About respec’ing in TL2, I warmly recommend disregarding the developer’s view and simply downloading the fan-made Save Editor.
That’s what I don’t understand, actually - Torchlight 2’s beginning is set in a painterly, green, natural setting, whereas Diablo III is darkness, decay, despair.
This differences in tone and world design are frequently touched upon in comparisons - a large part of the Diablo audience apparently thinks that darkness, decay, despair is Supah Great and that Torchlight somehow disappoints by going with a far less grim-dark world.
They call it “cartoony”. Although personal preferences do play a role (grim dark is boring as hell if you ask me), personally I’m more inclined to praise Torchlight for trying something different with its Steampunk-slash-fantasy setting.
Of course, you have to factor in that a part of D3’s audience, actually found D3 “not dark enough”: guess if they can’t eat their live bats for breakfast, that actually spoils their day real bad.
It’s largely a placeholder. There are some tasty bits here and there, side-quests IIRC, but mostly works as some sort of reason for the player to keep pushing forward: the Alchemist, which was a PC class in the first game, has been corrupted, and is trying to take over, so you go and beat up lots and lots, until you get to hand him his ass.
That’s something I’ll always have problems relating to. I get the feeling some were seeing a turn-based game with cover, and little shield icons, and that suddenly makes it an “XCOM like” and that sounded good on paper, so others kept repeating it: but what about “NO?”.
Couldn’t be farther from reality for me. Shadowrun games, to the extent that I’ve played them, have literally nothing in the way of story and anecdote generation that XCOM has, nor the tension.
It doesn’t help that the way they’re balanced, Shadowrun tends to alternate between being piece of cake, or hard min-maxing, and that is only possible because the RPG side of the game is far bigger and more prominent than anything that is in XCOM, and, as far as I can tell, in Invisible, Inc.
I’ve read somewhere that the original plan was to implement a branching story, but the requirements of co-op ultimately made that too hard, so the idea was scrapped. Big “FWIW” there.