Mid-Cycle Balance Survey Recap

Hello Travelers,

In between attempting to save the citizens of Eterra, and eradicating them, almost 70,000 of you have joined in with your voices to discuss mid-cycle balance changes. The turnout for this survey has been fantastic; and further, is in addition to the many discussions here on the forums and other platforms on the topic. We want to first thank you all for your enthusiasm on this topic driving it forward.

Today, we want to share the results of the survey, as well as the decisions which have come as a result of the feedback.

For the purpose of reading the below results, the following information can help:

  • Scale:
    • 1 - Strongly Disagree
    • 2 - Disagree
    • 3 - I have no opinion on this topic
    • 4 - Agree
    • 5 - Strongly Agree
  • When we first started the survey, the scale was in reverse. We received immediate feedback about this, and swapped it before too many results came in. While the results below do not reflect this change, we made this change very early into survey so it had minimal impact on the results

Overperforming Bugs

With over 74% of all votes in the survey crushing the other options, as well as in written feedback, the stance from the involved community is fairly clear. We should be fixing bugs which cause skills or items to highly overperform, and as such, will be doing so. This is a change from our previous stance where we didn’t want to alter balance mid-cycle. Now, if it’s the case of a bug, we will be pushing out these fixes in mid-cycle patches.

Mildly Overperforming Bugs

In the case of a bug resulting in a build, skill, or item mildly overperforming, there’s a much less clear stance. From written feedback, it’s a bit clear as to why: What is “mildly” overperforming? Being a bit of a vague categorization, it’s left up to an individuals interpretation.

We have decided in this case to use case-by-case discretion. This would be based on feedback we’re seeing in the community, and just how far the bug results in a power shift. So we may chose to, or not to fix bugs which are ‘mildly’ overperforming mid-cycle and will discuss them as they arise.

Overperforming Balance

On the other hand, if a build is overperforming, but not caused by a bug, the feedback has largely weighted towards “do not change”. While not quite as one sided as with bugs, this is still a fairly strong sentiment from the community with over 57% voting not to make these changes. This also matches our existing stance as well, in not taking too many steps to alter balance mid-cycle. As such, we’ll be avoiding balance changes which are not bug related, even if it’s resulting in a build, skill, or item highly overperforming.

Mildly Overperforming Balance

As one might expect, as the power from something not bug-related becomes less impactful, the desire is even less for changes to be seen to them. Weighted quite heavily towards no changes, we agree with this stance and will not be making balance changes mid-cycle which are not bug related, and only result in the skill, build, or item mildly over-performing.

Mid-cycle Leaderboard Reset

In the event that we release a change or bug-fix which was resulting in an item, skill, or build to overperform, the desire for leaderboards to reset has been quite mixed. We discussed this a fair amount, and have made the following determination: We will not reset leaderboards in this instance, however, we will instead add information to the entry to indicate when the entry occurred. The goal of this being to make the information available to identify entries which may have used a build that has since changed.

We decided against a mark or icon on the entry indicating it was an overperforming build, as we didn’t want these to appear as a “mark of shame”. We felt this was the best way to be able to allow competitive players to continue competing on the leaderboards, without taking away other player’s previous hard work on their builds, even if they were overperforming.

Partial Leaderboard Reset

While the above answer also addresses this question, for consistency we want to show the results of all of your votes here.

Notifications via public posts

To everyone’s surprise, it looks like almost everyone agrees that receiving notifications about upcoming balance altering bugfixes or changes is a very strong desire. As we’ve been showing this last week since we started getting feedback on the survey, we fully agree with this, and will start trying to provide more head’s up when these changes are coming.

Though with this, we will still reserve the right to not provide information regarding the upcoming change if: Doing so would result in players rushing to take advantage causing severe issues, or we could release the fix almost as fast as releasing the notification that the fix is coming

So for these changes, if we feel we can release the information in full about the change, we’ll do so. Otherwise, we may try to be more vague (such as with the Infernal Shade infinite damage bug) to limit its impact before the change, or we may withhold it completely if it’s something which is regularly crashing servers when it’s utilized to minimize its impact until we can get it fixed.


This round of discourse with the community has resulted in some great changes to our stances that we’re quite happy with. The two big changes here being:

  • We will release fixes mid-cycle for bugs which result in an item, skill, or build highly overperforming
  • We will add leaderboard functionality displaying which specific patch, or timespan an entry happened during.

Once again, we’d like to thank everyone for your involvement in Last Epoch, and taking the time to make your voices heard. It’s with all of your feedback we’ve made Last Epoch as great as it is, and is only by continuing to work with the community and listening to feedback that we’ll continue to improve.

Until next time, may RNG be with you Travelers!


This is great! Thanks for also sharing the results!


will we be able to filter by those criteria?

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69k plus. BIG NICE
ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ


At least not initially - we don’t have the space in the scope to fit it in for 1.1, but it’s definitely something we’ll be looking at.


Nice. It would be annoying to reroll mid cycle if your build got nerf


Thank you EHG, for this write up. Outstanding. It is good to see confirmation of the vocal minorities on certain topics.


Appreciate sharing exact results.

Sure but I hope we won’t find ourselves in a situation balancing is all over the place and it is excused with “but community decided not to touch it if not a bug”. It is still an important topic and this only means you need to put more effort into better balance. Lets be honest, currently it is not great.


What is a bug?

Whatever the developers say is a bug of course.

So, balance bug fixes and balance changes are functionally the same thing.

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Uhhh actually bug is pretty clear from software engineering perspective. If your code is not doing what you intended it to do, it is a bug. Doesn’t matter if a number typo or some more complicated logic issue. Balancing is when your code does exactly what you wanted it to do but it is not balanced. Very simply,


Is it doing what it says it should? If not, it’s a bug. DuckWho beat me to it, but confirming from us as well :slight_smile:


‘While the above answer also addresses this question’

the above answers start
‘In the event that we release a change or bug-fix which was resulting in an item, skill, or build to overperform, the desire for leaderboards to reset has been quite mixed.’

Sorry but what? 51.3% of people want partial resets, 26.4% arent leaning either way. And you view this as mixed? Based on your previous read of other graphs, this is very much a strong response for partial leaderboard resets. (Example: Partial resets are more favoured, than not nerfing overpowered stuff is) Your reasoning on this doesnt track with the results, and feels liker you’re just trying to ignore that people want this.

People dont want full leaderboard results, most likely (based on written feedback) because they don’t want their, or others, legitimate non-bugged work removed. People do want partial resets, because they dont want the ladder to just be dominated by, even with added information, runs that cant be reached. It doesn’t matter if theres information on those runs, they’re still gonna be the only ones people see unless they go searching.

The rest of this post is great. The leaderboard stuff makes 0 sense. People clearly want a partial reset, you literally show that result, then say ‘the above answer addresses this’ when it just objectively doesn’t. 51% wanting it, and 26% not caring, isn’t mixed. Less people dont want a partial reset, than dont care either way. And nearly double the amount want a partial reset, to who don’t.

At the very least let us just view leaderboards based on each major patch in a cycle.

The rest of this stuff is good and cool though., Just dissapointed that you’re kinda glossing over the nuance of a full leaderboard reset, and a partial one. This really is just gonna make arena leaderboard meaningless, which is whatever for me, but I kinda assumed you wanted it to have meaning outside of ‘these people had the time to abuse the bug before it got fixed’.


“During a Cycle, you would like us to nerf skills or items that are highly overperforming, even if it is not caused by a bug.”

34% of responses indicated they strongly disagree.

100% of people currently benefiting from broken builds and imbalanced interactions that are VERY likely to be hit by mid-cycle nerfs responded that they strongly disagreed.

Seriously this is like when a corporation investigates itself.

We investigated and found we did nothing wrong.

Of course these people are going to vote to keep their broken builds untouched.

The 20% that disagreed instead of strongly disagreed are probably people who are less reliant on the broken interactions but still benefiting from them.

This survey is basically “Self-report if you’re currently playing an overpowered bugged build, an overpowered but not bugged build, or you already got nerfed”.

Overperforming is overperforming.

Fix it or don’t fix it. The reason for it overperforming is ultimately irrelevant. The whole server stability thing was a one-off and unlikely to ever be the reason something needs to be changed mid-cycle again.

Who cares if something does 100m DPS because of a bug, or because of a poorly thought out and poorly tested skill/item interaction? If it’s imbalanced and overpowered just fix it.

Why are you asking people for permission when so many people are benefiting from and abusing stuff that’s either a bug or just really badly designed? They’re just going to vote in their own self interest.


I propose leaning into ladder resets for bug fixes instead of shying away from it. This can be beneficial for both sides.

Early in this first cycle, with so many bugs yet to fix, I suggest a ladder reset every 2-3 weeks, giving EHG time to develop a suite of fixes to deploy and giving players enough time to develop a character and compete. Ladder winners could get a single cosmetic item reward. The notice for incoming fixes could be posted 3-5 days before the reset so people can perform their final pushes.

As the game gets more stable in terms of bugs, move the reset to monthly and make it a staple of the endgame, but up the reward to a pack or set of cosmetic items. This gives people more time to min-max for ladder but not so long people get bored and stop playing.

More ladder resets are not necessarily a bad thing, as players get more opportunities to compete and prove their skills and theorycrafting. Builds that get changed due to patches get reworked or new ones get discovered and more creativity can occur. With a monthly ladder we’ll get 3-4 chances to compete per cycle. More winners, more playing, more interesting builds, and more bugs fixed.

Ideally there is a historical record of each ladder with the winners/prize shown in a tab on the ladder panel in game, or at least a page on the website/forums.


Now we need a survey for gameplay

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Exp tomes being doubled as echo rewards for Circle of Fortune players was very consistent with the tooltip and description. Going by all the information players had, access to, that was working as intended.

This means there will be cases in which we create builds that will end up going against an intent we didn’t know about until an upcoming fix is announced.

You probably can’t eliminate all such incidents, but giving players time to find the META/Bugs after a big patch before jumping right to the new cycle could minimize it.


Thanks for the Recap, nice to see a Team really listen, and not just saying it look good.
iam quite happy with the results, its what i hoped / expected.

The reason we felt both questions were answered by the one system change was that we feel that having the information with the entries works in both situations. While it is correct that the majority of responses indicated that they wanted a partial reset, we felt that with the system of being able to track when an entry occurred, that would not be the case. So the results are different, the system change / extra information carries over as it supports groups from both questions. I apologize that it felt like we were saying the distribution of responses was the same.


We both know we will end up in exactly that situation though. :frowning:

Balance is a mess and lack of mid-cycle balancing is just going to create heavy player FOMO for the overperforming builds and drive people towards the “abuse early abuse often” mindset with anything new the community finds for broken builds.

I also really hate the idea that you’ll never know if whatever makes a certain build or interaction great is a “bug” or “working as intended” or “working as coded” and so you’ll never know if it’s going to be subjected to a nerf or fix later, or if it’s safe. (Which is just going to lead people to more FOMO and more chasing and more FOTMoment build chasing rather than just … playing what’s actually fun or interesting to them)

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Will the system being implemented, allow us to view leaderboard results based on current patch/remove entries that used the bug?

If not, then I disagree that it supports people wanting a partial reset.