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I'm starting out Torchlight 2 and I can't help but think that Vitality seem like such a wasted investment.

It gives about 3.5 health per point. 100 here is about 350 health. I found several items that gave about 250 a piece around character level 25-30.

There's also the increase of about 2.6% defense per 5 points. But again unless I'm stacking up a LOT of resistance this doesn't seem to help much, especially since armor is random between 50% to 100%.

The only valuable characteristic seems to be the block chance. But characters like Embermage is pretty much built for dual wielding wands or 2 handing staves anyways.

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Hello, Jason, and welcome to Arqade! I've removed the last part of your question because it's already answered here (and we generally like one question per topic). – Raven Dreamer Sep 27 '12 at 3:23
If you are voting to close at least explain why. Part of the vote closing power is your responsibility to explain to a new user why their question may be closed. – Sadly Not Sep 27 '12 at 3:25
Play Act II + III before you say that :D. The game toughens up a lot after Act I. – user28015 Sep 27 '12 at 5:39
As an Outlander I've always picked Focus, never Strenght, Dex or Vitality. I'm currently in Act III and it's ridiculously easy to stay alive. (mind you this is on Normal, I haven't tested other difficulties so far) – Aerus Sep 27 '12 at 8:20
Well normal is very easy... – user28015 Sep 27 '12 at 8:39

The most important factor that comes from vitality is the +armor bonus%.

This becomes very prominent for melee fighters late game as monsters will start hitting you for really hurtful damage. So you would want to stack up all the armor you can. Note this % increase also affects elemental armor which is even more critical.

Let me give some numbers, in Act III you will be encountering monsters who hit for about 800 damage, while the armor you can afford to wear will be around 400. Even at that level 400 dmg will take out a good chunk off your health even at 40-50 levels. (These are approximate numbers, it may vary game to game) Imagine you have a nice 50% bonus on all armors cause of vitality. that makes your armor 600. which means you just reduced damage from 400 to 200. You will be able to hold your ground longer and take more hits.

Some of the champion mobs deal even bigger damages than those numbers, and may outright kill you when you least expect it.

Vitality also gives you block Chance if you are using a shield. As of update 1.13 the block chance cap has been upped from 50% to 75%. 500 points in VIT gives the character around 50% Block Chance. This might not be feasible but shield based builds will rely on VIT to provide those extra block chance to nullify damage they incur.

Hope that explains Vitality for you.

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Also, I'm still early in the game but I pick up a decent amount of armor I can't even wear because I don't have the necessary Vitality stat. – William Jackson Sep 27 '12 at 21:18
In addition Vitality is used as requirement for many items with high armor and if you invest on it you can equip them before you reach the level requirement. – Drake Oct 9 '12 at 11:14
I think the this answer needs context. The reason I am saying this is because the numbers in the example look good, but this is completely wrong for Hardcore Elite in New Game+(++..), because late game the amount of damage mobs can do far outstrip the armor you can get. At that point, the standard advice is block and damage reduction % are much more useful. Remember that enemies can get critical hits too, while armor obviously can't. – jw013 Jan 24 '13 at 20:42
@jw013 - This post attempts to explain what vitality does. Just because EHC mode is not really friendly to VIT builds does not make the above any less true. I respect your POV but I think EHC is a niche case and probably explaining that is not really important for such a generic question. I think It may deserve its own question. – Samyam Jan 25 '13 at 10:25
@SamyamA The question is not about "what does vitality do" - the question already lists everything vitality does. The question is "why would vitality be worth taking", and in general the answer is "block chance if you use a shield", not armor bonus as your answer states. Note that in non-hardcore, vitality is even more pointless than in HCE since you don't have to worry about dying in softcore. – jw013 Jan 25 '13 at 10:43

I have a level 39 berserker, and I haven't spent a single point in vitality. As far as I can tell it's a completely worthless investment, because A) you'll find gear that increases vitality, and B) If you practically insta-kill things, and you invest in the skill that causes your critical hits to heal you, then you're all set. You may have to pop a potion here or there, but you collect so many potions, you might as well use them.

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Well I wouldn't say completely worthless. Some items that you may want to use have vitality requirements and you obviously can't use them if you don't meet those requirements. – Jeff Mercado Oct 19 '12 at 7:22

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