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  • Q&A Session w/ Runic's Jamus Thayn and Matt L!

    Hey folks!
    For those of you who are loyal and occasionally have a peek at what's cooking here at RGF, we have something special. Our fellow friends over at the rapidly growing Steam group "Torchlight II Worldwide Players" have recently held a Q&A session with two Runic Games employees - Matt L. and Jamus Thayn. Keep on reading to find out what questions they got and how they approached them (NO PLOT SPOILERS INSIDE, don't worry)...

    Q: I was wondering if after you beat Torchlight II, is there an endless mode like the one from Torchlight?

    A (Matt): There is an infinite style end game like in Torchlight but it's been vastly improved upon. We have loot that is itemized all the way to max level. So there's new stuff you'll only see if you keep leveling up.

    Q: How many times can a character go into NG+?

    A (Matt): Characters can NG+ as many times as they want, but there's a limit to how high the content can really stretch.

    A (Jamus): So New Game + is infinite, each restart will level up the content more, but eventually you cap at level 100 and they don’t so it will become impossible.

    Q: How many fish grant permanent transformations?

    A (Matt): There are some fish that grant longer transforms for your pets and I think some really really rare ones that are permanent.

    A (Jamus): I believe all fish have a rare permanent transform, but it’s hard to find.

    Q: Is there any indication to when the Mac release will arrive?

    A (Matt): Not sure when the MAC release is going to come out, but it is in the works.

    Q: Jamus, were you in charge of any concept art?

    A (Jamus): No, I just make the concepts into models and texture said models. I did get to make one armor set concept of my own though.

    A (Matt): Concept art was really headed up by our Art Director Jason Beck, and all the concepts themselves were done by Mike and Kyle.

    Q: Will modded content be available for multiplayer?

    A (Jamus): Yes you can use mods in multiplayer if everyone has the mods.. but we will talk more about that post release as we get closer to dropping the tools.. its not something Matt or I deal directly with.

    Q: Can you explain on how spell scrolls have changed since Torchlight?

    A (Matt): There are a bunch of new spell scrolls from Torchlight, and a lot of the passive skill stuff has been rolled into spells which allowed us to make all the passives for each class more specific.

    A (Jamus): The spell scrolls have grown in utility, now we have passives if you don’t like to cast, and more actives as well.

    Q: So you are really awesome developers, according to your answer, but I bet you want to be at the top at some point, just to feel great and to know your game is played by many people, right?

    A (Jamus): But yes, we of course love to know people enjoy our game.

    Q: What made you make the changes from Torchlight II beta to the current Torchlight II and how do you think the changes will affect Torchlight II beta players?

    A (Jamus): Unfortunately, we aren't the best to answer that.. lots of the changes were gameplay stuff we have input on, but don’t do directly.

    A (Matt): There are really too many things to count that have changed since the beta, most notably are the skills and skill trees. They went under a total overhaul. Regardless to say, if you were to play the release version and the beta side by side, you'd see tons of changes.

    Q: Did you like working with Klei Entertainment?

    A (Matt): Klei Entertainment are seriously awesome guys. I had a chance to meet some of them a couple of PAX's ago and we are so lucky to get a chance to work with them.

    Q: Do you know how many copies were pre-ordered, and will this info be published for the community?

    A (Matt): I'm not really sure if we have an answer on that. If it’s something that we say to the public, it would probably come from Travis on his NOT A BLOG posts on our forums.

    Q: When will the tools be released?

    A (Matt): Tools will come out pretty soon after release, probably a couple months. We have to repackage certain things to make them more user friendly for people that don’t use them every day, and probably do some write ups on how to use it.

    Q: Will we have robots again?

    A (Jamus): Yes we have even more robots.. the Engineers’ sledge bot is absolutely awesome.

    A (Matt): There are soooo many Robots - the engineer has a robot tree.

    Q: Are you guys going to add mounts?

    A (Jamus): We don't have mounts, but Matt has an evil gleam in his eye.. he may make an unofficial mod.

    Q: How about Golems?

    A (Jamus): No golems per se in this one but the Embermage can summon an elemental.

    Q: Any regrets? Maybe something you wanted to add but didn’t have the time?

    A (Jamus): As for regrets.. not really regrets.. there is always more we want to add.. but at a certain point you have to just let it go and release. I mean I would love more crafting and more bosses and armors and .. well you get the idea, it goes on forever.

    A (Matt): Yeah, no regrets really. This game is so freaking good. We've been making it for almost 3 years and it's STILL really fun for me to play. That says a lot to me.

    Q: Will there be gamepad support in the future?

    A (Matt): No gamepad support this time around. That takes some serious changes to the base code and we just didn't have time to do that kind of thing.

    Q: What part of the game are you most excited about?

    A (Jamus): The part I’m most excited about is seeing people play and hearing if you like it.. but feature wise I think it’s a bit cheap to say but honestly multiplayer is obviously the #1 addition for most of us.

    Q: So there will be no region specific releases?

    A (Matt): The stuff about region codes and alternate languages that we'll be translating to, are questions I don't really have answers to but we'll absolutely be covering it in the very near future.

    Q: What's your favorite class to play as and why?

    A (Matt): I love playing a Berserker because they are so crazy and feral, they have a skill at the bottom of one of their trees called RAVAGE that turns you into a whirling death machine. It costs craaaazy mana but it's so worth it.

    A (Jamus): Engineer or Outlander for me.

    Q: Are you planning translations to other languages? Portuguese?

    A (Jamus): Yes, we will have many other languages but once again, that is not an art or animation decision so we don’t have specifics.. I would hit up our boards I think I heard someone talked more about that there.

    Q: Can we actually play with you guys in the game?

    A (Jamus): Of course! We will be around playing, maybe even when you don’t know it's us.

    Q: I noticed that the characters are somewhat less exaggerated in Torchlight II, compared to Torchlight. Was this deliberate, or just the way the art style evolved?

    A (Jamus): Yeah we have a massive armor system.. much like an MMO so its actually an exponential problem of multiple body types and having lots of armor sets. We have 85 armors in game.. so x2 for male and female.. if we had say fat pcs then its 85 x4 .. etc it gets out of hand quickly.

    Q: Did your armor concept get into the game? If so could you let us know its name? It'd be neat to know who designed a specific piece/set/etc. of armor.

    A (Jamus): It is in, but our working names are different than our in game names.. so I don’t know the set.. but look for gas masks.

    Q: Is there Hardcore mode on Multiplayer?

    A (Matt): There is Hardcore on multiplayer and if you guys enable PvP by typing /pvp you can actually kill a Hardcore character that way.

    A (Jamus): Yes there’s Hardcore in all modes of play.

    Q: Are we going to see any dedicated/private server support?

    A (Matt): You can create games in multiplayer that are limited to friends only or require passwords.

    Q: Can multiple DoTs /damage over time/ of the same type stack, such as poison damage?

    A (Matt): Some DoTs do stack, but some are also limited to only allow one version of that DoT to be applied .

    Q: Is there a Linux version as well?

    A (Jamus): I don’t think there’s Linux at launch, but we just dropped our Linux of Torchlight in the Humble Bundle. It will be out eventually, I imagine, but no set plan.

    Q: What’s your favorite boss?

    A (Matt): My favorite boss is probably the Dark Alchemist, who you fight at the end of the game. He's got some really awesome animations that I'm really proud of and it's a very cool fight.

    Q: Is concept art going to be released in some form of media at some point?

    A (Matt): I think the concept guys would probably love to release some of their stuff. That's something that Jason Beck would be the one to sign off on, but I wouldn't count it out!

    Q: Is there a different penalty for being killed by NPC compared to a player?

    A (Jamus): No different penalties, but if you die on Hardcore in a duel you are dead, so don’t assume it will let you off the hook with 1 HP if you both decide to flag and duel.

    A (Matt): No difference in being killed by an NPC or a player. If you die, you die. If you die in Hardcore, you stay dead!

    Q: Is an Engineer cannon build viable?

    A (Jamus): Yes, it is viable. All builds are viable, depending on difficulty. Even up to Elite there are a ton of options I have found for each class, some things will be stronger or weaker depending on the foe or situation though. So, assuming any weapon or skill will take you to the end in easy mode will be a mistake.

    A (Matt): The Engineer cannon build question is harder to answer, I haven't spent enough time playing one to really get into it, but there are a few different skills based around cannons, so I am leaning towards yes.

    Q: Max said a playthrough was about 24 hours, is it the same for you?

    A (Jamus): I have a couple of playthroughs on Veteran and 24 hours seems about right, give or take. If you spend time and do every little thing, it could definitely take a bit longer. If you play on Casual or Normal, it will probably be faster.

    A (Matt): My full playthrough to NG+ was more like 35 to 40 hours.

    Q: What is your favorite area of the game, and why?

    A (Jamus): Well, to be fair my favorite areas are definitely spoilers. They are in Act 3 and it’s mostly due to the awesome [REDACTED] monsters and we have a cool secret zone cross-over area with [REDACTED] and that will be a ton of fun for people to find. Ultimately there are so many pretty areas its hard to choose, but for me the second half of Act 2 is amazing and the dungeons in it are extra beautiful, which I think you will see when you play.
    Keep in mind, the Q&A was held pre-release and even though I cut out the blatantly obvious ones, that required no answer now that we're way past release, there might be still some funny ones residing in there.

    I'd also like to express my gratitude over to the kind fella that provided me with a full transcription of this Q&A - Ray. Much appreciated, mate! Also a thank you is due to Elwinbu, TL2WP's owner, for hosting this event. If you're not a part of the group head on over to Torchlight II Worldwide Players's Steam Group page and join the fun!
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. ray.inFerno's Avatar
      ray.inFerno -
      Hey man, no big deal! Glad to be able to contribute to the community in any form.
    1. Elwinbu's Avatar
      Elwinbu -
      thank you for the kind words. I'm the owner of the group, but credit is due mostly to Ray and Roflbot for that event, I believe
    1. Rusty's Avatar
      Rusty -
      That was an awesome read. Love those two. During the Pre-Release they were on a lot answering questions we all had.
    1. Phanjam's Avatar
      Phanjam -
      Thanks @ray.inFerno ! Thanks @Webbstre ! Still a great read even it's circa pre-release