Torchlight 2 developer keen to “break the mold” with ARPGs

Friday, 5th October 2012 08:07 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Runic’s Max Schaefer has said the company’s next action RPG is likely to be a little bit different from its existing oeuvre.

Schaefer told I Eat Games that Runic is almost certain to make Torchlight 3, but it might not be a direct a sequel as Torchlight 2 was to the first game.

“I don’t know if it will expressly be a Torchlight game but with more, in the sense that Torchlight 2 was the same as Torchlight 1 but with more,” he said.

“I would imagine the next iteration in the Torchlight universe would involve a twist, and I don’t know what that would be just yet.

“Our team has made the Diablos, Mythos, now we’ve worked on the Torchlights and they’ve all been action RPGs. We’re eager to break that mold a little bit.”

Schaefer noted that Runic would be unlikely to move into a whole new genre; action RPGs are definitely the developer’s bag.

“I think it might just be our one good idea in the world. It’s our sole marketable skill and if we weren’t doing this we would probably working at Home Depot or something,” he joked.

“I think it’s just something we had a lot of early success with in Diablo 1 and it just sort of stuck with us. We kind of have a head start on everyone else in making them. Travis [Baldree] our president and lead programmer made Fate. He’s got a lot of experience and has had success with this genre. Starting a new company it seemed like the obvious and most responsible thing for us was to stick to what’s in our wheelhouse make something we know we can do really well. Something that would allow us to build a foundation beneath us before branching out and taking some risks.

“That’s kind of part of the deal with Torchlight. It was really really fun making Torchlight 2 so I suspect we’ll never get too far from that but we definitely want to put a twist on it for the next thing.”

Torchlight 2 is available now on PC, with a Mac client due in a few months.

Thanks, Shack.



  1. roadkill

    Torchlight 2 is awesome! I love Runic! :D

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Talkar

    Yeah, it is pretty decent.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. viralshag

    Played about 15 minutes of it, I wasn’t instantly hooked like I was with the first one.

    Felt like I was just picking up from where I left the first game, nothing too noticeable so far. I probably need to play more.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Yoshi

    @3 I felt abit meh when first playing it but then a few days later I changed my class to berserker and it was more my style with this game. The elemental just felt so underpowered when you’re constantly using mana for any good attack and if you get close you die so you’re screwed.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. viralshag

    @4, To be honest I only got this because I liked the first one so much and I didn’t want to miss it. But I was gutted there’s no pad support.

    I much preferred this on the 360 and knowing it wouldn’t be coming to consoles meant I didn’t have much of an option. If I could play with a pad I would be playing this a lot more than I have.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. chic

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DSB

    How viral feels playing it is pretty much how I feel looking at it.

    It probably is a good idea for Runic to do something else. I hope the publisher is smart enough to let them.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. OlderGamer

    If I am being honest I feel same as Viral and DSB. I think I have 9 hours in so far, across different toons. None of them clicking with me. I think maybe I have just played too much ARPG this summer. Maybe Diablo III burnt me out for a bit.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. viralshag

    @OG, Now that you mention it I think that might be the same for me. And that’s not me saying D3 is a better game or anything, I just think that may have given me my fill of ARPG goodness for now.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. TheWulf

    I’m sorry, but anyone who picks up Torchlight II and isn’t hooked by a monocle-wearing, spanner-smacking engineer is just dead inside. As an engineer I’ve had more fun with Torchlight II than I have with most games in recent memory. And running around with a cannon is just ridiculous. It’s fun.

    And the Rule of Fun is something that games so, so frequently forget. So determined to be this polished, perfect experience, they leave fun behind. And it’s just this sterile, flavourless, unpalatable thing.

    What I will tell you is that I am sick to the gills of cynical game design, where the creators clearly lacked passion and they were just in it for their pay-cheque and nothing else. Where the only people who speak of it with even faux passion are suit-encrusted PR robots. I’m tired of that. I want good, fun games. I’m tired of uber-polished games which are limited in imagination and ambition.

    That’s why I’m always a fan of ‘the other guy,’ because they more frequently give me what I want.

    Obsidian rather than Bioware, Runic Games rather than Blizzard, and so on. Yeah, they’re ambitious, they might even be buggy, and they might have some aesthetic that isn’t the same old thing we’ve been spoonfed for years. But they’re fun, they’re interesting, and the people who put them together are clearly passionate.

    The change between Torchlight II’s beta and release, and Diablo III’s beta and release have me absolutely convinced of this. Next to nothing changed in Diablo III, they even cynically kept the login errors, thinking their fans would be okay with that. Runic Games took on everything their fans had to say with Torchlight II and made a better game for it.

    And that’s why I’ll always back that sort of company, rather than the popular company who tells people who like to be told what to think, what to think.

    So I’m going to expect Runic to actually try to make something new, and to be passionate about it. I’ll be watching them and I won’t support them if they choose to just slack and go for the easy buck. But I trust them, because they’ve always been about making a fun game, and they might actually just be able to move the ARPG genre forward.

    I’ll be watching, with interest. And if they do what they say they will, IF they do, I’ll sing their praises for it.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. viralshag

    I probably could have gone without buying TL2 at all to be honest.

    Not sure I would say it’s a “better game” than D3. If it was, I’m sure more people would still be playing it but it really looks like it’s dropped off the list for most.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. YoungZer0

    I really enjoy playing Torchlight 2. I’m having much more fun playing it, than Borderlands 2. And i don’t even know why. Borderlands 2 became boring really, really fast and i had one huge bug that still fills up my bad ass rank. It’s over 23000 now and it keeps getting higher.

    The only huge downside of Torchlight 2 is its story. Runic didn’t even try. And the game could’ve used even more areas.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. freedoms_stain

    I really started enjoying TL2 when I started playing towards the charge system. Particularly with the Engineer (who I’ve spent most time on by far) the way the charge system works really affects your attack pattern and also what your skills can do.

    #13 2 years ago

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