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Huh. Well, this is kinda unexpected. Runic, the band of former Diablo devs that produced Torchlight and the especially excellent Torchlight II, have just lost two key members. Founders Travis Baldree and Erich Schaefer are departing the little ARPG studio that could because, er, it apparently grew too large for their tastes. 20 people under one roof? You’re practically Ubisoft at that point. For real, though, both Diablo and Torchlight wouldn’t exist without these two, so it’s pretty wild to see them go. More on that and also Runic’s “crazy, cool, completely secret project” in the loot-ridden dungeons below.
Have you recently suspected that you’re living an Inferior Life? You might not be wrong. Thousands of people are diagnosed with Inferior Life Syndrome every day, and to hear forums, gaming sites, and Internet comment threads – all of which are made up 100 percent of doctors – tell it, it’s probably because those people aren’t playing the right games. There’s plenty of science to back up these allegations, too. I mean, have you honestly not played Torchlight II? Seriously? Many Web MDs (and probably also WebMD) would declare you legally dead on the spot. Fortunately, Steam is here to help. Runic’s furiously fun hack ‘n’ slash is free all weekend.
Holy cow, everyone. People bought a videogame! Look at all these HOT NUMBERS, sensitive bits conjuring curiosity from behind the slimmest of dollar signs. Yes, I know this sort of news isn’t typically very exciting, but I think Torchlight II warrants an exception to that oh-so-sacred of RPS rules. Runic’s finished taking count on the fingers and toes of all its employees and their many pet millipedes, and the total tally’s come out to two million>. In ten months. That’s pretty huge for a PC-only ARPG from a developer not named Blizzard. But then, Torchlight II did a rather incredible number of things right.
Torchlight II‘s actually already seen some rather brilliant mods, which is impressive given that modders have only been able to paddle themselves through its stat-laden sea of systems with their wits. For its part, however, Runic promised official mod support ages ago, and now – after maybe a little more time than most people were expecting – it’s finally delivered. So then, what do burgeoning loot pinata crafters have at their disposal? GUTS. Which, honestly, was how I would’ve answered that question no matter what because I’m in a weird mood right now, but luckily, it’s actually relevant in this case! That, you see, is the name of Torchlight II’s spiffy new modding suite, and it locks in with Steam Workshop like a gem into a modding-suite-shaped socket.
There is also a panda.
When you played through Torchlight II, did it feel like something was – I don’t know - missing>? Wait, for real? Because there was a whole, whole lot of stuff in Runic’s brilliant sophomore slasher (read that phrase again; videogame lingo is weird sometimes, you guys), so I was mostly joking for the purposes of introducing this sentence: Torchlight II was a glorious loot pinata explosion of glowy, sparkly, monster-y things, but a positively mad mod team has decided to add more anyway. Heaps more. A new Necromancer class, 108 Elite monsters, 28 raid dungeons, a new hub, and new quest lines. And that (available right now) is only the beginning of a plan so absurdly grandiose that it may as well be the sun to vanilla Torchlight II’s tiny disposable travel bag flashlight.
I am a monocled engineer with a pet bulldog called Mr Kibbles. Eyebrows aside, the only hair on my head is an attractive piece of lip furniture that I call The Handlebars of +4 Roughhousing. Torchlight II really does seem like a pleasant way to click away the hours, as John excitedly reported yesterday. If you’re not convinced that this is the ARPG for you, or if you’re not convinced by ARPGs at all, you could always try the demo and see if your fancy is tickled. I’m not entirely sure how much content the demo includes but it shouldn’t take long to decide if the rest of the game is something you’re willing to invest in. Download it from Runic or on Steam.