Monday, November 02, 2009


I plowed through Diablo 2.5, also known as Torchlight. If you've heard anything about the game, you probably know how absurdly similar it is to Diablo games, from little details of the item management to general theme and gameplay.

I found some of the control scheme changes to be nice; I don't like to use my left hand to activate abilities, and they let you bind several attacks to your mouse. I would have preferred the ability to bind whatever I liked to whichever key I liked, like I do with TF2. In fact, Torchlight has no customization of controls whatsoever, unless you count putting spells into spell slots.

There is a period of the game where Ron Paul apparently joined in the fight against the demons, since someone must have left behind all those Gold Standards.

There are only three classes, but they're extremely versatile to build into different directions. I made a guy with guns, since guns are totally cool. I don't remember DII too well, but I think guns are something new to Torchlight. My M.O. was to summon some zombies to act as front-line troops, then spam gunfire, shooting a Ricochet if there were many enemies lined up.

I spent a lot of time crafting gems, but never finding a weapon worthy of improvement. I had an extremely good Bow about halfway through the game, but by the time I had re-enchanted it to the point of it having an amazing suite of abilities, it was behind the curve of DPS compared to random weapons I was finding on the ground. This left me choosing a weapon with essentially no special abilities that did twice as much damage. For the rest of the game, I was waiting for another Yellow (Unique) weapon to crop up so I could start with a fresh gun and turn it into something truly epic, but I beat the game before I found another interesting weapon.

I really don't see the point in having a bunch of dropped items that do essentially nothing; if I have a magic pair of sandals with a base defense of 25, I really, really, really don't need a pair of shoes with no magic and defense 10. Why not just give me some gold?

El_Dawg, of the El Blawg, tells me that gold was essentially worthless in the Diablo games, since it couldn't be converted into anything useful. I'm pleased to report that gold is very good in Torchlight, since it lets you re-enchant your weapons with additional effects, or add additional gem slots. Also, gold is retrieved automatically as you walk by it. It makes me wish for some sort of automatic system of picking up all items. (That reminds me: if you have nothing equipped in an item slot, then pick up an appropriate item, you'll automatically equip it, a nice little feature. I've died in more than one game for lack of equipping starting armour.)

Anyway, if you like Diablo style action, Torchlight does it very proficiently, and only costs 20$.

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