Point of no return when doing Monoliths

So, I’ve unlocked empowered monoliths and have been running for some 30 hours according to Steam now. I’m sure I’m not the only one facing this issue, but there seems to be a point of no return where if you’re unlucky enough to get too many strong modifiers, you’re stuck, unable to move forward because everything oneshots you. Now, I did read a fair share of topics regarding the topic, some as old as 2021 - apparently back then dying would tick down the mods by 1 which is no longer the case, I went in and suicided on some echoes but the mods remained. So did my inability to progress any further. And I payed a great deal of attention - I picked all the least threatening mods, I got rid of them of what I could by doing the optional quests, but the thing is, the reset methods are not nearly enough and mods simply last too long. So my suggestion is, either have them tick down by dying (and missing an echo’s bonus, which should be “punishment” enough - or tweak them to be less brutal or have them last longer. Because no matter what one will hit a point where, due to RNG, too many dangerous mods will have stacked for too many rounds, without a chance to get rid of them. So what’s one supposed to do upon hitting this point of no return? Give up and watch some Netflix instead? Go play a different game? These are the options I’m facing right now, since I can’t get into anything without getting oneshot (and my build can take some boss mechanics you’re not supposed to take and survive, such as Lagon’s laser, albeit by slamming all panic buttons).
And speaking of bosses and Monolith mods, there’s also this to consider: let’s assume we have the same stack of super lethal mods. Bosses can be done because most their mechanics are avoidable once you learn the fight. On the other hand completing an echo with those same mods is completely out of the question.


The solution to that problem is to move to a different timeline where the mods are different and more manageable for your character.

You may also need to accept that you’ve hit your build’s limit in what it can handle and try something different.


Mod difference isn’t really an issue, the rate at which they stack and the inability to get rid of them is. PoE has the same issue, but a simple solution: if a map has mods you can’t handle, you use another map. So if a map has phys reflection and you run a phys build, that’s not an issue, as you can sell it or ignore it and get another one with manageable mods. That can’t be done in LE since you can’t drop mods, nor choose them, it’s up to RNG.
Accept that I’ve hit my build’s limit? My build can be improved, and there are better builds, who would’ve guessed? I’m aware of that. That’s not the issue. Not when there are countless posts, some many years old, from people with hundreds of hours of gameplay under their belt, running the game with 300+ corruption and a lot more deadly mods than me. They described the same exact issue.
And what’s one supposed to do when eventually all of the echos are bricked?

I agree with everything you stated there. What I’ve done twice (especially before trying some bosses which where too deadly with those modifiers) is running the optional objectives. if you complete them, they don’t add antyhing, and effectively substract 1 counter to your actual modifiers. It helps but it’s no permanent solution.

On top of that, i would add that reseting a monolith after killing a boss doesn’t reset your modifiers, which is even more counterintuitive…

Whiel the difference between one echo and the other can be huge with the “wrong” enemy modifiers, you usually already get the sense of echoes getting to sketchy before its too late.

But if you do hit the point where its too much you can try and repeat that failed echo over and over again, the enemy spawns and objectives will be randomized and you might get an easier enemy spawn.

On top of that Quest Echoes, Beacons and Vessels do not add modifiers, whiel still making active modifiers run out.

Especially in Empowered Monolith, where you not really need to do Quest Echoes, they are a great tool to get rid of modifiers.
Otherwise you can always try and spare a Beacon or Vessel that you came across.

EDIT: Another method, especailly on builds where you feel teh difficulty too fast is, to generally aim for Enemy Modifiers that last 3-4 echoes and not 5 or 6 echoes.
This of course is only a preventive strategy


You should be able to clear your modifiers and take a corruption hit at any time in my opinion. I agree choosing correct modifiers is important but not being able to reduce the difficulty without completing an echo is going to create these softlock states.

Imagine I had a level 100 character that’s in the upper 300 corruption on all the timelines because it’s what I use to farm, and I want to respec that character but don’t have optimal gear yet. I would be forced to roll a new character, or spend a few hours lowering my corruption just so I can TRY out a build I found interesting. At least making this process easier by allowing the player to reduce corruption (either temporarily where it could be restored or actually reduced) wouldn’t impact the end game.

I mean, it is though. If your character isn’t powerful enough to handle the combination of Corruption level and mods you’ve accumulated in Timeline A, there are nine other Timelines you can take your character to instead to grow more powerful from.

How exactly is it not an issue of your build’s power when you can no longer progress because you can’t handle a set of mods that have accumulated? If it were more powerful, it could handle them. Because it is less powerful, it cannot. Seems pretty clear cut to me.

Yes, as it turns out, a game mode that scales infinitely eventually becomes unmanageable for every build.

I’m confused that you’re confused by this. The difficulty scales indefinitely. You are always going to “brick” your timelines eventually as you push them further. You do the same things you’d do when you run up against the limits of your character’s power any other time. Farm better gear on a stronger character, make a new build, roll a new character, play a different game.

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Again, not the issue. The issue is is being locked out of specific content very early and without reasonable options to work around it (if you consider playing a different game a reasonable option then we have very different takes on what’s reasonable). There are similar games that, despite also scaling indefinitely (well, almost), do not lock you out of specific content. Greater Rifts and D3 maps are a great example, both system offer more control and are way less subject to RNG than the current Monolith system. I’ve never had to level a new character, let along play a different game, in order to push GRs or PoE’s endgame. In D3’s example, there’s rift fishing, and it really didn’t become necessary until the actual pushing started, which when I quit was around 110-120 solo (I understand it’s easier now). And you had Paragon Levels and gems to guarantee, emphasis on guarantee, progress. PoE handles the endgame in a different way, offering even more ways to progress and never feel bricked - being able to buy maps and reroll their mods suffices as an example on top of the various other league mechanics.
Countless threads made by people with hundreds of hours worth of endgame experience (that’s several D3 seasons) and complaining about the same exact lack of agency is proof that there’s an issue with player agency - it doesn’t help that some build-defining uniques are apparently locked behind bosses that might just be in the Monolith that gets “bricked”.
So I don’t understand why you keep focusing on my build or my character’s strength, I’m new and inexperienced with this particular game (though not with the genre), and my characters aren’t certainly A+ tier. I have no issue in admitting that because, and I hope I won’t have to repeat myself, that is not the issue.

No, it is actually the beginning and end of the issue. Hitting a wall “very early” in Monos means one thing and one thing only - Your build is poor. The only thing that “locked you out of specific content” was you and the choices you made for your character. Make better ones and you will stop being “locked out of specific content”.

Making a better build or doing other timelines are both options that you have to work around it. Both are reasonable.

Then you either never actually pushed GRs or POE’s end game, or you started with builds that were already strong. POE is actually the worst possible example you could have used to support yourself here, because 99% of playing POE is picking which already-proven-strong build you’re going to netdeck and then just painting by the numbers somebody else ran for you.

Yes, that is one of many things that POE - a different game from LE - does differently. POE also has map modifiers that can 100%, irrevocably hard-brick a map depending on your build, like reflect, which LE does not have any of.

Because it’s the only reason you’re having a problem “very early”. The reason I know this is because I’m running around empowered monoliths right now reading zero modifiers on any echo and having no problems, having done the same on over a dozen characters, and the walls I hit are based solely on Corruption level getting too high, not on the modifiers. This is not me saying I am better than you, it is me pointing out how I know that the source of your problem is your build.

And if you want your characters to handle harder content - something they can’t currently do - you need to make them better. That’s kind of how this genre works. You made a build and it hit a wall earlier than you wanted it to and you’re embarrassed because you consider yourself genre savvy. It happens to everybody. Get over it, learn from it, and make your build better. That experience is not a commentary on “player agency”. The agency you claim not to have is found in building a better character.

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You wouldn’t, though. You can use the character as-is to farm the gear, and then use the Arena to level the skills and/or give the build a try before trying to jump into your already high Corruption. Low tier dungeons and unempowered monos are also available.

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I mean those are fair points, but what’s the harm in allowing someone to reduce their timeline corruption by like 50 and clear all modifiers?

An option to give up the mono and start from scratch would be nice if you realy can’t progress anymore. Removing corruption because a player messed up is to generous from my point of view.

Isn’t that what happens if you kill a shade “too close” to the centre?

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Reroll or do another timeline

Short answer is you are sort of screwed. Theres a method posted on reddit you can do maps now and not get the modifiers

Not the greatest idea even posting here and some people as you have seen will just tear your feedback down saying your build is shit but ultimately adding 5x ‘Enemies have more health and damage’ ontop of 300 corruption is pretty ridiculous

Yeah but its actually worse in LE. adding corruption is like adding permanent Delirium layers and then adding triple damage mods. If you do a 100% delirium map plus 3x damage mods in PoE and you can clear it easily deathless you have an amazing build…simply put but in LE you can go from 0 damage mods to stacking 3 in 3 maps

I basically almost completely bricked Spirits of Fire timeline once to the point I couldnt progress until I got a map full of spiders as my Animate couldnt handle spires with 2M hp etc

Yeah but you have to play the game for it and not simply remove the corruption becaus “ooopsy it’s to hard all of the sudden let’s dial down.”.

You are supposed to hit a brick wall occasionally. If you didn’t the game would be pointless. The idea is you hit this place where you feel you can go no further. At this point you start grinding for gear upgrades elsewhere until you are strong enough to come back. You could also try changing your build too - those 20 skill points can make a massive difference to how strong a build is.

How about a “spire of cleansing” node in a timeline, rare likes some other nodes. This node lowers your corruption by a “considerable amount”. This way people have an way to lower the corruption while normal playing. And everyone can just choose to use that node or not. Would that hurt anyone?

I think people are being too harsh in regards to acting like its some mega mistake that you should know better.

the current way that modifiers stack and clear is honestly a bit confusing.

I also think its way too easy to push corruption up, and way to hard to push it down.

Especially now that there is a “Catch up” mechanic.

lets say my build is kinda weak, I can only handle 200 corruption tops, I want to farm orobyss for his items. I do orobyss a few times now I ahve 200 corruption, monos are hard now, and I can barely do them. I want to lower my corruption. Guess my option is fighting this orobyss who lowers it by 5 max while I struggle each and every mono?

okay instead I decide “okay ill take peoples advice and go to another timeline!” kill orobyss a single time, get +50 corruption, thanks catchup mechanic?

I dont think there should ever be a situation where you “brick” a timeline. “Sorry guy who wants to farm boots, you bricked your boot timeline, make a new character” im not sure why this would be an acceptable line of thought?

lowering corruption should be as easy as clicking a button that wipes it. You still have to build it back up, it does not offer an advantage to any top tier player, all it does is aid lower skilled builds/players be able to have more control over their corruption values.

Mike has mentioned easier ways to lower corruption in 0.9.1 on discord, so maybe in the coming weeks/months we will hear more of this.

its my number 1 thing preventing me from playing less then amazing builds, its way too easy to brick your corruption.

I am an Arena player with little Monolith experience, but I did notice the following snippet in the online game guide…

“You can defeat the Shade of Orobyss multiple times to continue building corruption. However, you will need to venture further and further into the timeline to find Shades that will increase corruption. If the challenge becomes too difficult, you can fight a Shade nearer to the center of the timeline to reduce corruption.

Also, this is now a co-op game. There should be no such issue as a “bricked” timeline, since you can seek out friends to help you.

So, here’s a perfect example of a way to completely brick a timeline beyond the point of repair OTHER than grouping up:

The Bowmage Marksman took a huge hit due to a rebalance of Crit Vuln. My tweaked-out min/maxed BM/MM (solo build with a 3LP RoW and a 4LP Arrowguard) used to be able to clear 400+ corruption echoes and shades no problem, and now there is no way in hell to lower corruption because fighting shades near the center to lower corruption by just a few points each time is effectively impossible (it’s a 1hour+ fight and you have to mechanic perfectly or you are one shot)

IMHO, forcing a player to re-roll because that player bricked a mono with modifiers is absurd. That being said, there is NOTHING preventing said player from running other Mono Areas in order to gradually Min/Max and then try the bricked Mono area again at a later time; and I also think LFG is a great way to encourage MP and possibly lower Corruption.

Suggested Solution: Increase the Corruption reduction (I would start the closest nodes at -10 or maybe even -20) by defeating a shade near the center + lower that shade’s difficulty and modifiers for players trying to reduce corruption.