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Runic Explains Why Torchlight II's Taking A While

If you're anything like me, then not only are you uniquely handsome, but you're also wondering what the bloody hell is taking action RPG Torchlight II so long. Come ON Torchlight 2! My mouse has just recovered from Diablo III, and I need SOMETHING TO CLICKCLICKCLICK on. Oh, they've said. As Eurogamer spotted, Runic bossman Travis Baldree has posted on their forums saying why there's still not a release date for the pre-orderable game.

In a reinvention of Baldree's "Not A Blog" for Mythos, Not A Blog Redux is intended to be a place where he can say exactly what they're up to. And it seems a lot of that is based on feedback from the beta, especially about the skill system.

"We've talked about the skill changes in previous posts, but to recap, the gist is that there isn't a 'tree' per se. Skills are made available for investment by level (just as they were in the tree), but their unlock level is no longer determined by vertical positioning in the tree, which gives us more flexibility to place them where we want them. In addition, you receive specific bonuses to each skill (apart from standard investment bonuses) at every 5 point mark, or tier, which are hopefully a good enticement to continue investing in a skill."

Got that?

"I'll take the Engineer's Machinegun bot as a quick example (subject to change, of course). At 5 points, his shots begin ricocheting. At 10, they pierce, and at 15 they are tripled. So, a level 15 machinegun bot skill has triple, piercing, ricocheting shots. Way cooler than level 1. Of course, damage, and other properties are improved with every point of investment, but there's a bigger jump every 5. I should stress that we didn't REMOVE cool stuff from skills and ball it all up to make the tiers neater. We have tried to make sure that the skills are designed to be cool as is, and just get a notable 'extra' at the tiers."

This was amongst many other changes highlighted by the beta, including respecs, passive unlocks, inventory design, as well as various connectivity doodahs. Except, all of this is spoken of in the past tense. So what are they doing now?

"There are one or two of these items that are fairly simple that remain to be done (we want to add a checkbox to new game creation in the lobby so you can force a 'reroll', which will reseed your entire game and repopulate it. Handy.) We also want to finish setting up our relay server (a relay server bounces messages between players that are having trouble connecting to one another), and we want to handle some specific game-fracture cases where two clients in a larger pool lose connection to one another, but not everyone else (the game has to automatically split them out into their own isolated games)"

And on top of this, they're now back polishing. A subject about which you can read in great detail in the post. He then explains how pretty much everyone at the studio is still working frantically, and then... doesn't give any notion of a release date. Oh Travis, you tease.

These posts will apparently be weekly, seemingly to convince grumbling fans that their pre-orders haven't just fallen into a well. And yes, it's obviously far more sensible to adopt the old id "done when it's done" policy if you don't have a publisher enforcing pretend release dates on you. But we just want to play it!

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John Walker


Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, we killed John out of jealousy. He now runs buried-treasure.org