Patch 0.9.2 - Runes of Power releases in just 7 days! Over the next week, we’ll be going over all the big new features coming in Runes of Power leading up to the Patch Notes on September 5th. We’ll be covering the next mastery to reach Eterra: The Runemaster, a new Base Mage Skill, Rune Prisons and Experimental Items, One-shot and Lost Caches, a new Crafting Mechanic, a peek at some new Unique Items, and more progress in our ongoing efforts to improve Last Epoch’s visuals!
We’re exhausted. The good kind of exhausted that only whirlwind adventures can provide. In case you missed the news, last week we traveled to Cologne, Germany for Gamescom - the biggest stage in gaming. We were excited to introduce the Runemaster, who is featured in today’s blog post, on that stage. For many of us it was the first time attending a convention of this scale and meeting each other face to face. We experienced the joy of those playing the game for the first time, we spoke in great depth with existing fans, and even strengthened our bonds as a team. We were honored to work (and play) alongside Maxroll ( Lonestar_McFluffin, Terek, and Lizard_IRL), Aaron ActionRPG, and Rhyyker. With their help we were able to show off Last Epoch to a whole new audience. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to them for making it a memorable Milestone in our history. We wish it could last forever, but the ephemeral nature of time is what makes those moments so special. Now with our eyes on the future, we are incredibly excited to bring you 0.9.2 - Runes of Power.
Seeing so many amazing fans show up to our booth in Germany is a perfect segue to our first feature to mention coming in Runes of Power - Localization. Patch 0.9.2 will be releasing translated into eight languages in addition to English: Simplified Chinese, French, German, Korean, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish!
We wanted to get localization into our community’s hands before 1.0 so we could have time to get feedback from our global player base on it, and get it as clean as possible for 1.0. We are happy to say that we will be including this feature in patch 0.9.2. Our community has been the biggest part of what makes Last Epoch what it is from its very beginning, so being able to support an even larger community across the world is an amazing milestone to reach, and we’re super excited to see all the new players joining the fray in Eterra.
We know there are a lot of intricacies in an ARPG where wording is critical and we want to make sure that comes across as much as possible for everyone in our community. We have been working closely with translators over the last year to make as many translations hit the mark as possible. We also know no one could know the subtleties and nuances of game mechanics better than our own players, and we look forward to continuing to improve localization in Last Epoch with help from all of you!
Of course, what we’re all excited about since the reveal at Gamescom - the Runemaster! The third and final Mage Mastery, and the latest Mastery to join the ranks, the Runemaster provides the greatest opportunity for customization and skill expression to date with Runic Invocation. With the Runemaster’s mastery skill, Runic Invocation, you will passively gain Runes each time you use an ability: Heo, Rah, And Gon runes, representing Cold, Fire, and Lightning respectively. At any point you can invoke these Runes using Runic Invocation to cast one of 40 different invocations based on which runes you have active, and in what order they were generated. The Runemaster also has the ability to generate, benefit from, and consume runes with other abilities depending on how you choose to specialize. The new Passive tree continues to build upon our latest passives designs with threshold nodes, and even new mechanics such as dynamic defensive stats.
As a savant, weaving the power of the raw arcane, infusing magic into offensive and protective wards, we wanted to create a class which could deliver a large depth of mechanical play. We felt this was a playstyle ripe for exploration within Last Epoch. One where in combat, each decision and ability used could impact the course of the fight individually, and create large payoffs for active decisions on controlling enemies and choosing how to approach a fight. With this in mind, the Runemaster offers several methods for area denial and enemy control with Frost Wall, Glyph of Dominion, and several of the available outcomes of Runic Invocation.
When we originally envisioned Runemaster, we had also looked at “Golems” as part of the Mastery, and we don’t want to leave out mentioning them. These weren’t to be traditional minions, but rather arcane constructs which could be invoked by the Runemaster. When designing the specific interactions and diving into the gameplay of Runemaster, we made the decision that the focus should be on the Runes and Area Control. With the amount of depth, and complexity already offering such a strong playstyle for Runemaster, we found having pseudo-minions muddled the gameplay of the mastery too greatly. That being said, we also didn’t want to leave out the theme of arcane constructs entirely, so you can still find ways to generate constructs as a Runemaster. Rune Bolt can create Runestones which automatically cast Runebolt for you, and the Hydrahedron Invocation creates a construct which lobs balls of molten fire at nearby enemies. These constructs act as an extension of yourself, scaling with your own stats rather than with Minion stats.
The goal with the Runemaster is to be easy to approach, and have a large amount of depth to master and power to wield. While Runemaster is designed to offer great depth in mechanical play opportunities, we also want to make sure that every mastery is still approachable and easy to get into. A good example of this is the Runemaster spell “Rune Bolt”, which casts piercing elemental projectiles. This spell supports being used to manipulate specific rune generation, while being powerful and versatile enough to be a primary ability on its own in a “low cost spam” setup. Whether you just want to quick-cast single elements for three of the same Rune, establish a specific pattern of Runes, or adapt your Rune usage on the fly to get the absolute most out of the Mastery, The Runemaster has you covered.
The Runemaster’s Mastery Skill, gained the moment you gain your Mastery, Runic Invocation is at the very heart of the class. By invoking Runic Invocation with any number of Runes generated from other elemental abilities, Runic Invocation will consume your current runes to cast one of its forty corresponding invocations.
Generate three Rah (Fire) Runes, and unleash Aergon’s Greater Fireball, creating a massive fiery explosion, dealing fire damage, and applying spreading flames to all enemies hit in a large area. By generating Rah, Gon, Heo (Fire, Lightning, Cold), you can invoke an Antipode of Mesembria, a rune stone which destabilizes over time eventually pulling in surrounding enemies followed by a massive explosion. Or perhaps a more defensive move is in order? Generate Heo, Rah, Heo (Cold, Fire, Cold), and surround yourself in an explosive shell of regenerating Ward with Reowyn’s Frostguard.
Flame Rush adds a new Traversal ability to the Mage’s Toolkit. Available to all masteries via the Runemaster passive tree, Flame Rush turns you into a hurling ball of fire, gaining damage reduction and exploding at the end of the movement. Channel the ability to its fullest and you’ll gain up to 150% increased area and damage when you release the ability.
As a Runemaster, you will generate Runes while channeling abilities, making you ready for the next Invocation once you arrive at your destination. Flame Rush can also be specialized to automatically trigger your invocation at the end of the traversal for a very impactful arrival. Flame Rush can also be converted to either Lightning or Cold, matching the elements you need for your build and giving the Runemaster greater control over Rune generation.
Frost Wall is the second ability you can unlock in the Runemaster tree, and alongside Flame Rush will be available to all Mage Masteries should they chose to invest in the Runemaster Tree. Frost Wall erects a sheet of chilling winds, freezing and dealing Cold Damage over Time to enemies which cross it. With Frost Wall, we aimed to reinforce the Runemaster’s ability to control enemies and aid allies with thoughtful positioning.
Frost Wall can be further specialized to apply beneficial effects to allies, or even to other spells passing through them. You can also convert Frost Wall to either Fire or Lightning to match your elemental style and provide their own positive effects, such as more damage over time. Frost wall offers extensive ways to control enemies and provide great payoffs for positioning.
Rune Bolt is the Runemaster’s “bread and butter” spell. Rune Bolt allows you to steadily fire piercing projectiles of Cold, Fire, and Lightning, rotating through the elements. We wanted to offer all Runemasters a skill which was easy to get into, and fill the role of something that was “spammable”. With a low mana cost, ability to generate resources, and ability to generate all Rune Types, Rune Bolt provides a go-to ability for the Runemaster.
Within Rune Bolt’s Tree you can modify the ability to focus on its own projectiles - adding additional projectiles, making them home in on enemies, and even explode on contact dealing area damage. Alternatively, specialize Rune Bolt’s ability to generate runes and resources to make it a supporting skill for a larger build setup. Rune Bolt gives Runemaster many ways to control the flow of combat.
The final skill unlocked as a Runemaster is Glyph of Dominion. Placing a growing rune on the ground, dealing damage over time, culminating in a large explosion dealing damage to all enemies within it, Glyph of Dominion allows you to punish enemy positioning. With Glyph of Dominion, we wanted to focus on the area denial aspect of the Runemaster.
To accomplish this, Glyph of Dominion can be specialized into taking greater advantage of enemies within it - dealing more damage to enemies that have shredded armor or are slowed, or adding a chance to stun enemies each second they are within it. You can also specialize to make Glyph of Dominion a haven for yourself and allies, offering defensive benefits such as ward generation, resistances, and even an additional 30% cast and attack area of effect while being dangerous for enemies to approach.
Our goal with this ability is for Runemasters to be able to either take advantage of enemies positioning, or empower their own positioning. With the Runes of Disintegration node you can also generate ward per second and gain more damage to Disintegrate for those wanting some more laser beam action.
We’re extremely excited to get Runemaster into everyone’s hands on September 7th. With a whole new level of opportunity for mechanical play, we can’t wait to see what kinds of builds everyone manages to come up with. Alongside the new Mastery, making Last Epoch available to so many more players in their native language, means we have an opportunity to get feedback and continue building on Last Epoch for an even wider community!
Tomorrow we’ll be back looking at another, as yet unmentioned Mage Ability, which is going to be arriving with Patch 0.9.2 - Frost Claw! Until then, may Eterra watch over your travels.