Torchlight 2 class guide
Finally we have Torchlight 2's archer/gunman/sort-of-mage-type-thing. The Outlander is arguably the trickiest class to play as. He's got the low Vitality of the Berserker, with none of her HP boosting tricks. Get surrounded by enemies and, on the higher difficulties, the only damage you'll be doing is to the finger in charge of the health potion key. That also means he's the most consistently interesting and tactical class to play as. Staying alive requires constant situational awareness.
Your primary challenge is controlling and hindering the movement of enemies. Torchlight 2's monsters love to charge you, which spells trouble for a purely ranged class. Consequently, the Outlanders skills are the least showy of the four characters, instead being targeted at providing you the means to effectively control the battlefield.
Glaive Throw is a nice starting skill, with high poisoning damage that rebounds off enemies. Abandon it immediately. The other two level 1 skills are nigh on essential for progress. Rapid Fire is, as the name suggests, a rapid flurry of projectiles that chip away nicely at an enemy's health bar and, more importantly, cause knockback. A key survival technique during champion and boss fights is using this to pin them away from you, out of attack range.
Blade Pact creates an area of effect that, when passed through, slows down enemies. It's large enough to cover most corridors, so you can use it keep groups at distance, retreating slightly as they approach and laying down another area when needed. Both Blade Pact and Rapid Fire reduce the armour rating of whatever they hit, so always start off with one or the other, to make mobs easier to dispatch.
The general Outlander rule is that if it causes a status effect, it's worth having. That includes both Tangling Shot, which immobilises enemies, and Rune Vault, which causes a blinding effect as you leap away from anything that might get too close. If you'd prefer a pure damage attack, consider Shadowshot, which splits into three secondary bolts when it hits a target. It's nowhere near as powerful as the Embermage's Prismatic Bolt, but it's as close as the Outlander's going to get.
Eventually you're going to want to start letting familiars do the heavy lifting. The best way to do this is to start putting points into the Shadowling Ammo passive. Once bought, killed enemies have a chance of spawning a shadow bat to fight by your side for a few seconds at a time. Similarly the Bane Breath active attack poisons monsters, spawning a fiend when they die. Used together, these skills can start to snowball into small, deadly, incredibly temporary armies.
With so much mob management to keep your mind occupied, it's something of a blessing that the Outlanders Charge skill is so... boring. As it builds, you gain extra attack speed, critical hits and dodge chance; up to 10% on each if the bar is completely full. On the one hand, it's a good enough reason to keep it charged as high as possible for as long as feasible. On the other hand, yawn. Where's the cathartic release of incredible power? With the other classes is where.
We're in the process of reviewing Torchlight 2 right now, but you can check out our first impressions to see how we're finding the first ten levels.