Main Gameplay Design Patterns
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.
Summon additional Companions, e.g. Skeletons or Golems.
Gems can be put in slots to further provide advantages.
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.
Experience and fame points are gained through killing monsters and finishing quests.
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, Encore, Inc., JoWooD Entertainment. Also available through Steam.
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