Lights, Camera, ARPG: Torchlight II Out Sept 20th

By Adam Smith on August 31st, 2012 at 11:30 am.

Torchlight II will be out on 20th September of this very year and that’s pretty much all there is to say. Does anyone remember when it seemed like there’d be a collision between Diablo III and the indie charmer? For a moment back before summer failed to begin, I imagined a pileup of ARPGs, all rushing down the internet pipes, erupting in an +4 burning damage fireball and fusing into a mangled mess of stats and potions. It’s strange to think that Torchlight II won’t be something to look forward to for very much longer but hopefully actually being able to play it will make up for that. And there’s always Grim Dawn to take its place in the future-time anticispace. I’m hoping for some jolly multiplayer shenanigans from this one.

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57 Comments »

  1. dawnmane says:

    Aaaaaat laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaast… (violins in the background)

  2. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    It’s really amazing how differently the Diablo3 beta and the Torchlight 2 beta worked for me. D3 simply didn’t grip me at all, while T2 absolutely overwhelmed me with streamlinedness and fun. Still can’t wait, even though I now know for how long :)

    • Gitchi says:

      Same here. After playing T2 beta I headed straight to Steam to pre-order it, D3 on the other hand is still on my “maybe someday I’ll give full game a try”.

    • gschmidl says:

      Complete opposite for me.

      • Nevard says:

        Same, I was sort of interested in Torchlight 2 until I played the beta
        Not any more

    • fish99 says:

      I’ve said this before but don’t judge D3 from the beta, the gameplay gets really fun once you have you full skill set available and a lot of runes to pick from. Up to the point where I hit the ‘wall’ known as act 2 inferno I enjoyed the game a great, despite the issues.

      (I haven’t played T2 btw).

      • Lemming says:

        “I’ve said this before but don’t judge D3 from the beta, the gameplay gets really fun once you– ”

        Lemme stop you there. If a game is not FUN from the start, then it fails on at least one very important level, as a game.

      • fish99 says:

        I already acknowledged that the game has issues, as you’ll see if you read my post again I’m talking specifically about the gameplay, which IMO does get a lot better the further you get into the game. Honestly D3 has the best pure gameplay I’ve seen in an ARPG, lots of interesting abilities and movement options (at least for the DH).

        I would also argue that all ARPGs start slowly. I can’t think of one that gave you a host of interesting abilities in the first 2 hours.

        Overall I had easily enough hours of enjoyment to be worth the money I paid.

        • Baines says:

          Yes, but even then you said “Up to the point where I hit the ‘wall’ known as act 2 inferno I enjoyed the game a great”.

          So the game wasn’t that great at the start, then (to you) it got great, then it hit a wall. That is an iffy design for any game, but even more problematic for one named “Diablo”.

        • fish99 says:

          No I honestly enjoyed playing it on normal as well, but we didn’t start using the AH until nightmare, so normal wasn’t quite the cakewalk it was for everyone who used the AH earlier (in case anyone doesn’t know you can (or could when I played it) easily buy equipment 2-3x better on the AH versus crafting/drops). Also helps that I was playing it co-op with someone in the same house, and that I like ARPGs.

          If you’re talking amount of enjoyment per £ spent, it rates well on my list.

    • x1501 says:

      Let’s just hope the game is as fun as you say it is. Because, if games like Civ 5 have taught me anything, it’s that “streamlinedness” is usually nothing but a PR euphemism used for presenting oversimplified gameplay or removed game mechanics in a more positive light.

      • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

        Hmm. Streamlining Civ5, or making it more accessible to a larger audience, is a choice that can be seen as negative by the former core audience, obviously. It also might make the game more fun.

        Now please note I didn’t actually say that “Torchlight 2 is incredible fun”. That’s because that’s a very subjective thing to say. Even if I said it, you should take it with a grain of salt, as I’m a different guy than you, and have a different opinion.

        If you think Civ5 was too streamlined, though, torchlight might not actually be so much fun, from your perspective. On the other hand, streamlinedness in an ARPG is necessary, hell it’s the core game concept, while 4X strategy is all about “whatthefuckisthiswhatdoidowithit”.

  3. Zanchito says:

    Yay! On the other hand, it’ll be competing against my Guild Wars 2 and Minecraft time… Crap.

  4. Jim Rossignol says:

    Co-op could mean this is the one for me.

    • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

      We should set up a co-op mob in the forums. How ’bout Rock, Paper, Blunderbuss?

      • Lemming says:

        Rock Parchment Blunderbuss, surely?

        Or if you want to be even more specific,

        Ember, Parchment, Blunderbuss. :)

      • subedii says:

        Rock Paper Bulldog?

        Yeah I think Blunderbuss works better.

      • Pintlemount says:

        Rock, Paper, Shotgonne. They’re in the game!

  5. Nallen says:

    D3 1.0.4, Path of Exile, Torchlight 2. Is anyone who played all three willing to share their thoughts?

    I have D3, the other two I’m interested in. I include D3 as a point of reference.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Having played all 3, early game, let’s see. I’ll write from the top of my head, so I apologize for the mess.

      General gameplay: Torchlight 2 has a nice meaty feel to its fight. It’s fast, and feels punchy enough. You don’t have physics effects on your hits, but they compensate with lots of explosions. You run faster than in the two other games. It’s nicely streamlining to the core of the killing/looting mechanic, and is calling your inner compulsive animal to the core of hask&slash.

      Loot: Torchlight 2 is all about “lots of loot”. You don’t have to be picky, you can take anything from the ground. Since you have a pet with its own inventory, that you can send to the city, you don’t even have to take pauses. Fill your inventory, dump it to the pet, send the pet to town, and keep killing and looting while he’s on his way. It’s the opposite of PoE on the loot level. PoE, in comparison, pushes you to just take what you need, since even the fact of coming back to town to trade those junk items won’t be worth the town portal price.

      Map generation: Torchlight 2 generates maps from chunks, and does it in such way that it doesn’t feel artificial. External maps in particular feel big enough, and not with only one path. In comparison, D3 has static exterior, and generated interiors which feel like a giant corridor with some right angles. PoE is the direct D2 heir, with the return of crosswordy dungeons and implausible layouts. T2 is really ahead in this area, in my humble opinion.
      T2 also has a lot of secret areas in all dungeons. Brick in the wall to press, levers, etc.

      Graphics: Cartoony, with nice bloody effects. It won’t feel as atmospheric as D3 (less fog effects, for example), and it won’t be as grim-dark as PoE/D2.

      Skill tree: From the beta, quite classic, taken directly from T1 and D2. Might have changed since, from the articles I’ve read. You unlock skills by leveling up, and you can level them up there. In comparison, D3 takes away all this from you by giving you the skills one by one (but allows for quick respec), and PoE has a system of gems to associate on equipment, for skills, which level with you.

      Character points: On first look, taken from T1/D2. On closer look, you see that categories to upgrade are not “obvious” for each class. You don’t have strength for warrior, intelligence for mages, all of them benefit all classes directly (one increasing chances of critical, the other improving the damage of critical, etc). In comparison, D3 does all the work for you each level. PoE has the incredible passive tree (featured in previous news).

      Potions: It’s exactly like T1 and D2. Countless potions in your inventory. It feels a bit old when compared to D3 (referring to the health orbs, mostly), and outdated when compared to PoE’s flasks.

      Story: Basic, feels like taken from D2. Hard to feel super involved. D3 has the upper hand here (had difficulties feeling involved in PoE, personally)

      Secondary objectives: You have randomly placed secondary quests on the exterior maps. Only some of them appear on one map generation. Some are rare and appearing only on a lower amount of generations. D3 in comparison has random small dungeons, which is like a very light version of this. PoE doesn’t have anything besides what’s on the regular quest book (to my knowledge).

      Inventory, currency: It’s the inventory from T1: items don’t take that much space, and you have the pet to dump all the junk anyway, so you loot, loot, loot. You have a main currency of gold, to buy new weapons (but usually don’t need too, thanks to a generous loot). You can enchant your current weapons for gold. D3 has about the same, but with an inventory more easily full. It also adds a crafting system, so another kind of currency, in a way (you have the choice to sell or make materials from a piece of equipment). PoE breaks with the “crazy looting” with no currency (if you sell junk to the merchant, it gets you parts of identification scrolls or other things like this), and an inventory which fills incredibly fast (exactly same size for items as in D2). You don’t “loot for looting”, you just pick what is necessary or valuable.

      Connectivity: the game runs single player, and p2p when you play with someone else. The master server connection is used to find other games only. Compared to D3 which is making every game multiplayer (and generates the map on server side), and PoE which is mostly working like Guild Wars 1: common towns to find a party, instanced areas for your party. In the 3, only T2 allows for offline play.

      Closing note: I really like T2, though it has areas in which others are better. It’s really a game which is working like an addiction, which is working to trigger that compulsive feel, from diablo-like games. It really feels like the most refined Hack&Slash drug. It’s not the smartest (that would be PoE), but you stop wondering when you use it, because it just “feels good”.

      • Commander Gun says:

        Nice analysis :)
        This one made me think though:

        “Story: Basic, feels like taken from D2. Hard to feel super involved. D3 has the upper hand here (had difficulties feeling involved in PoE, personally)”
        I
        f D3 has the upperhand storywise, then stories in the whole genre might be done away with completely. I found the story to be extremely boring/predicatble/crap.
        Then again, i don’t play these kind of games for the story anyway :)

        • Gnoupi says:

          Ok, maybe not the story high point, but it had more interesting story-telling, and lore. Probably because it shoves it to you through “cutscenes” (forced vocal monologues).

          It’s easy to dismiss the “why?” in T2. You usually just jump to the next task, not wondering that much why you do it. Quite same about PoE. But I guess that’s the genre anyway. I was in a compulsive moment, you forced me back to the town, just tell me where to next so I can resume clickclickclicking

        • Sic says:

          This stunted me as well.

          D3 has the upper hand? Over something that feels like it’s taken from D2?

          What?

          D2 is in another league entirely from D3 story and cinematic wise. The intro of D2 alone is legendary. D3 is one of the absolute worst games I’ve played in this regard.

          • Gnoupi says:

            When I say “like D2″, I actually mean exactly like it, from the first act anyway:
            One of the heroes from the first game got corrupted by the end boss, is trying to contain the corruption, but ultimately doesn’t seem to be able to, and corrupts things around him. You are chasing him, but always seem to be too late and just repair/save behind him.
            I wasn’t talking about story quality, but more of exact copy, for T2 and D2.

            About D3, it’s not as much the story itself, more the storytelling. You are more involved in it.
            In T2, the story is still told by a dialog over the NPC’s head (not talking about cinematics). Yes, there is lore, and interesting bits. But it’s still “click on the NPC, then on the topics”, to get it, and most of it is just text.

            Again, I’m judging from early game, for all these games. I don’t know how the rest goes.

      • faelnor says:

        Thanks for this. It’s more and more difficult to find relatively objective and unbiased opinions like yours around here.

  6. Premium User Badge

    AmateurScience says:

    Aww man, the same day as Borderlands 2 *and* Baldur’s Gate enhanced? Fucksticks!

    • meshling says:

      I second this individuals fucksticks. Consider this announcement double fucksticked.

      • Premium User Badge

        lowprices says:

        I’ll see your ‘fucksticks’ and raise you a ‘crapspackle’. I may need to take a weeks holiday and break up with Wonderful Boyfriend in order to get any time with either game.

        • TsunamiWombat says:

          If Wonderful Boyfriend is at all wonderful, he’ll know not to get between you and ARPG’s. Or bring his own

          • Premium User Badge

            lowprices says:

            Wonderful Boyfriend is not a gamer, which is why he’s “Wonderful Boyfriend”, rather than “Perfect Boyfriend”.

    • Xocrates says:

      I third the fucksticks.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      I don’t give a fuckstick.

      But that’s just how I roll.

      (Seriously, release dates mean nothing to me anymore, I’m still working through a massive back catelogue of great games, so I only ever get to the new ones months after they come out anyway.)

    • fish99 says:

      Kinda bad timing to release on the same day as Borderlands 2 TBH. People will say they’re different genres, but they’re both co-op loot games. You risk making people choose, and while T1 was fun, Borderlands is probably the best co-op game I’ve played.

    • Premium User Badge

      Wisq says:

      Two days after Borderlands 2 around these parts, but yeah, I know what you mean.

      Considering a huge portion of my office has purchased Borderlands 2 and we’re gonna be co-oping the hell out of it, I suspect I might get to Torchlight 2 sometime in November.

      Of course, I totally called this, the moment they announced the announcement of the release date. They were still saying “summer” (before Sept 21), they were announcing the exact date at the end of August, and there was no way they were going to say “oh, actually, we’re releasing it a few days from now”.

    • pi8you says:

      More fucksticks from me, though I’ve fortunately taken the 10 days following release off, so I should be able to manage a decent amount of time with both games. Barely.

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    golem09 says:

    I had fun with Torchlight 1 for about 20 hours. But after playing dozens of hours of PoE, I just couldn’t get into the T2 beta. It all felt so stiff, old and boring…
    Too bad that open beat(including the last ever char reset) is still months away…
    The Wait might tempt me to get T2, but I’m not craving it
    PoE is still the best Diabo like ARPG I ever played.

    • Arglebargle says:

      PoE has been getting continual improvement, but at the time of the T2 beta, T2 was more fun for me that PoE. Redo the same content again and again just doesn’t sit that well with me. D3 was a distant third. Fortunately for me, I had no attachment to the Diablo series. To my untrammeled eyes it was T2 tops.

  8. zairekaboom says:

    Can’t wait, no other games to play at the moment.

  9. jikavak says:

    “anticispace”.That’s a good one.

  10. Gnoupi says:

    20th of September, haha, nice. They respect the previous “Summer 2012″ announcement, by one day :P

  11. dave_salmon says:

    Really can’t wait but, bastard fish, it’s going to be difficult deciding which to play first: Borderlands 2 or Torchlight 2.

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    santheocles says:

    Oh man… finally. I don’t intend to play it at all, but I’ll be a happier reader of comment sections once it’s out. It may be great. It may be revolutionary. Or it may just be ok. I don’t care, really.

    But hopefully it will put to rest the ENDLESS stream of comments under every single article on every single site concerning other ARPGs lauding this king of clickfests, this lord of looting, this messiah of monsterslaying.

    Guild Wars 2 has had the same effect on MMO posts, and it’s just as tiring.

    Any other games whose name is beginning to grate in your ears/eyes?

    • Josh W says:

      There are, sort of, but I won’t tell you which, so as not to compound the problem!

  13. thematrix606 says:

    They’re giving Diablo 3 WAAAAY too much time to fix their shit together. I mean, with 1.0.4 D3 is looking stronger than ever, by September 20th who knows what might be rolled out.

    They should have released that 1 month after everyone started raging on D3. Now there’s GW2, CSGO, and a whole lot of other MP games (PoE, still hoping for a release, can’t play knowing my char will be whiped) that will take me away :)

    • Snidesworth says:

      I doubt Blizzard will patch in an offline mode any time soon.

    • Gnoupi says:

      T2 needed time to fix things as well. Beta wasn’t perfect, and that was only one act.

    • Vorphalack says:

      Believe it or not, there are gamers out there who will buy Torchlight 2 without ever considering D3. The success of T2 does not hinge solely on stealing business from Blizzard.

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    RedViv says:

    Neat. I liked what the beta showed, even though I can’t say that the impact of beating up monsters felt as good as it does in D3.

  15. Enzo says:

    Loved Torchlight 1, but I really didn’t like the beta of T2. Combat is just terrible, almost MMO-like, way way worse than D3.

  16. scottossington says:

    I woke up this morning and it was my birthday, Christmas and Valentines day all rolled into one. Maybe that day will be on the 20th of September. Loved the first one, so very excited about then second one.

  17. Lobotomist says:

    There was the times I would love to buy that game. But so so late now.

  18. dE says:

    Seems to be their PR Guy’s odd idea of generating hype. It has certainly burned away a lot of my interest and I’m still not entirely sure I’ll not just end up cancelling my pre-order anyway.

    I’m not sure they knew when their release date was going to be and my complaint isn’t one of “release it faster”. Couldn’t care less about that. But months of this were pretty damn annoying:
    “So the release date… we don’t know yet!”
    “You might ask about the release date, we don’t know”
    “Might come out in summer… but well maybe?!”
    “Don’t trust our publishers if they tell you otherwise, if they imply dates we might have indicated to them”
    “Don’t trust magazines if they pull numbers out of their arse we might have indicated to them”
    “Might come out close to D3″
    “We never said that, you just misunderstood us”
    “It might come out soon”
    “There might be a release date soon”
    “Maybe”
    “Potentially”
    “Could be”
    “Well, we’ll announce the release date soon”
    “Maybe”
    “We didn’t say that!”
    “So we’ll definitely announce something soon”
    “It’s gonna be the release date!”
    “Really this time, we’re honest”

  19. Xocrates says:

    Because months ago they themselves didn’t know the release date. I believe they said they hadn’t decided on the release date a week ago.

    Don’t forget they made some fairly massive changes due to beta feedback.

    I do question the decision of starting pre-orders before having settled on the date though.

  20. jiaco says:

    Just registered to add that I love the fact that you are also waiting on Grim Dawn. After a single d3 playthrough I pre-ordered T2 and tried to play T1 again, but that did not hold me. With the almost never-ending “Summer 2012″ release date for T2, I decided to play the Titan Quest mod Soulvizier this summer. It has been a blast and, while BL2 will trump T2 for the release period. I can still hope to play T2 a bit before Grim Dawn is ready.

    So while not a great summer for new games, the future looks bright as hell.

  21. NarcoSleepy says:

    Sorry! I will be much too busy playing Borderlands for the next couple of months. Guess I can pick it up when it goes on sale…