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How to Build a Character in Titan Quest: An Overview of Character Development in Titan Quest
The character leveling system is different than what's featured in other hack and slash roleplaying games. There are of course similarities, but players are afforded more freedom in crafting the character they want with Titan Quest.
So how does the character development system actually work?
A character is initially classless, with initial character creation being limited to character gender and their tunic's color. After that, a mastery (essentially a class/set of skills) is chosen at level two. There are eight (nine with the expansion) to choose from. Once chosen, this gives access to a skill tree. Where the game differs from others however, is that another mastery is chosen upon reaching level eight. You're not restricted in what you can choose either. So, with there being a total of nine masteries, there are quite a few available character types that players can play around with.
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How to Build a Character in Titan Quest: How Should I Distribute Skill Points When Levelling?
As you level, you'll gain skill points that can be invested in one of your two masteries. First, open up the skill panel by clicking the book icon and look to the bottom left of the window that appears. There'll be a box with a plus sign. Above it, there are numbers and where each number is, there's a line going across the screen. The first skills lie just below the first line, with the first number being one. To access them, you need to invest one skill point into the mastery tree. To do so, simply click the box with the plus sign. The first skills will then become available.
Each skill also has multiple ranks. Each rank gained in a skill makes it more powerful, but Titan Quest takes this one step further. You'll note that skills tend to have a line extending upwards from them to another skill. Say you level the skill at the bottom and then choose to invest points into the one just above it (connected by a line going up), the above skill will modify the one below. This means that skills can be modified to do more/different things. Let's look at one of the skills for the Earth mastery:
You have a tier one skill called Flame Surge. It fires three fiery projectiles at an enemy that deal fire damage. By taking the second tier skill right above it, Flame Surge can be modified to also damage enemies over time in addition to the initial damage the first tier skill says.
Due to the complexities of the system and the amount of mastery combinations possible, it's impossible to say how skill points should be distributed. You'll just have to experiment. But the bottom line is that each skill needs to be examined closely before deciding what to do with your skill points upon levelling.
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How to Build a Character in Titan Quest: Loot, Relics and Artifacts
In addition to investing skill points in mastery trees, characters can also be developed by acquiring better armor and weapons. If you've played WoW, the items are color-coded according to power. Also like WoW and Diablo, relics can be socketed into items to improve the bonuses they give. If mistakes are made, they can also be unslotted.
If you have the expansion, there are also powerful items called Artifacts. These need to be crafted by acquiring the relevant items and it can be time consuming. They can provide powerful passive buffs to statistics and also give other abilities. They are also a way of spending the gold you accumulate, as they're costly.
Relics can be combined with others of the same type (like three or so times) to create a more powerful relic. Once they're at their maximum level, an extra bonus is gained. Also, don't use relics on items you know you'll be getting rid of soon, because it's a waste. Relics found in a higher difficulty will also be more powerful than ones found in a lower difficulty. This also extends to normal items.
Lastly on items, enemies drop what they have on them. So if an enemy is dealing unusually high damage to you, the chances are good they'll drop a powerful weapon when they're defeated. You can also tell which enemies might have a good weapon on them by looking at the weapon's graphic they're holding. So always make sure you defeat enemies that may hold powerful items before turning the game off. Enemies are randomised each time the game is started up and the world is repopulated, including areas you've already cleared. This also extends to bosses. This is different than the loot system in other games, as an enemies' statistics are normally static and you won't have an idea what item you'll get until they die.
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How to Build a Character in Titan Quest: What Are Some Good Mastery Combinations?
A good example of a mastery combination that works nicely is the Warfare plus Defense. By taking the Warfare mastery, you'll be able to deal out damage to enemies. By combining Defense with the Warfare mastery, you can then take a beating as well. But in order to make the most of the combination, you'll need to wield a one-handed weapon rather than dual-wield. This does cut down on your damage dealing capability.
However, if you want to field a character with the Warfare mastery that can deal good damage (when combined with another mastery), you should consider the Rogue mastery. They compliment each other nicely. Warfare will allow you to dual-wield, as well as give other abilities. By taking the Rogue mastery, you can enhance your melee damage dealing potential by coating your weapons with poison.
Those are just two mastery combinations that work well together. There are others, and part of the fun derived from playing the game comes from experimentation.