Torchlight Frontiers reworks gear system following alpha feedback

    
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Fans of the upcoming Torchlight Frontiers should feel good knowing that both closed alpha testers and developers are pushing for the best game possible. Echtra Games admitted that the old system for general character advancement wasn’t pleasing players as much as it hoped, and so the studio decided to insert an alternative system in its stead.

The issue that testers had encountered was that skill points were being used for both gear and abilities, forcing players to choose between accessing the next tier of gear or getting a fun new ability to use. With the new version, skill points are used for just that while a new “Frontier” XP leveling bar will track progress within that biome and unlock gear accessibility that way.

“Your equipment is fundamentally linked to your ability to progress,” Echtra said, “and having to choose between new combat skills versus better weapons and armor put an uncomfortable pressure on players. We originally thought it’d be an interesting decision to make as you progress, but our alpha testers let us know otherwise.”

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Mr.McSleaz

But what’s the PWE cash shop look like in this game?

Mewmew
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Mewmew

It wasn’t so much that you had to spend skills on gear, it was that each different area had a different gear set and to equip a different set from a different area, you had to raise a completely different gear skill line, multiple times over.

It wasn’t just a single gear skill line, it was a gear skill line for each different area of the game.

While they can make it so you pick up enough skill points not to make much of a difference either way, I guess it wasn’t fun for most people. It was a little weird, though I was fine with it.

They’ll make a change now that to most people will give the image of not having to do as much work and make as many choices, but I’m guessing it will be only an illusion. It will take just as much time and work, just in a different way that doesn’t seem like we’re having to choose between the two.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Ah okay so the skill lines to wear equipment from each different area actually still exists as it used to, it’s only different how you gain the experience in order to raise those lines up now.

So you still will have skill abilities for each area that you need to raise in order to wear the equipment in that area, unique to each different area. Just instead of directly spending skill points on raising those skills, you automatically gain in those skill lines when fighting inside each different area.

They actually removed the ability to get skill points in any area and spend them on raising your equipment level for a different area now. It will take just as long and be the same basic thing in the end, but as said just is giving the illusion of a change where there really isn’t much of one.

The new way *does* sort of make more sense and flow a little better though.

It’s hard to understand the change unless you’ve been playing and go and read the change notes on their web page, though I get what they did now. It’s a change for the better really, even though it’s hardly even a change :D

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Greaterdivinity

Do they still have fame levels and whatnot? I actually really liked that system which IIRC was just a secondary XP bar that filled up by killing named mobs and whatnot. IMO that’d be a good option to handle the split as well, normal XP for skills and fame for gear.

But this sounds kinda neat too but I’ll have to do some digging. Still eagerly awaiting open beta to see how it shapes up, hoping it’ll be as enjoyable as the first two.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

The way they’re doing this game is a bit different. Fame in the original games was a way to get extra skill points. In this game your skill points aren’t limited, you pick up skill point experience as you’re killing going along. Unspent skill points aren’t tied to your level, so you can collect as many skill points as you want. Though it’s not as if you’re overflowing with them or anything.

There are multiple types of experience in the game, for your skill points and for your relic level.

Though with this change it sounds like there will now be three, your relic level, your skill points, and your gear level.

What they’re changing now is a big way the game worked. Each area had different equipment and its own skill line to equip that type of equipment. So if I went through the first jungle area and raised my ability to wear the equipment dropped in that spot to maximum, once I switched to a desert area I would have no ability to equip the stuff dropped in the new area until I spent skill points to be able to.

Each new area made you need to decide if you wanted to wear the more specialized equipment for that area and spend skill points on getting to be able to.

But you also need more than just the skill points and experience. Gathering is part of leveling up in this game. You need things like wood and stone that you gather in order to build up altars and things in your camp that let you spend more skill points in certain lines.

There’s a lot to it, though it’s missing the Fishing thing right now where we got to fish to change up our pets. I’m hoping they add that in, even if it ends up that we need to spend real money on the fish or something.

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Armsbend

That is too bad. The former, scrapped version sounds much more interesting than the same old ‘ding! You are level two. Here is your new fireball’ we’ve been experiencing for decades.

I hope they don’t go the cookie cutter route. Make sure the voices you are listening to are the right ones.

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Indigo Salma

I for one didn’t like the first version. This reworked one feels more natural.
Instead of spending skillpoints on unlocking gear , that sounded stupid.
Now you just need to complete an area which makes the game exploration more rewarding.

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Schmidt.Capela

Certain kinds of choice tend to be bad for the enjoyment of the game, at least among regular players; those kinds of choice make players focus on what they had to give up, not what they got, and due to that leave a bad taste. Those include trading current power for future power (such as, say, spending points in XP buffs or magic find), having to choose between crafting or combat abilities, having to choose between power or convenience, etc.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

I was fine with the original system, but I guess I was in the minority, at least of those that spoke out anyway.

As I wrote above though, you had many different equipment skill lines because each different area used a different equipment skill line to equip the stuff dropped in it.

The game will take just as long this way to get the power and levels as it did the other way, they’ll just make skill point xp drop less often or something. It will only give the illusion of taking away a choice and making people feel better about it, while in the end actually taking the same amount of time and work.

In fact they actually made it more difficult now without realizing it. See in the old way you could gather up skill points in any area and spend them on whatever you wanted, so you could stay in your favorite area and spend the skill points on being able to wear equipment from another area.

Now the same system is there, where you still need equipment skills specific to each area, but you have to actually be in that area to gain it. You automatically gain it while in that area yes, but as I said it’s the same as what it used to be only giving the illusion of removing a choice of what to do with skill points. I guess that will make most people happy.

It’s still not the same old ding system though :D

Every skill you go to try to learn takes more than just skill points. You have to gather up resources to level up your altars back in your base to be able to spend your skill points on higher stuff.