So i wanted to start a healthy discussion about Mana in LE.
First of all i want so say: In my opinion, Mana Management and everything else revolving around Mana in LE is already alot better than in any other similar aRPG.
The pure fact that you basically cannot trivialize Mana in Last Epoch is a good thing. You need to either heavily invest into Mana-Regen/Mana Efficiency or you need to sacrifice a skill slot for Mana Management(or at least slightly adjust some skill spec trees to have some kind of mana cost/mana regain thing going).
So my general Statement is: Mana in Last Epoch is in a really good spot.
What i would want to see are more different ways to manage your mana.
Good Examples for creative mana management are cool uniques like Urzil’s Pride.
Or Skill Spec Tree Nodes like Aftermath or Cycle Of Fire, latter requires heavy investment, since you need to use 2 different skills to make use of it. But the gain from it can be incredible, making Fireball either a basically 0 Mana Cost Skill or let you even regain Mana with Fireball.
Even entire skill slots dedicated to either pure Mana Management or other utility stuff in this game can be really creative and awesome too use, like Volatile Reversal.
While things like Focus can be clunky to use, there are really cool opportunities to use Focus, with itemization(while channeling) and some of the Nodes inside the Skill Spec Tree are also cool.
The easiest way to deal with mana issues in LE is usually to increase Max Mana, since that is the most common and easy available affix. But that won’t solve sustaining mana issues.
Every Class has some sort of free to use skill, that often times also can be used to regain mana with some minimal investment. Like Sentinels Vengence, Rive or Smite Node Time And Faith in the Sentinel Base Passive Tree, which is only up to 5 passive points, but leads to cost a skill slot, which is totally fair.
On top of that almost every other skill, even the more expensive ones have ways to deal with their mana costs inside their skill spec tree.
One thing i want to mention here is also the very unique mechanic of being able to go into negative mana, which is something i have never ever seen in any kind of similar game. And it is awesome. It makes high mana costs skills so much easier and smoother to use in early/mid game, when a skill basically costs more of 50% of your mana pool and you are still able to cast it twice, if neccessary.
And the option to go into negative mana still does not solve sustain issues, but as i said, makes builds feel good if you kill everything in 1-2 casts and then have some spare time to regen.
Also I want to never see something remotely similar to Mana-Leech in Last Epoch.
My most played aRPG of all time is/was Marvel Heroes, which had a very similar approach to Mana(in Marvel Heroes it was called Spirit).
Basically you genrally had two types of active skills: Builders and Spenders.
Which was more basic as a system and didn’t had much creative freedom, but it worked.
Generally strong abilities should be impactful, but should have such a ressource cost that you cannot spam them indefinitely. (Except you invested sooo much into gear/passives etc that it’s justified)
What do you guys think? Do you agree, do you disagree?
What other ideas or suggestions you might have for the future?