I chose very difficult for my first play of torchlight. Or whatever the highest difficulty there is, but without the use of hardcore mode. Hardcore, which I'll probably try out sometime, as the natural direction to take is to make a waddling tank - will that be fun? I'm curious, but this topic is about difficulty.
But after about seven hours of play only now is it really presenting difficulty and requiring manouvering. On the upside it's doing it on a consistant basis - I'm guessing if I did more side dungeons I'd be higher level and have better gear.
Sadly I obviously went through six hours and 59 minutes of not so challenging play - I don't know why I'm drawn to it. Moth to the shiny flame? Already spent money on it, may as well try?
I think it 'pushed back' so to speak near the start, but really, the solution was to keep the attack or magic button held down and a finger over the heal potion button. That's it. I guess that's a timing skill as atleast these potions take a little time to heal you instead of insta healing you like in diablo. Instant heals just mean buying tons of potions and mashing the heal button over and over will be enough.
Now I'm doding back and forth, leaving flaming circles, teleporting, watching my health and trying to fit in a free magic heal - sometimes even run out of healing potions (though they're pretty damn cheap in town and teleporting there is always easy).
What I'd really like is if when you die, you fall back to a checkpoint and ALL the monsters past that checkpoint revive! Now they either drop no treasure and give no XP, or only a quarter of the XP and only healing/mana pots as per normal (and nothing else).
For those who can't get past (since it seems we have to give them a get around), have some magic item in town that's pretty damn expensive that can negate the next monster revive. It costs alot, so they can grind for cash on lower levels. Don't like grinding? Then get more skilled. Don't want to have any negative impact at all, including you don't want to not be able to get past at all? Ironically I give up at trying to feed that mindset!
So, quite engaging now, but still rough in terms of whats the hurdle to overcome? The penalty for dying and starting at the start of the level is pretty high now. This wouldn't matter if money had no real use, but enchantments in town add more kick and cost a fair bit, so there is some bite to losing. As much as some want to seperate risk from challenge, I think they are as impossible to seperate as two hydrogen from an oxygen molecule - ie, you can, but it ceases to be water/a challenge anymore. Challenge is a molecule, not a seperate atom in itself.
So I dunno - it depends if you find very difficult at all difficult in the first few minutes to hours. If you do, cool. But I think it needed something else. And I'm a guy who finds easy rating sedukos fairly challenging!