Torchlight 2 Articles RSS Feed | Torchlight 2 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network 11 Great PC ARPGs to Play Instead of Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem Tue, 25 Feb 2020 16:01:20 -0500 Ty Arthur


We've barely scratched the surface of what's available in the hack 'n slash action RPG genre with these entries. Inquisitor, Divine Divinity, Siege of Avalon, Path of Exile are also fantastic picks filling out a genre with too many games to list in one place.


What's your personal favorite action RPG, and what did you think of our list of the best games to play while waiting on Wolcen to get patched up? Sound off in the comments below!




It's hard to believe, but Nox is somehow 20 years old. In ARPG years, I think that makes this the great-granddad of the genre.


An extremely charming piece of ARPG history, Nox features three different stories, all dependent on which class you pick. Of course, it has plenty of hack 'n slash fun whether you want to play the warrior, the summoner, or the spell-slinging wizard.


Playing Nox is a great way to look back at how gameplay norms have changed in the intervening decades (you can wildly cheat the game by playing the wizard and just standing next to mana-recovering crystals). It's also an excellent pick if you want a game that doesn't take itself too seriously.


Aarklash Legacy


Aarklash is a unique entry on this list because it melds two usually disparate genres into one: turn-based strategy and hack n' slash. It's worth checking out for that fact alone, but it has some other unique factors that make it a must-play. 


Instead of making your character from the ground up, Aarklash starts off with four pre-generated characters coupled to specific classes. There's also a tactical level added to the game's combat encounters because party members must work in tandem to survive, forcing players to pause to issue orders.


That might not sound much like an ARPG, but trust me: the rest of the experience, from the loot system to leveling and how combat plays out, is everything you're looking for in a Diablo clone.


Plus, this crew of hardened mercenaries is just plain fun to follow around as they valiantly try not to die. 


Dungeon Siege 2


Upgraded in a number of important ways from its predecessor, Dungeon Siege 2 is still a good time 15 years later. This follow-up to the classic still sees your party leveling skills by using them, but it improves nearly everything else.


With a better story, more interesting characters, and less repetition, this is a fantastic way to lose 40 to 50 hours.


As with Sacred, it pains me to say that there's not much reason to try the third entry in Dungeon Siege series, even though it was developed by the normally-good Obisidan Entertainment.




This old-school ARPG takes you across the lands of Ancaria, and while the graphics are dated, they aren't without their charm.


Sacred is one of the first games I truly remember being wowed by. Some of the effects, like craters left in the ground after casting meteor spells, are still damn good looking.  


Sacred's gameplay is solid, squarely falling into standard hack 'n slash archetypes. However, the game's class options are more varied than you might expect, from an angelic seraphim to a blood-sucking vampiress.


While the sequel to Sacred is still a good time, don't bother with the third one. It pretty much killed the series.


Victor Vran


Does that guy above make you think of Van Helsing? Well, he should, because he's saving the people of Zagoravia from a horde of demons overrunning the land. 


Despite the clear inspiration, Victor Vran plays quite a bit differently from the Van Helsing games. For starters, there are no classes in this unique take on the ARPG style, and you can radically change your playstyle just by switching weapons, similar to how Wolcen's class system works.


Every area also features specific challenges that will force you to tackle levels in different ways, which really adds to the overall experience and replay-value of the game.


The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing 3


The fabled vampire hunter has seen three main ARPG titles already, and all of them have fairly similar gameplay that will please fans of Grim Dawn or Diablo.


I'm personally a fan of the third entry as Helsing and his ghost companion Katarina explore Borgovia with more class options and some fun tweaks to the crafting and pet systems.


Got a couple of hundred hours to spare and want to play the whole thing from beginning to end? The Final Cut version on Steam puts all three titles together into one massive ARPG journey.


Warhammer Chaosbane


Those Gotrek And Felix novels made it very clear that the Old World is ripe for a frenzied hack 'n slash experience, with millions of demons, skaven, and other beasties needing to be destroyed. Warhammer's latest excursion into action RPGs might work off the Age Of Sigmar update, but it takes its cues from those classic action stories.


While the enemy types are unfortunately repetitive (before you get to the Tomb Kings DLC, anyway), Chaosbane is an otherwise fun way to kill a few dozen hours while hacking apart thousands of fetid nurglings and crab-clawed daemonettes.


Book Of Demons


While ARPGs typically stick to a tried and true combat formula, some entries buck those trends and try something different. Book Of Demons goes that route, starting with a typical Diablo story before taking a number of major twists and turns.


Book of Demons deftly incorporates deck-building elements and interestingly puts procedurally-generated dungeons on rails. It gets extra points for graphics done in the style of paper tabletop minis.


If you've played every other hack 'n slasher out there, be sure to give this refreshing entry a try.


Torchlight 2


Improving on the original game in just about every conceivable way, Torchlight 2 is great for those who aren't fans of the overly-dark and bleak tone found in Grim Dawn


It's colorful, fun, and addicting. TL2 features compelling pet upgrade mechanics and is infused with an exploration element that pushes your forward to "just one more area." There's nothing quite like getting a better piece of loot for that perfect set of gear.


After years of waiting, there's another entry in the series finally coming soon, and it's got genre fans buzzing. If you weren't excited about the F2P model of the previously-announced Torchlight Frontiers, then you are in luck: the developers have shifted gears, making Torchlight 3 a full game unto itself. 




There's no question the ARPG genre is heavily skewed towards fantasy, and there aren't that many sci-fi action RPGs that take advantage of the Diablo style. Other than Space Siege and maybe Hellgate: London, I can't think of anything better than the forgotten gem that is Harbinger.


Coming out at exactly the wrong time in gaming history, Harbinger was quickly forgotten as other titles crowded it out. Luckily, this underappreciated ARPG still holds up with a captivating story and Diablo-esque dungeons. That's even when you consider the shooting mechanics are a tad clunky and there are only three classes to choose from. 


Sadly, Harbinger hasn't yet made it to Steam or GOG, but you can still find discs floating around on Amazon and eBay. It's also a good bet that some abandonware site has the files if you're willing to go that route. 


Grim Dawn


Until Wolcen gets the patches it deserves, I have no reservations in saying this grimdark action RPG is currently the king of the genre. It's everything Diablo 3 should have been, and then some.


The number of possible Grim Dawn builds is staggering between the game's dual-class system and the devotion constellation paths. That's not to mention that the lore is a genuine pleasure to dig through.


If you're a fan of cosmic horror, you'll dig the background story of an apocalypse centered on blood-drinking Lovecraftian horrors duking it out with ghostly atherial monstrosities summoned by overly-confident wizards.


While the base game and its multiple expansions can be played repeatedly at different difficulty levels, there's an even bigger longterm investment available in the game's truly diabolical "uber bosses."


Those challenges are for committed players who have considerably more devotion to maxing out character builds than I do. After four years of playing Grim Dawn, I still can't beat Mogdrogen on normal difficulty. The thought of tackling him on in ultimate mode causes eruptions of insane, uncontrollable laughter.


If you've done it, then my hats off to you.


Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem, touted as the next big thing in the ARPG universe, launched in pretty rough shape. Despite being in Early Access and making its presence known in Steam's top-selling games category, Wolcen is full of bugs and glitches. 


For what it's worth, the game is actually a fantastic entry in the ARPG genre — when it isn't glitching out. To its credit, the Wolcen team is working hard to fix the game, with a plethora of issues slated for tweaks in the coming weeks and months. 


As it stands, though, it's probably better to wait on Wolcen and start playing it after all the bugs are fixed. You don't want to get soft-locked out of your character, after all.


So if you're itching for a new ARPG experience but don't want to take the plunge into Wolcen, the good news is that you don't have to look very far. There are dozens of action RPGs to try out on PC, and they cover all kinds of subject matter and just about every sub-genre. 


For our look at the 11 best ARPGs to play while Wolcen gets patched, we'll stick (mostly) to games you can grab easily through digital platforms and start playing today. We won't cover the likes of Diablo because, well, you've probably played that already. 

Torchlight 2: How to Respec Skill Points Mon, 09 Sep 2019 14:35:16 -0400 Ashley Shankle

As any Torchlight 2 PC player can attest, it's hard to play the game without mods once you're used to it. Many fans of the original release have been picking up the console port on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, and have forgotten one important thing: you can't respec in the base game.

If you're looking to figure out how to respec stats, you're out of luck. There is absolutely no way to respec stat points in Torchlight 2.

Whether you can respec skill points is another matter, but not that much of one: you can only respec the last three skill points you spent. Any of the previous points you've spent are permanent.

Taking the above into account, it's imperative than you plan your characters out before you create them.

(Note that my screenshots were taken on PC, sorry for any UI confusion!)

How to Respec Your Last Three Skill Points

There are NPCs in any main hub that allow you to respec your last three points, the first skill respec NPC available is Thaymor, and he is available near the start of the game.

Use a Waypoint to make your way back to the Etherian Enclave, the modest hub where you surely spend too much time stuffing things into storage.

Thaymor can be found right next to the Waypoint in the Etherian Enclave, and will offer to respec your last three skill points.

Further respec NPCs are denoted by the circular arrow icon shown below. This one, Zyll, is in Zeryphesh.

Respeccing is initially free or cheap, but the cost increases with higher tier skills later in the game. It's something to keep in mind, though you should have enough money throughout to cover the costs.

And with that, you know all you really need to know about respeccing in Torchlight 2. It's still disappointing after all these years that there's no stat respec and the ability to respec skills is underwhelming, but despite these facts, TL2 is still a worthy ARPG.

Indie World Showcase Reveals Ori, Risk of Rain 2, Eastward, and Much More Mon, 19 Aug 2019 10:06:42 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Nintendo aired its fall Nindies showcase today, just in time for the start of Gamescom this week. It's the usual mix of existing titles and brand-new indie offerings, with some big surprises and hits thrown in for good measure.

Let's get started.

Ori and the Blind Forest

The rumors were true. Moon Studios and Microsoft are bringing Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition to Nintendo Switch on September 27. This evocative metroidvania features gorgeous art, atmospheric music, and all the challenge you'd expect from a finely crafted game in the genre.

Risk of Rain 2

Another high-demand title is coming to the Switch as well: Risk of Rain 2. It's the 3D follow up to Hoopoo Games' smash-hit original roguelike Risk of Rain. It's set to launch sometime this summer after an outpouring of requests from fans asking the game to be ported.

Check out our early impressions of the game on PC here

Upcoming Releases


Chucklefish's latest game is called Eastward. It takes a Stardew Valley approach to building community and relationships — but sets it in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It also places a greater emphasis on combat and resource management.

There's also a central story based on a mysterious young girl living in an underground facility. Eastward is set for a 2020 launch date.


Roki from Polygon Treehouse is another dark fairytale game, but unlike others that place the player squarely in the protagonist role, the player might just be the monster in Roki. Boasting gorgeous graphics and a mysterious story — plus friendly animals — Roki will launch sometime in winter.


Another new announcement is Youropa, from Frecle a gravity-based puzzle platformer. It's set in a surreal, seemingly post-apocalyptic world that needs rebuilding — and you can rebuild it however you want alongside your customizable avatar. Youropa releases sometime this winter.

Dungeon Defenders: Awakened

The hit tower defense game Dungeon Defenders is getting a sequel of sorts called Dungeon Defenders: Awakened. It puts up to four players together to build their way to victory and cut through mobs of invading enemies across a plethora of locales and environments.

It's a timed exclusive on the Switch and will launch in February 2020.

The Touryst

Shin-en is bringing another game to the Switch with The TourystThe Touryst is a blocky sim-and-exploration game that sees the tiny protagonist exploring a strange island with a split personality.

On the surface, the island is the average tourist destination, but underneath is a set of ruins and bizarre puzzles hiding a big mystery. The Touryst will release in November 2019.

Earth Night

The endless runner genre has seen a bit of a lull recently, but that's about to change with Earth Night. Featuring lovely 2D pixel art, over-the-top environments, and dragons — lots of dragons — Earth Night challenges players with the usual endless runner material: make it through alive, and gather as much as possible. Expect it sometime later this year.

Old Favorites


Skellboy isn't exactly a new release — sort of. It's been up for a while on Steam and was first shown off last December.

Part average Zelda-like exploration and action game, part body-swapping simulator, Skellboy lets players exchange body parts to overcome challenges and save the world. Skellboy will finally be available for purchase December 3.

Torchlight II

Torchlight II is also making its way to Nintendo Switch, with its signature manic action and quirky settings. It'll also have an exclusive pet unicorn when it launches on September 3.

Today's Releases


Superhot is a shoot-and-slash physics game, letting players take control of time and space to try and survive in a world full of heat signatures and death. It's out today on the Nintendo eShop.

Hotline Miami Collection

Devolver Digital's Hotline Miami Collection has been around on other platforms for a while, and it's making its way to the Switch today. It contains both classic Hotline Miami games on one download — and that's a lot of explosive action.


The indie scene on the Switch has been vibrant from the beginning. Nintendo is apparently keeping its promise to cultivate good relationships with a variety of developers, even former rivals, with something for almost everyone on the way in the next six months.

20+ Great Online Co-op Games Currently on Steam for Less Than $30 Sat, 30 Jun 2018 19:32:38 -0400 Ashley Shankle

If your group of friends is anything like mine, getting them all to both agree to and pay for a particular game is harder than herding feral cats. Maybe you're in a similar situation or maybe you're just on the prowl for some good multiplayer games to play in Steam Remote Play. Whatever the case, we've compiled a sizable list to help you out.

The good thing about Remote Play is that only one player in the group needs to own the game; the rest can try it out for free — at least in its current beta period. 

Let's choo choo on through, and hopefully, find you and your friend(s) a game you can play.


Price: $9.99
Steam Store link

You'll see this game mentioned on just about every list of co-op games. This co-op sandbox-adventure has loads of content for any group of friends to go to town on. Terraria has stayed on the top played Steam games for 7 years for good reason.

Grim Dawn

Price: $24.99
Steam Store link

If you're looking to scratch your ARPG itch, you could do a lot worse than Grim Dawn. Even without the expansion, you can find dozens of hours of whackin' and lootin' in Grim Dawn. If you're not too keen on its darker aesthetic but do want an ARPG, the next option may be more down your alley.

Torchlight 2

Price: $19.99
Steam Store link

It may be older than Grim Dawn, but Torchlight 2 still has a lot of staying power if you've never given the game a chance. There is more content to be found in Grim Dawn but Torchlight 2 has a robust array of mods available, including content, quality of life, and classes. This is still a solid buy today in 2018, and it can be modded for up to 8-player multiplayer.

Castle Crashers

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

Another staple co-op game sure to be on pretty much every co-op list, Castle Crashers is the poster boy for co-op beat'em ups. This is an easy one for all ages and kill levels to get into and have fun with.

BattleBlock Theater

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

Another game from The Behemoth, the same studio behind Castle Crashers. BattleBlock Theater's campaign is completely co-op and it also features a healthy selection of hectic PvP modes, for when you want to prove your better than your friends once and for all.

Rocket League

Price: $19.99
Steam Store link

Before you say, "Ugh, no. Too mainstream," take a breath and consider Rocket League as a co-op game with a low barrier of entry and a whole lot of speed. Rocket League may not be your first choice, but it's an easy game to get a group of people to agree to hop onto for a quick round.

Risk of Rain

Price: $9.99
Steam Store link

Risk of Rain is a co-op game with an unquenchable bloodlust. Though not for everyone due to its extreme difficulty, Risk of Rain is an easy buy for roguelite fans or groups of friends who hate life. It's a hard game and it will knock you down a peg with ease, whether you've got 1 hour or 300 hours worth of gameplay logged.

Risk of Rain 2 is pretty good, too. It's currently $19.99 on Steam

Beat Hazard

Price: $9.99
Steam Store link

This one always seems to slip through the cracks since it's been blessing Steam with its presence for eight years now, but despite its age, Beat Hazard continues to be a recommended purchase for co-op play, providing you and your friend(s) are good at shmups. Beat Hazard lets you use your own music or one of many radio stations to generate enemies, which is what makes this one so unique.

Ultimate Chicken Horse

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

Playing this game with a group of friends is an exercise in sadism. You and up to three other friends will be tasked with creating and completing the stages in Ultimate Chicken Horse, and you can bet at least one (or even all) of you will make them nearly impossible to beat, in the name of being the better platformer player. Ridiculously fun and honestly not as enraging as it sounds.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

An outlier among the other games in this collection, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes only requires one person to buy the game. There's a reason for that: Only one player is allowed to see the screen at a time, so only one can directly defuse the bomb. The other players must tell the defuser what to do based on the instructions in the manual.

If it sounds a little convoluted, that's because it is by design. Can you and your friends defuse a bomb? Maybe, maybe not. But you can certainly yell at each other trying.

Don't Starve Together

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

Don't Starve has stood as one of the more accessible survival games over the years, and the multiplayer expansion Don't Starve Together may be an even more enjoyable game than the base with the Reign of Giants expansion. Together contains both, plus the ability to die in the forest with your friends. If  as in my case — you tried the original game but didn't enjoy it much, you may still find this fun.

Left 4 Dead 2

Price: $9.99
Steam Store link

You may be dissuaded from picking Left 4 Dead 2 up based on its age. It's been out for 11 years now, it seems like everyone's been through the game. Why bother? If you haven't played it yet, this is your reminder to pick up L4D2 to play with your friends. It's still fun to this day, but it's best played with friends. Any community for a decade-old game is bound to be elitist and this game is no exception.


Price: $9.99
Steam Store link

If you don't play PAYDAY 2, it's possible the only thing you've heard about it was the hubbub about microtransactions a few years back. It's been a long time since then though, and the game is a solid heister. You don't need to play the first game to dive right into this one and, provided your group can cooperate, there are hours upon hours of heists for you to tackle.

Dungeon of The Endless

Price: $11.99
Steam Store link

How about something a little different? Amplitude's Endless universe has expanded this way and that, with "that" being Dungeon of the Endless, a pseudo-tower defense roguelike. In this, players must hoard resources and expand based on the ever-increasing threats of the depth of the dungeon. A single round in this game can take several hours and it is very hard, but if your group's into roguelikes you could do a lot worse.

Borderlands 2

Price: $19.99
Steam Store link

Borderlands 2 is another old staple that still holds up today, especially multiplayer. Pushing through this game with friends is satisfying as firefights are intense and the weapon system is a ARPG-style lootfest. Not many games age as well as this one -- you can come back years later and still have a ton of fun.

Golf With Your Friends

Price: $7.99
Steam Store link

If you just want a game to pay a little attention to while chatting, this is an easy choice. Golf With Your Friends isn't exactly rolling in content variety and only contains 7 levels with 18 holes, but things are kept fresh through golf ball shapes and game modes. A very easy game to just sit back and play while having a couple beers and a laugh.

Human: Fall Flat

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

How about something a little less-in-your-face about its silliness? We've got some pretty quirky games listed here, but they're all a bit more obvious about it than the cooperative physics-based puzzle solving found in Human: Fall Flat. The one downside here is that there are not a lot of stages, but it's a good deal at this price. 

Project Zomboid

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

Don't let this game's graphics and the year it entered Steam Early Access fool you: Project Zomboid is a fleshed-out survival sandbox with hundreds of potential hours of gameplay, with continued support from its developer as it slowly shambles toward full release. If you and your group can accept the high learning curve, you can have a great time with this game.

Portal 2

Price: $9.99
Steam Store link

The Portal games are famous for a lot of reasons and one of those reasons is (Spoilers!) the stellar co-op campaign. If you haven't played Portal 2 and you want a game to play with a friend, you may as well throw the $2 at Valve and see what all the hubbub is about.


Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

An other roguelike to add to the pile, Barony is the closest to a traditional roguelike of any of the games listed here. It looks old, it feels old, and it plays like an old game. That's perfectly fine: You'll be hard-pressed to find another game that takes the classic roguelike formula, turns it 3D and realtime, and allows for online co-op. This one's pretty niche but you're in for a good time if you're comfortable with classic roguelikes.

Endless Legend

Price: $29.99
Steam Store link

Though Endless Space is currently also on sale, I would recommend Endless Legend over it for its similarities to the Civilization series and its overall fun factor. This is a more traditional-style 4X game. Expand, form alliances, wage wars -- it's up to you. A worthy strategy addition to most gaming groups on a budget.

Resident Evil 5

Price: $19.99
Steam Store link

You don't hear much about Resident Evil 5 or 6 for a few reasons, but none of those reasons equate to them not being fun with friends. Resident Evil 5 is often overlooked in favor of 6 for co-op play because it retains the semi-tank controls found in its predecessor, but if you and a friend can adjust to that control style this is an intense and worthwhile co-op action game.

Resident Evil 6

Price: $29.99
Steam Store link

Like its predecessor, Resident Evil 6 is best played with a friend. Unlike its predecessor, it's got more modern, fluid controls and a whole lot of QTEs. This one is over-the-top in about every regard, to the extent I can't help but find it silly each playthrough. If you like classic Resi games, go with 5. If you can't deal with the antiquated controls, go with 6. The decision is as simple as that.

7 Days to Die

Price: $24.99
Steam Store link

One of the first titles in the survival game wave that paved the way for games such as Rust and ARK: Survival Evolved, 7 Days to Die still stands as one of the most played games on Steam and is just as fun now as when it came out. As with the two mentioned, 7 Days to Die allows you a great deal of freedom in your efforts to survive. Break, use, and do whatever you want to ensure your survival in a world overrun by over 50 types of zombies.

Orcs Must Die! 2

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

The original Orcs Must Die! set off a chain reaction of action-tower defense clones, some good and some bad, but none really hold up to the sequel. Orcs Must Die! 2 is an improvement over the first game in almost every way, and has the added bonus of online multiplayer. It's easy to get into, easy to wrap your head around, and easy to spend too many hours in.

Tabletop Simulator

Price: $19.99
Steam Store link

This is a bit of a strange one since Tabletop Simulator itself isn't a game, but a mini-platform for tabletop gaming. The amount of games available via Tabletop Simulator are nearly endless, making this a fantastic purchase for any static group of friends who have trouble deciding on what to play or want to play board games without having to pick up after themselves.


These are definitely not all of the co-op games you can get for relatively cheap on Steam, but these are some I can personally recommend. I hope you've found at least one game you find worthy of your Steam library.

Rolling the Dice: Do Modern RPGs Miss the Point of Team-Based Play? Mon, 13 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 SpaceGamerUK

"Online" is the God of All Gaming. Playing alone or with a couple of friends in the same room is passe. Nobody really does it any more.

It seems it was long time ago. A bunch of friends spending hours on end playing RPG games, sitting around the table with the box of cold pizza. Excited about the story, listening to the Game Master, they were completely engaged in the worlds only visible to them and their imaginations.

It was the Age of the Dice

The dice were everything, deciding every second of life and every potential death of its players. There were no re-spawns or second rounds. Wizards killed by Manticore were dead for a game's eternity.

How exciting it was, and what a truly real experience it was for all the players. Sadly, it's now forgotten -- except for a bunch of nerds still playing somewhere away from the online civilization -- like the young heroes of Stranger Things, a series on Netflix.

With time and civilisations expansion, table and dice was replaced by technology. RPG maniacs evolved.

It was the Age of the LAN Party

The dice was replaced by the zero or one code of the computer processor but still (regardless being hidden behind low resolution monitors) Wizards and Sorcerers were feasting on the same cold pizza, sitting in the same room wrapped in LAN wires.

The principle did not change -- it was all about the team effort given to win the game. There was still some sort of Game Master throwing the dice, although right now his fantasy and creativity was measured in bytes.

From social point of view this was very similar to classic RPG evenings and nights. To win, players needed to communicate and use the imagination as the graphics was not the strongest feature of the computers of late nineties. 

It seems that the most legendary title amongst RPGs played on LAN was Diablo II -- truly classic fantasy story which was mostly testing micro switches of the mice used by players. Chopping with sword or axe was the main activity although thanks to playability through LAN network, it was given the true excitement of team-based RPGs. What is probably even more important is it was designed to lead players right to teamwork.

It seems that whole purpose of classic RPG is to build up situations testing cooperative play skills more than so popular lately competition.

Regardless of overall popularity Diablo II, the RPG LAN genre wasn't destined for a bright future in computer gaming.

According to the database of LAN games available on the market -- between 1998 and 2016 -- only 21 RPG game titles were released with the option of LAN party.

Apart of Diablo II it is worth to notice Baldur's Gate (1998), Baldur's Gate II (2000) and Torchlight 2 (2012). The newest title, only one released in 2016 , Grim Down is available on Steam and has very positive opinions from players.

In overall though, LAN Party RPG is the melody of the past like table top RPG's of early eighties.

What rules the world now is much more worldwide.

It is the Age of Online MMORPG

Globalisation is everywhere -- also in the gaming world. No wonder that small LAN Parties suddenly became massive and online, transforming classic RPG idea into the MMORPG.

One could ask: so what? It is still about team based play.

Yes, it is. In principle. But certainly a modern MMORPG has much less connection with the rolling dice of classic RPGs. What modern MMO based RPGs are actually missing is this cold pizza being eaten by the members of the same team; Wizard, Swordsman, Archer, and Spy. Everyone sitting in the same room and exchanging energy of their own fantasy. What modern MMORPGs are also missing is the spontaneous ability of people to get together and find solutions to the problems. Modern games almost heavily moderate reality -- they don't allow enough space for team play by leading players exactly where the game wants them to be.

Of course we are still deciding where to go, which quest to take. Of course we are the ones creating clans, corporations and factions. But we are not the ones who are throwing the dice!

Perhaps MMORPGs are team based. Many games do have very big teams playing; like in Star Wars The Old Republic, where the teams can even have a hundred players.

There is no direct connection though which is part of what makes RPG ruled by dice so specific.

While communities of players are bigger and bigger, actual person to person connection and cooperation are not so important any more.

Tabletop RPGs really allow us to build our own charactors and stories, where the MMO took the ability to to mould an RPGs reality according to our fantasy and imagination. We are more the followers than creators now, which we were when the dice was in use.

Competition, economy, politics and influence. These replaced Game Master and the dice. We are waiting for what is going to happen and all the while are barely ever creating more than un-significant micro connections in modern RPGs.

Of course like with everything else -- it all depends on people. There are very good teams in every known MMO game, bringing back the feeling of proper team based play. Lore is finally being used for the actual creation of worlds, with background stories giving the feeling of role playing. One of the examples could be lore stories behind Elite: Dangerous or EVE Online which are driving huge communities of players, regardless that in reality both games are not dependant on the RPG behind the main storyline. You can take lore from the main missions, but players will still fly around and do random, or side missions. These games are still MMOs, although their lore does became a bit 2D due to the lack of truly deep background stories.

The good news is that the people playing massive multiplayer titles, deep down, are still the same nerds throwing the dice. They like to see the story behind the algorithm and refuse to follow line of computer systems.

It is also likely that some of them are still keen to bring their computers and put them in the same room to grasp the feeling of classic RPGs, while sharing opinions, food, and drinks. Nowadays seating in the same room is often replaced by communication, channel such as through TeamSpeak or Discord.

Perhaps this is why from time to time, regardless of the overall trend to make everything massive, developers introducing nice examples of the games which can be played by few players.

A very good example is the Astroneer, recently released as an early access game on Steam. Certainly it is not a classic RPG, but this space game is classified as sand box. Thanks to an implemented Co-Op option, it brings back an idea of team based play, with teams of 4 people being able to play. 

There is no competition between players, instead they need to cooperate to achieve success -- exactly the point of classic team-based games. Astroneer is easy to grasp, and the old feeling of tabletop co-op that there is actually dice is back! Members of the same team of Astroneers can create the future and decide where and how they will go. They can also decide what kind of the reality they will create. It feels like coming back to the core of team-based play, it feels that being part of team matters again. It feels that all depends on us again!

Do you know other titles on the market which could bring an idea of classic RPG based on team play? 

Six games that are great to play with friends (that aren't shooters) Wed, 04 Nov 2015 08:47:14 -0500 John Adamczyk


1. Tabletop Simulator


From the serious-minded tabletop enthusiasts to the people who just want to make their friends scream with rage as they flip the table right before the ending of a chess match, Tabletop Simulator has something for just about everyone. With hundreds of mods to choose from, getting your friends around the digital tabletop is a very compelling option for those with the patience to get to learn this sometimes obtuse program. 


The finicky physics engine, ability to draw on any surface, and the fact that you can flip the table at any given moment, make even the most mundane games in Tabletop Simulator into something entertaining. 


It can take a while to master the program thanks to its sometimes unintuitive or poorly optimized controls, but once everyone gets the hang of it, you can do just about anything in Tabletop Simulator. 


If there's one game on this list that's worth a try for just about anyone who wants to sit down with friends and play something that isn't a shooter, this is your best bet. With too many mods to count, you can play just about anything on the tabletop. 


2. Divinity: Original Sin


For the RPG-oriented group, there's nothing better than Divinity: Original Sin - and with the enhanced edition released just last week, so there isn't a better time to go off on some good old hack-and-slash romps with your friends.


Of course, you will need to mod the game if you want to play the campaign with more than two players (and Enhanced Edition doesn't have a perfect mod for this yet). But, the game is great even with one friend, as you can go through towns causing all sorts of hijinks, from piling explosive barrels up in front of a boss before detonating them to going into town, framing a character for a murder she didn't commit, and breaking her out of jail just so the guards will kill her, thus making all of her items and money available to you for free. Divinity is a game where you can do just about anything with a friend, even play rock paper scissors against each other to decide the fate of Rivellon.


This is possibly one of the most dynamic multiplayer games on the market right now, and while modding the game to ensure four players can be in the same campaign is a bit of a hassle, it's definitely going to be a memorable experience.


The amount of freedom you're all given in a persistent world, where you can go off and explore on your own, sabotage your friends, and steal just about every single item from every house and person you come across, even when you're ignoring the main campaign, you're doing something entertaining.


Just be sure you're ready to die.


A lot.


3. Until Dawn


Ever been sitting there with your friends watching a bad scary movie when someone shouts the most obvious thing in the world?


"No, don't go in there!"


And of course, the character does it, and probably gets chopped up, eaten, or otherwise maimed. 


Well, with Until Dawn, you get a sort of interactive movie experience that, despite being part of a single player game, can make for a great multiplayer experience.


Passing the controller around chapter-by-chapter, debating which decision is the best one for the character to make, going through and debating the strange psych-eval scenes in between chapters, there are a lot of moments where talking it out with other people can make the game more interesting. And the more intense moments in the game only become more intense as everyone yells at the player with the controller to make the right choice before the timer runs out.


For friends who like watching B-grade horror movies, this is the definitive game. Just make sure nobody's spoiled on the story before going into it.


4. Diablo 3


Good old-fashioned dungeon delving without anything else to get in your way. Just tell your friends to get online, jump in, and kill every beast, zombie, and demon that gets in your party's way. Diablo 3 might be unsatisfying in many ways, but as a multiplayer game, it's hard to say no to some brutal monster slaughtering with friends, especially when Blizzard is so good at streamlining their multiplayer experiences. Diablo 3 makes it ridiculously easy to round up your friends, hit the ground running, and just start playing.


If good old hack-and-slash sounds like your kind of game but you're more on the free-to-play side of the fence, there's always the far less polished, but significantly more classical, Path of Exile, a Diablo clone that seems to be bombarded with update after update to keep you and your friends occupied for a long while.


Or, if you just don't want to jump on the Blizzard bandwagon, there's Torchlight II, which is rife with free mods that you and your friends can install to change up the game whenever it feels like it's getting a little stale.


Either way, Diablo and its many, many lookalikes are great games if you're looking for mindless slaughter and loot-hoarding with friends.


5. Hearthstone


Although criticism is constantly leveled at Hearthstone, particularly, every other player is using a deck that's been ripped straight off the internet, most of the game's problems evaporate when you start playing against friends. 


The best part about playing Hearthstone with friends? You can start putting together decks that aren't exactly good, and are, instead, fun. Ever wanted to use your Gazlowe or Hobgoblins instead of your Tirion Fordrings and Mysterious Challengers? That's what friends are for.


Perhaps more importantly, emotes don't have a built-in cooldown timer in friendly games. Go crazy.





6. MOBAs


Short for "multiplayer online battle arena," or, as most people know them: DotA 2 and League of Legends, freeware games that have taken the world by storm, and have allowed countless groups of friends to join up on the battlefield and fight for victory.


This one comes with a bit of a disclaimer: these games can break friendships just as easily as they can make them.


Games like League of Legends and DotA 2 are considered competitive by many of their players, and people can easily become frustrated by losing streaks or games where they get absolutely stomped. If you have a friend - you know, that friend, who gets more than a little angry when things go south in a game? Probably best to move on to the next game. 


If you can find a happy medium, though? There's nothing more rewarding than being able to work together with your friends as a team to overcome another skilled group of players.  


MOBAs are endless time sinks for friends who want short, quick bursts of competitive, cooperative play, or hours-long hauls of back-to-back matches.


But be warned: this game will put your friendship to the test just as much as it will your skills. 


From cooperative campaigns to competitive matches, gaming as a way of bringing friends together is a cornerstone of our hobby.


However, a lot of the games that are great to play with friends share one common trait that I'm a little tired of: they're all shooters. From CS: GO to Halo 5 to Team Fortress 2, shooting and friendship just seem to go hand-in-hand. So, what happens when you're all shootered-out, but still want to sit back and play some games with friends? 


Well, here are six games that can give you and your friends something to do together.

What Does RNG Mean? Mon, 05 Jan 2015 08:18:10 -0500 Aeliantis

In many games being streamed on Twitch or viewed on YouTube you will hear the term RNG used frequently. RNG means Random Number Generator.

An example of this in video games would be the random card draws in Hearthstone: the game uses a Random Number Generator to dictate the next card you draw or outcome of a coin toss...this is why so many people are heard cursing about RNG on streams. It's like cursing a coin for coming up tails when you wanted heads.

Separately from card games like Hearthstone there are things like dungeon crawlers. RNG can have a large role in these as well, dictating when you get certain loot drops and when you don't. If you've been farming a World of Warcraft boss for hours and still haven't gotten his/her rare drop, don't give up! Every time you kill the creature you 'roll' and if the rolled number X is greater than or equal to the required number for loot drop, you'll get your item.

There are many more examples to be found throughout the world of gaming, these are just a couple to provide a basic explanation.

A little bit extra: a physical RNG device can be found in many homes as a pair of dice! Roll them to receive a random number. Bam! RNG.

Thanks for stopping by,

What's Love Got To Do With An ARPG? Sun, 14 Jul 2013 19:05:29 -0400 Sarah Lou

ARPGs have never really been my thing, despite trying several different titles. In an attempt to rouse my interest, my boyfriend and I rolled new characters on Path of Exile, a free ARPG made by Australian developers Grinding Gear Games. While playing these new toons, I asked my boyfriend a few questions to better understand his love for and interest in ARPGs.

What is an ARPG?

"Uh, Action RPGs tend to be third person, top down, point and click slaughter fests that have a lot of RPG elements such as: leveling, skills, classes, lore, varying enemies and monster types, bosses and loot/gear."

What ARPGs have you played?

"Torchlight 1 & 2, all three Diablo games, Titan Quest and it's expansion."

Do you have a favorite?

"Umm, probably just D2 out of nostalgia but PoE would definitely be a new favorite."

What was your first ARPG?

“Diablo 2.”

What about Diablo 2 pulled you into this genre?

"Well, it was, uh, really fun and it’s the first its type that I played. And it was kind of like League of Legends today, in the sense that you could just hop on and play with friends, make a passworded server. It was also one of the first games I’d played with a very dark art style, which was something I wasn’t used to, but enjoyed. On top of that, it was probably one of the first PC games I played aside from Runescape."

 How did you feel about Diablo 3?

"I dunno, it’s kinda hard to articulate my feelings on it. It was fun with friends but, it’s uh, death system made it so I pretty much only played Hardcore and once you got towards the higher difficulties made the early game boring. Because you’d get to like nightmare or hell and then normal is a joke. But if you die in harder difficulties, you have to start at normal again."

 What was after Diablo 3?

"Torchlight 2."

How was that?

"It was really fun. I liked it’s art style, environments, and monsters. Getting towards the end of the game was a bit tedious because I played on the highest difficulty from the beginning, but it was worth it. The game was only twenty bucks unlike D3 which was sixty and had a lot of bugs."

What makes PoE stand out from other ARPGs?

"Well, for one, it’s free, which I think not only appeals to people who have been burnt out on the genre, but those who have never tried ARPGs can get into it without having to spend money. It also has a cash shop that offers items you’ll never really need. It’s not pay to win like D3. It also has a lot of unique concepts, it has a passive skill tree (huge skill tree) and it’s barter system replaces currency. Unlike other ARPGs where you have to grind mobs for gold. You never have to go out and buy gold because there is none."

You’ve downed the last boss on PoE already, why do you continue to play with friends?

"It’s just, uh, due to the passive skill tree and the skill system. You can still put points in the skill tree and get stronger even if you’ve killed the last boss. They have multiple difficulty levels like other ARPGs so you can start on normal and keep going up."

Any sage advice for anyone that wants to try an ARPG?

"If you don’t like one, maybe try another one. The market is pretty saturated for ARPGs, so even if you don’t like one, you might like another one. And definitely try to play with friends."

Thanks, babe! I'll go ahead and apologize to my readers for all the "Uhs" and "Ums," killing zombies can be quite distracting.

"No problem."

As far as how PoE has made me feel about ARPGs, the jury is still out on that. But this avid ARPGer is really enjoying it, to say the least.

Torchlight is FREE Tue, 18 Jun 2013 15:02:10 -0400 Reilly C.

Get over to GOG immediately and get you free copy of the original Torchlight!

You also get five wallpapers, the soundtrack, nine avatars, 14 pieces of artwork and the Level Editor to create your own content for the game to share with the world!

No jokes or gimmicks - this is a GOG DRM free copy of Torchlight for you to play and take with you. Only down side is you don't get Steam's cloud saving feature so you can't play it on the go.

For anyone not aware of what Torchlight is, think of Diablo.  Do you like Diablo?  Then you will love this as it is a sort of Diablo Lite.  I know that is not giving them much credit but honestly the game is amazing and very well made - especially for the small budget it was made it on.

If you love loot drops and numbers exploding from enemies, get this.

I honestly should not have to convince you to get a free game and this offer only last 48 hours!  So get on it!

Perfect World Entertainment Launches Own Gaming Platform Mon, 03 Jun 2013 13:55:42 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Joining a number of other digital distribution platforms is Perfect World Entertainment's Arc, a platform meant to streamline access to the publisher's titles, support, and community.

Perfect World Entertainment hosts a number of titles, each of which being accessible from Arc. If you play any of the following, you may be able to make good use of this new platform:

  • Neverwinter
  • RaiderZ
  • Torchlight 2
  • Blacklight: Retribution
  • Perfect World International
  • Forsaken World
  • Star Trek Online
  • Jade Dynasty
  • War of The Immortals
  • Rusty Hearts
  • Champions Online
  • Ether Saga Odyssey
  • Battle of The Immortals

Use of Arc is optional, but it brings a few conveniences to the table that frequent players of the games listed above may want to make use of.

Outside of being able to download and launch Perfect World's titles, players can also purchase Zen, contact support, talk with friends via a client messenger, and receive news. Users will also reportedly receive exclusive promotions and coupons via the client.

The uses for Arc are limited to frequent players of Perfect World Entertainment-published titles, but its uses for those it pertains to are numerous. Those of you who play one of the many games listed above, do find PWE's new platform useful or are you inclined to avoid it entirely? Let us know in the comment section below!

Torchlight 2 Mods in Multiplayer: Syncing With Friends Wed, 10 Apr 2013 00:12:23 -0400 Ashley Shankle

I've played over 30 hours of multiplayer in Torchlight 2 since it received Steam Workshop support. Much of that time was spent trying to explain to friends (and friends of friends) how to get the mods, enter multiplayer, and sync up our clients so we can play properly.

I can only assume other people are having issues with mods and multiplayer considering how many times I've had to explain this process over the past week. This is basically to save myself some time, and hopefully save a few of you some headaches as well.

Getting all set up.

  • Everyone will have to sync to the host when they try to join a game, but you can iron out several connectivity kinks by having everyone download each mod before they launch the game.
  • Make a list of mods to give anyone joining your game and give the priority order to avoid compatibility issues.
  • Make sure that everyone launches the game with mods and not the vanilla client.
  • The mod order is very important. Some mods do not require that they be in any particular position, but some do. Be sure to read the mod's page on the Steam Workshop to see if the author recommends a particular placement. Sometimes these recommendations will be found in the comments section, and sometimes they are found in the mod loader. Keep an eye out!

Seeing modded multiplayer games

Joining your friends' games and joining pub games are entirely different ballparks due to the mod list and order system. Finding public games with mods you're interested in playing with requires choosing mod collections at the top of the internet lobby and seeing what is available. Finding games with the right combination of mods can be difficult, to say the least.

Joining a game with friends is much easier than finding a compatible pub, but it is not as simple as with vanilla Torchlight 2.

  • Ensure the host's Runic account is on your contact list in-game. If you do not see their game on the list, click on their name and then "Show Game".
  • If there is no option to show your contact's game, search for the game name. If there are still no results, double-check that you both have the same mods and that they are in the same order.
  • If there is no "Join" option when you click on a game, look at the top of your screen for a small wrench icon. The wrench icon syncs your client to the host's mods so there are no compatibility issues during play. Your client will restart and you should be able to join with no problem.
  • If you cannot see your friend's game, double-check your mod list and relaunch.

Stop crashing! Okay, fine. Whatever.

Since I've been poking around with so many mods, I've had more crashes in Torchlight 2 than I have had with any other game in the past few years. Solving your crashing issues can be complicated, but the easiest way is to boot the game with a single mod, test it in multiplayer action, then relaunch with two mods and so on.

Steps, read them!
  1. Boot the game only with SynergiesMOD enabled.
  2. Have a friend join your game, with only SynergiesMOD enabled.
  3. Both of you enter and exit the same map at the same time around 4 or 5 times.
  4. If there are no crashes, exit the game and boot with both SynergiesMOD and another mod.
  5. Repeat step 2 (with the additional mod) and 3. If all is well, keep adding mods until you find the source of your problems.

Sometimes crashes just happen, and they're not really something you can bet on happening. Be sure to do the steps listed above if you intend to play with more than four people.

No one enjoys crashing time and time again, and I am 95% sure the in-game crashes deterred at least three friends-of-friends from ever playing again. If one of the players in your game crashes regularly in a single game session, have someone else host and see if that makes a difference. Good luck, and have fun!

Guild Wars 2 Tops Time Magazine's Best Games of 2012 List Thu, 13 Dec 2012 02:46:50 -0500 Imayen Etim

Guild Wars 2 and ArenaNet were on the receiving end of a pretty decent nod recently. 

Time Magazine gave the MMO the top spot on its year-end best games list. The mag cites Guild Wars 2's constant action and events as a main draw:

Call it the pinball machine of MMOs, devoted to keeping you entertained by the minute, whatever you’re doing. You’ll get into snowball fights, go on scavenger hunts for eggs, play catch with barrels, defend homesteads from ice worms, protect towns from bear hordes and knock out enemy portals that spawn creatures like the Chitauri in The Avengers.

 GW2 beat out Halo 4, Assassin's Creed III, and Dishonored, which placed ninth, fifth, and fourth, respectively.

Check out the full list:
  1. Guild Wars 2
  2. Xenoblade Chronicles
  3. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  4. Dishonored
  5. Assassin's Creed III
  6. Papa and Yo
  7. The Last Story
  8. LittleBigPlanet (PS Vita)
  9. Halo 4
  10. Torchlight II

It is time for the yearly "best of" lists to hit. What does your list of best 2012 games include? What do you think about Time's rankings?