Skirt Wearing Weather

The adventures of one man and his spiritual wolf.

Which will one day be three wolves. I’m not entirely sure how one wolf magically splits into three- but I’m not asking questions! I’m surprised I can even conjure living beings out of thin air. Or, in the case of the nymph, out of some otherworldly bulb. But that’s the path I chose to take and it certainly helps to have covering fire. Yes, you guessed it- it’s time for more Titan Quest adventures. These were brought on by the recent release of the Titan Quest Anniversary Edition. Which is really just an excuse to spend several hours clicking on mythical creatures and monsters.

Not that I’m entirely opposed to the revival of a classic ARPG.

For this build I decided to combine the close combat benefits that Warfare Mastery brings with the pets (and buffing capability) of Nature Mastery. I was thinking about Defense Mastery for a while, but it doesn’t really have any damage capability. Nature Mastery also lacks any decent damage capability outside of Plague. So I decided to take Warfare Mastery and (one of my favourite abilities) Onslaught. Trying out War Wind for the first time, too. Hoping to get that upgraded soon so that it can bleed multiple targets. I’ve also taken Battle Standard to further increase his versatility and to allow him to easily take down bosses, take on hordes of enemies, or simply have another buff.

It’s unlikely he’s going to use any of the healing abilities that Nature Mastery offers. Mostly because he doesn’t have the energy to use them. That said, he doesn’t really need them as pets are surprisingly good even with only a few points of investment. Just a singular wolf and nymph bolstered by Heart of Oak is a considerable damage increase.

Bigger than the ones back home.
Bigger than the ones back home.

The wolf also gives the enemies something else to attack. The nymph can snipe enemies from a considerable distance, while, if they close the distance, she actually runs to a safe distance before continuing to attack. It’s quite amazing. As I’ve known many AI companions who would simply stand there and get beat on if the enemies approached them. She also has ranged attacks- which his build lacks- so she’s able to pin down retreating enemies. The nymph has some great passive abilities, too. I just need to spend more in Nature Mastery for them.

It’s incredibly tempting to invest the points just for the passive abilities.

I’m quite impressed with the Anniversary Edition so far. I appreciated the character import process which allowed me to bring all of my older characters over to the new version. Complete with any required updates to make them work properly with this version. Likewise, I’m pleased that it doesn’t feel that different at all. It still feels like Titan Quest- which is good- as it should. I’ve had no issues running it, either. Not that I ever had any issues running Titan Quest. But, if you did, the Anniversary Edition may resolve those issues. If it doesn’t, they’re still actively patching it so they might resolve them at a later date. Overall it’s an incredibly solid update of an incredibly enjoyable ARPG.

I was thinking about writing something closer to release. That said, I wasn’t really sure what I could say about it without having spent several hours with it first. An enjoyable several hours at that. The Titan Quest Anniversary Edition is probably one of the best releases I’ve ever seen- new or old- and it’s worth your time if you enjoy Titan Quest.

Have a nice week, all!


Titan Quest: Immortal Throne

Love ancient mythology? Love travelling the world? You do? Awesome!

Titan Quest is a game I could rave about for hours. Hours and hours, posts and posts, on and on. It’s a title that I feel pushed the envelope with many of the mechanics ARPGs typically had and blew other ARPGs out of the water because of it. There’s so much to enjoy here- the quests, the story, the classes, the class combinations, the skills, the equipment, the locations, the scenery, the graphics, and just about everything else that you’ll encounter along the way. Even the fights! Those are great, too.

First and foremost (and arguably most fun) is the class system.

You could say I have a frosty disposition.
You could say I have a frosty disposition.

Instead of picking a singular class at creation you start classless and when you level up for the first time you make the move to whatever discipline(s) interest you. At first you are only able to unlock a singular class, yet later you can combine it with another class, or remain singular for more specialisation. While this may not seem too exciting the skill system also has a lot to boast about. Namely, a rarity for ARPGs, and perhaps RPGs in general, the lack of replaceable skills. When you take a particular skill you won’t be replacing it with a more powerful clone later- instead several passives unlock to empower that skill to make it even more awesome.

If you should happen to make any mistakes in the classes you choose there is a respec option available as soon as you reach the first major town, which at a gold cost can erase those mistakes. You can’t, however, undo mastery choices, so if you pick Warfare/Nature you’re stuck with it. All choices within either are reversible, though.

Questing and combat are the two core parts of the title and you’ll spend most of your time doing either.

Rarely for ARPGs there are a range of side quests available (but these are not randomised like the quest system in the first Diablo), there are a number of main quests, and the story flows with an almost open world feel. You’ll find many additional optional dungeons and locations to explore, too. This is one of those titles where you’ll find yourself investing easily over 20 hours if you take the time to soak up the content. Given that, like many ARPGs before it, this is repeatable on higher difficulty settings- that’s a lot of time in total.

Immortal Throne does add some notable improvements, too. Including Act IV, the Dream mastery, new items to craft, and many improvements to the base game as a whole. However, if you are a purist, and happen to have bought Titan Quest: Immortal Throne, you’ll more than likely get the two as separate games. So you can play Titan Quest classic should you wish to.

While I would like to talk about the many other wonderful things that you can do, that you will see, and that you probably will experience- I just haven’t the space in one post. It’s an absolutely huge game that has a lot of content and can be replayed several times. It is also an older game so it’s usually really cheap on Steam, GOG, Humble Store, and so on even when not on sale. Moreso when it is on sale. If consider yourself a fan of ARPGs but have yet to play it- give it a go! If you’re looking at Grim Dawn- give this a go. (As the engine that powers Grim Dawn is a modified and updated version of the Titan Quest engine.)

Have a nice weekend, all!


Exhausted Intermission

I’d love to get all arty in this post and hurl creative things at you relentlessly… but I’m more likely to fall asleep. Just prod me with a stick if I do, ‘kay?

The last week has been a repeated cycle of work for twelve hours, eat once in the day, sleep a bit, catch up on sleep on the train, and start it over again. I haven’t had much time to put into any of my existing or any new projects for a bit and that annoys me as this blog almost is where I’d like it to be. I just need more content. So does my poor site. It’s just not been the best week for it.

On the brighter side of the news I’ve finally given in to the awe and wonder that is Titan Quest. I’d heard about this game all those years back when I was looking for games that were similar to Diablo II, but I’d never bothered to try it as it didn’t seem… as exciting? I don’t really know how to explain it. I just, well, I never got the feeling it would be enjoyable to play, or that it would have much replay value. But for the price they were offering on Steam and the fact that I’m more experienced now- why not?

Diablo II was great game. It really was. It just had some things about it that as you got deeper into the difficulty levels or into the more varied builds weren’t very satisfactory or enjoyable at all. The point hoarding, the repeated skill trees, the lack of variation for melee classes, the superiority of magical/ranged classes, the addition of immunities with which some classes/builds were now useless, and a few other things.

On the other hand it was a pretty great ride regardless. The concept of randomly generated locations, enemies, and the possibility of finding something really amazing early on was a nice change from the likes of Final Fantasy where everything is where it is and will be whether you play it once or a thousand times. Plus, the versatility of the systems to maximise on certain aspects earlier or later and be able to fully control how your character grows. Not to mention the multiple difficulty levels which actually changed things in the game like the death penalties, resistance bonuses, enemy attacks, and later the immunities/resistances of enemies. It wasn’t massively long but it was something that you could really get into and was even better if you had friends along for the grind.

If you love mythology and running around in a skirt you're in luck!
If you love mythology and running around in a skirt you’re in luck!

So, is Titan Quest perfect? No. It has flaws and it has the same inherent problem that (as far as I know) you cannot change your invested points. However, there could be something later on that allows you to as I’m barely half way through the first act. That said, it does improve on a few of the things that Diablo II had done. Personally, I enjoy the Warfare Mastery tree as it has some pretty interesting concepts for an ARPG. Your main left button skill Onslaught is a charge skill that gets more powerful with every hit up the current level of investment. This means that as your enemies chip away at your health and you get surrounded you’re also getting stronger. Every hit, every kill, and every enemy makes you more powerful. Pair that with Battle Rage which randomly spikes your power to incredible levels and you have a melee class that can slice and dice but doesn’t lose the momentum as they get surrounded and increasingly hurt.

I’m not too far into it at the moment but from what I’ve seen it’s pretty cool. I’ve got to pick a second tree to invest in now and I’m not sure what I’ll choose or how I’ll play it as I could have him as a full melee class with Warfare Mastery/Defence Mastery or I could throw some magic in there and see how that works out. That is one thing that does interest me as there are so many different combinations and you can but wonder how they will all work out.

I like putting points into things, y’see.

That’s all for now. Hopefully when next we meet (or when next I type) there will be some advancements on the artistic front and I’ll be able to share more rotting abominations for your viewing pleasure. Otherwise, I’ll keep you updated on how it’s going and what’s happening. I can see me running around in a skirt for a few days of this week, though. No, not at work. Not unless I shave my legs.

Have a nice Sunday, all!