A fourth installment to the TQ Vault's developer blog feature is now available, this time with Titan Quest gameplay designer Arthur Bruno talking about the game's loot system. Here's a taste:
To actually get player equipment on the monsters we had to plan for a certain amount of the monsters in each area to have body shapes similar enough to the player that artists could adapt the equipment art to fit the monsters. Some monsters that we wanted to drop equipment were just too big or oddly shaped for this to look good, so we created special pieces of unique-looking monster equipment just for them and then created similar-looking player versions that would appear when this equipment was looted by a player. Since this equipment defined the look of certain creature classes and was always equipped it therefore dropped frequently. We obviously couldn't be dropping powerful unique equipment all the time off certain creatures, so we created common and rare versions of this type of monster equipment. To further add interest we allow these items to also receive the randomly generated magical modifiers that can appear on magical versions of the common equipment. Accomplishing this required an enormous amount of custom equipment artwork, and fortunately our talented art team was willing to oblige. The opportunity to find not only common pieces of equipment but also special monster equipment with randomly generated magical bonuses added another level of loot possibilities to drool over.