Giant Bomb‘s Brad Shoemaker stands around in a basement talking to Runic Games CEO Max Schaefer about Torchlight and plans for the Torchlight MMO.
Runic Games just passed on word that TorchED, the toolset used to make Torchlight, is now live. That’s the good news.
The bad news? It’s being hosted at FileFront. 384 meg file download time? 90 minutes. Hopefully that’s just something weird between me and FileFront, and you’ll get better speeds.
Think I’ll wait for a mirror.
RunicGames said on their twitter account today: “TorchED update, we found a bug on the last build, going to try to fix it tonight and get it out tomorrow. Updates in the forums!”
So here’s hoping we get it tomorrow. They’ve posted a few items to get you prepared and/or psyched for the toolset:
First, you’re gonna need .Net installed.
Second, here’s Ten Helpful Tips for Using TorchED
I’m so sucked into Dragon Age I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull myself away to play with TorchED right away, but I have been thinking when I’m finally ready to get my hands dirty, I’ll start with TorchEd and before taking on the rather intimidating Dragon Age toolset.
Rags to riches for me. I haven’t had a neat RPG toolset to play with since NeverWinter Nights, and now I have two at the same time!
Syp at Bio Break did a post today declaring Torchlight to be a carbon copy of Fate, and he has a list of bullet points to prove it. And looking at his list, I can’t disagree with a single point. In some cases I’m taking Syp’s word on the fact that the points match up, because I never got far enough in Fate to see how later parts of the game, like passing items on to other characters, worked.
Why? Because I found Fate tedious. A not-very-good Diablo clone with a vile copy protection scheme. It came pre-installed on one of my HP machines which allowed you to play a few sessions for free and then asked you to pay for the game. It never occurred to me to pay for it because I didn’t find the game the least bit compelling.
And yet my early hours with Torchlight have me enthralled. In fact I hesitated about writing this post because writing it is eating into my Torchlight time.
To really explain why I love Torchlight while I found Fate pretty ‘meh’ I’d have to re-install Fate, and that isn’t going to happen, so I’ll just have to look at the intangibles of Torchlight and make some guesses. And mostly I think it’s because the combat, simple as it is, feels so satisfying. Each attack lands with a solid impact. Each urn breaks with a satisfying crash. When dozens of creatures swarm out of a tunnel or a mine shaft it just sends a thrill up my spine… “To battle!!!”
Fate just felt like ‘click click click’ whereas Torchlight feels like ‘Slash! Bash! Pow!’ … even though the mechanics and bullet points match up so well. Torchlight has a soul. Fate was just a game. I guess you can’t capture ‘soul’ in a bullet point.
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And while we’re talking Torchlight, GameInformer has a post up on how to rebind the keys. It isn’t as easy as it should be, but it ain’t rocket science either.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. If you didn’t like Diablo, or in general don’t like the “click on a baddie until it dies” style of action RPG (if you didn’t play Diablo, maybe you played Titan Quest or even Fate?) then you won’t like Torchlight.
If you *did* like Diablo, or had a chance to play in the beta of Mythos and enjoyed soloing in it, then you MUST get Torchlight. It is very, very evocative of those earlier games. Even the controls are basically the same. Click to move, click on a baddie to attack, Shift-Click on a baddie to attack without moving, run over loot to pick it up, hold down Alt to ‘light up’ loot you might have missed, and so on.
New to Torchlight is your pet (you can have a dog or a cat) who’ll fight for you. You can teach the pet spells, give it certain items to use (haven’t discovered any yet) and it has its own inventory. You can send it to fetch dropped loot, or even send it back to town to sell off the stuff it’s carrying…such a handy companion!
Borrowed from Mythos is a shared stash (to transfer items between characters) and “Treasure Maps” purchased from vendors that’ll take you to new levels.
Looting and leveling; that’s what Torchlight is all about. Plus its cheap, runs like a dream on a modern gaming rig, and has great music.
Yes, this is breathless enthusiasm; heck I only played for a few hours and maybe by the weekend I’ll be bored. But at $20 it doesn’t have to last me months (actually I think I paid $17 thanks to a pre-order discount).
Anyway, how about some random screenshots and then I’ll call it a night.
We’ve only got a few more hours to wait to get our greedy paws on Torchlight, but here’s one more way to pass the time. VentureBeat did a nice write-up of the company and the game that’s well worth a read.
I know I’m not the only one excited about the launch of Runic Games’ Torchlight tomorrow. This Diablo-like has a quality pedigree with a team that includes designers from the original Diablo, and then the very fun Mythos that fell when Flagship Studios imploded. A $20 price tag doesn’t hurt either.
The editor won’t release until later in the week so we have a couple of days to just loot & level in peace before we roll up our sleeves and start with the modding. But one word of warning. Giant Bomb did a quick look and in it Brad Shoemaker advises experienced Diablo players to play on the Hard difficulty setting because Normal is pretty easy.
Here’s the quick look and you can see he walks into a room stuffed full of baddies and doesn’t take much damage at all. So turn up that difficulty before you start playing!