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Numbers, crafting and melee vs ranged balance

Hello, I recently learned about this game and I’m very excited to see new aRPG project. I have finished the demo using both available classes and would like to share some thoughts.

First of all are the damage numbers of the skills or rather a lack of them. It struck me that I could see detailed stats about my resistances, % bonuses to different stats etc. but I wasn’t able to hover over fireball and read “throws a fireball dealing x-y fire damage”. I know it’s a very early version of the game but some skill have very precise descriptions and some have almost none. I’m sure that it will be implemented into the final product but I think adding it to the demo version is not very difficult and it would greatly increase the clarity of some of the systems.

Ok, onto the good things. I love the crafting system in game. Being able to add/upgrade specific mods is amazing and it will greatly improve the leveling experience and allow some low-budget builds to be made. My only concern is looting. During my demo playthrough I spent a lot of time hovering over items to see if they have desired affixes. I can see this being pretty dull especially for poe and d3 players (clear speed meta/picking only most valuable items)

And at last(in the crafting section): Are you planning to add shattering stones to vendor as a way of draining gold?

I just wanted to bring up melee vs ranged balance that no aRPG has ever really achieved. The class-system is much easier to manage than poe-style class building but I still think that much of the weight rests on the enemies and challenges that we face in the game. During the demo I found out that (in like most of hack’n’slash games) the best way to play is to make high-range mage that obliterates everything before he’s in any danger. Playing beastmaster was much more difficult and even though I chose every defensive skill I could, I still had problems staying alive and dealing meaningful damage.

I understand that numbers tweaking in that early stage of development is pointless but I think that melee vs ranged balance can only be achieved by working on many elements of the game (enemies, gear, skills, passives).

Thank you guys for great work, I’m waiting for the kickstarter launch.

Hi there,

I’m really sorry, I happened to be checking threads flagged as Spam and saw that this one had been erroneously flagged. We’re going to investigate what caused a false positive, and until we know I’ll be checking the flagged threads a couple of times per day to restore any threads affected.

Onto your post;

Skill damage numbers: We completely agree the game isn’t providing enough information currently. It can be quite a lot of work to get this working properly, however - an example I’d offer is gear adding flat damage to your spells giving minion-summoning spell tooltips damage numbers in Path of Exile. Obviously summoning a Skeleton does not deal 11-22 Fire Damage to anything.

Item overload: Another excellent point. One conversation we’ve been having is Loot Filters, whether we’ll have them (probably) and how they should be designed. I like Grim Dawn’s, but with our crafting system incentivizing you to care about magic items, it doesn’t really fit our game.

Path of Exile’s loot filters offer fantastic customisation potential. We’re a bit concerned that 1) designing one tends to be too much work for the average player, and, 2) that leads to people downloading filters made by others. While text files are broadly harmless (they can be hosted on dodgy sites / sites with malvertising), it does set a precedent of downloading third-party stuff from non-EHG websites for use in conjunction with Last Epoch. We are uncomfortable with this.

A discussion we’ve had - and I’d like to be clear, we have not committed to this yet - is to have loot filters based around stats. Imagine a UI window with a list of affixes and checkboxes for each one. You’re absolutely right that players often expect ARPGs to be fairly fast-paced and spending minutes at a time standing around trying to discern between piles of loot won’t be received well.

No concrete plans. Agree with the concern, having conversations.

Selling Shattering Stones: We could. I don’t know if this is something we’ve really discussed. I can’t think of any arguments against it off the top of my head. They probably will be fairly common, so they’re likely to be of limited use as a gold sink. But there’s a convenience factor to be considered.

Please be aware that we’re planning on getting Shattering Stones out of the main inventory and into their own storage. When they stop ‘wasting’ inventory space, folks might pick up more of them.

Melee vs Ranged balance: Diablo III gave Monks and Barbarians a passive -30% damage taken modifier to give them more surviviability to compensate for them being up close and personal with enemies. That’s one thing to consider. Another is the class-specific Passive Grids, and perhaps giving melee-orientated classes more powerful options than their ranged counterparts.

Balance is tricky to get right, and not an urgent concern. Worth talking about, though.

Thanks so much for a lot of constructive feedback! Sorry again about the trouble.

nice to reference diablo IIIs barb/monk/crusader damage reduction, but this feels really lazy and i hope that you find another way around such issues. if the game ever gets to enemies hard hitting, it always just turns out either play melee and tank things, or ranged and never get hit, which is a bad gameplay design, just my thoughts.

All I did was offer two examples of possible routes to take; one taken by another game in the genre, and another designed around Last Epoch’s own systems. I just thought of them while responding. As I said; balance isn’t really an urgent concern for this stage of development.

Apologies if I was unclear.

Ranged vs Melee balance has several approaches in end-game, assuming at this end-game, both types deal the same quantity of dps and monsters cannot be one-shot by either on average. A few examples:

  1. Kiting potential for ranged (teleport, movespeed, channeling while moving skills, slowing abilities)
  2. Gap-closers for melee (leap, charge)
  3. Sustain for melee (lifesteal on hit)
  4. Sustain for ranged (reset kiting skills upon being struck)
  5. Damage reduction for melee (more #ofmonsters around you, less damage taken per hit)
Most of these should be considered to make both classes feel balanced. Ranged shouldn't be able to stand still and nuke, as that simply makes them stronger than melee (same damage but greater range is a clear advantage).

However, there are loads of caster fans out there (and that includes me) who enjoy glass cannon builds. This is a type of build currently not viable in any end-game ARPG as far as I know (Grim dawn, D3, and PoE come to mind). However, looking at the melee/ranged balance that is a type of build that shouldn’t be truly viable, unless if you have some sort of party-system with taunting tanks/pets to keep monsters from striking you.