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Torchlight is a computer RPG in the same style as Rogue, NetHack, and the Diablo series.

For more details, see the web site for the game[1] and its' Wikipedia entry[2].

Main Gameplay Design Patterns

Combat, Character Development


Quick Returns Quick Travel


A main story line provides a Predetermined Story Structure, while the Side Quests provide Optional Goals

Randomness in used to create the various Dungeon Levels in the game.

Enemies Algorithmic Agents


One special case is the Mimic, a Enemy disguised as a chest which first surprise attack can be seen as a Trap.

Testing Achievements Achievements Grinding Achievements Goal Achievements


Torchlight has three selectable Character Classes for the players' Characters: Destroyer, Vanquisher, and Alchemist. Choosing the class determines the overall play style, so it can be seen as an initial Internal Conflict for the player but also provides Varied Gameplay and Replayability.

Character Development

The players' Avatars have Companions, either a cat or dog. Sometimes the group is expanded by an additional Companion, e.g. Brink.

Algorithmic Agents

The pet can return to town to sell all things in its Inventories. Although this saves players from Excise, it is a form of Risk/Reward choice since the pet while for a while no longer help in Combat.

Summon additional Companions, e.g. Skeletons or Golems.

Gems can be put in slots to further provide advantages.

Red Queen Dilemmas. However the Enemies do not scale so there is no Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment.

The town contains several NPCs that both provide services such as Trading, providing Quests, and those dealing with equipments (enchanting them, transmuting several items into one, destroying items to retrieve gems, destroying gems in slots to free those slots in an item).

Enchanting items is a way to Convert money into Improved Abilities but with a certain Risk/Reward associated, since there is a small chance (that grows with each previous existent enchantment) that the item will lose all enchantments.

Short Cutscenes are used to tell the story or point out where Boss Monsters are located.

In addition, Level number 27 consists besides some irrelevant player movement only of one Cutscene.



Experience and fame points are gained through killing monsters and finishing quests.

1 point to invest in Skills and 5 points to invest in Attributes.


Both the players' Character and the pet Companions has Inventories and Sockets.

The Sockets are helm, armor, boots, shoulders, gloves, belt, 2 rings, amulet, and left and right hands for the Character, while the Companion only has slots for 2 rings and an amulet.

Tools are categorized as normal, enchanted, rare, unique, and those belonging to Sets.

As with many RPGs, Resource Management of items found is an important part of the gameplay.

One of the NPCs functions as a Converter in that he provides the service of transmuting Ember and certain other items, e.g. skulls, into better forms.

Stashes function as Containers.

When a character is killed, players have three options: Spawning at the some point but lose money and experience points, Spawning at the start of the level and only losing money, or Spawning at the town without losing anything.

In one sense Torchlight is an Unwinnable Game since there exists an infinite dungeon that can be explored after the main Predetermined Story Structure is finished. However, the Achievements encourage players to play again with other Characters, by having Achievements which reward retiring existing Characters and creating new ones, e.g. Hat Trick (complete the game with all three classes) and Passing the Torch (retiring a Character).

When a Character is retired and a new started, the game allows one item to be inherited and this item is thereafter treated specially as an Heirloom.

Some Achievements are Grind Achievements, e.g. completing 200 quests, collecting 250 000 gold, or catching 50 fish, while others encourage players to explore the game system, e.g. installing mods or using the in-game gambling system.


Runic Games


Runic Games, Encore, Inc., JoWooD Entertainment. Also available through Steam.


  1. Official web site for the game.
  2. Wikipedia entry for Torchlight

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