Torchlight II - All News
Monday - April 01, 2013
Torchlight II - GUTS Editor Available
The new mod tool for Torchlight II, named GUTS is now available.
GUTS is our in-house development tool. It lets you modify almost everything about Torchlight II, from item and skill balance, to level layouts, animations, quests, and much more. GUTS mods can be shared with your friends, and multiplayer games using mods can be found in the modded games lobby. In addition, A new launcher lets you customize which mods are currently active.
When playing modded games, you can view your mod history, any previously played mods, and the impact disabling mods may have on your character.
We've also added a special tool to GUTS designed to convert pre-GUTS mods into the official mod format, with an eye toward making the transition much easier for our ambitious early modders.
We've tried to make the process as seamless as possible, with a focus on allowing modded multiplayer games with a minimum of fuss.
They also have a Q&A with their tools engineer Greg Brown, art director Jason Beck and lead level designer Patrick Blank.
Tell us about GUTS! Does it stand for anything? How did that name come about?
GUTS is the new version of our content editor we used to create all the content for Torchlight II. We use it to make most things in the game - Levels, skills, classes, monsters, items, spawn classes, balance curves, UI, etc. Pretty much the only things we don't use it for are model, animation, 2D art/texture, and music/sound creation. We use 3D Studio Max, Photoshop, and whatever Matt uses down in California for those. We started this project with "TorchED" which was used for Torchlight, but we've made a large number of improvements and additions for GUTS.
GUTS doesn't really stand for anything. The dry and boring story is that we compile the game source as a DLL for the editor which was originally called "core.dll" but that was confusing because we had another class called "core" so I changed the name to "editorguts.dll" at some point. Although later I think I was playing Shao-Lin's Road on the cocktail cabinet in the office and was amused by the protagonist saying "GUTS!" at the end of each level while flexing. I also enjoyed the Nickelodeon show and dream of owning a piece of the Aggro Crag. I mostly wanted to differentiate the new version from the last and I like the mental image of being elbows-deep in the guts of the game when you use the editor. Also, my Mom tells me Grandma wouldn't let her say "guts" as a kid, which I've always found amusing.Tell us about the NetherRealm tileset - what's the inspiration?
Well, we had a very small taste of it in Torchlight II, and certainly hints of what that realm might look like, but we never crossed over, so to speak. So, the main idea was to go "into the portal" and visit the NetherRealm. We wanted it to feel as organic as possible and as dissimilar as we could make it to the other tilesets. Everything is built on a grid, and in some tilesets it's very apparent (as much as we tried to disguise it). This tileset had to look chaotic, organic, and make you forget about the grid. Along with that, we really wanted it to look barren, harsh, and completely alien.
Tuesday - January 01, 2013
Torchlight II - Sells 1M Copies
Runic tweeted they have shifted 1M copies of Torchlight II:
We had an amazing 2012, and proud to say that #Torchlight2 has sold over 1 million units! Thank you! Happy New Year's Eve everyone :)
Source: Blues News
Wednesday - October 24, 2012
Torchlight II - Max Schaefer Interview @ Indie Game Radio
Indie Gamer Radio has an interview with Max Schaefer. They talk about how he wants to use a Minecraft style building and resource management into the game via "player creature structures."
He tells us about how the game and genre have evolved, what it’s like to see a number of talented game designers work on your game, and how Minecraft inspires him to add world-building elements to future Torchlight games.
“What I’d like to see personally is to get the building and resource aspects of Minecraft and put them into an ARPG,” he said, “just so it’s a little more than just wandering from one monster to the next and hitting them.” “Your character has permanence [in Torchlight 2],” he went on to explain, “but you don’t have anything like property or anything that you’ve built right now in our game that lead to any sense of permanence. So I’d like to explore that a little bit.” Schaefer was quite clear, however, that this was just his personal notion of Torchlight 2′s potential future, and that other opinions were available from his colleagues at Runic Games.
Friday - October 05, 2012
Torchlight II - Patch 1.12
A second patch has been released for Torchlight II - the notes are a bit long, so here's a taste:
Patch 1.12.X.7 Notes
This patch increments the save version, and we restructured some of the boss rooms, so random levels will clear and repopulate their monsters and events.
*Shared stash now creates a backup of itself
*You can no longer 'steal' items from your buyback tab by closing the window with Spacebar
*Can’t drag merchant items onto the buyback tab
*Gambler does not show 'can't equip' X
*CTRL-M will instantly toggle map visibility
*Pet equipment cannot get sockets from enchantment
*Fixed rare crash related to Charming a monster
*Multiplayer logging is reduced, and can be disabled with the NEVERLOG commandline argument (may improve performance for some clients)
*Creating a player in a difficulty other than Normal, directly joining a game, and then exiting, won't revert your stored difficulty to Normal.
*Confirmation box added for quitting without saving
*Fixed a few rare hardware related crashes
*Particle update optimizations
*Various rendering optimizations
Wednesday - October 03, 2012
Torchlight II - Review Roundup # 3
More reviews on Torchlight II from the last two days.
Monday - October 01, 2012
Torchlight II - Three Years of Development
Runic Games released a video showing what Torchlight II went through during its 3 year development.
A gource visualization of nearly three years of development on Runic Games' Torchlight II. The visualization is based on activity in our source control system. Every piece of art, sound, or code that helped shape the game is represented somewhere in the frenzy.
The music is a recently unearthed archaeological selection from the long-distant schoolboy days of a certain Runic Games employee who shall remain nameless to spare he and his cohorts the embarrassment. We welcome your speculation and evidence in the comments.
Sunday - September 30, 2012
Torchlight II - Review Roundup # 2
Here is an overview of Torchlight II reviews.
Monday - September 24, 2012
Torchlight II - First Patch
The first patch has been released for Torchlight II. A partial snip from the changes:
Here's the goods!
*Fixed a potential crash bug when applying affixes and effects in certain circumstances
*Fixed rare crash when turning in quest in the Undercurrents.
*Put in protection against character save file corruption. Corrupted characters will not appear in the list of characters. (And thus can't cause the game to crash on load)
*Fix for Berserker geyser proc showing up as a mappable skill.
*Fix for triggering Shocking Burst and Arc Beam out of range while hitting shift that could cause chain casting.
*'Resist Slow' affix fixed.
*Proc affixes scale better with player level.
*Berserker 'Wolf Shade' now has the (intended) 60 second cooldown applied to all ranks.
*Fix for mistriggering when chaining two skills together when there is an early hit-frame.
*Safety check to stop any looping skills that get stuck in the 'on' state when the character is not performing a skill.
*Fixed bug with 'Poison Burst' procs (they should properly engage at more distant ranges).
*Fix for potential issue when units would queue removed/unavailable skills.
*Fix for having more than 100% reduction to charge decay or a negative flat charge decay.
*Made significant optimizations to particle collisions.
Saturday - September 22, 2012
Torchlight II - Demo Available
Thursday - September 20, 2012
Torchlight II - Review Roundup # 1
More reviews for this game has been penned at various gaming sites. I'll quote from two of them and list the rest.
Kotaku recommends playing it.
A quote on why we play these games:
So, what compels us to play games like these? In the case of Torchlight II, it's pretty simple—the game looks and sounds splendid, and is a joy to play. Its world is inviting and rich, colors bouncing around the screen in a deadly, candy-colored fireworks show. Ex-Diablo composer Matt Uelmen's soundtrack is the perfect complement to the action, a blend of acoustic guitar arpeggios, industrial-metal dirge and dark fantasy caterwauling that stays out of the way without hiding. The feel of the game is spot-on as well, and it conveys a sense of easy empower-ment—by the end of my first time through, my engineer was a walking bomb, capable of dropping seismic rifts with her boots before slamming her weapon into the earth, igniting all within her sizable reach.
A quote from the review's conclusion
Torchlight II succeeds in being a truly viable alternative to Diablo III. The action is faster and thicker and rewards are set to a quickened treadmill pace, resulting in an experience that is immediately rewarding and increasingly addictive. Its seamless co-op (which includes player trading) openly gives Blizzard the middle finger as it allows players to decide whether to play a solo game offline or open it up for drop-ins. Torchlight II lacks deep character customisation, the dungeons are smaller than Diablo III and you feel very much on the action RPG fast track. However, this is evened out by a deep skill system, helpful pet AI, satisfying weapon and spell effects and the ever-present (and constantly rewarding) rain of loot.
Torchlight II - Review @ Gamespy
Gamespy has a review 5/5 for this game. Here's a quote about the combat:
I felt pretty badass right from the start, thanks to the Rapid Fire ability turning my shotgonne into an assault rifle as long as I had mana to spend. Imagine a firehose of bullets that pins all but the biggest enemies against the wall. Then imagine the satisfaction when, 10 skill points later, the range extended to the point where I could simply push enemies I didn't want to deal with off screen. I later picked up Rune Vault to quickly evade boss attacks with big tells, Burning Leap to charge forward and set groups of enemies in my path on fire, and Glaive Sweep to do a 360-degree attack with knockback while I'm in their midst.
Wednesday - September 19, 2012
Torchlight II - Launch and Gameplay Trailers
A launch trailer for this game has been released. You can watch it here.
Torchlight II - Soundtrack Released
Runic has released the soundtrack for Torchlight II - for free. Grab it here.
We're in the final stretch before launch (2 days!! OMG!!) and we're excited to unlock a treat in honor of all our fans: The full official soundtrack, mixed and mastered specifically for your listening enjoyment, in professional CD-quality. Free.
Go, go, get it! Download the musical amazingness of Matt Uelmen!
Torchlight II - vs Diablo III @ Kotaku
Kotaku makes the inevitable comparison between Torchlight II and Diablo III, although the article is reasonably informative and based on hands-on experience:
Diablo III: Pre-ordained skill trees. | Torchlight II: You choose everything.
In Torchlight II, you'll have far more control over your character build. I've been playing as an engineer, and have been choosing from among three different skill trees, each of which are tied to a different kind of combat—two-handed, sword and shield, or gadget-based. It feels much more like a standard RPG (or more like Diablo II) than the slot-based, interchangeable upgrades of Diablo III.
On a related note, it's also worth mentioning that Torchlight II's skill trees are much more permanent—you can undo your last three skill upgrades in town (for a price), but you can't just swap your skills around all willy-nilly like you can in Diablo III. It's more restrictive, but also truer to its roots. It could be that you can fully re-spec on New Game + or something; I'm not that far yet. It'd be nice! But when it comes down to it: Not counting the mouse, Diablo III has four hotkeys for powers; Torchlight II has ten.
While we're on this topic, IGN talks with Max Schaefer from Runic in an article that's all about comparing the two games, although I'm going to take a quote on the price point:
I decided to ask Max Schaefer, Runic Games' CEO, if the lower price and smaller budget of Torchlight II inevitably means it will be seen as a cheap-and-cheerful version of Diablo III. He says, “Back in the day, when we would sell a $60-dollar box, by the time the money came back to us, it would be maybe $14 dollars a copy. And that's what we get nowadays on Steam, selling a digital download version for $20. So from our perspective, we're as viable and as profitable as an independent developer used to be selling $60 boxes.
“We're bypassing the publisher and box distribution and that lets us bring a $60 game to people for $20. We don't want people to look at Torchlight as a cheap game, because we think it's competitive with anything out there. But we like the idea that we're at this price. It sets us apart a little bit. We also want people to buy a Runic Games product without even thinking about it, because they know it's always a good value.”
Tuesday - September 18, 2012
Torchlight II - Review @ The Controller Online
The Controller Online has the first review 10/10 for this game - the reviewer obviously really liked the game. In the beginning of the review there are spoilers for those who haven't played the first Torchlight, so read at your own risk
A quote on how you start the game:
When you start a new game you will pick between four character classes to play as: the Embermage, Engineer, Berserker and the Outlander. Each have their own unique skills to learn and upgrade, and while each character can use any type of weapon, their unique skill sets make them more proficient with different ones. I used the Berserker in my main play through, but I did start a new campaign with each one to get a feel for them and all of them bring something fun and different to the table. My second favorite character was the Engineer, mostly due to the awesome Bots that he can summon from his Construction skill set.
And a quote from the final comments:
When it comes to Action-RPG’s, Torchlight 2 is as good as it gets, with its massive amount of content, online co-op, new skill system, new and easy to use interface, beautifully created areas to explore and four great character classes to mold.
Saturday - September 15, 2012
Torchlight II - Pre-load on Steam
The 1.4Gig of data is ready to download on Steam.
Wednesday - September 12, 2012
Torchlight II - Preview @ Gaming Illustrated
Gaming Illustarted previews Torchlight II and mentions amongst others the following:
Arguably the most anticipated feature of Torchlight 2 is the cooperative mode. This upcoming ARPG will offer a multiplayer option that allows gamers to play with friends via LAN or over the Internet for free. Runic Games has reported that there will be no subscriptions and no items sales for online play.
Torchlight 2 will have a free matchmaking service that enables players to team up with new friends and begin new games or join existing games with old pals. There will still be the offline single-player mode for those who prefer to lone-wolf Torchlight 2. Whenever you finally dominate the primary campaign, the New Game Plus feature will let you restart the game with your skill-loaded character. New Game Plus lets your character keep all their skill, gold, and gear and beckons you to try Torchlight 2 again with more difficult enemies and gameplay.
Torchlight II - Preview @ Shacknews
One week before its release Shacknews previews Torchlight 2.
Despite the increased power, though, I'd occasionally run into creatures too strong for me to handle. A Runic representative would look over my shoulder and tell me, in no uncertain terms, to run away. After the original game offered such clear sequential challenge in descending the dungeon layers, it was reassuring to know that I'll have a reason to revisit areas in the sequel.
This close to release, Torchlight 2 was essentially a finished product. Runic even said that it will watch the community for cues on post-release plans, and mentioned the possibility of additional pets. But it's been finished in a sense for months, and the extra time was well-spent assuring the pieces fit together perfectly.
Thursday - September 06, 2012
Torchlight II - Preview @ G4TV
Runic's Max Schaefer talks G4TV through Torchlight 2 while they were at PAX.
Monday - September 03, 2012
Torchlight II - Interview @ MMORPG
MMORPG played Torchlight 2 and interviewed Max Schaefer about it as well.
Torchlight 2 has only been in "real development" now for 18 months or so, and in that time, the staff at Runic have created a game that is 3-4x as big in terms of content, and 2x as big in terms of story, and also infinitely more balanced and deep in terms of itemization. In short, Max says, they've gotten really good at this. The only thing that's stayed the same from TL1 to TL2 is the price: $20.
I did ask Max about the decision to allow players to respec this time around, as opposed to making mods or expensive potions as they did in TL1, and he said that while he's still personally against respecs, the community essentially demanded it. It'll be free to level 10, and thereafter it'll cost more and more gold. His thought is that folks who don't want to respec will avoid it, like he himself will, and those who like that versatility and ability to mess around with skills without fear of re-rolling will be able to.
Saturday - September 01, 2012
Torchlight II - PAX Trailer
Friday - August 31, 2012
Torchlight II - Release Date Set
Draekos let us know that an announcement was made on the Runic Games forums that Torichlight II will be released on September the 20th 2012.
Sunday - August 26, 2012
Torchlight II - Release date to be announced next week
Yes, an announcement for an announcement but I know a lot of readers are watching Torchlight II. From their latest Friday update:
Happy Friday! We'll get right to it - we have some news for you:
We will announce our release date on Friday, August 31st.
August 31 kicks off of our favorite con, PAX Prime, and we'll be there to show Torchlight II and tell everyone the official Torchlight II launch date!
Head over for more if you are going to PAX.
Saturday - August 18, 2012
Torchlight II - Report from the Trenches
An update at Runic's Torchlight II site rounds up some of the recent posts from "the final phase of polish", including a few of Travis Baldree's Not a Blog entries I'd forgotten to check:
We've been working hard on the final phase of polish! Here is a quick roundup of a few small updates and developments:
- Travis' Not A Blog episode V: Finished with Act II!
- Travis' Not A Blog episode IV: dozens of added fixes.
- We are finishing up our PAX plans. If you're at PAX, come see us and get one of our tote bags or T-shirts!
- Don't forget, Max and Travis are PAX panelists at Business Models of PC Games: Then, Now, and Looking to the Future.
- We also hope to see your entry at our first ever Torchlight cosplay contest!
Most significantly, we celebrated our 4 year anniversary as Runic Games, on August 11. Thank you to everyone who believes in us and love the Torchlight universe. Getting to make great games is our passion. We feel like the luckiest team, and can't wait to release Torchlight II. We're nearly there!
Wednesday - August 08, 2012
Torchlight II - Interview @ GamerLiving
GamerLiving talked to Runic's CEO Max Schaefer. They talked about his time with Blizzard, what he thinks about Diablo 3, and Torchlight 2, of course. As usual, an excerpt:
WA: Now I do have to ask, because Diablo and Diablo II are your babies. Now that Diablo III is out… have you guys…
MS: It’s weird. It’s weird seeing someone else make the game. You know what my history is. But I think they did a really great job. I’m happy to see that [Diablo III] didn’t suck, that was my fear. My fear wasn’t that it’d be very good; my fear was that it was going to suck, you know. The same way that they’re benefiting us now, so if they sucked, it’d hurt us. My biggest relief is that it didn’t suck. And it’s super slick; We’ve all been playing it, obviously. It’s made a lot of different decisions than we’ve made, which is also good because we wanted to keep that big distinction between us. But yeah, it’s kind of surreal. In a way, I’m kind of glad that I didn’t have to do it, because how do you meet the expectations of the Diablo crowd after 10 years, you know? Wow, talk about pressure.
Sunday - July 22, 2012
Torchlight II - "Size Matters"
This week's Torchlight II update looks at the bigger scale of the game compared to the original Torchlight - including an infographic, which highlights the differences (1200 "room layouts" compared to 330, for example):
In terms of scale, Torchlight II is close to 4x the scale of Torchlight 1 as far as assets go, and probably close to that as far as playtime. Ideally, the multiplayer that everyone has asked for will further increase the longevity of the game (we certainly hope so!) These are all new assets as well ( some monsters and weapons return from Torchlight, but they have all been recreated, or in the case of some individual weapons and shields, updated and repainted )
At any rate, wow. That's a lot of stuff. It makes me tired just looking at it, seeing how far we've come - and makes the last push seem that much less daunting.
Thursday - July 19, 2012
Torchlight II - Still Aiming For Summer
The recent "Not a Blog" post from Travis Baldree made it sound like Torchlight II might suffer additional delays but Joystiq has a brief statement confirming they are still aiming for Summer:
Runic Games' Torchlight 2 is still planned for launch at some point this summer, Runic president Travis Baldree tells us. "The end of summer is September 25th or something like that, right?" he asked. "We're still trying to get it done for summer. It's a big game and we've still got some polish to go."
Wednesday - July 18, 2012
Torchlight II - Travis Baldree's 'Not a Blog'
Travis Baldree has revived a feature called Not a Blog on the Runic forums, discussing the development of Torchlight II. These articles will talk about "what we're spending time on, why we do it, and why it matters", with this first one explaining a number of changes and the "polishing" that is taking time:
In addition to the skill system changes, we had lots of other alterations we wanted to make after the beta. That is, after all, what the beta is for - to find things you want to fix or change, before it is too late. So we did that.
I don't want to list ALL the changes here, because frankly, I don't remember them all off the top of my head - but some of the bigger ticket items were to do with respecs and how we handle them, how we join games from friend lists, detection of low-ping players, and a bunch of other stuff. We made skills queueable, added Function key binding for skills, added inventory sorting, and so on. Justin spent a lot of time working on additional connectivity improvements and workarounds for funky routers. We also decided we wanted to put more work into our uniques to make them much more special, and so on and so forth.
We had some other items that weren't really finalized yet pre-beta that we wanted to get wrapped up too ( item recipes for item combination had some changes to how they function, for instance. We wanted more flexibility in how we could have items cast skills to aid in the creation of niftier uniques )
These changes all took time, of course, and we didn't get back to polishing the rest of the game until we were largely through with them.
Source: Blues News
Friday - July 13, 2012
Torchlight II - Eric Schaefer Interview @ The Critical Bit
Runic's Eric Schaefer has been interviewed at The Critical Bit about Torchlight II and starting a studio. Here's an interesting quote, leading on from talking about the compexity of the game systems:
I could expound on the complexity forever, but it’s pretty dry to discuss and probably not that much different from any other RPG, so let me digress to where I think our methods are different, and where it gets fun, for me, at least. I don’t even try to balance the game!
I suspect that’s a shocking statement, considering how much balance gets discussed in reviews, within our team, and amongst my peers in the industry, and it may come back to haunt me if our game isn’t well received, but I think we do it differently here at Runic. One reason, as you allude to in the question, is that the game is simply too complex; there are too many systems and too much randomness for my puny brain to deal with. But the more important reason is that I think balance is boring. I specifically want you to find a weapon that’s just too good. I want you to discover a skill combo that makes killing certain monsters seem too easy, and I want your summoned Nether Imp to feel “way overpowered.” But these imbalance spikes are designed to be temporary. A few levels deeper into the game, you might be struggling to find a replacement weapon, your skill combo won’t work as well against the new monster varieties and your pet will start to seem weaker. The multiple, overlapping systems and heavy randomness work to my benefit in this respect. I just stand back and try to manage the chaos. So all my spreadsheets and assumptions become less important as we finish development, and I concentrate on playing over and over again, getting tons of feedback, and ironing out the really crazy peaks and valleys. Fun always trumps balance.
Monday - June 25, 2012
Torchlight II - Updates and Changes After the Beta
The developers for Torchlight II have made sure that many of the suggested changes made by players in the beta test has been added to the game. The link:
A quote then:
- Re-worked the character skill pane arrangements to allow finer distribution of skills without being arranged in the classic 'tree' style. Passive skills are separated and unlock for investment much earlier.
- Skills now get additional bonuses at ranks 5, 10 and 15 to reward increased investments.
- Lots of individual skill tweaks and balances.
- Torchlight I (Diablo 2 style) function-key skill binds are implemented
- Skills can now be 'queued' and will execute when the previous attack or skill completes
- Ping meter next to each party portrait so you can identify players with latency issues
- Loads of bug fixes
- Respec is now available throughout the game, and will allow you to respec any of the last three points spent for gold.
- Fullscreen Windowed mode added
- Additional connectivity fixes
Tuesday - June 19, 2012
Torchlight II - Preview @ TPG
Torchlight II has been previewed at True PC Gaming:
One of the biggest differences immediately recognizable is the desertion of Torchlight as a hub town where players were stuck in a perpetual loop of dungeon-to-hub-to-dungeon slogging that dragged down the previous experience. Players will find themselves scouring large fields with branching passageways allowing for a bit of exploration which deviates from the beaten path. Personally, I enjoy being able to go off on my own adventure from time to time and not be penalized for it by the game not offering an equally gratifying experience. Once out in the wilds, I found myself in the middle of an orc town with dozens of lackeys bearing down on me from the entrance. Huts, fires, and the general scatterings of a hastily-pitched campsite were strewn about as I navigated the maze of hovels only to eventually run into the inhospitable leader of the pack, who put up quite the fight. Once defeated, I was able to loot a huge chest in the center of the village, rewarding me for my decision to go off and discover the surprisingly expansive environments on my own. This entire encounter had absolutely no bearing on the story, or my character at all, yet it was leaps and bounds more rewarding then the side quests of the original Torchlight. This is a welcome direction for a game that could have easily stuck to its original formula and forced the player into a bubble.
Thursday - June 14, 2012
Torchlight II - Interview @ I.Eat.Games
Blogsite I.Eat.Games has scored an interview with Runic's Max Schaefer to talk about Torchlight II. Here's a sample:
Mark: Ok Max, I’ve got to get this out of the way—What’s the anticipated release date for Torchlight 2?
Max Schaefer: We don’t have a date, but we’re getting very close to announcing that. We’re still thinking late summer. You played the beta and saw the level of polish, and I would say that’s representative of the polish level we’d like to be at for the rest of the game. We’re making really good progress, it’s actually happening faster than we anticipated. We’re also making a lot of changes based on beta feedback. So there’s some skill system changes happening, little tweaks with targeting and running, but for the most part it’s all about polishing up the last 2 acts. It’s going well!
Max also mentions Blizzard started work on Diablo as an MMO when he was still with the company but re-booted the development, which possibly points to why Diablo III has many MMO elements.
Spotted at VG247.
Thursday - June 07, 2012
Torchlight II - "Getting closer to launch"
IGN looks at recent progress with Torchlight II and quotes Runic as saying "expect Torchlight II toward the end of summer 2012":
Other post-beta adjustments include toning down the magical effects and targeting. It seems players in groups of six were having a lot of trouble identifying exactly what was going on in the middle of a fight, so Runic is taking steps to pare away some of the more extraneous effects so nobody gets lost during battle. Targeting was also made a little more forgiving, so in the chaos of combat it won’t be quite as tricky to cast spells and swing giant hammers at your desired targets.
Wednesday - May 23, 2012
Torchlight II - Preview @ Gaming Illustrated
For those eschewing Diablo III in favour of waiting for Torchlight II, Gaming Illustrated has a preview from the beta:
The combat system’s mechanics have been slightly improved upon, but the emphasis is more on a better interface which gives players an easier way to sift through their huge inventory of weapons, potions and accessories . As far as the combat itself goes and the amount of action you see, it’s definitely is a bump in the excitement factor. Occasionally we came across a few stragglers hanging around that could be killed rather easily, but when walking into a new area we were suddenly attacked by many foes which actually was a good sign. The action in the beta was well-balanced this time around allowing us not to be bored with repetitive enemies. One the major additions to the on-screen combat meters is the charge bar. With the charge bar, players who hack themselves into a frenzy at a more frequent pace will see their characters perform at a higher level. Yes, your character turns into a mad man with a purpose. All four have distinctive abilities when their bars are maxed out, but more importantly all four deliver critical hits on their opponents. Seeking out enemies and forcing the action is the best way to take advantage of your charge bar because as you rack up the kills with it maxed out you’ll be rewarded with class bonuses that help you gain experience and skill points. It’s a nice addition to keep the player always in the mix no matter where they are in the game.
Torchlight II - Beta Closing this Thursday
From the Torchlight II site:
The Torchlight II beta has been a great experience. We received tremendously helpful feedback, squashed bugs, and deployed patches successfully. The reaction from everyone has been really gratifying. We're on the right path! Now it's time to incorporate the bulk of that feedback as we get back to finishing the game as a whole.
The Torchlight II Beta will be officially closing for everyone on Thursday, May 24th at 4pm PDT. That gives all you Beta Weekend participants two extra days to play! We will be sending out some additional invites to people with Runic Accounts - sign up now if you have not already!
Thank you to all our fans who provided insight, bug-hunting, and most of all, enthusiasm. We're fired up to finish the game and can't wait to share the whole experience with you. So, until Thursday, happy dynamite fishing!
PS: This will be our "Thursday" update for the week. Next week we'll bring you news from far-off lands.
Monday - May 21, 2012
Torchlight II - Preview @ Eurogamer
Catching up on a couple of things, Eurogamer looked at Torchlight II last week in this preview:
I can't avoid making reference to Diablo 3, since the two are so closely related in style and release date, but I only want to say one thing: Torchlight 2 doesn't feel like a budget Diablo 3. It may be priced at a third of Diablo 3's download, but it holds its own. While Diablo 3 remains grimy and grim, perhaps seeming more mature by being so, Torchlight 2 simply celebrates its colourful excess.
For example, just before sitting down to write this, I cut down an army of increasingly powerful undead creatures, all summoned by a giant glowing obelisk. The last of them defeated, the obelisk manifested surrender by suddenly regurgitating a stream of twenty different magic items, vomiting them into the air like a violently ill volcano. I didn't bat an eyelid, simply filled my pockets, patted my pet and turned the corner to find the next, undoubtedly bigger experience, cackling as I went.
Friday - May 18, 2012
Torchlight II - Upcoming Weekend Stress Test
Runic will be holding a Weekend Stress Test from May 18 - May 22 for Torchlight 2; follow the link to sign up:
Hi Everyone! We've been busy squashing bugs and deploying patches - 8, in fact! - since our last update. The Torchlight II beta is going really well, and is nearing its end. But before we go, we're going to do a wide network stress test this weekend! We'll be sending out many more beta codes to those who have already made their Runic Games Account. Haven't signed up yet? Go for it now! Creating your account is always your best chance to receive a beta invite - especially this weekend.
The Beta Weekend will start on Friday, May 18th at 11:00am PDT and go until Tuesday, May 22nd at 11:00am PDT. We will be staggering invitations to let participants know they have been chosen, but you will not be able to play until the start of the Beta Weekend on Friday. This is to help stagger downloading of the game client.
The beta will end shortly after this last big network test. We are going to get the last information we need for stress testing, and then get back to finishing the game! A longer beta means a longer wait until we can ship, and we are eager to finish Torchlight II and get it in your hands. Thanks to all our fans who've supported us, participated in, and promoted the beta. It's incredibly fulfilling to see you guys play the game and enjoy it as much as we do.
Tuesday - May 15, 2012
Torchlight II - Beta Preview @ GameBanshee
GameBanshee sends word of their preview of the Torchlight II Beta:
The easiest way to sum up Torchlight II is that it very effectively mimics the transition from Diablo's relatively self-contained dungeon crawling to Diablo II's greater focus on multiplayer, expansive outdoor environments, and of course, the loot slot machine. Where Torchlight was confined to just a couple of dungeon levels, floor after floor, Torchlight II is more structured, with a balance between overland exploration and dungeon-crawling, and a constant stream of new sights to see, monsters to fight and so forth as you progress. Similarly, where Torchlight revolved around hacking and slashing through enemies towards the end boss, Torchlight II puts more emphasis on teamwork in building multiple characters and sending them into online multiplayer (complete with peer-to-peer play and a game browser, just like the good old days).
Saturday - May 12, 2012
Torchlight II - Playing the Engineer @ IGN
IGN offers a hands-on preview of Torchlight II as they play with the Engineer class:
When actually engaged in close-range combat, the Engineer’s charge bar comes into play. As you fight with normal attacks the bar builds, and consuming its charge enhances a variety of skills. The Flame Hammer skill normally slams into the ground and sends out fingers of fire to seek additional targets not singed by the initial blast. With built-up charge, more fire fingers are emitted by the blast zone, greatly boosting its effectiveness in big groups. The Ember Hammer ability normally slashes an electric arc in front of the Engineer and shatters enemy shields. If you’ve got charges stored up, damage is boosted, and unlike with the Flame Hammer skill, using Ember Hammer doesn’t actually consume charge, so you’re free to swat at enemies with the damage buff so long as you have enough mana to support it.
Thursday - April 26, 2012
Torchlight II - Preorders Open
Runic announces Torchlight II preorders are open:
Pre-orders are now live for Torchlight II! You can find Torchlight II available for pre-order through two platforms, Steam and Perfect World Entertainment, and it retails for just $19.99 (£14.99, €18.99). Players who pre-order through Steam will receive an added bonus, a free Steam copy of the original game, the award-winning Torchlight. In addition, Steam will also offer a four-pack pre-order option. Purchase three copies of Torchlight II and get the fourth game free, perfect for playing with your friends!
"As we put the finishing touches on Torchlight II, it made sense to start pre-orders after the great response we received at PAX East," said CEO Max Schaefer. "Fans have asked us for a pre-order, and we are planning an imminent network test, so the timing was perfect."
President and Project Lead Travis Baldree said to fans, "We're pretty excited to see Torchlight II approaching completion, and can't wait to get it into players' hands to see what they think. It's been a long haul, and taken more time than we expected, but we hope you'll agree that the additional time has been worth it. Thanks for sticking with us!"
In other news, Torchlight II's "Friday Updates" are moving to Thursdays. Gamers can visit the official website at http://www.torchlight2game.com each Thursday to see the latest features, news updates, gameplay details, trailers and screenshots.
Friday - April 20, 2012
Torchlight II - Opening Cinematic Revealed
Runic has revealed the opening cinematic for Torchlight II, titled New Heroes Will Arise. The post at Runic discusses why they chose to include cinematics and the choice of style:
What led to the decision to include cinematics in Torchlight II?
It was really two things that led to the decision to include cinematics in Torchlight II.
One, we simply had the time and budget for it this time around... things that were in short supply for the first game.
Two, we were very aware that the story was an area where we could improve upon Torchlight greatly in a sequel. Like I said, we didn't have a whole lot of time to invest into properly setting up, fleshing out, and delivering a particularly engaging story for the first Torchlight. We had a lot of our backstory and key points mapped out "in our heads" (we have a collective hive mind), and we tried to hint at greater things where we could, but it wasn't necessarily translating into a narrative. We wanted to make sure we addressed that for Torchlight II.
We're still not making a "story game", but I think we do a much greater job for providing context and motivation with Torchlight II.
Monday - April 16, 2012
Torchlight II - ARPGs' Slow Evolution @ RPS
Rock, Paper, Shotgun talks to Runic CEO Max Schaefer about the competition with Diablo III and the potential stagnation of the genre. Turns out the "launching one month after Diablo III" thing was a bit of a misunderstanding:
So, first up, that whole “release a month after Diablo” thing? That wasn’t exactly what he wanted people to take away from his spiel. Here’s what Schaefer told me:
“It was sort of a misunderstood comment. What we were really talking about there is if the release were to come simultaneously with Diablo, naturally we’d want to wait 30 days just to let the hype die down. The bottom line is we’re gonna work on the game until it’s at the stage we want it to be at and then release it – with the caveat that, if that happens right on top of Diablo, we’d give it a bit of a wide berth.”
“So it really wasn’t saying what we want to do is release a month after. We’re gonna work on the game until it’s to our satisfaction and then hopefully release it right away. I mean, we don’t want to sit on a game for any reason, and we don’t want to rush one out before we think it’s ready either.”
Saturday - April 14, 2012
Torchlight II - New Pet
Head over to the Torchlight II site to meet The Papillon, who fans might already know.
Thursday - April 12, 2012
Torchlight II - PAX Walkthrough Video
Rock, Paper, Shotgun highlights a narrated walkthrough video for Torchlight II from PAX East. From the accompanying blurb:
Yeah, so the interesting things: Runic have locked down all the content, and are now just polishing things to a mirror sheen. And that sounds like a lot of content: Schaefer boasts that by the time you’re through the first two thirds of the first act, of which there are three, you’ll have seen as much content as there was in the entire run of the first game. Extending that are three major hub cities and day/night and weather cycles affecting the overworld, of which is promised a “vast” randomly generated map with random events, as well as all the randomly generated dungeons in which to collect all that randomly generated loot. Mmm, aren’t procedurally generated things tasty. Thank goodness it’s a good source of nutrition.
Sunday - April 08, 2012
Torchlight II - The Charge Bar, launching "shortly after Diablo 3"?
This Friday we are talking a little bit about a neat new mechanic in Torchlight II: the charge bar! As you damage enemies, the charge bar will fill up, and you can use this to give your character an advantage when in the thick of combat. Time spent not fighting will cause the charge bar to empty, so you will need to keep an eye on things to keep your edge. Each class uses the charge bar in their own way, so take a look!
...and Runic Games CEO Max Schaefer tells PAX "ideally" they will launch shortly after Diablo 3:
Schaefer said the launch date will "ideally" be shortly after the one occupied by Diablo -- and optimistically it'll be a month later. He noted that Runic isn't going to rush to beat Blizzard, however. With the two products selling alongside one another, he feels it's best to polish the game as much as possible. He doesn't want to be the "cheap" alternative, simply the less expensive one at a $20 price. He also noted the game would have an offline mode, modding, LAN support, and that its pacing would separate it from the competition.
Sunday - April 01, 2012
Torchlight II - The Pets
For this week's Torchlight II update, check out the various pets on offer. There's the ferret, cat, bulldog, hawk, panther, wolf and this critter:
Like a creation from the Island of Dr. Moreau, the Chakawary is a mysterious hybrid straight from the world of Torchlight. The Chakawary is best described as a Velociraptor crossed with a Cassowary. Native to the foothills around the Estherian Enclave, the Chakawary is especially suited for tearing apart some jellies, spiders, and dwarves.
Thursday - March 29, 2012
Torchlight II - At PAX East
If you're in the Boston area, Torchlight II will be available to the public at PAX East in early April. For the rest of us, this might be a sign the game is getting close to a release state:
Bring on the baked beans! We surprised ourselves with this one, but yes, we are excited to confirm that we will be showing Torchlight II at PAX East in Boston, April 6-8.
Thanks to our friends at NVIDIA, we will have the latest build running on four stations. Come play the Berserker, the Embermage, the Engineer, and the Outlander! Yes, it's the latest and greatest, yes it's multi-player, Max and Wonder will be there to answer your questions about development. (You can also say hi to Ben if you see him, who will be running around as an Enforcer.)
You can find us all three days in the NVIDIA PC area, located on level 0 near the Expo hall - see the map below for details. It's our first time showing on the East coast; we can't wait to see you there!
Friday - March 23, 2012
Torchlight II - Update from the Animation Team
The Torchlight II site has a video interview / update from the Animation Team.
Friday - March 16, 2012
Torchlight II - Potential Loot Drops and More
This week's Friday update for Torchlight II looks at loot drop statistics - replete with pie-charts:
Recently Erich Schaefer compiled data on loot drops for a test character, and made this amazing infographic. This was sent internally for us to see how a specific character may encounter possible drops. Keep in mind that another character's loot drops will be affected differently depending on elements like play style, quests, and character.
...and there's also a congratulations to the Diablo III team and a message of faith to their own fans:
We know a lot of you are worried about us. We've heard what you're saying, and sure we've had similar discussions. But we began making the first Torchlight in 2008 when development on Diablo III was already underway. We didn't let that be a reason that we couldn't make an RPG. We made the commitment to create a game we loved to play. That's what's important to us, and that's why we go to work every day.
Our commitment is the same today. It doesn't matter what gets announced, or who gets elected, or if there's a zombie attack. (Well actually, in a zombie attack we might leave our desks, but only to smash them into weapons.) We believe that the best business model is to do what you love, to give it everything you've got, and to make something you'll be proud of.
Sunday - February 26, 2012
Torchlight II - Progress Report # 2
Patrick Blank, Lead Level Designer, from Runic Games, the studio behind this game, gives us the second progess report on this game. He talks about scripted moments, easter eggs, new props and how they're adding in exploration rewards. You can watch it here.
Sunday - February 19, 2012
Torchlight II - New Screens
Six new screens have been released for Torchlight II at the official site.
Saturday - February 11, 2012
Torchlight II - Progress Report, Beta Testing Soon
Max Schaeder, CEO of Runic Games has used youtube to give us an update on how the game is progressing. Several news pets is in as in a new interface for tracing. He also talks about the areas they are polishing. Beta testing should be coming soon.
Tuesday - February 07, 2012
Torchlight II - New Site
Runic Games has revamped the official site for Torchlight II:
Wait, where am I?! What is this shiny new place redolent with never before seen screenshots and new car scent? Welcome to your new and vastly improved Torchlight II home base. We've had this redesign in the works for months. It's been hard keeping it under our helms, but now we get to share it with the world. Explore our new features, new artwork, screenshot of the day, improved navigation system, and an overall, well, facelift.
Monday - January 30, 2012
Torchlight II - Preview @ eGamer
eGamer has a preview for this game. Nothing much new info - so here's an excerpt.
Speaking of new additions, the classes will include the Engineer, a steampunk inspired technological character sporting a heavy melee; the Outlander, a light magic wielder and overall ranged wanderer; the Beserker, a fast striking warrior using animal-themed powers to overwhelm and batter enemies; and finally, the Embermage, a highly powerful elemental mage.
Monday - December 19, 2011
Torchlight II - Video Interview
There's a Torchlight II video interview on Facebook:
Meet Justin Miller, our Network Engineer. He gives you a little rundown of how the company play test went, and how much work he has ahead of him!
Source: Blues News
Tuesday - December 06, 2011
Torchlight II - Interview @ RPG Reporter
A site called RPG Reporter has an interview with Travis Baldree about Torchlight 2:
A couple of the ways you are more like Diablo 2 is you still have stat points and you still have skill points as opposed to auto-stats in Diablo 3. So what is the benefit in your opinion of having stats points?
There’s always the problem that roles will dead-end themselves with stat point investment. But I think for it to be rewarding there has to be a chance for it to be not as rewarding, sometime things should occasionally go wrong. And one of the reasons I think that worked so well in Diablo 2 in that it’s such a fast game. You get through the game relatively quickly so if you make a mistake you can try again.
We want people to make alternate characters that have a unique flavour and are thought of as unique characters and there was a set of decisions that resulted in a character. I like to have an identity for a character and it’s not something we want to steer away from.
We have attempted in this stat system to make dead-ends less perilous. We have tried to give each of these stats more utility for every class and every character you want to make and hopefully we have succeeded with that. We do like to give you choices.
Source: Blues News
Friday - November 18, 2011
Torchlight II - Delayed to 2012?
Travis Baldree has posted a development update at the Torchlight II site, essentially saying the game will be delayed to 2012:
"So... where is Torchlight 2? Didn't you guys say that you were planning to try to release this year?"
Well, yeah. We did - and we made a good run at that. We've come to the realization, however, that getting a game of this scope up to the quality and polish level we want to achieve is going to take a little longer; especially since we want to run a small beta before release to ensure that our launch is smooth.
The first Torchlight was released in record time, but it had plenty of issues that a little more development could have resolved. We didn't have the resources at the time to give Torchlight that treatment. Right at this moment though, we do have those resources for the sequel, and we feel strongly that we should apply them to make this the best game we can make and hopefully one that you'll enjoy and continue to want to play in the future. We've probably had 18 months of full development time on it so far - not excessively long yet, as far as that goes. The amount of time we need to take it the rest of the way is relatively small.
We feel pretty safe in saying that if you enjoyed Torchlight at all, this sequel is superior in every respect. Right now our job is to ensure that the quality level is consistent all the way to the end.
Besides, you're all playing Skyrim right now anyway, aren't you? Or Battlefield 3? Or Uncharted 3? Or Saints Row 3? Or Arkham City? Or Skyward Sword? Or Minecraft? Or Modern Warfare 3? Or Dark Souls? Or Assassin's Creed Revelations?
Those are awesome games. When Torchlight 2 goes live, we want it to be awesome too - all the way through.
Thanks Frozen Fireball, via Eurogamer.
Saturday - September 10, 2011
Torchlight II - Preview @ Destrutoid
There's a very short hands-on for Torchlight II from PAX at Destructoid:
A lot of work has gone into making sure Torchlight 2 has replayability. When your characters hit the level cap (I was told to expect it to be around 50), they can confer buffs and perks to new characters. There's a match-making system, full modding support, and suite of other features to to ensure you get your money's worth, all for the paltry sum of $20.
Thursday - September 01, 2011
Torchlight II - vs Diablo III
GameSpy has a comparison of Torchlight II and Diablo III from PAX. It's not a very deep article but heres a sample:
Skills and Advancement: Torchlight II's talent trees and skill systems may be tried-and-true, but they have such deep roots for a reason. Beyond that, the game's added a combo system based around "charges" that rewards you with buffs and special skills, so long as you don't take any detours from your warpath. Diablo III, on the other hand, scrapped traditional skills and talent trees altogether, opting instead for a slot system that essentially lets you pick and choose your skill loadout whenever you please. And then we have the Rune system, which lets you further modify a skill in multiple markedly different ways. Personally, I found that it encouraged variety and gave me options, but some players prefer Torchlight II's more old-fashioned approach.
Saturday - August 27, 2011
Torchlight II - Price, 4th Class
Runic has announced Torchlight II will be priced at $20, although they haven't narrowed the release date from "2011". They have also revealed the 4th playable class: the Embermage. From the official site:
Hey everyone, we thought we would share the news we just sent out to the Press this morning!
August 26, 2011 – Seattle, WA - Runic Games, Inc. ("Runic Games"), a specialized developer of PC-based interactive entertainment software in the United States, made two announcements this morning in conjunction with the Penny Arcade Expo 2011, beginning today in Seattle.
Runic Games unveiled the price point for Torchlight II today, and as promised, the studio continues to champion the model of affordable games with great value. Torchlight II will retail for $19.99 USD, the same price as the original Torchlight.
“It’s always been our goal to provide exceptional value for the price,” says Max Schaefer, CEO of Runic Games. “Everyone who wants to play Torchlight II will be able to comfortably afford to do so, and they’ll be able to play with their friend online or via a LAN, or play single player offline, all with no further purchases.””
Runic Games also announced the fourth playable class of Torchlight II, the magic-wielding Embermage. The mysterious Embermage joins the previously announced Engineer, Outlander, and Berserker classes. This marks the culmination of a month long buildup introducing each class to players.
Torchlight II will release for PC in 2011.
Wednesday - August 24, 2011
Torchlight II - Preview @ IncGamers
IncGamers takes a look at LAN-play in Torchlight II from Gamescom:
Our co-op Torchlight 2 adventure began in an outdoor area playing as the Berserker class - one of the three classes which have been announced so far. Our co-op companion wasn’t anywhere to be seen, but after a bit of wandering around monster bashing and looting, we finally hooked up. It's straightforward enough to follow your companion thanks to the slowly uncovering mini-map as you explore deeper into a given area. Mercifully, there is no ninja looting; each player sees only their own drops, so when a set of glowing boots appeared they were mine, all mine.
The additions of these new outdoor zones helps bring the Torchlight game world alive and make it feel like a more expansive action RPG than the original. The game itself will feature around thirty hours of gameplay in the main story arc but Max stressed that players will find well over one hundred hours in the sequel thanks to the randomly generated zones, zones that are not essential to the story arc. Furthermore, there will be different loot and different monsters each time you play.
Source: Blues News
Friday - August 19, 2011
Torchlight II - Modding Interview @ Bitmob
For Torchlight 2, "Runic will be releasing the same tools with which we made the game, including TorchEd 2.0 and our 3D Studio max exporters," says Russell. What can players expect to do with those? "TorchEd 2.0 is the in-house tool used to build our levels, skills, UI [user interface], quests, particles, items, monsters, and effects. We also use it to manage game statistics and balance." She continues, "The 3D Studio exporters will allow people to import their own models and animations." Worried that this all might be a little over your head? Fear not! TorchEd 2.0 will use "a visual logic system that requires no programming experience."
And another quote:
Similarly, Bruno says, "We haven't established any limits on what we want modders to be able to do," and "we've greatly improved some of the modding tools over what was offered with Titan Quest."
For example, players didn’t have access to the exporter for Titan Quest, and thus, they experienced much difficulty when adding new models and animations to the game. In Grim Dawn, Bruno says, "I expect we'll probably release that to the public this time." He adds, "New gameplay systems -- like factions -- and the significantly more robust quest and conversation editors should provide a lot more power for modders to generate unique settings and experiences."
And finally a bit about Diablo3 and the no modding thing:
I contacted Blizzard to expand on the published justification for prohibiting mods in Diablo 3, but no one had returned requests for comment before publication. I suspect that the real-money auction house is the actual culprit. Now that Blizzard has involved bona fide dollars, the studio has an interest in carefully monitoring in-game items (and the company will potentially take three cuts for each transaction: one for listing, one for selling, and one if the seller cashes out). The developer can’t very well let people play Diablo in any way they choose -- lest they use mods to flood the market with either ultra-powerful, unsanctioned weapons and armor or incredibly rare drops.
Thursday - August 18, 2011
Torchlight II - GamesCom Previews @ Eurogamer, IGN
Here are a couple of GamesCom previews for Torchlight 2.
Torchlight 2's major addition - and the one that elevates the game from being a straight loot-'em-up to a more fully-fledged action RPG experience - is the addition of an overworld. An expansive waste, the new continent of Vilderan lends the game a sense of scale that was previously absent, and does away with much of the claustrophobia that defined the original.
Despite that, it's as colourful as ever, and a descent into one of its randomly-generated dungeons reveals that its hypnotic metronome of combat is still there. Enemies are numerous and more varied, and they're more dynamic in their behaviour; skeletons now come pouring in through wells, and corpses impaled on walls spring to life to get involved in the boisterous action. Naturally there are bosses too, and in true sequel tradition, there are more of them and they're more impressive in size.
Taking on all the side quests and tacking the main content will likely take quite a while. Once you're done, it's possible to loop back through the content from the beginning with a heightened degree of difficulty and more powerful item rewards. As strong as your characters may become during this process, Runic is confident Torchlight II will remain much more balanced than the original thanks to much more extensive testing this time around. No public beta is scheduled before the release date of sometime this fall.
...and screens at Worthplaying.
Saturday - July 02, 2011
Torchlight II - Footage of Gameplay @ Gamespot
Gamespots offers 35 minutes of gameplay from this game. Max Schaeffer from Runic Games is doing the commenting in their 'Now Playing' video segment. Head on over if you're interested in the game.
Thursday - June 23, 2011
Torchlight II - Preview @ TenTonHammer
Due to the randomized nature of both the interior and exterior areas in Torchlight II, even something that may seem like a scripted event won’t play out exactly the same way for two individual players. I shouldn't even have to spell out for you what that means in terms of Torchlight II's replayability. Putting this concept to the test, Jeff and I ran through one of the game’s many random events twice, and both times we had a unique experience even if some key elements may have been similar.
Wednesday - June 22, 2011
Torchlight II - Preview Roundup
A few preview has surfaced for this game, courtesy of this year's E3. I'll quote from one from one of them and list the others. First we have RPGFan:
Torchlight II is an impressive-looking upcoming title; even though details are relatively scarce, my hands-on time with the title was quite fun. Runic hasn't set a solid date for the title, but it will be released sometime in the summer, followed by a Mac port, and possibly an Xbox Live Arcade port forthcoming after these are completed. With some spiffy graphics, addictive gameplay, and brand new character classes, Runic should have another winner on their hands. It's not often that games are good, clean fun, but Torchlight II is the type of game that has that and only that - there's no fat on it.
And the others:
Thursday - June 16, 2011
Torchlight II - Preview @ RPS
There's an E3 hands-on preview for Torchlight II at Rock, Paper, Shotgun:
Torchlight II is huge.
The size isn’t the biggest change; that would be the addition of overworld to the underworld. The first Torchlight had you going down and down and down from the main town, through increasingly nasty randomly generated levels, as well as visiting secondary dungeons through scrolls. This version has overland areas as its main arena, with dungeon mouths scattered throughout them. We’re playing through one of the two overland areas in the first of the game’s four acts (only one of which isn’t set outside) and it’s mentally large. Even Brock at one point says, worried, “I think you made this level too big. It’s seriously big. There’s a lot of South.”
Monday - June 13, 2011
Torchlight II - Preview @ Ars Technica
Ars Technica looks at Torchlight II with input from Max Schaefer from Runic, discussing LAN play, the Berserker class and mods among things:
LAN play has been confirmed, so you'll be able to get together with a group of friends and play the game without an Internet connection. It may seem like a small thing, but LAN play is enough to make sure the game gets on the rotation of fans who get together physically to play the game. There will also be no arguments over loot during play: when a monster is destroyed, each player only sees the loot that they can pick up—items that work with their character. No more rushing for high-level items or players annoyed that they didn't get anything good during a play session.
Saturday - May 21, 2011
Torchlight II - Making the World
Let's talk about Passes first, and give a few examples of what makes them different. Passes are tighter and typically more heavily themed areas that connect between other zones. They offer players a different feel and gameplay experience from the Overworld areas. These are more of a push your way through to the other end type of levels. Passes are also randomized in many ways. There are multiple versions of each pass that can roll, and even within each version, there are several random elements that can change your gameplay experience every time.
One of the early Passes in the game is called "Path of the Honored Dead". This area is dark and dreary, covered in fog, and crawling with all types of walking dead. Basically, it's always a Monday in here. This pass is the cemetery/memorial of the Estherian Enclave. The area is lined with graves, and shrines, and is home to the dungeon, "The Defiled Crypt", the first dungeon players will encounter in the game.
Saturday - May 07, 2011
Torchlight II - Music Q&A
The Torchlight II site has an interview with Matt Uelmen and Max Schaefer about the music in the upcoming game:
Tell us how the scope for composing for Torchlight II differs from the original; it's a much bigger game; how did that affect your vision for the music?
Matt: It is much bigger than TL. The game has multiple towns, dozens of dungeons, and a ton of open explorable space, with some strong cultural references, especially in the middle third of the game. All of that makes different demands on what the score should do. On top of that, I am really hoping to have some randomization and calibration to day/night cycles in the music for the various NPC hubs, which also has its own set of demands. Generally, it is much more like the work I did in Diablo II and Burning Crusade, in that I am trying to emphasize a sense of progress and travel as the backgrounds change. There was some of this in Diablo, Lord of Destruction and Torchlight, but it wasn't a primary focus of the soundtracks.
Tuesday - April 26, 2011
Torchlight II - Races @ Official Site
Runic has kicked up their promised bi-weekly Torchlight II update with details on races. Here's a sample:
In the far north of Vilderan dwell the Beornen: a race of bear-men who have developed a primitive culture built around exploration and trade - and, from time to time, plunder. These raiders, or "Sturmbeornen," cross the northern channel and ravage the coastline settlements, pillaging and slaughtering in their quest for power, glory, and battle.
Most of these raiding parties consist of a few dozen bear-men, but a veritable army of Sturmbeornen has recently arrived in the Estherian Steppes - far outside their usual range. Led by the fearsome warlord, General Grell, the Sturmbeornen push ever nearer the Enclave, the last city of the Estherians, and not even the might of the Vanquisher Corps can stop them.
Friday - April 08, 2011
Torchlight II - Monsters @ Official Site
Runic's Torchlight II site has started a regular feature on monsters in the upcoming game. They've already got the Yakotaur, Manticore, Witch and Gargoyle up and regular updates are promised.
Wednesday - February 09, 2011
Torchlight II - Pushed Back To July
According to Digital Spy, Torchlight II has been pushed back to July to work further on the XBLA version.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Saturday - January 08, 2011
Torchlight II - Interview @ VG247
VG247 caught up with Max Shaefer to chat about Torchlight and Torchlight 2. The XBLA version of Torchlight, May release of Torchlight 2 and the market in general are all covered. I found this quote ironic, given Torchlight is essentially a follow-up to FATE:
To expand on that, then, the climate at the moment, especially on PC, is seemingly very kind to mid-budget developers delivering games which are not quite so fully-featured but have a lower price and are more easily digestible. Torchlight’s a great example, and Minecraft’s another one. We’re seeing very big numbers for these games. Do you think this is because people have just got tired of spending too much money for games which are too big?
Max Schaefer: Right. And just from a business perspective, when you make these $50 million games, it’s so hard to make your money back that publishers are very conservative about what sort of games they’ll greenlight. So you get a lot of sequels, copycat games and conservative plays. When you come down to a rational budget and a rational team size, you really are freed to take more risk and do more creative things. I think Minecraft is a perfect example. I’m obsessed with Minecraft. I can safely say that Minecraft will slightly delay the shipping of Torchlight 2 [laughs].
It just proves that one guy can make a clever and compelling game. I hope we see more of it, because I think what the PC business really needs right now is more creativity, more responsiveness to customers and more fun, compelling titles. If we’re going to spend $50 million and take four years to make each game, we’re just not going to serve the market.
Thursday - September 23, 2010
Torchlight II - Interview @ Gamocracy
Gamocracy sends in their interview with Max Schaefer, which covers a little of his background and then Torchlight II:
Each level has some sort of story to it, mostly in the visuals of the level. How important was story for this game? Did you have any problems trying to explain story for each level?
It’s important that the world feel genuine, and the goal in Torchlight was to highlight the idea that many cultures over centuries had succumbed to the corruption of the ember. This gave us the construct necessary to explain vastly different tile sets and architectural styles on each level type. The story basically works around the mechanic that you want the player to experience a variety of settings along their journey.
Thursday - September 09, 2010
Torchlight II - Interview @ GameShark
Let's talk about some of the environmental changes that are happening in Torchlight II: are we going to see more overland areas in addition to the underworld?
I can't emphasize enough how much of a difference that makes. We have got a few overland areas working right now and it just makes the world feel completely bigger and more open and it's really exciting stuff. One of the other things we hear a lot about Torchlight was that it was a little claustrophobic because it was just a city with dungeons underneath it; you just went straight down into the dungeon until you finished the game. So to be able to explore and overland world makes it feel like a real game world and it lets us do a number of different environments. We'll have snowy areas and desert areas and right now we have some really nice rocky cliff areas to explore.. And it makes a huge difference over all that we had before in a lot of different ways. And the outer areas are randomly generated as well like the underground dungeons, so it will be different every time you go out.
Tuesday - September 07, 2010
Torchlight II - Preview @ TenTonHammer
Some PAX impressions of Torchlight 2 with input from Travis Baldree can be found at TenTonHammer:
For example, the Outlander’s skill set included Sandstorm, a magical glaive attack which summoned a bouncey sandblasting tornado around the screen (more than one could be summoned at a time), and Severing Leap, a jump attack that did damage to all enemies in the direction of the mouse cursor. Combat consisted of using skills assigned to your left or right mouse button, with lesser-used skills and potions assigned to numbered hotkeys.
As with the original, Travis noted that skill respec might come in a patch after launch. I could tell that he’s hesitant about the concept in general. “I guess we want players to bite their nails a little,” he jokes. Travis noted that a big part of the fun in action RPGs like Torchlight is players making semi-permanent decisions and changing their playstyle to suit their chosen build, rather than vice-versa: constantly refining their build to suit their playstyle.
Source: Blues News
Friday - September 03, 2010
Torchlight II - Preview @ G4
A preview for this game can be found G4. It is positive, so here's a snip about where the game will take place:
Torchlight 2 finally takes you outside the town of … er, Torchlight this time around, and you'll be exploring the randomized wilds of the overland while looking for loot and bashing baddies. There's a big exploration elemlent to both the original Torchlight and the sequel, so Runic Games has attempted to expand that role by having you encounter area events and miniquests as you wander the world. You might pick up "A Mysterious Key" dropped by a foe you've just offed that will open a chest somewhere nearby. But it won't be marked on your map, and you'll have to find it yourself.
Thursday - September 02, 2010
Torchlight II - 25 Minute Interview @ The Cynical Brit
There's a substantial 25- minute interview with Travis Baldree and Jason Beck a The Cynical Brit. Topics include the succes of the original game and the plans for the sequel.
Friday - August 27, 2010
Torchlight II - Impressions @ GameSpot
GameSpot has some GamesCom impressions of Torchlight 2:
A total rework of the character system means that the classes from the first game will not be making a return appearance, meaning there will not be an option to import previous characters from the original game. In their place, four new archetypes are being introduced, two of which were playable at Gamescom 2010. The first, the Railman, is an explorer gentleman with a penchant for big, heavy weapons and melee combat. The second is the Outlander, a hybrid ranged-attack and dark-magic user with both a rifle and a magic glaive used like a boomerang and excellent against groups of enemies.
Fans who got tired of the spiral staircase feel of the level design in Torchlight will be pleased to hear that the game will now expand out of the catacombs, offering a central quest hub, a starting zone, and four new areas in a mixture of indoor and outdoor settings. Outdoors players can expect a day and night cycle as well as dynamic weather effects, which we experienced as rain while playing, Instances will be available in all the zones.
...and head to GameTrailers for a shakycam video of the GamesCom floor demo.
Saturday - August 21, 2010
Torchlight II - Preview @ IGN
IGN takes a look at Torchlight 2, based on a GamesCom demo:
There are still a number of features currently under development. For example, identity scrolls may be phased out entirely, and it's still being decided if there'll be a way to replay the game once the content's been exhausted with more difficult adversaries. While it's not possible to say what all the class skills will be like, what's in the game now seems like it'll be fun to play with. The Railman, for instance, builds up charges as he strikes that orbit about his character model as little emerald wisps. These can then be combined with an ability for added effectiveness, useful for powering up something like the area of effect ember hammer smash that deals damage to whatever's unlucky enough to be standing in front of the Railman. Naturally you'll level as experience is gained, and be able to allocate points to strength, dexterity, magic and defense as well as dump points into a skill tree. Back in towns you'll find a variety of vendors and familiar characters, as well as the always welcome option to gamble for better items.
Wednesday - August 18, 2010
Torchlight II - Debut Trailer
GamesCom sees the release of the first Torchlight 2 trailer. The video runs around 1:30, though only the second half has in-game footage. Thanks, Omega!
Tuesday - August 10, 2010
Torchlight II - Podcast Interview @ Front Towards Gamer
There's a lengthy podcast interview over at Front Towards Gamer. They talk with Jason Beck, Wonder Russel, Max Shaeffer and Travil Baldtree. You have to tune in to the 10.56 mark to listen to this interview about the new classes, the cooperative elements in Torchlight 2 as well as how the MMO is coming along - and more.
Wednesday - August 04, 2010
Torchlight II - Revealed by Runic Games
Runic Games has announced plans to release Torchlight II in the spring of 2011. The big improvement over the original Torchlight is the inclusion of a co-op multiplayer mode.
- Multi-player – Play with your friends over a local area network, or over the Internet. A free matchmaking peer-to-peer service lets you make new friends for exciting co-op play.
- Customizable Characters – Players create and customize a character from one of four classes available and choose an animal companion. Through cosmetic, class, and gender choices, skill path decisions, and the treasures they acquire, each character can be custom-tailored to each player’s needs.
- Moddability – Torchlight II will release with an updated version of TorchEd, the Torchlight editor. Players have the option to create their own mods, adding even more content to the world. You and your friends can download the same mod and play together!
- New User Interface – Torchlight II boasts an entirely new, improved user interface, designed to be easier than ever for new players to pick up and play. Thanks to this intuitive interface, players have immediate access to a rich and varied world, with little experience necessary.
- Overworld Areas – Torchlight II has large randomized overworld areas to explore with weather, time of day cycles, and random events that provide players with even more content to experience.
- Random Dungeons – Delve into randomly generated dungeons within the game at any time for extra experience and rare loot. Dungeons in Torchlight II have even more branching paths to explore with friends filled with random events, rewards and dangers.
- Retirement System – Once characters are sufficiently leveled up, they can “retire” and bestow specific benefits and perks onto new characters.
- Pets – Players choose a pet to accompany them. Pets level up along with the player, and help in battle, learn spells, carry items, and perform a variety of support services.
- Fishing – Fishing returns in the sequel! Players can take a break from the high-energy pace of adventuring to relax by one of the many fishing holes and see what they can catch. Fish have unique benefits for the player and pet, while a number of other rewards can also be discovered.