Torchlight II (Runic Games)
System: PC Release Date: Summer 2012
Suggested ESRB: T for Teen
Preview Class: Embermage
For part three of my Preview coverage of Torchlight II, we’ll be taking a look at the powerful “Embermage”. Harnessing the power of Ember through careful study these scientists have found a way to replicate the mystical energies of Ember without any of the harmful ‘Ember blight’.
The Embermage is pretty standard as far as spell-casters go in an ARPG, that is until I saw the above pictured skill “Flame Hammer” which summoned a big hammer out of fire that swung sending my enemies flying. Having a melee spell spoke volumes to the possibilities so I experimented. With a wand in one hand and a sword in the other I was able to pull enemies with magic and then dynamically swing with my offhand sword when they got to close, or close enough for a good hard slamming with my magic hammer of fiery death kupo!
Embermage’s have two main weapons: wands, that deal ranged magic damage and turn into a club at melee range, and Staff’s which enhance your spells but don’t do ranged attacks. Wands are only one handed means they can be paired with any of torchlight II’s single handed weapons like pistols and swords, or in my case another wand! While other classes benefit from finding a weapon combination that works I found that with a ranged class such as the embermage and the outlander there is more chances to really find what feels right to you. In my experience I was able to chain together elemental damage using two wands meaning I could do ice damage in one hand and then burn them to a crisp with the other all the while still having spells to really turn the battlefield into an electric light show of pyrotechnics and destruction.
As with the other classes you have three skill tree’s at your disposal all of which empower you to lay waste to your enemies by the truckloads. This time around the first skill tree is “Inferno” as the name implies it is very fire focused. This specialization aims toward building your ‘charge’ gauge while keeping the heat and elemental damage coming. The next tree available is “Frost” where the ‘inferno’ tree is all about building up your charge and burning foes as fast as possible, frost focuses on freezing your enemies solid in ice and controlling larger groups with teleportation. The last tree offers you the power of “Storm” which dispite what the name might imply has you opening up massive destructive ‘rainbows’ of elemental power. You’ll be harnessing all the elements with this skill tree causing chaos and destruction as only a true master of Ember could with elemental rainstorms, chaotic ‘bizarre’ effects to wand strikes, there is no telling how bad the ‘storm’ will get before a fight is over.
Not to be outdone by other classes Embermages bring the pain in massive doses staying true to ARPG roots with the mentality that your enemies should fear you, not the other way around. The charge bar for the embermage makes this all the easier when it fills completely you no longer pay any mana to cast your skills meaning that you can start spamming everything in your arsenal turning the battlefield on its head with enough destruction to make the Engineer embarrassed. With the inferno specialization this happens more and more often meaning if you want to impress any groups your in with a horrifying display of chaotic destruction, it might be the route to take.
A fun class to play and an amazing replacement for the alchemist from torchlight I, I recommend anyone who wants a power trip to give Embermages a try and feel the power for yourselves, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Moving on lets look at Enchantments!
Special Feature: Enchanting
a look at a ‘tier one’ enchantment done out in the field. as you can see even a single enchantment is far stronger than the original Torchlight system.In the Original Torchlight enchanting was the best way to turn your mediocre equipment into stunning workable pieces until you found a better piece of gear. This has largely not changed in torchlight II. Unlike the first game you don’t start with a friendly neighborhood enchanter and instead must find and save him from a dungeon later on, before then you just have to get lucky to find one out in the field and they only have a few ‘enchantment’ charges before they are ‘used up’, getting back to the town enchanter they begin at the lowly apprentice level and can only enchant something once and usually to a basic effect, I am to assume at later stages of the game your ‘hubs’ enchanter becomes more experienced or skilled and can preform more expensive but useful enchantments.
As with the original torchlight there are artifacts and shards of ember that can be used to enchant your weapons with slots. Yet this time they are no longer combined and the single shards are far stronger to make up for it. In the first torchlight a single shard of fire ember might protect you from fire damage by two percent and could enhance your damage with +2 fire, now a single shard enhances around +8 and that’s just a shard. As well as the return of Ember Shards we see the return of Skulls, and Eyes which enhance more things than before such as pet/minion specific bonuses to health and damage. Over all things are mostly the same but vastly improved from the basis in torchlight I. Your stronger, faster, and better equip to handle this quest and the enchanting of all your gear will give you that edge you need to survive.
Well that’s it for this look at the Embermage and Enchanting, next Preview will follow Beserker’s and Online Play. So make sure to come back and check out the slaughter kupo!