Hello readers! I’m Nick, a new writer for BagoGames preview/review team. This has been an exciting week for gamers as E3 has just concluded. One of the games I will be following is Torchlight II by Runic Games. Runic revealed some more information this past week; let’s see what they have in store for us.

After taking in all the feedback during the last beta session, Runic will be tweaking the skill trees for each of the four classes. The skill trees will be like Diablo II, where you’re awarded points upon leveling up and can invest the points to learn and subsequently power up skills. Previously, putting more than one skill point into the same category merely bumped up its effectiveness. Runic is reworking the system so skill upgrades will be a little more interesting at higher levels.

Once you invest a certain number of points, skills will gain different effects as they’re leveled. Bonus effects will also be visible on-screen, not just behind the scenes calculations.

Deciding where to invest your skill points is a crucial part of character development. While you’ll be able to respecialize and reallocate skill points, this function will be limited. Why? Because Runic co-founder Max Schaefer says so. He hates the idea of respecialization because it takes away from the importance of decision making while leveling. You need to think very carefully about how you want to upgrade your character. Also like Diablo II, you will receive statistic points at every level up to invest in base stats. Unlike skill points, these are not refundable.

Runic has also adjusted the magical effects and targeting system. Groups of six were having a lot of trouble identifying exactly what was going on in the middle of a fight, so Runic is toning down some of the magical effects. Targeting was also made a little more forgiving, so it won’t be quite as tricky to cast spells and attack your desired targets.

Gamers should expect Torchlight II toward the end of this summer. After launch, Runic plans on pushing an editor out for the community, as well as finishing up a Mac version. If there’s a lot of interest at launch, then Runic will be happy to focus on more content and potentially an expansion somewhere down the line. Let’s hope the gaming community gives Torchlight II the attention it deserves. I know I will.

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