We are pleased to announce that with Beta 0.8 we will be introducing dual wielding to Last Epoch!
One of our pillars of design is class identity - introducing different dual wielding options for each class is another opportunity for us to make each class stand out from one another. The Primalist will be able to brandish an axe or sword in his offhand, the Rogue can use either a sword or dagger in her offhand, and Sentinels and Spellblades will have access to swords in their offhand slots. Dual wielding will be enabled via a passive point investment. None of these restrict which one-handed weapons can be used in your main hand while dual wielding. This means that a Sentinel can use mace main hand + sword offhand, but not a sword main hand + mace offhand.
So, why are we limiting the offhand weapon type per class?
By limiting the base types different classes can dual wield, we feel we can open up a lot of options to design fun and interesting Uniques for sceptres, wands, and maces that would be otherwise impossible. These restrictions open up design opportunities catered to specific build fantasies without impacting balance on other classes. We are also able to expand what can be equipped in the future as we continue to to evolve the system.
Let’s walk through how one-handed weapons and two-handed weapons are balanced to gain some context on how dual wielding fits into the picture. Most of the flat base damage for melee attacks come from your weapon(s). This makes your offensive power largely dependent on your weapons for melee hit builds. To avoid one-hander + shield being too defense oriented, more than 50% of the overall power is allocated to the weapon. This split isn’t always the same across all combinations, but let’s say that it’s roughly 60/40. Two-handed weapons require a power level roughly equivalent to one-hander + shield but more offense focused, and they are balanced as such. This would result in dual wielding being strictly better than two-handers in most situations.
Our approach to balancing this will be to offer a defensive trade-off when you invest in a dual wielding passive node. This makes it simple, clear, and enables us to design and balance this trade-off on a per-class basis. The primary intention of dual wielding is to deal more damage, and we feel limiting offensive power can often result in the choice to dual wield or not being a strictly numbers-based comparison. This is not what we want out of the system. We want you to choose between power and opening up build potentials without having to determine whether or not it is even worthwhile to equip two weapons.
We’re really focused on the fantasy of what dual wielding can provide in Last Epoch, and we think our approach and the choices we’re giving the player enable us to create those class fantasies.
As always we will be watching to see how you feel about the system and will continue to make adjustments in future patches.