Merge Factions partially!

Yes, as mentioned… the current state of both CoF and MG don’t even allow adjsutments

Their implementation to each other is awful, especially MG

If we keep talking about ‘the current state’ then nothing can be done. Which is nonsensical. There’s a billion options to choose from out there. A million half-way functional ones (as we have now) ten thousand fully functional ones (which would be a start) and a thousand ‘great’ options (which we wanna have).

It’s already been discussed dozens of times that without several changes at once the current system isn’t even possible to be salvaged in that regard. Hence why all my suggestions are based on multiple-faceted changes and won’t function with a single one

Hence yes, you’re right! And no, you’re wrong!
At the same time even! :stuck_out_tongue: Depends on if you allow MG to have scaling favor prices with listing prices and already we have solved the double-dipping there.

Time investment needed for MG to get the benefit is not there → create the needed time-investment.

I’m making a massive post to put together everything actually right now which will take around an hour or 2 longer to get done. I’m investing that time to have a thread which is kept up to date, allows discussions and keeps on track with secondary threads as well while being formatted ‘half way decent’ at least. Better then my usual posts at least so far as I manage.

I hope it becomes clear with that one, I’ll link over to it here in another post afterwards and hope the essay there will explain everything and make things more clear.
It’s all chopped up and hard to follow with repetition over repetition and nobody being able to follow anyway.

What this person said is actually what EHG talked about when they revealed factions the first time. Point of it is to give non trade players away to not feel forces to trade.

Keep in mind 1.1 brings in a Pinnacle boss system. Will this be balanced so cof doesnt feel forced to trade in order to defeat it. Over time EHG will have to pick which faction the game is balanced towards theres no way around it

Currently the system of cof doesnt do that at some point. This is why the whole penalty and losing equipped gear progression is getting brought up. Theres other ways to prevent faction swapping becoming a big thing. Other than players being told to go grind ranks go grind out all ur gear again that u just spent 100+ hrs farming up

Losing equipped gear progression shouldnt even be a thing no game has done this for a good reason

U can still have it RNG based with a bit of deterministic things for CoF sprinkled in. Should it be deterministic to the point u know exactly what will drop affix wise no.

There does need some way to say block some stuff like u can do with lenses. Or even prophecies that instead of just 3x exalted bows allows u to say target said affixes. But this prophecy would target say all weapons all boots ect. Just my suggestions for improving the faction system

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Yes, but that’s where we disagree. I think the MG implementation is good. It gives me what I want.
Does it need adjustments? Sure. Rank progression is as awful in MG as in CoF.
Is the UI terrible? Yes. And they will change it.
Is the base MG system with its restrictions bad? Not to me. I like MG exactly because of the restrictions.

Does CoF need adjustments? Definitely. It needs boosts to boss drops and it needs more focused target farming.

Should CoF and MG be switchable? I’d go as far as to say that it should be like mastery. You choose one and you’re stuck with it. The fact that they even let you change at all is already a reward.

You lost me there. I’m not sure what you mean by that.

I agree. I always thought the way CoF was going to work would be to select a sub-set of drops to focus on, effectively reducing the loot table. Sadly this only works for item types. I was expecting something like “Give me drops with critical affixes (all of them)” or “Give me drops with minion affixes (all of them)”. And you’d get way more of those.

Also, and this is just a personal thing, I hate the prophecies mechanic. I hated it in PoE and I hate it here. It breaks gameplay when you have to constantly go back and get new prophecies.
It’s the reason why almost every character I’ve made so far is MG, even though I barely trade. I’d rather have sucky drops than to interact with Navali prophecies.

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Currently there’s not a lot of benefit switching factions, other than farm occasional runes and glyphs in CoF, which you can’t get in MG (never played MG, but didn’t see it in the rank bonuses). And I think runes, glyphs and affix shards should be made tradable for MG characters from rank 1.
Other than that, loss of progression serves to emphasise that the factions are not something you can change like socks, but rather are a significant commitment to a certain playstyle (solo play VS trade play).

If that’s the case, it seems like an oversight on the developers part, the legendaries should not be craftable from mixed CoF/MG gear, and should get the MG/CoF tag on the resulting item, based on the item and unique’s tag (if any), so it is consistent with the separate factions system.

As to how having both MG and CoF loot is superior to having only one of those:
You can get decent gear (t6 / some t7) fairly easily in CoF to get to higher corruption. Switch to MG, farm and sell valuable stuff, then buy the remaining upgrades in MG.
The power of CoF is getting showered in good but random loot. You farm whatever is reasonably farmable, probably get a few near-BiS items, and then switch to MG to get the loot that is not reliably obtainable from CoF (mainly boss uniques/legendaries), yes, that would also require farming, but at that point you can get to high corruption, and get gold and valuable items for sale faster.
You can cover one faction’s weak side by another faction’s strong sides. Get strong loot with CoF → perfect it with MG. Not as powerful if all loot that dropped while you were in CoF can’t be traded at all, but still gives you quite the boost in power. EDIT: speed of acquiring power.

As to how to alleviate the loss of power from tagged items, there are two solutions:
1 Let character use their previous faction’s gear after migrating to another faction, but you can’t use new faction’s gear during that period. After you’ve gained good enough replacement gear, you press another button, and lose the ability to use previous faction’s gear, but can now use the new one’s.
2 Totally prevent switching factions, so you don’t have that issue. Make it like leagues in PoE, where the choice is permanent, though in PoE you can migrate to trade, but that’s allowed because they don’t have a dedicated SSF mechanic, in LE probably even this should not be allowed.

I’d prefer the 1st option, as it gives players a chance to change their mind, without leveling a new character from scratch. Although if crafting materials trade is implemented, it would be better to do a 2nd one, otherwise trade players will be forced to switch to CoF to farm valuable materials to then sell them in MG.

The main thing I don’t like the most about your suggestion is that it only benefits genuinely mistaken players once. After that they will stick to the faction they like the most and not need the option anymore.
However, it will further blur the line between factions (which are already not perfectly separated), allowing those who just want more loot faster, to slowly push for even more blurring the line, towards just merging the two factions as the end goal, and with each step, the factions will get more nerfs.

Just leave the factions as they are, and instead fix their bad design decisions (shit interface for prophecies, low impact on boss uniques for CoF, shit Bazaar filter, no tradable glyphs/runes/affix shards, etc.).

You are suggesting to change the fundamental design philosophy (separate bonuses for trade and non-trade, with non-trade getting a compensation in higher loot drops), for what, to give some players who can’t decide which way they want to play a more convenient way to not be able to decide which way they want to play?

CoF isnt SSF u can still party up as well as gift items.

SSF is just that solo self found thats not CoF

Said before and ill say it again. There are better ways to prevent faction swapping WITHOUT having to lose equipped gear progression.

Having to grind for all ur faction tagged items again after u spent 100s of hours crafting yet alone have to rank up the other. Faction. And farming this up is bad no matter how u spin this

This is a very bad restriction to have for swapping. Theres better ways to prevent this. Your equipped gear progression should never be something u lose

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So, first of all the promised Link to my thread where I’ve put everything into order and want to expand on it:

So you’re fine with missing affixes, missing search functionality, missing priority-search functions, bad overview through choosing the ‘detail’ view rather then the ‘list’ view first (or providing customization options to make it comfortable how you wan), the mess of searching for the right traders, missing price-checking, missing re-list option and all the other stuff there?

Yeah, it functions. Much like a loudly grinding, smoking 3-wheeled car which is lopsided. It ‘works’… but definitely does not what a modern car should be expected to do at all.

So ur saying to gate keep players that want to push as far as they can with out trading then switch to MG to finish off there build.

Theres zero reason to gate keep these players. Plenty of players push as far as they can in SSF in poe as a challenge then finish off there builds in trading. Difference in LE is u cant trade any drops from cof.

U can even do thisin diablo 2 then start trading when ur not getting drops to improve ur build

These players are alreadt being gate kept by the swapping penalty i shouldnt be losing equipped gear i spent time geting and crafting up

Whole point of factions is a play style of how u prefer getting ur loot. And some as i said enjoy pushing as far as they can with out trading
to then switch when they arent making gear progress

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Ok, I could theoretically get behind that. But it’s not set up this way.
You can switch, it just costs you basically everything if you’ve been in one for a while. This creates frustration. Instead EHG could’ve gone the ‘This choice is permanent’ option and it would’ve been fine. Nobody who wants to play a long time will use CoF and nobody playing for a short while will use MG (since it’s not functional for them at all).

But… alas… it’s not the case.

The gold is the issue.
To get a full set of LP 4 uniques (theoretically) you would needs around 200k favor.
How quick is that? That’s a few hours of effort, nothing more. Play tons on CoF, see the other pasture is greener, decide ‘enough is enough’ and buy better gear for cheap there then you’ve gotten your whole play-time during CoF in a ridiculously short time, from then on only profiting.

If the gold is not the issue then favor cost from buys is.
Because as mentioned, 200k favor is enough for everything. A done deal. So, favor cost scaling with gold price. One part solved! You can’t ‘double-dip’ into the mechanic.
And it even removes the necessity to punish people with the gear limitation by switching + makes everything purely time-related.

So either or… you get a better outcome already then currently is the case. While it’s a really really miniscule double-dip mechanic it’s nonetheless one. You dip into getting much gold through high corruption to then use in MG. You can outfit a secondary character purely with MG through those means. If that’s not double-dipping then any other concern is by far laughable with a few adjustments that should’ve been baseline.

It means that if the issue is the needed time-investment into MG through cheap favor costs of items (which is ridiculously low) then just scale favor costs. Hence to make use of the gold the one switching would need to put quite a bit of time into the mechanic to even derive the rewards.
As it should be the case as a baseline, not access restrictions

I’ve mentioned all of that in my thread linked above actually with a clear-cut example, all issues I see with the systems currently from both a game-design point, missed functionality and also Economy-based issues which are a recurring issue.
MG is non-usable for a first character during progression, at all. All you get when choosing it is 30% less loot then 0.9 without anything going for it outside of idols until you reach empowered monoliths.
And if the misconception about reputation-gain is cleared up then you also won’t have the utterly over-flooded market for rare items, outside of beginners which get simply ripped off by a badly implemented mechanic screwing them over as you can’t even derive the demand since nobody can friggin access them a lot later anyway.

Yes, after using it a while it starts to work… but it’s one utter failure for the first play-through. Actually a prime way to showcase ‘how not to do it’.

Yes, but that is utterly alleviated by enforcing time-investment into the respective mechanics.
You won’t get good loot unless you rank up in CoF, only direct drops from prophecies. That’s the time-investment though, acquiring favor, using favor, running content to get rewards and acquire more favor.

Nice loop! Works, perfect even!

Run content, acquire favor, wonder ‘what the actual fuck should I do with this shit?’ since you lack gold. Try to stuff items randomly into the bazaar since you can’t even price-check properly. Undercut everyone else ruining the functionality of it with cheap Favor-items just to gain reputation, run more content to get more crap to list, 50 hours later wonder why the whole market is fucked and you can’t get gold with great exalted items since 50 others have willy-nilly listed them without realizing they got value, solely playing into the hands of the ones playing 20+ hours the first days to be the first to snatch up that nice ‘5k gold 4 LP unique’ on the market leaving you with 2 mil gold from shit-sales by the end while every item actually costs 100+ mil then and the middle-level being utterly screwed over still from people just dumping ‘everything’ for cheap since they want to advance to Rank 8 to get access to items they can’t afford anyway.
But maybe after 1-2 months into the cycle the market might stabilize decently :slight_smile:
Great experience!

Yes, a nice example! But feels also shit. You’re bottlenecked now. ‘Make up for the time you already invested’ not only through ranks, not only through favor, not only through - maybe - gold… no… you can’t upgrade a single item but 7 at the same time. Hope they’re still the same value after acquiring those 250 mil gold which an equivalent is worth! Nt to speak of an upgrade.

It’s definitely better… but the outcome is between ‘a steaming dung-pile’ and ‘a steaming dung-pile with a fancy hat’ basically :stuck_out_tongue:

There needs to be a core solution for the thing. Nr 2 is viable, but also prone to problems by being disgruntled on now being 100% forced to make a character… but at least you know it beforehand what you get into… until you realize the fine print is quite a thing.
Hence why I’m pushing for removal and according adjustment of both systems to manage that. But to be fair… MG needs around 95% of those anyway.

Also fine! But they need to be nigh equivalent during progression to end-game then. Currently MG is non-functional and CoF only becomes that later on. Hence we need distinct changes in MG once again. It all comes down to MG being a mess.

As one point.
It’s the whole design though in many aspects.

A better market situation.
A better listing versus buying situation.
A better experience during your first character.
A better experience when playing together with friends.
A better experience in using the market itself.

There’s so many things which would get better with someone sitting down and actually understanding how market works and then with the knowledge from other game markets adjusting it accordingly.

The core aspects are already there, CoF vs. MG is a great thing! The framework has all the solutions at their fingertip already… the implementation? That one feels like the initial Synthesis implementation in PoE, great system! Shit everything attached to it

Yep, that’s the outcome and it feels shit and is nonsensical, right?

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Personally, I hope it never is. I don’t want to have to bother digging through hundreds of affixes seeing if anything is worth selling or whatever.
First, you would have to change it so that you can interact with your shards/runes/glyphs from their holding place.
Second, you know what that actually is: Rune of Ascendance trade. With the occasional glyph of insight. That’s what it would be used for most of the time.
Third, you’d then have to deal with questions like “If I use a RoA that I bought in MG in an item that has the CoF tag, what happens?” Does it get MG tag? CoF tag? None? Both?

Again, this is my personal opinion. I find no appeal whatsoever in shard/rune/glyph trading. Quite the opposite. The idea feels repulsive to me and would probably push me away from MG.

As I said (and you apparently ignored) I did say UI was a mess. It will be changed. But that’s not a flaw with the MG system. Just with the filters and the way it’s presented.
If also needs some tweaks to the system itself, namely rank progression, possibly gold tax, whatever, but the base system design of MG is perfect for me.

Likewise, I feel like the base system of CoF is also good (even though I hate prophecies and I wish we had another different mechanic for it), it just needs lots of tweaks (more than MG does).

No, the difference is that in PoE SSF means you have a crap base drop rate so it really is a challenge mode, while in LE, using this tactic, you’d have a superior drop rate. So it’s not as much a challenge as the reverse. It’s easy mode made even easier by switching to MG at the end.

Again, there is no drop rate bonus in D2 for not trading. So fundamentally different.

It isn’t, though.
First of all because, as I mentioned before, you most likely already have a bunch of players that have both factions at rank 10. Especially in legacy, this number will tend to keep on increasing. And not only will it increase, but it’s likely that these players will keep on accumulating favour for MG.
Second because that argument just translates into “If I play a lot I should be able to get benefits from both, if you don’t play a lot sucks for you”.

Well… in that case what about the direct functionality aspects?

Is it fine that MG can barely be used during your first character?
Is it fine that T6 exalted items are set on a equivalency basis with double T7 exalted items?
Is it fine that common uniques are put in a equivalency basis with rare boss-drop uniques?

It’s even without any UI issues that the mechanic is still utterly awful.

And that’s the exact problem you seem to ignore.

CoF has a proper progression scaling. You get slightly more loot at the beginning and a ton of more loot the further you progress into it.

MG doesn’t have that. You don’t scale. It’s just simply messed up. Access to exalted items is needed roughly in the middle of - basic - monoliths. Access to LP uniques around the end of - basic - monoliths. Legendaries at the beginning of empowered monoliths.
Then it somewhat functions.

You can’t compare progression of a functioning system with one that’s been utterly broken with the implementation. Obviously it’s a ‘superior tactic’ to use the functioning one during progression.

It is, no matter what people say… it absolutely… is.

You’re utterly ignoring that I’m repeatedly saying ‘Access through ranks is nonsense’ hence your ‘Rank 10’ argument is something which doesn’t hold true given what I’m argumenting about, why? Because Rank 10 wouldn’t grant access in MG but like CoF some form of functionality.

Secondly, Favor is the current ‘time-sink’ mechanic of factions, that’s the major nominator. Not even speaking about Ranks but the Favor aspect. In CoF it’s to acquire Prophecies which directly relates to quantity of drops and in MG… well… there it’s… well… ah yes, a market-flooding mechanic to ruin supply/demand artificially! That alone is a disaster, Favor for listing rather then limited listing amounts or any other limiter is nonsensical. I got over 1000 items on the market currently! And I’m quite sure around 600 of them will never sell and just take up database space. And we know how the Bazaar servers fared. Miiiiight be a thought worth to minimize that issue.

Umh… I think you missed a few things.

Currently faction switching relates to ‘You get your ass kicked so hard that you rather should make a new character then try it’.
In a proper situation it’s ‘Here you go, choose your play-style, because that’s what factions are. We won’t stop you but you won’t get any upsides for it either.’

Sounds better, doesn’t it?

And once again… the worry is the double-dipping, take care of how double-dipping works and it’s no issue anymore.
Currently double-dipping happens through the usage of gold, the lack of scaling favor costs for high-value items as well as buying power in MG not being reliant to time-investment into the faction. Those are the sole core-arguments.

So, don’t use gold but a faction-currency for buying items (opens up lightless arbour as a viable content for MG again), scale favor cost is prices and you take care of the third part with those two already as it suddenly is ‘the more time you invest into the faction the more rewards you get from the faction’ compared to now… but to drive the point home further Ranks not being access to items but instead taxation, hence cost-reduction the longer someone plays in the faction.

Then we’re again back at benefits versus rewards. The benefits of a faction get more the longer you invest time into them, a given basically, not the case currently. Rewards are the outcome from the benefits of a faction. Simple as that.

Or to make it more clear how it should be:
CoF Benefits:

  • Access to Prophecies
  • More base-loot

That’s it, that’s already the case.

MG Benefits:

  • Dropping sell-able items.
  • Getting price-reductions.

Half of that is the case, we currently have ‘Get access to the system’ instead of ‘Getting price-reductions’ (taxation for resource sink) currently. That’s the point which needs to be changed.
Currently it not only fucks over supply/demand but it also fucks over your first character in any cycle, it fucks over listings before general access to those ranks are open on top of that. So throw that garbage badly thought-through economy-denying part out and you’re golden.

The items you receive by using the benefits.

So the ‘novel’ concept os using your benefits to acquire nice outcomes is nothing new… it’s just utterly and entirely messed up currently.

It has nothing to do with double-dipping, it’s just fixing current issues while avoiding that as you won’t ever get double-upsides.

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By the time you finish the campaign, or reach act 9, you are rank 3 or 4 and you can use the accumulated favour to buy a few yellow stuff to prepare for monos, some uniques you might need to get your build going and even some idols. So I disagree that you can’t use it. You just can’t use it until you reach act 9, which is a stupid decision for both factions, imo.

I didn’t ignore that. I said, repeatedly, that both factions need rank progression looked at.

I have no problem with that. In fact, I’m in favor of not being able to switch at all, just like with masteries.

I think what we mostly disagree about is not that MG/CoF needs work. They both do and we agree on that. Rank progression is crappy for both, CoF is clearly lacking some benefits it should have.

What we mostly disagree on is that you think we should fix that and make it so that changing between factions should be made easier and less punishing and I think we should fix that and make changing between factions impossible or more punishing.
As a general rule I have little to no issues with the suggestion for each faction. I just don’t think switching should ever be easy.

The fact that things are permanent make choices matter. For example, going hardcore in D2 is a big deal. You die, you lose the character. PoE did this as well until they decided to change it so that your character now goes to softcore. LE does the same.
As a result, choosing HC in either is meaningless. Even more so in LE when you have the deathless tag.

You might argue that LE doesn’t really explain the importance of these choices or their consequences. I agree that they should do a better job at that, though we all know that even if they did a mandatory tutorial explaining things, lots of people would still make the wrong choice and then complain.
But I think that we shouldn’t remove important choices from the game. And MG/CoF is one of those. If you make it easy to switch it effectively stops being a choice.

Which is the counter-side actually, the part where it’s needlessly good still.

Yeah, just let me grab this boss-unique I don’t even have access to yet! Hence the empowered-table uniques. Great! I have them during Act 9!

Bad implementation.

Then we progress further into monoliths, you got your ‘base equip’… and now?

  • No access to exalted items.
  • No access to LP items.

You’ll have 50+ LP items by the time you can buy LP items. And far over 200+ LP items by the time you can buy all LP items.
This doesn’t correlate with game-progression.

Same with exalted items.

So it’s actually shit in both sides! Doesn’t make it better, it makes it worse.

Yes, and that would be fine.
Pick your play-style… once!* With the respective warning like the choice being permanent. Absolutely viable option.
Not here alas and hence makes the current state even worse because of it.

Either permanence or removal of punishments is the name of the game.

I personally just think that play-style choice shouldn’t be a one-time limited thing but directly tied to player-agency and switching ‘flavor of the week’ so to say. Choose how you wanna progress whenever you like.

Yes, which is why I’m more opting for the ‘open’ choice there and forcing mechanics into a state where you can’t double-dip with them.

But even if permanence is done then it’s fine since yes… we’ll have people complaining… but no… they have no basis to do that.
Given the factions are properly balanced for progression, both of them. That means CoF need to have the issues about boss-drops and rogue-mages fixed and MG needs to have… yeah… basically the core concepts fixed with the access issues in both sides.

I have no strong opinion on the rest of this (playing offline cycle 1 and building legacy stuff, haven’t even touched online or MG), but I did want to respond to this particular sentiment as I strongly disagree with it philosophically, for a few reasons.

  1. It’s not borne out statistically. Most players quit long before they even approach the content where they would get BIS gear, of course, that’s the nature of things. But of those who are playing into endgame content, there’s simply not a strong correlation between acquiring BIS gear and ceasing to play the game.
  2. It doesn’t actually make sense logically. If someone was saving up for years to get a Lambo, they wouldn’t then get it and never drive again. Acquiring your BIS gear gives you the opportunity to use that gear during gameplay. Most folks are playing games because they find the experience fun, and welcome the opportunity to do so with the items they have been actively seeking for use.
  3. It’s not reflective of the reasons folks give for ceasing to play anecdotally. You’ll see 100 threads complaining that extreme RNG, and the feeling that they do not have a reasonable chance to acquire the sorts of items they want, are leading them to quit the game. I’ve never once seen someone complain that now they have this BIS gear the game is too easy or boring or they have no reason to play. If anything, the closest folks come is complaining they want more things to Do, more content to explore, With said end game gear.

Having multiple RNG checks or significant hurdles associated with acquiring the BIS gear for a given character or build doesn’t incentivize continual play. It encourages narrowing the scope of what you focus on, as doing more becomes unobtainable for many casual players. If it takes them hundreds of hours to get their one character to be the best they can be and see what they’re like with that build, are they then going to want to experiment with other builds, other masteries, other classes? No, in many cases they’ll just rage harder if the one build they’ve invested the time to get even close to what they consider its ‘final form’ gets nerfed because they can’t bear the thought of grinding that long again for equipment for something different. Which, in turn, in my eyes drives player abandonment not retention.

Plus, if the scheme is to have folks continually chasing gear they don’t obtain, it’s a scheme designed to fail anyways. They always have a chance that RNG will give them exactly what they need just a few hours in. What then?

In my eyes the sweet spot is having the gear required to make a given build truly sing, having it fun to play, and having it feel “complete” should be relatively easy with targeted effort. This makes it so folks are excited to explore the dozens of possible builds and don’t feel “stuck” with pursuing just the most powerful build around, as they don’t feel ‘max grind speed’ is something they need to pursue. Granted, I’m not saying perfect inherents, perfect affixes, LP4, the best item possible. But good enough to deliver 95%+ of the power of that and have the character feel ‘finished’. Then those who are truly all about the grind can chase perfection, those who want to experiement can do so, and no one is feeling like the game system (true or not) is deliberately trying to waste their time.

This is a false equivalency. The equivalency you’re making is that players chase BiS items and then never use them.
The correct equivalency would be saving money for years to buy a Lambo and when you get one you stop saving money. Which is true (outside of saving money for some other purchase), since you won’t be buying another one.
If your character already has all BiS items and has nothing that can be improved, for most players that just means the character is finished and it’s time to start a new one. There’s no point in using it anymore regularly.

Both D2 and PoE use that model, where it’s almost impossible to get fully BiS gear. And yet they’re the ones that have survived the longest.

That really depends on the type of player. Most players that are categorized as “D2 players” (which overlap a lot with “PoE players”) like that they keep chasing gear endlessly on multiple characters. They enjoy getting the build online, and then constantly optimizing it with no end in sight.
And these are the types of players that LE is designed to attract. Which are the ones that are usually here in the forums rejecting ideas that just make getting BiS easier. Because, to them, the RNG chase is good when it’s geavily tilted and not in their favour.

The chances of someone getting all slots with BiS gear in a few hours (or even in a few days) is so vanishingly small that the sun will engulf the earth before that happens, not to mention having it happen in multiple characters.

The sweet spot will change a lot depending on the type of player. For example, I couldn’t care less if I have BiS gear. As long as I get my build working and with decent to pretty good gear, it feels complete. What marks my build as complete is “Is it doing what it should be doing?”. Every gear improvement after that is just “Add X to whatever number (like damage or corruption)” and doesn’t change the build.
On the other hand, there are players that will never be happy unless their gear is absolutely perfect, with all perfect affixes, perfect rolls, all 4LP gear, etc.
And there’s also the ones I mentioned that like that they occasionally get another minimal upgrade to their build but like that they’re constantly chasing better ones. And when they do get perfect BiS gear on all slots, the char is finished and they move on and never pick it up again.

All of these are incompatible with each other. No matter where LE lands in the RNG spectrum, some players will love it, some will hate it, some will leave.
So it’s not a matter of “This spot is objectively better/worse”. Because there isn’t one. There’s only “This spot will attract these types of players.”. And that’s a decision EHG has to make continuously in regard to which types of players they want playing LE.
Because no matter what, they will never please everyone.

If they had a garage full of cars? Maybe they have a Ferrari, Porsche & Rolls?

Only poor people do that.

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Not personally a fan of claims involving “most players” without statistics to back them; pretty much everyone feels that ‘most people’ think exactly the same as they do and it’s common to appeal to the majority despite statistics often indicating something different entirely. For me at least, I enjoy playing with the character, and if they’re level 100 with BIS gear then I’m enjoying seeing:

  • How far I can push Arena
  • How fast I can clear a given boss
  • Just running around and making endless enemies explode

Plus the loot I’m getting is inspiring me to try out other builds and other characters. For example, when items like Dark Shroud of Cinders drop and Sunwreath, it makes me interested to go for Lament of the Lost Refuge try the weird Void Volcanic Orb / Fire Aura / Flame Reave build EHG has clearly designed into the game. Do I think it’ll be good? No. Do I think it’d be interesting? Quite possibly!

But having to realistically get 6+ LP2 versions of each of those items to even have 60% of the power of the ‘final form’ of that build and potentially having that not cut it at all and failing to get good affixes on them so I can see what it would really be like makes me less interested. Far, far less interested.

As far as “D2 Players” I just want to point out that sure, there were some items which were incredibly rare. Self Found Enigma would take you quite a while. But the time to get a BotD was measured in hours, days if you were unlucky, not months. Most D2 items to get a version of them was relatively quick. Again, not perfect versions, and folks would endlessly chase that perfection, but there’s a difference between having an imperfect version of your BIS gear and not having it at all, or having a version so bad you’re better off not using it and using a different item entirely which is less RNG dependent.

And of course agreed, there’s all types of players. But that’s mostly my point - very often I’ll see folks put their own perspective on others, and say basically ‘you don’t actually want BIS items, you would just stop playing after’ because that’s what They would do. As you say some players might very well grind with a character and then put it in a shrine once it’s “complete” and never touch it again. I’m just saying there’s very, very little evidence that is true for a substantial portion of the playerbase, to say nothing of the majority. At the very least, the thing I can say with certainty is that it’s certainly not true for me.

Oh, you mean like this one?

I’m not sure where the link to statistics was for that…

I can’t provide them for Last Epoch since it doesn’t have Steam Achievements and thus I don’t have the raw data, but I consider it a commonly known fact; if you google “percentage of players who finish the campaign” you’ll see there have been many studies on it and statements from developers coincide with them, the idea is that generally 20-30% of players finish a campaign if it’s over 10 hours in length. Last Epoch doesn’t have Steam Achievements to make for easy tracking, but PoE does and is in the same genre:

Nearly 50% of players don’t make it to the first boss (I was one of them, fired it up, played like 2 hours total, determined the character building system isn’t for me). Of those that do beat the first boss (so taking that 51% and considering it 100% of remaining players), less than half beat Malachai, the Nightmare (23% of all players), meaning they reached the end of the campaign. And less than half of those (9% of all players) got a Skill Gem to level 20, where they can even start to be considered for BIS items.

I can use other examples if you prefer, there’s plenty of them to go around, both in terms of overall studies and specific examples. Sorry I just thought it was fairly well known already, my apologies, but yeah there’s definitely statistics to back it up.

Not my case, though. To me a character is complete way before getting any BiS gear. In fact, I don’t think I have a single piece of BiS gear in any of my characters. Chasing BiS doesn’t feel like fun to me anymore, so I don’t do it.
My statements come from interacting with the community since D2, including the time I was in a clan in PoE. It’s anecdotal, certainly, but it has a wide enough sample over the years that I feel somewhat confident about it.
And it’s not like there are statistics about it, so far.

This is the sign of a competitive player. One that likes to watch numbers go to the max. There’s nothing wrong with that, mind you. I’m not criticizing. But competetitive players are a minority in ARPGs.
The vast majority are casuals and mostly just do the campaign. These don’t care about the BiS RNG because they’re never affected by it and the drop rate until early monos is plenty generous to them.

This is another type of player. The one that likes to make multiple alts and experiment. Usually they don’t chase BiS because they keep having new ideas of things to try out. They even rarely reach level 100.
It’s possible that the 2 types sometimes overlap (you’re obviously a case for it) but that’s rare.

This does make you more firmly planted in the first. The vast majority of altoholics just want to get the build running. If they hit empowered monos it’s already worth it. They push it until they’re happy with whatever personal goal they have, but it’s never not worth trying new builds. Even unsuccessful ones. As long as it’s fun.

BiS means getting perfect rolls as well. Of course you can have whichever runeword you want not have perfect rolls. It works fine. But absolute BiS is near unattainable. In D2, in PoE, in LE.
As for having imperfect versions attainable, so does LE. It’s called 0LP. You don’t need LP to get builds working. In fact, it’s a lot easier to get baseline gear to get your build working in LE than it is in D2/PoE.

Just a small correction: Malachai isn’t the end of the campaign, Kitava is, at act 10.
Otherwise, yes, you are correct. In almost all ARPGs (and many other games that have a endgame post-campaign or similar) the majority of players doesn’t even finish the main campaign.

I would just caution there on self-selection bias. The community for D2 is going to be comprised mostly of folks not representative of the average players. Take us, for example - as people who are visiting a forum relatively often (or even at all) for an ARPG game which has had over a month since its last release or major cycle update, we’re in the extreme minority of players. Even just the collection of the average opinions of forumgoers at this point via polls, while much much better than nothing at all, is representative of the opinions of far less than 1% of all players, and a very specific niche of those players as well. Which is fine, they’re the ones that keep the community going and it’s not like I’m one of those blaming EHG for listening to them / us (what else are they supposed to do, exactly). But we and they do need to be aware of the self selection bias which can lead to a perception of an opinion or perspective being common when instead it’s just common within the niche we are in. True in all things of course.

Thanks for the correction on Kitava, as indicated I never even got close to that far so I took a stab. Not sure if they have an achievement then for campaign end, but regardless it’d be even less than that 23% for sure. Not that it’s anything unique to POE, the entire point of BG3 is to finish the campaign and experience the story, that’s the whole draw and it’s the game of the year unanimously for 2023. Yet only 21% of players actually finished the game.