Daily Archives: August 27, 2012

Rift – Population Problem? What Population Problem? Factions? What Factions?

It was a quiet weekend in Telara.

While I have only my own server, Shatterbone, on which to base my observations, the weekend before last instant adventure groups at prime time were nearly full raid size affairs.

A Healthy Prime Time Group

This past weekend though, the numbers began to falter.   After a reasonable start, things began to fade. The biggest instant adventure group I saw starting Saturday afternoon had all of six people.  And four of them were the instance group, which joined together.  More common were groups of 2-4 players.

A small group is still manageable.  The requirements for each instant adventure quest gets scaled somewhat based on group size.  Twice though I walked away from groups because the size was too small for the task.

Once it was just my warrior and a rogue, and we could not take down the “one in seven” boss encounter.  Another time there was a zone event in Freemarch and there were just enough people to prolong the whole thing, but not enough to defeat it.  More wipes on the first boss in the event made me walk away again.

Of course, I imagine that the Guild Wars 2 “make our most dedicated fans suffer” pre-launch weekend had something to do with this.  And I also suspect that the impact of GW2 is being magnified somewhat by the fact that, at least here in the US, school is starting up for the fall quarter/semester.  Every district in my valley either started last week or is starting this week.  The universities are warming up as well.

And while the school starting won’t stop anybody from playing their favorite game, it does place time demands on both parents and children such that you might not spend time with your second best MMO.

So Rift is in a bit of a bind.

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Torchlight II – A Date for a Date

Diablo III has been walking the earth for months now.  It has effectively added 100 levels of character development (sort of) and resolved any number of issues, save the issues that seem to bug people the most… such as that fact that you must be online and logged in to play.

Meanwhile, the challenger Diablo III’s position as the rightful heir to Diablo II has remained fairly quiet.  There has not been much in the way of “real” news about Torchlight II.

There have been tidbits. We have seen updates about which acts have been completed, comparisons with the original Torchilght, and complaints about other studios stealing assets from Runic.  But nothing really concrete has made its way to the public.

1 vs. 2 comparison chart

Until now.

Runic Games has announced that they will announce the Torchlight II release date this Friday, August 31st, at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX).

So we will know soon.

My guess is November 5th.  That would put it just before the holidays with enough time for some fixes before the long winter break play sessions begin in earnest.

When do you think we will see Torchlight II?