What Last Epoch does well

I know there’s lots of feedback on the areas of opportunity for the game, I’m sure I’ll have some eventually as well. But I don’t often see feedback on where the game is successful, which is important too. After all, knowing where the game is successful offers the opportunity to provide more experiences like that and serves to point out things to avoid losing sight of while working on improving it elsewhere; these are things to expand on and avoid messing with.

Without further ado, what does Last Epoch do well?

  • Multiple engaging playstyles. So far I’ve tried a melee Werebear Druid, a purely Minion focused Fire Centric Necromancer, and a Cold focused Runemaster with a splash of Lightning. None of them have felt even remotely the same as each other, and I have total faith based on what I’ve seen and heard that Rogue will feel completely different still. My Necro could’ve gone poison, cold, necrotic, or pure physical damage. Could’ve gone with multiple different minion and skill sets totally different from what they’re using. So build variety and providing distinct yet enjoyable play experiences? Check! Not sure how well any of these will or won’t scale into endgame, but as far as at least 1-50 levelling, it’s good stuff.

  • Inventory Management. By providing excellent loot filters, removing incentives to fill your inventory with vendor trash, and having dedicated storage spaces for Idols and unlimited space for crafting materials, you make it so I’m not spending hours of my life staring at similar but slightly different pieces of loot and trying to figure out which one to hang onto and which one to toss. Instead I’m actually playing the game and having fun with it, which is great.

  • Great crafting system, in general. The ability to fine tune a specific piece of gear to be the item you need at the time, the flexibility and power of such systems, and the support runes and glyphs associated with it, all make for a very intuitive and enjoyable crafting system at low levels. The instant access to the forge mean you can snag a piece of ok gear off the ground and make it great for what you’ve got going on at that time. It’s very nice. I have some thoughts on the amount of outcome variance and specifically legendary potential, but I need to play long enough to be 100% certain of my opinions there and also let’s just say this isn’t the post for those thoughts :slight_smile:

  • Meaningful choices without being able to brick a build. Being able to respec passives at minimal cost, but not while out and about, as well as being able to respecialize skills and delevel them as a means of changing build options, all work together VERY well. It means I can try stuff out at minimal risk, and especially as you get to higher levels and are capping out skill masteries anyway you can really play around with a variety of builds on the same character. And you never feel like a character is “bricked”. My cold Runemaster is using 3 skills which weren’t even on my radar when initially planning what I thought would be a cool build for them, because experimentation during gameplay revealed synergies I would otherwise have missed. It’s great stuff, and hits the sweet spot for me of still actually feeling like a build (as compared to a loadout like in some games such as D3), without feeling excessively confining or high risk (as compared to something like PoE).

  • Player vs Enemy Power Level spikes. Obviously this can be heavily impacted by having great twink gear, but generally I’ve found so far that I’ll have times where the characters feel absurdly OP and they just annihilate everything in front of them. And then the balance of power will shift and I’ll find myself in significant danger, or moving through at a much slower pace. Then I’ll get a new piece of gear or key ability or something and the balance will shift back in the other direction. That’s a very difficult wave to achieve, and the game has done it very well in my experience so far, providing rewarding power spikes and enjoyable feelings of absurd power while still providing engaging challenges. Bravo on that.

  • Providing answers to problems I didn’t even know I had. Each of my builds thus far has had a “problem” that naturally arose during gameplay. I am doing an Infernal Shade autocast off Volatile Zombie setup for the Fire Necro, to stack DOTs and Fire Resist Shred. But the Zombies were blowing up, killing enemies next to them, and casting the Infernal Shade on a cluster of enemies still moving to close, meaning it just didn’t stack well or work great. I got Vomit, and now the Zombies and enemies are all coming together in a “front line”, and when they pop the shades are all stacking up on enemies nicely, and the whole build just sings. Werebear I was feeling overly stressed because I always had to keep moving to try to keep Rage up, to prevent it from dropping at inopportune times. Then I got Rage doesn’t decay out of combat, and suddenly life is good as a Permabear. The Cryo Mage right now I’m running into times where I run out of Mana pretty easy, and using Mana Strike to recover can be dangerous, leaving me with spots where I’m feeling very vulnerable. But I’m building to a mana recovery effect on Glacier and I am pretty sure once that hits again everything will just sing. The game does a great job of posing challenges and also providing the solutions to those challenges in a very satisfying way. Tough to really describe, but it’s been a great experience.

  • Environmental Ambiance. I like the “feel” of the different areas and enemies. The sounds and “heft” of the abilities hits at a good spot. Graphically there’s a lot going on for a lot of enemies on screen but it’s easy to read and plays nicely with the terrain and environmental effects in general. The visuals, audio, environments, and ambiance has been great. Again this is through 50, maybe not true for endgame but it’s been good stuff so far.

  • The “feel” of the abilities. Whether cones of fiery death shooting all over the screen from my minions with the Necro, the “crunch” of a maul into a cluster of enemies, or the explosion of ice from Glacier with the Runemaster, things feel satisfying, hard hitting, and enjoyable to use to blow up hordes of enemies. I’ve put more hours into this game than any other since picking it up and it’s largely because it’s just a great time. So kudos for that.

Anyway that’s my thoughts and where I think Last Epoch shines. Not like the game is universally fantastic, plenty of room to improve, and I’m sure I’ll have posts regarding those areas as well. But in general I think the game is awesome and a blast to play, and these reasons are a big part of why.