The ARPG Threesome – Who Will Come First?


Things are hotting up in the world of ARPGs. We have definitive date now for Diablo 3 of 15 May, and as many of you know, there are two other kids on the block vying for your attention. At PAX East today, Max Schaefer revealed that although there is no release date set for Torchlight 2, they are looking to get the game out shortly after Diablo 3’s release, and ideally one month after.

Similarly, the guys at Grinding Gear Games have been ramping things up with Path of Exile. Just today they launched their special supporter’s scheme where you can aid the game’s development by buying pre-purchase credit and bagging a load of goodies depending on how much you buy in for. The lowest bracket of $10 gets you beta access now.

The approach GGG is taking with POE is an interesting one, it almost feels like a Kickstarter project where you can support the game in advance of release helping the small studio improve the game and get it into full open Beta testing and ultimately release. During last weekend’s open beta test, 46,911 players joined the POE servers which is a good number of players for a weekend considering how many Beta keys are already out there.

Blizzard’s approach has been somewhat different when it comes to grabbing gamer’s attention by making the Beta feel almost exclusive to a select few, and at the same time ignoring a lot of their core fanbase who have pre-ordered the game and opted to run competitions to win keys on the more general gaming websites. With the recent addition of a whopping 8 Beta keys, you have to wonder what they are thinking when it comes to promoting the game. I still think all pre-orders should have received Beta access as a given.

According to media agency sources, the budget that has been set aside for Diablo 3 online advertising is not exactly massive either considering the interest in the title, which makes you wonder if they are relying on WoW players with an annual pass to make up the numbers?

Once thing’s for sure, Diablo 3 will have every ARPG fan dashing out for a copy and it’s looking highly polished which is great news, but as all Diablo 2 players know, it’s all about the long game. We are yet to see how that will play out for any of these new titles.

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  1. I have waited and endured far too long for Diablo 3 to even start giving a shit to the other ARPG. They can be released earlier than D3 for all I care, it still doesn’t change the fact that D3 will totally destroy all competition.

    • Completely agree, BUT I will have no problem jumping ship if I don’t get that “need to play” feel that D2X had back in its heyday.  My money and heart are with D3, but they need to produce.  

    • I tried Torchlight and it just didn’t appeal to me for whatever reason. I think because I chose \normal\ (because I always pick it, assuming that is what the devs balance for) and it was just far too easy, I suppose that was my own fault but it killed it for me. I also tried the beta for Path of Exile. I liked the graphics, but honestly it was far worse than Torchlight ever was. First off, I started off playing the \witch\ (a spell caster), do you know what spell I started with? NONE. The spell caster doesn’t start with a skill. You just run around a beach clonking things with a stick. You don’t even get spells when you level up. You have to either find gems as a drop or through quests that you can spend to acquire a spell. One you don’t even pick, it is just as random as the drop (the only one I found was for MELEE). For god’s sake they don’t even explain how the system works. I thought I was just stupid and couldn’t find the spells. But no, someone asked every 2 minutes I was in the beta, the mods hardly had enough time to respond to them all. They admitted they need to make it clearer, but the system, I imagine, will stay the same.     From what I’ve seen, nothing even touches Diablo 3 for me and I can say I gave them a shot.

  2. I get it!
    Hehe…I get jokes.

  3. Path of Exile is aiming for June for release (open beta).

  4. well for diablo 3 it all comes down to how good the drop rates are 😉 and if inferno is as hard as they say it is 😉 
    and that there wont be any dupes, i dont care that much about bots 😉
     
    alest thats what i think of, and it should be a clan feature ingame.
     

  5. Well, this one is looking great also. Oh and it is from the people that created Titan’s Quest:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYI2DMPWpWg&feature=youtu.be&hd=1

    also, I’m just a fan looking forward to it, i’m working for them.

    • I”m NOT working for them.*

    • Agreed. Grim Dawn is looking great but right now is underfunded. They are looking at getting a kickstarer up and running for it.

    • they posted in their forums just a few days ago that it will be at least 6 months before the alpha, and I think 3-4 months after that for the beta

      they only have 2-3 people working full time on it, but it does look nice

      oh, and what happened to this page
      its wwwwwwwwiiiiiiiiiiiiiddddddddddeeeeeeee

    • Yeah its looking really good and i have high hopes. Afterall, Titan Quest was IMO the best Diablo clone! I am considering to preorder just for the sake of donating because i am amazed at how much they can do with so little!

      • I’d agree it was the most Diablo like clone. It’s also the only game of the genre other than the Diablos I’ve played for more than 30min. I hated Torchlight and so have no interest in 2, especially comming so soon after D3’s release. Maybe if they’d come out a couple of months before I would have got it to fill the wait.. but after? No chance.

    • Titan’s Quest was a mind-numbing, boring, pile of steaming crap.
      …but thanks on giving me the heads up on Grim Dawn; will avoid it at any cost.

    • this (Grim Dawn) looks pretty sweet, and I really dig the music!! i didn’t play much titan’s quest though, was a bit boring… and sterile..

    • I looking forward to D3 and TL2. PoE have too much problem. EX: bad read, uninteresting skill and passive, etc. Grim dawn looks pretty good, hopeful better than PoE. From the video the skills look much more interesting , but the read is still bad. For example, it is hard to tell the “walking dead” from the background, specially under the shadow.

  6. PoE is excellent.  I have high hopes for Grim Dawn as well.

  7. I have to agree that I think its dumb that d3 pre-orders get no beta key, but they are a way better company then EA.
    boycott EA

  8. I think that guys from Runic games are hoping that there will be many casual players who play D3 in Normal difficulty for a month and than move on (like todays gamers do!). But since those people will probably like D3 to an extent they will want more in ARPG genre and that is where TL2 comes in! Two other groups of people that will play it are children (the graphics seem to appeal to them…i swear that game should have Ages 7-14 written on it) and peeople who are looking for a cheap game.  

    Best of luck to them as they have my appreciation forever for creating my favoutie game of all time but i hate how they pretend that they are not worried about D3 at all (which is a vastly superior product). They sold TL1 on the back of D3 announcment hype and now they are trying to sell TL2 on the back of D3 release hype. Its kind of pathetic but i guess its what they have to do because as things stand they cant worry about making another Diablo quality game. After a few fiascos they have to do everything they can to make some money and dig themsleves out of the hole.

    Its funny how people on fansites are calling Blizzard (the company which spent 7 years and God knows how much money making D3) a greedy corporation and Max and the company are saints. The ONLY reason Runic is making TL is to pay their bills! Blizzard, with the resources they have, could have made D3 in 3 years and sold it in huge amount of copies (probably just slightly less than they will sell now) on the back of the fact that the game has the Diablo name and they are Blizzard and have a lot of marketing power. But no, they spend 7 years making a game and did everything they could to itterate and make it as long lasting and possible. After all that people complain because it has a RMAH and Blizzard is trying to make some more of their well deserved money. I am not saying that Blizzard guys are saints but they care a lot about tha quality of their games and that is all i care about! Do you think that it is ok that Blizzards game costs $60 like many other games do? Look back at all the great times we had with D1 and D2 and think about how much in dollars is that time worth to you? Can D1 and D2 be compared to most other games which are played for 2 weeks and than left on the shelf to collect dust forever? For many people here it was an important part of growing up and a huge source of entertainment for years…priceless…for everything else there is MasterCard :)!

    • I don’t feel Blizzard has proved anything with D3 yet. It lacks a lot of things I miss from the previous Diablo games. And the development time has been slow, because, yes they do iterative approach – but this leads to them trying a lot of dumb ideas in the first place. Them having no clue about their rune system until months before release tells me they waste way too much time implementing things in the game that shouldn’t be there with the right planning. Not to mention hearing them cutting things from the final game in order to get it out sooner, when their motto is “when it’s done”. 

      Sure, they do quality games. But I doubt their actual competency. And where are the games that blow my mind? Blizzard always take the safe, tried road. With colors. I expect more from such a big company.

      • It lacks some things compared to previous games but it has many new things! Thats exactly what a sequel should be! I dont care if they have dumb ideas or not but the final products are of great quality! Games that Blew my mind? WC2,D1,SC,D2,WC3 and SC2! Wow is a great game but i PRSONALLY dont like it! Therefore I have srious reasons to belive that D3will be great! You can keep saying that Blizzard is taking the safe route but no one can do what they can…they make games in RTS,ARPG and MMO genre and ABSOLUTLY DOMINATE those genres!

        • God I love your logic. So you love EVERYTHING BLIZZ MADE 10 YEARS AGO. You don’t like their latest golden egg. And the conclusion is that D3 will be awesome???? Just…..lol.

          • SC2 was less than 2 years ago. And no that is not my only logic….My logic is that the game will be great judging from everything i have seen so far. Furthermore, i have played the Beta and i think it is great! Also, since you didnt read what i wrote, the “the golden egg” is a great game but i PERSONALLY dont like it because it doesnt offer what i want from a game. Just because i dont like something that doesnt make it bad!

        • Yes, their path is to please more and more causal players, which they will do if they dumb down the game enough, and make it a quality game. It’s a road to success for any company, especially if they have money and time, which Blizzard has. Just look at Angry Birds on the mobile platforms. Simple dumb game, that pleases the masses out there. Making a boat load of money. 

          Just wait until they announce Project Titan, and you find out that it’s a game entirely focused on a “next generation social gaming” over the top, or something. Any kind of game that will blow my mind from Blizzard, is long gone.

          My points still stay true. 

          • Oh yeah you definitly have a point there but thats just the way world is going and there is nothing we can do about it. As I previously said i have played D3 and loved it. The game makes you use multiple skills at once and D3 combat (even with only 4 skills available) makes previous Diablo games combat look dumbed down. Health globes and no instant TP are also great changes which for me make the gameplay more intelligent. Not everything is dumbed down!

            As for the story for example, i have very low expectations. I expect unoriginal (prophecy “sigh”) piece of crap filled with cheesy lines such as “you will never defeat me rarghhhhhhh”and “at long last Azmodan shall reign as the…prime…evil”

            P.S. Blizzard was always a company that was trying to appeal to casual players. Thats how you become as successful as they are. The problem is that what casual players want has changed it the last 15 years…towards more dumbed down side of things as you put it!

    • Not to shatter your naive lala-land but what if they spent 7 years on the game because it was a side project, underfunded and finished and rushed out by the WoW team? Blasphemy!! 

      • I hope they didnt but only thing i have is a guess….as do you and everyone else here. Time will tell! If i am wrong the joke is on me… I have high hopes from what i have seen though!

        P.S. I have seen your other replys here and i really dont understant why do you come here when you obviously dont like the game! And why are you so bitter? That is not healthy man… Have a good day 🙂

    • “They sold TL1 on the back of D3 announcment hype and now they are trying to sell TL2 on the back of D3 release hype.”
       
      you had me till that
       
      TL1 had NOTHING to do with D3’s announcement 
      Runic was a brand new company. They had very little money. They just lost Hell Gate London and Mythos. 
      This is a team of devs that have experience making isometric view ARPGs. 
      So that is what they decidecd to do as their first project.
       
      It only made sense for them to do something like TL1, and they would have done it even if D3 had never been announced.
       
      And they OBVIOUSLY are not making TL2 just to pay the bills. 
      If they were, then they would have released it 2 months ago to make some quick money before D3 came out. 
      But instead, they are holding off releasing the game, taking time to polish it and make it better.

    • “Its funny how people on fansites are calling Blizzard (the company which spent 7 years and God knows how much money making D3) a greedy corporation and Max and the company are saints. The ONLY reason Runic is making TL is to pay their bills! Blizzard, with the resources they have, could have made D3 in 3 years and sold it in huge amount of copies (probably just slightly less than they will sell now) on the back of the fact that the game has the Diablo name and they are Blizzard and have a lot of marketing power. But no, they spend 7 years making a game and did everything they could to itterate and make it as long lasting and possible…”
       
      Except the very reason they could do all that with so much leeway is because Blizzard North has made Diablo huge. So are they piggybacking the piggybackers of their own success then? Come on… While mismanagement and lack of direction certainly played its part in such a long development time, Blizzard is to be commended for their dedication regardless. Do I think D3 will be great? Yes. Does that change anything about how I think Bobby and Activision are a bunch of greedy fucks? No.

    • IgorAl, I’ll ignore most of the speculative crap in your post and just focus on the most ignorant sentence (for anyone that has spent even a few minutes following the runic forums).
       
      “Best of luck to them as they have my appreciation forever for creating my favoutie game of all time”
       
      You mean “Fate”?  Runic has three – count ’em, three – guys from the core blizzard north d1/d2 team.  Which, to be fair, is three more than blizzard has in regards to D1…
       
      “…but i hate how they pretend that they are not worried about D3 at all…”
       
      They revealed on their forums that they had a ton of copies of the beta in their office way back in September or so.  If they were blown away and intimidated, don’t you think they wouldn’t be so less-than-rushed in getting TL2 out the door?  There has been just as much time since then as the total development time of TL, with twice the team.  
      I could spend another thousand words parsing your assumptions, but that would just be sad.
      When both are released in the next few months, and everyone realizes how different these titles are, posts like yours will shine as a true beacon of the kind of stupidity that flares in the absence of any familiarity with the subject discussed.
       

  9. The more, the merrier.  Especially when the options are free* and $20!  Thanks for the heads up on Grim Dawn… that wasn’t on my radar.

    *w/ microtransactions 

  10. Liked them ore realistic environment of Grim Dawn, but the effects were still too colorful. Too bad Blizzard didn’t go for a realistic style, sigh. 

    Torchlight 2 really looks like a kid’s game, even if it will be good.

  11. Diablo 3 will be the most popular franchise released but overall Torchlight 2 will be the arpg of 2012.

  12. I used to be interested in TL2 and PoE, but with Diablo 3 coming out before either of them (I didn’t expect that), it’s doubtful that I’ll be playing either of them for a very long time.

  13. A few points:

    Diablo3:
    I will be buying D3 at midnight, CE.. Having played the beta and submitted reports, the game is definitely up my wheelhouse.

    TL2:
    I will most likely buy TL2 to support Runic pending of reviews, but I may wait til the steam specials like I did for TL1. TL1 didn’t hold my interest at all after a certain point, but I did appreciate the extras, the modding, and the general care they gave. I only spent $2.99 on it so I didn’t mind losing interest in it. Hopefully TL2 will be more engaging, but I will wait until I’ve been fully saturated with D3 as far as I can tell.

    PoE:
    Played the beta, I liked the effort and appreciated their goals, but the game didn’t feel engaging to me.

    Grim Dawn:
    I really enjoyed TQ and TQIT, though I lamented the lack of a closed bnet type of multiplayer style. The interface I believe was gamespy and it sucked and the community wasn’t long lived as far as I could tell. Class imbalance was another problem though they did try and offer large flexibility. Good effort, I hope this translates into a more mature offering in Grim dawn money notwithstanding

  14. Good luck getting people play your beta Runic.  I really don’t know what they are thinking.  They would be better off holding the game for a few more months till D3 dies down.  I would have dropped 20-40 bucks on TL2 today.  Now its just going to become a Steam Xmass Sale buy.

    Grim Dawn wont be out till next year and I will gladly wait for it.

    As far as PoE goes,  I don’t see myself playing it at all.  The beta was ok but it wasn’t anything extraordinary.

    • Runic will EASILY find people to play the beta
      first off, they have constantly it will be a very small and short beta, mostly friends and family 

      it can be a much shorted beta than D3 because they don’t have to test a RMAH or b.net features and they don’t have to worry about security since chars are stored locally 

      and I can’t believe the ridiculous things people keep positing: “A Steam Xmass sale” ?  
      Seriously ? ! 
      The game is only $20. You can’t play D3 for 5 months and then buy TL2 in Oct for $20 ?

      I’ll be playing D3 the day it comes out. I’ll also buy and play TL2 the day it comes out. And if the Grim Dawn alpha comes out in 6 months, I’ll play that too (I’ve already bought the game).   

  15. I would pre-order d3 if i got a beta key

  16. I will buy TL2 first, then GD and after that propably buy D3 when it is on sale. I don’t think that it is worth 60 bucks at all compared to the other products. It is only a shadow of what d2 was to me. 

  17. i wish PoE all the best. i hope for a LoL-like success story.
    i would love to see blizz getting killed by a real studio.
    (i have only seen some vids of TL2 and i think its much more for people who dont need multiplayer long time motivation?)

  18. I played PoE for a weekend but must admit I thought it was really boring. Torchlight looks like a fun game to play for a week or so, I don’t mind the graphic style, it is a bit like Orcs Must Die and that didn’t bother me the least. D3 looks neat but I doubt it will be as much of an impact game for me as D2 was, it sometimes feels like the design team has no confidence in what they are doing and just use a stochastic approach – if you try all possibilities, one will come up that works.

  19. Diablo 3 will dominate the ARPG market for the next couple years, if not decade.  Here’s a few reasons why:

    Torchlight 2 will cost $20-$30.  Path of Exile will be free.  Diablo 3 will cost $60.  

    Prices usually reflect the quality of the product.  You get what you pay for.  That phrase is accurate in most cases.  Obviously, this isn’t the absolute answer to which game will be the best, but its a good starting indication.

    Torchlight cost me $20, it was worth about that much.  I predict the same with Torchlight 2.  It looks like the exact same game with multiplayer tacked onto it.    

    I’m currently in the Path of Exile beta, and while the game is fun, it doesn’t resonate with me as something unique.  It’s just a rehashed version of Diablo 2.  In fact, if Diablo 2 was installed on my computer, I would probably rather play that than PoE.  That is sad, considering D2 is 12 years old.  

    I wish Grinding Gear Games and Runic Games the best! They both seem like honorable companies that just want to make good games. I sincerely hope they are successful and their games turn out better than I expect. I like surprises.

    Diablo 2 and its expansion cost me roughly $60.  Its worth about 100x that considering how much time I’ve put into it and the enjoyment I’ve gotten out of it.    

    To all those nay-sayers who complain about how Diablo 3 is not similar enough to Diablo 2:  Thank goodness it is not!  That game is 12 years old.  It had its time.  

    Putting nostalgia aside and looking at D2 honestly, that game had a lot of problems.  I believe that, for the most part, what Blizzard has done with Diablo 3 are improvements.  There’s a few things I don’t like, such as the RMAH, and there’s other things that I am not totally sold on.  But all-in-all, I think its gonna be a damn good game.  We’ll see how it stands up to its ancestors.  See you on May 15th! 😉       
        

     

    • I’d disagree on the price point, especially if we’re talking about Torchlight.
      If I buy Torchlight 2 for 20$, that means I get a DRM free product, offline mode, modding support and multiplayer (including LAN support). That is awfully a lot for a new 20$ game. They’ve also stated that TL’s length is around 2/3 of the first act in TL2 which means TL2 is going to be huge compared to the first game. In terms of quality, the game is certainly able to compete with other AAA titles, like Diablo 3. If the price indicates anything, it’s that the game has an excellent value for its price.

  20. I am continually awed by incgamers capacity to put a negative spin on “who gives a fuck” type news. 

  21. @Rushster

    Prepurchase =/= preorder 

  22. I wonder why so many dopes here make the impression that if a version of Diablo made by Blizzard North in the year 2012 would be the same as the twelve year old Diablo 2.
     

  23. Diablo3 will own that market on the rpg hack slash game. Becase the lore and Cinematich and Amazing world they will show us.
     
    [SPOILER]I Saw the beta files and there was like over 300 New areas in D3 =))[/SPOILER]

  24. The Runic guys are very confident of their product to release it A MONTH after D3. That means they see something or know something we don’t. My bet is this: Diablo 3 will not last.

    • It just means they have more or less finished TL2. They can’t justify to sit around “polishing” TL2 for another half year to avoid Diablo 3. If people are not happy with D3, or finished playing it, they can jump ship to TL2 instead, a month later.

      I guess they just try to make the best out of the situation.  

    • I think Runic knows that Torchlight has an established fanbase which will buy the game even after D3 release. Not to mention, 20$ isn’t much, even after 60$ purchase you can manage to buy TL2 so, i have a feeling that they’ll be fine in the end, even with such big competition.

  25. Glory Duration for the Threesome:

    Path of Exile – 10 days
    Torchlight 2 – 10 weeks
    Diablo 3 – 10 years
     
    And that’s a definate!

  26. this thread has sure brought out the D3 fanboys. 
    D3 dominating the ARPG market for the next decade ? lol
    that’s definitely fanboy talk

    and I can’t believe the ridiculous things people keep positing: TL2 is a “A Steam Xmass sale” ?  
    Seriously ? !  

    The game is only $20. You can’t play D3 for 5 months and then buy TL2 in Oct for $20 ? 

    More nonsense: “Titan Quest was awful, so I won’t even look at Grim Dawn”
    Right, because game developers can’t learn or improve or get better with experience 

    As for me, I’ll be playing D3 the day it comes out. I’ll also buy and play TL2 the day it comes out. And if the Grim Dawn alpha comes out in 6 months, I’ll play that too (I’ve already bought the game).     

    You know why I already bought Grim Dawn (even though I didn’t like Titan Quest)?
    because I love ARPGs,
    and I plan on playing D3, POE, TL2 an Grim Dawn all on the day they’re released  
     

  27. a dev answers questions about Grim Dawn
    h t t p://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showpost.php?p=51200&postcount=3 
     
    one question in particular 
    Q: “I read that this game is being developed by same ppl that made Titanquest. That game was the closest game ever that came to Diablo 2 in funfactor atmosphere and such. Must be honest and say game was good for a week or two then got bored of it. Played Diablo 2 for few years!”

    A: “I understand how you feel about Titan Quest and D3. It sounds like your tastes as a gamer are actually close to my own. I was pleased with the deep gameplay systems in TQ but felt like the combat and pacing was sometimes slow and not engaging enough. Part of our efforts on Grim Dawn have been to continue the type of deep gameplay systems we think worked in TQ while improving the combat, pacing, atmosphere, and other aspects. We want to get closer to the magical ARPG formula that made D1 and D2 so successful. We’ve also developed some new features but they’re ones that add to the depth of the game rather than stripping it away.”
     
     

     

  28. I played PoE for the first time for the two days of open beta they had last weekend, and was absolutely excited enough to cough up 10 bucks for a beta key. That game has some really innovative features, particularly the lack of a gold currency (you sell goods to vendors for consumables, most of which are used to reroll your gear horadric cube-style), and the character progression system. Skills are drops (like the runes were GOING to be in D3 until they changed it), and can be modified by modifier gems which are also drops.  

    But the best part is the passives tree, where you put the skill point you get when you level: http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/ . It’s a combination of attribute point allocation and passive skills, with a few \special\ nodes that lead to specialty builds, like using life as mana or applying your strength attribute to bow damage or using your summons as bombs. And it is massively large and complex; to me, planning my path through that swamp is a minigame which is entertaining all by itself. It is the diametric opposite of the direction Blizz went in with D3’s progression system — PoE has glorious excess where D3 has been steadily simplified and stripped down.

    PoE’s main flaw, for me at least, might be its art direction. Maps are gritty and realistic; you can tell that the devs are in New Zealand, with all the beaches and tidal flats and jungles. But they’re also at the same time both cluttered and messy, and kind of boring… they went for the \dark\ feel, but it mostly comes out just murky rather than threatening (at least, that’s how I experience it). Both overland areas and dungeons are randomly generated, as in D2, and that leads to the same issue D2 had: repetitive environments. However, PoE’s still in Beta phase 1 and there is time for them to add to their tileset.

    I don’t know which game will have more longevity long-term (or, of course, how TL2 and Grim Dawn will fit into the picture); I’ve found that I’m not very good at predicting what game I’ll still be playing three months from now. I am glad, though, that we have so many choices 😉 My guess is that each game will find an audience that prefers it to the others, and more power to them.

  29. Did anyone proofread this?

  30. *meant to be a reply*

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