Jan 132011
 

This all started with a simple rant. I want to Epic-ize my barbarian Chelena but there is only one Epic maul and it really isn’t very good. Every update has a new Great Axe but maul users seem to be left out in the cold.

I began to wonder if this was just an impression or was really factual. Thus engaged, my inner nerd took over and suddenly there are graphs and charts appearing everywhere (something that happens to me a lot actually).

What did I learn? My Maulist is not as bad off as many others. It always seemed like there were a million different Epic items but no, there are less than two hundred: there aren’t as many Epic choices overall as I had thought.

  • Several iconic weapons – warhammer, pick, mace, dwarven axe – have NO Epics at all
  • There is a pretty good balance of Epic categories between clothing, jewelry, armor, and weapons
  • Necklace is an outlier: one in every ten Epic items is a necklace
  • Dagger and Quarterstaff are outliers too: almost one in every four weapons is a dagger or staff

And now on with the gory details. Sometimes I wish the analysis ability was something I could just turn off when I don’t need it πŸ™‚

    Overall Summary

Epic items by type

This is a simple histogram showing the number of Epic items of each type. For instance, there are four different Epic wands.

Not a ton of disparity here, I guess I would have expected more weapons only because there are so many different types of weapons…

    Epic Items By Slot

Epic items by slot

Very few belt choices, and very many helmets. The category winner though is necklace, it is way out of whack. A repeat that is worth saying again: ten percent of all Epic items are necklaces.

Note the complete lack of Epic outfits. There is a big disconnect with Epic items in general and the Monk class. As if they were developed by two entirely different groups of people that never spoke.

    Epic Weapons

Epic Weapons

Only about half of the weapons are even available in Epic (21 haves, 19 have-nots). Nine of 38 Epic weapons are either daggers or quarterstaves. Maybe I should roll up that Jayne Cobb knifefighter build after all?

Monks continue to be shut out: zero kamas and one handwrap. I am not certain the one set of handwraps count: the Festival of Mabar items could be acquired in a weekend and are generally less powerful than other Epics.

    Weapons by Type

Epic Weapons by Type

The big surprise, for me at least, is the sparse selection of Exotic weapons. Only three, and two of them are khopeshes.

Ranged users have some choices. Thrown weapons not so much. I do not point this out as a bad thing, it just is. There probably aren’t very many Epic characters demanding Epic thrown weapons.

    Conclusion

The developers put a lot of effort into balancing individual items but did not attempt to provide a balanced overall set of Epic items that work with a variety of different builds and styles.

The decision to make existing quest packs Epic has limited the ability of the developers to provide that balanced set of Epic items as they can only “Epic-ize” those items that were already in the pack. But that does not explain the paucity of new choices in the Sentinels, Carnival or Red Fens packs. For the most part, they were more of the same.

The two latest updates have no Epic items but use a different mechanism to create items that are (probably and in my opinion only) not up to Epic standards. Even so, the item choices are more of the same, especially the weapon choices: khopesh, falchion, greatsword, longbow, shortsword, another (!) great axe and of course the always-expected new staff. But there is also a pick and Monks catch a break: a nice outfit and an improvable set of handwraps.

Rumors abound that an Epic reboot is underway. I hope so, for a lot of reasons! I hope the new Epic game is more encouraging of character diversity and less likely to restrict Epic players into a small number of builds wielding a small number of equipment sets.

And I really hope it will have an improved Epic maul!

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

What do you think?

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