40 Hours in and already disengaged

Hi Everyone,

I decided to take some time out of my day to write some rough early feedback on this game after approx 40 hours played. Now I know 40 hours in Arpg land is basically like finishing the tutorial and many people reading are probably already frothing at the mouth to dismiss everything I say because of that but I would implore everyone to keep an open mind and hear me out. The thing is that if I had thought this game had no potential I wouldn’t have bothered writing this post. There is a lot of good stuff here and I would love to see it succeed, hence this topic .I know this is still Beta, my main goal here is not to tear LE a new one but to try and provide some constructive feedback. I think most people taking the time to give feedback are more invested in the game and that it is important for the devs to hear why someone quits after 40 hours.

I would consider myself an experienced Arpg player. Thousands of hours of D2, a few hundred in D3 and another 1300 in POE. I am no stranger to a good grind yet I found myself disengaged with LE after a paltry 40 hours. This struck me as odd seeing as I really enjoyed the core mechanics and playing through the campaign but it really fell flat very quickly after that.

So how is it that what I would argue to be a good game lost my interest so quickly? Well in a very broad sense the reason was because I couldn’t find a compelling answer to the age old question : Why am I grinding? Most Succesful Arpg’s offer a variety of possible answers to this question which I will try to list and point out why for me personally the game lost my interest very quickly.

  1. The Quest

LE doesn’t really do a very good job at giving you any clear endgame story or purpose. You run monoliths that get progessively harder but I don’t really understand what the point is from a storyline perspective. Is there a big baddie? Some overarching storyline that explains why we are doing there monoliths? The game would be more compelling to me personally if there would be certain sub plots while doing monoliths. bosses that can drop keys or fragments to some different content. A reason to reach a certain area. To me it felt very much like I am running monoliths for the sake of running monoliths. I wasn’t grinding to finish a plotline.

  1. Levelling

In any Arpg reaching the max level is a goal in and of itself. I find it hard to guage how LE scores here because the campaign isn’t finished yet and the end game clearly comes in to the game far too early. I can’t imagine grinding to the higher levels when the endgame starts around lvl 50. this will improve as you get to the endgame at a higher level but I never felt like I could consider that as a “short” term goal. As a whole levelling never felt extremely impactful and didn’t really generate a lot of joy for me. Personally I prefer a POE type skill tree or a D2 style skill tree where levels improve your actual skills. Levelling up a skill in LE felt far more important than character level ( more on this later however ). I think this is preference and design philosophy so not much to say there. I simply wasn’t grinding to level up because it didn’t feel very impactful.

  1. Power curve

This is I think the most important part of any Arpg and is something all the “greats” have in common. At the end of the day you want to improve your build. There are two main elements here. The first element is the why. Why do I need to improve my gear? This implicates that the game is hard enough to make you feel like you need to upgrade. The second element is the how? How can I improve my build? Are the improvements big enough? How likely are the improvements? Essentially there needs to be a good balance between the effort required and the power gained. This needs te be well married to the need for upgrades.

This to me is the main issue with LE. For starters the game in general feels too easy. (It also felt like there was a significant drop in difficulty after the campaign as the first monoliths were a lot easier ) I am sure as you progress there will come a point where the difficulty catches up to you but I never got that far as I was burnt out before I got there. The main reason is the crafting system. It is quite easy to get great gear due to the crafting. I feel like I was always overgeared. By level 60 a had a dual t5 damage mod weapon on a good base crafted from scratch. This was way too powerful for the level I was at. I didn’t feel like I needed to upgrade to be able to progress. My gear was much better than the content I was facing. There was very little incentive to grind out T6 or higher mods at that point. The second issue then was how likely I was to be able to upgrade my character. This was essentially locked behind RNG as it requires a great deal of luck to get a correct base with the right mods at the right tiers. Essentially it is very easy to reach a very high base power through crafting ( arguably too easy ) at which point the time required to upgrade becomes much, much larger. Your power spikes up very quickly and then progress becomes very slow.

The skill trees also have a huge, huge issue in my opinion. Because of how they are structured it is quite normal and even optimal for the 14th or 15th level of a skill to be more impactful than the 20th. You can reach certain “keystones” quite early and the final levels are usually left for adding levels to certain nodes rather than trying to reach an impactful one. Because of this getting the higher levels can feel really unrewarding. You push for a certain node that will be game changing and the levels after that just feel so underwhelming in comparison. Ideally you would want the 20th skill point to be more meaningful that the 10th or 15th. The reward is not in line with the effort required.

All these things together made me lose interest at around level 70 ish. Repeatedly grinding monoliths that were too easy with no overarching storyline to persue. I didn’t really need to upgrade my gear at the difficulty I was at and the amount of time required to actually find an upgrade wasn’t worth it. Levelling felt quite unrewarding both for your character as for your skills. The entire idea of grinding to be able to do harder versions of the same grind with no other clear and obvious goal was very demotivating.

In general I feel like this beta is an amazing base for something that could become an Arpg household name. The end game needs quite some work however. Below I will list some take away bullet points for me personally :

  1. Add both long term and short term goals and quests to the endgame.
  2. Flatten the power curve. Characters become very strong very quickly. After that progress is slowed to a trickle. This true both for gearing and for skills. Characters shouldn’t feel 90% finished at level 65 with just some min maxing left to do at that point.

All in all I really enjoyed the game for as long as I did play it but after a few hours of endgame there was too little incentive to keep going. I will revisit this for sure in the future.

Again, I am just trying to share why I didn’t get more than 40 hours deep in hopes that it may help the devs in their development.

On a side note and not related to end game but in early progression : I personally feel like the skills early on are far too scripted. I played a primalist because I wanted to play melee and didn’t enjoy the fact that I was forced to use a spell early on. I also never used my totem. I think long term the game would benefit froma bit more choice in which skills you get. rather than simply giving a player a skill it would be nice to be given a choice between two or three. That way a player can choose something that he/she finds the most fun rather than being given something that they don’t want to play. This would also increase the build depth. This isn’t a must, just my personal wish list.

Keep up the good work.


Welcome to the community. And thanks for sharing your thoughts :slight_smile:

I would say most of your reflection isnt very controversial - I have expressed similar opinions based on my current experience with the game as well. The bottom line is at the current stage of the game development, there is very little incentive for the average “hardcore” player to feel the motivation to push for minmaxing.

I think the current state of the game favour those who enjoy experimenting with a wide variety of builds. The other group is probably those who enjoy the competition in arena ladder.

For the rest of us, I think the motivation to grind and minmax will come when the game is further fleshed out with more difficult endgame bosses, better endgame itemisation and endgame systems. These are features which will come prior to 1.0. And I’m fairly confident that the gap is simply due to the fact that these features still need some more development time.

I think its ok to put down the game for now if you if feel you no longer have the motivation to keep pushing your character. Just revisit the game as each major patch roll out. I have a good feeling you will be pleasantly surprised :wink:


There is no obligation to play hundreds of hours. If you admit your knowledge of the game is very small, no problem. I stopped PoE after around 10 hours, that’s extremely small, but I got totally bored. No problem with that.

Each timeline is a “what if” story. What if Lagon defeated Rahyeh? What if the dragons rules the world? What if the Void took over the world? And so on. What is relatively poor is the “filler” echoes between quests, but clearly each timeline is a story on its own.

That’s true for Diablo 3. I feel that is not true for Wolcen. I don’t know for PoE.

Agreed, even if I would say “more” and not “far more”. And in my opinion, that’s a very positive thing.

To do higher timelines and get blessings, then to unlock empowered timelines and get empowered blessings. I agree it may be a bit vain, but all or almost all hack’n slash are the same.

This has been discussed for long and many people think the same. I personaly strongly disagree, for me the campaign is a lore exposition and a tutorial, I want to focus on the story and the early leveling and not on difficulty. Things become more difficult in endgame and far more difficult in empowered endgame and that’s good. All this being a matter of feeling and preference, of course.

That is the very core of hack and slash games. And I agree it can be very negative, depending on how it’s done. For me, Last Epoch is definitely on the bright side of things.

I have an opposite feeling. It’s true when it’s just upgrading nodes, it may be game changing when it’s about reaching a far or expensive node.

Which is rather correct. Even if you’re still very early in the game, it’s rather significant though.

Very interesting feedback. As you saw I globally don’t feel the same, but all this sounds important though.


You’ve pretty much hit why I have stopped playing for the most part. I played a lot initially, but I have like 15 characters. I played a lot because I wanted to try so many different builds. I never played a character into the 80’s. I just got too bored with the grind once the builds took shape.

Loot in this game is uninteresting and doesn’t provide any reason to grind. Reaching level 100 is not a good enough reason to grind. Story isn’t providing any reason to grind. I basically get to a point on every character where it feels like you are grinding just to grind. That feels too much like a job to me, so I stop playing.

I pick the game back up if they add a neat new item that you can build around or a new class/subclass, but quickly get bored again.

I got to that point with PoE as well, it just took several years to do so because of the insane amount of complexity.

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Agreed with pretty much everything OP said. It’s fun enough to try out different builds but endgame feels like it lacks purpose and despite using really great filters, loot is extremely underwhelming and 2h weapons feel absolutely useless.

Character power feels like it caps at around 15 points in each skill and beyond that you aren’t getting much. I feel zero incentive to play a build beyond level 70 or so and by that time exp becomes such a grind that it’s not really worth it anyway. The echoes would be far more interesting if the quests weren’t random chance. I’d like to see it more like 4 echoes > quest 1, 8 echoes > quest 2, 12 echoes > quest 3 with each echo being a step along the way to the next quest instead of random or repeated zones. I know empowered echoes are different but I haven’t found a reason to do them yet. There’s no incentive to chase more loot or power.

That being said, I’ve had a ton of fun leveling various builds to 70ish and gameplay for ranged builds is the best I’ve seen in an ARPG. This is the first ARPG I’ve played that I prefer ranged to melee. Combat is engaging and fluid outside of a few areas with performance problems and the skills I’ve tried mostly fun to use. The exceptions being the autocast necessary ones like flame aura, ice thorns, holy aura, etc. I’m not a fan of short cooldown buffs that need to be refreshed constantly. If I always want to cast it on cooldown, it is better off being a long duration buff or an always-on toggle. I also take issue with smite. It doesn’t feel good to cast and most builds I’ve seen with it are only using it via relics that cause it to be autocast on certain conditions.

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Great feedback!

I agree with a lot of points you mentioned.

Possibly we will get something more background and content with the new monolith overhaul that got teased for the next patch.

The story behind the different timelines is very poorly presented, currently. I’d expect this to change.

Regarding the difficulty curve you are right. This is somehow connected to the very mighty crafting system. You get very strong very fast. I’d like to see a difficulty adjustment, maybe even a choice of different difficulty options.


I want to add one perspective. First times you focus on Story mostly but after that it can feel boring because you know plot.

But what keeps me going over and over again is that i take that campaign like experiment. I take new character and i start to learn its skills, passive trees etc. So i think campaign can be easy or easier than end game because then you are tested and then starts polishing phase.

But overall great feedback


A well written piece, thanks OP.

Am I the only one who challenges the assumption that this is the only way a game can be developed - grinding?

Last Epoch development and player comments all take this as a starting point. “But of course we have to grind…”

Now for developers, the incentive is very clear - If I can find players that like grinding, then convince them of a reason to do it, I’ve just stretched my last 6 months of development a long way. Hooray.

For players, the incentive is less clear. I’ve quite simply never been able to get my head around it’s appeal. Investment bias? Does it provide self-actualization? Why do players fight so hard for grind when they could fight for variety, for the opportunity to reach their goals faster, or for more respect of their own time?

In any event, the path of grinding, everyone agrees, has to work really hard to strike a balance of some really arbitrary things to keep a really small player base happy. It seems to me like a really risky strategy for developers.

Alternatives include:

  • A wide variety of ways to reach power, with lots of incentive to test out combinations, and no grind required to find out which ones work better than others
    (see the game ‘nova drift’)
  • A small amount of build variety, with variable and unpredictable progress toward them (see game ‘slay the spire’)
  • Very easy to balance gear and power, with optional farming of currency, and really tailorable spell system and lots of puzzles/riddles (see four crystals of trazere, a really old game)
  • Very easy to balance combinations, with subtle interactions appearing based on player choices (see game ‘minion masters’ - you don’t have to grind much to get cards, but it can still take a long time to try all combinations, keeping you engaged without arbitrarily dragging things out)

The key point to all these examples being that if you do not base all your decisions around grind, you increase your chances of providing fun content to a much wider variety of players (including those that like grinding!). You make it far less likely that hours of development are wasted because you didn’t accurately predict how they fit into the grind balance black box. It becomes far less costly to put a variety of content in the game because new content that is unappealing is not gating players from trying what they really enjoy.

New content does also not need to be balanced with an ever increasing amount of old content, so that cool item you think of does not need to be cross checked for interactions with every other item and passive ever made.

Consider a new, really OP item. Of course only a few players should get it, and they should be forced to work really hard to earn that chance, right? Well if you choose this philosophy, then you really want to check the new items interactions with every existing passive, skill and other item. And you really want to get it right first go, otherwise you’ve made people grind for nothing, and they will complain about every change you try to make. That is a lot of pressure - better hold off on releasing this item! Now you have a game with 3 years of development and only a few item sets, and a huge fear over getting new items right, hence, very little options for players to actually choose a variety of items, hence boring gameplay with a lot of grind.

An alternative is you make this new item easily accessible. Hardly any grind required. Every player gets the choice of using it to gain immense power, in the short term and there is freedom to nerf the crap out of it at a moments notice because no one had to grind for weeks to get it. Now there is little stopping you from releasing 100 of these items. Players might start saying things like “yeah, I know Eterras blessing crows are crap, but I already played that OP build with that OP item, so now I don’t care if they nerf/fix it, I want to have fun with this new item/skill and see if I can get to the end of campaign with it. It’s not costing me too much because I don’t have to grind for weeks to find out just how much it sucks. I wonder if I’ll ever get the chance to try a freezing, stunning leapslam build? Oh, you are grinding to see if you can find all purple items - have fun, I’m really glad I’m not forced into doing that because I don’t like hard work for no reason. Gee I love this game!”



There are some games where grinding is fun though. Most of the new games make it seem like a job and it is tedious. I still remember playing Final Fantasy 1, 2, and 3. I would start the game and the moment I got to venture into the world, I was doing a circle in a forest to grind. I was grinding for levels and for gold to buy the next weapon/armor upgrade. Gold in those games was static, monsters always dropped the same amount of gold and exp. You were able to easily calculate about how long it would take to grind the thing you wanted. There was a defined finish line you were working towards.

I don’t know what it is, but pretty much ALL old school rpg games and mmorpg games had fun grinding. Even WoW grinding was fun. For whatever reason, aRPG grinding ALWAYS seems like work. Maybe its the complete randomness of items things can drop that make grinding suck (Monster Infrequents make grinding fun!). You slaughter countless faceless monsters because anyone of them could drop the thing you want, so its all about numbers. Maybe mobs should have loot tables. That makes things more interesting because you are hunting for specific mobs.

Just look at what people farm in LE already. People target farm certain bosses/echoes because of the boss’s loot table or the echo’s blessing loot table. People like the feeling of knowing they are “in the right place” to get the upgrade they are seeking, be it item or otherwise. Maybe all LE needs to fix the grind problem is more “target” farming and less ubiquitous loot.


I don’t think the campaign is as easy as people say. There are really dangerous zones, especially if we don’t have the correct void/necro/phy resistances.

I agree we can craft gear too good too soon if we compare it to PoE. And maybe that’s because LE max affixes are 4 and not 6 as in PoE.

I’m not sure if I agree with the 20th skill point being more meaningful than the 15th. In PoE around level 85-90 your build is done and some more SPs in the tree won’t improve your char very much.

Good feedback so far. Regards.

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Yes agree. Generally I find the campaign harder than the monolith, especially after I get my T12-16 gears.

There’s probably some truth to this. But I think it’s more because of the targeted deterministic crafting and the abundance of shards more than anything else.

We first gain the 20th skill point around the early 80s iirc.

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I remember a discussion about the anticlimactic feeling of skill leveling.

This has 2 sides:

The current implementation:

The current implementation grands enough room for very flexible building. You can focus on rushing that one neat playstyle changing node and get it somewhere between 7 and 12. This is the climax of skill building, rest is optimizing the skill. I don’t say that the last points after that one node are useless or just fluff. Theres a lot of stuff still possible after that, but it doesn’t feel that impactful.

For me personally there are only about 3 skills in the game where have the feeling that it doesn’t matter what to do with more skillpoints. Most skills force me to make decisions and that means theres more interesting stuff in the trees than skillpoints availible (that’s a pro for me).

A more climatic skilltree similar to passive tree

The devs would have to gate skillnodes behind a minimal skillpoint investment in the tree. So you could only choose key nodes at lvl 20. This would make maxing the skill very impactful, but also make skilltrees one dimensional. What about choosing 2 or 3 key nodes within a tree? Not possible anymore.

Currently we have some key nodes having follow up nodes that exclusively buff the key mechanic unlocked by that key node. You would have to put that support nodes into an order so you have to unlock them before that one key node that you need to take advantage of that support nodes.

Or you have to put the key note behind only 15 points and have the last 5 points if your skill being not so exciting.

Personal Conclusion regarding skilltrees:

I really love the current version of the skilltrees. I take the anticlimactic progression as a minor drawback for all the great options it offers.

I’m one of the player types that tries new builds before min/maxing a single build. And the skilltrees with different branches are the main selling point of LE for me. No matter what you do to try to “enhance” the progression curve of skills, will come with a downside.

For me the current implementation is near perfect.

Maybe there could be some augmentation skillpoints that you can collect by beating empowered monoliths, that opens up
a new branch of the skilltree you can spec in, improving effects that you have skilled in.

But the base skilltree is just near perfect as it is right now - mechanically. Indeed there are some skills that could need an overhaul to have more viable build options. But the core system is great!

Loving all the discussion ( it is a breath of fresh air to be completely honest )

As far as grinding goes I do think that replayability comes in many forms. I personally like to min/max characters. I still know all D2’s breakpoints by heart to reference what kind of a player I am and that the current version of LE isn’t exactly in my wheel house. At the end of the day however I think the goal here is going to be to create an experience that will keep players engaged for as long as possible and to do that you really do need to add depth to go along with all the width. Width in LE is at a good place. 15 broad archetypes and plenty of skills will be enough to engange a lot of players for a long time but it doesn’t ensure longevity. I would welcome more width but it is ok where it stands today. It is fun to be able to “finish” a build quickly that will also mean that people will “finish” the game quickly and that most players won’t stick around for long. A game like this needs some form of depth. Something that will make it enjoyable to play a single build for 100+ hours without forcing you to. I am not saying that LE needs to force people to grind to achieve something. they just need to figure out how to make grinding worthwhile.

As for the skills. I enjoy the skill trees as they are. It is a nice fresh take but unfortunately their design and the way the passives are constructed really don’t help with rewarding reaching higher levels. This again ties in to the entire width vs depth issue I mentioned above. They are great if you like to make loads of builds but you need to be critical and consider how long it will take a player that makes many different builds before they too become burnt out.

Personally I would prefer a system that gives you a skill point for each level up rather than levelling the skills seperately. This makes each level up more impactful but retains a lot of the flexibility the current trees have and pushes your “finished” point to a slightly higher level which again motivates people to engage with the end game content. You could still get all relevant keystones in all used skills by lvl 80 ish but wouldn’t max out all skills until lvl 100. Now the grind from 90 to 91 gives you a passive and makes one of your skills better and makes grinding past level 80 ish ( I heard this is when your skills max out ) worth it.

In the end you do have to consider why a player would engage with something repetitive. Currently there isn’t really a good reason to. Yes you can quit your build and roll a new one but that well dries up very quickly and LE will die as a result. You want to balance depth and width.


Deterministic crafting is one of the best features of this game. Ofcourse if its not your first character the camapaign especially in the beginning seems is easier. You can easily get blue items with tier 4 affixes. ( you can always switch to ssf mode to see how it feels when you dont have crafting mats). But when you starting running middle monoliths (not even talking about empowered ones) this is the point of the game where you really starting optimize your gear. And trust me its not easy at all to get perfect tier 20 items , and good exalted is extremly hard to get. In arpg games noone really cares about campaign. In last Epoch currently there are 2 end game systems: arena and monoiths. Empowered monoliths can be compared to arena wave 150- 200, depending on modifiers, If you were patient enough and get to those systems you will sure understand why and what you need improve in you gear. There are multiple defense systems. And by the end of campaign people probably max out only resists. Also high content requires high damage. (without modifiers lvl 100 mobs mitigate around 85% incoming damage).

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Yes I am aware that there is a point at which the content gets harder. Issue is I never got that far because getting there was tedious.

In all honesty I might still be playing if there was a way to fast track it to a level where the content was challenging and the drops were better. You are given the ability to craft gear that is good enough to walk through lvl 75 monoliths as early as level 50-55. The entire process of grinding through the early monoliths with no realistic chance of improving your build while doing so is tedious enough to start wondering why you are doing it. If the answer then is to get to do harder versions of what you are already doing then it is very easy to get fed up. I spent a few hours playing from level 58 to level 68 ish in one sitting, doing the same thing over and over and felt like I had achieved nothing at all. No sense of progress, no sense of accomplishment and with no clear goal.

Again I am not trying to be a downer here. Just trying to explain my experience and why it falls flat in its current state because I do believe many people will have a similar experience and in order to be a success these issues need to be addressed.

I have already decided that I will be revisiting the game once the end game is updated. It has done enough to prove it is worth playing for sure. They just need to figure out how to make the end game grind worthwhile. ( worthwhile for players with similar tastes to me that is )

P.S. As stated in an earlier post I do believe that a longer campaign that drops you in to the endgame at a higher level will resolve much of the issue.


Maybe it’s also that the story currently leaves you with no real clue what to do.

Are you aware that monolith bosses have boss specific loot tables? Every boss drops specific uniques that you only can get by beating him. The loottable gets extended for empowered bosses.

Are you aware that killing monolith bosses gives access to a timeline specific pool of blessings? That blessings (I.e. resistances/ crit chance, increased XP, idol drop rate, …) are permanent and work everywhere and can roll in different ranges. So you can farm bosses for specific blessings and also improve the rolls. Empowered monoliths grand higher rolls on these blessings.

The game doesn’t tell you this explicitly. Its somewhere in the game guide but not really obvious and easy to miss.

Item levels of gear that drops also is tied to area level. So you need higher monolith timelines to get gear with higher bases or specific high level uniques.

So there is a lot of stuff to chase already (that will get expanded for sure), that might be not that obvious.

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Yeah I got several blessings but never really replayed bosses because I wanted to push the difficulty as quickly as I could.

I think this ties in with the general first post where I mentioned short and long term end game questlines. The difference between just getting dropped in and getting blessings or getting a quest that literally tells you to get a blessing is pretty big. An npc that shows up when you beat a boss and get a blessing that kind of quickly explains what they are etc. More npc guidance in general to help new players get their barings after the storyline would be nice. Much of what you mentioned isn’t very clearly explained.

In POE every new bit of content is introduced by an npc that has different dialog and information. You basically feed the necessary information to the player when they first encounter it. This spreads out the learning curve and doesn’t make people go looking for the information.

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This is one of the biggest issues i have with the crafting system and drops in general.
Way too easy to reach good base power level for the time,risk and investement.
Harvest lovers and PoE refugees will disagree but it is an item editor for the most part, even more than PoE benchcrafting

It makes most items that drop afterwards vendor trash, except for crafting glyphs and maybe idols.

Adding T6,/7 is a meme at this point as this much power is not really needed in an already broken crafting system + power player curve.

Monolith is as one dimensional as D3 greater rifts, and T6/T7 is reminiscent of ancient/primal +. If they intend to copy the endgame system then its okay i guess if they have no better ideas. But i would rather play the original than a worse version.

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Yes, crafting is very powerful tool and can give you chance to create or upgrade your gear. But i dont think its ruining or its too powerful. Maybe its just me but you need those defensive mechanics also updated. When you get very high dmg item it can also reduce your resistances, crit avoidance, endurance, health. Etc so you really need to grind those empowered monoliths to get best drop rates for powerful base gear and so it will have to also need to include affix you desire. So that crafting is neat thing to have so that you have chance prepare better gear.

I understand if you have some build and you get all defensive /offensive mechanics maxed out in lvl 60 (which i personally think its impossible or atleast very tiny chance to success)

TL;DR i dont think crafting is too powerful they need to buff those weaker enemies so it comes sooner that point you have focus on your defensive stats/mechanics.

This is exactly my problem in endgame aswell!
The only thing i want to add is the lack of random events that happen in the echo areas.
I would love to see the chance of stumbling onto a special pillar which holds special monsters or something with special loot that you only can get from that.

This would make exploring maps more interesting and actually worth it.
Now i know i just have to rush to the boss asap instead of actually exploring the echo itself for potential secrets/goodies.