End of a Journey – Torchlight

The unthinkable finally happened. Torchlight, that shining ray of light representing how much content can be stuffed into a sub $20 game, has finally ended for me. Leanna, my dual pistol wielding Vanquisher, faced down the final foe that lurked below the tiny town of Torchlight. Playing on the Hard difficulty, I managed to reach the end of the dungeon in 21 hours. For the $20 I spent on the game, that’s not too bad. I knew going in that it wouldn’t be as lengthy as certain other recent releases (56 hours spent so far on my first playthrough of Dragon Age with no end in sight!). Still, I hate that it ended at all.

Leanna was quite the fighter. By the end of it all, she had reached level 36. Her Fame had acquired her the title of “Renowned” (or, as Guybrush Threepwood would say, “I didn’t even know I was nowned!”). I decided fairly early on that she would fight John Woo style, with a fast firing pistol in each hand. For her main offensive skill, she would fire Ricochet blasts. Statistically, she would have high Dexterity and a high percentage of Critical hits. Luckily, I was able to equip her with just the right items and abilities to make this all happen. By the end of her journey, she was getting critical hits 27% of the time, while doing untold amounts of extra damage with each critical shot. I may have made her a little too overpowered for the Hard difficulty setting, but it was always fun to play all the same.

Big numbers! Rare equipment! It can't be over now!!

But now, I’m at an impasse. Should I “retire” her, which would effectively end her life? Or should I keep her alive within the game indefinitely, waiting for the day when a possible expansion or sequel is released? This is the same problem a lot of games have, not just RPGs in particular. You spend several days building a character up, gaining levels, abilities, items, etc. And then, just when you’ve reached your apex, the game ends. My favorite solution to this is when a game allows you to start over at a harder difficulty, but allows you to keep using the same character you’ve built up. Torchlight doesn’t quite have that feature, which is the only real bummer with this game. Otherwise, Torchlight was worth every penny. I plan to start over soon, try out the other two character classes. I think I’ll refrain from retiring Leanna for now. I’ll keep her around, just in case she needs to get called in to action again someday…

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