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Last Epoch Beginners Guide

Last Epoch Beginners Guide

Beginners Guide on Last Epoch's core mechanisms and their general overview

Last Epoch Beginners Guide
Dive into the world of Eterra
 

Introduction

The Hack'n'Slash game market is currently dominated by the Path of Exile and, to a lesser extent, Diablo 3. These well known and proven franchises have shaped the H'n'S genre by introducing and refining, now widely used, solutions and in-game features (like randomized loot, upgradable skills, varied difficulty levels, distinct classes, item rarities, seasons, challenges, ladders... the list goes on and on). The Hack'n'Slash system is so refined these days, that new games struggle to introduce new refreshing features and gameplay improvements.

Eleventh Hour Games, the developers behind the Last Epoch, have picked up the gauntlet and are preparing a new Hack'n'Slash Action RPG that aims to shake, refine, and maybe even redefine the genre with the combination of unique, well known, proven, and loved features. In this guide, we will do our best to introduce you to the new exciting world of Eterra in which the Last Epoch is set. We will also describe Last Epoch's gameplay features and systems (Talents, skill trees, and more) in detail to draw a bigger picture of how the upcoming game currently looks like, and what to expect in the near future.

Important Note:  Please remember that Last Epoch is still in development, and all information featured in this Guide is subject to change. We promise you to keep this Guide up to date with all new information that becomes available as the time passes.

Last Epoch is currently scheduled for release on April 2020.

 

Last Epoch's Features

  • Isometric combat with tactical elements - As most of the other Hack'n'Slash titles, Last Epoch will feature proven dynamic combat system with an isometric view that will allow players to control their character across the battlefield in a tactical manner.
  • Replayability - Abundant end game content, varied difficulty levels, augments that further increase the level's difficulty, ladders, arenas, progressively generated zones, and more await Last Epoch's Players and will ensure the almost infinite potential for replayability.
  • Multiplayer cooperation and competition - In Last Epoch, you will be able to share your adventures will friends and team up with other Players to overcome even the most difficult and challenging encounters or battle against them on competitive ladders.
  • Ladders - The Ranking system for players with the highest completed Arena waves and highest Levels will be implemented. Rankings for Normal and Hardcore players will be separate, so everybody will find a suitable environment to compete in against other players.
  • Seasons - The Game will feature Cycles that will periodically reset Player's progression on Ladders, and move all existing characters to a non-Ladder mode. Each Cycle will introduce new Items, Quests, and even Game Systems to keep the experience fresh for both new and seasoned players. Each Cycle will last approximately 90 days and will be available in regular and Hardcore variations.
  • Randomized Dungeons - Progressive generation technology will ensure that each Dungeon crawl is unique and will force players to improvise, as learning and optimizing paths will not be possible. This feature will also greatly increase Last Epoch's replayability, by ensuring that every single one adventure feels unique and challenging.
  • 5 Base and 15 Master Classes - During character creation, Player will be able to select one of the following classes: Sentinel, Primalist, Rogue, Mage or Acolyte. Each of these Basic Classes will have three unique Master paths to choose from, Class-Specific skills, talents, equipment, and passives.

Note: If you are interested in detailed Class descriptions and backstories, we got you covered! Just check our Last Epoch Classes Guide, HERE.

  • Randomized Loot - Dropped items will be unique thanks to randomly generated stats and bonuses, but will for sure follow some guidelines - items from higher level dungeons will be generally more powerful and so on. May the RNG be always in your favor.
  • Item Rarity System - Last Epoch will feature a variation of the well-known and loved item rarity system. Players will be able to loot Basic, Magic, Unique and Set Equipment during their adventures, and the luckiest of them may even stumble upon a very powerful Legendary Items.
    • Basic Equipment - White border/name, without any affixes
    • Magic Equipment - Purple border/name with one affix, Blue border/name with 2 affixes, Teal border/name with 3 affixes, and Green border/name with 4 affixes
    • Unique equipment - Orange border/name with a unique name, icon, and model, with a unique mechanic, implicit stats or/and affix stats that cannot be attained via the Crafting system. Unique item drop will be indicated by an orange beam of light coming down from the sky to a place where the said item lays.
  • The Bazaar - The Bazaar is Last Epoch's online Trading system that will allow players to trade and exchange their items with other Players. Gold, Last Epoch's in-game currency will be used as a form of payment on the Bazaar.  The Bazaar will have a set of rules and features:
    • Every Player will be able to list a small number of items for sale at a time.
    • Players will not be able to prematurely remove the listing after the starting price and closing time have been set.
    • Players will be able to bid on listings as long as the bidding window is opened. After the bidding window is up, The Winner will receive the item and the Seller will receive the Gold.
    • Players have to physically be at the Bazaar to place a listing, but tracking player's own auctions can be done from anywhere via the special User Interface Window.
    • The Bazaar will feature an extensive filtering system that will enable players to narrow down their search results to very specific affixes and item types.
    • The Gold bid will be removed from player's inventory as soon as they place a bid on a listed item, and will be returned when they are outbid by someone or sent to a seller in exchange for an item if they win.
  • Time Travel - This will be one of the Last Epoch's core gameplay features that will allow players to alter some of the very recent in-game events, like HP or Mana loss, for example. There are some currently known skills that alter the Time:
    • Anomaly sends Void Knight's enemies forward in time a few seconds.
    • Volatile Reversal sends the Void Knight 2 seconds back in time, reversing Health and Mana loses and removing conditions placed on him during those 2 seconds.

Other uses of this mechanic include the interaction with the Epoch that will allow players to travel through time and defeating the Draal Queen that will trigger a Cutscene which will send the player forward in time to the Ruined Era.

  • Monolith of Fate - This in-game feature will allow players to construct new timelines through rediscovering all the possibilities of history. Each Player will start with a single Timeline zone, that will be accessible through the Monolith of Fate. This Monolith will let the Player complete various questlines in different Eras. Timeline system will allow Him to play through alternate versions of the main storyline, which will, in turn, unlock more questlines and zones for them to explore. Each Player choice will affect the timeline and, by that, the game's Lore.
  • Gates of Memorium - Through this feature, Player will be able to explore the pre-endgame world again and again. The replayed Zone's difficulty will be scaled to the Player's level, and the augment system will be implemented to further raise the difficulty of certain areas by adding new exciting challenges.
  • Epoch's Call - Players will be able to discover and correct Time Aberrations throughout the various Eras, and will be rewarded for their deeds accordingly.
  • Lost Memories - Stories of various individuals, from great renown Champions to lowly starving orphans will be hidden in places important to them and their lives. Players will be able to assemble these Stories and gain various unique benefits as a reward for their trouble. This feature will also help players dive deeper into the Last Epoch's Lore.
  • The Arena - Arena will allow Players to fight against never-ending waves of powerful Enemies. Players who clear the highest number of cleared weaves will be featured on the Arena Ladder, so this feature will encourage Player Competition. The Arena will follow a predetermined set of Rules:
    • Arena challenges will take place in various maps, like Desert Arena, Woodland Arena, and Tundra Arena.
    • Enemies will spawn in Waves
    • Each wave will consist of 4 packs of Enemies spawning at each side of the Arena
    • The number of enemies that spawns in each of the groups scales with the Player's level and the wave number.
    • Weak enemies will spawn in larger numbers than strong enemies
    • Health and Damage of enemies and Experience awarded for defeating them increase with the rising wave counter, the more waves defeated, the greater the challenge.
    • The next wave spawns when there is only one previous wave's enemy left.
    • If the Wave consists of a Boss, the next wave spawns after the Boss is defeated.
    • After every fifth wave, the automatic trigger of the next wave gets disabled, and a number of level scaled Containers are spawned along with the Stash and the Wandering Blacksmith to reward Player for his efforts and allow him to prepare for further challenges. When the Player is ready, he can Start Next Wave via the special UI button.
    • The Arena will restart in a random map after every 15 completed waves.
    • Death in the Arena will restart the challenge in a random map with the wave counter going back to 0.
    • Players with the highest wave scores can be tracked via the Ladder system.

 

The Skill System

Player Character's skills are what defines the in-game experience in the Last Epoch. All available Classes will have access to several unique, powerful, and accordingly flashy (everybody likes fireworks, right?) skills. Every single one of these skills will be customizable in various satisfying ways, which will enable Players to craft and modify their favorite Classes to suit their playstyles and needs.

Note:  Action bar will be limited to a maximum of 5 skills. This will ensure that every single one of the slotted skills will be build-defining, and the ability selection will be an important part of building a Character. This seemingly limiting decision will ensure a bigger build diversity, provide players with engaging character-building experience, force experimentation, and create a lot of space for tinkering and finetuning.

Skill Trees

The possible skill combinations alone ensure that there will be dozens of perfectly playable builds for each class. However, for those of you who are not yet satisfied by the Last Epoch's builds diversity, we present the Skill Tree system. Every single one of the slotted skills will have its own Skill Tree that will augment, improve, change, and sometimes redefine its characteristics. Moreover, some of the Skill Tree branches will be available only for certain Master Classes, this means that a Fireball used by a Sorcerer will be very different from a Fireball used by a Mage.

An example is in order to show you the possibilities that the Skill Tree system provides. So, without further ado, we present you the customization possibilities for the above-mentioned Fireball spell (remember that every skill in the Last Epoch will have its own skill tree!):

Fireball's Skill Tree
The Skill Tree for a Fireball Spell

Burning Flames Burning Flames - Fireball has a 20% chance to Ignite enemies per point. A maximum of 4 Points can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Skira's Gambit Skira's Gambit - Fireball has a 100% chance to apply an additional Ignite at the cost of the 70% reduced Hit Damage. A maximum of 1 Point can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Conflagration Conflagration - Fireball deals 20% increased Hit Damage against Ignited Targets. A maximum of 5 Points can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Blasting Flames Blasting Flames - Fireball now explodes on destruction, dealing AoE Damage. A maximum of 1 Point can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Volatile Flames Volatile Flames - Fireball has a 10% chance per point to deal Double Damage A maximum of 5 Points can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Frostburn Frostburn - Fireball deals 25% more damage when hitting chilled Targets. A maximum of 5 Points can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Piercing Heat Piercing Heat - Fireball pierces through an additional enemy per Skill Point. A maximum of 5 Points can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Spread of Destruction Spread of Destruction -  Fireball has a 25% chance per point to deal AoE Damage around its primary Target on hit. A maximum of 4 Points can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Dancing Fire Dancing Fire - Two extra projectiles and 15% reduced cast speed per point. A maximum of 2 Points can be allocated to this Skill Node (for a max of 5 projectiles - 1 standard + 4 and 30% reduced cast speed).
Seeker's Ash Seeker's Ash - Fireball now follows their Targets. Activating this Node removes any extra Fireball projectiles unless you also have the "Embers" Node activated. A maximum of 1 Point can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Rapid Flames Rapid Flames -  Fireball's cast speed is increased by 6% per point. A maximum of 5 Points can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Incinerate Incinerate - Fireball's cast speed is increased by 12% per point at the expense of 25% increased Mana cost per point. A maximum of 4 Points can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Mana Sphere Mana Sphere -  Fireball's mana efficiency is increased by 28% per point. A maximum of 4 Points can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Plasmaball Plasmaball - 20% of Fireball's base Fire Damage is added as a base Lightning Damage per point at the expense of 4% reduced cast speed per point. A maximum of 7 Points can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Arcane Divergence Arcane Divergence - Fireball shoots 2 extra projectiles, but its mana cost is increased by 100%. A maximum of 1 Point can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Embers Embers - Extra Fireball projectiles are now fired in sequence in the same direction. This Node halves the number of extra Fireball projectiles and reduces Fireball's cast speed by 25%. A maximum of 1 Point can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Torrent Torrent - Adds 1 extra Fireball Projectile per point but reduces Fireball's Damage by 7% per point and increases its mana cost by 40% per point. Extra Projectiles gained from this Node are not affected by the Embers' penalty. A maximum of 2 Points can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Manaburned Manaburned - Removes all extra Fireball's projectiles and increases its damage by 10% for each projectile that would otherwise be added by this tree. When you are out of Mana, Fireball if free to cast. A maximum of 1 Point can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Unchained Fire Unchained Fire - Fireball's cost is reduced to 0 Mana at the expense of 40% reduced Ignite chance from Nodes on this Tree and 20% reduced Fireball Damage. A maximum of 1 Point can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Inevitable Flames Inevitable Flames - Fireball's traveling speed is reduced by 6% per point, but it deals 10% increased Damage per point. A maximum of 5 Points can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Ghostfire Ghostfire - Fireball always pierces its Target, but deals 20% reduced Damage. A maximum of 1 Point can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Flamethrower Flamethrower - Fireball becomes a channeled ability with 50% reduced Damage and 70% reduced range, that spews 7 Fireballs per second. Any Cast Speed reductions and increases apply to Fireball's Damage instead. Cast Speed bonuses from other sources now only affect how quickly you start channeling. A maximum of 1 Point can be allocated to this Skill Node.
Infernal Legacy Infernal Legacy - Fireballs now last 20% longer, which causes them to travel further before they disappear. A maximum of 5 Points can be allocated to this Skill Node.

As you can see, the Skill Tree system provides A LOT of room for spell customization, which will ensure very diversified gameplay experience.

 

The Mastery System

Each of Last Epoch's 5 Base Classes will have access to its three unique Mastery Trees. 1 Mastery Point will be awarded per level, starting from level 3. These points will be used by Players to unlock passive benefits present on the Mastery Trees, and at certain thresholds will also grant access to new Tree-specific skills.

Passive bonuses include things like:

  • Increased Armor, increased defensive stats, bonus avoidance
  • Increased maximum Health and Health regeneration
  • Increased Mana and Mana regeneration
  • Increased Resistances
  • Increased elemental and/or Spell Damage
  • Increased Critical Strike Chance, and increased Critical multiplier
  • Increased effectiveness of the Spell-specific effects
  • Minion Improvements (Health, Damage Done, Critical Chance, Special effects triggered upon Minion's Death, and more)
  • Increased melee Attack Damage
  • Health and Mana Leech

Once Player spends enough Mastery Points into a single Mastery Tree, he will have the option of spending a point on that Tree's Locknode. Doing so will allow him to allocate points further down the Tree and cement His alignment to that Mastery branch, transforming His character into the Mastery Class corresponding with the chosen Tree branch.

Note: Only one Mastery Class can be unlocked per character.

 

The Crafting System

Last Epoch's Crafting System will allow Players to modify most of the available in-game Equipment items by removing, changing or adding their Affix Shards*. Crafting requires an item that Player wants to modify, a special crafting item** in the modifier slot and an optional item in the support slot. Currently, there are three types of Crafting Items:

  • Affix Shards - Items used for adding or upgrading affixes on Equipment pieces. They can be stored in the Player's Crafting Window.
  • Runes - Items used in the modifier Slot of the Crafting Panel. They can be stored in the Crafting Materials section of the Player's Inventory
  • Glyphs - Items used in the support item slot on the Crafting Panel. Using Glyphs is optional, but it increases Craft's success rate. They can be stored in the Crafting Materials section of the Player's Inventory.

*Affix Shards are Modifiers present on the magic Items. These Affixes can be added to most Equipment items (except Uniques and Set pieces). Each Affix can modify one or more stats. Affixes that modify more than one stat are known as hybrid affixes.

**Crafting Items can be gathered in-game as loot from enemies and will be indicated by an orange text when dropped in the world. Picked up Crafting Items end up in Player's regular inventory, however, Player will have an option to move them to a special Crafting Storage Space with the unlimited storage capacity by Right-Clicking them in regular inventory.

Last Epoch's Crafting System has some specific mechanic and follows a set of rules:

  • Shattering - Special items called Runes of Shattering can be dropped from enemies. These Runes are used for converting items into Shards (Shattering an item will result in its destruction). The amount of Shards gained from destroying an item is random but can be as high as one Shard for each tier of affix on a destroyed item. This means that an Item with 2 Tier 4 affixes will yield a maximum of 8 Affix Shards (if you are lucky. If not, it will yield anywhere between 1 and 8 Shards). All gained Shards are placed into Player's Affix Storage in the Crafting Window.
  • Shard upgrades its respective Affix by a single Tier.
  • A maximum number of Affixes that an Item can have is 4 (2 Suffixes and 2 Prefixes).
  • Each of the Affixes can have up to 5 Tiers.
  • Adding and improving Affixes on an Item may result in the increase of Item's Level Requirement. Player's will not be able to Craft items that require level higher than their own.
  • Instability - This is the representation of Damage done to an item by performing Crafting on it. Item's Instability represents the Item's chance to Fracture during Crafting and determines the severity of the Fracture. Following parameters affect Item's Instability:
    • Using an Affix Shard ⇒ +5 Instability
    • Using an Affix Shard supported by Glyph of Stability ⇒ from +1 to +7 Instability
    • Using a Rune of Removal or Rune of Refinement ⇒ +2 Instability
    • Using a Rune of Cleansing ⇒ Instability set to a number between 5 and 15
    • Using a Rune of Cleansing supported by Glyph of Stability ⇒ Instability set to a number between 1 and 6
  • Fracture - Adding or Upgrading an Affix to an Item may result in Fracturing the Item. Fracture chance is calculated by the following Formula: Item's Instability + [5*(Affix Tier - 1)]. Exception: If the Item's Instability equals 0, the chance of fracturing the item is 0%. There are three types of Item Fracture:
    • Destructive Fracture - Locks the Item* and removes all Affixes. The chance of Destructive Fracture occurring is equal to the Fracture Chance -50.
    • Damaging Fracture - Locks the item and reduces all Affixes by 1 to 5 Tiers (If a number greater than Affix's Tier is rolled, the Affix is removed). Higher Item Instability results in an increased number of lost Affix Tiers. The chance of Damaging Fracture occurring is equal to the Fracture Chance -25.
    • Minor Fracture - Locks the Item. The chance of Minor Fracture occurring is equal to the Fracture Chance, up to 25%.

*Locked Item can no longer have any Affixes added to it.

Crafting in the Last Epoch is associated with a lot of risks, but the rewards for successful Crafts are accordingly high. We can already see that Items with well sought, high Tier affixes will be worth a fortune and creating them will require a lot of Gold, patience, and luck.

 

END NOTE

The Last Epoch shapes to be a strong contender in the Action RPG genre but is still in a rather early stage of development, which means that all information featured above are subject to change. We will do our best to keep this guide up to date with all future game updates so that it stays true to the currently available in-game content. If we have missed a piece of information that is especially important to you, please let us know and we will make sure to add the missing information.

Please do note that this is an early version of our guide, and we will be happy to receive constructive criticism, that will help us improve it, so leave your suggestions in the comments section below. We also plan on expanding this guide with further sections, so stay tuned.

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Eleventh Hour Games