how do i answer specific posts?

I’m not strictly against an active dodge ability per se either - I can see that working just fine. However, I don’t think it a holy grail.

That discussion here is drifting a bit outside of the original topic - but I feel that, since there are movement skills already - having a generic “dodge” ability could be a bit weird. Perhaps the rogue class could get such a skill as part of their class identity, a sixth “skill slot”, reserved purely for that purpose?

As for other classes, I’d argue that they don’t really need more mobility than they already can potentially have, and it should be a strategic decision whether to save one slot for a convenient movement skill or not.

2 Likes

u r right, get offtopic, special cause ur talking about oneshoot dmg of normal monsters( i thought of bosses only)
the one shoot mechanic can be a problem to counter lifesteal, and there should some mechanics without needing to put most of points in defence passives, lifesteal over time is good idea, if u rly like lifesteal builds( i do, cause i hate the potion mechanic)
and for oneshoot dmg from random monster(with bad luck rng perks/affixes) there should be
similar, but i have no idea besides passive perks with not much needed skillpoints, or dmg over time after loosing for example 80% of ur hp so u can react at least

1 Like

I agree broadly with your thesis. My impression is that the devs also subscribe to it. But somehow the way the game plays out is as you described; i.e. it seems to be usually one shots that kills me.

I haven’t reach the late endgame in LE myself, but again, from what I’ve seen and heard from people who invested more effort into the game isn’t very much contrary to our observations.

Am certainly interested to know what the devs think about this.

1 Like

The idea of a 10sec timer is good, it suxx ofc that you die due to disconnects. So I don´t like it, cause one will always have a DC from time to time. At the current state of LE (or at least last patch) u can´t leave, cause u´r ingame for too long, but u don´t die 100% due to DCs. So that´s good. One of the things I rly don´t like about GGG is SC player Devs stating that u would have to many DCs if there wasn´t a 6 second DC timer, and almost every HC player stating that it suxx.

I have to vote for some kind of One-Shot-Avoidance-Passiv, cause u can even get oneshot doing campange, and it would be better for HC Arena. Also for SC it suxx to invest hours just to be oneshot.

€: Plz nothing but move on leftclick!

You’re right, the drawback of the DC timer is that random DC’s are much more likely to kill players as they will remain in the game for multiple seconds. I am purely a hardcore player and this is a price I’m personally willing to pay to have much more fair balancing in-game.

The problem with one-shot avoidance passives is that it can make players immortal…Any hardcore player will just logout or wait how ever long for the passive to come back off cool down before re-engaging with content. Diablo 3 had this issue, think it was monk?

I want to address this. Path of Exile is an extremely flawed game at the technical level. Everything from servers to engine is prone to completely ruin the experience of the player. Lag, stuttering, crashes, they are all there and every day people find more and more ways to break the game. Let me repeat, no other popular game on the market is as bad technically as PoE is. And the devs know this. If logout macro did not exist playing HC would become impossible.

I agree with you, I have over 7k hours in POE all of which are played on HC. I used a logout macro for probably 6900 hours of that, as you pointed out the game has some flaws which unfortunately made a logout macro absolutely required. Doesn’t mean I like the fact that I felt forced to use it as the developers confirmed they balanced around players having the ability to instantly log out.

The only remedy is to start from scratch with a new engine. Which they are supposedly doing with Path of Exile 2. Once the game is stable enough (Diablo 3 levels of stable) it might change its design philosophy.

I´m not willing to pay the price, and if u can´t leave anyways cause you will die, that´s enough! That´s all I will add to this discussion for now, as we kinda both agree, that we disagree! Or say make it 1second delay. That way u´r almost allways better of trying to solve it ingame, cause if u have one second u can solve it ingame. Do u rememberr times when Schaefer´s Hammer was the best DIII HC Weapon cause of DCs?

A One-Shot-Avoidance-Passiv doesn´t have to have a CD: You can make it that damage that would deal 100% of your life as damage within let´s say 0.3seconds is reduced to 80% of your total life! This can be up all the time. Ofc you can make it that it doesn´t absorb more than 200% of you´re life! Kinda lika Force Armor??? in DIII worked!

PoE2 doesn’t have new engine it’s just “improved”.

Well said. I just started playing and died few times to one shot but I am playing just to “see” how game plays. I want to see how “end game” feels like before I make make judgments. That being said I really, really hope LE doesnt copy/follow PoE philosophy (or any other game for that matter) but stays unique and listens to players. One shot mechanics, power creep and boring repetitive content (maps and more maps) kinda ruined PoE for me.

2 Likes

This is very well thought out feedback, and something that is a complete issue endemic to the ARPG genre. I personally would like to see an increase to the resistance/armor/protection to health ratio, since currently it’s more beneficial to stack health rather than armor or protections, along with scaling health leech which you’ve explored extensively. Increasing health by added and inc % amounts effectively increases your ehp total to ALL damage by that set amount, increasing protections increases that ehp by an effective 1/7th - only against one type of damage. Increasing the scaling ratio makes it a more promising option compared to flat health or health leech. The other option would be to increase the effectiveness of protections. Instead of 1 ehp per point of protections, maybe 1.5 ehp or 2 ehp, again producing a more viable option.

Ward is another option, but it’s only really viable for 2 out of the current classes, Mage and Acolyte. Int scaling on Sentinel or Primalist is lackluster for ward retention, few of their skills support ward generation, and there are better options than Exsanguinous on them.

2 Likes