[Note to Massively readers: The “no-holds-barred Thunderdome deathmatch” was cancelled, the honeybadger called in sick. We’re having a tea party instead. If you are looking for a post complaining about Diablo III requiring you to be online to play, go read this.]
Runic Games had a Torchlight II beta event this past weekend. A beta event during the first weekend after Diablo III launched. Crazy, right?
Maybe, and maybe not.
Certainly there is a lot of anti-Blizzard ire in the air after the rocky launch day made error 37 the banner around which those angry about the always “connected nature” of Diablo III could rally. Torchlight II, as detailed in this comparo chart, offers up online, LAN, and offline modes of play. The latter seemed pretty attractive last week.
While I had seen updates from Runic about the beta, I was not planning to join in on it. You know… first weekend of Diablo III and all that. But they sent me a key for the event, and the download was pretty painless at 750 MB… versus 7GB for Diablo III… which is a little over an hour of file transfer with my internet connection.
The download went while we ate dinner, and when the time finally came, I was able to sit down and launch into Torchlight II.
I logged in (the beta is online mode only, so just like D3), made a character (berserker, the melee class), picked my pet (wolf), got into the game, and spent about 10 minutes running around.
At that point I was a bit dismayed with the graphical style so logged off and went off and played Diablo III for the next three hours. And D3 was glorious. I got through most of Act II, played with another friend for a while, and had a great time.
In the light of the next morning though, I felt that I had, perhaps, given Torchlight short shrift. So I went back and played it for a couple of hours, just to be sure I got it. And it was a good thing I did, as Torchlight II really has much to recommend it.
The key difference between the two games is what each team decided was important to continue the legacy of Diablo II.
After the break, a long discussion of how they differ, which I attempted to organize. I did not do a very good job.