Campaign state at launch: a weird suggestion

Short version:
End the campaign after chapter 6, to make it a coherent story. We kill the Immortal Emperor. Remove the cutscene with Yulia, replace it by another cutscene explaining that the void has now stopped spreading, but still exists in some timelines and we need to clear them. The end, time for monoliths.

Long version:

Following a quick chat in another thread, I have been thinking about what is the most important game feature to me: the campaign.

I am still a bit confused about what people mean by “launch”, considering the game has been for sale for four years, but apparently it would mean telling people we are not a beta anymore, we are a complete game.
Yet EHG is getting ready to take this step with a game that strongly feels incomplete, for one very simple reason: the story stops abruptly without closing any of the plotlines previously introduced.

So, my suggestion: end the campaign after chapter 6, when we fight the Immortal Emperor. Remove completely chapters 7 to 9. Tweak the ending of the fight, just with a cutscene, to make it so we actually kill him, and somehow it stops the void from spreading.

The reasoning:

  • The story feels incomplete because it introduces several problematics and doesn’t resolve them. What’s the deal with Yulia, Harton, and Zerrick? Who is the Immortal Emperor? How did they all become what they are? How the hell is Apophis fitting into all that?
    Simple idea: if we don’t introduce the problematics at all, they don’t need answers, and the feeling of something missing disappear.

  • I completely understand that adding new chapters is a massive work, and you have other priorities before 1.0.

  • Chapter 6 looks like a perfect spot to cut off: 1.We have fought Harton and Zerrick, and met Yulia, but we don’t know their previous self yet. They are just random baddies. No plotline hanging lose. 2.We finish on a big, momentous fight, against a very notable enemy (We’ve heard about him being the official Big Baddie since chapter 3). Perfect final battle. 3.Gaspar told us as soon as we reached the End of Time that he believed the void was caused by the Immortal Emperor. Solving everything by killing him makes sense.

  • How many chapters there are doesn’t matter. We don’t need 12. When I started playing PoE, there were only 3 chapters, yet the story didn’t feel incomplete like the Last Epoch one. Because it was coherent and ended up on a high, killing the big boss everyone was talking about throughout the story. Short, yes, and a bit superficial, but coherent. That’s what LE storyline needs, and cutting at chapter 6 would sort that out.

Of course, the story is pretty good, chapters 7-8-9 are really nice, and I certainly don’t want them to disappear.
I am only suggesting to keep them on the side until you are ready to give the story a decent conclusion, then bring them back all together, along with 10-11-12 or whatever amount of chapters you think you need to answer the questions risen during the campaign.

People buying the game after “release”, thinking they are buying a full game, might be shocked to find a half-told, suddenly ending story.
With my suggestion, they would feel like they indeed have bought a full game. They need never know there used to be more chapters. And will probably praise EHG even more when, a few months later, 6 (!!!) new awesome chapters drop at the same time, making an already decent story much deeper and enthralling.

Thanks for reading,
Houlala
Campaigning for the Campaign

While the devs already said that not all (currently planned) 12 chapters will make it before 1.0.

I am almsot certain that we get one more chapter at least with the 1.0 patch to smooth the overall campaign experience.

I would assume that by the time 1.0 hits we will have at least another major pass on the campaign. (Balancing, Enemies, Areas etc.). And possibly even some better dialogues and questing.
New player experience is pretty important and especially 1.0 would be a patch were it makes a lot of sense to introduce way better new player experience and hopefully tutorialisation.

All of this togehter could already smooth out the things you feel like are missing or too unclear.

Mmmmm, all the things you mention are good things (the campaign does need balancing), but my concern is only about the story itself feeling unfinished, and Majasa not feeling like a final boss at all (love you Majasa, no offense).
One extra chapter could help I suppose, although they have so many loose ends in the storytelling I doubt they can all be wrapped up in just one chapter. It could at least give us a more iconic final boss I guess…

Anyway, while I like my suggestion from a storytelling point of view, I am not sure it is possible (PR-wise) to remove some content already introduced, so I don’t see it going anywhere.

When they did rework some of the existing content they did slightly change or add some quests.

This same could be used for other parts of the already existing story, to maybe introduce some more side-quests that will fill more holes.

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I don’t think you can put the cat back in the bag. Chapters 7-9 exist and current players know the story. We’re not going to pretend they just didn’t happen if they were removed, meaning this would probably be even more confusing to new players when existing players are talking about parts of the story that aren’t in the game.

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I would imagine that would come out in chapters 10-12.

She’s Majasa’s chief ##### that didn’t want to get sucked dru just cause Majasa wants to look pretty so she allowed the Void into this universe (which is said in the cutscene).

Well, yes, I know, but that’s precisely what makes painfully obvious the fact that the game is unfinished.
That, and not having a proper final boss. Can’t think of any other game releasing without a final fight…

I just don’t understand how we can talk of “launch” or “release” with such enormous gaps, that’s why I was trying to offer a solution that wouldn’t require too much work but help the game look less “work in progress”.

I’d like to point out that chapters 10-12 are planned for 1.0 - Launch, as you called it.

The upcoming Multiplayer Beta version is still pre-launch, and is a separate work of art from the 1.0 version coming.

Not sure why you’re under the impression that Launch won’t include the full storyline.

You would think so.
Sadly, they are not.

Notice how the definition of 1.0 doesn’t mention the campaign?

Fair enough - seems that was a Stream comment (not easily linked to) but that also means it’s up in the air still; in which case, I’d say do the opposite of what you’ve asked for - demand that 1.0 include the full campaign, rather than removing sections.

Yeah, you are right, but…
I started posting about it in March 2022, the very day the FAQ came out. Apart from informing me that chapters 10-12 were not guaranteed for launch, I gathered very little support or even interest from the community. Which is fair enough, people are interested in trade and min-max endgame, I don’t blame them. I just have different interests.

The solution in this thread is to be seen as “After giving up on having a decent-looking campaign at launch, how about trying to make it LOOK decent?”

If the devs would see the light and realise their game will look like a beta forever, released or not, if the campaign is trunked, I’d be the happiest traveller ever.

Have they defined what launch is? It’s generally used as 1.0 (if a number is required).

Pretty much. The sentence I quoted comes from a paragraph where Kain explains what they mean by “release”. I take it to be synonymous to launch.