Welcome Travelers to the final day of the Pre-patch Blog Post Hype Week!
One of our biggest goals closing in on our 1.0 launch of Last Epoch is getting existing content up to our latest standards. These improvements have been coming in across the board: Models, Animations, VFX, and UI updates. Over the years, we’ve been adding additional chapters to Last Epoch, and with that constant pushing of our standards for the campaign, our oldest chapters needed to be brought up in quality. With Rising Flames, we are pushing those standards even further with a complete overhaul of Chapter 1!
Some of the most common feedback we’ve gotten regarding the campaign and story is that it’s hard to track why you’re embarking on a journey with the shard of the Epoch. In overhauling Chapter 1, we are setting the stage for the epic adventure the Traveler is about to embark on. In the revised Chapter 1, you, the Traveler, will now cross multiple zones, meet key NPCs, and explore multiple new and fantastic areas, as the story of the Epoch and the land of Eterra start to unfold. No longer just a few zones, Chapter 1 will now take you from level 1 to level 9 with chapter 2 and onwards being adjusted accordingly.
With the update to Chapter 1, the Traveler will know a world of peace as they begin their journey during the Divine Era. Learning about the plights and problems of the people of the time, and ultimately watching the destruction that war has brought, and the ushering of end of the Divine Era.
In the new Chapter 1, you will face off against Rahyeh’s forces as they begin their invasion of the Ulatri Cliffs. Along the way you’ll be introduced to essential story characters, including the Hero of Heoborea, Grael. Fighting your way through both flora, and fauna, you’ll have the chance to interact with these characters and learn more about the world of Eterra.
After learning of the reason for Rahyeh’s invasion, you will make your way through his forces to reach The Keeper’s Vault, where this god’s true objective lies. While what’s kept safe within may be unknown, what is known is that if this war-mongering god is willing to go to such lengths to get to it, it must be kept from him.
The newly redesigned Chapter 1 pushes our design standards even further with improved lighting, shaders, textures, assets, and more. Using these new technologies and tools, we are continuing to enhance Last Epoch’s visual design to be more distinct and beautiful. Before the void corrupted everything, the world was full of vibrant colors and stretching vistas. With Rising Flames, we are bringing that vision to life. We’d like to share a few screenshots of just a few of these new areas you’ll encounter in 0.9.1.
While the addition of a new Chapter 1 was a big focus for this patch, we plan to apply the lessons we learned and the tools we developed to other scenes, both old and new, in upcoming patches. Here are some examples of the updated scenes that will be included in this patch.
One of our main goals for our existing scenes is to improve the overall quality of assets and lighting. Additionally, we aim to increase the readability of the character models and monsters by reducing the complexity of ground textures.
By applying these new systems, even to existing scenes, we continue to provide more distinct visual identities between the different Eras.
Beta Patch 0.9.1 will also introduce our first iteration of Towns, starting with the first town in Chapter 1: Keeper’s Camp. Towns are non-combat social spaces found throughout the campaign, including the End of Time. Towns feature major amenities, such as a Stash access, and a Vendor allowing you to take care of your out-of-combat needs.
Upon entering a town, you will be able to see other Travelers making their way throughout Eterra, be able to meet and form parties with strangers, then continue on your journey with renewed force in allies. There is also dedicated town chat channels allowing you to connect with other users in the area, or perhaps even just hang out.
(note the view in this capture has mini-map icons for each player. In 0.9.1, only party members will have mini-map icons)
The first iteration of towns is mainly technical in nature (making the server process of being placed on a server with non-party members, leaving the area to be assigned different servers, and all that good backend stuff). In future patches, we will be continuing to expand town functionality with more to do in towns, and empower the social aspects offered with a physical connection to other Travelers.
While somewhat related to towns and perhaps a little off-topic of the Chapter 1 Rework, we felt this note still demands higher attention than being relegated to just a patch note.
While we continue to work on improving automatic server selection and server performance, we’ve heard your requests for the ability to manually select a server region to connect to. Even with perfect automatic selection, there were many good arguments made for being able to manually select a server region, such as wanting a middle ground for playing with friends in distant regions.
As such, we are happy to say that with Beta Patch 0.9.1 Rising Flames, you will now have the ability to manually select your server region!
You can do this in three places. From the main login menu, in the settings where you can select your preferred server region that will carry over between sessions, and when in a party, you can go into the party screen and select a server region to transfer to and it will take effect on the next transition.
Best Foot Forward
With Beta Patch 0.9.1, Last Epoch has taken a significant leap forward in terms of visual design standards. The new patch brings about numerous improvements, resulting in environments that are more striking, memorable, and immersive than ever before. From the stunning vistas to the vibrant gardens, everything feels more vivid and alive than ever before.
We’re excited to see everyone get their hands on this brand-new experience in just a few days, and we’ll see you all again tomorrow for the Patch Notes for Beta Patch 0.9.1 Rising Flames!