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Torchlight II and Demo Available; MMO Questions

Torchlight II is now available, offering the second installment in this action/RPG series from Runic Games, a developer that boasts some of the creators of the original Diablo (there's an interview on IncGamers with Matt Uelmen talking about the old days of Blizzard North). Joystiq has word from Runic CEO Max Schaefer that the company is working on an OS X edition of the game, but that they are reconsidering plans for an MMO version of Torchlight. Here's his convoluted explanation: "We're waiting to do the Mac port of Torchlight 2, and fix whatever launch issues we have, and then decide after we've had a good night's sleep or three. It is likely that nothing that would be called an MMO is the next thing we do, though, but that's not 100 percent certain." Travis Baldree elaborates on Reddit: "I'll be frank, we have no plans to jump into that right now. The landscape is a little different than a few years ago, and creating the amount of content we did for Torchlight 2 was a supreme effort with a team this size. Taking on an MMO immediately afterward is not our current desire." Torchlight II is available on the Official Website and through Steam, and they each also offer a playable demo (thanks Frans), though there are no details on what this includes. Here's how the game is described:

The award-winning action RPG is back, bigger and better than ever! Torchlight II takes you back into the quirky, fast-paced world of bloodthirsty monsters, bountiful treasures, and sinister secrets - and, once again, the fate of the world is in your hands!

Torchlight II captures all the flavor and excitement of the original game - while expanding the world and adding the features players wanted most, including online and LAN co-op multiplayer. Torchlight II is fast, fun, and filled to the brim with action and loot. Adventure solo or online with your friends!

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71. Re: Torchlight II and Demo Available; MMO Questions Sep 22, 2012, 05:15 WaltC
RollinThundr wrote on Sep 22, 2012, 01:07:
I think a major reason TLII reminds people so much of Diablo 2 aside from the obvious being the same genre type of game, is it's like the ripped half the music and sound effects right from Diablo 2. Seriously listen to the musical arrangement during act 1, It's like a rearranged Diablo 2 Act 1 with some of the melody actually identical in spots.

Same thing with alot of the spell sounds/contact sounds, pretty much identical to Diablo 2. It's like after these guys got the axe at Blizz north they took the source code for D2 with em to reuse later.

At any rate for 20 bucks it's not bad. Visually it's terrible but eh it's a budget game.

You are exactly right! But what always seems to be forgotten in these discussions is that Runic consists of many developers who have already proven themselves by helping to create many games before T1 and T2. Runic may be an "indie" company, but it isn't staffed by "indie developers" by a long shot...;) The Runic developers include three developers, I believe, who originally founded Blizzard North and were on the development teams for both D1 and D2...! So, if anyone has the know-how and the ethical right to develop a game very similar spiritually to D2 and D2, it would be Runic, imo.

I really doubt there's a single song in the entire T2 sound track that directly copies and rips off a song or songs from the original games (that would be copyright infringement)--but what I think they've done is simply imitated the *style* of the music in D2 for T2, as opposed to the music itself, note for note. As for the sound effects--I noticed that they are similar, but certainly a bit different from the D2 sound effects. Even so, you are right in that both the sound track and sound effects scream "Diablo 2"!

It is very effective and it does put one in the "Diablo 2" mood...if such a thing actually exists..;) For some reason, D2 was perceived as a unique and highly original game at its release; so unique that lots of people who played T2 could instantly recognize the style of the music and sound effects as coming directly from the original two Diablo games. Considering how long it has been since I played Diablo 2, I think it's remarkable that we remember those games so well! There are dozens of good games I own or have owned and played over the years that I would be hard-pressed to identify by their sound tracks and sound effects, even though I may have loved the games! That's a great tribute to the earlier Diablo games--that we recall them so well.

I don't know what you mean about "terrible graphics"--they look very nice to me. The only graphics I did not care for were the cut-scenes (a different style from the game's art)--but at least they don't interfere with the gameplay. Aside from that it's the gameplay that I cherish most in a game--any game--and T2 brings that home dramatically. I think the game graphics are fine.

Four things I don't like about Diablo 3 that T2 handled far better:

*$20 is a great price for a new game--any game--if the game is any good, that is. (If a game is poor then even $20 MSRPs won't help it sell.) Not only is the cost light on our pocketbooks, it also will mean Runic will earn far more money than would have been true had they tried to get $60 a pop, because they will sell many more copies and also because of the very reasonable price tag, the game will be pirated far less than would have been the case at $60 a pop.

*Always-on Internet connection required even for the single-player version of Diablo 3. Terrible management strategy decision. T2 single player doesn't even look at the Internet...;)

*No modding allowed in D3--at all, whatsoever. Horrible management decision. As an example, Skyrim wouldn't be half the game that it is without the community mods that have flourished for the game. T2 will, of course, allow and encourage modders, but D3 will not allo community mods.

*the Auction Houses. In rpgs, even arpgs, the idea is to uncover special, really cool weapons and armor, among other things, in the very natural act of simply playing the game and exploring! The auction houses cheapen this concept if they do not downright hurt the game itself. I can't believe, knowing that, that some people would actually rather fork over *real money* to an AH to secure certain virtual items, instead of playing the game and finding them themselves--seems to me to be pretty much a kind of cheat that Blizzard has created in the game. Less objectionable is the second AH, because it only deals in in-game gold. But, no matter, it still takes exotic "loot" out of the game and puts in an Auction House. How can that not hurt the game?
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It is well known that I do not make mistakes--so if you should happen across a mistake in anything I have written, be assured that I did not write it!
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