#5: TorchLight was $20. And TorchLight 2 will be $20 as well!
I tried getting some more info out of Max Schaefer at PAX East regarding price and while it seems like he wasn’t willing to comment directly to me, Joystiq had posted, “He doesn’t want to be the “cheap” alternative, simply the less expensive one at a $20 price.” (Source) Being 66% less expensive than your competition is an awfully attractive proposition. Especially when you consider that TorchLight 2 is a quality game. Luckily, Blizzard can’t just buy the rights to Isometric Action-RPGs like EA bought the NFL license to stop a certain competitor from beating Madden in both price and quality. Again, I can’t confirm that this $20 price is set in stone. Perhaps Max was alluding to the price when I was discussing things with him.
Max was very careful to not let definitive things slip but there were clues dropped constantly, so do take this info with a little bit of salt. If I was a betting man, I’d say the chances are very good we’ll see a price around $20. (Edit: Just got confirmation from Runic Games that TorchLight 2 will indeed be $20.)
#4: Netbook Mode (?)
This is another thing Max and I talked about. One of the nice features for TorchLight 1 was a mode called, “Netbook mode”. The idea being, once the user activates this mode an unknown amount of extras and other junk were disabled to run on lightweight computers. Pretty nifty and helpful. When I quizzed Max about this feature making an appearance with Torchlight 2, again I was met with a neutral comment. I learned that during the development of Torchlight for XBLA, initially the game ran very slow. A good deal of optimizations had to be done get the XBLA build running at a playable framerate. Supposedly, these very optimizations were carried over to TorchLight 2 and could benefit lower powered computers. The wrench gets thrown into the works when you realize that TorchLight 2 has been expanded a great deal. More effects, higher details, larger environments. MORE, MOAR! Despite this, Max did drop one line that raised my eyebrow. I didn’t record the conversation, so I’m paraphrasing here, “Well, there are new netbooks”. Again, nothing definitive but potentially having the minimum specs for PC hovering around current netbooks ain’t too bad. Let me stress this though, this has not been confirmed. What I can confirm for you now though is: Diablo 3 most definitely does not run on a netbook.
Taken straight from the press release:
Moddability – Torchlight II will release with an all new version of TorchEd, the Torchlight editor. Players will have the option to create their own mods, adding even more content to the world. Have your friends download the same mod and play together.
Guaranteed, modding will be making another appearance in Torchlight 2. Oft sighted as one of the major bullet points for most PC games is the ability to add/alter content in a game.
Blizzard, on the other hand, will not support modding of Diablo 3 (source):
#2: Offline Mode and Lan Support
For a lot of people, this is a huge issue. Probably the most important issue, but it’s only #2 on my list. I think this topic is pretty self explanatory. Diablo 3 will need a constant internet connection to work, most likely because of the auction house that can work with real world monies. In an effort to curb cheating that would potentially make a few individuals some quick cash, this constant internet connection should create a closed system of virtual goods that are generated properly from fallen loot or crafted items that rely solely on the in-game random number generator. Also piracy ‘protection’. At the very least they will create one real Diablo universe on b.net and many, many fake b.nets running hacked clients.
Refreshingly, Runic Games has gone on record stating that the single player campaign can indeed run offline. Not only that, TorchLight 2 will also include offline LAN play. The only catch for LAN support being that everyone on the LAN needs to have the same build/mods as the other players. Which, I think we can all agree, is quite fair.
#1: Made by the people who created Diablo And Diablo 2
It’s a shame that more people aren’t aware of this. Some key people who designed D1&D2 are housed inside Runic Games and work on the Torchlight series. These people include:
- Max Schaefer
- Erich Schaefer
- Peter Hu
- Matt Uelmen
It’s for this reason, in my opinion, that the feel of Torchlight is very reminiscent of Diablo 1&2 in a number of ways. It has to be a bittersweet experience for the team at Runic Games. Diablo as a series has so much weight behind it from a percentage of people that are now directly competing against it. Hell, it was bittersweet for me to see only six or so stations at the Nvidia booth compared to the comparatively infinite spotlight on Diablo 3 and other Blizzard games. The only thing that made the situation slightly better was that the people who lined up to play Diablo 3, ironically, couldn’t play because the internet connection was down at the time. Haha, the ironing is delicious.