So far as ARPGs go — ones of the more classic, top-down isometric nature, at least — Lost Epoch might be my new favourite.

The launch woes have done little to diminish this impression, either. Honestly, there hasn’t been that much time where I ‘couldn’t play’, although that may have been helped by New Zealand being at a polar opposite time zone from the EU where peak times seem to have been a real issue.

I had played perhaps 20-25 hours of Last Epoch before it’s 1.0 drop, and never let myself really smash out the game, wanting to save the experience for, well, now basically. And I’m glad I did. Mostly.

The benefits are clear enough. The experience is still fresh. I wasn’t ‘been there, done that’ before the game came out ‘for real’.

But I also find that I am not in a position to as readily recognise and appreciate where 1.0 has offered further graphical improvements. Until listening to the latest Aggrochat, I had thought the only real improvement from 0.9.2 to 1.0 was in the shaders used. Boy was I wrong. Apparently, as has been the case with many of the last big updates, many zones were reimagined and given improved aesthetics as well.

Sorcerer has been my main so far — I’ve got him through the campaign and through the first normal Monolith of Fate as well. I’m level 60-something presently, but expect that’ll shift tonight…

…Unless I end up playing one of my alts instead. The main two of which are an Acolyte -> Necromancer and a Primalist -> Shaman, but I’m yet to find a build that isn’t enjoyable. I’ve also dipped my toes into Sentinel and Rogue. I thought initially a Marksman-ish Rogue might be my first main, but Lightning Sorc just ran away with me instead.

My Sorcerer can summon giant balls of lightning (and a bunch of smaller ones) that now rotate around him, a set of which he can summon just by dashing forward as well. The base version of the ball lightning spell was just a singular ball that was projected forward like any ol’ normal spell.

It was still fun enough, and had a nifty mini-pull effect, so you could drag enemies away from you while casting it — but through specialising the spell, I’ve been able to alter it greatly to its current state.

Playing in groups has been a little more problematic with the state of the server I will admit, but generally not to an unplayable state. It has certainly required a bit more patience though between the long load times — sometimes seemingly cycling one player at a time through them into the next zone — through to sometimes not bothering to put everyone in the same instance to begin with.1

If I was to level one complaint though, that I’m not entirely convinced the devs are counting as a ‘bug’, is that when you teleport out or otherwise leave a zone, when you got back its status is completely reset. Including map discovery. The consequence of this being that if you TP out because your inventory is full… Well; I hope you didn’t want anything you left on the ground because it will almost certainly be gone upon your return.

There doesn’t appear to be any kind of grace period to this either. If you accidentally zone out — easier to do than you might imagine, with how big the hit boxes are for the zone transitions — that’s it, you’re done. You can go back immediately and find all progress wiped, all enemies back, and all loot vanished.

For a game that does so much else stunningly brilliantly, from the loot design to the trade systems, to the impact and feel of the combat itself — this seems like a shockingly poor oversight. So! I hope it gets some attention and is changed… Perhaps after the servers are humming along in a perfect state.

Footnotes

  1. Fixable by right-clicking a party member and portalling to them, but still… ANOTHER load screen boss to battle.

Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.