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Building a Collection
Like many Action RPGs, equipment is a huge part of the Torchlight experience. New items are constantly dropping, and sometimes they're really, really cool. However, there are so many stats on many items that it can become hard to determine exactly what is good and what isn't. Do you take fire resistance over health steal? Is it better to increase armor or health?
This equipment guide will give a few tips on how to decide what equipment to wear so that you can decide what to save in your personal treasure chest and what to junk.
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Keep the Character in Mind
Without a doubt, the most important element in choosing which piece of equipment is best is the character you're playing. The three classes in Torchlight gain access to different abilities, but they're so customizable that there is no simple way to say which items are for which class.
Still, you know what you use and how you play. Let's say, for example, you're playing a battle Alchemist. You use a lot of Ember Shock, which is based on elemental lightening. You will therefor want to equip items which increase elemental damage. Likewise, if you're a Destroyer using standard physical melee attacks you'll want to take great interest in physical damage stats. It is generally a lot easier to focus on your strengths than your weakness, as well, so I advise picking equipment which further strengthens your best damage abilities rather than trying to make one you don't use a lot suck less.
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One attribute to look for on every weapon you come across is the ability to steal health or mana. Health and mana stealing weapons are absurdly effective in Torchlight. Because you're constantly killing enemies - sometimes twenty or thirty at a time - stealing health and mana from damaging them can result in massive net gains. Take this example. Let's say you have a weapon that steals 20 health per hit, and it takes an average of three hits to kill an enemy. If you engage a mob of thirty you will have gained 1800 health points by the end of the fight!
This is such a huge boost that I always advise taking a weapon that steals health or mana over one that does not. There are obvious exceptions, such as a level 5 weapon compared to a level 15, but within reason health and mana stealing is too effective to ignore.
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Armor vs. Health
Choosing between health and armor is a common quandary. Some pieces of equipment will increase your health dramatically, while others have much better armor. The best situation is to have both on the same piece of equipment, but that isn't always possible. So how do you choose?
I advise going for armor if you're into heavy melee combat. This generally means you're taking a lot of hits which means that the per-hit damage absorption and the increase in "glancing blows" which are received has the greatest benefit.
If you're usually at range, I think health is best. Ranged combatants are usually hit by spells much more often than melee attacks, and spells can really take a bite out of your health. You'll want to have the extra 200 hitpoints when a big fireball comes your way.
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When in Doubt, Save
These general tips should help, but there are so many attributes that can be found on equipment in Torchlight that addressing every single one would require a huge guide. With that said, I recommend trying things out for yourself if you can't decide. Remember - equipment in Torchlight is everywhere, and you have a nice big chest in town. If you find something that you're not sure about, try it for a while. If you think it doesn't fit your current situation, then keep it for awhile in the town chest.
In fact, it may be wise to build a collection of armors and weapons which are exceptional in one way or another even if you don't immediately need them. The types of damage done by enemies tend to be grouped in different levels, and having a few sets of reserve equipment which are aimed to resist one kind of damage or greatly increase another can really make a difference.