Runic Games CEO Max Schaefer has said the firm’s not only looking into some PvP elements for Torchlight II, but it’s also very excited folks will be able to go out into the Overland this time around, instad of being stuck in the underworld most of the time.
Environmental changes are a’comin’
According to Schaefer, the overland area will include different environments with elements of snow, desert, cliffs, and lots of areas to explore.
“We have got a few overland areas working right now and it just makes the world feel completely bigger and more open and it’s really exciting stuff,” he told GameShark in an interview.
“One of the other things we hear a lot about Torchlight was that it was a little claustrophobic because it was just a city with dungeons underneath it; you just went straight down into the dungeon until you finished the game. So to be able to explore and overland world makes it feel like a real game world and it lets us do a number of different environments.
“We’ll have snowy areas and desert areas and right now we have some really nice rocky cliff areas to explore.. And it makes a huge difference over all that we had before in a lot of different ways. And the outer areas are randomly generated as well like the underground dungeons, so it will be different every time you go out.
“You may have to go out to outposts and far away cities. We’re doing multiple cities this time, so there will be places you go that are a little less developed and places you go that are a little more developed. It’s all a part of making an interesting and varied world.
“You may run across the old town of Torchlight at some point but it will not be a major part of the game.”
Beat up your best friend in an arena
While Torchlight II isn’t an MMO, Runic are looking to include some rudimentary PVP within the game.
“We don’t want to make it an emphasis, but everyone wants to see if they can beat their friends and so we will give you the ability to do that in a fairly rudimentary way,” he said regarding PvP. “But again, the emphasis of the gameplay really is co-op.
“It’s something we haven’t really put a lot of work into at this point. What we’ll probably do is give you a very simple arena where you and your friend can go in and fight and see who wins. Whether or not we have a switch that allows you to turn on PvP out in the general world is something that we’ll just have to experiment with and see what happens.”
Four to eight players in co-op max
As far as the number of players being able to do co-op together, Schaefer feels the team will be able to allow a maximum of four to eight players at a time, otherwise, it “becomes a little bit ridiculous”.
“Technologically, it pretty easy to put as many people as we want in there but at a certain point it becomes a little bit ridiculous with the amount of people on screen because we have an active and busy game; so when you get too many people on screen doing too many things it can get a bit ridiculous,” he said.
“We are going to pick the number of people that can go into a game based on where it all gets out of control. From our perspective right now we’re saying a maximum of 4 – 8 players. I tend to like playing with 2 – 4 people and that’s what we were trying to do – allow you to play with a small group of friends. As far as what the maximum is – we’ll determine that later – but I would guess that it won’t go above 8.
“I don’t want to commit to a maximum of 4 at this point because we may find with some of the bigger open areas that it might be 6 is the best number. I’m sure it’ll be below or around 8. But 2 – 4 is probably the best way to play.”
Torchlight II is slated for PC in spring 2011, while the MMO version is still being worked on.
Runic is also looking at a way to bring both Torchlight I & II to PSN and XBL.