Tag Archives: torchlight 2

blaugust #30: outliving the outlander.

I hadn’t really planned on spending the bulk of Sunday wrestling with my outlander in T2, but here we are. When I logged in this morning, I was just going to do a little fishing and tidy my inventory. I’ve had an urge to make biscuits for a couple of days now, and I have a good book that I’m halfway through. I was just going to fish while the water boiled for tea. That was four hours ago.

Ozzy’s just been such a difficult puzzle that I kept banging my head against it, dying over and over again. There were my existing problems of needing a lot of potions, and not having a lot of power to my ammo. And then my pet is really double-secret useless. I know they’ve all got the same base stats on them, so I can’t explain why this panther runs away and dies so much faster than any of my other pets. Maybe that’s a function of higher difficulty. He doesn’t have especially good tags on just yet, but neither did my other pets early on. He has the best things available equipped. Even as a warsnout in regular mob fights, he’s dead almost immediately. So I’ve basically just been ignoring him. I’ve had to step lively to keep myself going, so I’m not stopping to heal him. When I can get Vampiric Spider Eggs, that seems to do the trick for him and he’s much stronger and does great damage. [Side note: he is a blockily animated panther in a game that doesn’t take itself especially seriously, but it still feels really, really bad to ignore him while he limps away and keels over in a corner.]

So there I was, slogging away in the best gear I could equip, with my potions stacked to the rafters, dying and dying and dying. I could kill anything out in the world. I could kill anything in dungeons, but it was expensive and took ages. But I could not kill a single boss. All the Act I quests I did up to the boss fights, and then died almost immediately in those. Because I’ve not played either an outlander or this difficulty level before, I wasn’t sure what combination of those things was making this so hard. I looked for a better shotgunne, but couldn’t find any for sale. So I just kept slogging on, leaving all the bosses unfinished. It was insanely frustrating, but not boring. There was just enough progress I could make that I didn’t want to give up.

And then I finally caught a break. A better shotgunne dropped, and when I equipped it, it cracked the game open. The numbers weren’t crazy higher – about 20% more than what I’d had – but because Ozzy’s build is entirely wrapped up in shotgunne skills, it made a huge difference. I started being able to do dungeon monsters without going through piles of potions, and I went back and finished off all the bosses I’d left hanging. It still took ages, and lots of healing, but I did all the bosses but one without dying. That gave me about three more levels, which is that much more strength and dexterity, and then I got a shotgunne that was better still.

It’s still difficult, and I’m going through way more potions than I ever have on other characters. My panther is still not a great source of help. But I have a handle on surviving and moving forward now, and it feels really satisfying. A year ago, I’d have rage-quit this, and now I can keep myself going, and make progress. On top of being fun, that feels really good.

(This is the eve of the end of Blaugust, dear readers.)

blaugust #26: tickles my fancy.

Torchlight 2 - Ozzy - 8-26-15b

For one reason and another, last weekend I decided to make a third alt in Torchlight 2. My main is an engineer, but she keeps getting really good drops for an outlander. There’s pretty limited storage in Torchlight 2, so I’ve sold most of them. I kept two rings, though, so I rolled an outlander. He’s called Ozzy, short for Ozymandias, and he’s got a pet panther named Tickles. Obviously.

I’ve been playing on normal for a couple months now, so I also decided I’d kick the difficulty up a notch for this one. This was possibly not my best-laid plan. I’m concentrating on a mostly dexterity build, with some strength points every few levels to bolster my ammo. But the outlander’s coolest and most devastating skill, early on, is a glaive throw that sucks the ever-loving life out of my mana reserves. I could improve that pretty quickly by spending some skill points on focus, but I’m going for a different build on him and I want to try to do without it, at least for a while. My experience over the first ten levels has been rough going. I can use my main shotgunne skill, with the weak ammo and lack of range that entails at low levels. That means I need a lot of health potions and I still die a fair amount. Or I can use my glaive throw and fare much better, but go through expensive mana potions at a pretty alarming rate. Essentially, early level fights don’t generate enough gold to sustain me.

Torchlight 2 - Ozzy - 8-26-15My solution for this so far is just to progress much more slowly than I have before. Kill absolutely everything and collect every penny on a map before I move on. Tonight I also remembered I can fish for income, so I’ve spent a peaceful and fairly lucrative hour doing that. Next up: seeing about some better, less death-y gear.

So far, I’m not enjoying this class nearly as much as engineer and embermage, but I’m having fun with the challenge of trying to work around the limitations.

(Today is day 26 of the Blaugust challenge.)

blaugust #08: badger me

I spent several hours playing Torchlight 2 with Phil this morning. It’s been The Year of Trying Games around here; I’ve forayed into everything from Shelter to EVE Online. There have been several that I enjoyed, and a few that I loved. Phil and I have played several things together, with varying degrees of success and/or longevity. But Torchlight 2 seems to hit a sweet spot of seasoned-gamer-plays-with-relative-newbie for us. The game’s balance of challenging-to-unfussy is the most satisfying of any I’ve played so far, and I really love it. We both like the mechanics of the game, and its Diablo 3-like sandbox appearance. It’s got a lot of really nice quality of life features, like being able to send your pet back to town to sell gear and restock potions for you. The character builds are flexible and not fussy (I’m learning, but I still get overwhelmed when I look at a skill tree and see dozens of options branching out in every direction). You can apply almost any combination of magic/strength skills to any character.

Which is how I ended up playing an engineer whose entire build is magic, in order to power a gigantic hammer with fire. THIS IS EXACTLY AS FUN AS IT SOUNDS. Her name is Rime. She has shock-white hair, aviator goggles, a steampunk backpack that puffs smoke, a HUGE hammer, and a pet badger. She hits the ground with her hammer, and a sizzling pinwheel of five fiery spokes shoots out around her, striking foes and causing mayhem. It’s immensely satisfying.

Rime in early days, when flaming maces were all the rage.

My only disappointment with the game so far is that the world feels fairly small. There are three segments to the storyline, and three main towns that lead out into the maps. We’ve gone through two of the three already. I know there’s quite a bit more to do, with achievements and random dungeons. I don’t feel like the game itself will be over soon. But I wish there was more to just wander around and explore.

My second character is an embermage, and she’s a good bit squishier than the engineer. I play her on my own (I play the engineer with Phil, so in addition to being just a stronger class she also has backup), and she’s died quite a bit more than Rime has. After I finished the first segment of storyline with the mage, she needed some bulking up before she was ready to take on the second section by herself. I ran her around every inch of the first section of the world, killing every last spider and tiny, quivering rodent until she was strong enough to move on. I wish there had been more room to wander. That may come with the higher levels and later section of the game, but after playing WoW and Guild Wars 2, I’m a bit spoiled for worlds to wander in for their own sake.

The satisfaction I’m getting out of this one more than makes up for that slightly small feeling, though, and I’ll be sticking with it for a long while yet.

(Today marks the start of week 2 of Blaugust. One week down!)