Lorzate, Torchlight 2 Engineer #4

Act 4 proved to be shorter than expected, so I continued on with New Game Plus. I ended up finishing all of Act 1 to get to level 62. Things started out rough as I switched to Veteran difficulty, but I got my bearings (and some better gear) and made it through fine.

I got a good number of uniques this time, but most of them seemed a little weak to me. They didn’t have very many mods, mostly just Armor and Elemental Armor. Without attribute bonuses, it’s really hard to use them over my existing gear.

I am now using abbreviations to refer to New Game Plus mode. Since Lorzate has completed the game once, he is in NG+. Once he beats it a second time, he will be in NG++. The first time through the game I will call NG0, for lack of a better term.

Lorzate
Level 62 Engineer
Fame Level 20: Famous

Statistics
Strength: 229 (+38%)
Dexterity: 45 (+800%)
Focus: 23 (+360%)
Vitality: 297 (+18%)

Damage: 1283-1981 (+229%)
Health: 4068 (+32%)
Mana: 120 (+26%)
Armor: 730 (+41%)
Block Chance: 60% (+0%)

Starting in Act 4 I started to see it take longer to kill monsters. It was still pretty fast, but a little tiresome when playing for a while. With Veteran difficulty in Act 1 of NG+, I found killing to be very slow. I did get a new weapon though and things got much better as you can see from the huge percentage increase. I also noticed that next to Strength in game it shows weapon damage, not damage per second. This means fast weapons will always show much lower damage than slow weapons.

I didn’t get many good Armor/Elemental Armor items this time either, so Lorzate’s Armor didn’t go up as much as I wanted. On Veteran difficulty monsters can do some really high critical hits, up to 2000 damage in one hit. Rarely, a few monsters all got critical hits at once. Lorzate was killed instantly or very near death. I think his Armor is good enough for now, but I hope to get some good upgrades in Act 2. Worst case I can spend all my gold gambling for better armor pieces, but I’m not there yet. I will gamble for upgrades of the weakest items, but no need to replace all the items yet.

Soon after I finished writing this, a new patch came out that increased the block cap to 75%. This is a great change for my tank. So for the entire playthrough this week I was stuck at 50%, but I have written above what it is after this change. I am not yet to the cap, but now I have a reason to use high block chance shields.

Skills

Healing Bot 12
Bulwark 12
Seismic Slam 12
Forcefield 12
Shield Bash 12
Ember Hammer 11
Sword and Board 7
Flame Hammer 1
Fire and Spark 1
Aegis of Fate 1

The main increase here is Ember Hammer. I got it above 10 points, so it’s now getting +10% damage per Charge. At the end of Act 1 it was doing 1500-2000 per hit with criticals in the 4000s. I’m pretty happy where it’s at. However, it’s not my main skill. I rotate through the Shield Bash, Forcefield, Seismic Slam, and Ember Hammer quite a bit.

I always use Seismic Slam every 5 seconds for the Fire damage over time. Every 2-3 basic weapon attacks, I use Shield Bash until I have 5 Charges. Then, I use Ember Hammer until I need to put Forcefield up again. This means I really only get to use Ember Hammer a few times before the Charges are used for Forcefield.

I’m also thinking about an AoE (area of effect) tank. Most of the weapon skills do damage based on weapon DPS. This requires an up to date weapon and an investment in Strength. On the other hand, you could use Engineer skills not based on weapon DPS. Almost all of the Engineer skills in that category are area damage skills. Pump those skills up high, invest in Focus instead of Strength, and you could have a viable build.

Spells

This is a new section I am adding from now on. It’s weird. I’ve pretty much ignored spells up to this point. I don’t know why, but I didn’t want to waste spells. From now on I will be writing my thoughts on the spells I am using.

Armor Expertise – A tank always wants more Armor. This passive spell also reduces armor equip requirements.
Elemental Protection – This is very similar to Armor Expertise, but for Elemental Armor. It is not passive though, and the mana cost is quite high. Fortunately, it lasts for a minute, I don’t have to cast it often.
Dervish (on pet) – My pet does quite a bit of damage. Speeding up his attacks can really boost his damage.

Because my mana pool is low, I am focusing mostly on the passive spells. The only active spell here is Elemental Protection. I found a bunch of other spells, but they won’t fit with a tank. An interesting new spell is Rumble. It puts out a little earth quake when you use it that breaks all nearby destructible objects, perfect for breaking all those pots and vases without having to manually click on each one.

Spells seem to have lower drop rates than Torchlight 1. I used to easily fill up my Spell tab, but in Torchlight 2 it has not happened once. I always fill up my Items tab first. After gaining 62 levels, I still have only found about 20 spells. Another change from Torchlight 1 is passive spells. These were the passive skills in Torchlight 1, but now transformed into spells. I think this is a much better way of doing things. I hated all those shared passive skills in Torchlight 1.

The ideal set of spells would be:

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

So right now I am missing most of these. Also, the ones I have are not the max level version of them. They are only level III or IV, but I think spells go up to VI.

Items

I found this towards the end of Act 4. Dodge chance is pretty rare on items, a nice defensive bonus. Charge bonuses are good with Forcefield and Ember Hammer. Going into Veteran for NG+, I knew the damage stats would be needed.

This dropped off the final boss in Act 4. It has a lot of Armor compared to the other shield but that’s it. The other one improves damage much more, which is more important right now.

This is a great Engineer greatsword. Cast speed is for Engineers that use lots of skills. In Torchlight games, cast speed is for skills and spells, attack speed for regular weapon attacks. This means cast speed can be useful for any class.

I learned that reflect missiles effects do not trigger when Forcefield is up. That makes this affix kind of worthless for Lorzate. Ice Armor isn’t bad for select parts of the game, too specialized to be that useful.

The big one here is Wand and Staff damage. I’m not sure if this also adds to skills that are based on weapon DPS, but I assume it does. Melee staff or dual-wielding wands Embermages will love this helmet.

I’m getting a few uniques lately that don’t seem all that great. High physicial armor is good, not at the cost of Vitality or Strength.

Very high damage for a pistol. Dual-wielding a couple of these would be a lot of fun.

For the level requirement, this shotgonne doesn’t have much damage. Shotgonnes do fire in a cone though. Cast speed will work well for Outlander traps.

This is a huge gold find increase. After I’ve played all the classes extensively, I want to make a character for gold and magic find.

Skull of Makaburg
Armor/Trinket: 2.6 Mana recovery per second
Weapon: Conveys 10% chance that target Flees for 10 seconds
Flee chance is great for Outlanders and Embermages. They can have trouble surviving hits from monsters. That’s not a problem if the monsters keep running away in terror.

Korox Skull
Armor/Trinket: 2.5 Mana recovery per second
Weapon: +12% attack speed
That’s a high attack speed bonus. Great for a two-handed weapon. Mana recovery isn’t bad either. If I didn’t have my Healing Bot, I would need some of these gemmed in my Armor.

The Eye of Kidrikk
Armor/Trinket: +10% pet and minion Armor, +10% pet and minion Damage
Weapon: +8% Attack Speed
Not as much attack speed as the Korox Skull, but the other Armor/Trinket bonuses are great for a Summoner.

Lucky Die
Armor/Trinket: +2% magic find
This is the same as the one I found in NG0 but 2% instead of 1%. Based on a lot of the rare items I have found, I believe a lot of the unique items also have more powerful versions based on which NG mode you are in.

As far as Act 4 Normal difficulty, Lorzate’s items were doing great. Without using Forcefield, he only took about 300 damage per hit. Things changed when I started NG+ Act 1 on Veteran difficulty. The average monster doesn’t do much damage. It’s their critical hits that are the problem. Some of the monster’s could do critical hits in the thousands. With bad luck a couple monsters could do this at once, killing Lorzate instantly.

In the early part of Act 1, I was not liking how slow it was to kill things. It took a while until I saw that my basic weapon attacks were doing such low damage. It was only around 50 damage per hit. This also affected Ember Hammer, which is based on Weapon DPS. I decided it was time for a better weapon. I specifically wanted a slow one to help break through Armor. Fast weapons are affected more by monster Armor. Luckily, I gambled a mace with pretty high DPS and two empty sockets. I didn’t screenshot it because it is only rare, but with both sockets filled with +92 Physical Damage gems, it had 561 DPS.

I hope I will find some good upgrades in Act 2. I’m mainly looking for Armor, Elemental Armor, Strength, and Vitality. Other stats like dodge chance and increased weapon damage would also be nice. I found a lot of these my first playthrough, but in NG+ I am not having a lot of luck so far.

Progress

Act 4 ending up being much shorter than I expected. I was thinking it would be like Act 4 Diablo 2, which was about half the size of Act 3 Diablo 2. Well, Act 4 Torchlight 2 was just one big dungeon with two bosses. It was about eight floors, the biggest dungeon in the game probably, with a boss on the fourth and eighth floors. With my Forcefield, I had no trouble surviving.

I decided I wanted a little bit more challenge though, so for NG+ I upped the difficulty to Veteran. While monsters are doing more damage and have killed Lorzate a few times, the real problem early on was with Lorzate’s damage. He just wasn’t killing monsters fast enough for my liking. I mean my pet was doing more damage than him. Pets seem to scale really well in Torchlight 2. They don’t lose all their health and flee constantly like they did in Torchlight 1. Seismic Slam was doing fine, but Ember Hammer and basic attacks were too weak. With a gambled 561 DPS mace, Lorzate was in a much better situation.

I am still trying for 10 levels per weekly update, but it is getting slower. A better weapon really speeds things up, but it will continue to get slower. That’s just the way it works. Also, Act 4 + Act 1 combined got me 11 levels. Act 2 just by itself probably won’t get me to 72. This is why I am going forward based on levels, not completing the act. Completing a full act may only give 5 levels. I don’t feel that’s enough for a character update.

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