Trade development update - Introducing merchants guild and circle of fortune factions

Hello Travelers,

We’ve heard you and we have some exciting news to share with you today. You may recall back in December we released our plans for Item Gifting in Last Epoch. Since that time, we’ve been engaged in an ongoing conversation with the community about Trade. Many players expressed they were excited by our decision to champion finding loot, and many others have voiced their disappointment, letting us know that they were sincerely looking forward to trading their treasures in Eterra.

We’ve made it clear in the past that we want Last Epoch to be a place where you can come to slay monsters and find great gear upgrades, and it still will be. However, it is equally important to us that we remain a studio that listens and is grounded in our community.

In short, we want Last Epoch to be the ARPG that rewards you for hunting items the way you most enjoy, no matter which side of the trade conversation you’re on. So, we’ve been hard at work discussing, debating, and consulting with some of our trusted community members, and we’re happy to present you with the following:

Item Factions

We are pleased to introduce you to an early peek at the feature design of our new Item Factions System in Last Epoch. Inside, you will find two powerful factions - The Merchant’s Guild and the Circle of Fortune, ready to accept and reward your allegiance in Eterra.

Along your travels in Last Epoch, you will encounter factions of Eterra’s denizens and may choose to align yourself with them. Aligning with a Faction will allow you to gain both Reputation to improve your rank within that faction, and Favor to spend on that faction’s services and rewards. Climbing ranks within a faction will unlock their unique perks, services, and rewards.

The Merchants’ Guild and the Circle of Fortune are the first two factions that we’ll introduce in Last Epoch, and your choice of allegiance will determine the way your character obtains and exchanges items in the endgame. Each character can only represent and gain reputation with one of these factions at a time, enabling their exclusive benefits.

Characters may swap between factions at any time. Equipping items found while in the Circle of Fortune will require ranks in that faction and equipping items purchased through trade while in the Merchant’s Guild will require ranks in that faction. So, switching between them is more akin to respeccing your character rather than something you’ll want to do routinely.

Details

  • You can have different characters in the same Cycle in different factions
  • Faction reputation is shared account-wide
  • Faction reputation resets each Cycle
  • When a Cycle ends and characters are transferred to the permanent non-Cycle environment, their Faction progress will be carried over



The Factions

Below are a few reward examples you can expect when aligned with the Circle of Fortune

Circle of Fortune is a mystical Faction that had banded together to seek fortune through arcane research and astrology. Aligning with the Circle of Fortune will grant you powerful benefits towards finding more and better items. You will also have the ability to purchase Prophecies with Favor which will bend fate to your advantage and help you find the specific items that you’re looking for.



Below are a few reward examples you can expect when aligned with the Merchants’ Guild:

The Merchants Guild is a prosperous organization that believes in prosperity through commerce. Aligning with the Merchants Guild will allow you to trade increasingly powerful items as you gain reputation and give you access to the Bazaar where you can browse and search for items that other players have listed and list items on the Bazaar yourself. All types of equipment, such as idols, uniques, and even legendary items can be traded with other players if you have a high enough rank, but crafting materials cannot.



The Bazaar will be a new trade-focused zone for players aligned with the Merchants’ Guild. Here you can gather, socialize, barter, and trade your wares throughout the market. Players will search through a variety of stalls for player-listed items, which you can buy and sell for gold with advanced searching functionality, no purchase delay, and no tax on the gold cost of the item.



We’ve heard from the community that sharing items with friends is important to their enjoyment of Last Epoch long term. We agree, and so we are continuing to support Item Gifting between friends and party play regardless of your faction choice. To this end we’re doing two things:

  1. Item Gifting as experienced in the multiplayer tests and in 0.9 will remain. If you are with a player fighting enemies and an item drops you’ll be able to freely give your teammates that item if you wish.
  2. We’ll be introducing a new item type called Resonances that drop when you’ve played alongside a player for a very extended period of time. Using a resonance on an item will enable it to be gifted to that player even if they were not present when the item dropped.

ResonanceExample



Thank You to Our Community

Thank you for all the passion and constructive criticism you’ve shown in these conversations. We’ve been listening carefully, collecting your feedback and creating a solution that champions the diverse nature of our players. We are building Last Epoch for all of you, with all of you, and as ARPG gamers ourselves that came together to make this game, we value your ideas and opinions.

We are very excited about introducing Item Factions and invite you to continue the conversation with us. It’s worth noting that these systems will not be included in Patch 0.9, but we will be aiming to get them into subsequent patches this year. Resonances may be added sooner than Factions on account of their smaller scope.

Still have questions?

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FAQ
  • How will you balance MG vs CoF?
    • We aim balance the two factions so that each feel like viable options and you can choose between them based on which playstyle you prefer rather than which one is optimal. There will always be an asymmetry between them, so perfect balance isn’t necessarily possible, but we do have a lot of variables we can control to try to keep them in line, including the rate at which you climb ranks, the Favor costs of buying and selling various item types, the power and Favor cost of prophecies, and the potency of the various CoF item bonuses.
  • Can I play with opposite faction people?
    • Yes.
  • If I’m MG and I’m playing with a friend who is CoF, can we gift items between us freely?
    • Yes, however items found while CoF that they gift to you would require you to switch to CoF and rank up to use.
    • Items found from monster drops while representing MG can be freely gifted and used like normal and do not have a Faction Requirement.
  • What happens to my gear when I switch factions?
    • You are required to unequip it but it will sit in your inventory and stash just like any other gear that you no longer meeting the equip requirements for.
  • Will Resonances let me gift non-crafting material CoF items to MG?
    • Yes, however it does not remove the CoF Faction Requirement so the MG player would have to switch to CoF to use the item.
    • It also doesn’t matter which faction you were representing when the resonance dropped.
  • Am I going to have to manually store each Resonance in my stash?
    • No, they will be stored in your crafting materials window in a distinct search and sort list.
  • Are there restrictions on which items can be traded in MG?
    • Which item types are possible to be traded is dictated based on your rank in the MG.
    • Initially you will only be able to trade Normal, Magic and Rare items.
    • As you advance in the guild, you’ll be able to trade set items, idols, uniques, exalted items, uniques with Legendary Potential and even Legendary Items.
    • Once fully ranked up, all types of equipment are available to be traded, though each trade will have an associated favor cost.
  • How do I interact with the trade economy? Person-to person? Auction House?
    • Both person to person trading and an asynchronous Bazaar will be available.
    • Person to person trading is mostly intended to be used for trading between friends.
  • How long does it take to fully rank up in a faction?
    • Achieving max rank will likely happen after reaching level 100 if you only rank up your factions with 1 character.
    • Faction progress is shared cross characters in the same cycle though.
  • When can I start earning ranks in a faction?
    • Factions are initially available towards the end of the campaign. However once you’ve already joined a faction on one character their representatives will show up earlier for subsequent characters, so that you can join them more promptly.
  • So if I’m playing CoF and then decide to switch to MG, I can’t use any of my gear?
    • You will need to acquire a new set of gear to use, yes. The most straightforward way to do this is through crafting on items you gamble or buy from the vendor after switching. Nevertheless it will be a road bump and typically switching factions will be more like a significant respec to your character than something you’ll want to do routinely.
    • You can also preempt switching your primary character with another and get started before fully switching.
    • Since items are giftable when found together cross faction, you can also get a jump start from someone in the other faction if you want.
  • What if I want to play both factions and switch regularly?
    • Totally fine, it will mean maintaining 2 different gearsets if you would like to do both.
    • The goal is for most people to pick whichever playstyle they prefer and focus on one faction.
    • There is no intended efficiency gain to be had by frequent switching.
  • Is this the only faction system that we will ever get?
    • We don’t yet have concrete plans regarding additional factions, but we do have more ideas for the system that we’re excited to explore. However additional factions are unlikely to relate so directly to mass item acquisition and are unlikely to be mutually exclusive with CoF or MG, so you’ll be able to join them and gain ranks with them even if you’re aligned with one of those two as well.
  • Is there any way to resell items?
    • No. Items bought through the Bazaar cannot be resold.
  • Can I trade crafted items?
    • Yes, as long as you could trade it before you crafted on it too. Crafting on an item does not change its tradable status.
  • Can I trade crafting materials (e.g. shards, glyphs) and/or keys?
    • No.
  • What is the trading currency?
    • Gold.
    • What about face to face trading, can I use items instead?
      • No. Only gold.
    • Can I drop trade?
      • No. Dropped items are instanced and other players can’t see them.
  • How will the bazaar system work? Will it be easy to find the upgrades I’m looking for (i.e. search function)?
    • Each base type has a stall associated with it. e.g. Helmets, Wands or Idols.
    • Once you find the right stall, all items in that category are available from that one place.
    • You can input very specific search and sort parameters to find exactly what you are looking for in that category.
    • Delivery is immediate once you decide to purchase.
  • Are Solo characters CoF by default?
    • No, they play like normal characters, and will need to join a faction at the same spot in the campaign. However they won’t be able to buy items from other players, so joining MG would have little benefit and we may disallow it.
  • Does direct trading cost favor?
    • Yes, the same amount as using the Bazaar.
  • Is there any way to sell items with a CoF requirement as a MG player at all?
    • No. Items with a CoF requirement can’t be sold.
  • Will gifted items be able to be re-gifted to eligible parties?
    • Yes.
  • Will every item drop with a Faction Requirement on it?
    • No, dropped items only receive a Faction Requirement if dropped while you are representing CoF.
  • Does progress towards dropping a Resonance with a specific player persist through multiple play sessions?
    • Yes, even if they or you are playing on different characters in those different sessions.
  • Can an item be gifted or traded after being gifted via a resonance?
    • It can still be gifted to the original owner or other players it could have been gifted to before. However, like other gifted items, it cannot be sold.
  • What determines what faction rank an item requires to use?
    • The MG rank required to equip a bought item is normally equal to the rank requirement to buy or sell that item type, e.g. rank 1 for normal, magic, or rare items, and rank 2 for set items.
    • Legendary items, and uniques with legendary potential are an exception to this, as they only require the rank required to buy or sell a regular unique of that type.
    • For example, Legendary items require a higher rank to be bought/sold at the Bazaar than they do to equip. This is to prevent you from buying a unique with LP, creating a Legendary with it and then being unable to equip the item.
    • The CoF rank required to equip an item is normally one less than the CoF rank you were when the item dropped, but it is always between 1 and 5.
  • How will the addition of these factions affect the balance of the game as a whole?
    • These factions add a powerful source of items regardless of which faction you pick, and so without further changes they would lead to a dramatic increase in player power and the game becoming a lot easier. To counteract this we will increase the power of monsters and also adjust item drop rates and rewards at relevant levels.

      However, once you have a few ranks in CoF you will have a comparable quantity and quality of item drops as the current game, so that sense of generous item drops will remain intact, and the rest of the ranks will exist on top of that as a deterministic grind towards further improving the loot you find.

      Meanwhile if you’re in MG you will find fewer items than you currently would in endgame, but you will be able to trade for the specific items you want, enabling you to acquire those much more smoothly and deterministically. Selling many of the great items you find will also act as a powerful source of gold, enabling you to either buy more equipment from other players, or to acquire more items to use or sell by spending it in the Vaults of Uncertain Fate.
118 Likes

damn this sounds awesome

18 Likes

pogchamp
I know gifting system is 1st april joke

Honestly it looks like the system might address everything people argued about. The Resonance idea is brilliant, as long as it’s not extremely rare.

14 Likes

What happens when I use a Circle of Fortune character to farm, put the items in my stash, and sell them on my Merchants’ Guild character?

6 Likes

I’ve always been pro-trade but I’ll definitely go Fortune faction.

1 Like

Couldnt be more impressed with what you are doing here. Very well put together. Probably some kinks to work out but really cool idea.

7 Likes

Seems like an elegant ssf and trade solution that also limits new accounts/bot trading a bit… curious how it plays out!

5 Likes

As addressed in the FAQ, you can’t because the items would have a CoF requirement. Items with a CoF requirement can’t be sold at the Bazaar.

18 Likes

I’m stunned for two reasons: 1) I was scared that we were really leaning towards Free Full Trade with severe drop rate impact, given the trade survey. This is absolutely no critique - I can only imagine the concern given the trade back and forth over the last few months that EHG has faced as the devs. It seemed like picking the lesser of two evils from my POV, but I couldn’t figure out a clean or elegant solution. THIS solution is actually quite innovative and I really like it. It does not seem to be rushed, and in this preliminary phase, I have questions, but I’m hopeful.
2) This is still unique, and I think it preserves LE as a standout in the genre, which I love.

Overall, I really really like this direction a lot. I think the same concerns about RMT and bots exist, but to be fair, I do agree with EHG’s stance on this - the sticker tag will dissuade some of that.

Stoked for 3/9.

11 Likes

Yeeeees!!! Great news really like the system

2 Likes

Why? Absolutely nobody wanted that.

OH! I didn’t see the dropdown.
Apologies.

1 Like

I was worried the approach would either be Path of Exile’s miserable experience, or some attempt to appease everyone and thus appease no one, but this is beautiful. I love it, thank you!

1 Like

More because of the trade survey language than anything else - it was kind of a far fetched fear, to be totally honest.

Editing to add: I know the subreddit turned into an echo chamber depending on who was in there and at what time, but some people seemed to really want free full trade. The majority, I will admit, seemed like they did not.

1 Like

this is just excellent way to solve a problem. yea, i like it a lot. EHG are too smart, it’s scary.

9 Likes

Thank you for making this decision. Talking to people in my friends group, most of us will want to go CoF as we really only care about playing with each other as opposed to playing with an auction house. Plus, based on the experiences we’ve had so far with the offline version (pre 0.9), drop rates on build enabling items are high enough that someone in the group will inevitably drop the item(s) you need and, thanks to the new resonance item, we’ll be able to gift those items to the person who needs them.

I absolutely love this approach. It really allows for the best of both worlds that gives more options for people who play together in small groups frequently while also providing options for using an auction house for those who want to play that way. Very well thought out and exceptional work to listen and react to the community!

5 Likes

I honestly love the solution. It’ll be a challenge to keep them balanced, but seeing the effort you guys put, I fully trust you to handle it.

On the other hand, this seems like a significant development. Do you expect any delays for 1.0 release?

1 Like

As someone who was hoping there wouldn’t be more trade than the gifting system, this is amazing. Perfect way to satisfy both crowds. Like always, I applaud your decision making, EHG! ^^ Can’t wait to proudly represent the Circle of Fortune :muscle:

Also, two things:

  1. When the rank 6 reward for CoF says “uniques are twice as likely to have legendary potential”, how is that calculated exactly? Is the chance to have any LP doubled, and then the choice of the amount of LP is the same as without the reward, or is it something different? I know it’s probably very early in development, so I’m sorry if the question is a bit premature ^^
  2. It might just be me being a bit dumb, you might want to remind people in the post that those factions will not be in 0.9, as that wasn’t obvious to me through the post only (unless I misunderstand and they are, but I assume the bazaar alone will take months to develop)
2 Likes