On Torchlight 2 – and Items

I’ve played a ton of Torchlight 2 over the last month.  It’s a great game, with lots of polish and unique abilities for each of the four classes.  On Veteran or Elite, it’s a nice challenge as well.

But I’ve gotten burned out on the loot progression.

Here’s how loot effectively works: you end up playing a minigame where you essentially pick up every item that drops.  Once your bag gets full, you auto-sort and transfer all the trash to your pet to sell.  Then you compare each remaining item for marginal improvements over your own gear.

[![](http://daydalus.net/DaydalusStudio/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Torchlight2.png "Torchlight2")](http://daydalus.net/DaydalusStudio/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Torchlight2.png)
Torchlight 2 Engineer
When you sell stuff, its rarely worthwhile to buy any items from vendors.  You’ll often find something better off a trash mob in a few minutes.  Same with enchantments, or using sockets.  Most of the sockets just give you resist, or slightly better regen rates.

If you kill a boss, or open a locked chest and find an elite item, you’ll usually end up replacing it in a few levels anyway with a blue off a trash mob.   The problem with gear in Torchlight 2 is there’s too much of it, and it’s all the same.

Some people may find it fun to collect a bunch of loot, sort through it, compare and contrast, and then sell it off.  But it gets tedious.  And if the really epic loot isn’t marginally better, there’s no incentive to even go out and get it.  Likewise, from what I can tell, only the final boss of the game dropped really good class specific loot.  Everyone else just dropped the same random set of items.  I have more epic items in my shared chest for other classes, then I ever got for my own character.  It’s no fun to bank an epic item to save for another character to use days or weeks later.  If I go out and kill a boss, I want to get something cool I can use with my character.

[![](http://daydalus.net/DaydalusStudio/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/loot.png "loot")](http://daydalus.net/DaydalusStudio/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/loot.png)
Torchlight 2 Inventory Screen
**Some ideas:**

Loot should be more rare and special to the player.

You shouldn’t replace loot every 5 minutes.

Loot should give you a noticeable improvement in gameplay by using it.  It shouldn’t just be a set of numbers.

Every item should be a quest item, a craft item, etc.

What if every piece of loot came with its own backstory that wasn’t just flavor text, but actual information that led to more gameplay?  What if every item could be combined with other items to improve?  What if you only replaced an item (Your belt, or your helm) 3 or 4 times during the course of the game?  What if the longer you wore an item, the better it would improve (instead of degradation).  If you blocked dragon fire with your shield, it would gain fire resistance.  If you traveled through a frozen realm with your boots, they would gain a frost ability?

What if you could show your item to a knowledgeable merchant and they could tell you hints of how to improve?  This gemstone, found in these mines.  Or this bit of moss, found in this swamp.  And instead of giving you a discrete quest that gets added to your list and checked off and gives you a onetime improvement, this is a bit of knowledge you can then apply to your game playing and works for all items from then on out.  Note – this wouldn’t be global knowledge people could read on a wiki, it could be procedural for each player.

What if wearing a certain piece of gear (a sword, or an amulet) would unlock certain dialog trees, or instantly make enemies/allies with NPCs?

Loot needs to be more than a set of numbers.

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