Blog on journalism, technology, video games (PC, console, handheld, etc), my opinions and more.
Road to Immortal Throne
Published on April 19, 2007 By iTZKooPA In Gaming

I figured that since I posted what I was currently playing a few weeks ago I should probably take a break from my long delayed and still in the works Gameplay updates and actually get into what I am currently tackling on the PC. First and foremost I tend to be a little addictive when it comes to PC games. Although I play a good amount of them there is always a game that captures my attention for at least a few months, and in some cases years. I mentioned that I had quit World of Warcraft back in December for good and before that I played Warcraft III and its expansion mostly. Basically it went like this, Command & Conquer: Red Alert to Quake 2 to Starcraft and Brood Wars to Quake III Arena (I was actually pretty against moving to Q3A but a pretty girl convinced me too) to Warcraft III then World of Warcraft and now Titan Quest. When I mean that it captured my attention for months I mean I played the respected title pretty hardcore, I was competitive in Case's Ladder for RA for awhile, competed and won a few local tournaments for WC3 and was a hardcore raider in WoW. I was never big on clans for FPSs, but in general I stuck to a few select servers and a good group of people and would play daily.

Now for those of you who have played TQ you realize that there isn't as strong a hook as the games mentioned above mainly due to the multiplayer issue. The multiplayer is slapped on and there is no closed server system so people's characters are hacked to hell online, for however few online games there are. Obviously, multiplayer is out except for playing with close friends (which I do). The single player campaign was fun but it changes only very mildly once you beat the Normal setting. After that you just run the same basic campaign again but with an added boss or mini-boss fight in the mix which is exclusive to Epic or Legendary. So why is it that I still play the game? Why do I keep jumping on my laptop (and desktop, which forces me to copy over the character) to play all the time?

Action shot in Legendary difficulty.

Well, like WoW they really ingrained the idea of grinding for your levels and loot into the system. Most RPGs do this same thing to get that re-playability, but it was never a trap for me. I played Diablo and Diablo 2 but never got hooked. The item grind is so bad in TQ that most players have been screaming for fixes to the loot system. I will agree that the bosses don't seem to drop the best loot but its not such a big deal if the chest/random mobs have descent loot tables with a good drop rate, which seems to be the case. This is not a title that guarantees at least one amazing item just for killing a boss. Iron Lore really makes you work for it but with the great visual, good character classes and skills and good hack-n-slash gameplay I haven't minded running through the same campaign 2.5x now, I do love my ancient myths.

It should be obvious that I enjoy the game, which essentially is a Diablo clone with updated visuals and nothing groundbreaking but it is certainly not without its faults. The multiplayer aspects are atrocious, probably slapped on possibly at the last minute. The most basic thing like chatting is very cumbersome, you have to hit 't' to open up the chat box and begin typing. The chatbox itself blocks part of the screen and once you hit enter to send a message the bx doesn't go away. Instead it remains with your cursor there (so if you try to use a hotkey you just begin typing a message) until you close it or click somewhere else.

Another big issue seems to be character balance. Like any good player I wanted to create the most godlike (hey we are in Greece/Egypt here) character possible so before picking my classes I checked them all out in the nice book you get with the game. You get to chose from two classes (or can just chose them same one twice to specialize in it) by the time you hit level 10. I selected Hunter and Earth and stacked my Hunter almost exclusively till I finished everything I wanted to in that tree. Shortly after I picked the Core Dweller from the Earth tree and become basically unstoppable. My DPS, calculated by TQ, is 1600+, well above my friend who is a warfare/rogue, the class that is supposed to be THE DPS machine. So some balancing obviously needs to be done, once I get some better resistance gear nothing will touch me.

This is my imbalanced character's stats. Note the HORRID resistance stats.

So like most titles it has its strengths and weaknesses but was able to push enough copies to allow THQ to bankroll Iron Lore Entertainment into making an expansion which came out last month. I have been keeping up on the expansion details, and it seems like some of the issues persist, such as network latency issues when playing over the Internet, performance and chat problems. The drop rates seem to be different for Immortal Throne so maybe thats a plus. I would recommend the title to anyone who liked the Diablos or Dungeon Siege but if you don't like a challenging game (Legendary is VERY tough), lack of solid multiplayer or grinding RPGs then I wouldn't bother. I would call this one out at about 80% if you want to use that kind of scale which is disappointing cause if THQ had given them more time to polish it could have been great. I will be getting the expansion for sure, but first I need to finish off Legendary and top out at level 65 (currently 53) and hopefully by then another patch will be released addressing some of the above issues otherwise I will hold off longer till the price drops. Who knows maybe I will get the time to actually try and make some cool custom maps, something I have never done before but am really interested in trying for TQ.

Some of the awesome items I have picked up along the way.

on Apr 20, 2007
I'm gonna get the gold edition (TQ + IT) when I've gotted a new computer. Love Diablo II LoD in multiplayer but singleplayer is kinda boring. Same with Sacred :/

Heh, a review is supposed to have a score
on Apr 23, 2007
I'm not huge on scoring although I try and do something for those people who love numbers: "I would call this one out at about 80% if you want to use that kind of scale which is disappointing cause if THQ had given them more time to polish it could have been great."

TQ looks great on my Athlon 64 with Geforce 7800

The single player is good the first time through the campaign, follows a lot of ancient mythology and stuff. Otherwise it become just like Diablo, grinding away. Closer servers would of made it CRAZY repayable like Diablo but Iron Lore said that THQ didn't give them the money to create an infrastructure.
on Apr 23, 2007
I'm a fan of it, it does an excellent job of scratching the Diablo 2 itch. It's getting harder and harder to find a primarily SP, non-persistant world game that does that.
on Apr 23, 2007

I'm a fan of it, it does an excellent job of scratching the Diablo 2 itch. It's getting harder and harder to find a primarily SP, non-persistant world game that does that.

I really couldn't agree more with your whole statement. Solid single player or coop titles that aren't persistent are getting hardier and hardier to come by on the PC.

Another thing I would have liked TQ to have is some sort of crafting/forge ability so you could take all that white/yellow trash and break it down into parts, possibly mix it with more rare greens/blues and even purple to make some really cool gear. That could have been something to really set it apart from Diablo.
on Apr 24, 2007
Actually I don't like scores either. I think people hang up on scores WAAY too much and only remember that. Instead, reviews should cover everything so you have to read the text so you understand how it is.

I said that thing about score before just since all reviews have them.
on May 02, 2007
Added some screens to prove that my character really is imbalanced. And hes only gotten better at level 56 now.