Can Torchlight 2 Beat Diablo 3?

DISCLAIMER:I’m not against Diablo 3. I intend on buying it and loving it and anything that appears to be anti-Diablo below is simply done in an attempt to highlight what Torchlight has to offer as an alternative to Diablo 3 (or as a game that can peacefully sit beside Diablo on your desktop). Both will be great! So take anything that appears negative with a grain of salt.

Blizzard Entertainment. Diablo. These two names have become legendary in the gaming industry. Blizzard rose to fame by churning out RPG and RTS titles during the mid to late 1990s that were literally unmatched in quality, and it garnered them a lot of respect. If gamers were to be polled several years ago and asked who they thought were the best video game developers in terms of integrity and game quality, you can bet that the top three would’ve been Blizzard, Valve, and perhaps Bioware. If the same gamers were asked to name some of their favourite games of all time, quite a few of them surely would have said Diablo or Diablo II.

Oh, how times have changed…

Diablo III is rumoured to be on the way to store shelves as early as this November or December, but something interesting is happening… People are turning their backs on the game, but why? Aside from Blizzard throwing in some questionable new features and gameplay mechanics, the answer to the question lies in the year 2009 when a little known company known as Runic Games released an action RPG called Torchlight. It was quickly labelled a Diablo clone by many angry Blizzard fans until they realized that, hey, Runic Games WERE Blizzard! Well, maybe not by name, but Runic is made up of former Blizzard North employees who left Blizzard a few years back. What is Blizzard North, you ask? It is the division of Blizzard Entertainment that planned, designed, and developed Diablo and Diablo II. That’s right, the guys at Blizzard who brought us two of the absolute best action RPG games of all time founded Runic Games and decided to stick it to Blizzard by releasing Torchlight.

So what was so good about Torchlight aside from the fact that the developers of Diablo and Diablo II made it? Well, it was pretty much a carbon copy of the original Diablo with the main overworld town and lengthy monster-infested dungeon that keeps descending lower and lower into the bowels of the underworld. It had three classes (a warrior, ranged fighter, and magician), scrolls of identify and town portal, and… Well, face it, Torchlight was just Diablo. Runic knew that they wouldn’t be able to sell a fifteen year old game all over again though, so they essentially made Torchlight into a vastly superior version of the original Diablo. Overall gameplay was better and the game was very user-friendly. It also introduced a few neat concepts like having a permanent pet companion that can transform into monsters and take your items back to town to sell, and you could even relax and go fishing in the same style as World of Warcraft.

Torchlight was the smash hit of 2009, and droves of Diablo fans urged all of their fellow action RPG loving friends to give Torchlight a try. Well, all of those friends did try Torchlight, and they loved it. Torchlight took the orginal Diablo and then not only modernized it but also perfected it. With the same guys working on Torchlight who made Diablo (heck, they even have the same music composer), it was indeniable that Torchlight would be the spiritual successor to the Diablo series. Runic’s little discount gem retailed for only $20, and it made a lot of folks happy as it looked like the wait for Diablo III wasn’t going to end any time soon.

Diablo III wins in the graphics department, but does this also reflect superior gameplay?

It is now 2011, and boy does it ever look like we’re in for one heck of an exciting final quarter of the year. Aside from about a dozen amazing games being released in October and November, we’re also getting Torchlight 2 and, supposedly, Diablo III. This truly will be clash of the titans. Allow me to explain why in a silly way.

In the red corner, weighing two hundred and ten pounds, we have the reigning heavy weight champion of the wooooorld… The Diablo franchise’s new contender, Diablo III! This title defending warrior is sure to sell millions of copies by sheer popularity alone even if the game does not meet expectations! But will the hype be met? With practically all of the former Diablo designers having left Blizzard, and with a whole slew of new faces working on Diablo who obviously worked on World of Warcraft (you’d be a dummy to not realize this), is the magic still there? Will fans love this fighter as much as past champions Diablo and Diablo II?

And in the blue corner, weighing one hundred and ninety four pounds, we have the challenger from Seattle, Washington! None other than Runic Games’ Torchlight 2! This ambitious young contender has the same faces, ideas, and voices behind it that orchestrated the creation of the original two Diablo games. There is more knowledge of the action RPG genre behind this game than there is behind Blizzard’s fierce title defender. Torchlight 2 is indeed the spiritual successor to the previous champions Diablo and Diablo II. Resembling Diablo more than Diablo III actually does, can Torchlight 2 topple the well financed giant and become champion of the genre?

Here are the facts which favour Torchlight 2.
1. Torchlight 2 is developed by the same people who made Diablo, Diablo II, and Torchlight. These people are NOT working on Diablo III.
2. Torchlight 2, despite being a high quality title, will sell for either $20 or $30. Diablo III will be available for the standard $60 before tax, but could run higher at some retailers (I’m looking at you Gamestop).
3. Torchlight 2 promises to be what Diablo II was, only improved and refined significantly. Diablo III is a huge unknown and has only maintained two series mainstays… The barbarian class and Deckard Cain. Yay?
4. Diablo III is not going to be moddable and will have many features that are being made to suck extra money from your pockets. Torchlight 2 will be fully moddable and, once you buy it, you will never have to give Runic any further cash except to buy the inevitable Torchlight 3.
5. Diablo III requires a constant and persistent internet connection to play on even singleplayer mode. If your internet dies, expect to be taken out of the game in an awful hurry. With Torchlight 2, no internet connection will be required except to play multiplayer.
6. Torchlight 2 promises to give us all of the features we are used to and enjoy while Diablo III is wiping the slate clean and throwing questionable features at us that are intimidating many long time fans.
7. Torchlight 2 will allow players to select faces and hairstyles for each individual class as well as choosing the gender they wish to play as. In Diablo III, players will only be able to select the gender of their chosen class.

Torchlight 2, made by guys who created the Diablo franchise, will cost $20.
Diablo III, made by a bunch of folks who had to step into a vacant void at Blizzard to create the game, will market for $60 or more.

The choice is yours, guys! I’m excited for both games myself, so please don’t paint me as having a bias or anything of the sort. I will definitely be buying both games and will surely love them both! Anyway, to finish things off, here are some pictures of Torchlight 2. Since a lot of folks are still unsure of what Torchlight is since it is still a relatively new series and is living in Diablo’s shadow, these pictures may help a little.

25 thoughts on “Can Torchlight 2 Beat Diablo 3?

  1. I have a bad taste in my mouth from WoW. Mainly because WoW PvE required an inordinate amount of people to do, and because WoW PvP was never balanced. So I will favor T2 to begin with. And ultimately, I like T2 gameplay better than WoW gameplay, which all came from Diablo. But, what’s going to happen is that T2 is going to move into Torchlight MMO… which will be unreal. Torchlight MMO will kill Diablo 3 before Diablo 3 releases it’s first XPAC. The magic abilities of T2, and their graphics are awesome. I’m afraid D3 will turn into a fixed camera WoW.

    • I was planning to buy Diablo 3. I just looked at the battlenet site and its £45 to pre order!! As if that’s not a big enough ripoffit says additional charges MAY apply. I’m not going to buy anything from them unless the price drops off. That’s excluding the pvp content which they removed too.

      Thing is, I haven’t heard of torchlight until just now. Ill look into it. Thanks. They need to push some marketing out there uber fast as I suspect many peeps wont have heard of them and will therefore grab wow. Try facebook for starter. If its a direct comparison and shows torchwood is available now 2 months earlier they are in with a chance.

  2. I have to say after quitting WoW I was officially depressed. Having found Torchlight 1 day after quitting WoW was a gift from God! It’s amazing that game companies still exist that can save us from Blizzard. I am playing through T1 for the first time ever in preparation/anticipation for T2. The game is sooo much fun, I am drooling over T2 coming out.

  3. You are most definitely biased in the post you made here. Let me rewrite your points in a more unbiased way.

    1. Torchlight 2 is developed by many of the same people who made Diablo, Diablo II, and Torchlight. The people working on Diablo III are many of the most experienced, skillful and motivated people in the video game business.
    2. Torchlight 2, despite being a high quality title, will sell for $20. Diablo III will be available for the standard $60.
    3. Torchlight 2 promises to be what Torchlight was, only improved and refined significantly but largely with the same repetitive dungeons. This time they will have 3 main bases instead of just the 1. Diablo III is the continuation of the same world and plot from Diablo and Diablo II.
    4. Diablo III is not going to be moddable and will have the option to buy and sell gear that you and others find in the game with real money. Torchlight 2 will be fully moddable and, once you buy it, you will never have to give Runic any further cash to get items. You can just use an inventory editor.
    5. Diablo III requires a constant and persistent internet connection to play because there is no singleplayer mode. The game was designed from the beginning to be an online experience. This online requirement reduces the likelihood of massive amounts of dupped and hacked items appearing in the game. If your internet dies, you will not be able to play. With Torchlight 2, no internet connection will be required except to play multiplayer. However, don’t expect any of the items you see people using in multiplayer to have been obtained legitimately (much like open in Diablo 2).
    6. Torchlight 2 promises to give us most of the features we are used to and enjoy while Diablo III is wiping the slate clean and throwing new features at us that are intimidating to many long time fans that are afraid of change.
    7. Torchlight 2 will allow players to select faces and hairstyles for each individual class as well as choosing the gender they wish to play as. In Diablo III, players will only be able to select the gender of their chosen class. However, once you put some gear on your character in either game, the only customization that will be readily visible is the gender.

      • Newsflash: Comments like “Diablo III, made by a bunch of folks who had to step into a vacant void at Blizzard to create the game, will market for $60 or more” indicate a very clear bias, stepping beyond the realm of just sarcasm. Your post was just an excuse to glorify one while taking swipes at the other by focusing on the highlights of Torchilight and ignoring the highlights of D3.

        Cordoro’s summary was more informative. Take this as an opportunity to learn.

        • It was only the truth. Blizzard North is no longer a part of Blizzard. They’re using new names within the company to make D3. $60 is a standard price tag for a retail game, I didn’t make it sound like a bad thing, but I suppose it’s all in the eye of the beholder. If I appear to slam Diablo 3, it’s unintentional. My main priority was simply to shine some light on Torchlight so that more people are aware of it since it is still a relatively unknown game.

          I will buy both and enjoy each of them immensely, I’m sure. Don’t believe I’m on an anti-Diablo crusade.

    • I take it you are one of those fanboys that haven’t given much through what blizzard has become in the eyes of us born in the 70s-80s after chopping Blizzard North? You’re blindly biazed towards Diablo 3, but all that makes me wonder is have you been living under a rock durring the drama that was the fallout of North office? Just my 2 cents to the subject. Dont throw the “biazed” card when you’re it.

  4. couldn’t agree more. and sadly I might be giving diablo 3 a miss this time round due to blizzard’s decision to have always on connection and several other decisions. Thing is, if blizzard is not so adamant and following so closely with kotick’s dictum to milk the cash cow, less of their long time fan will be turning their back on this game.

  5. Cordoro you are an idiot. There is nothing unbiased about your edit you Blizzard sheep. Your epeen will never be large enough to compensate for your lack of real peen bud! Go back to drinking the Blizzard cool aid Tool.

  6. @Cordoro, additionally many players will run around with helm visible OFF, Making facial customization good. KEEP BEING A SHEEP AND DRINKING THE BLIZZARD COOLAID… BAHHHHHHHHH, SHOULDN’T YOU BE GRINDING RIGHT NOW? your epeen is shrinking, then you’ll have no peen anywhere!

  7. This is a good overview of both games. I am getting both as well. They are really are very different games. Torchlight 2 definitely keeps the traditional Diablo gameplay while Diablo 3 is moving into unknown territory. I think both will be awesome though, and I will have fun for years to come. I have even decided to skip Skyrim and just play Torchlight 2 and DIablo 3 for a while.

  8. Diablo 3 looks fun. Blizzard is making a lot of good choices with it. The new talent system looks way better than the trees. And the real money AH makes sense if you are not autistic.
    The exception being the DRM but lets get real, if you want to play offline that bad you can always crack it.

    Ill probably get torchlight 2 as well. I played the first one and it was nice.

    Also this article is clearly biased to the point where the torchlight fans denial is comical.

    • 1. Don’t make a mockery out of the autistic.

      2. You’re right, I’m biased towards Torchlight… But I’m not “against” Diablo. Played and loved the first two when they came out. I’ll probably play and enjoy the third one, but I feel that people need to know about Torchlight as well since it is, in spirit, Diablo as well.

  9. I’m a Diablo fan, and how can anyone pretend diablo will be diablo when the diablo designers built torchlight and torchlight 2?

    Diablo 3 is a new game, built by a different team, with different goals in mind.

    Torchlight 2 is what Diablo 3 should have been. It’s the same enough to be part of the original series. Blizzard Diablo 3 is to milk the bored WOW population.

    • First two sentences are spot on and it’s how I feel. Not too inclined to agree with the WoW comment though. Blizzard is just trying to continue one of their beloved series, not suck up more cash from WoW subscribers.

      This isn’t in response to you vorxian, but I can’t help but wonder why those who are looking forward to D3 so much get so defensive when someone speaks glowingly of Torchlight and mentions that the original Diablo developers are at Runic now? It gives off a vibe that they are Blizzard fans first and foremost, and fans of Diablo/the action RPG genre second.

  10. I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said here. People see “bias” in this article and I only see a statement of pure fact. Blizzard hasn’t been the old school Blizzard we all knew and loved for Starcraft, Warcraft 1/2/3 and Diablo 1/2 for a very long time. The moment Blizzard moved into the cash cow business model with WoW it was obvious that the games were going to change as well and probably not in a way the Blizzard traditionalists would enjoy. Cash cow models in general involve catering to the lowest common denominator so it’s not suprising that the original fans needs/wants are overshadowed by the need to appeal to the wide masses. You can’t expect the games from Blizzard to still be in the same spirit when the company itself has changed so much. The only thing that’ll really be the same in Diablo 3 is the name “Diablo” because the gameplay sure as hell won’t be the same as the originals. Diablo 3 is about making money off the (usually) unaware end user. Diablo 1 and 2 are about killing anything that looks at you sideways.

    Torchlight is made by the original Diablo devs minus the pressure of huge company/shareholder responsibilites and said they have no desire to expand and become a titan. They charge a pittance in comparison, encourage community modding, aren’t slathering the game with DRM or cash cow tendencies and the list goes on. It’s effectively Diablo with a name change when it comes down to it.

    TLDR: If you want a real “Diablo” spirit game then Torchlight is the way to go because it IS the new Diablo. Diablo 3 is a different game directed at different people whereas Torchlight is a revamp of an old game directed at old AND new people. If you don’t mind new things, go for Diablo 3, if you’re a diehard traditionalist go for Torchlight. *shrug*

  11. played the diablo 3 beta… disappointing
    if i was to rate the beta in a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is Skyrim quality and 1 is duke nukem forever. Diablo 3 gets a 6 unfortunately

  12. sorry, i wasnt impressed with the Diablo 3 beta..i played it and i was like $60? for this? really? It doesnt even have the same hardcore brutul tone of Diablo 2, that evil gritty bloody feeling of Diablo 2 isnon existent, i guess its to entice the 8-12 yr olds and make thier parents buy it.. I felt Torchlight FELT like the real diablo but with cartoon graphics. It was an updated diablo. Diablo 3 doesnt feel like an updated diablo 2 at all. It feels like a slower , kind of bland ARPG. But it was only the demo, so who knows. NOT looking forward to waiting an hour to play games either . For a $60 asking price, i expect a LOT more than what i saw of Diablo 3.

  13. I don’t see any bias in this article. However, I bought Diablo 3 and I can say it is a pretty good game. I played the beta as well and it didn’t particularly appeal to me. I thought diablo has lost its edge looking like it came from a fairy tail world instead of being plagued by the prime evils. I was wrong.

    The game has a far darker undertone as you go in deeper. Also, I loved teh old skill system and I have never found a game that has managed to recreate it. When I saw the changes to the Diablo 3 skill system, I was disappointed.. Again, I was wrong. The skill system is fresh and it brings something new every level. I remember in Diablo 2 I was trying to max specific skills such and Blessed Hammer, or Lightning. Diablo 3 basically makes a variety of skills viable. I was a fan of the Diablo 2 system but the Diablo 3 skill system is better.

    However, that doesn’t mean the game doesn’t have its faults. The servers at the moment are horrendous.They pretty much go down 3 times a day since the launch. Most of you saying that the RMAH is a way from Blizzard to make some quick cash. I agree it is. What is wrong with that? Basically the game will have more support that way. I played Diablo 2 5 years after the release and the servers became unbearable. Lag would cause unnecessary deaths. Atleast this way, the support is always there. Also, don’t forget about d2jsp.They set up a fantastic forum trading site based on somewhat of the same principal. I never put in money for a game and I will continue not too. However, that doesn’t mean its a bad thing Blizzard chose to capitalize on this.

    If this post swayed you to buy Diablo 3, I wouldn’t for atleast a month. The server issues will need to be fixed. The game plays great but it still has its problems. I never played Torchlight because it lacked the multiplayer aspect. That is why I will definitely pick up Tochlight 2 and hope the soul of Diablo 2 is still alive in it. Just because Diablo 3 went in a different direction, that doesn’t mean its a bad game.

  14. Heh, its quitte interesting to read all this after the colossal Diablo III launch fail. Im trying out T2 beta and it does indeed seem like everything I wished D3 would be, but wasnt. Im glad Runic decided to make a D3 killer. Very much looking forward to getting the game once it is released.

  15. Played D3 for over 100 hours… fun at first, but then became utterly boring and repetitive. Not fun.

    Then I pre-ordered Torchlight 2. Got the first one for free. Tons of fun. Worth it.

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