It seems Runic Games has decided to postpone their planned MMO in favor of a sequel to their wildly popular Torchlight franchise…
Runic Games announced today that a sequel to their award winning dungeon crawl RPG Torchlight, will be available in the spring of 2011. In addition to loads of new content and improved graphics, Torchlight 2 is also going to feature multiplayer capability. Players will be able to quest and adventure with friends, as well as meet up with other players using the peer-to-peer matchmaking system. The multiplayer feature will be accessible online via the internet, as well as through a LAN.
New user interface
Torchlight 2 boasts a new and improved user interface designed to be even more intuitive than the original. New and returning players will be able to immediately take control of their adventurer and brave new, rich content with relative ease.
New version of TorchEd
The game will release with an updated version of TorchEd, the Torchlight editor, enabling fans of the game to develop exciting mods to enhance game play and to share with friends.
Four character classes with more customization
Torchlight 2 will feature 4 different playable character classes, along with enhanced character customization. Players will be able to choose their character’s gender, as well as customize their appearance by choosing a variety of cosmetic options.
Pets will be returning in Torchlight 2, assisting adventurers with all sorts of things, including carrying supplies and loot, as well as aiding their adventuring master in combat. Fishing will also be a part of Torchlight 2, allowing players a fun change-of-pace from monster slaying, and giving players a chance at some exciting food buffs and other random rewards.
Torchlight 2 also steps out of the dungeon and introduces randomized outdoor areas, complete with exciting new weather effects, time of day events and an exciting storyline.
The random dungeon feature will allow players to venture into randomly generated dungeons at any time, for extra experience and a chance at obtaining some rare loot. The dungeons in Torchlight 2 are bigger and better, with more areas to explore, greater rewards and even randomly generated events.
Characters in Torchlight 2 will be able to be retired once they’ve been sufficiently leveled. Retired characters will be able to pass on special items and benefits to lower level characters, making the leveling process even more fun and expedient.
Torchlight 2 is slated for initial release as a digital download, available in the spring of 2011.
It’s doubtful that Torchlight 2 will steal any of Diablo 3’s thunder, but I would expect it to be a success, provided it’s released before Diablo 3. The new multiplayer option, along with all of the new content, enhanced features and four available character class choices, should keep Diablo fans somewhat satiated for awhile. I still expect Diablo 3 won’t be available until Q3 or Q4 2011, which makes Torchlight 2 a nice diversion until D3 is ready.
Torchlight 2 Backstory (from the official website)
Beyond the town of Torchlight lies a world shrouded in adventure and mystery. Guardian-warrior Syl appears in a prophetic dream, summoning the player to the Estherian Steppes. There, you meet with the Destroyer and soon venture across the continent of Vilderan, an exotic frontier besieged by forces of evil. A discovery unfolds, that the Alchemist, following his conquest of dark ember, disappeared on his quest to defeat the unknown corrupted force responsible for destroying the mystical race of Estherians. Aided by Syl, the remaining Estherian Guardians, and clues left behind by the missing Alchemist, you will find yourself battling a powerful enemy that threatens to unravel the elements of the entire world.