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Reader Comments (15)

Posted: Dec 9th 2009 1:56PM eNTi said

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so those guys are just full of shit, i say:

Baldree: We have about 25 or 26 people now. We really wanted the game to run on everything we could get it to run on too. So having lower system requirements was one of our internal mandates, and the art style really fit in well with that.

they've used "ogre 3d" and didn't even try to make it run on any other platform than windows.

also: torchlight is pretty "tight", as they say it. still it suffers from a lack of depth, that can only be described as plain... well plain. there's no depth. the skill trees are boring don't add too much to the gameplay, since about 2/3 of the skill are just useless. you wouldn't want to take them with your next char, because after you finished the main quest line, the game really shows how little there really is.

this game is nothing but a (pseudo) random number generator with pretty colors. that said, all action-rpgs qualify for that, still here's so much more to diablo than to torchlight, that you won't see one person playing torchlight in about a year any more. ok maybe die-hard-fans that like to mod.

if they should have learnt anything from blizzard, then it is to shine in every aspect... but even blizzard seems to have forgotten about those virtues lately. too big have they become. disgusting.

in about two years runics upcoming mmo will interest no one any more. no one will care and they will either crawl back to blizzard or just be forgotten.

Posted: Dec 9th 2009 2:20PM Tanek said

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I'm not saying you are wrong about the simplicity of Torchlight, but I still think it will be something I play on and off for quite some time. As they say in the interview, there are moments when you just want something quick and fun that you can play on a laptop anywhere. Torchlight certainly qualifies.

As for the future, if you can see it that clearly, get yourself some winning lottery numbers and fund a game you think is worthy. I'm sure the developers will appreciate it. ;)
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Posted: Dec 9th 2009 2:33PM Gaugamela said

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Bitter much?

Really i just have to laugh at Diablo fanboys that bash Torchlight for being what it is: a 20$ single player A-RPG done in 11 months with a super small budget.

If they did a more expanded story, or worked on compatibility for Macs (who are just 10% of the computer market) they would end up having to work more time in the single player game delaying the MMO while getting closer to Diablo 3 release date AND probably spending more money than what their budget is.
So tell me why the hell should they try to do the things you mentioned?
Even so, there's other things they could've done with more time or money before those like having a multiplayer option.

Honestly, it just feels that some people are riled up because another developer released a fun Diablo-style game without having to spend millions and in a short time while Blizzard is taking forever to release Diablo 3.

And this game really has some shiny features in it even if you don't agree, and in the story mode some really fun boss fights. Not to mention they have a couple of features (like the awesome pet system) that probably Diablo 3 will now be forced to introduce.
And trust me, Diablo 3 will become more gothic and dark because of Torchlight or else it will be bashed because its graphical style is too close to Torchlight.

Obviously Diablo 3 will be (it has to) a LOT better than Torchlight but they probably have a budget ten times as big as Runic had to develop Torchlight. they will most probably have a story that is 3 times or 4 times as big as Torchlight, the double of classes to play and more complex systems but that doesn't makes Torchlight a less fun game today, 2 years before Diablo 3 releases.

Nice interview overall!

"Why should people who may only be interested in the MMO experience later on start playing now? Are there any in-game benefits?"

I found this question so funny... Want a reason to play Torchlight? It's freakin mindless FUN!!

Just found it is a pitty that they seem to have stoped to work on stuff for the single player game. An expansion to the story mode and maybe a multiplayer mode would make this game awesome.

As for the MMO news, nice to see some stuff cleared up about the payment model: really glad that it is based on getting maps for instances and paying for stuff like improved loot chances. :)
Their model should be as close to DD Online as possible. I wouldn't mind if they had a ssubscription option as well!
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Posted: Dec 9th 2009 2:03PM Holgranth said

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""Frankly, that's a terrible idea, to try and make a WoW killer. They put well over $100 million into the budget right now, 10 years, and 200 of the best developers in the world. Why would you try to beat that?""

Finally a MMO developer with brains who can see simple facts....... now if only they weren't planning to make it RMT.

Posted: Dec 9th 2009 2:33PM Tanek said

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I do not think an item shop in a game (especially a free-to-play game; in the subscription ones, the line gets somewhat fuzzier) is a bad thing in and of itself.

Much of the problem comes from the "slippery slope" idea that once you start selling anything, selling *everything* will be the next logical step and you will have gone from a free-to-play game to one that is unplayable unless you buy items.

Based on what these devs are saying in the interview, it seems they have a clear line in their minds between what should and should not be sold in an item shop for their game. If they stick to that, I don't see a problem with it. And I agree with them that as long as they have a good, solid game to back it up, there are lots of players who won't have a problem either.

Where we as players have to be careful, though, is the point when a developer *does* cross our personal line in the item mall. For some, it might be when the uber sword can be purchased. For others, the line would be sooner with things like xp potions. For you, the line might be having the item shop at all.

If you have looked at the setup and truly believe it breaks the game for you, do not play. Or, if you are playing a game you like and they change the shop to include something that breaks the game for you, stop playing. Let the developers know why (in a polite way; forum rants probably don't get as much attention as a well worded, polite criticism).

I look forward to seeing how things like this Torchlight MMO are going to turn out. :)
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Posted: Dec 9th 2009 5:39PM Holgranth said

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@Tanek.

The problem for me is both the slippery slope and the balance, I actually prefer a straight up "premium" paid version over the dubious nature of microtransactions simply because its a hard line between enticing players to spend money and twisting their arm so much it might as well be subcription based.
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Posted: Dec 11th 2009 10:56AM Tanek said

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@Holgar

I agree there has to be such a balance for the microtransaction model to work and that the balance is a very hard one to find.

I am very glad Turbine restructured DDO the way they have because I think it does a good job handling the subscription vs. "free to play" division. If you are a gamer who will be playing DDO for a while before moving on to another game, the subscription model will probably work out better for you, unlocking all the content at once. If, however, you have limited time and play only once in a while, maybe it make more sense to buy an adventure pack or two for now and maybe subscribe for a month or more down the line.

Giving the customer valid choices on how to play and how to pay seems to be a good thing when done well. When, as you say, there really is no choice provided and the microtransaction model is just a piecemeal substitute for a subscription that gives no lasting benefit to the customer, then yes, I would much rather they just stick to a straight subscription.
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Posted: Dec 9th 2009 2:53PM (Unverified) said

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If they can keep the RMT giant in their pants under control, then i have high expectations for this game. I'm personally not a fan of item shops, but its not a deal breaker for me. What is though, is when the devs can't seem to reign in their greed and start selling everything. I acknowledge that its a difficult line to draw and if they can do it right, there's not reason why this game shouldn't succeed. It looks fun and something that could be extremely addicting if handled right. Not everything needs to look like its made by Blizzard, but the lessons learned from Blizzards are those that every game dev could make use of.

Posted: Dec 9th 2009 3:30PM Serious Table said

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That was a very well done interview, and very informative! I'm a personal advocate of putting something out first to prove a game concept before trying to make it an MMO. Why? Well, if you put it out into a Single-player format, with maybe some small multiplayer co-op support, you can see how the gameplay feels, how the core of the game works, long before you try to make it work with thousands of players at once. This way, if it doesn't work, you can fix the core of the game before making it compatible.

I've still gotta pick up Torchlight. The modding aspect has really piqued my interest, and for only $20? Yes, please!

Posted: Dec 9th 2009 4:15PM (Unverified) said

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I'm a Diablo diehard and I love Torchlight. The mmo will be an even better experience because you get to play with friends this time. :)

Posted: Dec 9th 2009 4:41PM Luk said

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If Torchlight had online multiplayer, I would have bought it right now and paid more than $20 for it. As it is at the moment, sorry, I am not intersted, mmos and multiplayer games like L4D has spoiled my single player gaming forever.

Looking forward to Torchlight MMO and hope that it would not take 2 years to come out, because other companies would be making badget multiplayer games similar to Torchlight and probably soon.

Posted: Dec 9th 2009 6:43PM (Unverified) said

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Great interview, thanks Tracey. Steam says that I've got 88 hours into Torchlight (surely including lots of pausing), and I'm not done with it, yet. The game's a great value for $20 and really scratches that Diablo itch. I'll definitely give the MMO a try. While it might not qualify as a serious player's primary MMO, if it's F2P, why not?

Posted: Dec 10th 2009 11:07AM (Unverified) said

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I'm playing Torchlight now and it's a blast! Best RPG title I've played in the last couple of years. Can't wait for the MMO version. Oh, and great interview, by the way. Cheers.

Posted: Dec 15th 2009 10:00AM (Unverified) said

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I'm a little concerned about the devaluation of the term "MMO". At the point it seems to just refer to any game with any sort of multiplayer online experience. The missing point is usually the first "M", massively.

Massively doesn't refer to the number of players simply playing the game. It refers to the number of players who simultaneously exist in the game space (and I'll further refine that to exclude game spaces that solely exist for player matchmaking or trading/vendoring; I'm talking about the real playing areas of the game).

For example, if Diablo II were released today, would you call it an MMO?

Posted: Dec 16th 2009 5:13AM (Unverified) said

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I'm having a blast with the game. Great game.

Although, there are still some issues in version 1.12.
- imbalanced skills: many skills need to be coded correctly as intended, they're simply not functioning properly.
-the compass/map in the upper right corner: it's so darn light, I can hardly see it.
-darn pet keeps knocking monsters right into me, due to feeding pet a fish that had knocking back features. Now he's forever knocking around enemies.

There are other issues I can't think of at the moment, but it appears these fellas didn't spend sufficient time quality checking the game before release.
This is typical of the video game industry these days...rushed out the door. In fact, it's common place to expect a plethora of patches.

I surely hope that Schaefer, Baldree and team are working on another patch.
If they expect the community to create their own mods,fixes etc. for glaring errors,re-balancing etc, then this is something I have no interest in.

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