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Is Last Epoch mechanically to difficult?

So, i just had a discussion with @Evok about Abomination being to difficult.
Here is the original thread

Is Last Epoch mechanically too difficult?

What do i mean by that?
  • Evade telegraph mechanics with (relative) quick reflexes, by moving out of them or using movement skills. (pretty much every telegraph on the ground)

  • (Precisely) manouvering through boss arenas, to evade upcoming mechanics (Lagon, God Hunter Argentus, the new Spirits of Fire boss fight and the new Last Ruin boss fight to just name a few)

  • Reading enemy animation to predict upcoming attacks (Lagon, Emporer Of Corpses, new Age of Winter Boss etc.)

There are plenty more things and some are not purely the mechanical application and executing, but also th reaction to certain things happening.

So i already heard plenty of player seeking help or out right complaining, that some of the bosses are “too hard”, “overtuned”, “impossible”.
Most of this can be “learned”, but there will be certain player, that might cannot execute thigns well enough to beat some of those encounters. (Either because they are just not skilled or maybe because of medical conditions)

I personally really like this, when the new MoF system got introduced i was SOOOO pleasantly surprised. The bosses felt like being in a MMO dungeon fight, which is great.

What do i think?

I will be perfectly honest here. When i got into LE, all of this was not present and i never felt that is what the game “needs”, but once it was there it was so exciting and EHG just is doing a great job of implementing all those fights (especially the new timelines in 0.8.1).

But if they would remove it from one moment to the other and just but “HP sponges” as bosses with some gear/dps checks, there would be missing something.

Last Epoch does have enough other oustanding features to hold it’s ground and this amount of mechanics for boss fights is not necessary, but it is still very nice IMO.

I think it is ok, to die from a boss, that you encounter the first time, because you have to learn it’s mechanics. Learning and mastering obstacles is an enjoyment for me, that i get out of such games. And even if you die twice, or thrice. As long as you keep improving

Possible solutions or a middleground to please all players?

So i think, what could be done, if there are really enough people, that do find this amount of difficulty to hard.

  • Lower the difficulty of normal timelines, by reducing incoming damage, potential one-shot mechanics should be waaaay less lethal and maybe even remove or change one or two abilities from each boss, to make it less daunting.

  • Then on the other side, pimp up the empowered timeliens to 11, give them more mechanics or slightly different mechanics, that are way more lethal and difficult.

And i am not solely talking about damage numbers.
On normal timelines mechanics could have longer windup animations, while on empowered timelines, they could be faster, so the player has less time to react and maybe some mechanics could also be slightly different.

Example:
Normal Timeline:
Lagon’s “Sweeping beam” could have a longer windup (and maybe a more clear indication where exactly he will sweep)

Empwoered Timeline:
Lagon’s “Sweeping beam” has less windup and the sweeping motion is also slightly faster

With my suggestion, everybody could more or less experience the “whole content”, while the really challenging content can be even tuned up to 11 for the most hardcore players

So what do you guys think?

2 Likes

I think the bosses are honestly fine as is and it’s kind of thrilling this way, if anything I want them to be even more punishing and like I said in the other thread I haven’t even been gaming for long nor would I claim to be great at this game.

When I start playing a game I prefer to go in build and mechanic blind before looking some stuff up.

My first encounter with Abom I didn’t know about the vessels and died, I then learned to avoid the telegraphed movements and run around where I saw the vessels and broke them, rest was just staying awake

Rahyeh I died first time because I didn’t know about the arena wide void stuff, second time I just followed the mechanics and avoided it

Lagon…I didn’t know his beam was a dot that can’t be dodged or blocked and well yea…I died in each phase until I learned it and now he’s easy

All the empowered guys are easy still now too once I went a round, it’s just appropriate defenses and either you go Boardman damage and one shot or avoid the attacks and whittle them down

2 Likes

i really love the mechanics and that some of them can’t be tanked (except for some builds). making every encounter a “just have the right amount of stats to win” would make them less challenging and intresting.

1 Like

Ah yes what you say is truth. I think what @Heavy is suggesting for some kind of “middle ground” might be worth thinking about. I kind of started this mess by making a thread about getting my ass kicked on my first echo boss encounter. I reacted emotionally and I apologize for that but I think it brings up a point and I think @Heavy agrees.

Does this level of mechanical focus have to happen on the very first boss in the system? Those of you who want more of a challenge, can you not wait a few levels to “get your fix” so to speak?

He makes some good suggestions about how to increase the difficulty more gradually so newer players don’t get that jolt and feel discouraged. A lot of games do that.

I only bring it up because I want this game to succeed. It shows so much promise and the dev team is second to none in so many ways. I just want them to make money for their efforts so they can keep working on it. Who knows maybe they make enough to hire some people and we get multiplayer sooner…

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It is a hard balance. To make mechanics fights, you have to make the punishment for not avoiding the mechanics steep, or people will just tank through it. That makes it hard for people to learn that bosses are mechanics driven until they get to the point where they just die for not avoiding them. Maybe they can slowly introduce the number of deadly boss mechanics as the game progresses. First main boss might have 1 telegraphed move that will kill you. Second boss could have 2, or just 1 that happens more often. That seems like the only reasonable way to ramp up the boss difficulty progression while allowing players the gradual learning process.

I will say that there are some mechanics that are not logical. For example, I knew the mechanics of Lagon. I fought him before. I got to him on a new character, a Primalist. He started his beam and I tried to leap over it only to find out that you still get annihilated by the beam even if you are flying through the air. I was pissed to say the least.

To be fair there are already alot of telegraphed skills coming from trash mobs.
Also Lagon, the current endboss of the story is considnered “harder” by most players.

The gradual increase in difficulty is already there, it just might be still to step for some players.

I think one good solution would be, that rares or named mobs in each part of the game (each chapter) dohave “mini-versions” of the boss abilities. That are less deadly, but mechanically very similar.

This would “teach” the player some mechanics of the upcoming boss.
This would however not work for MoF, since the bosses are very unique and enemeis in MoF are just enemies, that are found throughout the game.

Honestly, if they reduced the difficulty of bosses then it would take away a major flavor of what I like about the game. The rest of the runs really just feel like practice or busy work by comparison, but beating MoF Lagon for the first time a while back honestly gave me a thrill. I was so pumped! He beat my butt 3 or 4 times before that.

Honestly, I was a raider in WoW from way back in the 40 man raids in vanilla Wow (yes, that’s nearly 20 years ago… yikes). We’d beat our heads against a boss over and over untill finally we SCRAPE by once. But once you beat it the first time, it becomes easier.

Since I beat Lagon for the first time I’ve honestly never died to him again. My personal opinion (OPINION!!) is that the people who want the boss to just roll over and die are either lazy or too used to games that let you faceroll through it.

The big thing I can see is that there’s really not much in the campaign or echoes leading up to those bosses that train you for it. It was a real system shock for me fighting the abom the first time too.

What I do think should happen is a bit more “training” ahead of time. There are some chapter bosses in the campaign, but honestly you really just facetank them in pretty much any gear. Even the campaign version of Lagon is pretty cakewalk.

Maybe a “tutorial tip” bubble can pop up on the first boss with a telegraphed attack. The popup could just explain that it is a telegraphed attacks and that later in the game, telegraphed attacks by bosses WILL KILL YOU!

Not at all like I don’t’ agree with you here, you are right. All I’m saying is that can be brought on more gradually without players who want more of a challenge having to give up too much. ARPG’s are about the endgame so right now it’s MOF or Arena. They may have more in mind but we work with what we have. Ramping up the difficulty more slowly is not a bad thing. Good players can move through the easy stuff very quickly while the less skilled can progress at a slower pace

i actually played POE for years. i’m back here now because i’ve found POE’s boss mechanics no longer caters to “i’m gonna punch you in your face-melee”. the long story short is, playing this game i really appreciate how well telegraphed the monsters are. the telegraphed attacks are shown long enough for me to get out of the way and with a cooldown long enough that i can sneak in damage as melee.

if anyone complains about telegraph attacks in LE, let me tell you LE is very generous in their telegraphing. the danger areas are clearly marked and you have “enough” time to run away.

for comparison, POE also has telegraphed attacks but without enough visual indicators of “danger zone”. sometimes you can see the boss charging up for something but you dont know what he’s going to do. AOE slam in front? AOE slam around him? cone aoe? long beam aoe? unless you’re already familiar with the boss you wont know. at times even knowing is not enough, some bosses have slams that happen within a second which gives little to no time to avoid it at all.

in LE, i can confidently fight ANY boss as long as i pay attention to the visual indicators, not only that, it gives you ample time to WALK away from a telegraphed attack without investing in movespeed. i f-in appreciate this. in contrast some of POE’s telegraphed attacks require stupid high movespeed in order to properly avoid the damage.

that said, i would suggest that LE introduce movement/dashes to all classes. this would help everyone out when they’re in a pinch.

Totally confess to not having a speed skill in my build on this encounter. Pretty much always have one on right mouse in every arpg I play.

I was actually going to come back to mention this, but looks like someone beat me to the punch.

I will be honest and say that I am also a huge fan of Dark Souls 1-3 and Demon Souls… so I am a bit of a masochist when it comes to games, but learning boss mechanics is part of the fun for me, and I know a lot of other people too. I actually feel like it’s part of what gives LE flavor. Part of what I enjoy in a game is if I get to a point and go “you know what… my build just really can’t handle this” and then I start a new character (or do some theory crafting).

The point really is that you’re ALWAYS going to have people who like either side. I worked in customer service for years, and trust me when I say that what one person loves, another one is going to hate. Pick your audience and move on. You can’t make everyone happy.

If people want an easy ARPG, they can give D3 a shot. If they want an ARPG that will not only murder them, but their extended family, let them take a shot at POE’s endgame bosses. If they want a happy middle ground, I think LE is in a pretty good place, especially for an early access game.

You can always just start making more of those nice mechanics list you had, compile them all to encompass each boss and then have a sticky thread for new user boss guidance

This way they are adequately prepared if they come looking and have the answers at their fingertips if they choose to take them (knowledge of mechanics, defenses, etc)

And by 1.0 you’ll have it all perfected

“Heavy’s Boss Guide”

I actually already did a YT Guide, when MoF first released.

That one was very early and i am not very statisfied with that guide, because it was very hasty and i did make one big mistake and forget a few, that’s why i don’t like to share it that much.

BUT, i am currently working on a full blownvideo guide with gameplay and explanations (with nice drwaings :D)

Still takes a few days

1 Like

While I agree with much of what you said HC players might take exception to this point.

Not every game is for everyone, if you lack the skill, then you should not be playing a difficult game. Making every attack insanely easy to evade just to please a small subset of the audience will alienate the players that are good at the game.

Regardless, most attacks are relatively easy to avoid if you memorise the boss and time your dodges. The punishment is not all that big outside of giant attacks like logan eye beam dot, which is the equivelent of standing in the fire due to its long telegraph.

HC players already chose suffering when they picked hardcore, the difficulty is the point.

since HC is in most ARPGS for experienced players, i don’t see this as an issue

First week playing.
HC only.

Barely knew anything about the game beforehand.
1 character died at 49 because I was trying to skip mobs and had 0 dodge, got stuck and rip’d.

1 character currently at 75, obviously have not died, and been able to kill all bosses I’ve encountered, picking up their telegraphs and mechanics while the fight was happening.

Unlocked Reign of Dragons before patch hit, so that’s how far I’ve got so far.

Did 1 try of Arena at ~lvl60. Got to Arena Wave 60 before things started getting dicey and bailed.

As an experienced MMO player, this games bosses are very easy to learn on the fly, and I appreciate all the telegraphs and animations that clearly show what is happening. I don’t have many complaints in this regard so far.

Key notes is understanding the mechanics of the game (resistances, armor, dodge etc.), as well as having enough movement in your build to quickly avoid abilities.

1 Like

I like the idea of additional mechanics added at higher difficulty. That way the boss can be accessible for many players, but the ones that want the challenge also get it.
Like in WoW Mythic raiding, there are multiple new mechanics to learn and every thing is tuned up as well. I think this a good solution (or idea to take inspiration from), because you can’t cater to a large range of skill and player preferences easily, and things are just too easy or too hard for majority.

As for the direct question of the thread - I don’t think it’s too difficult. I honestly have felt like the bosses are bit too telegraphed and easy to avoid so far. But it’s a tough balance to achieve, because otherwise you get the aforementioned PoE problems.

I can’t voice my opinion strong enough here. The “small subset” are the players who want Dark Souls level of difficulty. Besides that it does not have to be black or white. You can cater to both types of player without changing much in the game. You can make it easier without “making every attack insanely easy” and still provide the challenge for better players.