The Diablo Podcast #51: Travis Baldree TL2 Interview

The fifty-first episode of The Diablo Podcast features Flux speaking with Travis Baldree, president of Runic Games and lead designer on Torchlight 2. The sequel to million-selling indy hit Torchlight 1 is shaping up to be a huge upgrade over the original game in every way, thanks to a larger team, more development time, a bigger budget, and just plain better ideas. This interview covers a wide variety of topics, including the changes and improvements to skills, stats, monsters, items, UI, and the end game.

However, since this is TDP not TLP, we’re not just presenting the plain interview. This is an enhanced presentation, with Flux, Wolfpaq, and The Eliminator talking about TL2, and especially the features that make it stand apart from Diablo III. Ironically, TL2 is much closer in game mechanics to D2 than D3 is to D2, which gave us plenty to debate. Flux also adds numerous behind the scenes details about the Runic Games visit.

Stick around until the end for a new and exclusive 7 minute track from Matt Uelmen’s Torchlight 2 music. You can hear it in its entirety at the very end of this podcast. Enjoy, and check the news post on TDP for Matt’s liner notes for this piece

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11 thoughts on “The Diablo Podcast #51: Travis Baldree TL2 Interview

  1. The track from Uelmen has a very classic Diablo sound (almost too classic…it practically sounds like a alternate take of D2’s Act 1 music ) but that seems really off. TL doesn’t have the Diablo vibe at all which makes that music feel way out of place (I was thinking this earlier today while watching a video of TL2). Kinda disappointing that he apparently couldn’t create a style more suited to the slick, bright world of TL.

    • Have to agree.  I love the track but if I didn’t know better I would just say this was some lost track from D2.  This is a common problem with composers, they have a problem getting away from one kind of style.

    • I disagree. Matt probably takes the story more into account than environments and visuals. In Diablo games, environments reflected the true nature of the story but in the case of Torchlight there’s some kind of discrepancy between the story and the look of the game.

      At least this is what I understood from his words and I think he’s doing the right thing by focusing more on the story. 

      ***QUOTE*** “Steppes” is the third exterior action cue in the game and the central one for the first act, and I tried to capture the backgrounds’ mixture of green countryside with Himalayan touches. This act is centered around the Estherians, a pacifistic, mystical race utterly unprepared for an onslaught of demonic possession and pissed-off oversized teddy bears hoping to steal their picnic baskets and send them to hell. Think Marin County and the housing crash. ***QUOTE***

      However I don’t care about Torchlight. It’s come to the point that I wanted all my posts and accounts to be deleted from Runic’s official forums and thankfully their CM was kind to accept my wish. I’m done with Runic and Torchlight.

      • Even if he decided to match the story more than the visuals (not a good idea in a non-story driven game, IMO) it still doesn’t excuse it sounding THAT much like D2’s music.

  2. Im gonna delete all the .mp3 music file of Diablo3 and add all the TL2 music in the .mpq files! Long live this Matt music KICK ASS!

  3. awesome music at the end  

    I agree with all the criticisms of TL1;
    sounds like they’re making some good improvements; 
    I’d be pretty interesting for Wolfpaq and The Eliminator to get in the beta for TL 2 and see if their concerns are addressed and how they feel after playing the game 

    I’m more excited for TL2 for PvE, by I am WAY more excited for D3 for the PvP  

    can’t wait to play both games; I know i’m in the minority but I’ll be playing both at the same time, one for single player PvE, the other for team PvP  
    (don’t care at all for multiplayer PvE)

  4. On the hitbox/lag issue (discussed at about 34:30 in the video): Someone says “that’s not going to make it better for the people playing online” (referring to Torchlight 2 being less forgiving of lag).
    Actually, it is. Apparently, Torchlight 2 has this beautiful system of passing the ownership of monsters to different players according to who’s closest. So this means that the monsters you’re most likely to interact with are actually hosted on your own computer, reducing the lag to zero for these monsters!

    As a programmer myself, I admire this solution. It’s amazingly beautiful.

  5. Just have to say, wow, Flux. Could you get more douche bags onto your next podcast when talking about TL? It was blatantly clear that these 2 guys you had on with you didn’t care for TL so why try and have an entire podcast about their impressions (which were overtly negative) about your tin-can/underwater interview with Travis? It was a bit to Fox news for me.
    Next time, try and get at least one person on your podcast who has an alternate opinion. It might make for good commentary. 😕

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