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This new project I'm working on is going to consist of a series of megamods to completely re-balance the game, both for higher than level 100 play, and for normal levels as well. It's a work in progress, but I am already finished with the Gem mod, and am testing the Difficulty mod at the current time.
This project is the primary reason for my Massive Mod File Generator's existence. I'm working on these two projects side-by-side... and almost everything I release from Torchlight Evolved will be completely generated using this code suite.
Evolved Ember - The Gem Overhaul
The megamod will change all the in-game gems, providing seven all-new types of gems, each type having 30 different grades that progress all the way up to level 1000. Each gem will have three different types of bonuses: one for armor, one for weapons, and a more adventuring-focused percentage bonus for trinkets. The graphics for all gems are hand-drawn by me in paint. They may not be the prettiest but at least they stand apart from each other!
Like the original gems, these can be combined two-at-a-time to create one of the next grade. However, unlike the originals, their drop rates progress a lot better as you level, only being able to drop eight different gems at any given level period. Once you get high enough level, the lower level gems will stop dropping entirely to make room for more of the better ones. Their appearance in the shops will also be much better balanced, to reflect their actual drop rates in the dungeons.
Evolved Ember COMPLETE!
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Evolved Evil - The Difficulty Overhaul
This megamod will revise all the stat graphs for experience gain, enemy health/armor/damage, and so on, providing complete coverage up to level 1000 (normally they only go up to level 55). This is going to change how the game progresses, to provide a lot more balance as you level up through the game, but will not be changing any specific monsters, classes, items, etc. I'm also not going to be increasing the QUANTITY of monsters on any difficulty... the individual monsters (and especially champions) will just become more difficult.
All difficulties of the game are going to get more difficult, and will continue to be even more of a challenge at higher levels (instead of eventually becoming super-easy). Each difficulty will be a LOT harder than the last, to the point that it will be pretty much impossible to attempt Very Hard unless you have some overpowered items/gems waiting in the stash from a previous character. In my initial test run of Very Hard on a new character with starting equipment, I died in the first encounter IN THE MAIN TOWN before even entering the first dungeon!
The experience curve is going to become a lot steeper, especially at later levels, but this will be compensated by bonuses to experience from killing champions, playing harder difficulties, and especially by killing higher level monsters. How I currently have it set up, each level above yours will grant a 10% experience bonus, so if you can kill an enemy 10 levels higher, you'll get TWICE the xp! I'm trying to implement a risk vs. reward system that will require you to continue improving your character and skills in order to level up faster.
Evolved Evil Progress:
Phase 1. Brainstorming (90%)
Phase 2. Coding (75%)
Phase 3. Testing (15%)
Phase 4. Release
Evolved Abilities - The Skill & Spell Overhaul
This megamod will change all the skills and spells to provide a more balanced gameplay experience at lower levels, in addition to adding many new levels to all the skills and spells to make them balanced at high levels as well (even all the way up to level 1000).
I don't have a lot of details on this yet, but my tentative plan is to change each class skill so that it can be leveled up to 100 instead of 10, and even the first level of these skills is going to look a lot different than it was before. My goal is to make every skill viable at both low and high levels, and especially to provide new incentives for using those skills that nobody really ever used before. There will also be a certain amount of strategy in leveling up your attacks, because the MP Cost will be rising at a much faster rate than it did in the normal game.
Also, every attack skill in the game will start benefiting from Weapon Damage as its primary damage bonus, and I will be increasing the effect your damage stats (strength, dexterity, magic) have on various skills, and making the less used stats (i.e. Dex on a Destroyer) actually worth stacking on your gear. My tentative plan for this is making most, if not all skills gain a 100% bonus from two different damaging stats, depending on what kind of skill it is. There will be several Destroyer skills for instance that do not use Strength at all, meaning a Dex or Magic build could be a viable and unique way to play, focusing on different types of skills.
Evolved Abilities Progress:
Phase 1. Brainstorming (75%)
Phase 2. Coding
Evolved Items - The Equipment Overhaul
This megamod will completely re-write the equipment system from the ground-up. This mod will probably require a slightly more complex installation because I'll be REMOVING all the old gear from the game entirely, to make way for a more balanced progression of items that will be provided all the way up to level 1000 at a steady pace!
Not only will I be removing all the old equipment items, but most of the old affixes as well, to make way for an entirely re-imagined way for bonuses to be randomly applied to items! The biggest difference is there will no longer be tons of affixes that take up multiple slots on the item. This will provide a lot more balance to the itemization... for example, it will no longer be possible to find a level 20 magic item with more Strength on it than most level 80 rares! There will also be a lot fewer (if any) rare items with only 1-2 affixes on them instead of the 4-5 they're supposed to have.
In addition to all this, all the new Unique and Set items will be revised to provide more generally useful bonuses in addition to the more specialized ones, but at the same time they will drop more rarely. However, with enough magic find, you will be dropping more of them than you ever could before! And this much magic find will actually be achievable at high levels, because the percentage affixes will probably be receiving the biggest overhaul.
Evolved Items Progress:
Phase 1. Brainstorming (25%)
Phase 2. Coding