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Multiplayer Progress Update - July

Also see the New Multiplayer FAQ: Official Last Epoch Multiplayer FAQ


Hello Travelers, and welcome to the first multiplayer monthly update!

I’m very excited to say that we’re now at the point that we are going to be able to keep you all more in the loop with regards to multiplayer development. Where before we’ve often relied on “informal” conversations through in-game chat, forum comments, and reddit replies, we are now going to be able to produce regular updates. I will use these posts to keep you up-to-date with not only our current status, but what’s coming next, what risks we currently have, and more. This first post will likely be a bit longer than following updates, as I will spend more time providing a breakdown of what Judd spoke to in the Roadmap to 1.0 post: Road to 1.0 - July 2021 Development Update. So let’s get right down to it.

Current Multiplayer Progress

Playing online

You can log-in, be allocated servers for your play session, and have a continuous online experience all day without interruption. The user account system we’ve had since the early days was built to eventually support our party system, and has been powering our in-game chat for some time. Our QA team is playing Last Epoch multiplayer every single day together.

Gameplay

We put a lot of upfront effort into building tools that enabled us to convert our current campaign, endgame, and quests into being Multiplayer-friendly. We're happy to say we're making very quick progress here and you should see most of the game represented right away in the first Multiplayer test.

Your spells work online, and are fully server authoritative. We have our baseline desync compensation system in place and it works well; this one is very exciting to me since it’s so important for making moment-to-moment gameplay feel responsive. There is a lot to tune in this system and it will continue to receive updates and improvements

Online Inventory

Your inventory works online and saves to your online character, with stashes being a separate global inventory as you’d expect. Loot drops are already instanced. You can store items in your stash and use them across online characters. Items are granting you their stats, for the most part. Gold drops and you store it in a server authoritative manner.

Server authority

All of the features you would expect to be stored and saved online now do so. These are features such as character saves, stashes, and quests. Your party’s data is all controlled by the server. Characters are protected from manipulation, accessible anywhere you log in, and this security paves the way for us to create competitive content like Cycles (seasons) and races. Both player abilities and monster abilities all fully communicate through the server. Player positions are mostly authoritative, with the rest in progress.

What are some of the major works-in-progress for Multiplayer?

Playing online

We need to solidify a strong queue system for login a wider release. We’re optimizing our server size to reduce as much overhead as possible. We’re working on ensuring a stable experience receiving servers at scale. We need to continue to test our “matchmaker”; that is, the tool that gives you a session when you’re playing Last Epoch online. Our party system will need updates as we proceed through beta.

Ensuring we have good tools in place to monitor and track any problems, so we can respond as quickly as we have during Singleplayer releases - this one is quite tricky, but very important to us. These features on top of Server Authority are the most challenging features to prepare.

Gameplay

We are using the tools to finish preparing chapters, monsters, and endgame to work in a Multiplayer format. I’m super confident in this process. We need to continue to tune a few ability types in multiplayer, such as movement abilities and channeled abilities and how they feel online. The same goes for monster abilities - bosses take more work than your average monster. Skill trees need numerous polish passes to make sure all the particularly interesting nodes work as intended - our skill trees are quite a bit of content!

A need for server authoritative quest states initially slowed down our progress on adding content, as we needed a way to change the state of the zones you are in while you are in a party. This is now all functional but there’s a lot of polish work to be done here. We are working on being able to Waypoint to locations so it’s easier to play asynchronously.

Items

While many Unique Items work, others have custom properties that will have to be implemented and tested. Some of our tooling works for this but a breadth of it will be custom work until we catch up to all the items. Idol stats are similarly not fully implemented, but your idol slots unlock during the campaign and the idols themselves are droppable. Crafting has a lot of its code ready, and we need to ensure crafting logic is server authoritative and it will be usable.

There is no trading at the moment. We have the code behind our item system to do this, we just need some additional work to make it happen.

Server Authority

Making sure the player’s position is fully authoritative. Right now it is partially so, but we need to ensure we have the correct logic in place for rollback. We need to keep pushing hard on testing the ability to exploit or have saving/loading errors with your characters’ data, so we never see any issues like a disappearing stash or an item that doesn’t save. We have to keep tuning our desync compensation system so the game feels as good as possible at a high ping - right now, you can get up to 200 ping before having a questionable experience. We are also finishing up our position authority system, but it’s not one of this month’s goals.

On the whole, this is some of the most complicated and long-term work; scaling these services and keeping them secure with minimum chance for error is critical before moving into a wider Multiplayer release.

What are our Goals for July?

  • Ensuring our content, up to reaching End of Time, is polished and easy to play. A major system we are to begin on is Waypointing, so players can play asynchronously more easily.
  • Debugging our party system to ensure play is as smooth as possible. The last 20% is the trickiest.
  • Planning for earlier access to one of our endgame systems in order to extend multiplayer play to make it viable for wider testing.
  • Collecting data. We need to not only be able to monitor and track player activity to help inform good decisions, we need to be able to monitor all of our front-end and back-end systems if we want to provide you a high quality experience like other online ARPGs.
  • Optimizing our server size in order to save cost, and this comes in two major forms: server optimization, and “netcode” optimization. We are profiling our server to reduce its size online in order to allow us to put more servers on a single machine. We are optimizing our “netcode” to significantly reduce the size of the data we need to send between the server and clients, as well as optimize our gameplay code to reduce the amount of computations we send to the server in the first place.
  • Getting our potions and idol systems working more fully, so you can fully flesh out your character (and survive!).
  • Scaling up to approach the ability to test more widely!


On the whole, we have a vision for a format of Last Epoch Multiplayer that we can release to wider testing before we’re done adding all the campaign/endgame content. Many of the goals above will bring us there, and some of them will be ongoing for more than this month. The closer some of these features get, the easier it will become for me to give you a harder date on when we’ll start opening up for some opt-in testing.

In our next update, I will provide a status update on everything I’ve mentioned above, as well as add new features we are working towards. I will also answer questions as I can in the replies below.

Thank you for taking the time to check this update out, and here’s a multiplayer gameplay video to tide you over until next month! Please note that you will find sounds to be a little off in this video.

Learn more by visiting the new Official Last Epoch Multiplayer FAQ

Stanzwar

36 Likes

STANZ! You bringing big news!

Guess A LOT of people will be happy, just from getting any more informations

Keep up the good work! :fire:

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That looks promising! :slight_smile:

super excited about this LETS GO!!! HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE!!! Can’t wait to talk about this in the podcast tonight SUPER HYPED!!!

Oh Yeah. Thats Good News. Thanks for your great work Guys!!!

Oh me like. Me love. :cupid:

Edit: That multiplayer video is mouth watering satisfyingly awesome.

1 Like

What is the plan for what more players in a party do to monsters? A lot of ARPGs increase health, damage and drops, but I’m not really convinced damage needs to go up significantly in a party.

How will enemies scale?
When additional party members join an area monster’s health will scale up per party member. We are not planning to scale damage as this can be discouraging for players who have geared defensively for a solo experience.

6 Likes

Super Hyped!!!

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Very clear and precise update, nice! :slight_smile:
I’ve just read the whol multiplayer FAQ and I must admit I love all what I read!

2 questions!

1st question how will experience ranges work? can someone sit at the start of map soak EXP freely. Do they have to keep up?

2nd limiting the level up particle effects might be nice thing to do now. because in the future i can see 4 players leveling up at same time and all those particle effects popping off at same time be a real FPS killer. What’s your approach to mass spam particles or minions from hindering fellow party members online performance?

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  1. Right now it’s about 2.5 screens worth of distance. We haven’t finalized what our final goal will be here. We’ll put it in the FAQ when we have!

  2. You will see limited VFX/minion from your group members. We want to do this in a way that still looks good while also achieving our technical goals, but performance will matter the most. We have been thinking about this particular topic for quite a long time already and we are very aware of this FPS killing risk :slight_smile:

6 Likes

Will there eventually be the option for non-instanced loot? If all player consent?

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Will there be a way to share loot filter rules with the party. So you can better see items dropping a party member would need.

I already made a suggestion thread about it but maybe also ask here if something like this is planned: Loot Filters in Multiplayer - #3 by Nopileos

Is that an amended end of time or does it relate to the Bazaar?

The gameplay looked decently fluid though. Just wondering how it’s like with 200 Wraiths & a load of Devouring Orbs proccing Future Strikes, chill, etc on everything. And Smites.

It’s not currently planned. What we have planned for loot instancing is in the FAQ

2 Likes

It is not currently planned to share Loot Filter rules, since players have instanced loot.

Good, if Heavy gets non-instanced loot, I want friendly fire.

2 Likes

Please consider implementing it, it’s entirely optional and i would be ok if all active party members must consent!

Other than that i am happy about all that INFO!

  1. It is not the Bazaar.

  2. We’re aware of that situation and one of the other questions I answered here addresses that we’ll be ensuring that your personal experience is a bit less gruesome, both from a visual and technical standpoint. Your friend can still have their silly amount of Wraiths, ideally less than 200 or we’ve added a zero somewhere :slight_smile: