Thoughts on Torchlight Frontiers

It’s been almost a decade since the first Torchlight released on Steam. It essentially boiled down to being a typical Action RPG in the vein of games like Diablo or Fate, and borrowed ideas from other ARPGS on the market. It was a little more light-hearted and colorful than its brethren, and had some interesting ideas. It’s sequel expanded upon its established formula, and both were well received by gamers and critics alike. I played both, and enjoyed both though I think the sequel was a little bit more polished. Each had some nice ideas like having a pet that not only helped you in combat but could also be sent back to town to sell unwanted loot. There was an endless dungeon mode that gave some replay ability, and the ability to retire characters and pass on goodies to a new one. For the most part it wasn’t so much that Torchlight did things differently than other games in the genre that set it apart, it just did everything well and was nice and polished. It also came during the time frame between Diablo II and III, so there was room for other developers to get their idea of what an ARPG should be out into the marketplace.

It was rumored that the developers were working on an MMO version of the game for some time, but that pipe dream was essentially squashed and if I remember correctly the original development company went under or was swallowed by another company. Whatever the case, the MMO wasn’t going to happen and we also weren’t going to see another game in the series. So it goes. Then at a recent gaming convention, we got the announcement that in fact there is an MMO version of the game in development right now! What?

The video shows off a variety of classes doing typical ARPG things, but it looks just like the Torchlight of old and that isn’t a bad thing in this case. Apparently the publisher is Perfect World (which doesn’t sound great) but the developers Echtra Games seem to be industry vets that are passionate about the project, so there’s that. This does seem to be the only game they are working on according to their website, but at least they’ll be able to focus. Let’s just hope their MMO company overlords don’t rush out a shitty project. Also, you can sign up for the beta here, I’ve already done so. It also appears that the game will be coming to both PC and Console, but these types of games don’t play so well with a controller, so I’d recommend getting it for PC.

I’m curious to see what happens. I enjoyed the class selection of the first two games, but it appears that the classes in the video are completely different. I’m not sure how this will be an MMO though, outside of playing like Marvel Heroes? I can see larger hubs where people break off into groups to grind out dungeons, or maybe it will be just like Diablo III where there’s global chat and only a handful of players playing together. I guess time will tell, but I’m looking forward to getting more information about this one for sure!