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  1. #1
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    Torchlight 2 vs Diablo 3 Discussion Thread

    There's a lot of arguing about Diablo 3 in the Torchlight thread and arguing about Torchlight in the Diablo 3 thread, so why not have a thread dedicated to Torchlight 2 vs Diablo 3?

    I also felt it was important to post an indepth comparison of the game's systems. I already did something like this on Reddit, but I've had a lot more playtime of both of them since and I wanted to give them fair shakes.

    PRE-READING NOTES
    1. I didn't feel like it was fair to compare Path of Exile to these two games. I regret doing it in that Reddit. The main reasons are that Path of Exile is in a relatively early stage of beta and is still undergoing massive overhauls and it's trying to do something completely different to both TL2 and D3. I will be dropping in bits and pieces of what I feel Path of Exile did better as well as giving a little summary where it's appropriate, just for those wondering what it's about.
    2. I hit about, total, 25 hours /played in D3. This is across a few characters.
    3. Close to 15 in TL2 beta.
    4. This will not be completely objective. I will try to keep my subjective opinions out of it as much as possible, but I wouldn't recommend reading it if you want completely unbiased writing. My analysis of the symptoms will probably be rife with what I think is best, but eh.
    5. Finally but most importantly, Torchlight 2 is still in beta whilst Diablo 3 is released. Therefore, I do not have the full picture on Torchlight 2.

    Graphics & Artstyle
    Save the best 'til last, in my opinion. The graphics of games is something that never bothers me, and I've easily got over bad graphics if they give you fun gameplay. This will also include animations and physics.

    Diablo 3 - All I have to say is WoW, this game looks a hell of a lot like it. I'm not certain, but if I had to guess I'd say that Blizzard lost a lot of their Diablo 1&2 art team post-WoW's release - or perhaps they decided they wanted to have their games all match graphically.

    However, this is mainly in terms of (human) characters. Monsters and environments generally look very Diablo-like, especially in the later areas of the game. This can be a bit undermined by the fact your character is wearing neon pink boots, a bright blue skirt and a jaundice-yellow hat whilst he smashes his way through them, however.

    There's also a bit of an issue in that some enemies / characters have obviously older models whilst other randomly chosen ones have newer, prettier models. This leads to weirdness where you seem an enemy from a game in about 2007 attacking you alongside one from 2011.

    I think the closest style artistically would be, interestingly, Torchlight. Diablo 3 tones down the size of some of the items, but they're still oddly similar in a lot of ways.

    Enemies go flying across the room when they die, background objects break satisfyingly when your barbarian jumps on them, enemies turn green when killed by poison or shatter when hit by frozen weapons. The game's physics and death animations are VERY nice, indeed.

    However, the game is rather pretty when it gets going, even though it can be difficult to see certain enemies on walls etc until you mouse over them.

    Torchlight 2 - It's pretty much Torchlight but far, far prettier. Torchlight also had an artstyle very similar to WoW's, so it's also visually very similar to that.

    Bright, pastel colours, blood stains based on how you hit an enemy, characters being very interesting to look at and animations being smooth as silk just leads to this game being damn amazing.

    The physics engine is easily up to scratch, too. I was playing a handcannon engineer (heavily armoured guy with a two handed cannon) and he was a beauty to watch whilst things tried to attack him. I had a skill that shot giant flaming cannonballs. I hit a skeleton with it, knocked the ragdoll flying and then, as the cannonball moved further out, HIT THE RAGDOLL again. It launched it off the side of the screen. It was beautiful.

    Things can be rather low-polygon, but the artstyle easily makes up for it, as does the amount of clutter attached to your character and enemies.

    Comparison
    - Two games with similar artstyles, fully fledged physics systems and lovely animations. Whilst Diablo 3 has a lot of clutter to smash about with your character, Torchlight 2 has all it's models and environments matching up graphically. As I said at the start, I'm not a graphics man, so I cannot decide on this.

    Path of Exile
    - Path of Exile is basically Diablo 2 in 3D, graphically and in terms of artstyle. Dull, washed out colours, grimy characters and realistic proportions mean this game manages to recreate Diablo 2's graphics perfectly within a 3D engine. Also, if you shoot arrows in things they get stuck there and that's fucking amazing.

    Pacing of Content
    I am not going to do amount of content, simply due to the fact that it's impossible to determine how long you could play any of these games for. You could rush the storyline and get it done within 4 hours, you could take your time and do all the side dungeons and take 30. It all depends.

    Please note that I always complete 100% of the content on the first playthrough, and this will be the case for both Torchlight 2 and Diablo 3.

    Diablo 3 - For the first hour or two, I was revved. I was working my way up to the first boss and it was pretty well done. Introducing me to rares, then yellows then purples. The joy of learning a game's mechanics were making it work very well. My character was levelling swiftly and everything was good.

    Then I killed the first boss and... For god's sake, Blizzard, what the hell guys? The next three or so hours were a damn drag. There were no major scripted bosses, the few things that there were were bad and I was rapidly outpacing the content in terms of level. There should've easily been a boss or two extra inbetween the first boss and the end of Act 1 boss, but instead I just had lots of dungeons that I levelled up quickly in which then killed off levelling speed and then I didn't even have the joy of levelling to console me as I was moving through the storyline.

    The pacing of content began to pick up again for the first 1/3 of Act 2, but once again it seemed to hit a brick wall after the first boss. I found myself slogging through some of the most boring dungeons I've ever played in a Diablo game, especially as a barbarian. They were generally just doughnuts with a hidden alcove to go down a level and lots of "flying run away ranged attack" mobs that were horrible to kill.

    The finale of Act 2 was very good, however, which may have been the issue. Two scripted bosses very close together (I mean you could kill them both within 20 minutes) after a few hours of useless slogging.

    Act 3 seemed a lot better paced, even if the initial start of it was a bit too slow for something that was supposed to be a siege. The big bosses were well placed and it was probably the second best act.

    Act 4, however, was downright amazing. A very fast 30 minutes of gameplay in which you kill two bosses. The perfect finale to the game, and what the rest of the game should've probably been similar to.

    Basically, the pacing was very much all over the place. You'd be racing through big bosses one minute and then the next you'd have a long dull slog through boring enemies.

    Torchlight 2 - The beta only contains the majority of Act 1, I cannot be certain this will hold up throughout the game.

    I cleared every single dungeon and completed the beta storyline and I have to say I have never played a hack'n'slash that could keep my attention quite like TL2 did. At the end of every dungeon that I played there was a boss made specifically for that dungeon, and several of the side quests had the same. They generally had special abilities and were on a level of difficulty and requiring me to know how to play similar to the storyline bosses.

    To sum up, the first Act at least was very well paced and I hope it holds up like this throughout the game.

    Comparison - In my personal opinion, Torchlight 2's Act 1 outright blows Diablo 3's out of the water. I was constantly levelling despite the fact I was clearing dungeons, I didn't feel I outlevelled the content and the end of dungeon bosses were downright epic. If Torchlight 2 matches Diablo 3 in terms of pacing, I think I'd've blown my load in Act 2 or 3.

    Combat Flow
    This section is, roughly, an examination of how fun and satisfying the combat is.

    Diablo 3 - Something that Blizzard have tried very hard to achieve is a fast-paced, fun-to-play combat system at a level similar to MOBAs. In my opinion, they've managed it. I have a varied skillset that allows me to enter and escape battle, kill lots of little enemies and focus fire big ones. The combat flow is slick and well-oiled. I move easily between mobs, stun and kill.

    The game, when not lagging, is very responsive. However, there are, currently, a shit tonne of latency issues and rubberbanding, lag and dropped connections can lead to stupid deaths, which is an issue in Hardcore mode.

    Torchlight 2 - Once again, Runic have had the same goal as Blizzard, to give a satisfying MOBA/ARPG-esque combat system with a relative variety of skills on a single character.

    I'm not certain they achieved the variety of skills to the same level as Blizzard, but the combat is definitely fun and satisfying to play. Blowing away enemies with massive cannonballs, sniping them with rifles or knocking them about with a massive hammer all lend themselves to the playstyle.

    With Torchlight 2, all weapons have an innate swing pattern, and certain weapons have better AoE abilities with the default attack. Hammers, as an example, do massive swings that clear out groups of mobs whilst claws hit a single target without doing any AoE at all. This means all the weapons have a completely different playstyle.

    Torchlight 2 doesn't have as great a variety of skills as it should, at least at the lower levels. As more skill points are obtained and more skills unlocked, this might stop being the case. As an example, as a cannon engineer, I used the cannonball skill, the healing bot skill and the grenade skill as a way of dumping my charges, but that was only at level 20 or so.

    Comparison - Whilst Diablo 3 has a greater variance of skills on a single character (at least in comparison to low level play in TL2), Torchlight 2's weapon animation variety means that using different weapons can lead to a completely different low level experience, whilst all weapons of the same hand type will play pretty much the same in D3.

    They're close to easily matched in terms of combat flow. I'd say TL2 might be a bit better off due to the way animations work with abilities, and the simplest abilities in TL2 are generally the most satisfying. Stuff like smashing your hammer into the ground and causing the earth to split and lava to explode out is a low level skill in TL2, whilst in Diablo 3 it's something you do every two minutes.

    Skill & Stat System (With a Bit of a Chat on Itemisation)
    This doesn't really need any explanation, I don't think.

    Diablo 3 - Diablo 3's skill and stat system has been all Blizzard have been talking about, really. Well, rather the lack of it. As you level up in D3, your stats autoimprove and your skills unlock as you go along. This means that, at max level, every character will have every skill. There's not a lot more to say about the skill system.

    Now, the stat system. Blizzard said that they wanted to get away from D2's tired formula of "get as high as possible in X (whatever stat you used to unlock your perfect weapon / armour) and vitality". If they wanted to that, they went the most batshit retarded way of doing it, in fact making it so that it's ALWAYS best to max out your class stat and vitality and ignore everything else.

    There are four stats, total, in the game:-
    Strength - Increases armour. Primary stat for barbarians.
    Dexterity - Increases dodge. Primary stat for monks and demon hunters.
    Intelligence - Increases resistances. Primary stat for witch doctors and wizards.
    Vitality - Increases HP. Not anyone's primary stat.

    Your primary stat increases your damage by 1% per stat point. Some items have +36 of that stat at lower levels, and up to about +200 at higher levels. Damage on weapons etc still increases as you level up. The difference between equipping an item with +primary stat and +whatever else is absolutely massive and you can easily be underequipped if you don't use items with your primary stat on them.

    Of course, you also need +vitality items, since vitality only increases a tiny amount per level.

    Ultimately, the game, in terms of itemisation, turns into a balancing act between +primary and +vitality. People said that gems will offer stat customisation, but there're only 4 types of gems and the only ones worth using are, again, +primary and +vitality.

    Torchlight 2 - The skill system in TL2 still has trees, but they seem to be loose groupings of related skills instead of anything you have to level up in. You can pick and choose from different trees at will and, as you level, you'll still unlock all the skills to choose from. I'm not really certain I like this system, personally, but it's certainly a possible option.

    Runic have also obviously tried to get themselves away from Diablo 2's stat model and, in stark contrast to Diablo 3, have found one of the best systems to do so.

    Every stat is useful to every class, although obviously certain classes benefit greater from certain stats. Runic have a very fine balancing act in front of them, but they've probably done the very best model for that. If you've played both Dota 2 and League of Legends, then Diablo 2 is Dota 2 and Torchlight 2 is League of Legends.

    The stats and their roles are:-
    Strength - Increases weapon damage and critical strike damage.
    Dexterity - Increase critical strike chance, dodge chance and fumble recovery (you can fumble attacks, which reduces their damage, this reduces the damage reduction of fumbling).
    Focus - Increases maximum mana, elemental damage and execute chance (the chance to hit with both weapons whilst dual wielding).
    Vitality - Increases maximum health, maximum armour and block chance.

    This means that, regardless of your class, you will find a use for all the stats. Of course, certain classes and builds will have a better use for certain stats (dual wielders will love focus etc) but you will still get a use out of it.

    It's worthwhile noting that, whilst you DO use stats to use items, it's possible to go to a certain level and THEN you can use the item regardless. So if there's an item that requires 30 vitality OR level 6, I can hit level 6 and get it at it's default level instead of levelling vitality to 30.

    Comparison - In terms of skills, I'd say the games are pretty much equal using different systems. There's things to be said about both of them.

    However, in terms of stats, Torchlight 2 just outright destroys Diablo 3. I really have nothing else to say on this, it's just so much better done.

    Customisability of Gameplay
    Singleplayer, multiplayer, optional rulesets etc. This is how much a player can choose to alter his gameplay.

    Diablo 3 - You can select softcore or hardcore rulesets. There's not a great deal you can do to alter gameplay in D3, although the ability to easily replay any quests you want to is something that I very much enjoy. The lack of ability to play singleplayer, mod the game etc is very, VERY noticeable.

    Torchlight 2 - Hardcore, softcore, casual, normal, veteran, elite. Off the bat, you have the ability to choose your death limits and then choose a difficulty setting. Add onto this the ability to play singleplayer on or offline, the ability to mod the game and then PLAY IT MULTIPLAYER (which I've never seen a hack'n'slash do before) and the ability to play LAN and you see that Runic believes player choice is the most important thing.

    Comparison - Do I really have to say anything here?

    Path of Exile
    - Path of Exile only has softcore and hardcore at the minute, but on their site they said they're interesting in doing a LOT of different rulesets. They're also interested in letting people "purchase" leagues for just them and their friends to play on with custom rulesets.

    Conclusion

    I'm not gonna say one is better than the other, because that's for other people to choose. I have to say that it's amazing that Diablo 3 is having some major competition from a "budget game". Torchlight 2 does not play like or feel like a budget game, it feels like a fully fledged, fully recognised AAA game and is easily major competition for D3.

    TL;DR: Torchlight 2 is easily competition for Diablo 3.


    Thoughts, criticisms and chatting go under here!

    Yes, Jim, put that in your "go play a game for two weeks then come back and talk about it". >:|

  2. #2
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    I didn't think there was all that much arguing but ok!

    My opinion is that d3 and torchlight 2 are both cool games with their good points and flaws and I will be getting both eventually. I don't like path of exile and will try grim dawn.

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    Now I only played the beta of Diablo 3, but I think overall the beta is pretty representative of the final product, since it was more advertising then for any testing purpose.

    I still wonder what Blizzard spent the time and money on in Diablo 3 when Torchlight 2 (again beta) seems to do a lot of stuff at least as good, if not better in a lot of areas which you point out.

    That combined with the mod tools which really made a difference to Torchlight 1, I really do see Diablo 3 as the inferior game.

    I think best of all, there is a real kinetic feel to the combat in Torchlight 2 which I found lacking in Diablo 3, and in a game were combat is all you do, the feel of combat becomes incredibly important.

    Also Torchlight 2 has a battle ferret... with goggles, what more do you need.
    Last edited by byteCrunch; 20-05-2012 at 11:03 AM.

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    Network Hub Hanban's Avatar
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    There's one thing that's been nagging me about Diablo III and that is as you point out in your post the pacing. Act IV was to me the best paced part of the game and Act 1, 2 and large chunks of Act 3 felt really dull.

    I've finished it once and at the moment I don't feel like returning. Though I'll probably return at some point to play the Witch Doctor!
    BobHound - EVE Online

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    I read through the OP and I wonder why you said that TL2 was "easily competition" when the tone was more "Torchlight 2 just beats the shit out of D3" but that is a small niggle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    I think best of their is a real kinetic feel to the combat in Torchlight 2 which I found lacking in Diablo 3, and in a game were combat is all you do, the feel of combat becomes incredibly important.
    Yeah, I feel that Torchlight's "weapon animations are how you deal with groups" are something that pretty much straight up changes the gameplay.

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmicolor View Post
    I read through the OP and I wonder why you said that TL2 was "easily competition" when the tone was more "Torchlight 2 just beats the shit out of D3" but that is a small niggle.
    Two main reasons:-
    1. Torchlight 2 is in beta and you only have access to the majority of Act 1. There might be issues that arise later in gameplay / the acts like there is in Diablo 3 (the stats / pacing issues in D3 are something that are not in the beta but are in the game later on).
    2. Blizzard fanbois are ravenous enough when they get told that there might be competition for D3 coming from a minor one-game studio. I don't want to be flayed.
    3. They try to do a lot of things, but at the same time they don't. It all depends.

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    So it was to cover yourself, yeah I can understand that. I actually agree with most of what you say in it, such as with the skills (which I feel D3 does a better job of) although my opinion differs wrt the stats, but that's more a personal thing to me rather than anything objectively bad.

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    I think what has made me most pleased, is that when the gameplay is examined, fans of diablo style ARPG's have mostly come away from both games happy, and preference seems to be a matter of opinion. I think with that, path of exile, and grim dawn, it's nice to see a genre that's been mostly quiet for the last while get some love and good games.

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    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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    Which is better? Only one way to find out!!!

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    I feel like I'm the odd case here that doesn't really care for the art-style or the game pacing, but Diablo 2 has always been to me about the power-gaming. (Try playing alone on /players 8 difficulty as it should be). The fact that Diablo 3 got taken out any kind of customization like that, and pretty much forces you to slog through the Normal difficulty, has made me decided to not get it for now until they decide to patch in PVP(which should be something to consider later on).

    Not sure if interested in Torchlight 2 either. How does the "New Game+" works on it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmicolor View Post
    So it was to cover yourself, yeah I can understand that. I actually agree with most of what you say in it, such as with the skills (which I feel D3 does a better job of) although my opinion differs wrt the stats, but that's more a personal thing to me rather than anything objectively bad.
    Why do you think the stats in D3 are better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    I think what has made me most pleased, is that when the gameplay is examined, fans of diablo style ARPG's have mostly come away from both games happy, and preference seems to be a matter of opinion. I think with that, path of exile, and grim dawn, it's nice to see a genre that's been mostly quiet for the last while get some love and good games.
    I think Diablo 3 will have it's run "finished" soon enough. There's not really a lot of content, and it's a bit worrisome.

    Quote Originally Posted by DarioSamo View Post
    I feel like I'm the odd case here that doesn't really care for the art-style or the game pacing, but Diablo 2 has always been to me about the power-gaming. (Try playing alone on /players 8 difficulty as it should be). The fact that Diablo 3 got taken out any kind of customization like that, and pretty much forces you to slog through the Normal difficulty, has made me decided to not get it for now until they decide to patch in PVP(which should be something to consider later on).

    Not sure if interested in Torchlight 2 either. How does the "New Game+" works on it?
    True and untrue. The game pacing is meant to reflect how it is to play, more than anything else. If you REALLY want powergaming, I recommend Path of Exile. It's customisation and potential for powergaming the shit out of it is massive.

    And no idea on NG+. It might be higher level monsters, it might not. They haven't told us a great deal about it.

  12. #12
    Even if Torchlight 2 is arguably better or even on par with Diablo 3, Torchlight 2 is the clear winner. You can avoid the always-online component, Blizzard's monetization of the auction house, the ridiculous price tag and, well, not having to give Blizzard money in the first place is reason enough to get Torchlight 2.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Bankrotas's Avatar
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    Wait, pacing after Skeleton king is even worse? Seriously? I felt like playing Torchlight 1 pace in D3 beta and then smashing first SK to bits way too easy...
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    Quote Originally Posted by R-F View Post
    Why do you think the stats in D3 are better?
    I don't know if I'd outright say better with stats, but...

    My thinking is this: Being able to add stats manually gives more of a sense of progression to me, but on the other hand, all I and most other players are going to be doing is pumping whatever stat(s) give the most damage to the particular class we are playing, something that Blizzard has just automated, which I personally don't have too much of a problem with. However I will say that it does take some of the feeling of progression away. There is still some such stat customisation in gear, though.

    However I feel that D3 does a better job of skills, though, because it simply gives more actives. I'm playing the TL2 beta right now as an Engineer, and like in Torchlight 1, the fun active abilities are lower in number to all the boring-but-necessary passives that I have to take unless I want to gimp my character. The tricking of skills D3 gives might be a bit slow but avoids the problem of analysis paralysis hitting immediately, and are also mostly things you can immediately start hitting bad dudes with. CAVEAT: This is going off of the starter edition I am playing. I don't intend on buying the full game just yet.
    Last edited by cosmicolor; 20-05-2012 at 01:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abacus Finch View Post
    Even if Torchlight 2 is arguably better or even on par with Diablo 3, Torchlight 2 is the clear winner. You can avoid the always-online component, Blizzard's monetization of the auction house, the ridiculous price tag and, well, not having to give Blizzard money in the first place is reason enough to get Torchlight 2.
    Also, Torchlight 2 is 15! :D

    Quote Originally Posted by Bankrotas View Post
    Wait, pacing after Skeleton king is even worse? Seriously? I felt like playing Torchlight 1 pace in D3 beta and then smashing first SK to bits way too easy...
    Yeah, up to the SK is probably the second best (after Act 4) bit of pacing in the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by cosmicolor View Post
    I don't know if I'd outright say better with stats, but...

    My thinking is this: Being able to add stats manually gives more of a sense of progression to me, but on the other hand, all I and most other players are going to be doing is pumping whatever stat(s) give the most damage to the particular class we are playing, something that Blizzard has just automated, which I personally don't have too much of a problem with. However I will say that it does take some of the feeling of progression away. There is still some such stat customisation in gear, though.

    However I feel that D3 does a better job of skills, though, because it simply gives more actives. I'm playing the TL2 beta right now as an Engineer, and like in Torchlight 1, the fun active abilities are lower in number to all the boring-but-necessary passives that I have to take unless I want to gimp my character. The tricking of skills D3 gives might be a bit slow but avoids the problem of analysis paralysis hitting immediately, and are also mostly things you can immediately start hitting bad dudes with. CAVEAT: This is going off of the starter edition I am playing. I don't intend on buying the full game just yet.
    Stat customisation is a major part of Torchlight 2. You have to think about that when you look at the system. It allows you to unlock gear below it's normal level, it can change your build completely (as an example, make a staff engineer and pump focus instead so that you can smack people around with a very high damage elemental staff) and that's about it, really.

    It's to allow you to build your character instead of changing minor elements around a set build the game designers have decided on.

    I won't deny that Diablo 3 has achieved it's goal of being a "plug in and play" hack'n'slash game, but I think it's lost a lot of it's flavour for doing so. My barbarian is no longer a sword and shield barbarian or a two hander barbarian or a shouts barbarian or a dual wielding barbarian, he's just an amalgamation of all of those. With games with skill trees, your classes are not the be all and end all of your class, they're just the starting zone for becoming a LOT of other classes.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus pakoito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lokimmelop View Post
    graphically, it's DIABLO 3, but i think it's not the best of D3 yet, will be better and better once the patches are coming
    I am predicting TL2 mods >>> Actiblizz patches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lokimmelop View Post
    graphically, it's DIABLO 3, but i think it's not the best of D3 yet, will be better and better once the patches are coming
    I doubt they'll patch graphics, they'll push out some bug fixes and maybe some balance fixes if they identify major issues (like the monk hotfix), but you won't get something for nothing from Blizzard, graphics updates will come in an expansion, if at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lokimmelop View Post
    graphically, it's DIABLO 3, but i think it's not the best of D3 yet, will be better and better once the patches are coming
    I don't know, I have some doubt that they'll do any major patches. Hell, I'm seriously doubting there will be a PvP patch. Every WoW expansion had features removed at the very last minute and we were told "they're be going back in post-launch". 99% of them never did.

    Quote Originally Posted by pakoito View Post
    I am predicting TL2 mods >>> Actiblizz patches.
    Also, this.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    So, can you point out any amazing Torchlight 1 mods ? Youtube videos please, I don't own the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    So, can you point out any amazing Torchlight 1 mods ? Youtube videos please, I don't own the game.
    The framework was there for Torchlight 1 mods, but it didn't have a very large community on it's forums.

    Still, there are quite a few. I'd find more, but I'm lazy.

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