With Act 3 and 4 finished, Lorzate is into NG++. It starts at level 81, but Lorzate is already level 83. Act 3 started out somewhat difficult, but go easier by the end. After replacing a bunch of gear, Act 4 was a breeze. None of the bosses offered any challenge.
Luck was much better this time. I still didn’t have much luck getting replacement items for Lorzate from drops, but a little bit of gambling got him 3 upgrades. In total, over 20 unique items were found, though a good 25% of them were gems. Part of that could be from doing two acts instead of one.
Level 83 Engineer
Fame Level 30: Fabled
Strength: 266 (-3%)
Dexterity: 80 (+23%)
Focus: 23 (-23%)
Vitality: 295 (-2%)
Damage: 1175-2218 (-5%)
Health: 8078 (+49%)
Mana: 147 (+4%)
Armor: 1519 (+44%)
Block Chance: 68% (+11%)
It looks like Lorzate’s stats all went down until you get to the defensive stats. Since I am going for a tank, that’s all I care about. Health and Armor both went up above 40%, massive increases at this stage of the game. Even Lorzate’s block chance went up a little bit.
How this came about was through upgrading items, more like side-grades. I really needed to improve my Armor and Health but just wasn’t finding any items with high (30+) Strength or Vitality on them. So I started gambling for a good unique or even rare with Strength or Vitality. I was not lucky in finding those stats but ended up finding a few high Armor items with Health.
With these improvements I felt pretty strong all through Act 4. For a large part of it, I didn’t even need to use Forcefield. I just banked my Charges while using Ember Hammer for high damage. Even as a tank Lorzate is able to do 10000+ critical hits to the monsters.
Healing Bot 14
Seismic Slam 14
Shield Bash 14
Ember Hammer 14
Sword and Board 14
Fire and Spark 12
Flame Hammer 1
Aegis of Fate 1
Since the last update I added a point to my 7 main skills. Any extra skill points went into Fire and Spark. It shot up quickly to 12 ranks. Of the 14 point skills, 4 of them require level 92, 2 require level 93, and 1 requires level 94. Fire and Spark will also require level 93 with 14 points in it. I will have a to save most of my skill points in the next update, but the good news is that my skills will be pretty much maxed then.
There really isn’t much else to say at this point. I am just finishing up Lorzate’s skills. I did not get any new skills to write about. It’s looking like I won’t have any extra skill points for Emberquake until level 94, and that’s two character updates from now.
Armor Expertise III
Elemental Protection V
Dervish IV (on pet)
Silence V (on pet)
Heal All VI (on pet)
Retribution VI (on pet)
In the last few updates I was looking for the Concentration spell which adds Mana recovery per second. Well, I changed my mind after Runic Games upped the block chance cap. Getting to 75% block chance is much harder than 50%, and the Blocking spell helps.
I still have not even seen the Weapons Expertise spell drop yet. Lorzate could get a sizable damage boost if I found it. I also would really like a higher Armor Expertise spell. Lorzate;s pet was the lucky one this time. I found both Heal All and Retribution, so his spells are mostly done. I still need higher ranks for a few of his spells, but other than that the pet is good to go.
Armor Expertise VI – have III, looking for VI
Elemental Protection VI – have V, looking for VI
Blocking VI – have V, looking for VI
Weapons Expertise VI – looking for
Dervish VI (on pet) – have IV, looking for VI
Silence VI (on pet) – have V, looking for VI
Heal All VI (on pet) – already have
Retribution VI (on pet) – already have
Armor/Trinket: +35% pet and minion Armor
Weapon: Conveys 1555 damage over 5 seconds
This gem has an impressive Armor bonus for pets and minions. It would be great for a Summoner build. Lorzate would get better results from the weapon damage though.
Skull of Umbarmun
Armor/Trinket: +35% pet and minion Damage
Weapon: 48 Mana stolen on hit
Here’s another gem with an impressive bonus for pets and minions, this time for Damage. The mana steal would be great for Lorzate; it’s a third of his mana pool (147).
The Eye of the Dark Alchemist
Armor/Trinket: 1.9 mana recovery per second
Weapon: Conveys 1370 damage over 5 seconds
I considered using the mana recovery, but the 20 mana steal Lorzate has on his weapon is good enough. The damage over time is also nice — it ignores armor — but Lorzate’s skills scale with weapon DPS. Only straight damage increases like +50 Physical damage improve weapon DPS directly.
Vyrax’s Heartfire – This particular unique gem, while having a higher required level, does not have any new stats. This is because its bonuses are procs with damage that scales with level.
Armor/Trinket: +876 Health
Weapon: Conveys 10% chance to Shock for 5 seconds
So far I haven’t really gotten into the 4 elemental effects, but I plan to with the Embermage. Shock is good for area damage, and Embermages have a skill that adds damage with it.
Skull of Riechliu
Armor/Trinket: +1540 Health
Weapon: Conveys 10% chance to Poison for 5 seconds
I used this to give Lorzate a massive Health boost, but the proc effect would be good for an Outlander. They have quite a few Poison-based skills, including a skill that increases all Nature/Poison damage.
The Eye of Marishka
Armor/Trinket: +22 Dexterity
Weapon: 5% Chance to cast Raise Shadowling on kill
I got the Eye of Aleera last time from the Three Sisters. It added Focus and a Fire Storm proc, Embermage-type abilities. This one adds Outlander-type abilities. Outlanders can even get skills to improve their Shadowlings and have passive skills to proc Shadowlings.
Armor/Trinket: +96 Mana
Weapon: Conveys 7% chance that the target Flees for 12 seconds
The Mana bonus seemed small until I saw how small Mana pools are compared to Health pools. One point of Vitality adds 3-4 Health; Two points of Focus adds 1 Mana. In other words, 1 Mana has roughly the same attribute weight as 6-8 Health, so 96 Mana would be equivalent to around 672 Health. It looks a lot better that way.
As I said in the stats section, I replaced a lot of Lorzate’s items in this update. The ideal item would have high Armor, Elemental Armor, Health, Strength, and Vitality. While Lorzate’s existing items were pretty good around level 60, they were becoming outdated at level 80. The major problem being the low Armor.
So I replaced them with a mix of gambled and dropped items with higher Armor but lower attributes (side-grades). Hopefully, I can find some good attributes on gear in the next update, but finding good items seems to be harder now. Once you have an okay set of items it becomes harder to find full replacements. You can easily find items with a better stats here and there but not better overall. That shouldn’t stop Lorzate from getting to level 100 though.
One thing I’ve noticed with item required levels is that they are always higher than the item level. On the top right of the item tooltips, the item’s level is displayed. Down below in the tooltip, the item’s required level is displayed. These are different things. Item level is roughly what monster level the item dropped from while required level is your necessary level to equip the item.
I am insterested in seeing if level 100 items have required levels above 100. Obviously, it is not possible to level above 100. That means the required attributes for items could be an issue. This is one of those things that I don’t really like in Torchlight 2. The required attributes just seem kind of random to me.
As a min-maxer I like to use the best attribute distribution for the playstyle and skills that I prefer. I don’t like being forced to spend points in certain attributes just to meet the requirements. Lorzate has no points in Focus; any high Focus-requiring item with required level above 100 will be out of reach. Now, I’m not at level 100, so I don’t know if this is true. I hope it’s not.
This character update was fairly long. It is taking more and more hours in the higher levels to level up, but I am still having fun. Act 3 is probably the longest of the three big acts, and then I also did Act 4 to gain a couple more levels. Act 3 alone only got Lorzate to level 79. I’m thinking in the next update I will probably have to do a good portion of Act 2 NG++ to get 10 levels.
Act 3 started out a bit harder than Act 2. There were a few suicide monsters that would come up to Lorzate and explode in his face. Even with Lorzate being a tank, he could be killed by just a few of them dying around him at once. His damage was not high enough to kill them before they exploded, so I had to learn to move around when I noticed they were getting ready to explode. The beginning of Act 3 also had other heavy hitter brute-type monsters that could do 2-3000 with normal hits and much higher with critical hits.
That’s what drove me to start replacing my gear for higher Armor versions. I was unsuccessful in finding total item upgrades, but they were good enough. Many of the items I had to settle for less Strength and Vitality in exchange for high Armor, a side-grade, but high Armor was needed more.
I also ran into some trouble with the gems. The game started dropping gems that require item level 70 or higher items, but most items I found were only in 60s level range. In particular, Lorzate’s Ice Armor went down a lot since all my Ice gems required level 70.
That’s it for this week. Next week I will be starting NG++. I will probably need to do Act 1 and half of Act 2 to gain the 10 levels, but this is the home stretch for levels. Normally, after I see a way to improve my build, I would restart the character. Since I am doing these character updates, I make do with my choices. It’s working out pretty well overall, and I feel pretty confident I can make it to level 100 with this character.