The basic fighting technique is simply 'run and gun' your opponents. However, this strategy does not always work on difficult modes, such as Veteran or Elite, nor is it particularly enjoyable.
So, here are some alternatives.
Common skills used to remedy this are the Lore skills Bramble Wall and Tangling Shot, both repelling opponents or immobilizing them for a short duration. Both will help keep your combat area clear of mobs, allowing easier escape, or simply a more effective way of fighting an opponent. Other, must-have skills are passives Long Range Mastery and Dodge Mastery. Both improve the long-range attribute
of the Outlander, the dodge ability reducing damage received, and the long range ability adding 30% damage to long range weapons and 5 meters of range at it's peak.
The Lore skill Glaive Throw is often used to eliminate multiple opponents, as the glaive ricochets off solid objects, damaging all that it hits. The thrown glaive will rebound four times at peak.
Aside from these basic and common skills above, other passive skills, such as Sigil skill Master of the Elements, and Lore skills Share the Wealth and Poison Burst, are extremely helpful dealing damage to your opponents without having to cast new spells
or skills, thereby saving mana. The links above under Skills have more details on the exact consequences of each skill
. To be brief, each allows you to deal more damage...if you know how to use them right. With Outlanders, it is advisable for beginners to focus on dealing the most damage in the shortest amount of time at the longest range, an idea that favors crossbows
and skills that increase range and the amount of targets hit at once. More advanced users often create dual-wielding pistol characters or Shotgonne users. Remember, you never really know if your character build was a success or failure until ~level
50. (Unless, of course, you find you simply can't kill anything at level 49. In which case, I recommend that you start again, or respec your character. Instructions are found here.
And, instead of going through the countless possibilities of how to build your character, you can find builds on the bottom of the page of the Official Torchlight II Armory, found here
. The page includes a skill calculator, which calculates the attributes of the Outlander's skills at any level, and strength, dexterity, focus, and vitality amount to determine the ultimate outcome of a given setup at any level between one and one hundred.