There’s been a lot of news for both of these games lately, so I wanted to do a little recap and talk about my plans for them with the blog.
- The first beta invites for Diablo 3 have been sent out, but only to press and fansites.
Based on the Starcraft 2 beta, we can expect the Diablo 3 beta to start within 3-4 weeks. That means the first public invites should be around that time. I’m hoping to get one of those invites, but I will just have to wait and see. If I do get one, you can be sure I will be starting a walkthrough for my Diablo 3 character.
I’m going with the Monk for my first character, but hope to have enough time to try out all of the characters. If this happens I will create a special Diablo 3 beta builds section for any builds I create for the beta. At release I would of course modify these builds as needed based on any changes Blizzard makes. A build that relies on many skills that are severely changed or removed during beta I might just remove, but most builds can probably be made to work at release with just a few changes.
- At the recent Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, Runic Games was at the show with some new Torchlight 2 announcements: the Embermage class and a $20 price.
The Embermage looks like it will be the “mage” class in Torchlight 2 with a variety of Fire, Ice, and Lightning spells and a separate skill tree for each element. So it seems very similar to the Sorceress in Diablo 2. After watching some videos of the skills in action, though, it seems the Embermage skills are a lot more interesting. There’s a good variety of different effects from the spells. You don’t just start with a basic Firebolt and upgrade it to Fireball later. The low level and high level skills all have different mechanics, so you will still find uses for low level skills throughout the game.
The $20 price was the big announcement. With the amount of content in Torchlight 2, I was really expecting it to cost around $30, maybe as low as $25. The low price means Torchlight 2 is now a day one buy for me. This game is as long as Diablo 2 was at launch, but only costs $20 as opposed to the $50 that Diablo 2 commanded.
The production values have really gone up. They hired a professional writer to flesh out the lore and story, an orchestra to perform orchestral pieces for the entire game, and more voice actors for all the new characters in the game. The game itself is also much bigger with multiple towns and an overworld to explore as well as the traditional dungeons (including rumors of an infinite dungeon). All in all a great buy for $20.