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Discussion The Patient Gamer: Torchlight 2

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
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I just completed one very fun run through the game Torchlight 2. For the unaware: the Torchlight series is an almost point for point clone of the Diablo series with some quality of life improvements and a gentler 3d WoW style (still an isometric perspective and plenty of gore).

Let's get the story out of the way: There is the trappings of a story and some drawn cutscenes in the single player campaign. For anyone that has played Diablo 2, you'll find the story tends to revolve around some very similar if not outright lifted ideas. Much of the story is hidden in the text of characters that give you quests, and the game definitely shows more than tells. Long and short, this isn't a game to be played for the story or cutscenes.

You play the game for that sweet ARPG loot and character building. If you're like me and was burned by Diablo 3's auction house and complete removal of stat points and "weird" character builds, Torchlight 2 will be right up your alley. On a normal difficulty setting, Torchlight tends to be very forgiving in what it will accommodate in terms of builds and stat point distribution. In many ways, the game handles this much better than the Diablo series ever did, with all stat points having some sort of relevance to any of the 4 character types.

For example, I ran through the campaign with a 2H- Strength/Dexterity heavy Engineer class with the majority of my skill points placed in the "summoning" tree that is normally meant for ranged builds. It worked great and I really only died a handful of times through the entire game without assigning a single stat point to Vitality despite engineers fitting the archetypal "tank" roll. Then again, I've also read that Engineers are the most versatile class, so I may not have had the most representative playthrough either.

Loot also tends to hang around for a bit after you equip it thanks to enchantments (which add extra special abilities to items) as well as socketable gems. There is plenty of vendor trash that you pick up while dungeon crawling, but thankfully your pet (one of the major QoL improvements in Torchlight, who has their own inventory and equipment slots) can run up to town to sell your wares so you don't have to stop dungeon crawling.

Quality of Life improvments here are nice. As mentioned, your pet is there to round out your character and can act as a mini-tank or magic user (thanks to a compliment of learnable spells, another QoL feature, that are available for all classes and pets to use). I always like playing a summoner type character, so I outfitted my pet with a number of summoning spells, while outfitting my own character with a number of passive experience and gold boosting spells.

As for endgame content, you have two choices: The Mapworks, which is basically a random dungeon generator that you can run your character through for more loot and experience, or New Game + which as we're all familiar with re-rolls the world and levels it up to match your character.

All in all, I had a great time with Torchlight 2. It also makes a great "2nd monitor" game: it doesn't have much story and doesn't require a huge amount of attention, there are no timers and its very easy to run through a dungeon in roughly 30 minutes to an hour so its very pick up and playable. Tons of loot, very accessible to non-min/maxed character builds, solid mechanics that do a familiar thing very well as opposed to trying something new and failing.
 

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
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$20 bucks right now on Steam, but it will definitely go on sale down to $10 or $5 bucks (otherwise I wouldn't have it in my library).

Get it for as little as possible, the dev closed shop so don't know who is getting the proceeds from the game. Rest assured the game is extremely stable and I did not encounter any bugs of note.
 
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GodisanAtheist

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Nov 16, 2006
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Additionally, it looks like some of the devs from the original game reformed and were working on a Torchlight MMO known as Torchlight Frontiers. Looks like they've shifted direction (at a worryingly late point in development) and pivoted to making the game Torchlight 3.

The game is in Alpha and testers have been putting out some mixed feedback. Then again, T2 was supposed to be an MMO and it turned out to be a great ARPG in its own right so who knows.
 
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Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
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It was not a good game when it first launched and sadly, that's when I played it. I loved the first game and sunk hundreds of hours into it without batting an eye, but I think I only put about 20 hours into the second game and haven't been back since.

It might be time for me to give it another shot since all the issues I had when it first launched have been fixed and balanced.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
11,099
878
126
i've been playing this for a few hours, made it to lev 8 berserker.
it looks good, but there's a lot of boom! and zap! and i can't really tell what is happening in the action.
there's no camera movement without a camera mod.
my hand hurts from clicking.

it's.. ok. let's see in a few more hours.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
11,099
878
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Torchlight 2.
ok, i have .. a question or two.

1. i can't be bothered reading all the text of a million swords; should i only really focus on the "mysterious" drops and above? (im gonna go with yes for now)

2. is it worth saving the gold keys until the end? (i.e are there more gold chests than gold keys in the game, and does gold chest gear get progressively better)
 

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
2,324
700
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ok, i have .. a question or two.

1. i can't be bothered reading all the text of a million swords; should i only really focus on the "mysterious" drops and above? (im gonna go with yes for now)

2. is it worth saving the gold keys until the end? (i.e are there more gold chests than gold keys in the game, and does gold chest gear get progressively better)
1. Yes, that's a good rule of thumb for all ARPGs. In T2 the progression for items goes White (basic items) -> blue -> green > purple -> orange -> red (Legendary).

As you level up, you generally want to keep an eye out for items of a like or better color than what you have equiped and vendorize everything else.

2. No, each large open area has one golden chest. Once you get a golden chest key, hunt the overworld map for the golden chest (if you already found it, it will be marked on the map. Honestly, Golden chests didn't really drop anything outstandingly better than what I aalready had, so l wouldn't sweat it.
 

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
2,324
700
136
It was not a good game when it first launched and sadly, that's when I played it. I loved the first game and sunk hundreds of hours into it without batting an eye, but I think I only put about 20 hours into the second game and haven't been back since.

It might be time for me to give it another shot since all the issues I had when it first launched have been fixed and balanced.
- I too really enjoyed the first game, although I definitely did not put 100's of hours into it. Curious what the second game screwed up so badly that had you drop it so fast?
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,395
423
126
If there's one thing to note about Torchlight II that's arguably rather important, it's that the game has a number of rather good mods available that add features such as talent resets or even new, fan-made classes. From what I recall, there are two large add-on packs, and a third add-on pack exists that allows the two large ones to work together. Back when I played Torchlight II, I had the most fun with a fan-made class.

Also, as a quick note, Torchlight III is currently under development. It was originally going to be a free-to-play game called Torchlight Frontiers, but the developers changed course after the beta testers balked at the systems in the game. Frankly, I'm quite happy that they changed as the online game would've likely lacked mods!
 

Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
2,814
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- I too really enjoyed the first game, although I definitely did not put 100's of hours into it. Curious what the second game screwed up so badly that had you drop it so fast?
Quests wouldn't complete. Skills were broken and damage numbers were way off. Game breaking bugs that caused you to fall into the ground or collision issues when trying to interact with objects. It just felt rushed.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
11,099
878
126
i played this a little longer, and have made it near character level 20, but i dont think im gonna play more of it .. it's just the same thing, over and over. go area, kill mobs your level, get gear, go new area, kill mobs your level, get gear, and every area feels the same because they are all balanced to what you got in the previous area as drops. Just stand there, keep mouse1 pressed, occasionally drink a health potion.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
76,577
9,681
126
i played this a little longer, and have made it near character level 20, but i dont think im gonna play more of it .. it's just the same thing, over and over. go area, kill mobs your level, get gear, go new area, kill mobs your level, get gear, and every area feels the same because they are all balanced to what you got in the previous area as drops. Just stand there, keep mouse1 pressed, occasionally drink a health potion.
Yeah I got it when it first came out and thought it was OK but the more I played the more I realized it has a lousy story, lousy action, and nothing special to set it apart from the rest.
If I'm honest with myself it was a foolish purchase anyway. I had plenty of hack n slash back when Diablo 1 arrived. I lost interest in Diablo 2 long before I finished it once. And I never even purchased Diablo 3.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,352
5,269
136
i played this a little longer, and have made it near character level 20, but i dont think im gonna play more of it .. it's just the same thing, over and over. go area, kill mobs your level, get gear, go new area, kill mobs your level, get gear, and every area feels the same because they are all balanced to what you got in the previous area as drops. Just stand there, keep mouse1 pressed, occasionally drink a health potion.
Depends on how you build your character. Outlanders are a challenge. Though glaives may be spammable, they aren't as powerful as they used to be. And you don't have to use them.

Embermage is a snoozefest except for the occasional teleport to get out of (or into?) trouble.

There's other problems with the game. Gear optimization requries finding enchanters, and they spawn randomly in certain areas. I just put the enchanters I wanted in town with a mod and called it a day. Though if you really want to min-max you have to get the enchants you want (they're random) so there's a grind there as well. You can change that with mods as well, but you wind up going OP really quickly if you go that route.

The worst thing was the "draw in" though. The game is optimized for multiplayer, so it minimizes traffic between clients by not placing enemies on the battlefield unless someone is near enough to them to draw them on-screen. That means you can't out-range anything that has a range of half a screen length unless you're playing mutliplayer and have a friend who is willing approach the enemy first. The dwarven levels have enemies that can fire on you from that range, and they're devastating to ranged classes who can't get the drop on them, even if they should be able to hit those foes from off-screen. Diablo 2 was a lot better in that regard.
 
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DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
11,099
878
126
i did realize the game was better multiplayer, but then again, every game is better in multiplayer. since im not in MP, im gonna dedicate me time to something else.
 

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