Runic: Torchlight II Levels Three Times Bigger Than Original

Runic: Torchlight II Levels Three Times Bigger Than Original

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Critically acclaimed indie hack-and-slash Torchlight had tons of randomized dungeons. The sequel will do the same, only more so.

Gamers really loved 2009's Torchlight - it was everything we ever wanted in a Diablo clone, at a low price, from a cool indie studio that really cares about its players.

The one major flaw with Torchlight was that it had no multiplayer, a flaw which is being corrected (among others) in the sequel. Of course, putting four - or more - players in Torchlight's cramped, randomized corridors could be a bit hectic. That's why Runic is making its worlds significantly bigger for Torchlight II.

In an excellent post on the Torchlight II site, lead level designer Patrick Blank (which is a great name for a level designer, I might add) explained how the T2 team was approaching its environments - which, as in the last game, would be (mostly) randomized.

Passes are the tightest and most heavily themed zones in Torchlight II, that act as transitions from one area of the game to the next. While still possessing randomized elements and different possible configurations, these seem to be the closest Torchlight comes to genuinely scripted areas.

The big zones in the game, though, are the Overworld zones - and like the name would suggest, they're where a huge part of the adventuring takes place. While the Overworld levels will have certain concrete elements - like a river running from end to end of "The Temple Steppes" - they will be completely randomized.

To draw a comparison of size, Blank said that the largest areas in Torchlight were those at the Black Palace near the end of the game, and they were 6-7 "chunks" in size. The typical Overworld, on the other hand, is made up of 18 to 23 of the same "chunks," making it three times bigger than even the largest Torchlight floors.

There will also be randomized dungeons, of course. That's where the phat lewt is, and since Torchlight is about phat lewt, that's where you want to go. Blank said that the team had added new types of chunks to the dungeons like three-way marks and dead ends so it would be a less linear experience.

Read more on the Torchlight II site. I can't wait for this game - I only hope that Runic can get Torchlight II out the door before Diablo III hits, because then they'll be too busy playing that other game to finish their own.

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Damn it Runic. Why do you have to be so mean? I already had a hard enough time scouring the Torchlight maps because I'm the kind of gamer who has to explore every corner before moving to the next level.

Who needs Diablo 3 when there's Torchlight II? I'm quite excited for this, will be grabbing two copies for my partner and I as soon as it's available.

I'm really starting to look forward to this. I love those screenshots of the Temple Steppes, although I'm a sucker for any kind of ruin/jungle combo...

PHAT LEWTS!

Who cares? i played the old one and the levels where just go here then here then here and maybe a boss if your good, that's not fun that's boring(unless you like MMOs maybe you will like it then)

Slycne:
Damn it Runic. Why do you have to be so mean? I already had a hard enough time scouring the Torchlight maps because I'm the kind of gamer who has to explore every corner before moving to the next level.

This. I actually burned myself out quite a few times because the levels were so large, and I had to find every corner of them. That's why I stick to playing the game in 20-30 minute bursts now.

I have no idea why everyone jacked off to torchlight.
Did you actually play this game for some time? It's a terrible mess balance wise.
Some abilities are downright useless at higher levels due to bad scaling.
It's diablo 2 looking like WoW except with truckloads of depth removed and not polished enough.

9_6:
I have no idea why everyone jacked off to torchlight.
Did you actually play this game for some time? It's a terrible mess balance wise.
Some abilities are downright useless at higher levels due to bad scaling.
It's diablo 2 except with truckloads of depth removed and not polished enough.

I agree. I played it and I tried to like it, I really did, but damn, the levels were so freakin' boring and it just wasn't that fun to play.

What I'm concerned about is variation within the invididual areas. In Torchlight 1, all the rooms were based on canned setups, joined end-to-end (similar to Oblivion). It gets easy to recognize the patterns after a while. Even just a bit of variation in room setups and object placement would help here, although the best remedy might be a completely different system.

Any word on whether and when this could come to consoles like the original? Looks pretty damn cool, in any case.

I second the complaints about balance, scaling, and lack of level variety due to canned sections. Initially, Torchlight was scratching the right spot, but the above issues wrecked the re-playability.

Adding to the list of offenses, I wasn't very fond of the you-sank-my-battleship sized memory leaks either. The game needed restarting every few levels (every level for the fire/lava tilesets); the framerate bogged badly if I didn't.

I also encountered a savefile overwrite bug that destroyed several dozen hours of progress... that's when I stopped playing. Asking price was reasonable at 20 bucks, but after the savefile problem, I still feel like I got fleeced.

I have the first, and the little bit I've played was pretty fun, but really, get some damn controller support. I doubt I'd buy this one without it...

Bigger boring levels. Yay.

Runic should really look at Din's Curse, which, polish aside, is a vastly better single-player experience (and is already co-op).

9_6:
I have no idea why everyone jacked off to torchlight.
Did you actually play this game for some time? It's a terrible mess balance wise.
Some abilities are downright useless at higher levels due to bad scaling.
It's diablo 2 looking like WoW except with truckloads of depth removed and not polished enough.

Agree.

Gamers really loved 2009's Torchlight - it was everything we ever wanted in a Diablo clone, at a low price, from a cool indie studio that really cares about its players.

Laughable. This game is everything one doesn't want of a Diablo clone, the low price didn't improve anyones entertainment either.

Terrible skill selection, itemization, balance, boring combat, somewhat pointless "pets" and the worst story and lore I've experienced in a long time. And while everyone complains about the graphics of Diablo III this are the visuals / aesthetics that fans want from a cheap clone? Yeah, I'd call those guys hypocrites then.

Somehow this game got the hype rolling and everyone sympathizes with the Devs big time, probably because they're a small, "new" team.

GoGo_Boy:

Gamers really loved 2009's Torchlight - it was everything we ever wanted in a Diablo clone, at a low price, from a cool indie studio that really cares about its players.

Laughable. This game is everything one doesn't want of a Diablo clone, the low price didn't improve anyones entertainment either.

Terrible skill selection, itemization, balance, boring combat, somewhat pointless "pets" and the worst story and lore I've experienced in a long time. And while everyone complains about the graphics of Diablo III this are the visuals / aesthetics that fans want from a cheap clone? Yeah, I'd call those guys hypocrites then.

Somehow this game got the hype rolling and everyone sympathizes with the Devs big time, probably because they're a small, "new" team.

True, it seems it's two things at play here, rooting for the underdogs and disturbing increase in numbers of neo nerd hipster douchebags.

I blame the movies http://www.cracked.com/article_19183_6-tricks-movies-use-to-make-sure-you-root-right-guy.html

9_6:
I have no idea why everyone jacked off to torchlight.
Did you actually play this game for some time? It's a terrible mess balance wise.
Some abilities are downright useless at higher levels due to bad scaling.
It's diablo 2 looking like WoW except with truckloads of depth removed and not polished enough.

More like diablo 1, my god was I bored only half an hour into the game, indi developers or not, you do not bite of more then you can chew. Torchlight 1 sure did bite of a heap load more then it could chew ...

That was an interesting rad SonofSeth,
and truely those "neo nerd hipster douchebags" go on my nerve. People can support Indi Devs as much as they want but praising a game that's somewhat terrible in a lot aspects just because it is done by the innocent and suppressed developer Runic instead of say the Monsters that call themselves EA, Activision, Blizzard etc. takes the cake.

Those guys didn't improve anything upon Diablo II for Torchlight. They just copied most concepts and made them worse. Even the once that were already hugely flawed in Diablo II. There's even more potion spamming in Torchlight (which absolutely kills balance and possible combat variety). The item drop rate is beyond ridiculous and at the same time almost no item is worth shit of course. Instead of already badly done Mercs they put in pets which... well they're actually useful to get rid of the previously mentioned useless items, I guess.
Runic took the "randomized items!" idea way to far. I couldn't even care for any of my items because they didn't hold any value. It didn't even matter if I found a new I think purple item that was supposed to be high tier. Because duo to it's completely randomized attributes it wasn't any better then the rest of the stuff I got.
And on top of that you were able to easily enchant your crappy items to lol-what god tier level.

Whatever, I could go on and on. That game is so ridiculously flawed and being created by a small Studio and released for a small price doesn't change that. But them neo nerd hipster douchbags... (love that term).
They even don't care about the fact that Runic actually already messed up a title called Hellgate London when they basically just had a different name.

Unless they fill them with something interesting, I don't really care. In the last game the levels were just big empty rooms full of enemies. There was nothing interesting to see or do most of the time. After about the 6th or 7th scenery change it just became a chore to slog through them since there was nothing there but more dudes to kill. If there was multiplayer then yeah sure it'd be fine but just exploring, ugh. Lets hope having a friend along makes things more interesting.

Jumwa:
Who needs Diablo 3 when there's Torchlight II? I'm quite excited for this, will be grabbing two copies for my partner and I as soon as it's available.

I have to admit I agree. I enjoyed Diablo and all, but Torchlight just had more for me to like. It was extremely fun. And cost me a grand total of two, maybe three items, from a vending machine. It was fantastic.

BehattedWanderer:

Jumwa:
Who needs Diablo 3 when there's Torchlight II? I'm quite excited for this, will be grabbing two copies for my partner and I as soon as it's available.

I have to admit I agree. I enjoyed Diablo and all, but Torchlight just had more for me to like. It was extremely fun. And cost me a grand total of two, maybe three items, from a vending machine. It was fantastic.

That's probably one of the best parts of the game; you get a heaping load of value for your money. I don't mind paying a premium for a quality game, but the less I play for said game the more rewarded I feel.

But the issue of multiplayer (I should say its lack there of in the original) aside, Torchlight takes a backseat to none.

Daystar Clarion:

9_6:
I have no idea why everyone jacked off to torchlight.
Did you actually play this game for some time? It's a terrible mess balance wise.
Some abilities are downright useless at higher levels due to bad scaling.
It's diablo 2 except with truckloads of depth removed and not polished enough.

I agree. I played it and I tried to like it, I really did, but damn, the levels were so freakin' boring and it just wasn't that fun to play.

Basically this. It was so boring to get into, I just switched it off after half an hour.

I'll be too busy playing Torchlight 2 to care about a crippled Diablo 3.

GoGo_Boy:
That was an interesting rad SonofSeth,
and truely those "neo nerd hipster douchebags" go on my nerve. People can support Indi Devs as much as they want but praising a game that's somewhat terrible in a lot aspects just because it is done by the innocent and suppressed developer Runic instead of say the Monsters that call themselves EA, Activision, Blizzard etc. takes the cake.

Those guys didn't improve anything upon Diablo II for Torchlight. They just copied most concepts and made them worse. Even the once that were already hugely flawed in Diablo II. There's even more potion spamming in Torchlight (which absolutely kills balance and possible combat variety). The item drop rate is beyond ridiculous and at the same time almost no item is worth shit of course. Instead of already badly done Mercs they put in pets which... well they're actually useful to get rid of the previously mentioned useless items, I guess.
Runic took the "randomized items!" idea way to far. I couldn't even care for any of my items because they didn't hold any value. It didn't even matter if I found a new I think purple item that was supposed to be high tier. Because duo to it's completely randomized attributes it wasn't any better then the rest of the stuff I got.
And on top of that you were able to easily enchant your crappy items to lol-what god tier level.

Whatever, I could go on and on. That game is so ridiculously flawed and being created by a small Studio and released for a small price doesn't change that. But them neo nerd hipster douchbags... (love that term).
They even don't care about the fact that Runic actually already messed up a title called Hellgate London when they basically just had a different name.

So because someone enjoys a game by an indie developer, that automatically makes them a 'neo nerd hipster douchebag' if they give them any kind of praise for it? Obviously you aren't a believer in the value of the subjective experience, and therefore there can be no conclusion other than that Torchlight sucked and anyone claiming to have enjoyed it is just being pretentious to align themselves with the 'indie' crowd.

That's the same kind of close-minded thinking you're accusing these people of. How ironic. I enjoyed my first playthrough of Torchlight, but found it didn't have much replay value because the character classes and items were too homogenous. That said, I thought it made an important contribution to the action RPG genre by properly balancing the game so that at higher levels your basic 'trash' mobs didn't take hours to kill like in Diablo and Titan Quest. Some people take the view that this makes it too easy, but I like the principle of the idea: don't make basic mobs a chore, make them a test of your efficiency to carve through, and save the difficulty for the elite creatures and boss monsters. That way you strike a good balance between challenging the player and letting them feel like a crazy badass. For that reason I think Torchlight deserves some praise. And hey, any company that actually releases a demo for Mac in this day and age deserves at least a little support.

 

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