Dear Dev Team!
The time spend in the world of Last Epoch truly is a blast for me. I enjoy this very much and I’m happy to watch LE communty grow as the game gets better and better.
Some months ago I made a thread about my view on the level design. Meanwhile the level design has had some changes that are really nice.
- The chapter 8 levels
- Only level I don’t like that much are the island levels before getting to Lagons temple – it’s a bit too colourful for my taste
- Early levels overhaul
- Temple Of Eterra Overhaul
This defenitely is going into a very nice direction and I’m keen to see what else is to come.
There are some things I want to point out, that with some improvement would increase the immersion for me.
Levels / maps don’t feel like they are connected
The character leaves the maps through a portal. There’s a loading screen and you are on the next map
- Sometimes the direction of how we leave the previous map and entering the next map don’t match (you leave to the north, you enter from the east). This creates a feeling of disorientation for me sometimes.
While I get that there have to be boundaries between maps I’d like them to be not that strict and be more fluid.
- For example: When leaving the last refugee, we walk through a dispelled barrier, walk a long tunnel, then click on the portal to be loaded to the surface. My suggestion would be to actually be able to witness the transition to the new area. So there could be the exit of the tunnels, protected by some guards. You walk through it to the surface and maybe even kill some enemies BEFORE the portal and the loading screen to the next map.
- Or turn it around and have the end of the tunnel with the guards directly at the beginning of the new map.
- Same for enering/leaving cities. Put the city gates with guards and such at the end of the last map before entering the city.
- Make NPCs block your way so you have to interact with them to leave or enter a city for the first time. Of course this would presuppose that there are things like gates, while currently there aren’t.
This leads to my next point:
Cities don’t feel like cities
This was a complaint I raised in my previous post as well. Now I don’t want to repeat myself, rather I’d like to add some points to make more obvious what I mean and give some examples for improvement.
There are missing elements that belong to towns and cities. The market place with vendors and merchants. There’s only that one single person that sells weapons and armour (obviously because this is the only thing that can be traded with NPCs). To give it a greater variety maybe it would be cool to have several different vendors
- For melee weapons
- For Armor
- For Arcane items
- For glyphs and runes
Or separate them for different classes
- A blacksmith selling items for Sentinels
- A wise old man selling stuff for mages
- A druid selling Primalist stuff
- A sneaky guy that sells rogue item
- A dubious character that sells Acolyte stuff
I get that this would be a bit meaningless because the vendor currently isn’t that important. But it would just be to fill the world with more life.
- There are no taverns! C’mon… no taverns? Even if the world ends people would go to taverns. Every village has a tavern. It’s the first building that is built when a settlement is created.
Actually there’s no food or drinks in this game that could be sold in a tavern. But maybe put the stash in a tavern. And some NPCs that get drunk, complain about the current situation or make jokes about things. Just to again add more life to the world.
- With future implementation of achievements or MTX there could also be vendors for this kind of stuff. Maybe also add merchants that sell food or corn, pigs, cattle… Even if you could not interact with them. Let the be there to fill the world.
You implemented 2 or 3 elements where you have to activate something to be able to go on. Pull a lever to activate a mechanism that extends a bridge.
There could and should be more of it. Things to activate. Go find a rune stone that you have to put into a magical statue to enter the Temple Of Eterra for example.
Enemies lack identity/personality
There’s no enemy introduced to the player. At the beginning you travel towards Welryn. There are some events that lead to the player travelling through time. But why? For what purpose?
The first destination is the Ruined Era. The void has taken over the world. But what is the void? What does it want. How does it achieve its goals.
Ok, the void is supposed to be a mystical thing and I get that the players task is to solve the mysteries about the void. But then give us a foe to fight against. A big bad Void Deamon that is a manifestation of the void in this world. A void slave doing the things that are necessary to serve the void (that somehow has s kind of intelligence…).
There are some elements like the purple Monstrosity we fight in the Temple Of Etarra. But currently this enemy is not connected to the story and doesn‘t make the impression that it possesses any kind of intelligence.
Everything we fight during the Ruined era is just brain dead stuff that doesn’t act reasonable besides wanting to kill every living thing. You can keep all the mystery about the void, but implement some minions that act as the advocates of the void.
Give them names, let them talk. Create a background story that involves these named foes, describing and characterising them. Without all this the motive is missing.
The very first real foe that gets introduced is the Immortal Emperor. That’s with level 20+. Then there’s an opponent to fight against. Something you play towards – the final battle against him at the end of the act.
The sense of time travelling?
To be honest, the first few times I travelled through time I wasn’t aware that I am seeing the same level just in another time. It was more like using a town portal that brought me to another place I have to cross from point a to point b, killing enemies between. If you follow the story more closely and watch for detailes, you get an idea of what happens.
One example is the rift you use after killing the big worm. It just appears after the fight, you click on it, walk through an ancient era level, travel back and so on. It took a while for me to recognise that the path in the Ruined era is blocked and the time travelling is necessary to get around that obstacle. But this was not obvious for me for the first 5 playthroughs. Maybe it’s just me.
It would have been more obvious if the story actually would let me actively search for a way in the Ruined era, then let’s me activate a rift. Just like you did in the new Temple Of Eterra.
That’s it for now. For sure nothing gamebreaking. Many people don’t care that much about these details and are more focused on functional game mechanics. For me personally the wrapping is as important as the mechanics. Maybe something to consider for the future.