Torchlight 2 is a fantastic Diablo-style clone that shoots for simplicity and straightforward brawling while not being afraid to get a bit light-hearted at times. In this fantasy world, the player is charged with hunting down a former hero, the Alchemist, who has developed an unhealthy obsession with a mysterious substance called Ember.
There are four classes to be found in the game, Outlander, Embermage, Berserker, and Engineer. Each has its own unique playstyle and key advantages to dominate in combat. While there are pros and cons to be considered for each class, there is one considered to be the most powerful and one that players will largely struggle with.
The downside to the Engineer is it’s a sluggish class. That armor weighs them down so their movement speed is slow, their attacks are slow, pretty much everything they do is done slowly. If you’ve been playing a class like Outlander before switching to these behemoths you’re going to rage for a while before you get used to how slow they are.
It’s a good thing they’re so tanky because they’ll take quite a beating before they leisurely lift their wrench up to deliver a solid whomp on their enemies. They’re great for bosses, but groups will be really annoying if you don’t have a good AOE maxed out.
Embermages are heavy hitters from afar, casting large elemental attacks to incinerate, freeze, and shock their enemies. They have good DPS and, unlike the Berserker, don’t have to be in the thick of things to get their attacks out. Embermages have a few powerful spells that do incredible damage to groups, bosses or even both.
They’re considered the easiest class to play as the player needs to focus solely on damage output and avoiding the enemy. Their weapon is largely irrelevant and only serves to augment their spells even further by having a high attack. One of the best guilty pleasures in this game is to wade into battle with Shocking Burst maxed out and watch opponents literally fly apart as the electrical bolts strike their bodies.
The downside to the Berserker is that they’re one-track-minded fighters. They have very few skills to deal area of attack damage and rely on single target attacks. This means that while your Berserker packs a punch, they’ll largely only deal it one opponent at a time.
The downside to this method of fighting is that they lack the Vitality to take the punches. Their health siphoning can help, but largely their strategy in battle is to out damage their opponent. This can get complicated in large groups or against bosses, which is pretty much what you’ll be doing almost all of the time.
It’s a fun class, but you’ll find yourself dying a lot if you get too distracted by cutting through your foes and not paying attention to your rapidly dropping health bar.
Arguably the Berseker is the weakest class in the game, which is unfortunate considering how fun it is to be a Berserker. These mad barbarians dish out a ton of damage and thrive on crazy acrobatic strikes meant to pummel their enemies into submission. It’s not an uncommon sight to see Barbarians diving into the fray with wild attacks.
They also possess a number of helpful skills and passives to siphon health from opponents, twirl into a group of enemies, and tap into their inner beast to wreak havoc on their opponents.
The Outlander is the gun/bow wielder of the group. Unlike the Embermage, they remain dangerous at all times whether they have mana or not. Outlanders are skilled manipulators possessing numerous crowd control abilities to keep enemies locked down, slowed, or outright stunned.
The name of the game is status effects and Outlanders are masters at it. Your opponents will have a hard time chasing you down to get a hit when you can slow their movement speed, freeze them in place, and drop spells that effectively act as traps if they follow in your footsteps. Just be glad you never go up against an Outlander in this game and enjoy dishing out the pain.
The Engineers are considered the most powerful class in the game by far and for good reason. These brutes are heavy hitters who can take a beating. They represent the tank class in every sense of the word with thick armor, a deep health pool, and a large weapon they can bludgeon their enemies with.
They also provide a lot of versatility in terms of how to fight and deploy spells. You can play a more melee role with the magic augmenting attacks, ranged with more AOE skills, or the necromancer type with robotic minions and exploding spiders to become a one-person army. This is an easy and adaptable class to pick up.
Unfortunately, the reason Outlanders are master manipulators is because they have to be. They’re glass cannons in every sense of the phrase, and their health pool and defenses are worse than Berserkers. Their survival requires being constantly on the move, controlling the movements of the enemy, and skirting boss attacks.
As a result, they’re one of the hardest classes to play because they require almost constant micromanagement. Lose attention for a few seconds and your Outlander is dead, no question. If you enjoy the kind of gameplay that would be appealing to a Starcraft world champion then go for it, but if you don’t enjoy the constant attention and potion guzzling that these characters require, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
The reason the Embermage is easy to play is because it’s simple. Learn a powerful spell and spam it until your mana pool runs out, there’s not much to it and as a result, this style of play can get fairly boring very quickly. Sure, Shocking Burst is fun on the first level of enemies or so, but a couple of layers in and it’ll lose its charm.
The reason the Embermage doesn’t rank higher is because the magic-user is a beast so long as they have mana; once the blue orb is drained they’re little more than a well-trained peasant. After your mana runs out you’ll be dodging attacks and doing the best you can with whatever useless weapon you’re wielding until the mana regenerates and you’re back to spamming spells.