Runic Games 2011 Fansite Event: hawkn's write-up Part 2
This is a news post, but it was posted using an older now-outdated method of posting. The actual post is below these handy asterisks:
Webbstre's note: This is Part 2 of hawkn's write-up on his impressions of Torchlight 2, with some Diablo 3 discussion and more specific details on some mechanics and gameplay. You can find the other coverage by clicking here!
(I'm just going to talk about a few things I thought were interesting, or stood out. Then I can take a few gameplay questions, if anyone has any)
I'm going to start with the Blizzard vs. Runic debate that everyone seems so set on talking about. I've played both Diablo 3, and now, Torchlight 2. I'm well aware that the first part of a game does not speak for the game as a whole, or how the endgame will play. I'm sure Diablo 3 will have plenty of people playing it, and I'm sure it will be difficult – what any ARPG fan wants. Itemization will be fine, I'm sure. However, the main issue I've had with Diablo 3 so far, is that it feels... slow. Combat somehow feels like it's artificially slowed down, and it take a long time to find any action. Most of the “difficult” combat consists of enemies that simply have higher HP, and just take longer to kill.
In Torchlight 2, (I'll be going off my experience with Normal mode as a comparison to try to be fair to Diablo 3) you immediately are thrown into hectic, action filled combat. If you're not careful, there will be close calls. One new feature, is the way Health and Mana potions work. When you take a large amount of damage, the health orb will show how much was taken off, but it drains over a period of time, giving you a chance to use a health potion. However, they are now on a cool-down, so you can't just spam them. It makes combat a bit more tactical, but don't assume it makes it more forgiving. If you aren't careful, you can still die in a matter of a few seconds if you get swarmed by enemies.
There are a LOT of enemies in Torchlight 2. This greatly helps add to the action feel, and makes the game much more difficult than its predecessor. On top of that, almost every enemy now has some sort of special ability. It's not as simple as “Monster A hits harder than Monster B”. Some enemies will shoot exploding arrows that cause AoE damage from where they hit the ground, so you have to pay attention and dodge them. All the while, there are skeletons that block the majority of your damage when you attack from the front. Another enemy will be casting a slow on you. Others will cast abilities that shoot in straight path, and you have to avoid them. That's not to say you don't have counters for them though. In Torchlight 2, there are way fewer passives. Every ability has some sort of effect that will greatly help in combat. For example, the Outlander had an AoE slow, along with a useful ability to leave combat. Then you could use his AoE channeled ability to burn down the enemies standing in the slow. The Embermage on the other hand focused more on sheer damage output to deal with enemies. He had plenty of AoE abilities, along with a lot of spam-able attacks that hit multiple enemies. The Berserker relied on bleeds, and life steals to kill enemies, since she was very much an “In your face” melee character. The action just felt, well I guess the best way to describe it is “good”. (Yeah, flame away, call me a fanboy, but remember I've played just about every single ARPG out there... I know what plays and feels good.)
Overall, I think Torchlight 2 will hold my interest longer than Diablo 3. I'm not saying I won't play Diablo 3 – I have to get the game now, thanks to the Annual Pass (Make sure you read the fine print). I'll probably play Diablo 3 with plenty of friends, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it. However, we will still have to see. I'm not a fan of the dumbed down stat system. In Torchlight 2, it's possible to min/max. And I tried just that. It's nice being able to build your character how you want. You can trade Mana pool for Health. Or sheer DPS for Crit. For those of us who like using math to make “the perfect build”, it's still a viable option. However, it felt like Runic has done a good job with balance so far, so it didn't seem like there will be one viable build, and twenty horrible ones. A hybrid is very possible, and would be just as useful as a standard build. Another reason, is because boss fights are fun and engaging. It's not just “Sit here, spam this, use potion, repeat”. You had to avoid attacks, kills adds, etc.
Now, a few other things. Loot is much, much, much better this time around. Stats on items make sense now. The items are balanced. Erich has done a great job so far. Shields provide defensive stats (+ ice resist, + health, etc). Swords provide offensive bonuses (+ fire damage, + crit, etc). Not only that, but weapon are all different. They aren't “stat sticks”. A bow has a far attack range, but slower attack speed. A sword has a fast attack speed, but short range. A shotgonne has a shorter range, bot shoots a “spray” in front of it (I'll attach some examples similar to what Travis drew for us). A cannon has a large attack range, and spray, but slow attack speed. A two handed weapon will do splash damage, and have a larger arc of damage than, say, a one handed mace.
Gems. They are awesome now. Instead of hoarding them until I could make “the perfect gem”, they were all one grade. And it provided a nice bonus. When I had a good item, I wasn't reluctant to put a gem in it any more. You can still remove gems, or destroy the armor like in the first game, so it's not horrible to do either, if you find a more unique gem that you'd rather use in the item. I found a few unique gems in my play through, and they did more than add “+8 Ice Damage, or +5 Ice Resist”. They instead added things such as “X% more experience gained” or “X% faster movement speed”.
Enchanting is much better than Torchlight's. You now have some choice over what you want, but what you get is still somewhat random. I could go to a specific enchanter for Sockets, but how many I get will be random. I could pay to have the enchant removed, and keep trying if I liked, or I could try a completely different enchanter (When you pay for a “wipe”, it only removes stats that an enchanter has added. It doesn't remove the base stats). This adds some more control, which is nice, and also takes away the possibility of your item losing all of its amazing base stats. No more broken monitors, or bloody knuckles.
There were still a lot of summons, but now they seem to be tied in to abilities, or they provide more than just DPS with an AI. The Outlander has to use certain attacks in order to summon zombies. The Berserker's pet will steal health that goes to the player – very helpful in fights when your potions are on their cool-down timer. The Engineer had summons that provided substantial buffs, such as movement speed, or attack speed. Each class also felt like they had their own niche(s) they filled. The Embermage could be a crowd control class, a debuffer, or a walking harbinger of death and DPS. The Outlander could be a great ranged DPS dealer (more of a single target than the Embermage's AoE stuff), a melee assassin who could easily leave combat to recuperate before charging back in, and using melee AoE attacks, or a support class that would throw down debuffs and slows, while letting his minions clean up. The Engineer could be the beast who could take a massive beating without flinching, the supporter with great buffs, or deal awesome melee DPS. The Berserker could rely on bleeds and melee AoE to kill groups of enemies, use slows and buffs to kill enemies, or summons and ranged abilities.
The variation of armor that is in the game is amazing compared to Torchlight. Just for endgame, there were too many sets to count. Not to mention they look awesome. I think that endgame will be a lot better than Torchlight's, just based on what we saw, which was very little. With the fact that Very Hard is just that, and the addition of Game+, people will be playing a lot longer. When that gets old, mods will come in. The potential that I saw for mods was amazing. I can't wait to see what people come up with, and I'm looking forward to working on mods myself.
That about covers what was on my mind, though there was a lot of info, so some probably will come to mind after this is published. If you have any questions that weren't covered, or clear on the Q&A, or you think I can answer, I'd be happy to try.
Last edited by Webbstre; 03-03-2012 at 08:23 AM.
the embermage has a debuff skill? please more info
so after this logic, which i really like, claw-like weapons must be the fastest in melee, but also the shortest in range?
Originally Posted by Webbstre
Last edited by roflcop; 11-19-2011 at 07:52 PM.
We didn't get to see much of the Embermage tree at all, but considering one tree was Frost, and the other was Lightening, there was plenty of room for debuffs. I imagine that's how the Lighting tree will work, though I spent most of my time playing Fire and Frost. On my Berserker, the claws were very fast, but only seemed to attack one target. There was a chance to attack with both weapons at the same time though, and when it did happen it did a lot more damage. There were item bonuses, and skills that increased the chance by a large amount.
Nice write-up hawkn. Thanks for the info. Did any of you play the engineer? I haven't seen him mentioned in any write-ups.
Really Nice writeup Hawkn! I loved the picture. I played the engineer first, so I will release a narrative type post. Webb will also release a list of all the skills that were current as part of our build (they will most likely change, though). As far as claws... they are the fastest weapon, but are single target only... no splash damage.
Re: Runic Games 2011 Fansite Event: hawkn's write-up Part 2
thanks for the answers..
goood gooood! (Good Good - YouTube)
hm..for some reason I expected to have cannon a ballistic trajectory (like thrown grenade) with circular AoE. This way it is no different from shotgun. Maybe you can upgrade shotgun to have same range as cannon, then cannon is no different.. maybe just slower
I didn't actually use a Cannon, but Jerich did. I just drew something kind of similar to what Travis showed us. Also, ignore the typo in the image. I was tired.
The Cannon was cool, but I wasn't specced for it. I think only the Engineer has cannot mastery type abilities. It is slow and powerful, kind of like a two handed weapon. I am pretty sure it is loaded with grape shot.