I've got one huge complaint with Torchlight II, and lately with the genre in general, and that is the fact that they made Act II take place in a mother fucking desert. I think we can all agree that Diablo II was one of, if not *the* best mouse destroying action-rpg of all time, but do we seriously need to keep setting our second act in a fucking sand castle? I laughed when Diablo III put it's second act in the dunes like its predecessor did, but now I just have to call bullshit. If Act III is in a swamp, I am going to shit myself in anger. That's what angry people do, right? Shit themselves?
Now that the hard part is out of the way, I fucking love this game. I've put more time into it nonstop since its launch than I did into Diablo III's, and that doesn't even consider the fact that I can actually PLAY this game at launch by myself. Offline. What a fucking breakthrough. Granted, the multiplayer is broken as I write this, but that's almost expected at this point with a PC launch. As long as they get that fixed in a timely manner, I won't really let it bother me because I CAN PLAY THIS GAME OFFLINE.
I also actually feel like a bad-ass, sometimes dropping up to five or six monsters with one attack. Normal difficulty is a bit easy if you have even heard of this style of game, and there is even a Casual selection. Who is that for? My fucking cat? Veteran seems to offer a nice sweet spot for anyone who understands how they should be spending their stat points each level.
The game is colorful and pretty to look at. It might not have the detail of Diablo III, but it is easier on the eyes, and seems to have more character in its artwork. Color is used nicely, without being all up in my shit, and gives the environment life. Blood and gibs shower down around me nicely, without getting in the way of what I'm trying to see.
The world is also much more open and alive than in the previous game. I'm not stuck in one town, and I'm not always in a cave. I'm half way through Act II and the game already feels much larger than the original by far. The quests aren't as bland as they were the first time around, and there are even little monsters that spawn portals to challenge areas when you kill them. One of these had me raising various totems while fighting some skeletons with shitty wooden shields that broke once I smacked the damn thing once with my massive axe.
I'm fucking this shit up as an Engineer, which is kind of like if Diablo II's Barbarian and Necromancer got it on under the Armor cart on a cold night, and shat out a steampunk baby. Healing bots and machinegun turrets can help out in a pinch, and I can summon up some spider mines like I am Jim-Fucking-Raynor. I've got a nice spread of passive skills to improve survivability, and I have my main attacks figured out. The skill trees are not as restrictive as we have seen in the past. They aren't really trees at all, really. You don't have to know a prerequisite ability to learn the one you are after, and if you plan ahead, you shouldn't have any points that feel wasted.
The sound department is the one area I think they could have spent a little more time on. The music is just kind of there, and at this point I'm not sure I could even distinguish it from Diablo II's soundtrack. It also seems to repeat a little too much, and I find myself wishing it just wasn't there at all and I had some better ambience to set the mood. I can of course turn it off, but I can't magically summon up some background noises. Yet.
The TorchED Mod tools that they are promising us sound amazing, and I am really interested to see what the community does with them. Depending on how much they let us play with, we could end up with some amazing mods. And no, I'm not talking about that fucking mod that makes everyone's clothes fall off and gives them huge anime eyes that will hit the servers in literally five seconds after the editor is released. Will they give us tools powerful enough to completely change the gameplay? Some fucker turned Quake into a racing game, so can I turn Torchlight II into god damned Mario Brothers? I'm very curious.
Overall, the changes from Torchlight to Torchlight II are about what we had when we went from Diablo to Diablo II. This game really kind of feels like Diablo II II, if that makes sense. We get outside areas, new towns, new class/skill trees, and it refines the same gameplay we have come to expect from these clickfests. Torchlight II sports an easy 20 dollar price tag. Much cheaper than Diablo III, and in my opinion, a much better game as well.
I had to smile when I saw the title.
This is what I have been saying, without exception, in every hack and loot I have played since Diablo 2. Act 2/the middle of the game is ALWAYS set in a fucking desert. Theres always scorpion monsters, and theres always THAT fucking enemy that burrows under the ground, pops up again and does like 2 damage, then fucking burrows underground again, leaving you running around like you're playing an infinitely more annoying and less fun version of whack-a-mole.
And now it turns out Torchlight 2 is no exception to this rule. Well, fuck that. Even less incentive to play it.
I was thinking "Homestuck" when I saw this. And then Uncharted. And then a bunch of different things.
Maybe the "Second act is a desert" trope goes a little farther than you think?
You will be dissapointed as i reached Act 3 yesterday and it's some Forest/Swamp area. Already having much more fun than i ever had with diable 3 though.
I thought "Fable 3" when I saw the title. The time out in Auroa was boring as hell.
I only skimmed, since it was so bloody long, but this is written almost as if you don't know who Runic are.
first of the guys at runic did apparently work on diablo 2 so yeah, probably some over lay here and there is to be expected. act 2 is usually a desert because it lets them do some pretty distinct art shifts between overworld and dungeons, and the art guys love contrast, the sound track is by matt uelmen (thinks that how you spell it?) who did the music to diablo 2 so yeah similarities are to be expected.
the game is good, not had chance play multilpayer yet, with my mates internet being crappy atm so been soloing, and here is what i think, engineer is over powered as fuck, sword and board and an entourage means i only die when swarmed, or if my healbot gets randomly aoe'ed. zerker is the funniest to play, outlander is built for multiplayer, and embermage is crappy.
the game is really good, i like the skill tiers even if some of them are pretty boring, but considering it was a last minute change they are awesome, also proc weapons are fun, i mean really really fun,
I think this trope is literally old as sand.
Just ask these guys:
The music was the first thing I was going to mention. They're going for much of the same tone and use a lot of the same instruments, not to mention at least 3 clear motifs I picked up that they pretty much lifted from the game. I get that you have a hard-on for Diablo 2, guys, and I don't know if this is a form of pride or spite, but please stop, it just doesn't reflect well on you to act like a one trick pony. I can't even really try to judge the music in its quality, it's so fucking derivative of Diablo 2. 'Least it's better than Diablo 3's soundtrack, I suppose, but that's not saying much.
As an addendum on that note, the music doesn't even fit the game tonally. Simply does not fit at all with the cartoony style of the game. I said I can't judge it, but that may not have been entirely true. It's very derivative, and doesn't fit the tone of the game too well, so an 6 at best.
The desert? I won't say it didn't bug me, but it didn't bug me as much as the music did. By the way, OP, the third act - at least a substantial part of it - is set in a swamp. I am so sorry.
The combat I disagree with you on. I think it is, while functional, somewhat lacking and not as tight as it could be on a technical level. The targeting for certain skills can sometimes range from a little off to "what the fuck, the mouse wasn't even on that side of the screen" off, and the way a lot of skills are handled feels incredibly clunky and not fun to use. This is pretty much one thing D3 got right, and it blows this game out of the water in that regard.
I'm not going to go into great detail about my opinion on the game apart from saying that it has several neat ideas but is ultimately not the second coming as some people had hoped.
It really is a genre tradition to go from some place moody or tempered to some place hot, Titan Quest did the same!
I can actually PLAY this game at launch by myself. Offline. What a fucking breakthrough.
And a free demo I can play offline even if my idiot friend didn't buy the game already. THE FUTURE IS NOW
words about music
You're spot on. The music isn't "bad" at all, but sure doesn't seem to mesh with the games art direction and bright colorfulness. I'm totally being honest when I say I don't think I could tell the difference between the music in TLII and Diablo II.
For the guy who made the comment that it sounds like I don't know who Runic are, I assure you I do. I played the fucking piss out of both of the "real" Diablo games, and Fate. I'm well aware of the backgrounds of most of Runic's staff.
The skill system in this game is by far my favorite thing. I've had time to level each class fairly far, minus the 'zerker, and I am amazed at the completely different builds you can create. We had a game going where everyone was an Embermage, and we all had totally different builds and playstyles. I am often forgetful (ie, drunk) so rather than spend points on various skills, I stack a lot of passive bonuses. The limited respec is actually kind of nice as well, forcing people to have to think about what they want to do. My only concern is that if patches drastically change skills, will they somehow give us a one-shot complete respec?
Other things I would like to see addressed:
Letting people see loot if I choose to drop it so as to not require us to play around in the trade window.
The chat window not hiding when the trade window is open.
The ability to link items in chat.
Better matchmaking. For one, I always have to restart the game when I add a new friend before we can join each others games.
That being said, there is no flaw with this game that stops me from playing it all fucking day, and neglecting my more adult duties.
I get the reason for each act being somewhere that is artistically different, and obviously have no problem with that. It's the fact that the desert always seems to be second that bothers me.
Also, now that Multiplay is working like a charm, if anyone wants to play you're welcome to add me. My username on the game is "arborday" or you can look me up on steam using my email, ricesucks at gmail dot com. Right now I have a few 30s, and I'm open to making a new level 1.
The secondary attack you start off with as an engineer is a marvel to behold, especially when overcharged by five times. The gibs are worth the momentary lag. I think I'm having more fun playing this game than I ever did with Titan Quest.
Actually, if you think about it there is nowhere but act two for the desert. Generally you want an environment that looks nice and keeps the player's attention in the first act. You also want each new area to be unique in look, leading to basing each area around a different 'biome' plains, desert, forest, jungle, tundra, hell.
You also want the later areas to escalate, being more chaotic, darker, and more tense. A desert is too bright and featureless to provide that.
So really; if you are going to have a desert, it's going to have to be placed somewhere near the early to middle of the game.