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Last Epoch hides a dangerous secret right at the start of the game

The Last Epoch Cursed Veteran’s Boots are hidden behind a secret wall in the ARPG’s first area, and make the Diablo 4 rival much harder.

Last Epoch masochist mode is back thanks to new item the Cursed Veteran's Boots - A skeletal figure with blue flames in its eyes and a wide smile.

Last Epoch has a hidden secret right at the start of every run, but it’s not for the faint of heart. If you think you’re hot stuff at the Diablo 4 rival that’s already blowing up on Steam, the Cursed Veteran’s Boots are the way to put that confidence to the test. The ARPG from developer Eleventh Hour Games is doing incredibly well on Steam, and despite ‘mixed’ reviews due to server disconnects, it’s certainly caught the eye of many, myself included.

Last Epoch looks to strike that perfect balance between Diablo 4 and Path of Exile, the two biggest loot-grinding action RPG games on PC. Offering more depth and late-game longevity than Season 3 of the Blizzard game but a much more approachable set of systems than Grinding Gear Games’ PoE, our Last Epoch review finds a lot to love about the newest kid on the block, including some rather impressive steps forward for the genre.

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One thing that didn’t make it over from the Last Epoch early access period, however, is the ultra-hard Masochist challenge mode. An optional difficulty setting that could be enabled when creating a new character and picking from the five base Last Epoch classes, Masochist was a more taxing way to play the game, designed for those who want a more classic challenge reminiscent of old-school Diablo 2, a little like the Path of Exile Ruthless mode.

While it was taken out of the game at launch, a message buried among the Last Epoch 1.0 patch notes did suggest that a new item would replace its functionality and that it could be found in the first area. After a little digging (or more accurately smashing), that item has come to light – and it’s very easy to get your hands on, although you’ll want to make sure you bring your very best Last Epoch builds if you’re planning to give it a try.

Where to find Last Epoch Cursed Veteran’s Boots

The item in question is the Last Epoch Cursed Veteran’s Boots. You can get these right from the start of the game, in the first area, The Old Road. Fight your way through the first few enemies and into a cavern, where you’ll pass a bear on the left side of the road. After dealing with them, and just before you walk back out into the open air, you’ll see a row of stalagmites poking up to the right of the cavern exit.

Last Epoch Cursed Veteran's Boots location - A Primalist and his wolf look at a row of stalagmites near a cave entrance.

Simply attack these rocks and they’ll break away, revealing a hidden path. This leads to another bear; defeat it and yet another hidden wall will open in the rock face nearby with a third bear behind it. Put a stop to this final bear and the Cursed Veteran’s Boots will drop on the ground, ready for you to pick up and use.

So what do the Cursed Veteran Boots do? While wearing them, you (and your minions) will deal 50% to 75% less damage, and take 100% to 200% more damage, depending upon the current area level. That’s quite the punishment.

Last Epoch Cursed Veteran's Boots stats - The item, which causes you to deal less damage and take more while worn.

While the boots do offer you a movement speed bonus as consolation that increases as you level up, it’s also important to note that they have no forging potential – so there’s no way to use Last Epoch crafting to make them stronger. It’s even tougher going, then, as you’re effectively also losing the potential of whatever boots you’d normally be wearing.

That makes these boots something to use only if you’re really looking to push yourself to the limit. The Last Epoch campaign can get pretty challenging, especially if you aren’t keeping on top of your elemental resistances, so I’d recommend saving these at least until you’ve already beaten the game on one character – and maybe steer clear if you’re playing on the single-life hardcore mode, unless you truly are a masochist. Good luck.

Trying to get your hands on the best items? Learn how to use Last Epoch loot filters and you’ll be reaping the rewards in no time. We’ve also got the latest updates on the Last Epoch server status and what each of the common error codes mean, in case you’re still running into trouble playing.

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