Fetch Quest: Torchlight 2 PAX Walkthrough

Erecting a mystical glowing barrier over the locked gates to a spooky graveyard of doom would not, one might think, have the intended dissuasive effect on passing adventurers the architects of the place would have really wanted.

A lengthy narrated walkthrough of the delightful looking Torchlight 2 narrated by Max Schaefer, CEO of Runic Games, has made its way out of the procedurally generated dungeon that is the Penny Arcade Expo. It’s below, and it looks charming enough: seven minutes of low-level creature stomping in one of the opening areas. It’s all the information that comes tumbling out of his lips that is the interesting part. Oh. That wasn’t a pleasant sentence. Quickly, let’s move on to multiplayer lan support and more than three times the content before all of us need to have a shower together.

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.

The multiplayer portion has also been expanded, from “none” to “lots!”, featuring up to six players over online or LAN, the difficulty level multiplying as more players join. Your player characters will be able to move freely between multiplayer and their own singleplayer campaign. Waypoints, dungeon teleporters in the first game, now allow you to beam instantly to a multiplayer friends location. And all of this will apparently run on the same old netbooks (man, remember those?) the first game did thanks to optimised code.

As for a release date, there’s no official word yet – just that they’re working their way around a “certain competitor,” whatever that is. Schaefer did confirm however that it’ll be sold for the bargin price of $20. I really enjoyed the first Torchlight, simple as it was, even though the lack of multiplayer bordered on the criminal. The more I see about Torchlight 2, the more it seems like “more Torchlight, with friends” which is exactly what I want from it.

Here’s hoping we’ll be able to play with puppies and kittens soon.


  1. thesundaybest says:

    Don’t want to get ahead of myself, but this looks like they took the first game and added most of things people said were missing. Duly excited.

    • mckertis says:

      How about all the things people said werent needed ? Like ID scrolls or a pet or fishing ? Or excessive amount of worthless skills and equipment ?

      • Nesetalis says:

        pets, fishing, and what not were in the original game…. so was id scrolls (well.. spell scrolls you stuck in your spell bar :P) and there was so much vender trash equipment that I made tons of money!….
        so yep, pretty much the same thing over again.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Exactly, it was a good game, but a lot of the elements of it were pure fluff and not well balanced. The fishing, the pet transformations, the id scrolls (what purpose exactly does that serve?).

        • stupid_mcgee says:

          Functionally, they are money and time sinks. Rhetorically, they are useless.

        • marvelza says:

          fun? oh no wait, all things in games should have a functionaly functioning function

      • Ranger33 says:

        The beautiful thing about Torchlight 2 will be that you can mod those pesky ID scrolls right out, probably on Day 1.

      • kalirion says:

        Agree with you about the ID scrolls, but whats wrong with pets and fishing? You can safely ignore both if you want.

        I liked the pets in particular – extra inventory space, a way to quickly sell junk, and a spell caster (though dumb one) to boot.

      • Baresark says:

        I’m not really sure what you mean. Those things were just part of the game. With the exception of pets, those things are in Diablo 1 and 2. The ID scrolls were simply to give another element to the random drops.

        I personally find the pets entertaining and useful, and I enjoyed changing what my pet was when I got bored of it. Mostly I just used it to get rid of stuff without leaving the dungeons, which was very useful considering how much swag you got in a short time.

      • Ashnal says:

        First, ID scrolls aren’t nearly as annoying in TL2 as they were in the first. Only rares and up are unidentified, and you can right click on unidentified items to identify them. Much easier.

        Second, the pet is damn useful. It allows you to sell vendor trash effortlessly, and helps a small amount in combat. I can’t see why you’d want nothing in its place.

        Also, fishing is totally optional. You can pass by whatever fishing holes you see and not miss much. They mostly have items for your pet, such as pet equipment and fish. Once in a while they have actual equipment for your character though. I actually enjoy fishing since it’s a small break from all the hack and slash, like the eye of the storm.

    • Ham Solo says:

      I quite liked the pets, its far better than portal’ing back to town to sell random crap.
      Also the ID scrolls were dragged along by the diablo2 people now at runic I think. Those scrolls were a pain in the ass.

      • Ragnar says:

        Agreed. ID scrolls, and Town Portal scrolls, were busy work / inefficient money sinks that subtracted from the fun. I’m glad that D3 got rid of them, and sad that Torchlight didn’t.

        Also, why does the Inventory for D3 not have auto-sort after I clear out the inventory to make room? Dungeon Siege had it back in 2002, and Torchlight avoids it via the pets. I know it’s a small thing, but when items only come in 1U and 2U groups, sorting everything to the top of your inventory should be easy. When I drop stuff to make room in my inventory, it would make it so much nicer if I knew that the newest stuff I picked up was always towards the bottom / end.

  2. Hug_dealer says:

    I really hope the people commenting in here do the same thing they are doing in the Warfighter section.

    “OH gee another hack and slash, why do we need another one!”

    “Been there done that!”

    “I’ll be playing D3 instead, not gonna waste my time here!”

    “why do people keep making these games????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    “No sir, i dont like it!”

    As for me, i cant wait for t2.

    • DevilSShadoW says:

      “why do people keep making these games” yes because the market has been flooded with isometric dungeon crawlers over the years that have yearly multimillion dollar releases that are basically the same games but with a different number at the end every year. Let’s definitely bitch about that.

      • Rhin says:

        As a guy who was pretty disappointed with both Torchlight 1 and Titan’s Quest, I feel there’s a bit of room here to complain. But honestly, Warshooter 5000 has multimillion dollar releases because multimillions of gamers will buy them every year anyways.

        • DevilSShadoW says:

          yeah there’s room to complain about the quality of the releases not about the quantity/saturation.

          As for shooters its funny how they sell millions yet everyone seems to claim they hate said games/franchises. It’s quite sad actually.

        • fish99 says:

          You know Titan Quest was actually a really good ARPG once you got into it, especially co-op, and it had a ton of class permutations, plus quite an interesting world, and excellent visuals. It’s a shame it started slowly, I think that put a lot of people off.

          • Ragnar says:

            Titan’s Quest was a lot of fun in co-op, but I got bored of it after the first act in singleplayer.

            For solo, it was too big, with too many mobs, and too long between getting levels while each additional level after the first few seemed to give less and less power increase. Also, many of the skill descriptions were confusing and obtuse, such that you had to go to the forums or use trial and error to figure out which skills were good and which weren’t.

            All those problems could be overlooked for co-op, but that’s the wonderful nature of co-op. Just look at how much crap gets overlooked in MMOs. ;)

        • Baresark says:

          I liked Torchlight 1, it did start to drag though. I never got bored of Titan’s Quest myself. It got even better when I was playing with my buddies and we got a mod that increased the difficulty and multiplied boss monsters by 5. Great and highly underrated game. I’m looking forward to T2 though, it looks good. It seems as a big a jump as Diablo 1 to Diablo 2 was, which is fantastic.

      • Danarchist says:

        Well Activision sucks so imma gonna play Torchlight!
        (….I mean ya, I am going to buy the game, but I am going to complain like crazy in the Blizzard forums on a daily basis and swear to demand a refund at least once a week! Cause you know…thats effective. Like peacefully protesting outside Fox News…)

      • Hug_dealer says:

        hack and slash is quite popular. Plenty of releases every year for them.

        its not as large a section of gaming as fps, but without a doubt there is room for another one.

        or hey, lets just stop making games altogether.

    • Savagetech says:

      I’m not going to say any of those things exactly, because I’m always glad to see more Hack ‘N Slash action, but when D3 was in Blizzard’s endless development limbo I secretly prayed that T2 would come out before it. Somewhat because I wanted a way to exercise my clicking finger in the interim, but mostly because I want Torchlight 2 to succeed and I just can’t see it doing nearly as well in direct competition with Diablo 3.

      Hack ‘N Slash games wear thin on their own, and I can’t see any but the most hardcore fans playing both games in the same timeframe. By the time I’ve played to the endgame with 2-3 classes in these games I’m usually fed up with the genre as a whole, and even during that period of play I need to take liberal breaks to avoid getting burned out. When I finally put the game down I don’t think “That was awesome, I need more of that RIGHT NAO!” but rather “Phew, that was good, but I’m tired of running around in a Skinner box. I need a game to flex my brain now.”

      Knowing that I only have the patience for one of these games in the upcoming months, I’m sadly going to have to pass on Torchlight 2. When all of my friends will be on Diablo 3 it’s hard to justify missing out on the multiplayer experience that makes these games so great. Unfortunately for Runic, I have a feeling that I’m just one of many who feels this way. I might buy Torchlight 2 some day, but it certainly won’t be until next year at least.

  3. RuySan says:

    The first Torchlight was one the most empty game experiences i have ever had. Developer obsession with game lenght has to stop. Make more variation to the gameplay and redo the atmosphere-killing wow graphics and i’m in.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      I liked the graphics. People huh? Can’t please them all.

      • sneetch says:

        So did I, I would personally go so far as to call them gorgeous.

      • RuySan says:

        I don’t mind cartoony graphics. King’s Bounty does them well and with personality. Torchlight and HOMM V look like WoW rip-offs. However, this is highly subjective matter, so i should just acknowledge that it isn’t for me and move on.

      • Ragnar says:

        I don’t mind cartoony graphics. The problem with Torchlight 2’s blocky, cartoony graphics is that there’s not enough distinction between the players and the mobs. I tried a 5 player lan game, and it was a mess. I couldn’t tell who was who or where, had to mouse over things to figure out if they were mobs or pets (or, in one case, scenery).

        It’s fine for singleplayer, it’s a little messy for 2 players, it’s a big hot mess for 4+

    • lordfrikk says:

      I don’t have anything against the graphics, in fact I quite enjoyed them, but I agree with the first sentence. I almost didn’t get to kill the boss because the game didn’t give me a compelling reason to want to return. Hopefully the sequel will be different in this regard.

    • seamoss says:

      Agreed – tried the demo for an hour or two a couple of years ago and it was basically a loot-fest, with no interesting story. I’d rather play nethack. And the fact that you couldn’t rotate the camera drove me bonkers (yes, I know there’s a mod now…)

    • Amun says:

      Wait, so you were put off by Torchlight 1 being too long? It did have a random dungeon that you could spend forever trying to explore, but the main story was only like 20 hours at most.

      About 40 minutes if you’re this guy: link to speeddemosarchive.com

      • Reinhardt says:

        20 hours is an awful lot of time for a game with no mechanical variety.

    • Demiath says:

      Not sure what “developer obsession with game length” is supposed to mean; games have decreased dramatically in length over the last few years. Not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing (sometimes it definitely is, though), just stating the facts. More importantly, given your general perspective on the gameplay it would seem that 20 minutes of Torchlight 1 would be just as absurdly lengthy as 20 hours; i.e. your complaint is not really about the game’s size but with the inherent repetitiveness of the isometric Diablo-style dungeon crawler itself.

      • Ragnar says:

        Game length needs to be justified, and paced so that you don’t get bored. I’d rather a game be too short, then too long. A dev said that the design for D2 was based around something new happening every 15 minutes (new zone, new level, new monster type, item upgrade, etc.) to keep the player engaged. If the same thing goes on for too long, the player gets bored.

        Ico is great at 6-8 hours, and MW1 + 2 are great at 5. Yes, they’re short, but they’re condensed and action packed. ME2 was great at 36, FXIII at 50, and Dragon Age didn’t start to feel long until 75-80. On the other hand, ME1 felt too long at 40, Zelda Twilight Princess felt too long to the point where I got bored and never finished it, Titan’s Quest lost my interest 18-20 hours in (and required co-op to rekindle it), and Alice 2 would be a better game if they cut 25-30% out.

        For a more relevant example, look at the level progression for the first few levels in D3 and Torch2. In Torch 2, you start with auto-attack, gain a new skill with your first level, and you use those same two skills for at least the next 4 levels. After 3 levels of using the same two skills over and over again, I started feeling a little bored.

        With D3, you start with one skill, gain a second skill with your first level, and another skill with your 2nd level, and another with your 3rd, and another with your 4th, and a modifier to one of your skills with your 5th, etc. Thus, you’re often changing it up, changing your skills as you unlock new skills and modifiers for old skills. It keeps the game feeling fresh.

        • mAnon says:

          There were some sections in D2 which were quite repetitive. In Act 2: “Find the Horadrim Cube!” – “Ok!” – “Now find items and stick them together in the cube!” – “…”
          In Act 3: “Now find even more item to stick in the cube!” I hated this rainy jungle!
          Even the godfather of hack’n’slays isnt perfect at all.

          Having a long game can be quite nice, cause it delievers lots of content for your money – unless its very boring. Actually, I think, we need more time to play.

  4. Walsh says:

    Wow, this looks like a cartoony version of Diablo 3, right down to the impassable gate with swirling magic around it!

    • Clash says:

      I know right? It’s almost like this and Diablo were made by the same people or something.

      • Wreckdum says:

        I c wut u did there.

      • mckertis says:

        “It’s almost like this and Diablo were made by the same people or something.”

        I actually find it hard to believe, except, of course, it is true. You know how some people dont achieve things because of their talent, but despite their failings ? There are many cases of game devs who make good games, then they make a long-lasting legend – and then its rapidly downhill from there.
        Torchlight was pretty much a Fate clone, not a Diablo clone, which is a fine distinction, but it is real enough to touch.
        Btw, the Fate guy recently released Fate 4 ! Tried it. Still not good enough. Worth 7$ he’s asking for it, i guess, but compared to Diablo (1) ? Shite.

  5. sneetch says:

    “multiplayer lan?”

    Who is Ian and what does he have to do with multiplayer? I wondered. Then I realised it was LAN. Oh how we laughed!

    I did anyway. This looks yummy!

  6. caddyB says:

    Oh. Well that sounds good, I’ll be having that along with Diablo3 then and play Diablo exclusively with friends, as it probably is meant to be played like that anyway.

    And Torchlight for “me time”.

  7. Freud says:

    Keep polishing. The diablo is in the details.

  8. nootron says:

    I can’t wait for D3. I can’t wait for T2. Lets all be friends!

  9. Ginger Yellow says:

    And all of this will apparently run on the same old netbooks (man, remember those?) the first game did thanks to optimised code.

    That’s fantastic news, especially with the Diablo 3 always-on nonsense. Looks like Torchlight 2 will be my go-to long-distance travel game, and with any luck this decision will offset some of the sales impact of releasing so close to Blizzard’s game.

    • Vorphalack says:

      I’m not convinced that D3 and T2 will have any significant impact on each others sales. Depending on who you ask, peolpe will either get exclusivly D3, exclusivly T2, or both.

      I just can’t imagine a situation where we have a significant number of hack n’ loot fans with the will to buy both, but only the resources to get one of them.

      • Ragnar says:

        That’s because they’re releasing at almost the same time. If Torchlight 2 shipped a few months earlier, I likely would have bought both games. As it is, I’m only going to pick up one, and only get the other one much later, when it’s on some super sale.

      • monkybars says:

        “peolpe will either get exclusivly D3, exclusivly T2, or both. ”

        I’m hoping you realize how absurd that statement is.

        “Apples and bananas are on sale at the Apple and Banana store. Customers of the store will either buy only apples or only bananas. Or only apples and bananas.”

  10. Megadestructo says:

    I’ve been waiting for Torchlight 2 for quite some time. Having played a bunch of it at PAX Prime last year (and being in the current D3 Beta) I can safely say that it and Diablo 3 will offer different, excellent experiences.

    And I will be playing each on day one (and probably for hundreds of hours afterwards)…

  11. Freud says:

    So you can be both a hunter and a gatherer? My reptile brain approves.

    • sidoaight says:

      Reptile brain is a quirky idiom. It comes from a 1960’s “evolutionary psychology” hypothesis that was formulated by a Dr. Maclean. Too bad it has no basis in modern science.

      Anyways, evolutionary research and comparative neuroanatomical studies (Yay MRIs!) have caused that idea to be tossed out, as we’re not descended from reptiles (If I remember correctly). However—as is typical of many shitty soft-science practitioners—the idea is still entertained by some in the psychologist community.

      In summary, if you like nerd-stuff you might try replacing “reptilian brain” with “paleomammalian brain” or “neomammalian complex” in your idiomatic library.

      At any rate, I doubt you care about any of this, but it’s of passing interest to me, so I thought I’d share. :P

      May you live long and prosper. \V/

      • Inyssius says:

        But then it wouldn’t be an idiom! It would just be, you know, a term.

  12. derbefrier says:

    need more info on talent system before i decide if i get this. every one claims there system offers limitless builds but its all for nothing if when you get to harder difficulties your forced to pick one specific build to make any progress. Though i must admit its looking a lot better than i thought it would. Will still probably wait for some more in depth reviews and besides it will be some months before i get it anyway Diablo 3 will take priority.

    • triple omega says:

      I wish they’d show more of it as well. As a big fan of mage(-like) characters I was quite disappointed at the skilltrees of TL1. There were no nice and clean builds available. It all just seemed gimmicky and the skills were not well tuned for each other. I ended up just putting my points mostly in a few of the least gimmicky skills + passives, but that made the whole ordeal pretty boring.

      So here’s hoping they’ve given the mages a bit more love this time around.

  13. karthink says:

    More than three times as long as Torchlight, with more diverse environments, with local LAN, prettier and yet the same system requirements, nice explodey combat; and they’re selling it for $20?

    Howwwww? What madness is this?

    • cyb.tachyon says:

      The same madness that has Path of Exile a free to play game?

      (For those that don’t know, Path of Exile is a free to play diablo 2 with Baldur’s Gate throwback graphics and an amazing skill tree and gem system; beta keys randomly drop every 5 minutes, but you can pay $10 for early access and aesthetic/slot store credit or wait for open beta in July).

  14. Brise Bonbons says:

    Drat. On one hand, I think Path of Exile looks like a more interesting system mechanically – at least as far as character customization goes. But I love Torchlight 2’s business model, features, and their attitude towards PC users. I want to support them as a business, but the game itself doesn’t excite me.

    Maybe my group of gaming friends will want it for the coop. That could be fun enough. Mostly thinking about this makes me want to go back and play Din’s Curse, though.

    • siegarettes says:

      Agreed. It seems that devs are continually misunderstanding what the PC audience wants. I feel like they deserve money just for getting that right. Especially since I know Blizzard is taking the opposite approach and will still make truckloads of money.

      • cyb.tachyon says:

        Blizzard knows perfectly well what the *average* PC audience wants.

        It seems that the Experienced, Challenge-Seeking, and Relatively Highly Educated PC Gamer is a niche audience that doesn’t matter to Blizzard much anymore, ever since it became jaded (and did market analytics).

        There are definitely way more people that prefer “casual-sized” games if you will, than the likes of us who can live another day without some form of instant gratification.

        • Ragnar says:

          I don’t know what you want, but my primary requirement is a fun game. Blizzard delivers in that regard.

          I prefer the ability to play off-line / lan, I prefer the option of mods, I prefer lower priced games, and I prefer to keep real money away from purchasing game items. But having played the first 20+ min of both, I prefer playing D3 to Torchlight 2. D3 just seems more fun to me, and my SO. I wish it was the other way around, but Blizzard really nailed what makes an ARPG fun, so I’ll have to get two copies of D3, warts and all.

  15. povu says:

    Every time I see a gameplay video of Torchlight 2 it has a different UI. I guess it’s a very hard thing to decide on. :D

  16. engion3 says:


  17. The Dark One says:

    I’m really digging the look of the game.

  18. rocketman71 says:

    This is soooooooooooooooo sold.

    Come on, guys!. Release it already!

  19. MadTinkerer says:

    Diablo IV is looking awesome. The best part is that it’s only $20, so I can easily get my brother a copy as well.

    What, Blizzard are releasing Diablo III? Don’t be silly. Runic already released Diablo III two years ago, and you could play single-player without an internet connection.

  20. Hypocee says:

    Just for the record, Torchlight 1 was ‘missing’ multiplayer in the same sense that the Gemini program was ‘missing’ a lander. Runic’s plan from the start has been a series of budget releases of the same fundamental game, in the sequence 1. Make hitting things and selling their loot work, 2, multiplayer, 3. MMO/Internet persistence

    • drewski says:

      I think the original plan was TL1 – glorified tech demo and quick revenue grab -> MMO TL.

      They only diverted to do TL2 when TL1 went batshit crazy popular.

    • Vinraith says:

      I’m tremendously glad they at least put off the MMO. I wish they’d axe it entirely. They make enjoyable games and I’d hate to have their resources tied up on a useless, persistent title.

  21. drewski says:

    This is the last $20 you’ll ever get from me, Runic. Spend it wisely.

  22. timoteoandre says:

    I wanna see this on gog.com with the soundtrack and artwork and everything it deserves lol

  23. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    I wasn’t excited for this, and gave it no attention, as Diablo 3 <3

    However, after watching 1-2mins of that video, I think I am sold :3
    Looks rather splendid! And all for 20$ You beauty!

  24. lociash says:

    I hope they’ve added an actual story to T2, I spent a few hours playing T1 only to get bored with no justification for all the hacking N slashing I was doing.

    • UncleLou says:

      I didn’t mind the lack of a story, but what wasn’t very elegant was the fomulaic sequence of levels/tilesets that failed to make any attempt at believable world-building. Which, from what we’ve seen so far, seems less of a problem now that they’re cloning Diablo 2 rather than Diablo 1.

      • Ragnar says:

        The tilesets look a lot better. In the first 20 minutes you get jungles, caves, underground cities. While they may not be very believable (I mean, who puts an underground city with a cave for an opening in the jungle?), it’s a lot better than 5 levels of caves, 5 levels of underground city, etc. Definitely feels more like D2 (big map, small zones off that map) and Dungeon Siege (lush jungle, lovely underground passage, lots of polish).

    • Ragnar says:

      There’s a story and side-quests in TL2. I can’t say how good the story is, and the side-quests are of the “go retrieve my lost relic from the dungeon, blah blah blah” variety, but at least they’re there (and not really different than D3’s side-quests).