Torchlight Sets

Tesh reminds me of Torchlight’s set items. I was excited the first time a purple item dropped, which might just be conditioning from MMOs that make purple the color of awesome, but upon reflection I never found much use for sets. As Tesh says, you out-level items very quickly; in Torchlight, leveling every 15-20 minutes is taking your time.

Ah, but there is shared storage and inter-generational item transfer in Torchlight. You can gradually build up the set and make use of it every run. Well yes, maybe if I enjoyed inventory management more, but that seems like a lot of work for a small bonus. Meanwhile, there are awesome non-set items I would need to give up, and I can risk them at the enchanter all I like without threatening to gimp the set. (Given enough times, you will have items survive 10 enchants, and given enough times, you will have set items disenchanted on the first try. One of the former gives me a permanent “best in slot,” while one of the latter breaks my set.)

But this assumes that I play Torchlight enough for it to matter. How many runs would it take to get a full set of 4-6 items in the same level range? 6-10, if you are lucky? And then that set is the best for maybe an hour or two per run? If you beat Torchlight once a week, that is probably worthwhile, although after 10 runs you will also have some very nice non-set items. I would be surprised to find many people who play through Torchlight once a month.

It seems like an over-designed subsystem. It works very nicely if you play for hundreds of hours, but it is just noise if you beat the game once with each class.

: Zubon

This is the reverse of Magic: the Gathering. The original designers knew the system would have problems if players spent hundreds of dollars on cards, but if lots of players were spending hundreds of dollars on cards, great!

Oh, and read the comment from Darius at Tesh’s. Interesting notion!

6 thoughts on “Torchlight Sets”

  1. My feeling was always that it would’ve made far more sense if the game had been an MMO, or at least had a Diablo II kind of multiplayer thing.

    Rarity (or in this case, specificity) of randomized item drops is a much more interesting ballgame when there’s a player economy.

      1. That would remove them from the economy, so that would be counter to Jick’s idea. In Jick’s game, almost nothing that is not a quest/barter reward is BoP.

  2. If I were a betting man, I would put my wager on the idea that the developers wanted to build in the system for sets more than the actual sets themselves. With this system in place, it makes the transition to the multiplayer realm of Torchlight 2 that much easier. At the very worst, to look at Torchlight 1 in it’s own existence, it plays to the select group of people that put a lot of stock in collecting as much as possible. My guess is that the vast majority of players don’t care, but there is the select few that it matters to a great deal.

  3. Thing is, sets show up in WoW and other MMOs, it’s not just a Torchlight quirk. They don’t work very well anywhere that leveling makes the set pieces obsolete by the time they are randomly acquired, unless there is a shared stash or multiplayer market… and most MMOs with sets make the pieces BoP.

    But yes, Torchlight specific, they might be assembled by multiple playthroughs, but that’s not a very good way to induce replay.

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