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I pretty much exclusively play ARPG on hardcore mode (aka permadeath). One of my gripes with Grim Dawn (my favored ARPG) is that it doesn’t cater enough to hardcore play.

Is Last Epoch taking hardcore play into consideration? Plenty of my characters die way before “endgame” comes. I count it a triumph to beat the game on hardcore veteran, let alone going into any NG+ modes.

I think things like having awesome gear (artifact level stuff) being level limited works against that. Most roguelikes don’t limit rarities to higher levels.

Please, let me go out in a blaze of glory without being disappointed that I haven’t drunk from the well yet.

Do you mean GD isn’t difficult enough? Or are you referring to legendaries not dropping until 50? Or that there is another tier of legendary at ilvl 84/94? Or that the coolest relics are really level 60+?

I guess I’m asking what about GD doesn’t cater enough to hardcore? Not that I disagree or anything, but thinking of how LE could better cater to HC, it would probably be helpful to have more specific examples of things in GD (or other ARPGs) that don’t meet the need. Especially since level restrictions are often used as a way to balance the game and having certain types of items available too early can trivialize content.

I love Grim Dawn. I’ve logged nearly 600 hours according to Steam. Nearly all of that on Hardcore Veteran.

But I wish I could get access to more of the ‘roguelike’ content earlier on. Randomized dungeons, I mean. I love taking a HC character into the skeleton key protected areas or into the Cthonic rifts, and while those are good, after repeated play you want some variety. Variety that a procedurally generated dungeon can bring.

An awesome model for this is the realtime brogueish game Unexplored. Unexplored has fantastic level generation.

And yes, I want the variety and potency of legendary equipment before I’ve actually beat the game. Tales of Maj’Eyal (Total play time: 16 days 12 hours 24 minutes according to has pretty great itemization, as do most turn-based roguelikes. You’ve got a chance to get a randart or standard artifact the whole game. You’ll still die, but at least you die with shinies.

I feel like in ARPG hardcore is often an afterthought, whereas in a true roguelike it’s a critical facet of the core gameplay.

The dissatisfaction I feel with Grim Dawn because so few of my characters make it to the upper levels has allowed me to identify a couple of ways to make a better hardcore experience in ARPG land.

I’m hoping that this is on the map in terms of what’s important to Last Epoch.

Ah. I see.

I think it’s a difficult line to toe, as most things are.

If an ARPG game is to have an enticing end game, it usually needs good and powerful loot to motivate players to keep playing. Having it drop earlier can mean either making the game too easy (in which case the difference between HC and SC) becomes smaller, as the chance of actually dying is tiny (see D3 up until high GR pushes), or the game is balanced around the possibility of you having those items at an early level, and can quickly become needlessly difficult. It really depends on how much of the possible loot you are looking to have available in the earlier levels (like sub 50 or 60 in GD since I’m not sure how the scaling of levels is going to look in LE). D2 has a number of pretty useful items that are equippable early on, which gives the chance of an awesome HC run through, but it still has a lot of it’s loot with relatively high level requirements.

Finding a balance can be difficult, as the designing for the end game can hurt the type of gameplay you are looking for, and designing for what you are looking for can hurt the loot hunt post-campaign completion. Hopefully the LE guys have some ideas that can make both enjoyable.

I agree that GD could use some random generation. And I think the next expansion is supposed to bring that pretty early on in the game (just after the warden I believe).

I am predominantly a soft core player. But adam’s idea of roguelike dungeons triggered some thoughts which could be the basis of some interesting content.

I think descent champion in POE is something I could see working as content described by Adam. It exist as a race mode in POE, but I could see it working as regular content for both softcore and hardcore as well.

How I see it working is that characters will enter dungeons stripped of gears (perhaps just keeping levels). At milestone checkpoints in the dungeon, players will get temporary but powerful gears to try descending the dungeon. At the end of it, depending on how far the players have progressed, they will get a reward chest (actual permanent items).

How does that sound? :smiley:

[quote quote=9427]I love Grim Dawn. I’ve logged nearly 600 hours according to Steam. Nearly all of that on Hardcore Veteran.
But I wish I could get access to more of the ‘roguelike’ content earlier on. Randomized dungeons, I mean[/quote]

You get the Skeleton Key recipe as early as level 30 so you can do the Steps of Torment “rouguelike” dungeon pretty early in the game. That also extends to the Bastion of Chaos. That’s halfway through Act 2 if you’re leveling properly. That’s quite early in the game mind you, and at that level mobs are still hitting you for a good amount of damage with the gear you wear…you may have missed that. You could also (and should have also) done The Hidden Path quest line which also ends with a dungeon (not a roguelike) and boss that is a PITA to fight.