My perspective is entirely as a solo player, so keep that in mind.
I was frustrated, but my progress was not meaningfully impeded by Torments. They are irritating, not difficult, to play around.
No. I failed only one run this far, to the Tarragrue, because I rolled a Broker floor where the broker was surrounded by traps and I was unable to interact with him without getting killed.
Yes. With any of the three Torments I have encountered this far, AFK for any amount of time mid-floor means death. Even with the safe zone at the start of each floor, some patrols move close enough to aggro while you are “safe”, which forced you into combat, dispelling the “Resting” buff, making you vulnerable to death by Torment effects.
I feel Torments are completely incompatible with the basic premise of Torghast, at least for a solo player. They may be less annoying with a group, I wouldn’t know. I will test in a proper group at some point during Alpha, but I have ZERO intention of ever going in to Torghast in a group when Shadowlands goes live.
They do not currently always start at Floor 12 though. I had the fire Torment at floor 1-6, then no torment at all from 7-12, then the 2x bears torment from 13-18. On a different run, I had no Torment from 1-12, then Stalkers from 13-16 (that was the run I failed).
All the Torments I played with have felt like an attentiveness check more than anything else. There was absolutely nothing nudging me forward any faster, just an annoyance I had to deal with. I felt forced to use a Ferocity pet to combat the fire Torment, when I would have preferred to run Lone Wolf. I built a “glass cannon” build focused almost entirely on up front burst damage (Aimed Shot damage, Frostbite Wand, crit damage, Careful Aim, etc), and it was a lot of fun, but having to keep a pet out took away from it somewhat.
The fire DoT would actually make floors longer on classes without good self sustain, as you would need to stop and eat regularly. It is nice that the DoT doesn’t break the food buff, but that is about the only decent thing I can think of here.
Why not offer additional incentives for clearing quickly rather than attempting to punish players for taking their time?