Shining a Light

October 28, 2009

So, Torchlight.

Spinks bought me a copy so I wouldn’t feel left out on launch day and because she’s just like that, and it’s going to be what occupies my time before the Siege of Mirkwood launch, barring bits and pieces of raiding and chatting and hey.. some real life, perhaps.

You all know the background to the game I’m sure, it’s Diablo-esque from the original Diablo team. It’s hack ‘n’ slash, it’s dungeoneering, it’s fast, furious, comicky and made to enjoy, not to get overly serious about. Along with Deathspank (my most anticipated upcoming game), it harkens back to a joyful gaming experience for me. And that was Diablo and Diablo II.

One of the first things Diablo got right, was making you feel pretty powerful straight away, even with few skills. You died by not knowing the encounter generally, rather than because of skill. And the skill ramped up as the game went on.

Spinks annoyed me last night with a tweet that said she was quitting ‘Normal’ mode, for ‘Hard’ mode, because Normal seemed a bit too easy. Now, I’d played 15 mins on Normal and then headed off to LotRO, but I remember running out of mana a lot, not getting how to finish a quest, levelling fast but not spending any points, and feeling a bit lost with the game. So I felt a bit lame that Normal seemed ok to me.

This morning, clearer-headed, I started over. I read the quest text. I took my time to spend points as I levelled. I learned to use the map (like I did in Diablo) and didn’t rush in as much like a headless chicken. I even conquered fishing (which is great!). A few quests in, I have some funky items, I’m in love with my pet cat, and I’m settling in to the game. And… thinking that Normal mode is a bit on the easy side. Major apologies to Spinks there! (and this is only talking about the first 6 levels for me, it could get a lot harder).

As far as I can tell, though, you can only play one character at a time. So my Alchemist – Cole, will be playing through Normal mode, before I try another character on Hard. I’d rather have a game feel a bit on the easy side while I’m getting used to it anyway, but was a good lesson in patience and some self-confidence.

It’s a fun game so far, and I’m sure I, and everyone playing it, will comment more on it. I love the cartoony style. I love the pet, which is genius – it fights, it has an inventory, it can learn spells, it can run to town to sell up for you. And I made my Alchemist a summoning one, so now I have 3 imps along with my cat, Diesel (gettit – Diesel & Cole! I’d rather play a woman, but wanted to try the Alchemist). We’re blasting through things, pausing to get more quests, to level up and to fish.

The shared vault system already has guns for when I get around to a Vanquisher. And it’s something all games should have (along with pets please). It’s really nice to know I can pass things over to any alts I make.

So far, so good. But I’m still only a couple of hours into the game. Am intrigued on how it will morph into an MMO, but from what I’ve seen so far, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it and playing this game for some time to come.



  1. Hooray for summoning alchemists! :). I’ve actually only gone into the summoning tree to get the imps, but have spent the rest of my points in Arcane so far. The crit talent in the second tier arcane is a lot of fun!

    And it’s ok to play it on Easy. That’s what I’m doing. Maybe next time I’ll play it as Hard, but I never play a game on Hard mode first. Just personal policy. I don’t finish games as it is, but if tried them on Hard I’d never get through even a sizable piece of the content!

  2. […] am going to take Arbitrary and Spinks’ advice, and do the game on hard instead of normal for something resembling a […]

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