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Early Game scaling

Hello everyone,

I’ve been following this game for a couple of years now and every once in a while come back to check on its state.

One thing that I’ve always been noticing is the rough early game scaling. This games gets hard, really quick. Now, I am by no means someone who doesn’t enjoy challenges but there is quite a big disparity between challenge and unbalance here in my humble opinion.

Right around the area with the big skeleton ghost dude that you help out, is when you get swarmed by tons of enemies with high void damage output and who feel pretty tanky mostly.

This is around level 17/18 I believe so not much has happened in terms of leveling skills and passive tree. So no matter what, I am still pretty weak at this stage of the game. As a solo player (first playthrough for example) I barely have a handful of a couple of forge material to upgrade my gear (with void res for example). All of this puts me in a position where I feel a bit underpowered everytime I reach this stage to the point whre it is actually somewhat discouraging. Monster groups/density is pretty high very quickly which kinda forces you to play either something AoE or skill something AoE related on your main skill to handle the amount of monsters but ultimately will feel very lackluster in any single target dps situation because I’ve only been able to put like 4 points into my main skill at this point.

Defenses is another real problem early on. As I already wrote, Void Res is hard to come by with no resources. So even when I desperatly scale health, evasion, some res early on via the Passiv Tree I still end up having to use a health potion almost every group.

Mana as a resource becomes a real struggle right from the get go which further complicates things on both damage uptime and defensive maneuvers like blinks, dashes, etc.

I understand that an early game character with nothing is supposed to be pretty weak but so are the enemies. I don’t know, maybe its just me. Maybe I build my chars terribly?

This is very interesting feedback because it contradicts what is usually provided.

The general concensus is that LE is actually very easy (some actually think its TOO easy) and almost any build can complete the campaign without much effort if someone is not purposely trying to hamstring themselves or try something outlandish…

In fact, this feeling of being too easy creates a bit of a difficulty barrier / checkpoint in some areas (Lagon & Majasa fights specifically) where people find that they have been sailing through the content only to get their arses handed to them by surprise when attempting these bosses. The idea is that the difficulty needs to be scaled up more evenly so that by the time you face these bosses, you are more prepared…

There is a learning curve required for LE, but its generally not steep for anyone who has played arpgs before… Offensively LE is very simple (flat damage & increased damage is basically it for most)… Defensively LE is a little more complicated but still, imho, easy - health, resistances, crit avoidance and then layering the appropriate defensive mechanic suitable for the class… Nothing really more complicated than that…

Obviously by the time you start monoliths and dungeons, its much more complicated but by then most would have a grasp of the basics. Certain thing are higher grade - like mana management and matching skills to compliment each other offensively & defensively - this kind of thing is only something that should apply later in the game … not early.

There have been some suggestions that LE needs more handholding in the early stages to help explain things but some others dont feel that this is needed or warranted purely because things feel so easy already…

So, thanks for this feedback - the devs do read this even if they dont respond - it adds perspective to the issue… They are planning a full balancing of the whole game before launch and this kind of input is important… If all of us veterans kept shouting we wanted it harder then they might forget that some are actually finding it hard already…

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The only area that feels really bad enemy wise is when you first get to the ruins of welryn. The festering cultists are waaay faster and hit super hard and generally dont go down in one shot yet. Those are almost always accompanied by a cleric, who shoots some not always easy to see booms since the mob density with the skuttlers/cultists can clog the screen. And you are almost always pulling aggro from farther away than you want(really only on this map in this era IMO) and end up with way more than you can handle. Once you go through that area a couple times you get an idea about what you are doing, but its still pretty annoying. Same thing with the docks in ruined era, only generally alot less movement options with the walkways.

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these are “newer” mobs than when the area was introduced. There needs to be a slight balance adjustment to the two mentioned areas: Welyrn Docks and the Undercity. These were really meant to be a dash to the finish line type of areas that with those mob changes are no longer safe or effective to do with all classes.

Thank you for your response.

I should clarify: I am not a complete beginner in this game. I have finished the campaign and done some endgame monolith stuff before. So I am somewhat aware of most mechanics in the game. I am also a veteran arpg player who has played them all pretty much, mainly Path of Exile the last couple of years, so the concept and design of LE makes total sense to me.

Honestly reading your comment makes me feel like a fool. Like I am doing something inherently wrong because my experience has been vastly different this entire time. I can imagine having a ton of shards and leveling gear from earlier playthroughs helps out a bunch and trivializes the early game but I am not having these resources when I start fresh.

I understand trying something outlandish might be more challenging than normally intendet but thats not what I am doing. I just play the game regulary. Again, my problems arise so early that I am hardly able to specialize into anything specific to begin with.

There is just this instant massive drop off in damage and survivability as soon as I enter the Ruins of Welryn and beyond that feels overtuned and just bad to me.

As I said, your feedback is valuable and if I wanted to call you a fool, I would have just come out and said it, so your impression/interpretation/conclusion is of your own making.

I have played through the game at least a dozen times now (not counting all the respecs) and I consider it very easy… In fact, I want it to be harder with a smoother progression to the harder content - I do not want the harder portions nerfed to compensate for easier earlier content.

Did I have problems when I initially played the game the first time? yes, everyone will have some adjustment to how LE works vs other games, but I got to the monolith without a single death and I still find the game as easy as then. In fact, knowing what I do now, its even easier and I have to play the max-end-game content for challenges…

So… you find the game hard in places, I dont, I have other concerns… Thats the whole point of feedback and you simply have a perspective contrary to that of the majority of people participating on this forum… nothing wrong with that at all…

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In general, all the mobs are tough when you first get to them, if you haven’t prepped the proper resistances. The frost bats in the ice caves are murder with less than 40 cold res, for instance.

But I will say that game is a bit unforgiving, on the damage side when you first start. Simply because the %damage increase affixes are so far behind the raw +affixes, even for elements that don’t synergize with your skill choices. And, at first, this isn’t very intuitive (35% more phys on a phys build SEEMS like a big increase, but +5 Fire is actually much better). And that can create a bit of a power gap, until your % increases catch up, or you figure out that raw + is better.