Out of Torchlight's 3 classes, the destroyer is by far the most durable. He cannot get 1-shotted if built properly. He can charge into a group of enemies, control them, and kill them without difficulty while playing on very hard, hard core mode with the right gear, stat point and skill allocation during late game (lvl 20 - 100). This guide is meant to inform the reader how to build a destroyer to perform the above task. This guide is also most relevant to destroyers playing on hard core and very hard mode.
Reasoning Behind Skill Selection
AOE: Area of effect; affects multiple enemies.
DPS: Damage per second.
Hard core (HC): A mode of play where your character doesn't ressurect when killed; he stays dead.
MOB: A monster or beast.
NPC: Non-player character.
VHHC: Very hard and hard core mode.
Put 2 points in strength and 3 in defense until you have about 120 strength, possibly less if you have +strength stat bonuses from gear. When you reach this point, dump everything in defense.
The idea is to balance survival with damage. I'll list skills you should prioritise (red=high priority, white=low priority) and give a description at the bottom of each level tier.
When you recieve your first point, put it in shadow armor. This skill will double your melee dps (explanation) and start you off with some block at this stage. You will be maxing this skill first; it can be maxed at lvl 26. Save the remainer of your points if you can't put anymore in shadow armor for level 5.
Entropic Aura (only 1 point)
Titan Stomp (only 1 point)
Martial Weapons Expertise
At level 5, you should have a few points in shadow armor, 1 point in titan stomp, and 1 point in entropic aura. Just 1 point is enough in entropic aura at this point. Put points in armor/martial expertise skills if you have armor/ a weapon waiting for you in the shared stash so you can equip it earlier.
Martial Weapons Expertise
At level 10, you should have some more points in shadow armor. You can now choose to save points for future skills or put them in martial weapons expertise and/or armor expertise. I choose to put a few points in armor expertise after putting all my points in shadow armor because this skill allows me to use high level armor earlier. You can do the same with martial weapons expertise to use higher level weapons to give you a really nice damage boost. You can also put 1 point in Doomquake for added damage.
(Save 3 points for lvl 20)
Martial Weapons Expertise
At level 15, you'll be putting 1 point in frost shield, and the remainder in shadow armor. If you have some points left over, either save them or dump them in martial weapon/armor expertise if you choose that path. You'll want to save 3 points before hitting level 20 .
Spectral Echo (only 1 point)
Block & Parry
Martial Weapons Expertise
At level 20, put 1 point in spectral echo, critical strikes, and block & parry. Keep pumping points in shadow armor. As you level, prioritize points for shadow armor. If you can't put anymore points in shadow armor, put them in block & parry.
Shadow Armor (max @ lvl 26)
Block and Parry
Martial Weapons Expertise
At level 25, Put 1 point in spectral decay. Put the rest in shadow armor, block and parry, frost shield. You should have close to 50% block at this point with shadow armor, a shield, and block & parry, so stop putting points in block & parry if you hit 50%.
Martial Weapons Expertise
Start maxing frost shield, spectral decay, critical strikes, and spectral echo.
Defensive Spell Mastery
Offensive Spell Mastery
After you maxed frost shield, spectral decay, critical strikes, and spectral echo, start working on entropic aura, defensive spell mastery, and adventurer. Barter is great at lowering gambling prices, and offensive spell mastery improves the dervish spell scroll (faster swing/cast rate).
This chapter applies to destroyers that don't have great gear waiting for them in the shared stash. If you do have gear waiting for your destroyer in the shared stash, don't hesitate to squeeze in some passive skills early in the game like adventurer for faster leveling. You should also put more points into martial weapons/armor expertise early on so you can take full advantage of that gear at lower level.
Reasoning Behind Skill Selection:
Shadow Armor: You can block every attack in the game. At 50% block, you litelary cut down damage taken by 50%. This skill is a little buggy because the spectre above your head tends to stay up even after the block bonus disappears, so check your block rate by hovering your mouse over the defense stat before rushing into a large pack.
Entropic Aura: This skill cuts damage taken by 20% at level 1. Putting 10 points in it is very beneficial after you maxed all your other defensive skills. When maxed, it MAY totally negate damage taken because you MAY be able to kill mobs faster than they can hit you if you are using a quick weapon.
Titan Stomp: Great for dps early in the game and survival later on.
Martial Weapons Expertise: You can use weapons at lower level than normal, and get 40% more dps. Dps is always in short supply with this type of destroyer.
Armor Expertise: You can use high level armor at lower level than normal, and the additional armor is your destroyer's most important stat.
Adventurer: The potion bonus is often underestimated, but it will quickly replenish your health if it drops to dangerous levels.
Offensive Spell Mastery: Only used to improve the dervish spell scroll for faster attack speed and cast rate.
Defensive Spell Mastery: Used to improve the haste and elemental protection spell scrolls.
Doomquake: Great damage skill because the quakes can hit one mob multiple times. The downside is that the quakes are unpredictable and can miss a mob right in front of you. Best used in narrow hallways or against walls, so the quakes have something to bounce off of.
Frost Shield: Reduces all damage taken, and freezes mobs that hit you, further reducing damage taken. Probably the best defensive skill in the game.
Spectral Echo: A buff that only gives your normal attacks the ability to emit a wave a few meters in front of your character. This wave hits multiple mobs for a percent of your weapon dps. Works great if you have knockback on your armor/weapon so any mobs hit with the wave get pushed back.
Critical Strikes: More damage is always welcome.
Block and Parry: More block.
Spectral Decay: Great AOE dps and survival skill, as it knocks back and stuns mobs while debuffing them so they get hit for more damage.
Barter: Gambling is a great source of unique (gold titled) gear if you have the cash, and this skill drops the price of gambling as well as the prices of vendor gear. It also raises your profit from selling gear you find.
Shadow Bowman: Only maxed if block is 50% without shadow armor to get more reflect damage.
Basically, you'll do this:
make sure elemental protection, frost shield, entropic aura, shadow armor, spectral echo are up;
drink a potion as it replenishes your life for 4 seconds if you are facing some tough mobs;
run in and cast spectral decay;
hit everything with your normal attack/ spectral echo;
throw in some doomquakes if you put points in it.
Now during low levels you'll be using a lot of slash attack and titan stomp while always keeping up entropic aura and shadow armor. If you get doomquake, it works best when you stand right next to a mob or group of mobs, preferably having the mobs between you and a wall, or in a hallway so doomquake can bounce off and hit multiple times.
After you get spectral echo, your kill rate will go up as it's a frontal aoe attack in addition to your normal attack. You can hold shift to keep your character still and attack with spectral echo, causing it to hit mobs out of melee range to keep your character safe.
When you get spectral decay, it will be the first skill you use when charging into a group of mobs. After they are all stunned and debuffed, start chopping them up with spectral echo. Do not charge into groups if you see dragonkin, frost elementals, or ember mycons (poison treants), as they can pulverize you even if you have the best gear in the game. Goblin archers can also hurt you.
Frost elementals: Always look for a pillar of light eminating from the ground as it marks the point where an ice meteor will hit, and it will really hurt if it hits you. They also fire 6 frost bolts about every second (a lot faster than its brothers), so don't be surprised if your health plummets . Use a potion just before engaging one of these just in case. Luckily these elementals are very rare.
Fire and Poison elementals: They can drop your health quite low if 3 of their elemental bolts hit you because you failed to block or reflect them.
Dragonkin: Their breath is ruthless (it reduces all of your resistances while breathing on you) so fight them at range while holding shift and spamming spectral echo. Doomquaking them also works. Fire resistance helps, but it still hurts like hell even if you have fire resistance coming out of your nose.
Ember Mycons (the poison treants): Same deal as the dragonkin. They also have an aoe attack that drains your mana, but it's annoying at worst. Their breath still hurts if you have a boatload of poison resistance.
Dark Zealots: They have 3 attacks: summon skeletons, lightning, and 5 poison bolts (in that order, making the attacks predictable and avoidable). The poison bolt attack is the dangerous one and if you fail to block/reflect all 5 bolts your health will drop like a sack of dead hamsters. Enough resistance negates this poison attack.
Goblin Chanters: Goblin fire ball casters; if their fireball actually hits you, it can really hurt you if you don't have a bunch of fire resistance. The fireball also reduces your resistances (by what degree I don't know, but it's not insignificant), so fighting them with other caster mobs is not advisable at lower level.
Goblin Archers: They fire dynamite strapped to arrows which makes a very distinct sound. If you stand in a pile of this dynamite while it goes off you will die if you don't have enough fire resistance.
Giant Trolls: The very giant ones can hit you for 3/4 your health. They hit me for about that at level 90 when I had 6000 physical damage absorb and 54% less damage taken.
Zombies: Some zombies can poison you, reducing your physical damage resistance. It's only deadly if they surprise you with it.
Tu'Tara Edgebreakers (Orange lizardmen w/ shields): These guys' charge attack really hurts if you don't have sufficient physical damage absorb. If a few of them charge you and you fail to block all of their charges, you will probably die or be close to death.
I'm not going to list every piece of viable gear, instead I'll list gear modifiers by priority.
Red=high priority, white=low priority.
Big Defense Stat Bonus
Crit Damage Bonus
Strength Stat Bonus
To elaborate, you want to have gear with massive armor because most of your damage taken will be physical. Secondly you want very high resistances. Defense stat bonuses are great because they increase physical and elemental resistances. If you get 100% reflect, all ranged attacks will bounce off, except dragonkin and mycon breaths, in which resistance is vital. Health is low on the list because having damage negated is better than having massive health and popping potions all the time to top it off. Then it's damage, crit being prioritized before raw damage from strength, as crits will do many times more damage than normal hits. Block rate is last, which refers to minuscule block rate bonuses from armor but not shields. This block rate can add up, giving you 50% before even casting shadow armor, in turn allowing you to max shadow bowman instead and gain damage reflect. I list this block bonus last because it's difficult to find useful gear with all the high priority modifiers and addition block.
DPS is most important because dead mobs do 0 damage. Using a fast weapon helps with survival if it has life steal and knock back; your life replenishes at a quicker pace and mobs don't have a chance to come near you. It also kills faster (it swings faster, giving you more chances to crit). I didn't list knock back because it's not vital to survival, though it helps.
Big Defense Bonus
You want a shield with the highest block rate possible early in the game to reach 50% block at low level. During end game (level 70+), you'd also want a shield with massive block rate in order to reach 50% without using shadow armor, but instead using shadow bowman for reflect. If you don't have enough overall block to stop using shadow armor, disregard block as being high priority.
You want to aim for 500-1000 to all elemental resistances and 1000-1500 physical resistance at lvl 30-40. If you're having trouble with the elemental resistances then just focus on fire and poison at this point. At level 60, try to get 1500-2500 all elemental and 3000-4000 physical resistances. At level 90, you should have 2500-3500 elemental and 5000-6000 physical resistance. Your damage at level 90 should be 4000-6000 on the character sheet. With a very fast weapon this damage is respectable. Socket your armor with resistance gems, armor gems, or defense stat gems to reach these levels.
- ALWAYS keep your defensive buffs active.
- Start gambling when you max barter and have the gold.
- Enchant your best gear 3-5 times at high level using only enchant shrines because the enchants are based on your level, not the items'. You can farm these shrines if you know where they spawned and by repopulating the dungeon by not entering it for around 20 minutes. But if you have enchant shrines in the endless dungeon (for example), and enter the quest dungeon, your endless dungeon will be reset, no repopulated, so you would need to find new enchant shrines all over again.
- Always check the armor vendor for upgrades.
- Use 2 different ranks of the elemental protection spell scroll to double the resistance bonuses.
- Give your pet 2 different ranks of the heal all spell scroll to turn it into a healing bot.
- Buy map scrolls from the vendor for experience runs with lots of champions.
- Use the haste spell scroll for quick escapes, sprinting between groups of mobs, and faster attack speed.
5 minute buff duration mod: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=5235
Varying dungeons from map scroll 20-??? mod: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=3956
Doomquake stat fix mod: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7236
200x potion stack size mod: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=3482
Respec mod: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2132
Tier 3 (level 60+) gear mod: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=5427
(note that this guide does not require you to have the tier 3 gear mod in order to get the stats/resistances/dps listed above)