UPDATE: A representative confirmed that the "Torchlight" MMO is still happening. They also mentioned that a Mac version of "Torchlight 2," will come sometime after the PC version drops.
Original Story: Awesome, awesome news for fans of hack and slash RPGs this morning. Runic Games has announced that they're working on "Torchlight 2," and it's coming out next Spring. Considering the "Diablo 3" release date may well be beyond any currently-living human, this offers a nice alternative.
If you missed it the first time around, "Torchlight" is basically a really well made "Diablo" clone which released last year. It was definitely an under-the-radar game, but it managed to capture the hearts and minds thanks to an in-depth RPG system, impressive character customization and a really cool art style. As an added bonus, the game could run on just about any computer, thanks to extremely scalable graphics. Hell, you could even run it on a netbook!
"Torchlight 2" seems to be sticking pretty close to the tenets of the first game, but is adding a few specific features to make the experience more pleasurable.
Multiplayer - The game will support co-op play over LAN or the internet. There will be matchmaking, so players can find randoms if their friends are being too lazy.
Four Character Classes - The first game only had three. No word yet on whether the four classes will all be brand new, or whether it's just one new one added to the already-established group. I'd wager the latter.
Overworld Play - Like the original "Diablo," 98% of "Torchlight" took place underground. "Torchlight 2" will introduce more above-ground play, making the whole game feel a lot less cave-y.
Retirement - You'll be able to "retire" high level characters, which would then bestow certain abilities upon brand new characters. Fancy!
The announcement of the sequel does cause us to question the current status of the "Torchlight" MMO, which has supposedly been in the works for some time now. I've reached out to Runic Games to get the word on whether that project is still in the works.