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Torchlight 2 Free Weekend

A free weekend is now underway on Steam for Torchlight 2, Runic's action/RPG sequel. According to Steam news this will run from now until Sunday at 4:00 pm EST. Those who enjoy the experience may find themselves tempted by the current sale price on the game, as it is being offered for 75% off.

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23. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 12, 2014, 01:14 Jivaro
 
I can't really get behind any theory or opinion that is based on the concept that a game must sell well to have been good. Sales numbers are a generally accepted component of making good future business decisions, that does not necessarily mean that they are a good indication of quality game design. The theory only works when an individual's subjective opinion happens to fall in line with the mass market opinion. Any reader of this board should be pretty familiar with fantastic games that fail from a sales point of view while absolutely crap games sell millions. It's been happening for years and nearly all of us have commented on it at some point.

The fact is that it is all subjective and when a development decision changes a game in a way that significantly separates itself from an industry standard like Diablo 2 there will inevitably be comparisons and target audience division. If a new ARPG fails to draw in gamers that don't normally play ARPGs how will they ever sell as many copies as the industry standard when they are dividing the market? In the absence of a lot of marketing money the answer is simple: they won't. That has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the game. It's simply a risk you take when you try to innovate. Some folks are going to appreciate it and some are going to hate it. I mean, bottom line, if Titan Quest was so bad would Grim Dawn even be a thing? A strong argument could be made that without the Titan Quest bloodline on it's resume, Grim Dawn never gets made. (and Grim Dawn is fantastic by the way!)

edit: I wasn't going to comment on the DS thing since I am only a moderate fan of that series but the idea that D2's quality or sales had anything to do with the disaster that was DS3 seems unlikely. DS3 was made with consoles as the priority sales platform, that is why it was less accepted by the very same fans that loved DS1 and DS2, games which were made for the PC first. When you make such a huge and fundamental change to your design you are rolling the dice in a big way because you will most likely piss off your core audience. If you don't succeed in growing a new audience who are you selling the game too? The reason for the change is more likely to be because the publisher thought they could sell more copies to a new audience on the consoles than they could to an old audience on PC. It isn't a huge leap in logic. The console versions of the previous games probably sold well enough to convince the suits that if DS3 was console oriented from the get-go it would be a bigger seller on closed platforms that have less piracy and higher margins. Again, not a new thing for any of us on this board to see from this industry. Even with all the success that Steam and other digital distributors have brought to the PC gaming industry we still see this same decision being made by both developers and publishers. When it works, it works big. I assume that is why publishers and developers take the chance in the first place.

This comment was edited on Jan 12, 2014, 02:19.
 
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22. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 10, 2014, 17:09 Suppa7
 
Darks wrote on Jan 10, 2014, 09:43:
Well, that your opinion, but many of us here actually enjoyed DS2 and still do.

Except both Titan's quest an DS2 failed financially, i.e. they didn't have that addictive quality everyone cloning diablo was trying to replicate. Remember diablo was such a phenomenon it spread by word of mouth, it was so good you wanted other people to play it. That's why it became the juggernaut it was.

DS3's design was radically changed due to DS2's low sales in a bid to try to reboot the series.

The sales tell the tale that everyone trying to make ARPG's taking inspiration from diablo were making fundamental mistakes and not understanding why diablo was successful.

The only dev's that have truly understood diablo so far are the path of exile team. It's part of the reason why Path of exile has so many players and has such a high meta score. With TL2 not too far behind.

This comment was edited on Jan 10, 2014, 17:18.
 
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21. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 10, 2014, 16:44 Jivaro
 
Verno wrote on Jan 10, 2014, 09:21:
TL2 was great for what it was, I never expected 300 hours of longevity out of it but I enjoyed the whole experience.

Yeah, my opinion as well. I have also enjoyed many of the community mods. Currently have the Synergies mod installed along with 2 or 3 texture packs. If the Torchlight series didn't have modding I think I would still have really enjoyed it, just not for as long.

Verno wrote on Jan 10, 2014, 13:51:
Dungeon Siege 3 was really consolized and forgettable IMO. I loved the first game, we used to have big lan parties for it on Arsclan.

The first two games were fun I thought. I agree on the third...I couldn't even get passed the first 1 or 2 hour or two. It felt as generic as that Gameloft game Dungeon Hunter. I don't know if it's the camera or the controls but the whole feel of the game just really rubbed me the wrong way.
 
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20. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 10, 2014, 13:51 Verno
 
Dungeon Siege 3 was really consolized and forgettable IMO. I loved the first game, we used to have big lan parties for it on Arsclan.  
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19. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 10, 2014, 12:46 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
Torchlight 2 isn't bad and there are some decent mods, but I admit I've put more time into Titan Quest and Diablo 3 than TL2/TL1. Titan Quest is great with mods, by the way, much like Diablo 2 with mods is outstanding, after you get tired of the vanilla version.

Dungeon Siege... is an acquired taste. Each of the games was different enough that it's best to discuss them separately, imo. Dungeon Siege 1 was enjoyable to me purely from the ability to have an 8 person party in an ARPG, although some of the maps were just way to big and uniform. A thousand of the square head guys throwing rocks, in a vast underground plain? Ok. A massive winter wilderness full of wolves who need to get pin cushioned with arrows? Ok. I liked the smaller levels better, it just got annoying grinding through some of the outdoor zones.

Dungeon Siege 2, better combat model by far, somewhat crappy loot system, and the penalty of smaller parties. Still, a pretty interesting game, with a good pause/issue order combat system to make use of all your characters' abilities.

Dungeon Siege 3, the demo put me to sleep, couldn't bring myself to ever buy it, but every now and then I run across somebody who loved it. I subsequently shun those people.

Speaking of ARPGs, I hope you all have Grim Dawn on your radar. Even the Alpha version that's available now is pretty good, I'm looking forward to the full release.
 
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18. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 10, 2014, 09:43 Darks
 
Suppa7 wrote on Jan 10, 2014, 00:54:
descender wrote on Jan 10, 2014, 00:04:
Whenever I get an ARPG itch I go back and play Dungeon Siege 2.

I don't know why that game doesn't get more credit. It was everything Diablo 2 was and more, just without battle.net.

Sacred 2 and the TQ expansion were good, but they just don't draw me back like DS2 does.

Putting dungeon siege and diablo in the same sentence is laughable. DS took the auto-combat route, Dungeon siege 2 copied all that MMO AI controlled combat shit that didn't exist in diablo. The dungeon siege games were games you watched more than you played. What the original DS had going for it was the atmosphere and the unique way skills leveled up. Dungeon siege 2 was a giant snorefest and broke everything that was good about the first one. DS1 was alright because it sat on the knife's edge of player participation and novelty, DS2 was just broken on such a fundamental level.

Well, that your opinion, but many of us here actually enjoyed DS2 and still do. As for the auto combat, that was done purposely because of the sheer amount of enemies you had to deal with at one time. it was way too hard to have to manually attack everything. And apparently you didnít look at the option very closely. You could turn off the auto attack at any time.
 
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17. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 10, 2014, 09:21 Verno
 
TL2 was great for what it was, I never expected 300 hours of longevity out of it but I enjoyed the whole experience.  
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16. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 10, 2014, 07:54 PHJF
 
Dungeon Siege 2 was great and way improved over the original.  
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15. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 10, 2014, 07:15 Optional Nickname!
 
mazling wrote on Jan 10, 2014, 06:15:
Nox ftw.

Thanks for that! Diablo II overshadowed so many games in its time, only now is there time enough for them.
 
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14. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 10, 2014, 06:15 mazling
 
Nox ftw.  
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13. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 10, 2014, 04:28 christheshitter
 
Torchelight 2 for free? Damn!

Thanks!
 
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12. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 10, 2014, 01:41 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Suppa7 wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 18:35:
It's too bad none of the ARPG games had what diablo 1 + 2 had on release. I can't say I've been impressed by any of them. Path of Exile comes closest to replicating the factors that made the original diablo a success but the loot system and the poor combat means it's longevity is going not be as good.

The reason diablo 2 worked so well is the combat was more involved then what all the ARPG's so far have done. TL2 was especially boring where a majority of the attacks just feel like re-skinned basic attacks.
What's wrong with the loot system and combat? The combat is definitely more interesting than most ARPGs. The only thing that I think really needs improvement is the monster reaction animations.
 
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11. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 10, 2014, 00:54 Suppa7
 
descender wrote on Jan 10, 2014, 00:04:
Whenever I get an ARPG itch I go back and play Dungeon Siege 2.

I don't know why that game doesn't get more credit. It was everything Diablo 2 was and more, just without battle.net.

Sacred 2 and the TQ expansion were good, but they just don't draw me back like DS2 does.

Putting dungeon siege and diablo in the same sentence is laughable. DS took the auto-combat route, Dungeon siege 2 copied all that MMO AI controlled combat shit that didn't exist in diablo. The dungeon siege games were games you watched more than you played. What the original DS had going for it was the atmosphere and the unique way skills leveled up. Dungeon siege 2 was a giant snorefest and broke everything that was good about the first one. DS1 was alright because it sat on the knife's edge of player participation and novelty, DS2 was just broken on such a fundamental level.
 
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10. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 10, 2014, 00:04 descender
 
Whenever I get an ARPG itch I go back and play Dungeon Siege 2.

I don't know why that game doesn't get more credit. It was everything Diablo 2 was and more, just without battle.net.

Sacred 2 and the TQ expansion were good, but they just don't draw me back like DS2 does.
 
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9. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 9, 2014, 22:26 Jivaro
 
ARPGs are just like every other genre, everyone has certain aspects they find preferable. I LOVED Sacred 2. Still play it on occasion. Most people I know hated it.  
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8. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 9, 2014, 21:09 panbient
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 19:40:
Diablo 1 kicked ass because it was dark and gritty. Torchlight is too bright and cute. And Tit Quest wasn't that good but the expansion was.

Diablo 1 kicked ass despite being super dark and gritty. The 2nd area is almost entirely black and dark brown with either invisible monsters, brown demons, or grey goatmen. And that lasts for 25% of the game.

I played through it again last month for the first time in years and what struck me most was how narrow the scope and variety of the loot was compared to later games (regular white items, blue magic, and gold uniques). What's really amazing though is that I never felt the need for more types. The game wasn't just about collecting gear for your character. It was about creating a character capable of beating Diablo. Once. Then it was over, THE END. Start a new character, and see what kind of hero you can come up with given the variety of random drops.

Like others have said, the original focus was the action with the loot and RPG stuff tacked on to support it. That's what all the others got wrong (except D2 of course).
 
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7. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 9, 2014, 20:50 PHJF
 
Titan Quest was made on the fact you could dual class. Loot was all right, and doing enough damage to send enemies ragdolling across the screen never got old, but experimenting with class combos kept me playing for a hell of a lot longer than I played Torchlight 1 or 2.  
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6. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 9, 2014, 19:40 Cutter
 
Diablo 1 kicked ass because it was dark and gritty. Torchlight is too bright and cute. And Tit Quest wasn't that good but the expansion was.
 
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5. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 9, 2014, 19:33 Suppa7
 
btallas wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 19:24:
In my opinion the only game that came close to diablo 2 was titan quest. Looking forward to grim dawn (since it's being designed by the titan quest devs), tempted to buy the steam early release.

Titan's quest had crappy combat, and the world building was all over the map. The consistency of TQ's world was pretty shitty but the art was gorgeous I'll give it that. The loot also sucked balls let's be honest.

The thing that made diablo a success was the action oriented combat when combined with the loot and it was basically a game that borrowed heavily from the fighting game genre without the developers knowing it. That's why developers have a such a hard time replicating the addictiveness of the original diablo. Lets not forget TQ flopped from a publisher perspective. It covered it's costs but TQ never got a sequel.

How many of us still play TQ/TL? I can go back and pickup diablo and get re-immersed if I force myself too. I can't do that with TQ or any other ARPG.
 
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4. Re: Torchlight 2 Free Weekend Jan 9, 2014, 19:27 Suppa7
 
PHJF wrote on Jan 9, 2014, 18:55:
TL2 was especially boring where a majority of the attacks just feel like re-skinned basic attacks.

Really thought they'd pull it off. TL1 was a great start but they utterly failed to move forward in any capacity. A boring game with coop is still a boring game.

TL2 was a lot better then TL1 and it had some improvements over diablo (like pets don't get me wrong), but it had issues. Especially towards the end of the game. After I went through on normal difficulty I had no urge to play it again like I did with diablo 2. The loot design wasn't good, most of the stuff you found in Torchlight was crap or only marginally better. The level requirements on loot were poorly designed, the designers were 'obsessed' with balance to a negative degree. Part of the fun of the original diablo 1 (and Diablo 2 before they patched in all the level req) was twinking your character with overpowered weapons.

Now I don't mind level limited equipment but if you're going to put in level limits then the loot design better be perfected. Remember how many set items in diablo 2 became worthless after they put the level requirements in to stop twinking? So special/set items in diablo 2 juts became worthless. Torchlight 2 never learned from all the stupid shit the devs did with diablo 2.

So it's just lots of little things that the developers didn't notice about diablo and diablo 2. They never really put a lot of effort into researching what made diablo so addictive. Thats why developers tend to get frustrated - they didn't know enough about what made the game a success.

All the ARPG developers are totally missing the fundamental connection between fighting/action games and their combat system because of the isometric camera perspective and tradition blind them when they look at the game as "RPG first" instead of "action game first".

Consider the paladin as a melee class in diablo 2. The melee class in TL2 is exceedingly boring because the developers didn't understand that diablo 2 (whether the original devs of diablo knew it or not) were borrowing heavily from the fighting game genre.

You could take soul-calibur 2 (a swords and shields fighting game) force the fighting game camera to isometric and you'd have a great foundation for a sequel to traditional action RPG's with some minor tweaks. In soul calibur 2 you had dungeons where you took on enemies 1 v 1, if you free'd up the combat system from being locked on a single opponent you'd be setup for a great game.

It took me years to figure out why I didn't like Titan's quest even though I wanted to like it. I knew that technically Iron lore had made almost all the right decisions totally replicating diablo but unconsciously I knew there was something wrong with Titan's quest and I finally found an answer.

Titan's quest by all measures in theory should have been addictive and as successful as diablo. One part of my brain kept telling me "It's almost exactly the same as diablo, so why am I not finding it fun?". So there was something titan's quest didn't replicate from the original series that everyone was missing. I'm sure Iron lore was scratching their heads after the flat response and really slow burn with the sales.

The problem with ARPG's is they never realized the were just fighting games in the vein of Soul calibur with a fixed isometric camera. IT took me the better part of a decade to figure it out. In theory I should have loved titan's quest to pieces, but I got bored of it and the addictiveness factor wasn't there. IT had no replayability. Almost all ARPG's lack the replayability the original d1 and d2 had where we lost weekends to the game without interruption. Where modern ARPG's we can take them or leave them even when they are first released. There's not that 'pull' that really good games have (diablo, civilization, alpha centauri, etc).

This comment was edited on Jan 9, 2014, 20:43.
 
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