Torch for the Devil | Misconceptions About Runic Games

PSA: All Diablo III gamers, please reset your Battle.Net passwords immediately if you haven’t done so already. Hacking and Account Hijacking are roaming the corridors like a pair of annoying school bullies. All this before the Real Money Auction House even opened too. Imagine how that might turn out if security isn’t stepped up… Just be safe, all!

Way out here in the South-East — so devilishly hot and humid I suspect we’re closer to hell than the rest of the world — the only experience with courtrooms that most would have can be all easily traced back to entertainment media. If you’re not running for loansharks or stuffing small packets of banned substances in questionable places, that is. Add to the fact that the jury system was abolished in 1969, and you can kiss your fantasies of being Phoneix Wright goodbye. Perhaps your talent for dramatic finger-pointing can be put to good use in local TV programmes.

[Singapore Old Supreme Court image source.]

(Yes I know a juror cannot make an objection in court, play along here.)

Now, I’ve never fancied myself being a lawyer because I would calmly walk over and bitch-slap the opposition (Caveman 1 Civilisation 0), but you don’t have to be legally trained to defend something. I’m no feared keyboard-warrior either since the only time you’d see me type this much would be on this blog, with people close to me or in my assignments. I don’t even know where I’m going with this.

Point is, someone had a misconception about Runic “borrowing” ideas and elements from Diablo and naturally, I couldn’t let that pass. Here for your pleasure/boredom/curiosity/information-devouring-hivemind is some delicious copy-pasta. It’s slightly edited from the original to remove typos but feel free to check my Facebook wall for legitimacy. Not that anyone would bother going to such lengths anyway.

“It’d be hard for me to rise to Runic’s defense without going on an expository adventure, so I’ll try my best to keep it brief (and because I’m in the midst of a fairly similar blog entry). ><

Diablo spawned a multitude of other ARPGs since its release before the dreaded Y2K. Essentially, they’re all Diablo clones since the gameplay formula to the genre is very specific, but there have been enough to warrant “ARPG” being coined.

Mechanics-wise, D3 has gone on a very polished and streamlined route. It’s good to see Blizzard trying to innovate and move the genre forward, but it’s attempts feel hamstrung by what I feel are gameplay-breaking, business-oriented decisions. Everyone answers to their boss/investors, moreso for a titan like Blizz, so it’s understandable.

TL2 is bringing to the table a more traditional ARPG experience, i.e. stat and skill trees, though with their own taste and flair. There is a pretty strong fanbase as you can imagine, especially with official mod support.

I understand your issue is with their art style, however. It’s very similar to Torchlight, released in 2009. I noticed the similarities then as well, and since D3 was announced before that, did a bit of my own digging.

Blizzard North closed in ’05 and from what I understand, most of the original devs from DI and DII (which I adore) had left Blizz too. The Schaefers, in particular, left in ’03, who co-founded another company before Runic in ’08. They’re the ones who founded Condor before it became Blizz North.

Thus I found it hardly surprising how it played and felt so similar to the Diablo franchise [edited], with elements taken from Mythos. Not to mention they got the Diablo composer on board later on too (you can hear it in Torchlight’s town theme).

Besides, I’ve seen a few games that have an art style very similar to WoW and DIII due to artists hailing from Blizzard as well.

To me the whole thing feels like the Diablo creators doing what they do best, free from creative restraint. The team have great community involvement too!

I’m getting both games myself (because DII is best story), but quite a number of people have been turned off by D3’s decisions and happily turn to TL2 for their clicky-clicky shiny loot fix. (I would love for the horror and atmosphere from D1 to return.)

tl;dr TL made by designers of DI and DII, breeds good competition for stagnant genre alongside Path of Exile and Grim Dawn.

Also, ferrets wearing goggles.”

I must stress the point that I’m getting both games and am not being a one-sided loaded die. Torchlight has it’s fair share of issues but all in all I find the experience more rewarding, quite literally.

So much for me not having any gaming-related content, huh? I’m such a bad liar.


With such a huge gaming backlog of past, present and future titles coupled with my solid snake interest in videogaming, there’s no chance of me running out of content anytime soon. Anyway, I’ll be taking a look at the wildly popular Day Z mod in my next gaming post! I’ll just have to get myself acquainted with ARMAII’s controls and game mechanics first — going prone and firing at bushes only to die and realise the shooter was in a completely different area is fairly sobering. I have to say though, it’s a pretty sweet yet clunky military sim so far and I’m highly excited for what may turn out to be the real survival horror zombie game I’ve been waiting for.

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