As Diablo 4 and Path of Exile continue their everlong battle at the top, Last Epoch is looking like the biggest challenger to the ARPG crown. Currently in Steam Early Access with its 1.0 launch scheduled for February, Last Epoch has already been turning heads, and developer Eleventh Hour Games outlines some more of the big updates coming with the game’s full release.
Last Epoch promises to be that perfect halfway house between Diablo 4 and Path of Exile, the middle ground between two of the best RPG games. In recent months, some of the biggest Diablo and PoE streamers have given Last Epoch its fair shake, with many remarking on how impressed they are with its level of quality so far. Now, as we approach the full Last Epoch release date, we’ve been given a look at some of the upgrades in store.
Last Epoch 1.0 is bringing us the final two masteries – the 15 specializations that branch out from its five base classes – in the Warlock and Falconer, which are set to be revealed in January and February respectively. However, Eleventh Hour is also planning a hefty rework for the Shaman. “We’ve heard all of the feedback regarding the Shaman mastery and agree,” it says, and will be “giving this mastery some much-needed love, helping to bring it up to par.”
This starts with the reveal of the new Tempest Strike – a melee skill that has a chance to trigger elemental storm spells on hit. In its new 1.0 form, it becomes a “powerful, high-cost combo ability” that creates icicles, tornadoes, and lightning rings one after another, with the ability to specialize into each of these elements or remove them from the cycle in return for other benefits. That should make it far more consistent, and a lot more fun to build around.
Beyond that, Eleventh Hour also outlines changes to two endgame systems – Echo modifiers and corruption. Echo modifiers increase enemy power in the endgame Echoes in various ways, typically in return for bigger rewards. Corruption, meanwhile, is a related mechanic that is encountered when defeating specific enemies within Echoes – the spread of corruption increases monster health and damage, but also ups potential experience gains and improved item rarity on drops.
However, the developer explains, “We want to focus on enemy power coming less from the modifiers themselves and more from the inherent strength of high-level enemies and corruption directly,” stating that the goal is “primarily to achieve a more predictable experience in high corruption timelines.” As such, modifiers will now have shorter durations that cap at a maximum of three Echoes, and will no longer scale with corruption or their distance from the center.
Corruption meanwhile has been fairly dramatically boosted, taking the power from those modifiers to make it the primary method of difficulty scaling during Echoes. At low levels, the change is minimal, but at higher corruption Eleventh Hour has boosted the corruption multipliers for enemy health and damage to nearly double their old values. It will also now boost the total number of unique item drops, and directly increase the chance for legendary potential on each of those drops.
“We want to ensure Last Epoch has the best launch it can for everyone, and we’re working hard towards that goal,” Eleventh Hour concludes. It also shares a look at the reworked lighting system, which includes much more accurate shadows, and its new ‘scene variant system,’ which enables dramatically different visual templates to be applied for far more visual variety. All in all, I can’t wait for Last Epoch 1.0 to arrive – it looks better every time we see it.
Take a look through more of the best games like Diablo if you just can’t get enough of that loot grind. Or, if you’re still enjoying Blizzard’s second season, have a browse of the best Diablo 4 builds for plenty of new ideas.
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