Titan Quest - Retrospective @ Eurogamer
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September 7th, 2010, 09:08
Titan Quest was one of the better clones, definitely - but it just wasn't that exciting. The character system was great, but the skills themselves lacked a certain flavor - and too many of them were downright dull.
Whatever you do, don't implement dull skills in a game that's all about being cool with your character. You want powers that look, feel, and perform fantastically. You can have a lot of passive skills that don't require too many resources to develop, but you REALLY need a handful of class-defining stuff that totally stands out.
TQ had some of them, but it wasn't enough - and many of them were not activated abilities when they should have been. Also, they went overboard with the "cooldown" concept, which really belongs in a lag-prone environment like in an MMO. In a tight LAN game - you want things happening ALL the time, so players aren't bored.
So many developers fail here, and Torchlight is another example of supremely poor skill design.
The environments were BEAUTIFUL, but they really messed up the rhythm of the game. Way too much walking around sparsely populated areas, with too samey enemies. Particularly the first hour of the game is horribly dull - because your character can't do anything interesting and the areas are too samey and large. They should have made a tighter starting area, and their story presentation was utter crap. Beyond that, you don't want characters to look identical in a multiplayer game - which they did for the first hours upon hours of playing. I wonder how such a mistake could be made, in such an otherwise competent game.