Greetings everyone, it’s Mitch again and it’s time to talk about crafting! Crafting systems are always very important in ARPGs and can be very hard to get right, so when we started the design for Last Epoch’s crafting system we came up with a few main goals.
- Lower tier items having the potential to remain valuable late-game.
- Items should be directly upgradeable, and near perfect items should be able to be perfected.
- It should be easy to craft a desirable item, but very difficult to craft a perfect one.
The system we came up with to fulfill these goals is the shattering system. Using a shattering stone, you are able to destroy an item and have a chance to get shards representing the affixes on the item. This helps lower tier items hold some value later on because low tier items, just like higher tiers, can be broken apart into shards. We wanted to avoid the situation where only nearly perfect items are ever worth picking up. Ideally, with the shard system, even single affix items are worth a glance.
Shards can be added to other items to add new affixes or improve the ones already on the item. If you find an item with 3 tier 5 affixes and one tier 4 affix, though it would be risky, you can upgrade that tier 4 affix and perfect that near perfect item. The idea here is to allow players to upgrade their gear as they play, as well as preventing the problem of the “almost good” item.
When shards are added to an item, the item has a chance to fracture and cause damage to the item, if the item doesn’t fracture then the item’s fracture chance increases. As the chance to fracture increases so does the potential damage the fracture does. This makes crafting high-end items very risky, but still allows more basic items to be crafted with much less risk so that players can craft their own gear as they progress, but there is still an incentive for players to strive for very powerful magic items because they are so difficult to create.
One major component of what the crafting system will be like that is not currently implemented is support- items. Support items won’t be used to modify items directly like shattering stones of shards, rather they will be used alongside those items and affect the outcomes of using them. For example, the Fragile Shield will reduce the tier of a fracture if one occurs, so if an item might have received a Damaging Fracture, instead it would only be a minor one. Items like these will help add some additional depth to the crafting system, some making it safer, others increasing the reward but raising the risk along with it.
Another major change we’re going to be making to the crafting system soon is restricting what types of items certain shards can be added to. When an item is generated, the base type of the item determines what kinds of affixes can be on it, for example, shields can generate with block chance but boots will not. Right now affix shards are not restricted in this way, which allows for the creation of gear sets far beyond the power level intended for the system. Restricting shards in this way will help improve the identity of each gear slot and bring the power of crafting back in line with what it is intended to be.
That’s all folks! Let us know if you have any feedback on the system, particularly if you’ve experimented with it in the demo!