Diablo 3′s a “significant product,” but Torchlight 2 will offer more, says Schaefer

Tuesday, 18th September 2012 21:18 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Diablo 3 is a “significant product,” from Blizzard, according to Runic CEO and former Blizzard man Max Schaefer, especially since it’s nearly “impossible” to meet the expectations of the Diablo community.

Speaking with IGN
, Schaefer said while Diablo 3 is a good product, in comparison, Torchlight 2 will offer players offline single-player and more replayability.

“First of all, I think [Blizzard'a] geting a bad rap. Meeting the expectations of the Diablo community is going to be impossible,” said Schaefer. “No matter what they do, it’s been 10 years and the expectations have built up so much. They’re going to run into criticism.

“They’ve actually put out a significant product there. But what I think we’re offering something that some players may prefer [with Torchlight 2], things like the offline single-player play. Basically, we’re not trying to create a secure economy. We don’t have to have these crazy protection mechanisms in place. We’re giving our development tools out with the game so that the modding community can go crazy with it and make all kinds of cool new stuff.”

Schaefer said there will be more randomization of dungeons and character customization with Torchlight compared to Diablo 3 as well.

“Some of the criticism of Diablo III was about how there isn’t really a lot of differentiation between builds of a character, because they all unlock the same skills at the same time,” he said. “There’s less of an opportunity to make a character that’s truly individual for you. I think that could have the possibility of reducing longevity, because once you’ve played through it with a character, there’s no particular reason to go through and try a different build.

“I think that we also have, maybe, a longer game at this point. More randomization. A little bit more replayability. I think that Diablo III focused a little more on super-polished mechanics and balance and look and art direction. They’re on a Blizzard level. They’re seriously good. But it’s at the expense, a little bit, of the replayability.”

Torchlight 2 is out this week on September 20.



  1. BULArmy

    Dear Runic, you are starting to piss me off. Stop trying to sell your product like it is the second coming of Jesus and it will be the last game in that genre that we will need to play, ever. Ah and also all the subtle D3 hate is also not helping.

    Now, T2, I am excited for the game, because I am a sucker for this genre, but T2 is just an expansion of the first game and nothing more. I was in the beta and for me it is just fun for a lot of hours. Nothing mindblowing, just addiction the same way I am addicted to D3. Yes it don’t have bad DRM, but for me it is nothing so mindblowingly better then D3, as some ppl try to convince everybody. It is just a VERY nice upgrade to the first game.

    And now I will be a little D3 fanboy.

    Dear Mr. Schaefer, how much of a support will the game get. Because T1 got no, kein, nada, zilch? Because I am absolutely sure D3 support will be available for at least 5 more years and if nothing else Blizzard are the kings of post release support.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Cobra951

    Since D3′s online lock is wholly unacceptable, T2 will be the only way I revisit this genre anytime soon. I hope it lives up to the promise. We shall see.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. wishdokta

    Someday, we’ll learn Schaefer and Roper being the same person.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    Well, if nothing else, namedropping Diablo 3 will get you a bit more publicity than if you were just, you know, talking about your game.

    I love all the real advantages T2 has though. Offline play, mod tools, pets, humor.

    On the other hand it’s ugly to look at, and I personally felt like the whole attribute system was wasted on gameplay that wasn’t very detailed or complex in the beta.

    You’re kind of going Call of Duty mode against hordes of enemies, and it doesn’t make a lot of difference what they’re doing or you’re doing, as long as you’re moving and clicking.

    Do I really want to concern myself with attributes just to do that?

    I guess we’ll see once the full game hits.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. magnumfinger

    I hate it when former Blizz employees use the term “Diablo” over and over again to advertise their new game. Come on, you have your shot for the past 12 years, time to move on and stand with your own feet.

    Remember before Hellgate and Mythos arrives? Yeah, it’s the same B.S.

    As for Schaefer and the rest of the gang, I believe even if they’re the ones who developed D3 today, it’ll be the same. Sure, it may have retained its dark & gothic design with a better story line, but at the end of the day, it will still have the auction house and MMO-like feeling.

    And oh, remember, these folks were the ones who want to reveal Diablo 3 as early as 2005 and push it as an MMO. Imagine how worse could’ve that been?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. TheWulf


    Except they’re not doing that at all? Maybe you need to stop hating Torchlight II so much that you read entirely new things into it that weren’t there. There’s reading between the lines, and that’s bad enough, but then there’s rewriting those lines entirely.

    Also, trying to be clever like that is unbecoming, because you’re not really being clever. You’re being a bit of a brat. And that’s definitely not helpful to any kind of message you have.

    Blizzard dropped the ball on a lot of things, history speaks for itself. You can bring up things factually that were failures that have no subjectivity involved. Like the game being originally balanced to coerce RMAH use, or the connectivity issues, or the lack of modding and customisation. All of these are valid complaints. And on a subjective note, I felt that Act I was a real drag as well, and didn’t work well at all as an introduction to the game.

    Now, what he is saying is that Diablo III is a polished experience despite all that, but that it doesn’t offer things that some people might want. It really did lack a lot of customisation, it did so objectively. It was noted by a lot of people as being a Diablo Lite in and of itself. Some people like customisation and randomisation. Torchlight II will be the better product for them because of it.

    That’s what he’s saying. And I don’t doubt this.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. magnumfinger

    Tried playing TL1 and TL2′s beta, but I guess it’s not the right one for me, mainly because I can’t stand its graphics.

    The thing that worries me though is whenever I visit its forums at Runic, I feel like the community is dead. As in, I feel like the heat of this game would only last for 6 months. Then that’s it.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. TheWulf


    Did you think that Trine 2 and Project Giana were ugly, too? I understand that some people don’t like that style, but Torchlight has always pulled it off with a great degree of efficiency, and it’s always been visually coherent. You can make out what things are, and everything fits with a visual theme. If you’re in an area that has a certain kind of atmosphere, then the mobs and things in that area fit that theme.

    It does this better than Diablo III, in my opinion. Now, I’d call Diablo III utterly bland by comparison, and lacking in the level of visual cohesion (due to good art direction) that Torchlight has. But I’ve never called Diablo III ugly. ‘Ugly’ is just a very silly word. I find it a bit of a preschool word, to be honest, if you’re just throwing it out there.

    As far as ‘going Call of Duty against hordes of mobs’ is concerned. That’s bullshit. Straight up bullshit. And I have to call you on shitmongering, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t. TotalBiscuit had a few impressions videos of the Torchlight II beta which you can look up on Youtube, and it shows enemies using strategies which you have to respond to in different ways. Such as avoiding poison fields, traps, ambushes, and looking for ‘tells’ when enemies are about to do specials. If you run in ‘Call of Duty style,’ you’re going to die.

    And that’s ignoring the fact that there are actually puzzle dungeons in this game. Ignoring is convenient, I know, but if you’re actually going to be fair, you should mention that there’s more than just smacking around mobs in this game (unlike similar games of the genre).

    #8 2 years ago
  9. TheWulf


    Despite the thriving mod community that’s continuing to make great content for Torchlight I?

    I hate bullshit. Roust all the shitmongers and string ‘em up!

    I’m sorry, it bugs me.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. TheWulf


    “I believe even if they’re the ones who developed D3 today, it’ll be the same.”

    Based upon… what? What the voices in your head tell you?

    “And oh, remember, these folks were the ones who want to reveal Diablo 3 as early as 2005 and push it as an MMO. Imagine how worse could’ve that been?”

    Sigh. No. No they aren’t.

    Seriously. The bullshit of Blizzard fans. You guys reek of it.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. iseeit

    I have all 5 classes done with diablo 3 inferno. Took me about 400 hours combined and sold all my gear at the end for a almost ten times the cost of the game. My profile name is “Narbs” if any of you want to check it out for my achievements etc.

    With that said, Diablo 3 is a fucking disaster. They killed Caine in act 1 for no significant reason, alienating every diablo 1 and 2 fan while spitting in their faces. That right their should sum it all up for folks. Anyone who defends diablo 3 as a worthy game to play for a long period of time is simply 1) on the blizzard payroll, most likely damage control hired out of indian telemarketter companies 2) diluted fool, who just bought the game less then 5 days ago so they are ignorant of the problems.

    I’m looking forward to torchlight because for 1/1000th of the resources (manpower, time spent in development, cost to produce, etc) you get a superior product. The actual levels the game takes place in ARE randomly generated. Every single map in diablo 3 is highly scripted, the waypoints are always in the same places and the exits/entrences are always located in the same exact locations on diablo 3 maps. The only thing “randomly generated” about the diablo 3 maps are the useless foliage like the rocks and barrels and even those are chosen from a predetermined roster of less then a dozen.

    I could go on and on but what’s the point. Anyone who takes their gaming and genres seriously already knows just how large of a disapointment diablo 3 is. And conversely, how superior of a product torchlight 2 is.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Sini

    I can’t give two shits if single player is offline or not, was way more bothered by terrible main npc characters dialog. Terrible plot and writing.
    Having said that, every time I see the screenshots of this game it makes me think it’s some peasant version of diablo 3.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. magnumfinger

    TL2 = Hellgate in Disguise..

    and it will be irrelevant even before we hit the holidays..

    #13 2 years ago

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