Let me preface this by saying that I am a new player and have only been playing for a few days. I am currently on my second character, both of which have reached early empowered monoliths and both of which have capped resists.
My feedback is that the transition from normal to empowered monoliths is very jarring and too punishing. You go from breezing through the level 90 echoes with little to no struggle. Then suddenly, when you reach empowered monoliths for the first time, it is like you hit a brick wall and start dying significantly more often. If I had to use another game (path of exile) as an analogy, it is like going from easy white maps, to suddenly feeling being thrown into red maps before your character is ready. The difference in this case is that it feels like there is no equivalent of yellow maps to make the transition smoother.
I understand that I could easily just run normal level 90 monoliths until my character is strong enough, but there are a few issues with that. The first is that it feels like backwards progress and that never feels good. Secondly, it feels like I’m wasting time farming non-empowered echoes given that a lot of survivability potential is locked behind empowered blessings and that there is significantly increased drop rates which would help progress my character faster.
So, while it is more beneficial for me to do empowered echoes, despite me dying more often, it feels like the punishment for dying is too harsh, since you are typically in a phase where you are looking for upgrades to make yourself tankier, or are trying to target farm the last few uniques you need for your build, only to be denied those upgrades because you dont have said upgrades to survive. On top of that, there is the opportunity cost of losing the stability you would have received from the failed echo and having to rerun that echo, further slowing down your progress towards the empowered blessings.
Again, I am fairly new, and inexperienced at this game, so there may be some layers of defense I’m missing, or perhaps I’m trying to progress too quickly. But I can see this being a potential pain point for many new players.
The analogy to white-to-red maps is a good one. Yes, there is a good gap between regular and empowered monoliths. I agree there should be a more gradual difficulty curve. To be honest, I think the campaign and regular monos are waaaaay too easy and should have a bump in difficulty (but I think it’s an unpopular opinion; maybe I’ve just played too much of the game already).
I think you have a misconception about resistances : it’s far from being the main layer of defense in LE. Unlike Poe where 1% of resist drastically change the damage received, it’s less impactful in LE. The calculation (for resistance mitigation) is more straightforward here. You should read the Guide (Press G in game) about resistances, if that’s not already done.
Usually, you really want :
- a good health pool (via health + hybrid health + vitality)
- good resistances (usually with “Elemental resist” and “All resist” affixes + blessings)
- crit avoidance or the newly crit damage reduction. Crit avoidance should be at 100%.
That’s kinda the baseline. On top of that, you usually need to add one or two of these :
- Leech or Regen
- Any spell or effect that cause “Less damage taken”, like the spell Flame Ward.
What’s your current build, for that second character ?
I’ve been playing the game for less than a month and I agree with you. Other than killing the first few things at lvl 1-2 (which is more tedious than actually hard, other than the phoenix), the campaign is mostly just blindly following the arrows. And as soon as you have all the idol slots, you jump to monos, you don’t even finish the campaign.
And you also jump to monos several levels below the “level 58” of the first one. Usually 40ish is more than enough to start clearing them. I always then just rush to empowered monos having little difficulty doing so.
As for the OP, yes, the difficulty once you do reach empowered monos does increase. But you don’t usually notice this as much in the first one. That means you can farm it some more to gear up, since it will drop a lot better loot.
Should the difficulty curve be better? Definitely. Is it easy to achieve? Not really. It will depend on a lot of factors, like which builds are being used, the experience of the player, etc. Could it be better balanced than it is? Probably.
Personally, I’d rather see some other endgame system fit the gap. Like, you finish normal monos, then you go do engame activity X, then you go do empowered monos. That would give you incentive to actually try out more endgame systems.
Personally, I feel the problem with PoE (other than having too goddamn endgame mechanics ) is that mostly they’re independent. You basically choose one and you stick with it for the whole season. Maybe you’ll make another build for another mechanic and switch to that later on. But you basically ignore 90% of the game to focus on the 10% you chose at the season start.
I’d rather see LE avoid this and sort of scale endgame systems between themselves.
This is a very popular opinion.
Comes back on these forums very often, has been for years.