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Torchlight 2 (Beta Weekend)


Hat Trick Maker

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Runic Games is running a stress test on Torchlight 2 Beta right now till Tuesday.

To receive a beta key, you'll need to create an account with Runic Games (link below) and wait for them to send you a key. I registered yesterday afternoon and got the key just before midnight.

https://secure.runicgames.com/signup

I've been playing the game for a few hours today, and I can't believe I'm going to say this, but the game is more enjoyable than Diablo 3, albeit having finished only the first two acts of D3. Anyway, I'll post a write-up of my T2 impressions later.

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Game impressions:

T2 plays very similar to the first game or Diablo 2. There are four classes in the game: Berserker (assasin/monk), Embermage (sorceress), Outlander (demon hunter), and Engineer (a mixed bag of a lot of things). Each class has three skill trees with active and passive skills in each tree. New to the game is the "charge" mechanic, by which the character builds up charges from either normal attacks or specific skills that generate them. Certain offensive or defensive skills benefit from these charges as they gain bonus stats. It works a lot like D3 Barbarian's Fury resource, if you are wondering. All active skills expend mana which regenerates reasonablly fast, even for melee characters. Skill assignment is the same as the first game in which you can assign skills to either keys or mouse. Stat points also return to boost the four stats, strength, dexterity, focus (intelligent), and vitality. Unlike in D2, players are no longer required to boost their stats to use an equipment, even though you can.

Item requirements now give you the option to either boost your stats or wait till you reach a higher character level (than typically expected). This means you can freely distrubte your stat points as you like. Looting is just as rewarding as in the last game. There are four classes of items, normal/legendary, enchanted, rare and unique, while set items are now a part of the rare class. One cool feature in the game is that it gives you the option to display dropped loots according to the item classes you wish to pick up. In addition, each player in a coop game will receive a separate pool of items, just like D3. Pets can now shop vital items for you, like potions.

The levels in T2 are much larger and not as linear as in T1. In fact, I think the levels are more randomized than D3 which has fixed borders to the outdoor levels and larger chunks of tiles in the dungeon levels. T2's tiles seem smaller in comparison, making the paths look very different and unique. The downside is that the areas are not as wide open as in D3.

The graphics didn't take any major overhauls though, since the game is using the same engine as T1. However, I'm amazed how well it has aged. Sure, it doesn't look as flashy as D3, but the game will run smoothly on even single-core computers.

T2's soundtrack is written by the same composer who did Diablo 1 and 2/LoD. In fact, the background music in the outdoors sounds eerily similar to D2's act 1's score with hints of the Tristram theme.

I played as an Engineer which is a weird class, since it has skill trees for melee, summons/ranged and support. He can use any melee weapons and shields with bonus stats from the melee tree and summon robots that can heal or fight. He can also wield two-handed cannons which work like a short-ranged shotgun that deals splash damage. An interesting skill called Blast Cannon in the construction tree makes the gun shoot like a rail gun which is all that I use in the game. He also has skills that permanently boost the defense % and cast a force field. OP? Absolutely. But it's so much fun.

Having said that, I'm going to finish up D3 and continue to grind my way to Inferno with all five classes. But it is reassuring to know that I've got an alternative fix should D3 become dull and repetitive.

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