The Worst Part of ARPGs

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#1 Edited by Jrinswand (1704 posts) -

...is stat allocation.

I just started an Engineer in Torchlight II and I don't know if I'm putting my stat points in the right places. I'm level 7 and so far I've just been going +2 Str, +2 Vit, +1 Focus every level. I have no idea if I'm min/maxing the right way or if this will keep my character from being viable late-game. I want to be mostly melee focused, but I also want to have summons (healbot, gunbot, etc.). I'm not interested in ranged. Do you guys think this stat allocation will allow for that?

What type of character are you playing? What do your stats look like?

#2 Edited by haffy (673 posts) -

lol people complain in D3 when the stat allocation get's taken out, and others hate games with it in.

Not trying to be a dick, I actually feel the same way.

Usually I just go for glass cannon builds because they're usually strongest in games in the early stages of release.

#3 Posted by wemibelec90 (1631 posts) -

I agree. I hate stat allocation in any game, especially those games where you are fucked if you put them in the wrong places. The removal of this in D3 was not a change that I minded.

#4 Posted by Spankmealotus (283 posts) -

I'm playing an engineer as well, I'm just putting all of my points into Str and Vit. Just put your points wherever you want, given how moddable the game is you can bet there will be a respec mod within a week or so.

#5 Posted by Turambar (6742 posts) -

There's no respec scrolls or something of the sort?

#6 Posted by believer258 (11808 posts) -

I also usually spend longer than I should on level up/allocate skill points screens.

I have a slightly off topic question: Does this game have controller support? The first one was on the 360 but didn't get controller support on PC, and the demo of it I played on 360 controlled very well (it just didn't run very well). Did they put it in this one? The genre works well with a controller, so I don't see why not.

#7 Posted by YoungFrey (1321 posts) -

Borderlands 2 has that same problem too with its Badass ranks. Not only can you not respec them. They are fixed across the entire account. So I could create a new characrer and still be stuck with a bad choice.

#8 Posted by artgarcrunkle (970 posts) -

Stat allocation was great in games like Diablo 2 where it actually allowed you to do some neat things (Max block sorc etc.) but modern games have taken so much choice away from the player in an effort to 'streamline' things that it doesn't make sense to have anymore.

#9 Edited by kerse (2112 posts) -

I don't find it that bad, its only 4 stats in this game so its pretty easy to just do all the stats pretty evenly while favoring one or two of them, thats basically what I did in the first torchlight and did perfectly fine. You can also go straight damage and ignore the vitality stat if you're playing with people and just wanna do crazy damage. Or if you wanna be tanky just put more points into vitality than focus/dexterity, you'll probably always want str as it seems to be the damage stat.

#10 Posted by ajamafalous (11963 posts) -

This is actually the most fun part of any RPG.

#11 Posted by Ares42 (2625 posts) -

I like that stat allocation allows you to make up for the randomization of the game. Not getting any good weapons ? boost your attack stat. Having trouble surviving ? get more vit. Don't worry too much about min-max'ing and just look at it as a "edge-smoother". Also, looking at a game like Dark Souls, it helps a lot when the stats actually have bigger importance other than just improving numbers. I'm not quite sure, but I seem to remember Torchlight having something like that, where you can equip items earlier than level req if you have a high enough stat.

#12 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3050 posts) -

But I like stat allocation.

#13 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -

It's one of those fundamental disagreements within the genre. I actually love that part of RPGs, but yes, it can be a headache. Most modern RPGs have at least some mechanism for respecing a character. I find stat allocation less compelling the fewer categories available. With more categories to distribute a larger number of points, it's more difficult to make major errors that can't be fixed in a level or two. I can't help but think there's got to be a more elegant system out there that gives some direction but still leaves things open for those of us who like to dig into complex systems.

In games like Torchlight it seems the easiest thing to do is play through once with a fairly even stat distribution, then experiment more on a second playthrough. In fact, that's pretty good advice for starting out in just about any RPG.

#14 Posted by redbliss (647 posts) -

I have played a little of everyone (but mostly Berserker) and so far i havent spent any points for anyone except for the Berserker. I dont mind the point system as long as there is a respec option, but it doesnt look like T2 has one.

#15 Posted by ChaosDent (234 posts) -
@YoungFrey said:

Borderlands 2 has that same problem too with its Badass ranks. Not only can you not respec them. They are fixed across the entire account. So I could create a new characrer and still be stuck with a bad choice.

I'm not sure that the Borderlands 2 Badass ranks are at all necessary or fundamental to the experience though. They are all "secondary" stats that have obvious advantages, the upgrades increments have steep diminishing returns, each class can boost almost all of the stats anyway, and the improvements through class skills are an order of magnitude bigger than through the Badass rank upgrades.  It's a nice edge for one particular style over another, but it doesn't really deprive you of anything.

Forcing the player to allocate most or all of their character's base stats requires a deeper understanding of what each stat drives and what the benefit is. Especially when there is a limited or no respec option (like Diablo 2) it can be extremely punishing if one allocation strategy is too imbalanced.
#16 Edited by Gantrathor (205 posts) -

From what I've played so far, the stat allocation seems to only give very small boosts in each stat, instead of massive increases; your health and mana and strength increase quite a bit, just by leveling up. So to me, it doesn't feel quite as important as it did in the old school games. It's more like choosing your badass bonus in Borderlands. The passive skills, however, seem to give HUGE bonuses. I think those are where you should really be thinking about what you want to use.

#17 Posted by Jrinswand (1704 posts) -

@Gantrathor said:

From what I've played so far, the stat allocation seems to only give very small boosts in each stat, instead of massive increases; your health and mana and strength increase quite a bit, just by leveling up. So to me, it doesn't feel quite as important as it did in the old school games. It's more like choosing your badass bonus in Borderlands. The passive skills, however, seem to give HUGE bonuses. I think those are where you should really be thinking about what you want to use.

Wait, I'm confused. Are you talking about Borderlands 2 or Torchlight 2?

#18 Edited by Gantrathor (205 posts) -

@Jrinswand: I'm talking about Torchlight 2. What I'm saying is, don't worry about stat point allocation so much, because it doesn't seem to be as imprtant as it was in the old school ARPGS (and Torchlight 1). Your current stat build will be fine. However, I would definitely look through all the passives on the trees, as they give big bonuses for a number of playstyles.

#19 Posted by Cogzwell (238 posts) -

Actually take a minute to learn how to do it before you ask to have it removed from a game.

#20 Posted by Jrinswand (1704 posts) -

@Cogzwell said:

Actually take a minute to learn how to do it before you ask to have it removed from a game.

Whoa, what the fuck?! Did I ask to have it removed from the game? Don't be such an asshole.

#21 Posted by TheHT (11155 posts) -

The only games where I enjoyed stat allocation are the Demon's Souls games and the Mount & Blade games.

#22 Posted by Cogzwell (238 posts) -

@Jrinswand: You called it the "worst part of ARPG's" I'd assume this meant an overall disapproval of the system.

#23 Posted by YoungFrey (1321 posts) -

@rebgav said:

Those are just bonuses, it doesn't matter what you pick.

I like to manage characters through stat allocation. I find that the pick-a-skill/buy ranks alternative is usually quite limited by comparison.

Just bonuses? Nothing that makes me kill better is irrelevant.

#24 Posted by Mystyr_E (1190 posts) -

Stat points I have no issue with. Skill points on the other hand drive me up the wall.

"Am I spreading them out too thin? Am I not putting them in one and focusing on it? Is it my weapons that are weak or not enough skill points in ability?" etc

#25 Posted by Fearbeard (826 posts) -

I love being able to allocate stats. What I hate is when there is no chance to get the points back if you decide you want to go in a different direction, or when you can put stat points into something that is completely useless for your class (typically intelligence for a warrior, etc.). If the base game does not allow stat point reimbursement then I'm sure one of the very first mods will, so I'm not worried about it.

Just put points where you feel like it. Think you need some more base damage, go strength; worried about health and armor, go vitality, etc...

#26 Posted by The_Nubster (2098 posts) -

@Cogzwell said:

Actually take a minute to learn how to do it before you ask to have it removed from a game.

If it took such a short amount of time to learn how to allocate those points, it wouldn't be such a big deal, now would it?

#27 Posted by Jrinswand (1704 posts) -

@Mystyr_E said:

Stat points I have no issue with. Skill points on the other hand drive me up the wall.

"Am I spreading them out too thin? Am I not putting them in one and focusing on it? Is it my weapons that are weak or not enough skill points in ability?" etc

Oh, yeah. I've got all my eggs in one basket with that one. Right now I'm going entirely fire hammer, healbot, and a passive attack speed/stun chance increase with my giant fucking hammer. It is pretty good for the most part, but when faced with enormous mobs I often end up doing a lot of hit and run. It took me a while to take down General Grell for this reason.

#28 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

Stats are more important in Torchlight for equipment requirements than for the actual bonuses they give you.

You can upgrade Vit if you want to have some more health or Strength if you want to do more weapon damage, but what you really need to do is find out what stats your favored weapons and armor lean toward and start dumping stats into those.

#29 Posted by Jrinswand (1704 posts) -

Ahhhh! Stats! At level ~21 I decided that I need to start pumping dex for the added crit chance. I hope I'm not borking my character. I can't wait until some re-spec mods come out for this game.

#30 Posted by ttocs (763 posts) -

Eh, I may be in the minority, but I like the fact that you can't respec. Gives the game a sort of finality to your choices that is refreshing in this world of constant hand holding. Plus, every character is different in one way or another.

#31 Posted by Loafsmooch (348 posts) -

You can't really go wrong with stat allocation in TL2 as long as you've got a build planned. You can create a staff-wielding outlander, a melee embermage, a tankzerker, whatever. That's the beauty of the TL2 stat & skill system. I'm having a lot more fun leveling characters over n over again then I ever had in D3, or D2 for that matter.

#32 Posted by Zelyre (1175 posts) -

@Turambar said:

There's no respec scrolls or something of the sort?

On one of the podcasts I listen to, they said something along the lines of, "You can respec the last three stat points, that's how we think it's balanced. You can play around with skills, but part of the game is living with your decisions. That said, we expect the first mod that shows up to be a respec mod."

@YoungFrey said:

Borderlands 2 has that same problem too with its Badass ranks. Not only can you not respec them. They are fixed across the entire account. So I could create a new characrer and still be stuck with a bad choice.

Isn't the badass level stuff infinite though?

#33 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1770 posts) -

@Jrinswand: I've only played the first Torchlight, but in that game it was basically pump the attack stat for your class and put the rest into vitality. Maybe the stats have better sub-traits this time like crit chance or what-have-you, but I played a defensive +2 Dex, +3 Vit Vanquisher and basically steamrolled the first game. (Explosive arrow was very helpful in that regard.) My +3 Magic, +2 Vit Alchemist build also did very well, but I dropped him as playing them back-to-back killed my interest in continuing to play.

#34 Edited by Turambar (6742 posts) -
@Zelyre said:

@Turambar said:

There's no respec scrolls or something of the sort?

On one of the podcasts I listen to, they said something along the lines of, "You can respec the last three stat points, that's how we think it's balanced. You can play around with skills, but part of the game is living with your decisions. That said, we expect the first mod that shows up to be a respec mod."

Well, that's pretty dumb, archaic, and only ever seen in micro transaction based MMOs nowadays.
#35 Posted by Funkydupe (3311 posts) -

@Cogzwell: Yep!

#36 Posted by Loafsmooch (348 posts) -

@Turambar said:

@Zelyre said:

@Turambar said:

There's no respec scrolls or something of the sort?

On one of the podcasts I listen to, they said something along the lines of, "You can respec the last three stat points, that's how we think it's balanced. You can play around with skills, but part of the game is living with your decisions. That said, we expect the first mod that shows up to be a respec mod."

Well, that's pretty dumb, archaic, and only ever seen in micro transaction based MMOs nowadays.

I don't think it's dumb. It's a design choice. They want you to make decisions and live with them. If you want to create another type of char you re-roll. The three-point respec is there mostly for testing how new skills work.

Or you can just get a respec mod. The possibilities are endless with the modding tools.

#37 Posted by Gruff182 (855 posts) -

The worst part is not being able to move around with WASD.

#38 Posted by Jrinswand (1704 posts) -

@Viking_Funeral said:

@Jrinswand: I've only played the first Torchlight, but in that game it was basically pump the attack stat for your class and put the rest into vitality. Maybe the stats have better sub-traits this time like crit chance or what-have-you, but I played a defensive +2 Dex, +3 Vit Vanquisher and basically steamrolled the first game. (Explosive arrow was very helpful in that regard.) My +3 Magic, +2 Vit Alchemist build also did very well, but I dropped him as playing them back-to-back killed my interest in continuing to play.

Aside from being a magic dude, I hardly remember anything about my time with the first game. To that end, I can't remember if there were any bonuses that went along with the stats in the first game, but the second game is definitely very traditional in that regard. Dex provides bonuses to crit chance, dodge, and something else that I can't remember. Strength provides bonuses to crit damage, something, and something else, etc.

#39 Posted by Turambar (6742 posts) -
@Loafsmooch said:

@Turambar said:

@Zelyre said:

@Turambar said:

There's no respec scrolls or something of the sort?

On one of the podcasts I listen to, they said something along the lines of, "You can respec the last three stat points, that's how we think it's balanced. You can play around with skills, but part of the game is living with your decisions. That said, we expect the first mod that shows up to be a respec mod."

Well, that's pretty dumb, archaic, and only ever seen in micro transaction based MMOs nowadays.

I don't think it's dumb. It's a design choice. They want you to make decisions and live with them. If you want to create another type of char you re-roll. The three-point respec is there mostly for testing how new skills work.

Or you can just get a respec mod. The possibilities are endless with the modding tools.

But...people are also praising the game because you aren't punished for making wrong choices, which this seems a prime example of.  So...what?
#40 Posted by Jrinswand (1704 posts) -

@Turambar said:

But...people are also praising the game because you aren't punished for making wrong choices, which this seems a prime example of. So...what?

It does seem to me that Runic Games are leaning a little too heavily on the mod community with this one, which is a shame because the mod toolkits aren't even out yet.

#41 Edited by WinterSnowblind (7615 posts) -

@ttocs said:

Eh, I may be in the minority, but I like the fact that you can't respec. Gives the game a sort of finality to your choices that is refreshing in this world of constant hand holding. Plus, every character is different in one way or another.

If you don't want hand holding, we should be removing constant arrows pointing to objectives, quest logs, fast travel and tool tips.

Diablo 3's system worked, because it let you experiment with each of the skills before deciding on your build. Here you're left to assume the skills will work the way you expect, giving no room to test skills or change your mind later on, all it does is punish newcomers. In my opinion, you shouldn't have to put together a spreadsheet, pre-planning character choices before playing a game.

Diablo may have made it too easy for some, but there has to be some kind of middleground.

#42 Edited by Loafsmooch (348 posts) -

@Turambar said:

@Loafsmooch said:

@Turambar said:

@Zelyre said:

@Turambar said:

There's no respec scrolls or something of the sort?

On one of the podcasts I listen to, they said something along the lines of, "You can respec the last three stat points, that's how we think it's balanced. You can play around with skills, but part of the game is living with your decisions. That said, we expect the first mod that shows up to be a respec mod."

Well, that's pretty dumb, archaic, and only ever seen in micro transaction based MMOs nowadays.

I don't think it's dumb. It's a design choice. They want you to make decisions and live with them. If you want to create another type of char you re-roll. The three-point respec is there mostly for testing how new skills work.

Or you can just get a respec mod. The possibilities are endless with the modding tools.

But...people are also praising the game because you aren't punished for making wrong choices, which this seems a prime example of. So...what?

The key word here is wrong. Like I said in an earlier post, you can't really mess up your char too much, all the stats are actually usable on all classes. There are no wrong choices, just different ones.

@WinterSnowblind said:

Here you're left to assume the skills will work the way you expect, giving no room to test skills or change your mind later on, all it does is punish newcomers. In my opinion, you shouldn't have to put together a spreadsheet, pre-planning character choices before playing a game.

The three-point respec is exactly for that purpose, giving room to test skills. I understand that some people don't like the pre-planning part, but I enjoy it.. Gives me more of a connection to the character somehow.

#43 Edited by Tru3_Blu3 (3203 posts) -

Stat allocation makes you feel like you're making progress, unlike perk systems where it feels like your character is getting nowhere. All of these stupid perk systems are there to satisfy individuals who don't like to think when they play their games, and it's causing people like me to be bored of my favorite RPG franchises since the satisfaction of gaining power and strength is totally diminished.

Leveling up should be addictive and engaging, not fucking boring and fake like Skyrim or Diablo 3. Fancy, sparkly sounds and effects aren't the primary facet that makes leveling up swell. It's, instead, the result.

#44 Posted by Hitchenson (4682 posts) -

You're so wrong.

#45 Posted by Atlas (2436 posts) -

Do people really have this much trouble knowing what to put points into in a RPG? I had no idea.

I couldn't disagree with the OP more. Point allocation is one of my favourite aspects of all RPGs. For me, replacing it with just a skill/perk system seems like a step back in customisation and character progression, and makes the experience more homogeneous; I don't buy the whole streamlined thing. In the couple of hours of TL2 I've played I've mostly been putting my points into Focus since I'm playing an Embermage. I don't take very long looking at the character sheet; I just go with what feels right, based on what aspects of my character need beefing up. I'm playing on hard, so there's a chance that my choices could make my experience a little tougher in the late game, but hey, I can live with that. Respecs feel like a cop-out to me, and I tend not to use them.

#46 Posted by Vexxan (4619 posts) -

@Gruff182 said:

The worst part is not being able to move around with WASD.

I agree, I'm not used to these types of games and I only played Torchlight 1 on the 360 where I felt I was in absolute control. Clicking or holding the mousebutton doesn't feel very good at all.

#47 Posted by Philedius (204 posts) -

I'm an engineer and I've mainly been putting points into strength and vitality (+3 str, +2 vit), but here and there I've been putting one or two into focus and dexterity.

#48 Posted by Gruff182 (855 posts) -

@Vexxan said:

@Gruff182 said:

The worst part is not being able to move around with WASD.

I agree, I'm not used to these types of games and I only played Torchlight 1 on the 360 where I felt I was in absolute control. Clicking or holding the mousebutton doesn't feel very good at all.

Yeah. The annoying part is trying to make a quick maneuver to dodge an attack but clicking an enemy instead and shooting. The screen is full of enemies!

#49 Posted by LikeaSsur (1513 posts) -

Yes, I completely despise stat allocation, especially when it's so free. Ugh, I don't want to screw myself later in the game because I think Defense is more important than Attack now. That's why I hate Dragon Age's leveling system so much.

I did, however, enjoy Musashi: Samurai Legend's leveling system. Upon every level up, you could either set the points manually or have the game do it for you based on preference. Options like "I want more Defense than Attack!" "I want more Luck!" and "I want a balanced build." That was good.

#50 Posted by Loafsmooch (348 posts) -

@Gruff182 said:

@Vexxan said:

@Gruff182 said:

The worst part is not being able to move around with WASD.

I agree, I'm not used to these types of games and I only played Torchlight 1 on the 360 where I felt I was in absolute control. Clicking or holding the mousebutton doesn't feel very good at all.

Yeah. The annoying part is trying to make a quick maneuver to dodge an attack but clicking an enemy instead and shooting. The screen is full of enemies!

Ctrl is your friend!

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