Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Carrying a Torch

Weiden, the Outlander, with her trusty pet, Wolfgang
So thanks to a timely tweet by Scarybooster, I was able to sign up for and get in to the beta for Runic Games' Torchlight II this past weekend. I managed to get some screen shots, though it was a bit complicated for me, and involved MS Paint. Hopefully there is a better way to actually capture screenies than I was able to figure out.

Graphics

Taking aim. (Notice the her three fingers.)
When I say "Fire," I mean it.
Torchlight II is very cartoony, almost appearing hand drawn, down to the human(?) characters having only three fingers. I happen to be comfortable with that aesthetic, though some may prefer the more realistic graphics of, say Diablo III. The starting areas I explored had a somewhat gloomy atmosphere, with cool palettes dominating; though you can see from the screenshots that the game is fairly well lit, and there are bright colors where appropriate. I liked the special effects, like the "Glaive" which reminded me of Krull. Things like gore and death effects were consist with the cartoon style, not super realistic, but limiting the game to older children, IMHO, at least thematically.

Mechanics

The lesser mobs tended to go splat.
Here I refer to my moment-to-moment interaction with the game interface, as opposed to the underlying dice-rolls. While it is possible to zoom in fairly close, you are always looking down at the environment from a certain angle, as opposed most MMOs I've played where you are usually looking over the shoulder of your character is whatever direction they're facing. I really liked the game interface, which was similar to most games of this sort, I suppose, though mouse navigation took some getting used to. I basically dragged Weiden around with my curser. There were two quickly available using the right and left mouse buttons, plus the quickbar had potions and spells I had learned, which could be right-clicked for action or by tapping the numbers on the keyboard.

Character Progression

There were a four different classes, a caster Embermage, a melee Berserker, a tanky Engineer, and the pistol-wielding Outlander, which is the class I chose. Every character has a combat pet, with a variety of animals to choose from.

I only got to level 14, having played for an hour or two. I had limited time play on Sunday and Monday, but didn't realize Runic had extended the beta till Thursday, I read somewhere that the beta only included about six hours of playable story or Act 1 of the game, but I am not sure exactly how far I got. As you can see from the above screenshot, when you level, you get both freely distributable  attribute points and semi-restricted skill points (some skill point distributions have level requirements). I dumped as many skill points as I could into the two special attacks I had, including the aforementioned "Glaive."
Equipment and inventory were fairly standard RPG affairs, with some equipment having customizable slots where "embers" with various stats could be placed. Your pet also carries a pack where you can put extra loot until you are close to a vendor.

TL;DR

I liked the bit of time I spent with Torchlight II and intend to get it when it comes out (currently available for preorder). I didn't focus too much on the story, figuring I'd have time to check it out when I play "for real." While the beta was online only, the game will be playable offline or on a LAN mode—the lack of which, along with other factors, led me to steer clear of  Diablo III. If I am able and willing to play tethered to the internet, I may as well log into my current MMO, SWTOR.

2 comments:

  1. Did you try fishing? You can catch different fish that, when you feed them to your pet, morphs them into different types of 'monster pets' with different fighting abilities.

    I am SO stoked for Torchlight 2. I didn't have time for the beta but everyone I've read who did play it has raved about it. Torchlight is an awesome game and it looks like they've expanded on that awesomeness for the next one. Can't wait!

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    1. I did fish, but didn't get a chance to feed my pet. I am definitely looking forward to the game.

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