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This game is great, but makes the exact same mistakes as PoE, just in a different way. (Long read warning)

Just for background on me, I am a Softcore PoE player that started in HC in 3.0 then moved to SC in 3.4 to push endgame with thousands of hours in the game now and consistently make it to T16 maps early in day 2. I have played looters for pretty much my entire life and I enjoy games with a grind component, whether it be looter shooters like borderlands and Destiny 1/2 or ARPGs. I usually have about 15-20 tabs open with various informative YouTube videos, guides, or Twitch stream so even when I am not playing I am still listening to people talk about the games often. I bought this game on May 29 and put about 45 hours into it, and was in the top 25 of HC solo ladder with a Bleed Dagger Dance BladeDancer for a few days although I know its easy on patch reset to enter the ladder. Then I heard about the VisionGL tournament that started on the 4th, played about 45 hours in that and finished in 5th. All that to say this feedback will be from the perspective of someone who hard grinds and understands ARPGs extremely well and has no problem going outside the game to learn. Also I want it to be known that as a PoE player, I would love for this game to become great like PoE as I hope to grind both of them for years to come.

Mob density- PoE often gets bashed for the raw amount of monsters and screen effects in maps. While Last Epoch doesn’t spam your screen with monsters ALL the time, empowered monos still have a ton of monster skill effects. What my main concern is though is while there are far fewer monsters than PoE, some of the monsters in this game are GIGANTIC and regularly block my character HP bar and the area around me. As the tournament was Sentinel Rive, I was playing a melee character, and even just having moving closer to 2 or 3 scorpions rare mobs would often mean I had no Idea what was happening even when they weren’t attacking. Having less mob density doesn’t matter when fewer mobs still cause the same amount of screen clutter around my character.

Mob hitboxes and body block- The monster hit boxes in this game are ATROCIOUS. Scorpions, Frost Wyrms, and Centipedes are absolutely awful to fight to due to me having no idea where the hitboxes start and end on their deceiving models, especially when they do attacks that cause their bodies to reel back and forth like the Scorpion Tail Smash attack where it winds back and then lunges forward with its tail to slam the ground. This means that unless you have a way to move through enemies or have a movement skill up you basically just have to hope you are tanky enough to survive while you hold left click and pray their bodies line up perfectly that you can slip through them. Or, you stack enough damage to instakill the enemies so they cant block you anymore, thus making stacking damage often more beneficial than making a tanky character, because not letting enemies surround you through pure DPS means DPS is also the best defensive option just like PoE often gets called out for.

Mob packs mechanics- This is actually something that PoE sometimes still does, and usually it gets removed fairly quickly when it slips through on new enemies because it is so seen as a BS mechanic by the playerbase. What I mean is when a pack of 10 mobs, often ranged, all attack at the exact same time when your player enters the attack range. This means that most of the time you either get hit by all of them at the same time or get hit by none of them, essentially making the monsters one shot you with non-telegraphed autos or not being threatening at all. This inherently punishes melee as ranged characters have more time to either evade the attacks or to just straight up kill the mobs before they get a chance to all use their attacks. PoE has since changed monster AI to stagger attacks from mobs in packs so they attack in staggered patterns, make the damage take longer to apply so you can react to the damage instead of being “one-shot” by a large pack of monsters. I think most people would agree non-telegraphed “one-shots” are a constant detriment to players enjoyment in ARPGs because they is no skill involved in dodging or mitigating the damage.

Melee vs Ranged- A tale as old as time in ARPGs, but playing a melee character in this game feels SO BAD compared to ranged so far. I have played 2 Bleed Dagger Dance BladeDancer, one to 69 in SC and the other to 81 in HC, and my tournament Sentinel Rive character and I honestly didn’t even notice all the mobs attacking at the same time on my Bladedancers because they were easy to dodge due to my range. Also, stunning high damage mobs feels more dangerous than not stunning them because immediately after being stunned the go back to the start of their attack, often times meaning you don’t get the built in downtime after the monsters finish their attack that is prevalent with high damage telegraphed attacks. Seriously, go fight the soul lizard enemy thing that spews what I’m assuming is necrotic gas in a small AoE in front of him. Stunning them has almost gotten me killed so many times because they will get stunned and then immediately lock on to you again and do the attack at you instead of being locked in place during their long animation. This is exacerbated by the MASSIVE hitboxes enemies have, so often if you are fighting them they will instantly retarget you and if you are melee and have more than a few enemies around you, you often aren’t able to move away from them.

Crafting- While the crafting in this game is less RNG than PoE, the fact that after about 40 hours of a character the only thing worthwhile to pick up is exalted bases. Since crafting is so “easy”, its not hard to make a t17-t20 item and then from that point the ONLY items that matter are exalted items. This makes the grind for items feel bad because you have to get lucky by getting a mod you need on the right base, which means you can pretty much hide all non-exalted drops, or even exalted drops on bases your build cant use well. Except for the ones that you want to shatter for affixes… that you will only use on the exalted drops.

Also while I once again only have about 90-95 hours in this game, having a nice base drop as rare is often worse than if it dropped as magic due to crafting being easy. If an item drops as rare with 2 t5 affixes that you need, but then has 2 other affixes that don’t work for your build, the items has extra instability from mods you don’t need. You then have to use the rune that removes an affix, and adds more instability, and hope you don’t remove the mods you need. Where as if an item drops on a good base with just 1 T3 mod that you need and nothing else it’s pretty easy to just spam craft on them until eventually you get lucky and the item doesn’t fracture after crafting 10-15 times on it. This is made even worse by the fact it seems like runes drop infrequently, where as amassing affix shards is incredibly easy so the opportunity cost seems heavily favored towards towards crafting from low rarity up, devaluing rare drops in general. Even just removing all affixes from an item has a chance to make a white item START at 15 instability, which may be my inexperience showing, but serves no purpose as it doesn’t seem like high level bases are rare or anything. I just do not see a purpose to the rune at all when you could just make the filter show those bases when they drop as white and have 0 instability.

STILL crafting- I actually brought this up as a question in the last Dev Stream, but having so many resistances to balance seem… excessive. Because there is so many, even when you get a great item, you often can’t wear it for hours because you then need to change your entire characters gear to be able to wear it and still keep max res on all 7 of them. This is especially bad for when Multiplayer come out, people will trade the item they found away for currency they could use now to by and upgrade instead of waiting the hours until they have other pieces of gear to be able to use the one piece of gear they found earlier. PoE had this exact same problem for years and still does to an extent, but harvest even in its now nerfed state has fixed the issue of balancing resists semi-quickly due to being able to switch resistances on an item.

Mono UI- I am enjoying the new monos, although they are essentially a mix of Synthesis and Delve league from PoE, which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing as long as its done well. However, people that push hard in SC tend to not care about anything except the rewards from the particular echoes, and while I have heard that there is maybe a search function for echo rewards coming in a later patch, I think it would be a good idea to make the reward icon on echoes like 3 time size they are now so it is easier to see what the rewards are on the echo. I basically have to hover over every single echo to see what their rewards are because the reward icon is tiny.

Maybe it’s just me, but I could LITERALLY not care any less what type of tile layout an echo is. I’m not running it for any other reason other than the rewards it gives me like items and stability, thus these need to be easily seen and recognized so I dont have to hover over the 50 unrun echos in the mono I’m doing just to be sure I didn’t miss some reward type I’m searching for. This means that instead of taking time to buy some sextants or scarabs like in PoE, I am wasting my time reading all the unrun echoes for the 50th time because I’m paranoid about missing good rewards.

Auto stash tab sorting- please add “stash tab affinities” like PoE has. It is slightly less needed than in PoE because PoE seems to need more stash tab scrolling than this game, but it is maybe one of the most asked for inventory management QoL’s in any ARPG I have ever seen. They even have the icons you can label your stash tabs with, just add the auto dump feature so you can dump all your idols or helmets you wanna keep and get back to mapping instead of scrolling through the numerous stash tabs.

Environmental hitboxes- This one I have noticed while pushing arenas in particular. Often there are pillars/rocks/walls that have a hitbox for the character movement, but enemies can shoot right through them with arrows or whatever ranged attacks they are using. This feels awful as you essentially have to memorize what environmental objects you can hide behind and what others are essentially environmental “flavor” additions. I would rather not have the objects on the map at all so it is easier to see incoming attack from enemies behind them or from ground targeted skill indicators that are 4/5 of the way in an object and so thus are essentially invisible if you are standing on the 1/5 of the ability indicator that IS actually seeable. This is essentially just added screen clutter that doesn’t really need to be there. Either give them proper hit boxes or have an option to turn them off in setting so players that don’t want to see them can turn them off to help clear up some of the screen.

That’s all for now, I actually have even more feedback to give, but I’m waiting a little longer to give it because this post is already huge and I want more time to think how I wanna phrase my points and play the game more to see if those issues might just be caused by my inexperience in the game. And I want to be clear that even with all these issues I listed, I still think the game is a steal for the price, especially since it comes with the same amount of “cosmetic coins” or whatever they are called. And since as an ARPG fan I woulda picked this game up eventually I essentially got the game for free since I’m sure I would buy at least 35$ worth of cosmetics over this games lifetime. I also understand this game is early access and thus is unfinished and some of these should be lower priority than others, but the need to discuss them is still there. Happy grinding!

7 Likes

Great feedback I just wanted to touch on this point because it’s one of the things about this game that makes me scratch my head and I even commented about it to Mike on the last dev stream as well.

Adding more pieces to the puzzle of the resistance gear tax doesn’t make it more interesting. It also means that when trading to others it’s less likely they want those specific resistances and presents hurdles there.

I really wish they just condensed it into elemental (which they already have a affix for), physical and something to combine void, poison and necrotic into. You can raise the amount needed for each or have negative mods throughout the story like PoE to account for the change or just change the amount given by the affixes.

Feels like this game doesn’t have as many commonalities in gear for different builds like PoE has which lends itself to trading. There isn’t anything in LE that I feel is like a T1 Life roll with high resists in PoE. You get something like that in PoE a lot of people will want an item like that might not be top tier but there will be high demand and easy to sell. Having 7 resists just exacerbates this kind of issue I feel.

3 Likes

A counterpoint question is: Are you investing in health regen and health survival stats on melee characters, not just resists? The main difference in feel is the defensive layer factors. Much like PoE, LE has that also, just done differently. It does not take a lot of investment the suffixes of helm, gloves, and boots will transcend a character from the squishy to near-immortal status.

Mob density: I’d agree that some consideration for visual clarity with large mobs (whether they’re large by default or from enraging) would be a positive.

Mob hitboxes: I don’t find this problematic (though I also don’t care about arena, so I wouldn’t dispute if it’s a significant problem there). Movement skills should be useful for more than just speeding through zones/echoes.

Mob pack mechanics: Again, not something that I find troubling, though maybe I’m just traumatized from dealing with gloams so much in D2 :sweat_smile: I find the coordinated attacks make it easier to scoot-and-shoot/stab than POE’s constant waves of attacks.

Melee vs Ranged: The hitstun resets can get annoying. I wonder if it’d be possible to link hitstun duration to the enemy’s original attack animation length for cases of interrupting an attack (though that might cause other issues for PvP in the future, it might be better to fix the existing concern than get caught up in future possibilities).

Crafting1: I mean, only crafting on items that offer a good starting point is going to happen no matter what, as far as I can imagine.

Crafting2: As for magic items being more exciting than rares, I don’t have a problem with that. It’s similar to how D2’s magic items could occasionally be better than rares (like getting +6 skills/+40 IAS amazon javs). MF being more of a choice than just “stack on as much as you can” is fine, in my eyes.

Crafting3: No comment on potential trade implications since I don’t do multiplayer.

Mono UI: More visual clarity for the echo reward icons would be great.

Auto stash tab sorting: I don’t see this as a critical thing, but it would be nice to have, certainly.

Environmental hitboxes: I don’t mind movement obstructions (see previous stance that movement skills should be useful), but I would be in favor of some kind of transparency if an enemy is attacking from behind them.

While i agree on this part partially:

The rest of your statement is an issue that doesn’t even exist in LE…

I am not sure why so many people make a problem out of resistances. There is no problem with resistances in LE.
They are just another defensive layer, like health, ward, block, armour, dodge etc.

You do not need to cap them, and you can even ignore them on some builds.
And even if you don’t completly ignore them, just getting one affix to get some 20-40% is sufficient alot of the times.

Surely you can aim for a 50-70% on almost every build as a long term goal, but it is not mandatory.

But the last 10-20% before capping are actually not that strong in LE, because how the whole resistance/enemy penetration system works.

Resistances in LE are majorly weaker and less mandatory than in PoE or GD for example.

2 Likes

My Sentinel Rive had 47% DR from armor, 51% block chance with 37% block effectiveness with I think ~2400 hp, with another conditional ~12% dodge chance from “dodge after potion use” and a ton of leech and leech rate increase from VK class and Anamoly along with 5 points in the aegis node on VK. I have no idea how tanky that is compared to other melee as I don’t have another melee champ to compare it too, but it’s not like I was dual wielding or anything like that increasing my damage take.

As former PoE 10k hour I can see your concerns in a few of these points. The biggest thing I think PoE veterans accidently overlook is how many years PoE has of development on this game. Things like hitboxes, models, layouts, etc aren’t the highest priority at this stage but are very likely on the development radar. This game literally just got the ability to move/rearrange stash tabs as a big QoL step. Tab affinities are amazing QoL but are definitely behind finishing the storyline, all the classes and multiplayer at this juncture. Hopeful to see more finesse added for stash searchboxes, filtering and echo web visibility. The island rewards icon should be far more prominent compared to island size and contrasts for unique/set/exalt coloring should pop out more. The purple for exalts especially should be near impossible to overlook considering how important they can be.

Regarding resists these are far easier to deal with in the late endgame as a single T5+ suffix will either cap you or get you close enough to get by. Being a beta I think many don’t really grind out blessings yet and that is another spot where getting a high roll can completely mitigate an entire resist type. I do however like the idea of adding some kind of “anti-elemental” grouping for the void/poison/necro stuff where u can get single but lower rolls that cover all the ‘chaotic’ types or whatever their lore label should be.

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Okay, here is how health regen works in concept. This is the standard method I use in all my builds. Is a minimum of 10 points of health regen per 10 levels so to have a level 100 with at least 100 health regen. The one build that struggles the most is my BD, it has a current 58 health regen and it gets popped like crazy from small hits.
I have a Pally Rive build with similar stats but has over 900 health regen when buffed. You will notice the difference. I face tank almost everything. Leech is too spiky and requires to be hitting something. Off screeners or effects like spires leech does nothing for.

Can you explain why the last 10-20% of resistances aren’t as strong? I honestly didn’t even look up the resist calcs or heard a streamer mention them. I just assumed capping them was best for defense, although I ran with 50% poison res for a while on my Rive tourney character before I found a shield with T7 all res. Since I plan on using this game to get my HC fix since I don’t do it on PoE anymore I will just always try to max them.

And I do agree the trading statement for not having an equivalent to T1 life and high resists is kind of out of place for this post, but I still think it’s worth a mention. I don’t know if I necessarily think it’s right nor not, but it is an interesting point that I haven’t really thought of before this.

The ‘chaotic’ category of damage type has been suggested before, the issue is phys and poison are physical. So for that only void and necro are considered ‘chaotic’.

I touch on the PoE time development in my last paragraph although I guess not explicitly mentioning PoE. I’m aware the game is technically in beta, but that doesn’t mean I can’t mention them now. I even say that I’m sure some of these are lower priority then maybe some other, more impactful problems that I just haven’t run across yet, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to have them. Especially when I feel like its a pretty obvious problem that maybe should have just been done right the first time instead of accruing the so called “tech debt” that PoE has where they need to go back and fix things years after they come out. Fix them now while in beta instead of letting them exist and frustrate the players playing now. PoE gets bashed for not using “good” solutions to temporarily fix something, but instead waits until they have the “perfect” solution, and players suffer for it harder now while waiting then they really need to.

Edit- just realized I didn’t have anything about PoE in the last paragraph, so decided to make this edit and leave my wrongness for all to see. But I am aware of how much time PoE has had to develop into the game today, but that’s all the more reason why LE should learn from PoE and not make these mistakes to begin with, so that they don’t need 5 years of development to make the game good. They can just implement the lessons from PoE’s mistakes and skip a lot of the trial and error they would have to do if there wasn’t a game that had already done all the trial and error for them. Now I’m not saying they should just copy PoE mechanics to fix the problems, but they should implement systems that are already using the lessons that PoE has taught us to get it right the first time. Or at least better than they otherwise would have.

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It’s less a case of the last 10-20% aren’t as strong and more a case of every % of resist always results in that much less damage taken. Mobs penetrate % resists naturally based on their level, which caps out at 75. If you have 75% resist, you take at most 100% natural damage in any given 75 or higher level area. If you have 50% resist you’ll take 125%. All of that means each percent is worth just as much as the rest, which can easily give the impression that the last few points you’re missing don’t matter if it means upending your build.

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Resists cap at 75% just like most other games.
Enemies have innate resistance penetration equal to the zone level up to 75 max pen.
The resistance cap is calculated before the penetration is applied so on zone level 75+ your total max resist will be 0. Monsters in the game are balanced around this system (so are weaker in general than PoE). This means that having less than capped resistance will result in less increased damage taken compared to a traditional resist systems.

To make an example for clarification, in PoE you will take about 4% more damage at 74 resist compared to 75 resist. In LE, you will just take 1% more damage.

Resistances are still at the top of the defensive stats because they mitigate both hits and dots. Most other defensive layers do nothing against dots.

and with the last changes (removal of set-res affixes, increasing and adding more res implicits, incresing rolls of res affixes) its much easier and cheaper to get capped res.
i think what heavy mentioned might be true before these changes.

edit: but also depends on the build and your other defensive layers and how they interact with each other, so it depends.

I poorly worded my self here, but as the others already pointed out and explained.

Resistances work slightly different in LE comapred to other similar games, because the enemies penetrate resistances.

What i mainly meant is, don’t focus that much on trying to forcefully cap resistances.

For example if you have an item with an resistance implicit like Solarum Greaves (up to 45% fire resistance) and a T5 elemental resistance affix (up to 20%), it’s not really worth getting that last missing 10-20% resistance with another affix.

If you instead get another defensive affix that’s usually worth it more.

People are just focus on capping resistance all the time “because that’s how you do it in other games”.

While i can understand having habits from other games, it also annoys me sometimes, that people just assume stuff in all similar games is the same :smiley:

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In my previous post my problem isn’t capping resists being needed or not or difficulty in capping them if you want to. My problem with resistances in LE is that 7 resists at 75% cap become dead stats to people much easier than PoEs system of 3 resistances at 135% cap.

If I can cap a resist with one piece of gear or close enough then I won’t want to buy any gear with that resist on it or craft with it otherwise I have to change my other gear more to accommodate. If I need 3 pieces of gear or so to cap a resist but there are only three it makes the gear puzzle of resists more flexible and there is more of a chance that any piece I will be able to fit that resist in without overcapping and it being pointless.

In the end I don’t see what advantages this system of 7 resists with low caps has over the 3 resists with higher caps. I don’t find it more interesting and it just causes more issues in my mind.

2 Likes

6 you dont need to cap poison.

The reason that mike gave on stream was the exactly flip side of this. Gear upgrades become less obvious and you need to figure out how to fix it. I do/would enjoy either system but I would be sad to see the loss of damage types for offensive reasons. Void and Necrotic have really cool themes and identities that would be a tragedy to throw away.

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I 100% agree, I usually get around 45 at most the one build that is capped is the druid with its poison res on the tree that I had to take to get to the next tier of points.

Some advantages, off the top of my head:

  1. It increases opportunity cost for affixes (and adds relative value to resistance implicits for the same reason).
  2. It adds relative value to uniques that have special interactions with typed damage taken (orian’s eye being an obvious one in the game’s current state).
  3. It can reduce competition for items in trade, making it cheaper to buy an item with the resistances you want if it’s on the market (or it might increase prices by raising demand for specific resists…markets are weird :sweat_smile:)

How about:

  • Elemental - Fire, Ice, Lightning
  • Material - Physical, Bleed, Poison
  • Corruption - Necrotic, Void

This is one of those things I think Wolcen did well, actually.

The affix that gives these more encompassing resists would probably be lower than than the single ones, but should cover more in total. For example, a Fire Resist affix could give 60%, while Elemental could be like 25-30% (depending on actual balance needs).

I think having so many defenses to cover with 1/3 less total affixes compared to other games is a flaw in LE’s itemization.