It’s entertaining enough, but it’s a lot like Diablo 1 and 2, which as it turns out I don’t really like all that much. Not because it’s all that hard; I’ve played the Diablos and now Torchlight all the way to the end. It’s just not all that fun. It’s based on these premises:
- There should be lots of combat;
- Combat should basically be just a “click-storm”, maybe with some “special moves” (i.e. clicking with the right mouse button instead of the left;)
- Your other preoccupation is junk farming.
Problem #1: This is the dullest way you could describe magic items.
Problem #2: Since the game is about collecting just the right gear to defeat those thousands of monsters you are going to fight, and the gear is randomly generated, there’s a lot of it, to give you at least a thin chance of getting the right gear. That means you get a lot of gear. Tons of it, almost all useless, so you have to sell it. Hence, it’s junk.
Problem #3: The gear is keyed to level. Not just the magical gear, but even the mundane stuff. Hence that word “Epic”, which means you have to be about 25th to 30th level, I think, before you can use it. You start getting it when you get to about that level in the dungeon. That means even more junk, and no way to jump ahead and take a risk to get something really good, to make the early battles easier.
In short, what the designers of Diablo and Torchlight think is “fun” is something mind-numbingly boring and not the least bit special.
Now, this is an OD&D blog, not a video game blog. The reason why I brought this up is because this kind of thinking has infected D&D. And not just the WotC editions; I occasionally spot someone offering game material that sounds a lot like this. There was, I believe, an actual Diablo supplement for D&D, so that you could enjoy your boredom in more than one form. But beyond that, the way feats, skills, and templates work is much the same. I was struck by this when I read the thread about the Gelatinous Cube, because basically after the original question was answered, the optimization dorks moved into the thread to discuss the optimum form of Gelatinous Cube, based on adding templates. Half-Fiend Half-Draconian Awakened Gelatinous Cube. Sounds AWESOME!