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Torchlight II: Available for Pre-Order with Packaged Deals from Steam

The wait is almost over!

Runic Games announced yesterday that you can now pre-order Torchlight II!  Fans of the original can feel that much closer to the second installment by pre-ordering their copy at either the Perfect World Entertainment site or on the popular Steam platform.  Those who choose to spend their $19.99 via Steam get an added bonus of receiving the original Torchlight.  Steam is also betting on the popularity of the key feature missing from the original game (the co-op functionality) that is now in Torchlight II by offering a “buy three, get the fourth free” deal.  It’s almost a no-brainer to order your copy from Steam, but we do love having options – so there you go!

As a fan of the original game I can’t help but be excited at what Runic has brought to the table for the next installment of Torchlight.  A quick view of some of the new features and game play can be found on the games official site on the “About” page – linked here for your convenience.  The obvious focus is of course the co-op play, but with several of the new features one can’t help but feel the influences of World of Warcraft and for newcomers a touch of SWTOR.  The features screaming World of Warcraft to me are the character customization’s, the open world and fishing.  The hint of SWTOR comes in the feature that was actually in the original where your pet will run to town and sell your loot for you.  So maybe SWTOR has some answering to do in that respect.

Another feature I’m very happy to see was not tossed to the wayside is the moddability of the game via the TorchED interface.  This was one of the most enjoyable features for me in that it was like Runic gave me a digital graph paper notebook in which to build my own dungeons to challenge friends with.  Granted, I wasn’t the most proficient at it but I did love playing with the editor almost as much as I loved running the game.

I fully expect to do a NerdCRIT rating for Torchlight II once it is released this summer.  Until then, newcomers to the game can toss $20 on their Steam account and run the original Torchlight to see what all the fuss is about and then they can sit and wait for the next installment just like the rest of us!  

Only their duration of misery will be drastically shorter.

Star Trek Online MMO Goes Free-To-Play In 2012

Boldly go where no-one has gone before, for FREE!

Star Trek Online MMO will go Free-To-Play on January 17, 2012 (Stardate: 65509.3 according to TrekGuide.com for all you Trekkies out there).  This is HUGE considering most players of the game since BETA testing (yeah, I was a beta tester) believed the game should have been free-to-play since launch.  The details as to how this will effect current pay-for-play users and those just now coming into the game are detailed nicely on STO’s site and IGN seems to address the reason why it wasn’t free-to-play since launch in their article.

STO launced on February 2, 2010 and for me personally was quite a let down.  Being part of the BETA testing it was apparent to me that there were too many bugs to push to the public.  However, Atari (who sold Cryptic Studios to Perfect World [China]) obviously didn’t heed my emails and released it anyway.  My disappointment in the game has pretty much kept it on the shelf until I heard the recent news and decided to write this post (yeah, I’m waiting for a MASSIVE patch to download and install . . . 45% done so far . . . ).  I gave it a fair shake the first few months but after a while the annoyance of the game-play couldn’t make up for the absolutely gorgeous environment Cryptic Studios created.

An interesting twist they are bringing with the free-to-play model is a new form of in-game currency – Dilithium.  Again, IGN can bring you up to speed on this better than I can so if you are drooling a the chance to play STO for free to see what you have been missing, then I highly recommend reading their post.  From what I gather, though, it brings in a method of earning high-end gear that you can’t purchase from Cryptic’s C-Store.  And, as an added bonus, you’ll be able to sell/trade your Dilithium in-game (so be prepaired for more SPAM like in World of Warcraft where people setup their own Dilithium Shops and sell it to you for cash….)

The more I surf the interwebs for information on the coming changes to STO the more excited I am for the patch to complete (I’m at 83% now folks, so gotta wrap this up soon…).  It seems that Cryptic Studios has been up to a lot since my leave of absence and I’m excited to see the new features, changes, etc.  (Starfleet Academy – heck yeah!!!  Wonder if Wesley Crusher will be wandering campus?)  I honestly can’t even remember what level my character is on the game but I can tell you that I was building the crew from Firefly and was able to name my ship “Serenity” – but I have a bad feeling they will allow duplicate ship names now, but let’s hope not.

Patch is 98% done – so go do your homework and be sure to check back for updates as to what I find while in-game!

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