I've been doing Torchlight marathons every weekend and my YouTube "Torchlight Alchemist Gameplay" series has reached the 90-clip mark (as of this date). The 2- to 5-hour runs have given me a new perspective of this game (which I erroneously thought to be another simple Diablo clone). While the plot is typical action RPG fare, the action and the various gameplay nuances are varied and different enough from Blizzard's ARPG juggernaut. Torchlight might not win any awards that run along "Best Game of All Time" lines, but it certainly provides an experience that's unique enough to make it stand out on its own and familiar enough that ARPG PC players will find it endearing.
The various mods and tips and strategies I use after the jump.
- Torchlight has a Tab feature that lets you quickly alternate between two skills. While you can still---needless to say---click on a skill's hotkey to activate it, the Tab feature is very helpful. Assigning a survivability skill/spell with the Tab hotkey will enable you to quickly call on that skill if your health hits critical.
- Provided that you've done the above tip, make it a habit to press Tab again after you've activated your defensive skill. This way you can get back into the fight after without having to scramble to hit the appropriate hotkey to change your current active spell/skill. This will save you several microseconds---microseconds that might save your life. (Ex. I usually have Ember Lightning bound to my Right Mouse Button. When I get focused fire by enemies, I run away, press Tab (binding Ember Shield to the Right Mouse Button), activate it, then press Tab again, rebinding Ember Lightning. I then go back into the fray.)
- Not comfortable with mods that might disrupt gameplay balance? I use the following as they don't tinker with the game's balance and what changes they bring only rectify what I view as flaws in the game:
- Bee Swarm Mod - made by Runic Games so this is, for the lack of a better term, an "official mod." This enables your pet to vomit a swarm of bees, wreaking havoc on enemy morale. I've never bought the spell but I installed it just the same as Runic Games made it.
- Bigger Gems Mod - tired of squinting at gems every time you sort though your inventory? This mod makes the gem icons larger, allowing you to more easily gauge at a glance which gem is what.
- Brighter Map Mod - this is a godsend; makes the automap more opaque.
- More Maps - makes the vendors sell maps for higher level characters.
- Better Balanced Sale Prices Mod - this tinkers with the gameplay a bit but I fully agree with the mod's creator opining that vendors in the game are penny pinchers, selling even unique items for less than a third of their prices and selling them for triple or more than what they shelled out for the said items.
- Better Quest Rewards Mod - like the creator, I found it odd that quest givers typically give out rewards that only serve as useless baubles fit only to be sold.
I will add more in the days ahead.