In this first update for Mina, she got a sliver away from level 15. In the process, she vanquished both the Orden Mines and Tomb of the Awakened bosses (Overseer), completing those zones of the main dungeon. Mina also found a few unique items. One in particular was excellent for the Vanquisher class.
7 Ranged Weapon Expertise
5 Armor Expertise
1 Frost Pilum
Torchlight starts out pretty easy on all of the difficulty levels. It seems the main difference between Easy and Very Hard difficulty is how fast the monsters scale. On Easy a level 1 monster might have 10 HP and a level 10 monster has 100 HP. On Very Hard that same level 1 monster will have 20 HP, but the level 10 monster has 2000 HP. So if you look at the scaling, 10 levels equals 10x HP on Easy but 10 levels equals 100x HP on Very Hard. At low levels they don’t seem very different, but at higher levels Very Hard quickly becomes extremely tough to survive.
I have found Hard difficulty to be the best for me. I don’t have to have amazing gear or a perfect build to get to level 100, but it still provides some challenge at the higher levels. On this difficulty level, it starts to get tough around level 35 because your primarily skills are not filled out yet. There are certain situations where your character is really strong, but others where your character is really weak. For instance if you had an excellent single target attack but just barely started your primary area attack, your character would be strong against bosses and champions but weak against mobs of weak monsters like skeletons, spiders, and pygmies.
Once you finish your primary skills around level 50, the difficulty stays about even. It takes longer to kill things, but your character dies at about the same rate all the way to level 100. You have the skills to handle pretty much any situation. The only time you die is due to your own mistakes (using the wrong skill, placing your character in a dangerous spot) or bad luck (monsters get a bunch of critical strikes at once before you can heal or run away).
This update covers the first 15 levels, so you can see it was pretty easy even on Hard difficulty. There was one close call where Mina was surrounded by skeletons and a champion, but it’s hard to die at these levels, especially with a ranged class. This situation is an example where Mina could use an area attack skill, but she really doesn’t have access to one at these early levels. She would definitely die in this situation at level 35.
Mina happened to find two pretty good items she could use right away. Something I noticed with my first character, Tharcyn, is that it seems like unique items drop at a higher rate at low levels. I don’t have any proof but it sure feels that way. Maybe because you go through the levels so fast, you just gain more items in general than at high levels so unique drops are higher as well. Either way, it’s nice to get a few good uniques early on.
In following with my build, Ricochet was the primary skill with Ranged Weapon Expertise and Armor Expertise as secondary skills. Class skills like Ricochet have higher level requirements than passive skills. This means at early levels you have to spend more points in passives than class skills. Many of my level-up skill points had to go into the secondary skills as a result of this.
At some point I decided to put one point in Frost Pilum just to get it started. Even with 1 skill point, it has pretty good utility. It functions almost the same as Ricochet, firing a thin shot in a straight line, but it doesn’t bounce off walls to deal extra damage. Frost Pilum does have a pretty high chance (increased by skill level) to freeze enemies in their tracks, so it should help at the higher levels to keep enemies away.
That’s all for this week. Because of the Memorial Day holiday I delayed this update to Tuesday, but updates are normally posted on Mondays. Thanks for reading.