Super Jamie said:
a whole lot more optional side-quests which are actually interesting (as opposed to Diablo 2 which seemed a boring grind to me).
Heh, and I find it to be the complete opposite. :P Torchlight's "side quests" are all one of three variety: 1) Come upon a unique piece of ember that you must bring back, 2) Kill a champion monster that's no different from other champions, and fetch reward and 3) Go through a dungeon level that's no different from the usual levels but it'll have a treasure item in the end which you need to bring back. What worse, these quests just keep repeating with no real variation what-so-ever, and the only reason to do them is the very minor boost in experience and fame.
At least in Diablo 2 some of the quests had some thought put into them, or useful rewards, or both. Blood raven is fun to fight when you're not too well prepared, the countess is ok, the sewers in Lut Gholein have an extra skill point reward, the Hell forge is cool and the book in act 3 had a nice, occasionally pretty tough bitch boss.
One other thing Torchlight did do wrong is having "passive" buff skills with very short duration. Those are never good design and only lead to immense frustration and, if the cooldowns are much longer than the skill duration, they also slow down the game a lot. Buffs should always be either completely passive or come with long timers.
Also, there's very little ranged monsters. As a matter of fact, the bestiary is pretty boring overall. They're mostly normal melee monsters, some have a few special attacks but there's very little anything that's truly, well, special and different. The bosses are pretty disappointing, too: Brink is a bit too tough for the first boss, the last boss is ridiculously overpowered compared to everything else and all other bosses are ridiculously easy and pose no threat what-so-ever. Especially Medea is just a huge joke if you've got about 100 electric resistance, which is pretty easy to have by that point. :P