A few days ago, I mentioned that an expansion for Titan Quest is scheduled for next year. It’s unlikely that I’ll be playing it.

Not because of the game itself, but because THQ’s most recent update for Titan Quest is one of those infamous “balancing patches”.

The balancing patch is nothing new. Blizzard has been doing this for some time with Diablo 2. And it’s been quite awhile since I got any patches for that game.

Of course, both Diablo 2 and Titan Quest are meant as multiplayer games, though they can be played solo. So after the first few patches that fix the most severe problems, along comes the balancing patch in answer to player complaints.

These complaints are almost always about one class or another being “too powerful”. So, in the parlance of online gaming, this or that class is “nerfed”, tweaked to be less potent.

Eventually – at least in the eyes of the online players – everyone is more or less equal. But what are they actually doing? Going by the boards, mostly they farm for drops.

“Farming” is repeatedly going through particular areas or killing certain bosses for the treasure obtained. “Drops”, naturally, are the items left behind when an enemy dies.

To me, this is boring. I like Neat Items as much as anyone, but I wouldn’t spend hours killing Telkines to get them.

In any case, balancing patches are a disservice to solo gamers. Playing alone, you need all the help you can get. And that’s just in normal mode. If you move on to the higher difficulties, you’re at a big disadvantage.

Since the TQ expansion will no doubt require the latest patch (whatever it is by then), and that patch will incorporate the “balancing”, I expect to skip it. Especially considering what else they may do between now and then.

Which is a bit sad. Then again, I didn’t think much of the Lord of Darkness expansion for Diablo 2, and even the two for Neverwinter Nights were nothing to write home about (at least not in glowing terms).

And we are talking about a fantasy shooter (ahem, “action RPG ;), so that the expansion is likely to be more of the same. I think I can manage without that.