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Last Epoch Harbingers of Ruin makes essential changes to Diablo rival

The Last Epoch Harbingers of Ruin season is set to arrive soon, and developer EHG reveals all the major upgrades coming with patch 1.1.

Excellent Diablo 4 rival Last Epoch makes essential changes for its second season and patch 1.1 update - A figure in a metal helmet with a glowing purple visor.

If you’ve been seeking an alternative to Diablo 4 and Path of Exile, breakout 2024 ARPG Last Epoch is well worth your attention. Launched fully in February following a long early access run, the Eleventh Hour Games RPG firmly staked a claim to the throne with its rewarding, varied character building and systems so satisfying Blizzard has adopted several for the big Diablo 4 Season 4 rework. Now, the second season is about to start, and the Last Epoch Harbingers of Ruin update brings some essential upgrades to the table.

The new Last Epoch cycle is set to arrive on Tuesday July 9, and EHG has packed in plenty of additions for Last Epoch patch 1.1. In the first of two blogs, the developer details all the shiny new features coming with the second season of the RPG, and there’s a lot to look forward to, whether you’re a returning player or coming to the game for the first time.

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First and foremost is the evade mechanic. Featured in Diablo 4, Path of Exile 2, and Lost Ark, the ability to quick-dodge on all characters has become somewhat of a staple of the genre, and was notable by its absence in Last Epoch. Not any more; all classes and their masteries will now have access to this fast, short-distance movement ability, which starts with two charges on a four second cooldown that lowers gradually as your character levels up.

“It’s important to note that evade does not grant any immunity frames,” EHG notes. “It lets you more easily avoid enemy attacks, but you are still vulnerable to damage.” It’s designed to allow all characters to have a baseline mobility option, while still allowing more powerful movement skills to feel worthwhile for their range, utility, or safety. If you don’t feel it’s necessary in your best Last Epoch builds, however, certain items will give you the ability to swap it out for a different item – the Carcinization of Momentum ring, for example, replaces it with a ‘Summon Crab’ skill.

Last Epoch Harbingers of Ruin - New unique ring Carcinization of Momentum, which transforms your evade skill into a summon crab one.

Next is a new random encounter system. During both the campaign and the Monolith of Fate endgame, you’ll encounter Nemesis enemies, which you can either challenge to claim their items should you defeat them, or empower. Choosing the latter causes the enemy to flee after you defeat it, then return later with upgraded versions of the items it carries. You have the ability to do this twice to create some really powerful gear, or you can also banish a Nemesis entirely if you’re not interested in what it has to offer.

The eponymous Harbingers are an addition to the endgame that you encounter as you progress through the various timelines of the Monolith. Defeat them in all of the ten timelines and you’ll unlock the ability to challenge the faction’s leader Aberroth, the first Last Epoch pinnacle boss.

In our Last Epoch review, I specifically noted that this was an element EHG needed to build on post-launch, so seeing it arrive with the first new cycle is very welcome. Fighting the Harbingers will also rank you up with a new faction, the Forgotten Knights, which you can join in addition to your choice of either the Merchant’s Guild or Circle of Fortune.

Last Epoch Harbingers of Ruin - A large demon clutching a flail stands atop a giant monolith.

EHG has also reworked the way bosses take damage, replacing their prior damage reduction mechanic with a new ward system that gives them bursts of shielding at certain health points. The studio explains that this should still give bosses “a better opportunity to exist and fight back,” while ensuring that “higher DPS builds will still kill bosses much faster than lower DPS builds, but in a way that doesn’t suddenly make bosses sponges for higher damage builds.”

Elsewhere, a new Glyph of Envy has been introduced to help characters after your first to zoom through timelines more quickly. A new Harbinger’s Needle idol can be equipped, which breaks but also grants additional Gaze of Orobyss stacks when defeating a timeline boss, allowing you to build up your corruption even faster. Last but not least, patch 1.1 introduces 30 new unique items to discover, which should help shake up your build potential dramatically.

Last Epoch Harbingers of Ruin - A player fights one of the new Harbinger bosses.

There’s a lot to look forward to when Last Epoch patch 1.1 Harbingers of Ruin launches on Tuesday July 9. That’s not all, however; EHG teases that even more quality-of-life upgrades are on the way, which will be revealed between now and launch. We’ll bring you all the details on those as they come, but it seems that we’re already spoiled for new features and I’m very excited for when it arrives.

Trying to decide which class to play when the new cycle arrives? Our Last Epoch tier list is a great place to start, especially if you’re jumping in for the first time. If you can’t wait until then, here are the best games like Diablo to scratch that loot-grinding itch.

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