Lifebound items are a new concept in Torchlight III, one that’ll probably have many ARPG veterans and series fans scratching their heads. By the very definition, Lifebound items are those that will be lost the moment your character dies in the game. This mishap is offset by these items having slightly higher stats compared to normal or non-Lifebound items. Still, there is a way for you to keep them, but only after using Scrolls of Unbinding. Here’s our mini-guide to help explain this feature.
Note: This guide is intended for Torchlight III‘s early access stage and certain mechanics may change in due course. For more information, check out our guides and features hub.
Torchlight III – Lifebound items and Scrolls of Unbinding
As mentioned, Torchlight III‘s Lifebound items are a really odd feature to introduce in an ARPG. While there are games that lead to the loss of your items upon your character’s death, this is normally alleviated in ARPGs once you’re able to travel back to your corpse to pick up your dropped gear. A total loss of equipment only tends to happen if you choose an ARPG’s “hardcore” mode (where permadeath is enabled) or in the roguelite genre of games.
So, yes, it’s very strange to see this concept even in Torchlight III‘s “normal/softcore” mode. As mentioned in our early access impressions article, Lifebound items feel like a leftover from the game’s original design as a freemium MMO experience. After all, if you lose decent gear, you might be tempted to buy new stuff with real cash.
Lifebound items are found very early on in Torchlight III‘s campaign. More often than not, over half of the items you obtain as you level-up might be Lifebound as well.
Now, given certain connection issues, or just plain bad luck, you could find yourself dying to random stuff and all your Lifebound gear disappearing. As such, it’s best to keep some non-Lifebound replacements in your stash or inventory. You could have the equipment you need without necessarily having to pray to the RNG gods to get all the drops you want for certain slots.
Alternatively, you could also use a Scroll of Unbinding. These are extremely rare consumables that can only drop from bosses or boss chests. Scrolls of Unbinding are so rare that you might only spot a couple throughout the two-act campaign.
If you do find a Scroll of Unbinding, you can use it on an item to remove the “Lifebound” trait, turning it into a normal item that won’t disappear in the event that your character dies. However, given the rarity, it’s better if you hold off on using it on something that’s truly irreplaceable. Since Torchlight III’s third act will go live on June 30 anyway, you’ll eventually find upgrades for all the loot you currently have.
There’s also the possibility that this mechanic will no longer be present down the line as we get closer to the game’s official launch. If we’re going by feedback, very few players actually like this mechanic since it feels so unnecessary in a non-hardcore ARPG campaign.