Torchlight II fans have been worried, after all developers Runic Games said the game would be out in 2011 unless someone died. We're now looking at a late 2012 launch, hopefully. To help sate fans' worries, Runic started up a development "Not a Blog" to provide status updates and lend shed some light on Torchlight II's development. The first post on the blog, to be updated weekely, details a number of systems changes that delayed release, and what the team is currently working on.
After the game's beta and stress test in May, Runic took their metrics and reasearch, along with fan feedback, and reworked a number of gameplay systems. For example:
"I'll take the Engineer's Machinegun bot as a quick example (subject to change, of course). At 5 points, his shots begin ricocheting. At 10, they pierce, and at 15 they are tripled. So, a level 15 machinegun bot skill has triple, piercing, ricocheting shots. Way cooler than level 1. Of course, damage, and other properties are improved with every point of investment, but there's a bigger jump every 5. I should stress that we didn't REMOVE cool stuff from skills and ball it all up to make the tiers neater. We have tried to make sure that the skills are designed to be cool as is, and just get a notable 'extra' at the tiers."
The passive skills system was also reworked by Runic, tooled into a different menu system than active skills for better visibility and perusal. Of course, there's much more, but Runic didn't want to detail everything they'd been working on.
Currently, the team is in a stage of heavy polish, where the game is broken up and team members go over it with a fine-toothed comb looking for bugs, or just adding to the overall experience. There are also a few areas still in development, that have to do with restarting a game New Game + style, as well as being able to join friends' games through various menus. All in-game content, however, is built and will be ready for release once polished to Runic's high standards.
"Anyway, I'll try to continue to post on a more-or-less weekly basis until this ships to give you something to chew on, so that you won't have the impression that we're all twiddling our thumbs behind our desks - we really aren't. Nor are we feverishly polishing the doorknobs while the house is yet to be built. We tie things up and we move on, and we do it over and over again until we get to the end."
Look forward to more Torchlight II updates as they come, fans. Runic is hard at it and there's nothing they want more than to put out an excellent game, so look forward to it.