Greetings, Travellers and Authors of Fate!

So, finishing up last week’s stream as I type - one of these days I’ll make it on time to chat with Mike live… - and there was a bit of discussion about Critical Hits feeling like a mandatory take for hit-based builds.

One of the few inspirations I take away from Critical Hits actually comes from Warframe - a third-person shooter, for anyone not familiar with the game - where you play a Space-Ninja-Wizard-Robot-Mech! Not that all that fits great with Last Epoch, but the concept of mechanically scaling damage through hits against enemies does.

Critical Damage in Warframe is a single calculation - whether you achieved a Critical HIt or not. By fixing what is currently Critical Multiplier at a fixed value, it simplifies the concept of Critical Damage scaling for everyone. Now, anyone who is familiar with Warframe is screaming in their heads “What about Red Crits, then, Ash?” - and here’s where you get the same level of customization, fun, and ability to push the boundaries of what is possible that everyone loves in ARPGs and LE specifically. “Red Crits” are a concept where you have *more than 100%* critical chance, and thereby do more than 1x Critical Multiplier - and LE already has a similar system in place with Ailments!

Similar to the way greater than 100% Ailment chance is split into a number of guaranteed Ailment stacks and a chance to add another stack, 110% Critical Hit chance is converted to 100% chance to achieve 1x Critical Multiplier and 10% chance to achieve 2x Critical Multiplier.

While having the multiple-affix style of Critical Chance and Critical Multiplier is fine, I think unifying the system would benefit Last Epoch; this simplified logic is easy to follow, fits the current theme of other on-hit effects, and the simplified logic can be applied to all aspects of on-crit effects, too. If one were to Ignite on Crit (not currently an affix, but hey, one can dream…) then with 110% crit chance, you would apply 1 Ignite, with a 10% chance for a second Ignite.

Now, none of this addresses Critical Hits being the default hit-damage pushing technique; that requires thinking about why Critical Damage *is* the default. While the Developer stance Mike has talked about is one way of addressing it (“we want to give you more reasons to not take Critical hits by default, by giving you other trade-offs”) The end result is that Critical Hits are the cost-benefit trade (i.e. “I can do x, but I cannot crit anymore” is the trade off, never “I can crit, but I cannot do x”) - allowing *more* Critical Hits doesn’t sound like the way to address Critical Hits being the default, but that benefit needs to be offered if other trade-offs are going to be made. The easiest example trade I could think of is “+100% critical hit chance, but you cannot apply ailments from critical Hits” - allowing the direct trade-off between Ailments and the hit-speed based stacking they provide, for the easy High-Damage option.

Opinions will always differ, and balance is best left to the people who do that for a living, but from my armchair here, I hope I can provide some insight!