Torchlight 2 Vs. Diablo III

Posted: Aug 10 2013

I fancied myself a Diablo man. Countless hours were spent farming, playing the auction house, and cursing at champion packs in the pursuit the shiniest of shiney items. I'd like to think that I did fairly well for myself in that time. It's been many months since I had stepped into the game, but I dusted off my D3 application icon, and double clicked it for old times sake:

 

Now I can't say this toon was anywhere near perfect, but I was proud at how it came out. It was basically a glass cannon. Huge ranged damage, coupled with tons of survivability to avoid the inevitable one shot kill. In my opinion, theres nothing quite like chewing through mobs from a safe distance, and ending boss encounters shortly after they start.

 

Flash forward to my current gaming addiction (yes, I'm getting Memento on your ass.). I've had Torchlight 2 for the past week and I have to say the results are starting to show:

 

I'm pretty sure the only way to kill this guy is for enemies to gain an ability that saps the battery life from my mouse. He has almost 100% Critical Execute chance, gains 10% health with each enemy he hits, and debuffs all enemies surrounding him so that they are dealt a 50% increase in damage.

Fast attack speed coupled with speed percentage increases, buffs, and splash damage, essentially make him godmode. The rest of my embers and enchants will eventually become damage reduction and attribute boosts to combat heavy hitters.

tl;dr With the right build strategy, you will be worthy of being called a champion.

 

Now on to the assessment of these fair games:

 

Auction House

Diablo III: The auction house was a large portion of my discontent with D3. The difficulty quickly ramps up on Inferno, and farming yielded little results at the time. Its almost as though the game coerces you into using the AH. Even Whimsyshire provided lukewarm gear after many hours. I'm not sure if this has changed with time, but the whole operation was pretty deplorable. Everything was overpriced, real-money auctions were added, and the whole market went to shit. 

Maybe I was spoiled by the relatively stable and logical market of World of Warcraft. Things there made sense. If a new expansion dropped, resource costs spiked and then slowly evened off to an appropriate price. It was a fun market to play, especially if you took advantage of these expansions to boost your capital and resource assets. Hey, maybe you wanted to corner a market. With enough time, gold, and knowledge of your competition, you actually could. Diablo on the other hand, I'm fairly certain was run by Wall Street.

You could theoretically spend $200 dollars (or 99 Kagillion gold) on a beast item that would be obsolete in 2 weeks.

Sure, it was a much tougher market to master, and you definitely had to learn how to flip items, but its not fun when you're forced to play the auction house game while you play the game that you can't play because the game won't let you progress without the other game.

Torchlight 2, however approached this very differently. There is no Auction House. How liberating!

Ok let me get this straight: If I want gear... I... Play the game?

There's a thought. Why not just make it so people actually find gear and enjoy progressing without having to muck around endlessly with an online marketplace.

 

Story

Blizzard definitely takes the cake here. Seeing my old buddy Deckard Cain was nostalgia overload, and for a game that is really nothing but smashing bloody piñata's filled with gold, gore, and loot, they did a great job getting you into the lore. Torchlighton the other hand, did not entice me into the story whatsoever. I do feel a tad guilty admitting that I skipped virtually every quest dialogue. It just didn't pull me in.

 

Aesthetic 

The general look and feel of a game is pretty important to me, and I have to say that Diablo rocks in that regard. Its totally a personal preference but I prefer looking at games that aren't so cartoony. Torchlight somewhat looks like an overhead view of WoW. Meh.

 

Repairs

Holy hell on wheels, did Diablo make you pay out the ass for everything. Unless you're some kind of auctioneering tycoon, or a lazy bastard with a credit card, you were pretty much broke whenever you tried to progress in Inferno. Thats a weird concept to me. I need to go farm gold so I can continue playing the game. Repairs certainly aren't a bad thing. They make sense. Your gear gets messed up when you dive into hordes of demons, but GODDAMN it does not pay to be an adventurer when the repair costs drain your whole bank constantly. What does Torchlight do? No repairs. And they give you tons of ways to spend your gold, especially if you start modding...

 

Modding

Runic basically hands you the little bundle of joy that is Torchlight 2, and says "Have fun guys. Mod the shit out of it. Oh, and by the way, you can just one-click install them through Steam. You're welcome."

How awesome is that? I'm a big fan of the modding community, and have been modding every game I could since I started playing PC games (a looooong time ago). The Synergies 2 mod is excellent. It adds more gameplay, greater numbers of tougher enemies, leveling zones, gear vendors, the list goes on. I played through once to get the flavor of the game, and then proceeded to mod the crap out of it.

Blizzard on the other hand went straight Apple and said "Fuck off" to its fan base. "No way we're letting you mod. We need people buying shit on the RMAH."

Its ok Bliz, I forgive you. You were adopting a system based around micro-transactions, and you wanted to find a way to make your games more profitable. You're a business. You make games to make money- I get it.

Runic on the other hand approaches this differently. Torchlight 2 is so cheap I bought 4 copies to give to my friends, and they love it. It also conveniently gives me people to trade with...

Modding is also how I was able to build my character so precisely. Being able to slightly increase drop rates helped me move quickly towards my goals, while being able to take care of my business, consulting, relationship, eating, showering, etc. You know, all those things that make grind games impossible to play later in life. 

And thats just my way of playing Torchlight 2. Do whatever you want. There's essentially endless options.

 

To conclude my rant;

 

Torchlight, well did, chaps. Well did.

Diablo, you were a fine game to play. There were moments of pure fustration and glorious victory, but please... stop letting your little brother beat you up.

 

 

-Chris

 

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