I'm new to the game / forums, but while patiently (read: not) awaiting diablo 3 i was looking into other games, and of course i wound up in torchlight. Gonna be honest and admit i'm shallow - first time i booted up the game, i looked at the 3 class options, and then closed the game. They just looked like the same old thing... plus, i pretty much only play female characters / casters, which didn't appear to be an option - it's just the way i am... since almost as long as i've been gaming (i started early), possibly brought around by reading a few compelling science fantasy novels when i was younger (obernewtyn was a favourite)... but i digress.
These forums are active, btw, right?!
Anyway, i'm a bit of an RPG veteran (hence making my first post in the hardcore subforum), so naturally i started on very hard difficulty - i don't usually play hardcore in RPG's though, however, i've recently been getting into some oldschool roguelikes - angband, dwarf fortress - and really
enjoyed the 'permadeath' aspect of those games, so i decided to see how torchlight played if i treated it like a roguelike. I basically i assumed i was going to get bored in 5 minutes anyway, so i might as well try anything to make things interesting.
Turns out i was wrong (yay!).
It took me about 10 levels and probably a solid 4 hours of google searches to finally comprehend the character customisation available in this game. It is truly a triumph of game design. Everything i have tried in the game so far has been viable, even the stuff that people seemed to be saying wasn't - and i should caveat that by pointing out that i am a huge fan of unconventional playstyles. I'm that guy that was trying nydus worms in placement matches when i first started playing starcraft 2, dumping all my points into charged bolt simply because it felt awesome long before synergies existed in diablo 2, not bothering to summon my pet for end-game raids / arenas in world of warcraft simply because i hate classes that force pets on you, but love the warlock playstyle (i was once guild kicked for not having professions, despite outperforming healers (later played a disc priest) in much better gear (maybe they forgot to check the absorbs meters!), made rival in 2's in season 3/4 running petless affliction with an enhancement shaman). Etc etc. Where was i going with this silly ego-rant?
Oh yeah. Torchlight is f*cking awesome.
- Now that the intro is out of the way...
So after some playing around and looking at skills, I have settled on the Arbiter tree (Vanquisher) - the idea is basically a warlock/litch class, dealing with frost and lightning damage. Using wand + shield, focusing on being able to take a beating (it is hardcore after all) and not flinch. Current skills are Defensive Spellcasting (rank 4), Wind of Justice (rank 6), Lightning Bomb (rank 8) and Armor Expertise (rank 10) - i'm skipping flame trap and that ricochet-style one for the sake of flavour... by the way, when i say "arbiter", i mean playstyle, not skill tree choice :x - still waiting on that top tier lightning trap... Spells include Draining Touch III, Heal IV, Frost III and Elemental Protection IV, though i'm still tossing up between Draining Touch and Silence.
Personal handicaps include:
I'm not using pets (he's on passive) because i don't really like them (although i am loving the option to make him vendor my trash), though i am considering adopting an ice or lightning elemental if i can manage to find the fish with that permanent effect (have named my pet Familiar in anticipation of this, woot roleplaying!) - hence why i've bothered fishing at all.
I'm not using summons, even though you'd think the summon spells in this game would suit perfectly a warlock style character, simply because i wanted the challenge of having things beat on me alone (and the thrill of surviving it).
I'm not using multiple tiers of the same spell (eg. Heal Self VI, V and IV so you have 3 different heal cooldowns) because it seems a bit cheesy - plus it cuts down on my spell options, which are kind of the key to the whole idea of turning the 'archer' class into a caster.
I'm trying not to abuse portal maps to out-level content (though portal maps seem to scale to your level so they're usually harder anyway).
Making minimal use of the shared stash - basically storing excess gems and spells, and the odd piece of gear i'm not sure i want to use, as opposed to stocking it with low level stuff incase i die.
Finally, i try to avoid running away from anything - i will stand my ground until i am literally about to die. Suffice to say there have been some close calls, but oh boy the thrill of power is intoxicating...
I think that's about it really? All in all, having an absolute blast so far. I have died and restarted 4 times - with the last play ending at level 17 on that colossus boss (i think i was a bit low level for him?) - though it hasn't become repetetive at all yet. Did not expect to be enjoying the game so much. Also, to anyone wondering about the whole Arbiter playstyle, let me just say fast wands with mana leech are amazing (my current wand is an absolute beast), and lightning bomb is, well, the bomb.
, i'll assume you scrolled past my wall of text (which is good because i probably sound like an elitist ass) - so here's the TLDR
Synkh - Level 19 Arbiter (Caster Vanquisher):
I'll probably update if i die / finish the game, or if anyone comments - comments, questions, flames, etc all welcome!
Ciao for now :)