Lorzate, Torchlight 2 Engineer #5

Lorzate got to level 73 and progressed through all of Act 2 in NG+. Lorzate is over halfway to level 100, but he’s also over halfway to NG++. I will have to see if he can hold up well enough against those higher level monsters.

While he got a little underleveled halfway through, a few map scrolls go him high enough to continue. Although luck was not on my side this week with good Engineer tank upgrades, I did find enough rare-quality items to improve his stats a little bit. That was enough to mostly coast through the act. I also had bad luck finding my desired scrolls. There are still 4 scrolls I am looking for.

Lorzate
Level 73 Engineer
Fame Level 25: Celebrated

Statistics
Strength: 274 (+20%)
Dexterity: 65 (+44%)
Focus: 30 (+30%)
Vitality: 300 (+1%)

Damage: 1410-2153 (+9%)
Health: 5408 (+33%)
Mana: 141 (+18%)
Armor: 1056 (+45%)
Block Chance: 61% (+2%)

I read a few weeks ago that attributes have diminishing returns in Torchlight 2 but had not really thought of it’s implications until Lorzate got a bunch of Dexterity enchantments on his armor items. With just 45 points in Dexterity, he went from 1% dodge and critical chance to 10% dodge and critical chance. Seeing that random enchantments are not reliable, I have decided to increase Lorzate’s base Dexterity to 50. That should really improve the character without a whole lot of investment.

Basically, putting a point in a low attribute gives more bang for your buck, so to speak. I’ve also thought about putting a few points in Focus, but the Fire and Spark skill will increase my elemental damage by 5% per point. That’s twice the effectiveness of putting 5 points in Focus. Read more about that below in the Items section.

As far as the secondary stats, a few item upgrades helped increase them all a little bit. My Armor finally broke 1,000. I don’t see it ever getting above 10,000 though, maybe 2,000 by level 100 though. An increase of 20-30% per 10 levels is all I can hope for now. Another thing is that I lost a lot of Vitality while replacing items. Even with level up points put into it, Vitality barely went up. That means Block chance barely went up too.

Skills

Healing Bot 13
Bulwark 13
Seismic Slam 13
Forcefield 13
Shield Bash 13
Ember Hammer 13
Sword and Board 13
Fire and Spark 4
Flame Hammer 1
Aegis of Fate 1

During this week, I really ran into the “required level” wall with skills. Each point increases the level requirement by 8-10 levels. That means I end up having to save a lot of skill points for several levels. Based on my progress so far, I believe I will hit level 100 about the same time as max fame level. This is a bit better than Torchlight 1, where I maxed fame level 50 in the 80s level range, well before getting to level 100. I do have to be careful to save some skill points to max these skills out when I get to those high levels. With max fame level, I should have 8 skills maxed and 1 skill around rank 9.

Seven skills are at 13 ranks right now. That leaves one skill to max and one less than maxed. I decided to max Fire and Spark with Emberquake as the less than maxed skill. Both Seismic Slam and Emberquake do Fire damage, so Fire and Spark should increase their damage. I chose Emberquake to be the lower one just because it has such a high mana cost. Maxed out it is probably 100 mana per cast. With 9 ranks it will probably be around 70, much more reasonable for my ~200 mana pool at max level.

I noticed that Fire and Spark does not update the tooltips of Seismic Slam and Emberquake. They both displayed the same damage numbers after adding a point to Fire and Spark. However, a test of Seismic Slam on the dummy in town showed it’s damage had increased by 2-3 per damage tick. This will only go up as I put more skill points in to both skills.

One thing I have not noted before is that Ember Hammer has a 100% chance to break shields even with just one point in it. This is one of those skills that adds a lot of utility even with a one point investment. I plan to max it for this character, but I will keep this in mind for any Engineer builds I make.

Spells

Known spells:
Armor Expertise III
Elemental Protection V
Silence IV (on pet)
Dervish IV (on pet)

In this update I got a higher level Elemental Protection. It went from +48 Resist All to +64 Resist All. I did not mention in the last post, but this Resist All is affected by Vitality’s +X% Armor bonus. Lorzate has +76% Armor right now, so +64 Resist All actually ends up being +113 Resist All. I believe the Healing Bot’s Armor bonus increases this further. Checking the bank I realized I already had Silence, so I had Lorzate teach his pet.

I’m a little disappointed that I haven’t found any more desired spells. You can see the list below of what I’m looking for. I think Weapons Expertise would really boost Lorzate’s damage. Concentration would allow Lorzate to use more Ember Hammers for even more damage. For the pet, Heal All would be a nice supplement to Healing Bot, and Retribution would do some nice damage to heavy hitters attacking the pet.

Desired spells:
Armor Expertise – already have
Weapons Expertise – looking for
Elemental Protection – already have
Concentration – looking for
Heal All (on pet) – looking for
Silence (on pet) – already have
Dervish (on pet) – already have
Retribution (on pet) – looking for

Items

This is Lorzate’s new shield. Now the other Shield had some good +X% all damage and other damage stats, but he needed a higher Armor shield. This one still gives Lorzate some Fire damage that benefits Seismic Slam.

This is a great Berserker item. Focus and Charge are exactly what they look for.

Cannons already have some knockback, but this one gets some nice bonuses. It also has a really nice stun chance. I do wonder what the augment does, most likely more damage and knockback.

Another Berserker item, they have skills that proc off of critical hits. Gold find is also nice, but Ice Armor is somewhat useless.

Like I’ve said before reflect missiles affixes don’t work when Forcefield is up, so they don’t help Lorzate at all. The health and armor are definitely nice, but my current rare-quality shoulders have the all important attribute bonuses on them.

For being called the “Slow Hand”, it’s actually a very fast weapon. I was going to try this weapon out when I met the level requirement. Unfortunately, I don’t know what happened to it. I can only guess I accidentally sent it to my pet’s inventory and it got sold to the vendors the next time I had him sell my junk. It’s not a huge loss though, since my rare weapon has much higher damage.

Now this is an Outlander weapon for sure. Critical damage and Charge bonuses are great for them. They want a full Charge bar all the time since it gives them high passive bonuses.

While these boots don’t have any attribute bonuses, they do have dodge chance. That’s a fairly rare thing to find on items. A little bit goes a long way for an Embermage. The extra duration of status effects is also good for them.

Here’s another Engineer cannon, this one even better. It has a higher Stun chance than the other one plus Silence on every hit. Fumble chance reduction is also great since Engineers typically have low Focus.

This would be an awesome item for Lorzate if it didn’t have the Outlander class requirement. It’s too bad because it has everything I could ask for in a ring. I guess I would prefer Strength or Vitality instead of Dexterity, but everything else is awesome for a tank.

A great set of pants for a Fire Embermage. They can get damage bonuses for Burning and Shocking enemies.

These gloves have the highest attribute bonus I have seen on an item. I wish it was Strength or Vitality. I would have replaced my gloves. Before this I had only seen up to around +30 to an attribute.

Rift Ember
Armor/Trinket: Charge rate increased by 5%
Weapon: 20 Mana stolen per hit
I haven’t really thought about it until now, but 20 Mana per hit is not all that bad for an Engineer. I have a pretty tiny mana pool. That 20 Mana could go a long ways. The life/mana steal affixes only work with regular weapon attacks, but I already do that while waiting for mana.

Skull of Omorox
Armor/Trinket: 41 Health recovery per second
Weapon: 96 Health stolen on hit
Neither of these are appealing to me. Lorzate gets a lot of passive Health recovery from his Healing Bot. He will eventually have even more from his pet’s Heal All spell. The Health steal amount is too low for his huge health pool.

Orpantile Skull
Armor/Trinket: +20% Ranged Weapon Damage bonus
Weapon: Conveys 1% chance to charm target
The Armor/Trinket bonus is great for Outlander. It could also help an Embermage if they use Wands. This is because elemental damage on weapons contributes to spell damage. For example, a wand that does 10 Ice damage per hit will add that damage to any Ice damage you do. Increases to that 10 Ice damage through Ranged Weapon bonuses will also contribute to Ice spell damage.

While I did not find any unique item upgrades in this character update, I did find a few rare ones. I didn’t find really any items with Vitality but quite a few with Strength. My Strength went up, but my Vitality pretty much stayed the same. I also didn’t find any weapon upgrades. I sort of already knew this would happen because my rare weapon was so good when I got it. It had good base damage, and then I added 2 really high damage gems. I am ready to unsocket those gems and put them in a new weapon.

Progress

Act 2 went a little easier than Act 1 since I am used to Veteran difficulty now. Lorzate was level 62, and the first big area required level 61, so I went straight into it. As usual I fully explored it, did every quest, and went into every dungeon. Lorzate was around level 66, but the second half of Act 2 required level 68. These are not hard requirements. I could have gone there at level 66, but I always like to be equal level to the monsters though. I decided to try out the Mapworks for the first time.

The Mapworks seems to use the same technology as the infinite dungeon in Torchlight 1, only this time you get to choose the map. The game then generates a random dungeon with three floors and a boss at the end. The maps use the same tilesets from the dungeons in the game, but they added a nice touch with the map properties.

Map properties are buffs or debuffs for the player or the monsters. You can pick a map that’s in your favor like “Player: Damage Taken reduced by 15%” or in the monster’s favor like “Monster: +15% Fire damage.” Most map scrolls have a mix of buffs/debuffs for both player and monster. If I had to do these over and over, I would get bored fast just like I did with the infinite dungeon, but they add variety in between playing the main game. It took three maps to gain the two levels to 68.

After that I went back to Act 2 and finished up the second half. The second part being bigger than the first part meant I ended up at level 73 after fully exploring everything. Act 3 in NG+ starts out at level 72, so I am little bit ahead of the game. I may still have to use the Mapworks since Lorzate was also one level ahead in Act 2 and still got behind.

Next week I will go through all of Act 3. I think I will also finish up Act 4. It’s such a short one, it doesn’t fill up a week of playing. I hope to gain 10 more levels and be around level 83. If Act 3 starts outleveling me, I might gain even more levels through map scrolls. However, I know that NG++ starts at level 81, so I can’t see Act 3 monster levels spiking.

I just realized now that the game is going so much faster than Torchlight 1. I really like it more than the original. The infinite dungeon just felt like a chore. I had a hard time playing through it to get to level 100. Torchlight 2 is just so much better. I do want to go back to Torchlight 1 and try out some more builds, but that won’t be for awhile.

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