Diablo 4 vs Last Epoch: 5 major differences between the two ARPG

Diablo 4 Last Epoch
Both Diablo 4 and Last Epoch are fun ARPGs, but where do they differ? (Image via Blizzard Entertainment and Eleventh Hour Games)

The year 2024 is home to several amazing ARPGs, such as Diablo 4 and Last Epoch. While Last Epoch is the new kid on the block, it made some waves at launch, offering something a bit different from its competitors. Last Epoch has more in common with games like Path of Exile, while Diablo 4 builds instead on its rich legacy of ARPG gaming, from Blizzard Entertainment.

Both games have their merits, and from this writer’s perspective, they are both worth playing. Last Epoch still has a great deal of potential to grow and improve as a great ARPG, and it could be said that Diablo 4 is currently in its best season.

The updates to the Loot System, among other things, have given the game a new lease on life. But where do these two games differ? Depending on what you want, you may wish to pick a different ARPG.

Note: This article is subjective and solely based on the author's opinion.


Major points where Diablo 4 and Last Epoch stand apart

1) Last Epoch offers an offline mode whereas Diablo 4 is online only

Having an Offline Mode is a really great feature that Blizzard's game lacks (Image via Blizzard Entertainment and Eleventh Hour Games)
Having an Offline Mode is a really great feature that Blizzard's game lacks (Image via Blizzard Entertainment and Eleventh Hour Games)

My favorite thing about Last Epoch that Diablo 4 lacks, is that it has an offline mode you can play anytime. You don’t have to play online if you don’t want to. While Diablo 2 allowed you to play offline and in LAN mode, that has been stripped away from the game in the more modern release.

Never having to worry about server downtime, or major updates preventing you from playing the game is a huge feature. Even when Last Epoch first launched, it was having ridiculous server issues from too many people logging in; you were instead able to play an Offline character. Granted, those characters can’t play on the Live servers, but that’s perfectly fine.


2) Diablo 4 features a handcrafted open world compared to Last Epoch’s procedurally generated zones

The overworld systems are much different in these games (Image via Blizzard Entertainment and Eleventh Hour Games)
The overworld systems are much different in these games (Image via Blizzard Entertainment and Eleventh Hour Games)

One of the things that I adore about Diablo 4 is its vast open world. Sure, you’re going to spend most of the time fast traveling, but it’s not required. You can get anywhere on the map, and it will be the same every time. The enemy packs might change, and the events change, but the actual map is static. On top of that, you have a ton of dungeons to explore, to break up the world.

While Last Epoch has a nice world, with plenty of great areas to explore, most of the maps felt procedurally generated. Other than a few hub areas, you spawn in at one of a few random locations on the map, compared to Diablo 4, where you know exactly where you’ll wind up if you walk from area to area.

Eleventh Hour Games’ ARPG lacks a distinct overworld, whereas Blizzard designed its game around having a full map to explore. D4 players also have mounts to travel the world with, and while its competitor does not, it has no need for them; there’s no incentive for them with a lack of an overworld.


3) Diablo 4 has no class gender-lock and comes with more customization options than Last Epoch

Blizzard gives their players plenty of customization options throughout the game (Image via Blizzard Entertainment and Eleventh Hour Games)
Blizzard gives their players plenty of customization options throughout the game (Image via Blizzard Entertainment and Eleventh Hour Games)

Some ARPG fans are very serious about the topic of gender-locked classes in their games. While personally, this writer doesn’t care one way or another, many players are quite firm in their stance. All classes in Last Epoch are gender locked, and there aren’t really a lot of options when it comes to customization, character generation, or throughout the game. In fact, Eleventh Hour Games didn’t include any character customization at launch, and this hasn’t changed months later.

Conversely, Diablo 4 allows players to choose skin tone, hair styles, tattoo colors, and things of that nature at character creation. No class is gender-locked, and you can change your armor cosmetics at any time by visiting a town. Armor can also be changed to one of several color dyes—each piece individually.


4) Last Epoch has classes and sub-classes (Masteries), and Diablo 4 lacks these

One game prefers builds, the other leans towards deeper customization and sub-classes (Image via Blizzard Entertainment and Eleventh Hour Games)
One game prefers builds, the other leans towards deeper customization and sub-classes (Image via Blizzard Entertainment and Eleventh Hour Games)

One way Last Epoch is stronger than Diablo 4, is the deep class customization. Each skill essentially has its own skill tree to improve and customize, and that’s on top of the Mastery system. Each class has three other sub-classes you can specialize into. Once you pick a Mastery, you cannot change it, though.

Diablo 4 focuses more on builds and archetypes, i.e., different ways to play the same class. Its skill and talent tree may not be as complex and deep as its competitor, but it is much easier to understand. While having so many skills is incredible, and offers lots of possibilities, it can be easy to get lost in them, similar to how some players feel about Path of Exile’s skill system.


5) Last Epoch has full support of Loot Filters are not available yet in Diablo 4

One day, Blizzard will give us Loot Filters... (Image via Blizzard Entertainment and Eleventh Hour Games)
One day, Blizzard will give us Loot Filters... (Image via Blizzard Entertainment and Eleventh Hour Games)

Both games drop tons of loot, and the deeper you get into the games, the more items fall on the ground. However, something Diablo 4 is lacking, but the developers are reportedly working on, is Loot Filters. We have no idea when they’ll be introduced, likely after the upcoming expansion.

Eleventh Hour Games has made Loot Filters incredibly deep in their game, similar to how Path of Exile structures theirs. You can also import/export them to the internet; if your friend or a popular streamer has an amazing Loot Filter for your build, you can import it to your game easily. It’s one of the game’s stronger points, allowing players to hide the equipment that serves them no purpose, based on a wide variety of metrics.


At the end of the day, both ARPGs have their strong points. They are both games I enjoy a great deal. While I might play one more over the other, that in no way changes the positives both games have. As long as players are having fun in the game of their choice, that’s all that matters.

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