Torchlight II – Look Out Diablo III

Runic Games, who put out last year’s excellent light dungeon romp, Torchlight (which sold more than half a million copies and which you can now buy in a box on the shelf at Fry’s) has got something new lined up for us.

Torchlight II

Torchlight II is slated for Spring 2011 and it will address some of the “I want” features that many of us asked for.

Key game features listed on the Torchlight II site:

  • Multi-player – Play with your friends over a local area network, or over the Internet. A free matchmaking peer-to-peer service lets you make new friends for exciting co-op play.
  • Customizable Characters – Players create and customize a character from one of four classes available and choose an animal companion. Through cosmetic, class, and gender choices, skill path decisions, and the treasures they acquire, each character can be custom-tailored to each player’s needs.
  • Moddability – Torchlight II will release with an updated version of TorchEd, the Torchlight editor. Players have the option to create their own mods, adding even more content to the world. You and your friends can download the same mod and play together!
  • New User Interface – Torchlight II boasts an entirely new, improved user interface, designed to be easier than ever for new players to pick up and play. Thanks to this intuitive interface, players have immediate access to a rich and varied world, with little experience necessary.
  • Overworld Areas – Torchlight II has large randomized overworld areas to explore with weather, time of day cycles, and random events that provide players with even more content to experience.
  • Random Dungeons – Delve into randomly generated dungeons within the game at any time for extra experience and rare loot. Dungeons in Torchlight II have even more branching paths to explore with friends filled with random events, rewards and dangers.
  • Retirement System – Once characters are sufficiently leveled up, they can “retire” and bestow specific benefits and perks onto new characters.
  • Pets – Players choose a pet to accompany them. Pets level up along with the player, and help in battle, learn spells, carry items, and perform a variety of support services.
  • Fishing – Fishing returns in the sequel! Players can take a break from the high-energy pace of adventuring to relax by one of the many fishing holes and see what they can catch. Fish have unique benefits for the player and pet, while a number of other rewards can also be discovered.

Clearly, multi-player Co-op play is the huge item on the list.  That, for me, was the big missing piece from Torchlight.

And then there is the promised date.  If Runic can make Spring 2011 I am sure they will beat Diablo III to market by a wide margin.

Of course, the team at Runic Games was largely responsible for the Diablo series, so it is no wonder they might be lighter on their feet when creating another game in that genre.

10 thoughts on “Torchlight II – Look Out Diablo III

  1. Frankerson P

    Definitely looking forward to this game! I’ll be much more likely to pay for and play this game than Diablo 3.

    Would love to see the ‘retirement’ concept in WoW. Maybe hand down my achievements to a new character after shelving my first ‘main’ and choosing a new one.

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  2. SynCaine

    It might not be better (I mean look how much SC2 improved SC1!), but at least I won’t have to pay $180 to get the full story, or make it easier for internet strangers to come and murder me. Small bonuses, I know, but hey…

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  3. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Hudson – Yeah, of course, the people who made Diablo and Diablo II have no business making something that might compete with Diablo III. What would they know?

    How is that sarcasm?

    Anyway, the game doesn’t have to necessarily be better, it just has to be good and come out before Diablo III to have an impact. If it ends up being lighter, cheaper, and supports a few features that Diablo III misses (like LAN play) and it will end up being mentioned in Diablo III reviews as a comparison, and that will end up being a huge win for Runic.

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  4. captain Braddock

    Thx for the heads up. i downloaded the demo for torchlight I and had a blast. you clearly feel the diablo background in it. The best part it is lighter and more humor . less complicated then titan quest too.
    it feels like a fresh air for this type of games. so yes going to buy the I and the II when it comes out. multiplayer will be a blast.

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  5. Aufero

    I have yet to figure out why I hated Torchlight, since I loved Diablo II and played it over and over for years. Was it the lack of multiplayer? The forgettable music? The fact that I couldn’t identify a storyline beyond “enter dungeon, kill stuff”?

    I dunno. It just felt… generic. Polished, but not very interesting. I guess if Torchlight II gets rave reviews I’ll try it to see if this one is better, but otherwise I doubt I’ll bother.

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  6. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Duke Nukem Forever is at the top of an asymptote. Figure out how to get to the other side and you get to play. You’ll see the heat death of the universe before DNF. Diablo III will surely ship before that.

    Hey, you just missed posting the 10,000th comment on the blog. Yours is comment #10,001. No prize.

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