The thing with hack-n-slash games is that the 'fun' comes from the challenge surely?? It's not like the story is massively engrossing and I'm not out of Chapter 1 yet and I've done the 'same' dungeons a few times so the scenery isn't high on the list either :)
Thanks for the further answers. I played a bit tonight after getting a good shield/wand combo going and that, coupled with some +health items and gems, has done absolute wonders. I really appreciate the assistance, the game had been getting very frustrating there for a moment but now it's back to being fun. I still die if I get careless, but not (seemingly) at random anymore.
Hmm, I have to try wand+shield. I've been running my Embermage with dual wands, because I thought that as I spend lots of points on Focus the execute change would be very beneficial.
I've played all the way to the end with each class, and I've got to say that one thing that bugs me a bit is that some classes are more synergistic than others. The Embermage seems to me to be the most powerful by far, mostly because there are a variety of skills which buff his output in multiple skill trees. Prismatic Bolt's damage output, for instance, is largely dependent upon investing in the brands for each of the trees. Combine it with Ice Storm (or whatever its called) which has an ice and electricity debuff for even more damage.
On the flip side, the Outlander has serious issues with synergy, and seems to really benefit from--if not require--a spread-out approach to skills. I wanted to focus on summoning, since the class's summons are mostly tied into active skills (as opposed to boring summon-and-forget spells), but one is based on using ranged projectile weapons--no glaives!--and the other is a very short-ranged area of effect magic-type-skill. They don't really fit well with each other, but that's not obvious until you use them.
Meanwhile, the Berserker has a wonderful pick-up-and-use approach, where you can focus on one skill tree exclusively and get a perfectly functional--even well-focused--build, but can mix-and-match easily and effectively.
So I was playing earlier and picked up a few oranges. It wasn't for a bit that I realised that one of them was a scroll! Take a look:
(If that's too small, just open it up into a new page, it's in 1080 from Steam)
Has anyone picked one of these up before? Does he last forever? Scale to your current level? If so, I was thinking of plopping him down in [minor location spoiler for post end-game] The Mapworks[/spoiler]? Either that or keeping it till later on, maybe till I inevitably reach level 100.
At any rate, what an interesting item to pick up. I've played the game for about 50 hours now, on my NG+ with my mage (as pictured, starting the Djinn quest-line) and up to around the same place on a co-op Berserker (not enjoying it as much) and I'm still finding new stuff. I didn't even find the Minecraft and Borderlands easter eggs the first time round!
I say, keep it till 100 and save your cash before honestly.
1. Has a timer, can keep window open indefinitely even after he disappears.
2. All in a multiplayer game can use him.
3. For best results be lvl 100 and use a lvl 105 Mapworks Map or higher NG+ zones.
4. High end set pieces cost around 30-40k
Shame it's not permanent, but fair enough. Thanks for the info. I look forward to eventually being able to use!
*Blows dust and cobwebs away*
So I've been playing this again recently after taking something of a break away. Firstly, I started New Game ++ and have installed a small mod to increase storage (per character storage goes up to 10 pages, whilst shared storage is 30; the mod also greatly expanded pet and personal inventory space, but the modder released a 'lite' version which only increased chest storage which I opted for what with it being far more balanced). This has made hoarding items much easier and, I feel, a lot more in-keeping with the spirit of the game, allowing choice for future characters or development. I can understand why there was an initial limit, but I'm having more fun not throwing away uniques because I don't have the space.
Playing still as my embermage, I've noticed a few things from the end of my NG+ run and now mid-way through act 2 in my NG++ run. They've added a fair few small dungeons throughout the acts. They don't have any side quests attached to them, but they are usually of the same level as the rest of the side quests in that specific overworld, apart from the addition of Nether Portals, which are a couple of levels higher as well as having, I believe, fixed lay-out. These portals contain Netherim enemies almost exclusively, whilst the rest of the side quests are a bit varied.
I'll spread what I want to say out over a few posts because I have more images to post. So, if you're in the last overworld part of Act 3, you may discover The Lost Hold, a Dwarven dungeon that consists of one floor. The assets look original (bearing in mind I took these pics after the patch that added them late last year) and some are pretty neat.
Nether Portals, which I haven't sussed out any particular 'trick to' (they're just there. I don't know if it's random chance, if they're guaranteed to exist in one of the overworld parts of an act or what). So far since they added them in, I've found one in Act 3 of my NG+, and then one in Act 1 and another in Act 2 of my NG++.
The lay-out/assets are suitably weird and are naturally distinctive compared to the rest of the art in the game.
I'm unsure if the following is just randomly generated terrain working in my favour or if they added variables to it, but I was happily greeted in Act 1 on my NG++ to some pretty nice environmental work in the area between the Etherian Conclave and the second overworld map (if we exclude the opening/tutorial area).
You'll note at this point that I've switched from dual-wands to wand-and-shield. Come the late game of my NG+, despite having over 6K health and pretty fast HP regen, as well as Death's Pact for near instant mana and hp restoration, the damage became too much and I'd find myself dying in instant hits. The shield, along with now over 8K health (and bloody finally Self Heal VI, which I've waited an entire run-through to pick up over my Self Heal III and, like London busses, I've now acquired duplicates of) has significantly helped with not dying. I still do, mostly when getting cocky when denying damage for a long time, but it's nowhere near as frustrating. Frost Phase now is almost assured getaway, as opposed to hoping that one final slash or bolt of magic doesn't reach and end me.
While levelling up and reaching 'Demi God' fame status, I realised I was unable to continue levelling up skills that I was actively (or passively) using. The result was playing around with a couple more. The first was a fire spell, the name of which I can't remember, that emitted a fire blast from you and as well as dealing out fire damage would knockback all enemies within a short distance. The cast time on it was way too big to be useful and I promptly removed it as soon as possible.
I'm also reminded that the music in this game is amazing and really helps the mood.
^^ Interesting locales and info. I too recently cracked this open again for some punting around between deaths in Dark Souls, starting a new game as an Engineer. So far (around L10) he just feels like a less-exciting Berserker, so I might dig into a NG+ with my Embermage.
edit: snap I totally broke your flow, my bad.
Anyhow, the spell I did end up on was a Fire Aura which...well, pretty much does exactly what you think it does. It has a shortish casting time and has a basic duration of 30 seconds. Enemies that come into melee range with you take fire damage which stacks if they remain close. At each tier upgrade, it starts to absorb incoming damage (5, 10 and then 15%). I probably won't reach even rank 5, but it's a cool spell that you can just sort of use and not have to worry about. That's not even it's best property - as it emits damage, you can simply walk by pots and they break open. YES! No more clicking on them to break!
Phase beast challenge - puzzle room. I actually like the puzzle rooms over the combat rooms because it's something nice for a change. This one is pretty cool.
You walk onto a path of stones that appears from beneath the lake you're at and as you move, stones rise and fall by your proximity to them (naturally, if you get close they rise and if you move away they drop back down). The path is twisty and turny, with dead-ends and no real traps, apart from a couple of mobs that spring up and attack, but go down quickly. There is a path that leads to the end, split up by a few islands that break up the overall puzzle and give you time to breathe. From these main routes you need to find branches that lead to dead ends that hold gems. Whilst you can technically complete the puzzle and leave without finding the gems, you receive nothing for doing so. Up to 3 gems can be found, each one allowing access to blue tinted chests at the end.
It took a bit of time to do, but it was never really frustrating. A nice change of pace!
New dungeon - Ice Labs
So this is found on the path between the Estherian Enclave and the second overworld map in Act 1 (Crows' Pass), like I mentioned earlier. It merges the aesthetics of the dungeon in Act 4 along with snowy, icy caves. The merge of design is quite cool, going between metal bridges suspended over ravines that are fashioned into straight or blocky paths to walk on, as opposed to the craggy and uneven shapes of the cave paths. The enemies are mostly those found in Act 4's dungeon, with some wild beats on the second floor (suggesting the Ice Labs to be something of genetic experiments, perhaps?). There's no champion at the end, but the area is full of elites.
Not pictured - the stream leads to a waterfall just off screen, but and the stream from it are frozen. Nice, simple touches that give the environment this sense of 'living', I suppose.
Anyhow, my post-binge concludes!
New dungeon - The Wellspring Treasury
As the name suggests, yes there was treasure. I can't remember if this is found in the last overworld part of Act 1, or like The Ice Labs in that connecting path. Considering this was days ago, that's pretty poor on my behalf, but ah well. It's a small, 'single floor' dungeon with a linear path. Mobs are all from the local area and its environmental design is like the phase beast challenge pictured above, but unused and decaying. Similarly, I don't recall a champion at the end, but sure enough at the end there's a large amount of treasure available to you.
Come Act 2 and I'm noticing a few things similar. The first overworld map (the Zerrephesh Wastes?) has a couple of small additional dungeons, as well as a Nether Portal as I described above. It also had a hidden side quest which I need to look into more, but I didn't for a reason I'll explain shortly. Around this overworld map were elite skeletal golems. Three of them dropped 'souls' which, when placed in an urn by a small tower, opened up a portal with a name that I can't remember (it's a tomb and shares the name of one of the other dungeons in the same area). It's pretty cool though because it's a sort of endurance room.
The trick here is that when you beat a wave of enemies, you get access to a blue chest, however once you leave the battle arena and choose to claim your prize, you cannot re-enter the arena and fight for more. If you die, you're ejected (and as I discovered, it simply resets, as opposed to what I thought it would do of like the phase beast portals, simply close and prevent you from trying again). Not only do the waves escalate in difficulty of the types of mobs, but their levels jump up too. By the time I entered the portal I was just over level 90 and from what I can determine, the enemies start off 5 levels higher and each wave increases by the same amount. I went onto my third wave and was fighting level 105 enemies!
I then promptly died because oh god there's so many of them and they're powerful and why didn't I just take the prizes?!
I noticed on my exit that I gained a lot of experience and not wanting to throw out the later balance, return to it and claim my prizes then. A nice thing to add for sure.
Anyhow, I now find myself speeding through the game and up to the second overworld of Act 2 hunting once more for the Djinn. In one of the side quest dungeons though, something really quite special happened...
Could it be? No, surely not a legendary item! But, it's red! When you hover over it it's orange, but that's definitely red! I shall claim it and...
HOLY CRAP, A LEGENDARY! I GOT A LEGENDARY! And damn, look at those stats!
If there's one thing I can complain about in my third run with my mage now it's that it's actually quite hard to upgrade gear. Most of my equipment is part of the Sentinel set, which I'd managed to find 6/7 of the 9 pieces of! The bonus for this set was quite significant and despite found armour having maybe decent stats and noticeably higher armour, they haven't necessarily come at the right time or been enough of an upgrade. Perhaps these would further alleviate my health drops on attacks (although I have something like a 50%+ block chance, not to mention a 20% dodge chance). I hope to find more useful goodies, but the game remains very fun.
I'm still interested in trying out that battle mage/melee mage (with suitable skills that perhaps boost survivability or passives, or perhaps are not ranged, so taking that knockback spell I described earlier) and there's a big mod called Synergies which seems to add a lot which I'm quite keen on trying.
I guess after all these posts, what I want to say is Torchlight 2 is still as good a game as it was since it released, if not better, and there's plenty of variable content for you to discover if you want to go at it again.
So yeah, somehow my L55 Embermage made it through the game with this helmet:
I didn't find anything that offered a better deal. :c
That's the thing about percentage based stats. 4% to all damage is a lot, so is 20% crit damage. At later game as well, armour will only do so much. At least by then you have access to The Mapworks and can chuck on 3 enchants.
Embermages I found rather boring. The most fun I could get out of one was going full-on Frost and staff melee, between spamming Hailstorm and Frost-phase, but it lacks the satisfaction of a face-wrecking Hunter Zerker or playing keep-away with a Bramble Wall / Poison-powered Outlander.