I have a complicated relationship with Torghast. I play a lot of Roguelites and Roguelikes, and there is no question about it…Torghast is a really soggy, undercooked, unexciting Rougelike experience.
- Far, FAR too samey. Same levels with same layouts, same bosses, same mobs. Every time. 6 "different" themes (all of which are different flavors of "Oops all Mawsworn") isn't nearly enough variety for the amount of time you can spend in there. For a game with such a vast swath of previous content and art assets at their disposal, that this is the best they could come up with is disappointing.
- Too few powers, and too few of those powers meaningfully change gameplay. This hits some classes particularly hard, whereas others (Druids, as usual) bask in the limitless love of developer attention.
- Too many level specific maluses put a timer on the content. We already have Mythic + for this nonsense. Find a different way to cultivate challenge other than "Go fast!".
- Too unrewarding. Soul Ash is nice and all, but should be drip fed per floor instead of stacked on the end boss. Why are cosmetic rewards restricted to Twisting Corridors? And why ON EARTH are there only FOUR OF THEM for 144 potential Torghast floors? What kind of sad drip feed is that? We've got anima vendors all over the game practically vomiting mounts, pets and weapon skins at us. Why is farming anima off world quests so much more rewarding than this? How does that make sense?
So why do I like it, and think it's the most important/fun thing Blizzard has done since this game was shiny and new? It's meaningfully challenging solo content. Yes, I'm aware you can absolutely break the challenge by lucking into a broken combo, but that's half the joy of Roguelikes, and why they're such a persistent and widely loved genre. Mage Tower was great, but Mage Tower wasn't sticky content…it was one and done. MMO players expect their play modes to be evergreen, but Raiding, Dungeons and Battlegrounds are all mandatory group activities, and the only thing solo players have received is World Quests (Dailies with a false nose and sunglasses on) and…drumroll…the widely neglected Pet Battles.
Now, I don't want to get into it with the whole "SHOW ME WHERE IT SAYS MASSIVELY SINGLE PLAYER GAME" portion of the audience, I like group content sometimes. Sometimes. Part of what made WoW such a frustration post early Vanilla and eventually drives a large portion of the audience away until the next expansion pack launches is that solo content and solo avenues for advancement evaporate and the game becomes a tier march of raids which a smaller and smaller portion of the audience experienced. LFR helped, but LFR is also God's Punishment for an Evil World and cannot find a happy medium between "Hilariously trivial" and "Somehow more difficult than Mythic, why will no one even attempt the mechanics". And it's still a group activity. Sometimes, maybe often times, people want to go at their own pace.
I really hope they put some development muscle into Torghast. A procedurally generated 1-5 player bottomless rogue-like dungeon crawl with meaningful rewards would really help revitalize the stale old 2000's MMO formula, and probably help keep a large swath of the player base engaged and subscribing long past their usual departure date.
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