TL2 Media Event Coverage + Matt Uelmen Music

I’ll link to the tunes first, for those of you who want Matt’s music but not more TL2 stuff.

  • “Steppes” can be heard at the end of TDP #51. (Or grab the original .ogg file here.)
  • “Vulture Pass” can be heard here, courtesy of TorchLight Source.
  • “Act 3 Day”, the town music for the Act 3 town, can be heard from

All of the media attendees were part of Runic Games first community podcast. This chat took place after we’d played a couple of hours of TL2, and we attendees asked basically every question on our lists, with several developers present to field them. My contributions included asking Travis, “Why do you hate noobs?” as well as putting him on the spot to list TL2’s selling points over D3… if someone who didn’t care about the price or modding. I’m pretty sure I threw a Bobby Kotick joke in later, but my memories are a bit of a blur at this point.

Click through for more links to the office tour video, TL2’s “German” stat tracking illustrated, several detailed gameplay reports, and more commentary on the “D3 is much slower-paced than TL2” issue I brought up in my initial report, which generated quite a fair amount of controversy and disagreement from people who have not played either game.

  • Runic Games office tour video by Sp3tSnAz, and hosted by Wonder Russel with a guest appearance by office mascot Falcor. (I’m briefly seen at the 1:40 mark, in the break room with Max Schaefer. (Interview coming soon via DiabloWikiTDP).
  • TL2 stat tracking. Though this was compiled from photos of the screen, it gives a good idea of just how many stats the game tracks for you. So want this in D3…
  • Game reports. These are by various TL2 fansite guys, hence they’re all about specific TL2 details, rather than the more Diablo-comparison, meta-analysis report I posted. How much you get from them will depend on your level of interest/knowledge about the game. Q&A galore, Sp3tSnAz’s gameplay report, Hawkn’s Part One and Part Two.

One of the things these reports stress is the main thing I noticed about TL2; just how much faster and more active the combat is than D3. A quote from Hawkn’s part two:

I’m going to start with the Blizzard vs. Runic debate that everyone seems so set on talking about. I’ve played both Diablo 3, and now, Torchlight 2. I’m well aware that the first part of a game does not speak for the game as a whole, or how the endgame will play. I’m sure Diablo 3 will have plenty of people playing it, and I’m sure it will be difficult – what any ARPG fan wants. Itemization will be fine, I’m sure. However, the main issue I’ve had with Diablo 3 so far, is that it feels… slow. Combat somehow feels like it’s artificially slowed down, and it take a long time to find any action. Most of the “difficult” combat consists of enemies that simply have higher HP, and just take longer to kill.

That was more or less my reaction, especially after I got home from the event and played a new Monk through the whole D3 beta. People have argued against this observation by pointing out that the D3 Beta is easy on purpose. Yes, it is, but remember, I played at least a dozen hours of the PvM demos at Blizzcon 2008, 2009, and 2010, none of which were the beta, and they weren’t any faster-paced or difficult than anything in the beta now.

I’ve written many thousands of words about my D3 play experiences, and I’ve enjoyed the vast majority of play time I’ve had on D3, but the only times I’ve felt actually challenged or adrenaline rushed was during my time playing in the Arena at Blizzcon. Wolfpaq and The Eliminator echoed that reaction when they talked about their Blizzcon 2011 experiences on a recent TDP. Both of them played a bit of PvM, but they had vastly more fun playing the PvP.

Blizzard keeps assuring us that the early slow/easy pace is just about “accessibility” and being noob-friendly, and that there are hard things in D3, and that it gets faster and more chaotic later in the game and on higher difficulties. I hope they’re right, because nothing I’ve seen in the game yet can compare to the crazy action and fast clicking I saw from even early level bosses in Torchlight 2. In my first TL2 MP game we did get to one big boss, when we were around Clvl 10; which is about when you face Leoric in the D3 beta. And honestly, I can hardly compare the two.

The TL2 boss (not an act boss, but a quest one, roughly equivalent to Leoric) was maybe 4x the size of Leoric; a huge demonic thing stalking around, making the screen shake, casting numerous hellfire type spells, and there were minions constantly spawning around the edges of the battle area, forcing all the players in the game to constantly vary our attacks between the boss and the minions. We had to run repeatedly, kiting out the enemies, finding defensible space, slowing our combat to let some mana regenerate, drinking potions, etc. It was a total blast and was so much more fun and challenging than anything I’ve (yet) seen in Diablo III.

I certainly join you guys in hoping that we’ll see content like that in Diablo III, but I wouldn’t be reporting honestly if I didn’t point out that we haven’t yet, and that in my opinion, the game, even the early game, suffers for it.

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32 thoughts on “TL2 Media Event Coverage + Matt Uelmen Music

  1. Video I saw at Blizzcon about inferno’s difficulty is quite insane. I expect Diablo 3 to much more strategic combat than TL1 and maybe TL2 which is pretty much tank&spank.

    • Do you believe everything game developers say while promoting their games? Or just everything Blizzard says?

      I don’t mean that as a, “they’re lying to us!” accusation, but just b/c they say it’s their goal doesn’t mean they’ll make it. D2 devs talked about how hard Hell diff would be, and how you’d need to play in parties to survive, etc. And obviously that didn’t quite come true.

      The beta is much “harder” in v6 patch, but it’s not any faster-paced and it’s not exactly more dangerous. They just bumped up the monster hit points and allowed them to spawn in larger packs. I like the change, and it’s more fun now, but the pace and game dynamics aren’t actually any different. You just have to hit things a few more times to make them dead.

  2. @”I’ve written many thousands of words about my D3 play experiences, and I’ve enjoyed the vast majority of play time I’ve had on D3, but the only times I’ve felt actually challenged or adrenaline rushed was during my time playing in the Arena at Blizzcon.”
    Flux, I’m sure that you WILL get your (PvE) challenges in Nightmare, Hell & Inferno – just stay tuned. 😉
    Otherwise, the pace of combat is fine with me considering all the great visual effects etc.

  3. “and more commentary on the “D3 is much slower-paced than TL2? issue I brought up in my initial report, which generated quite a fair amount of controversy and disagreement from people WHO HAVE NOT PLAYED EITHER GAME”


  4. You can’t compare Leoric to an act boss, he’s like the Blood Raven of D2.

    We’ve yet to even seen any of the actual act bosses, I can pretty much predict they’ll be pretty intense.

    • I thought I’d made that clear in the article, but It wasn’t an act boss, which is why I compared them. We got to that boss we were around Clvl 10 and maybe halfway through the act.

      That was a bit early; we’d skipped a lot of the side dungeons, so we got there faster and at a lower level than will be typical. I didn’t get back to that boss in either of my subsequent solo play sessions, both of which went 90+ minutes. (And I regret not staying for a few more hours on Tuesday to do more testing.)

      • You did make it clear; people can’t read.

        That said, some of the challenge may have come from you being under-leveled. What I don’t get is the fervent defense (from fans) of DIII at the expense of TL2. They can BOTH be good games.

        People keep spouting assurances that DIII will be this and will be that with the only citation being their imagination. I’m sure DIII will be an excellent game. Fortunately, it looks like Torchlight 2 will also be great (and possibly better, depending on what you’re looking for).

    • I think Matt mentioned that in an interview a few years ago about how anything he does Torchlight with the 12-string ends up sounding like something from Diablo because of how iconic it’s usage was for that game.

  5. I’ve noticed that the gameplay feels slow in D3 beta videos but it’s hard to tell why, when you aren’t playing yourself. Is it the characters actions that feel slow or maybe as simple as a lack of walk/runspeed in the beginning? In D2 the pace of the game goes up once you find some boots with good +walk/runspeed imo. Perhaps it’s just that everything is too easy and you are never challenged in the beta that makes it feel kind of slow and not so interesting.

    I’ll be disappointed if Blizzard don’t release some extensive gameplay footage that shows some challenging gameplay from higher difficulties before release, so we can see for ourselves. Even better would be to release some tougher content in the beta.

    We’ll get to try/see how challenging very hard is in the TL2 beta atleast I guess, looking forward to it.

  6. Blizzard can make HM in WoW interesting and very hard. Why can’t they do it with D3?

    “Do you believe everything game developers say while promoting their games? Or just everything Blizzard says?”

    Flux, why you feel the need to insult me like that? I think of what you said as an insult. Did your hate for Blizzard blind you?

    • Didn’t mean it as an insult to anyone. I guess a rephrasing would be: “Do you believe that every promise/aspiration Blizzard states will be fully-realized in the game? Or just this one? And do you believe it when other game devs make such promises?”

      There’s definitely a lot of Blizzard worship in the fansite community, which is somewhat understandable, but I try to keep things grounded in reality by pointing  out that while they’ve made a lot of great games, they are still just a game development company with a revolving cast of employees, and that a lot of what they say (especially PR people like Bashiok) is marketing and spin and hype.  That some people take that as “hate” is a strange reaction, to my mind. Isn’t it the job of the press/media (which is me) to greet such statements with skepticism?

      Just b/c devs say something, even if they fully intend to do it, doesn’t mean they will. They might even try to do it, and just fail.  That’s true in every game, of course. No one sets out to make a bad game, or make a class that’s not fun to play, etc. It still happens all the time.  Sadly.

    • Im pretty sure aswell that they can implement difficulty if they want, and why would they not?
      They have been working on the game for ages so they shuld be pretty confident in how the mechanics in the game works and from there give the game a proper challange for what it’s capable of. 

      And for the statement that the game is to slow. I think it as a good thing cus then its more room for char improvment without it being ridiculus.

  7. You are right Flux. Blizzard did not deliver all of what they want to many times before but they still have quite great record. Anyway, we will never know until D3 release. They gave us very little with beta.

  8. d3 is all about “FUN” and “AWESOME” but i feel sick of it. Sometimes you want to feel some bitter and salty taste not just that “sugary sweet”.

    • I am a huge TL 2 fan and I find this statement rediculous. While TL2 will be better in some ways, but D3 will be better in others. I plan on playing both.

    • TL 2 will be better in some ways? It can be more difficult and that’s all.  They are not even in the same class.

      If Diablo 3 will be a Class B+ game , TL 2 will be a Class C- game.

      • I guess you’ll have to wait for the reviews to prove your point. I think TL 2 is a vastly better game than TL 1 and Runic is finally starting to live up to the promise that made me a fan in the first place. The combat in the small parts of act 1 I played at the fan site event was more satisfying than anything I’ve experienced in a long time. TL 1 had some issues and you even commented agreeing with a post of critiques I made a couple years ago. I think I’m being reasonably objective here. What is to say a low budget game can’t be just as satisfying (or more so) in some ways than a high budget one?

        One way TL 2 seems clearly better is that the outdoor areas are randomized. D3s are static like Titan Quest. I know I got tired of TQs areas after running through them the 3rd or 4th time. Temple stepped is really cool.

        It’s also moldable which can be a bonus if the game attracts a good crew.

        I will be playing D3 for blizzard polish and secure servers. I’ll be playing TL 2 because it’s damn fun and for any cool mods that come out.

  9. We can’t say anything of the sort.
    What we CAN say is that no one here has played either game all the way through,  and that the insiders who have played both titles, like Flux thanks to last week’s Runic visit, only have the time with the D3 beta (and small sections of a not-yet-finished game at Blizzcon(s)) and the Runic fansite events/E3/PAX to go on, right now.
    And, based on that, which is all we have to go on at this time, the reviews for those who HAVE played both all point to a difference in pacing between them. WE haven’t; THEY have. Making sweeping comments based on little or no firsthand information (and I mean those coming from the REST OF US here), in either direction, is simply wrong, and unfair to both titles.
    No one can reasonably comment on the final verdict of either until both titles are out, and many dozens of hours have been logged in both.
    @JoppE:  “And for the statement that the game is to slow. I think it as a good thing cus then its more room for char improvment without it being ridiculus.”
    Apart from the spelling errors, 😆 the only thing I take issue with is people using what largely appears to be justification to rationalize what most people would recognize as being shortcomings and game design issues. These are Action RPGs; emphasis on the first word. They are supposed to be engaging from the moment you start the game.  Otherwise, you merely have a (typical) MMO type game with smaller instances and less overworld; that’s it.
    When you’re watching an action movie, or reading a good thriller for that matter, you don’t want the first half hour of it to drag.  The first scene should always grab you from the get-go, and never let up.  That’s the point of making one in the first place–! It’s why they’re called ‘popcorn movies’ – because you should be on the edge of your seat, munching away contentedly.
    One may argue that D3 is simply trying to appeal to a broader fan base and generate spillover interest from their MMO players by slowing down the first part (since solid, first-hand information on the later game is woefully absent), and if so, that’s Blizzard’s prerogative.
    However, doing so strays from the ‘essential DNA’ which makes an Action RPG so compelling in the first place.  I would prefer to see both titles be good – nay, excellent, and hope that the D3 developers consider improving the pacing (in the early game, and later on too if it remains a consistent motif), for the benefit of all the consumers.
    When developers listen to feedback from their players, we all win.

  10. Matt Uelman’s music is awesome… but I just realized, he’s still jamming around with the Diablo 1 theme. Ringing Asus2 chords are getting old!

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