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Highly anticipated Diablo 4 rival details its “genius” trade system

Diablo 4 rival Last Epoch has a great solution to the ever-present battle between ARPG trading and solo play, putting choice in your hands.

As Diablo 4 Season 3 prepares to kick off and Path of Exile’s Affliction league showers players with loot, hotly anticipated ARPG Last Epoch details its “groundbreaking” trade and item factions system coming with the imminent 1.0 release for the Steam Early Access game. By making a distinctive choice between two factions, you’ll be able to dramatically alter how you go about finding your next big upgrade.

Last Epoch, like many loot-driven RPGs with multiplayer before them, faces the problem of how to handle trading while balancing the game’s item economy as the Last Epoch release date nears. Many ARPG fans love the freedom that trading gives, allowing you to swap the perfect gear drop you found that doesn’t fit your build for someone else’s item that does. Others, such as myself, enjoy the excitement of ‘solo self-found’ – only having access to the items you find yourself, making every upgrade feel even more special.

Developer Eleventh Hour Games says it polled its community and “found that these two camps of players are divided shockingly close to 50/50.” Clearly, then, the team needed a solution that would allow for both types of players to have the experience they want – but, crucially, it didn’t want to separate the players, “as this would mean dividing the player base away from each other, increasing overhead for itemization, and balancing what would effectively be two games.”

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Their answer? Item factions. “This system is the result of many years of debating what the ideal trade system should look like in a loot-based action RPG, tons of collaboration with our amazing community, and many sleepless nights in game design meetings with our team,” Last Epoch game director Judd Cobler explains. It’s a mechanic that Twitch streamer CJ ‘Rhykker’ Miozzi describes as “the most genius trade system in any ARPG.”

Upon reaching the great mercantile city of Maj’Elka, you’ll have the choice to join either the Merchant’s Guild or the Circle of Fortune. The Merchant’s Guild is all about trading, and signing up grants you access to a Bazaar that acts as a way to list your unwanted items. Other Merchant’s Guild members can then search for and purchase these, with full item information viewable before you confirm the deal. As you rank up, you’ll be able to buy and sell increasingly rarer and more valuable items in the Bazaar.

Last Epoch trade and item factions - Rank bonuses for the Merchant's Guide, which allows player trading through a bazaar.

Alternatively, the Circle of Fortune follows a creed: “The Stars guide our Fate.” Join them, and you’ll immediately get a 35% chance that enemies will drop twice as many items. As you rank up your reputation within the Circle of Fortune, you’ll get additional improvements to drop rates and affix chances, the chance for items to drop at a higher rarity, and ultimately even the potential to drop full item sets at once.

Circle of Fortune members also get access to Prophecies, which grant certain item drops when you meet the requirements listed on them. In addition to this, you’ll earn Lenses, which can then be applied in the Circle’s Observatory to further refine the Prophecies you’ll discover. If you prefer discovering your gear by yourself out in the wild, this is the faction for you.

Last Epoch trade and item factions - Rank rewards for the Circle of Fortune, which boosts your drop rates and item rarities.

You’ll be able to freely switch between the two factions at any time, and you’ll keep the ranks from both. However, items that you’ve obtained through one faction will only be usable if you’re currently aligned with that group, so you’ll most likely want to stick with one of them for the best results. If you decide your entire play ethos has changed, however, at least you’ll be able to swap.

The final piece to this puzzle is Resonances. These new items drop when you’ve been playing alongside another player for a while, and can be used on an item to gift it to that player even if they were not present in your group when it originally dropped. There are different rarities of Resonance to match the different item rarities, making it possible to give your friend that perfect present if an ideal item for their character drops while you’re playing without them.

Last Epoch trade and item factions - Resonances, special items that allow you to gift other items to a player you've spent enough time playing with.

The Last Epoch 1.0 release date is Wednesday, February 21, 2024. It will include the trade and item faction systems described above, along with many more upgrades and improvements. Before then, we’re also getting in-depth looks at the final two masteries, the Warlock and Falconer, so keep your eyes peeled for those over the coming weeks.

Alternatively, we’ve got the latest news on what to expect from Diablo 4 Season 3, along with even more of the best games like Diablo to satisfy that loot-grinding itch.

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