With today's Item Factions Preview, the long awaited day for Last Epoch fans has arrived! It's a big blog with all the details on both the Merchant's Guild and Circle of Fortune Factions, how to join and rank up, and other details too! See below for the official Blog and videos by our Maxroll Last Epoch Team members with their thoughts on the Item Faction systems!
Maxroll Last Epoch Team Reactions
Here are the reactions by some of our team. As more videos get made, they will be added retroactively.
Trade and Item Factions Preview
Hello Travelers, and welcome to our deep dive into our Trade and Item Faction systems arriving February 21st, 2024, with the Full Release of Last Epoch! We’ve got many exciting features to share with you today, so we’re providing a Table of Contents just below to help you navigate the post.
While we feel confident in what we are sharing with you today, these systems are being actively tested in our Community Testing program, and the details below are still subject to balance changes.
A Brief History
From the launch of our Kickstarter campaign, we knew we wanted Trade to be part of the Last Epoch community, and through our time creating the world of Eterra we went through many discussions and iterations of how a trade system could exist.
As many of you know, balancing a trade system is one of the most challenging issues to tackle in a loot-based game, as it drastically impacts the item hunt for all players. Many players do not want to play an ARPG unless there is a trade economy that gives additional value to their items and enables them to create builds more reliably. Many other players voice that a trade economy ruins their enjoyment of the item hunt and don’t want to participate in those types of systems at all. While Last Epoch does offer a solo challenge mode which does mean all items are found by yourself, it also limits co-op.
After polling the community and receiving thousands of responses we found that these two camps of players are divided shockingly close to 50/50.
On December 22nd of 2022, we announced our plans for the Item Gifting System as our version of trade. This was designed to fulfill what we felt was the core necessity to trade, to be able to share items with friends you’re playing with, while protecting the itemization systems we had built elsewhere in Last Epoch. Thankfully, our community was great enough to let us know that we needed to do more. So we got to work.
After many design meetings and conversations with the community, Item Factions began to take shape - what we feel is a unique and exciting solution to the trade debate in ARPGs - a solution not seen before, and which we believe satisfies both sides of the conversation. Item Factions holds a place of pride for us, as it’s a direct showing of what can be accomplished when working closely with our community.
So the very first thing we want to do when discussing item factions is to say this: Thank You. Thank you for being part of our community, being involved in the future of Last Epoch, and continuing to push us to innovate and drive Last Epoch forward to become a great ARPG we can all enjoy.
What Are Item Factions?
One of the most common suggestions we received - and what other games have tried - was to have different cycles for trade or trade-free. This solution wouldn’t work for us as it would mean dividing the player base away from each other, increasing overhead for itemization, and balancing what would be effectively two games. So, the question became: how can we implement two different ways to find and acquire items without creating a division within the community?
The answer? Item Factions. A fully integrated solution into the lore and mechanics of Last Epoch, allowing players to make a meaningful and rewarding choice in how they want to empower their loot hunt in Eterra.
On February 21st, within the world of Eterra you will find two Item Factions:
- The Merchants Guild - grants the ability to trade items with other players through the Bazaar, and player-to-player
- Circle of Fortune - grants boosts to items you find yourself through Prophecies, and passive bonuses
Let’s dive into Item Factions!
Joining a Faction
Your first opportunity to join either The Merchant’s Guild or Circle of Fortune comes with your arrival to the Upper District of the great mercantile city, Maj’Elka. Here, Zerrick will introduce you to both Factions and provide you the opportunity to take a look at what each has to offer. Upon selecting either Merchant’s Guild or Circle of Fortune, you will be guided to the Faction’s Central Hub: The Bazaar or The Observatory, respectively. We’ll dive into what each of these hubs offers below. However, let’s first cover what it means to join a faction and some universal mechanics that are shared between both factions.
Item Faction Panel
With the introduction of Item Factions, you’ll have access to a new panel in the UI that allows you to view details about your faction. By default, this panel can be accessed by using the “Y” key, or through the main flyout options next to your mana globe at the bottom of the screen.
On this panel, you will find all sorts of information concerning your current Faction including your current amount of Favor, your current Faction Rank and progress to the next Rank, details on what benefits you currently have from the faction, and in the case of Circle of Fortune, details for any current prophecies you have. You will also find the button to allow you to leave your current faction if you so choose and a quick button to bring you to your faction’s central hub.
Rank & Reputation
Your Rank with a Faction determines what benefits that faction is willing to offer you. To gain access to more powerful benefits, you’ll need to gain Reputation to increase your Rank with them through two different ways. The first is by gaining experience, such as by defeating enemies and completing quests while aligned with them. Just by going about your adventure, you will passively build Reputation with your current faction. However, for a larger boost of Reputation, you’ll need to participate in the Faction’s core mechanic. This means completing trades when aligned with the Merchants Guild or fulfilling prophecies with the Circle of Fortune.
Your reputation with a faction is never lost or spent and is also shared across your account in that game mode. This means if you rank up one character to Circle of Fortune Rank 7 on Hardcore Cycle, any of your Hardcore Cycle characters upon joining Circle of Fortune will both share and contribute to that same Rank progression. Characters in a different game mode, such as Solo Challenge, or Standard Cycle, do have their reputation separated in the same way the player Item Stash is.
There are a total of 10 Ranks to achieve with either faction. Obtaining Rank ten with a faction will take some time, so while you have the freedom to change your faction at any time, you’ll want to find your preferred faction and stick with it to reach the most potent benefits.
Favor is your primary currency with the Factions. Separate from Reputation, Favor is the currency you will use to interact with the Faction mechanics, and grants Reputation when spent. With the Merchant’s Guild, you will need Favor to list an item to sell, or to purchase an item. With Circle of Fortune, you will need Favor to acquire Prophecies. Favor can only be earned by slaying enemies and completing quests. The amount of Favor you gain with kills depends on the experience the enemy gives, so as you push further in the game, you’ll find yourself earning more Favor to purchase greater rewards with your Faction.
If you find yourself in a position where you have excess favor, you can spend it with a Faction Vendor.
Item Faction Rank Requirements
As a member of an Item Faction, you will find many items which will have an attached Faction Rank Requirement. This can be found at the bottom of the item tooltip.
For Merchant’s Guild, items will gain a Faction Rank Requirement when purchased through the Bazaar, or via player-to-player trade.
The Rank Requirement on the tooltip of a Merchant’s Guild item will typically match the rank required to trade that particular item. So if you purchase a rank 4 Idol through the Bazaar, you will need to be at least Rank 4 with the Merchant’s Guild in order to equip that idol. The exception to this rule would be with Legendary items. If you purchase a Unique weapon with LP at rank 6, and create a Legendary with it, it will retain it’s Rank 6 requirement rather than increasing to Rank 8 (the rank required to sell and purchase legendary weapons). Where if you were to directly purchase a Legendary weapon, it would have a Rank 8 requirement on the item.
For Circle of Fortune, items obtained from benefits of the Faction will have a Faction Requirement. Most items that drop for you will be influenced by your Faction benefits, and thus you’ll find a Faction Requirement on most dropped items you find. As your various Faction benefits can influence the item in many ways, the Rank Requirement to equip the item will be based on your current Circle of Fortune Rank at the time the item drops, while never exceeding it. The maximum Circle of Fortune Faction Requirement is Rank 5.
Items with Faction Rank Requirements require that you actively be in that faction to meet the requirements. For instance: You initially join Circle of Fortune, reach rank 4, and have an item which requires Circle of Fortune Rank 2. You then change to Merchant’s Guild. Even though if you swap back to Circle of Fortune you would still be Rank 4, you will not be able to equip that item unless you do swap back to Circle of Fortune.
Both Merchant’s Guild and Circle of Fortune members will be able to trade favor in exchange for a rewards. For those familiar with the Gambler Artem, you’ll find Faction Vendors share some similarities and some differences. Faction Vendors sell items with base item types exclusive to your Faction, and can generate Exalted items. Item Faction item types can be powerful early on as you gain access to them, but will be outpaced by endgame item types to prevent ‘FOMO’ from faction selection. Circle of Fortune members can also purchase Lenses from their Faction Vendor, which we’ll get to in the Circle of Fortune section.
Faction Gambling can be accessed by speaking to your Faction Leader found near the waypoint in your Faction Hub and selecting “Browse Faction Wares”. You’ll also gain Reputation with your faction by spending Favor with your Faction Vendor.
Gifting Faction Items
Items that have a Faction Rank requirement follow the same rules for gifting as all items. To gift an item to another player, you’ll need to be playing in a party with that player, and the other player will need to be present when the item drops. Alternatively you can use a relevant Resonance to make the item eligible to be gifted. Gifting items does not incur any favor or gold cost and simply gives an item to another player, there’s no exchange. It’s important to keep in mind that while any equipable item can be gifted, the recipient of the item will still need to meet the item requirements, including the Faction Requirements, to be able to equip the item.
In the words of Nama, The Merchant’s Guild is a ship guiding you through the seas of trade in the Bazaar. The Merchant’s Guild offers the power of Trade. Players around the world visit the Bazaar to offer their items to trade, so finding the right item for you becomes as simple as speaking to the right person - and having the right currency. Your Rank with the Merchant’s Guild will determine what kind of trades you’ll be entrusted with. Meaning with more Reputation comes the opportunity to both obtain and sell more powerful and sought-after items.
By selecting to learn more about the Merchant’s Guild, you will be directed to the Bazaar, located just north of the Maj’Elka city center. Bustling with trade carts, merchants, and stalls of all kinds, even the rarest of items in Eterra can be found within the stalls of the Bazaar… for a price. In the Bazaar, you will find numerous stalls, each dedicated to a specific equipment type. The complete list of item types that will be able to be traded through the Bazaar are Helmets, Amulets, All weapon and off-hand item types, Rings, Belts, Gloves, Body Armor, Boots, Relics, and Idols. If it can be equipped, it can be bought and sold… assuming you are trusted enough with the Guild to conduct the trade.
There are some limitations, however, on buying and selling items in the Bazaar.
Firstly, The merchant’s Guild only trades in worldly wares. This means if an item has been dropped through the providence of the Circle of Fortune, it cannot be traded. The Guild views these items as bound to their owners, and will not facilitate their trade.
Secondly, The Merchant’s Guild maintains control over their economy by marking any items which pass through the hands of Merchants. Trade is a sacred and permanent exchange in the eyes of the Guild. After you’ve purchased an item from the Merchant’s Guild, it cannot be traded again.
Thirdly, you must have built up enough Reputation with the Merchant’s Guild to deal in a particular item type or rarity. Not every street urchin can be trusted with the exchange of high-level goods.
Finally, you will need sufficient Favor to participate in the trade to prove to the Merchant’s Guild that you are an active merchant in the world and are not just seeking to benefit from their hard work.
(note: subject to change with feedback)
- Rank 1: Trade Basic Items. You can buy and sell Normal, Magic, and Rare items in the Bazaar or directly with other players.
- Rank 2: Trade Set Items. You can buy and sell Set Items in the Bazaar or directly with other players.
- Rank 3: Trade Specific Unique Items. You can buy and sell Unique items with no Legendary Potential in the Bazaar or directly with other players.
- Rank 4: Trade Idols. You can buy and sell Idols in the Bazaar or directly with other players.
- Rank 5: Trade Exalted Weapons. You can buy and sell Exalted Weapons in the Bazaar or directly with other players.
- Rank 6: Trade Unique Weapons. You can buy and sell Unique Weapons with Legendary Potential in the Bazaar or directly with other players.
- Rank 7: Trade All Exalted Items. You can buy and sell all Exalted items in the Bazaar or directly with other players.
- Rank 8: Trade All Unique Items: You can buy and sell all Unique items - including those with Legendary Potential - in the Bazaar or directly with other players.
- Rank 9: Trade Legendary Weapons: You can buy and sell Legendary Weapons in the Bazaar or directly with other players.
- Rank 10: Trade All Legendary Items. You can buy and sell all Legendary items in the Bazaar or directly with other players.
To buy items through the Merchant’s Guild, you’ll need to start by visiting the Bazaar just north of Maj’Elka in the Divine Era after joining the Merchant’s Guild. Upon arrival, you will see numerous stalls marked on the map with an icon representing what type of item you can find at that stall.
Speaking to the Stall Vendor will open the Bazaar search window. This will list all items currently for sale from Players all across the world who are participating in the same game mode, such as “Hardcore Cycle.” We wanted to ensure there was no obfuscation and unnecessary limitations with searching the Bazaar, so you will find a robust suite of search tools to help you refine your search for precisely the type of items you want to find.
We also want to make sure there’s no guesswork with what you’re buying, so we’ve tried to make the UI for each item clearly display all the important item information, including all implicits, affixes, Forging Potential, Legendary Potential, Equip Requirements, and anything else you could want to know about the item. With the Bazaar, we wanted to make sure players have all the power they need to find what they’re looking for, so you’ll find options here you won’t find in the Loot Filter, such as refining your search by amount of Forging Potential, or Weaver’s Will value. We’ve also updated our Affix list to only show affixes applicable to the item, and we’ll be rolling out this change to Loot Filters as well making finding the right affixes even easier.
Once you find the item you want, you’ll first need to make sure you have what you need to purchase the item, including Faction Rank, Favor Cost, and the amount of Gold the seller is asking for. So long as you meet these requirements, simply hover the item, Select “Buy” and you’ll get a final confirmation to purchase the item. Once you confirm the purchase, the item will instantly appear in your inventory, or Gift Inventory if full, ready to equip!
To sell items through the Merchant’s Guild, you’ll want to start by visiting your personal stall. This can be accessed through any vendor in the Bazaar north of Maj’Elka in the Divine Era and selecting “My Stall” on the right side of the window, or by speaking to Kubra and selecting “Open my Stall”.
With your stall open, you’ll be able to view all of your currently listed items, as well as previous sales you’ve made. To list a new item select “List an Item” on the right hand of the window, which will open a small window to insert an item to sell, as well as your inventory to pull items from. To list any item, you will first need to meet the Rank requirement for that item.
Upon placing an item into the window, the Merchant’s Guild will automatically assign a Favor cost to list the item based on the item quality, list the required rank, and provide you an input box to enter your asking price for the item. The Merchant’s Guild doesn’t take a cut of any profits, so the Asking Price is what another player will need to pay to buy the item, and you will get the full asking price upon sale.
When viewing your Stall, you can also un-list any item by hovering over it, and selecting “unlist”. It’s also worth clarifying while our previous overview of the Merchant’s Guild mentioned a limit to how many items you can list at a time based on your rank, that restriction has now been removed.
Once an item has successfully sold, you can visit your stall in the Bazaar at any time to redeem the gold from the sale.
Circle of Fortune
“The Stars Guide our Fate” is the fundamental creed of the Circle of Fortune. While some see the power of coin, others dedicate themselves to intimately knowing the shape and nature of the heavens, and through it, to know the same of their future. Rather than relying on commerce to fuel their item acquisition, members of The Circle of Fortune will gain powerful benefits to their potential to find items. With access to Prophecies, they will gain the ability to peer into their future and find precisely where certain treasures await.
By choosing to align with the Circle of Fortune you will be directed to visit the Observatory, located in northern Maj’Elka in the Divine Era. The Observatory serves as the Circle of Fortune’s primary hub. Here you will find your Faction Leaders and various Telescopes for observing the heavens which allow you to trade Favor for Prophecies.
While much power can be found in acquiring Prophecies, The Circle of Fortune also grants exceptionally powerful passive bonuses to your item-finding abilities as you rank up your reputation with them.
Items you acquire as a Circle of Fortune member will have been guided by the stars, and as such will drop with a Faction Rank Requirement. While this requirement on items dropped for you will never exceed your current rank and is never higher than 5, it is important to note that these items cannot be traded, and when gifted the recipient must meet the rank requirement to equip the item.
(note: subject to change with feedback)
- Rank 1: Enemy Item Drop Chance. Enemies have a 35% chance of dropping twice as many items.
- Rank 2: Upgraded Rune of Ascendance. 45% chance for Runes of Ascendance to be preserved when used on an item that requires at least Circle of Fortune Rank 1.
- Rank 3: Idol Drop Chance. Whenever an Idol drops, there is a 25% chance for two more to drop at the same time
- Rank 4: Exalted Affix Chance. Affixes are 50% more likely to be Exalted
- Rank 5: Monolith Echo Reward Upgrade. 35% chance for double rewards from Monolith Echoes
- Rank 6: Legendary Potential Chance. Uniques are twice as likely to have Legendary Potential
- Rank 7: T7 Affix Chance. T7 Affixes are twice as common.
- Rank 8: Rare to Exalted Chance. Items that would drop as Rare above level 44 have a 25% chance of becoming Exalted.
- Rank 9: Full Set Drop Chance. When a Set item would drop, the whole set drops instead.
- Rank 10: Prophecy Reward Upgrade. Items from Prophecies are duplicated.
Prophecies are pseudo-items which can be purchased in the Observatory that cause certain item drops, or increase the odds of higher tier affixes being generated on an item when you complete the requirements listed on the Prophecy.
To acquire Prophecies, start by visiting the Observatory located north of the Maj’Elka town center in the Divine Era. Here in the Observatory, you will find four Telescopes looking North (Arctus), East (Eos), West (Dysis), and South (Mesembria). Each telescope offers Prophecies for specific item types: Armor, Weapons, Idols and Crafting materials, and Accessories, respectively.
Upon peering through a telescope, you will observe a constellation with randomly generated prophecies represented by its stars. By hovering over one of the stars, you can see details regarding the specific prophecy including the Favor Cost, the event which will trigger the prophecy, any special conditions for the prophecy, and what the prophecy will reward upon completion. The more powerful a Prophecy, the more Favor it will cost to obtain.
You can view all of your current prophecies in your Faction window, accessed through the “Y” key by default. You can have a maximum of 48 active prophecies at any given time. Prophecies can also be discarded through the Faction panel.
- Prophecy Events
- The Prophecy Event will outline what particular event needs to occur in order for the Prophecy to trigger. Some example events are “Death of Chronomancer Julra”, “Death of an Arena Champion”, “Death of X number of rare enemies”, or “Death of X number of siege golems”.
- Prophecy Conditions
- The Prophecy Condition will outline any additional conditions that need to be met for the Prophecy to trigger. Not all prophecies have extra conditions, though as you progress to higher ranks you’ll find them to be more common. Some example Conditions are “Monolith”, “Lightless Arbor”, “Fall of the Outcasts Timeline”, or “320 Corruption”.
- Prophecy Rewards
- Fairly straightforward, this is what kind of reward will drop for you upon completing the Prophecy. Some example rewards are: “X number of Rare Body Armors”, “X number of Exalted Amulets”, “Unique Weapon”, or “Unique Amulet (minimum 1LP)”
Lenses offer a method to modify your telescopes in the Observatory to further refine what kind of Prophecies you can discover. Like Item Factions themselves, Lenses have been added to the Observatory in response to Community Feedback from our Community Tester Program!
Lenses are items which can be purchased from your Faction Vendor, and then slotted into a telescope. Lenses are permanent items, so once you purchase a lens, you can slot it into a telescope, remove it, and store it like any other item - they are not consumable. Each telescope is equipped with three lens slots, unlocked at Circle of Fortune Ranks two, five, and nine.
When you view the Faction shop, you will find two tabs listing lenses; Regional Lenses and Greater Lenses. Regional lenses are lenses which are specific to one telescope. For instance, an Eos Telescope Lens can only be fitted onto the Eos Telescope, and has a modifier specific to Weapon Prophecies (which the Eos Telescope Provides). Greater Lenses can be slotted into any telescope. You can add multiple of the same Lens to a telescope for an additive effect. To help get a better idea of these lenses, lets take a quick look at what some of the Lenses offer.
- Focusing Lens of Idols: “15% Increased chance per rank to find Large Idols”
- Enhancing Lens of the Unmatched: “15% increased chance per rank to find Unique Items”
- Obscuring Lens of Battle: “100% Reduced chance for Prophecies to have Arena Events”
You may notice there’s four types of modifiers here: Lenses which increase the chance for certain item types, Lenses which increase the chance for certain item rarities, Lenses which block certain Prophecy Activities, and finally Lenses which modify favor cost for specific Prophecy effects. This offers a lot of power to customize the ‘randomness’ of prophecies and focus them on the types of items you want, as well as the activities you want to do. There’s also room for more types of Lenses to add in the future, though these will be the four types available with 1.0.
Faction Rank Rewards for Lenses
- Rank 2: Unlock “Increased Chance of Specific Item Type Prophecy” Lenses for purchase, Unlock First Lens Slot
- Rank 3: Unlock “Block Activity Type” Lenses for purchase
- Rank 4: Unlock “Increased chance of specific Item Rarity Prophecy” Lenses for purchase
- Rank 5: Unlock “Block High Corruption (50+)” Lenses for purchase. Unlock Second Lens Slot.
- Rank 7: Unlock Special Greater Lens “Prophecies cost 80% more Favor and have twice as many uses”
- Rank 8: Unlock Special Greater Lens “Prophecies cost 90% more Favor and have double rewards-type”
- Rank 9: Unlock Third Lens Slot.
While resonances are technically separate from the Item Faction system, because we had mentioned them in the original Developer Blog regarding Item Factions, we felt it only makes sense to talk about them here! So lets talk a bit about Resonances with 1.0.
Resonances are a new item type which drop when you’ve played alongside a player for an extended period of time. Using a Resonance on an item will enable it to be gifted to that player even if they were not present when the item dropped. When a Resonance drops, it will drop with the player name in the item card to show who it enables gifting with. As you may notice from this example label, there are different types of Resonances: Obsidian Resonances, which are required for Legendary and Exalted Items, and Golden Resonances, which are required for Unique, Set, Rare, Magic, or Normal quality items.
Upon picking up a Resonance, it is placed in your inventory, and will be stored into your Gifting Inventory when you Store Crafting Materials. Once stored, when you open a gifting window to a player, you will have a flyout menu to select a resonance to use for the Gift. Resonances are consumable, so pay heed to when you decide to use them!
One of the big questions we often see about resonances is “How long is ‘an extended period of time’?”. The answer is…. it depends. The amount of time required to have a Resonance drop is slightly random, though Golden Resonances will be more common than Obsidian Resonances. We also want to make sure resonances aren’t used for “pseudo-trading” as a way to bypass the Merchant’s Guild requirements to trade items, so you can expect these drops to be fairly infrequent. At the current time we don’t want to share exactly what the time range is, however we’ll of course be watching feedback and adjusting it based on how people feel about them, as well as how they’re being used.
Thank you everyone for joining us for this deep dive into the upcoming Item Faction system, available with Last Epoch 1.0 on February 21st! If we’ve left any questions unanswered, please ask away in the forums below, or on our Official Discord server at discord.gg/lastepoch and we would be happy to answer!
Maxroll.gg on February 8th will dive deep into the Falconer, then back to us in the days leading up to February 21st as we talk about some of the other features coming with our big 1.0 release. We hope you’re as excited as we are, and we’ll see you there!
We're Blasting to 1.0!
Learning more with the Item Factions Preview is just another step closing to Last Epoch's 1.0 release on Feburary 21st! The Maxroll Last Epoch Team is in full swing getting the branch's final details done and ready for you to blast the great world of Eterra with our top notch Leveling and Endgame Build Guides, Resource Guides, LEPlanner, and more to come!
If you haven't already, head over to our Discord and select the Last Epoch role in #roles to stay up to date with our content development.
Written by: Dredscythe
Reviewed by: Tenkiei