Design Notes for Torchdale (Torchlight 2 Mod)

Torchdale is no longer being developed.

Several plans I had for continued work are:

Reinstate fame points. Removing fame points from the game was a mistake and was the most common feedback. The next version would have seen their return.

Remove passive defence. More specifically, remove armour, resistances, dodge and block. On average, block and dodge provides a percentage increase in health. However, the variable nature makes it riskier when facing spike damage. While dodging/blocking spike damage is a nice random bonus, not dodging/blocking spike damage and getting killed can be frustrating. A percentage increase in health is a more stable alternative and avoids "unexpected" deaths. There are other issues such as block working against more types of damage than dodge, but that is a balancing issue.

Armour and resistance provides a straight cut off which can make small damage attacks negligible. This kind of protection represents a tank wading into a pack of lesser enemies. In practice, I felt the actual values didn't create a meaningful change in game play, especially at higher difficulties.

Damage reduction, reflection and absorption also fall into this category. Personally, I find the effects of these get lost in the chaos of game play and would have no qualms in removing them.

Remove healing potions. I always found healing potions to be useless management. Having the quality increase over time seemed irrelevant if the increase was balanced around how much health you would have on average at a certain level. Finding potions is not much of an issue and they are easy to buy. A solution is to offer a fixed skill/spell with a cool down that replicates their effect. One could still allow the skill/spell to work in fixed values based on say character level or change the effect to a certain percentage of health.

Remove weapon speed. There is always friction between two-handed, one-handed and shield and two one-handed weapons. The choice is always one of damage vs. protection vs. extra affixes on the off hand item. This trade off is part of the strategy, however the classically slower weapon swings of two-handed weapons always feel clunky compared to faster weapons. I would prefer if the feel of the weapon wasn't a factor in choosing the best combination and let say aesthetics or damage vs. protection drive the choice.

Speed does create more strategic trade offs with respect to chance on hit effects and static life or mana steal vs. relative. Hence, this change would simplify the game play.

Remove timed skill effects. Having to remember to recast skills on timers that lasted beyond an average combat just adds management overhead. The solution is to make them passive. If that becomes too powerful, make them drain mana or take a proportion of mana while active. This also applies to minions as well.