A small number of Torchlight 2 players have found themselves at the bad end of the DRM stick. While the game's authentication system offers unlimited activations, if it detects "significant" changes to a system, it will ask for that copy to be reactivated. So far, so standard, but a number of posts on Runic's forums are claiming to be unable to complete this process.
Yesterday's patch for Torchlight 2 has added a couple of new critters to the pet roster. An angry badger and a noble owl can tag along to help you in combat and sell off unwanted loot in town, which must look more like a zoo than a market by now. Free updates are always appreciated, but fans on the Runic forums do note some suspicious similarities between the new Owl pet and the Hawk. Runic's community manager, Brian W, explained the resemblance with this helpful image.
The patch also makes a few balance changes to class skills, adds a new set of pants and fixes a few bugs. Once loving and gullible minion gels have grown cynical in the face of repeated beatings and now "cannot be charmed." On the plus side, "Legendary wand Earth Dies Screaming can no longer crash the game." Thank goodness for that. Grab the full patch notes on the Torchlight 2 forums.
When I play RPGs, I create one character and I stick with them. I share an office with people who do things differently: whose first dozen hours with a new game are spent cycling through possibilities, repeating opening areas until something clicks or the game dies of inertia. I commit to my characters because what I enjoy about RPGs is advancement, exploration, and momentum. I'd rather make a decision quickly and see where it takes me than agonise over the choice on offer, which is both why I'm capable of buying trousers very quickly and also why I should never do jury duty.
I've just finished playing the opening two hours of Torchlight 2 for the fourth time in a row. I've levelled each of the game's classes to the point where I feel I know what their deal is. I've killed the same three bosses in a variety of positions, swapped loot around using the shared stash and created a new set of angles from which to take on the rest of the game. I've put off commitment by around eight hours.
"The official Release Date for Torchlight II is Thursday, September 20th, 2012" writes studio head Travis Baldree on the Runic forums, kindling a flame of hope in the souls of disgruntled Diablo 3 players.
"Will it let me hit monsters ... offline?" they ask, cautiously. Why yes it will. "Will there be mods?" Yup, seems likely. "Will item drops be meaningful, giving me powerful new toys to play with regularly?" Well, I can only hope, but the videos Tom took when he spent some time with Torchlight 2 looked very promising. Each class has access to some delightfully destructive abilities, and that signature sense of impact from Torchlight 1 has translated into the sequel's big, outdoor zones nicely as you can see for yourself in our Torchlight 2 class guide videos below.
SOPA protests: Minecraft, Firefall, Reddit going dark next week. Nvidia, Runic and Frozenbyte come out against the bill
Earlier this week Reddit announced that they would be switching off for twelve hours next Wednesday from 8am–8pm EST (1300–0100 UTC) in protest at the Stop Online Piracy Act. Today Red 5 Studios and Mojang have announced that they will also go dark and Nvidia, Runic and Frozenbyte have voiced their opposition to the bill.
Red 5 CEO, Mark Kern confirmed to Shacknews that "Red 5 Studios is joining Reddit in protest of SOPA by going dark on January 18. We will be taking down our website, community site and Firefall beta for 24 hours on the 18th."
"We are extremely disappointed in this misguided legislation. We are also ashamed of the ESA for supporting a bill which is clearly not in the best interests of gamers or the game industry. This bill, and it's sister bill, Protect IP, will shut down live streaming, shout casting, user generated content and have a chilling effect on game innovation and social media," he added.
On Twitter, Notch has mentioned that Minecraft.net and Mojang.com will go down next Wednesday in protest.
Runic's excellent fantasy hack 'em up is having a sale to celebrate being one year old. That's one year and thousands and thousands of exploded imps, immolated spiders and defeated dragons. If you've missed out on the carnage so far, Torchlight's anniversary sale makes this the perfect time to get involved.