Last Epoch: Hell Week

Or, how to showcase your Offline Mode like a boss...

Last Epoch launched its 1.0 version a week ago today, and to say it's had a rough start outside of Early Access is an understatement.

Eleventh Hour Games (EHG) have had the week from hell with this launch, with the game consistently being down, with disconnects, interminable loading screens, and long periods of just plain downtime.

A victim of its own success undoubtedly, even the Last Epoch Discord channel now has a 30 min Slow mode in place (meaning you can only post 1 message every half hour!), and the chat still flies by so fast it makes everything difficult to read.

I feel for the devs, EHG, I really do. They appear to be an earnest bunch. Beginning as a small group of gamers who genuinely wanted to produce a great ARPG alternative to Diablo 3 and Path of Exile, and iterating version after version for 7 years(!) before finally launching the game from Early Access into a quagmire of server issues caused by, well, players essentially overwhelming the servers in huge numbers.

They've been working night and day for the past week in order to try to get the game in a stable state where people can log in and play.

Thankfully, servers seem to be in a fairly stable state for now, with most issues fixed over the last day or two.

For me, the saving grace has been the game's Offline Mode. There are two versions of this: "Offline" Mode, which is played locally on your own machine, but still features online in-game chat. And there's the full proper Offline Mode that requires no internet connection, has no chat and is of course still played and hosted on your own machine.

So while servers were being sketchy over the period following launch, I began playing a seasonal offline Necromancer, and it's amazing fun to play. This class can have upwards of 9 minions/pets up permanently. Currently I have a Golem (big tanky bugger that just hulk-smashes the shit out of everything on screen), 5 Skeleton Archers, and 3 Skeleton Mages.

Between that character in Offline Mode, and my Void Knight in Online Mode, I've been playing little else this past week (outside of raid-logging in WoW obv). Loading times and the likes in Offline Mode are super fast, in start contrast to Online Mode, which makes playing in Offline Mode even more attractive.

The only downside of Offline Mode (either variant) is the lack of Cosmetics, whether purchased or obtained otherwise (via Twitch drops for example). Hopefully this is something that EHG can get working, because it seems a shame to have customers potentially spending money on something that they can't use when servers are playing up, which is through no fault of the player. But I guess the fact that they can at least play offline at all is a plus.

Here's hoping that things continue on an upward trajectory for Last Epoch and EHG, as having played it for around 17hrs so far, which is a lot longer than I play most Steam games, I've been thoroughly enjoying the experience, and can see me putting in quite a lot more hours into this gem of a game.