It's been awhile since we had a decent ARP outside of Path of Exile. Diablo 3 was a massive disappointment for me at least. Path of Exile was able to pick up the slack for the genre and now we have Last Epoch coming in to attempt to get in on the mix. Since the next Diablo game will apparently be for mobile it's nice to get another one in the mix.
I know everyone says this about every game. If X and Y had a baby you would get Z, and it holds true here. Diablo 3 and Path of Exile together is pretty much what that baby would look like. It takes the massive skill tree that Path of Exile has and tones it down. I find the nodes are a lot more interesting than Path of Exile, but the keystones are no where as cool.
You have your passive tree which is by class. You have essentially your main class you pick at the start of the game and then it can branch out from there. Instead of ascendancies you get masteries which are essentially the same thing here. Eventually putting enough points into the masteries will lock you out of the others. Each mastery tree has a ton of passives to pick from too. Both the passive tree and the mastery tree will give you new skills if you put enough points into it.
In Diablo 3 you have the ability to put runes onto your skills to change the way they function. Change your ray beam to fire damage instead of arcane etc. Epoch takes this system and mashes it against Path of Exile. Each skill has it's own skill tree! As it stands now you only get 20 points in each skill so choose your build wisely.
The game has currently 5 base cases and each class has 3 mastery classes they can choose from. In my short time playing I played as a Druid and a Lich. The Lich seems complicated as I have to burn through my health to do stuff, but I get ward for a lot of things I do. Ward is essentially energy shield from Path of Exile. Damage will go to my Ward first then my health. It's a protective shield, but unlike Path of Exile it degenerates fast. I need to keep building it up, or put points into keeping it longer.
Good news for all you summoners out there. There are dedicated classes just for summoning, and they even have skill trees for each of your summons! Summoning seems pretty fun so far from what I have played. I have summoned a spriggen, bone golem, skeleton warrior/mage , wolves, and a sabertooth. There are even more in the game! I would assume falconer and Warlock would have some more summons, but they are currently not in the game. The biggest issue with summoners at the moment is your pets get stuck and wander off. I don't know how many times I can't find them forever until they get back to me randomly. Luckily press "A" on an enemy and your pets should focus them.
So far inside of the game I have found white, blue, yellow, and brown items. Pretty standard stuff. Base item, magic item, rare item, and unique item. The screen shot above shows a green and a purple item as well. Looks like there are some additional items out there! One of the devs commented on Zizaran's stream that legendary items will be as rare as Path of Exile mirrors. Which is pretty damn rare I have 2k+ hours and never found one. The legendary items will be account bound and can not be traded. Unlike unique items legendary items can be build enabling. The devs did not want the users building around unique items so much like in Path of Exile.
The story so far is meh. It's not capturing me at all, but Path of Exile story didn't at first either, and so far no iconic characters have been killed by butterfly magic so it's got that going for it too. What I like about this game so far is that it has time travel. You can go forward and backward in time through the way point system to achieve what you want. One of the quests highlights this for you. You need to get inside but the only way in is with a special item. That item is held by someone inside so you can't get in. If you travel forward in time you will see that the guy died and you can claim the item now. Go back to the normal time and you can open the door. I really hope they continue with stuff like this. I feel like they will since time seems to be a big theme so far. It really reminds me of Chrono Trigger in that sense even though the game play is 100% different.
As the game sits now it's not ready for prime time. It's very buggy and not optimized at all. I play with an ultra-wide and even with a 2070 the performance is terrible. My computer on max settings is still pulling 120+ FPS in Path of Exile, and no where near that in Epoch. This is too be expected! It's not a finished game it's still in early beta. It doesn't even have a multiplayer mode right now which is disappointing. The devs said it will be in the game during beta which will be fantastic.
The game is pretty fun, but has some rough spots. I really think once the devs are finished we will have a competitor to Path of Exile. Until then there is nothing on the market that can come close to Path of Exile in terms of ARP unless you're going back to Diablo 2.