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Last Epoch dev plans “two big changes” to policy after player survey

Following a recent Last Epoch survey, the Diablo 4 rival’s developer is going to handle OP build nerfs differently from its previous stance.

Last Epoch survey results - A dark-haired woman in a gold and black outfit.

The most overpowered builds in Last Epoch can certainly be a lot of fun, and developer Eleventh Hour Games has thus far maintained a policy of allowing ‘broken’ builds to run through a full seasonal cycle. It’s long been a point of discussion, with ARPG rivals Diablo 4 and Path of Exile also balancing their own policies on the issue. Following a community survey, however, the Last Epoch team is making a couple of “big changes” to how it approaches balancing for builds that are highly overpowerforming as a result of bugs.

Initially, Eleventh Hour Games maintained it would only fix build-affecting bugs in Last Epoch if they were causing actual server instability or technical issues. Following the Last Epoch survey, however, the team at EHG announced it would be dealing with two additional bugs that were causing incredible power spikes to the Warlock’s Profane Veil and the Runemaster’s Sanguine Runestone in the RPG game.

With over 69,000 responses coming in, EHG praises the “fantastic” turnout, which it notes “is in addition to the many discussions here on the forums and other platforms on the topic.” The biggest takeaway from the responses, as suggested by the team’s prior update, is that when the best Last Epoch builds are being caused by a bug specifically, players would like to see them fixed – and want EHG to make it clear where these were used to climb the leaderboards.

Last Epoch survey results - Graphic showing that 74.3% of players want OP skills fixed in the case of a bug, but 71.9% don't want to nerf ones that aren't bug-related.

First up is whether the team should fix bugs that cause skills or items to highly overperform. “With over 74% of all votes in the survey crushing the other options, as well as in written feedback, the stance from the involved community is fairly clear,” EHG writes. “We should be fixing bugs that cause skills or items to highly overperform, and, as such, we will be doing so. This is a change from our previous stance where we didn’t want to alter balance mid-cycle.” Unsurprisingly, 86.5% of players also ask to be notified ahead of any incoming nerfs.

“On the other hand, if a build is overperforming but not caused by a bug, the feedback has largely weighted towards ‘do not change.’ While not quite as one-sided as with bugs, this is still a fairly strong sentiment from the community with over 57% voting to not make these changes.” As this is in line with EHG’s own preferences, the team will “be avoiding balance changes that are not bug related, even if it’s resulting in a build, skill, or item highly overperforming.”

The responses to bugs that cause skills or items to mildly overperform, conversely, were much more evenly spread. Players in the responses noted that the categorization of “mildly overperforming” is a bit vague, so EHG plans to use “case-by-case discretion” based on the build’s performance and feedback from the community. When no bug is involved, players are much more in favor of not adjusting slightly overpowered builds. “We agree with this stance,” the developer says, “and will not be making balance changes mid-cycle” in such instances.

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Another issue which has left the community divided is whether a nerf should result in a leaderboard reset. With responses split and after much discussion, EHG says, “We will not reset leaderboards in this instance; however, we will instead add information to the entry to indicate when the entry occurred.” This should allow players to identify whether a high score was obtained prior to a nerf taking place. “We decided against a mark on the entry indicating it was an overperforming build,” the team continues, “as we didn’t want these to appear as a ‘mark of shame.’”

It’s nice to see such a strong turnout for the survey, and the team being so responsive to player feedback in turn. “This round of discourse with the community has resulted in some great changes to our stances that we’re quite happy with,” EHG concludes. “It’s with all of your feedback that we’ve made Last Epoch as great as it is, and it’s only by continuing to work with the community and listening to feedback that we’ll continue to improve.”

Keep a close eye on our Last Epoch tier list if you’re looking to make a new character, or find out which of the best games like Diablo you should be playing right now.

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