2020 couldn’t get better for hack-n-slash lovers, as Torchlight 3 enters the fray battling against the release of Diablo 4 and Path of Exile 2. Max Schaefer, the creator of the series has made the announcement and Torchlight Frontiers is now changing entirely to become a true sequel to one of the most iconic franchises of its genre. We lay down everything we know about the game so far.
As far as Torchlight goes, its success lies on its own journey. Originally developed by Runic Games, the franchise stood tall against giants in the hack-n-slash RPG genre, proving that not all titles have to be grim and bloody to be fun. After two successful additions to the franchise, Runic Games’ doors closed, leaving the games high up in the air.
That’s where Echtra Games took the responsibility and created Torchlight Frontiers, a free-to-play spiritual successor to the series. After the first Alpha period, the team took fans’ feedback into consideration, making the change to Torchlight 3. We couldn’t be happier about that decision.
Unlike Torchlight Frontiers, Torchlight 3 won’t be free-to-play and will instead adapt to a premium model much like its predecessors. This means that once you buy the game, you get all it has to offer. Echtra Games is removing the Frontiers’ real-money store and will change the economy accordingly to match its new model.
Torchlight 3 Platforms
For now, Torchlight 3 will release exclusively on PC through Steam. The decisions seem almost organic as the previous games found their audience on Steam, to begin with. Both Torchlight 1 and 2 released on consoles but weren’t accepted as widely as on PC. A later console has been announced but there’s no mention on whether or not it will include all of them.
Echtra Games is changing Torchlight Frontiers from the grounds up to match the level of the first two titles. This means that there will be iconic classes with Dusk Mage, Forged and Railmaster to be the first and a robust act system that will keep players engaged longer.
One thing that Frontiers lacked is consistency in its content. Due to that, players found it hard to keep playing it after some time, making its true purpose useless. Echtra intends to make it a long term commitment. To do that, the team is bringing new additions to the existing maps and end game features we’ve seen in the free-to-play version.
You’ll be able to use maps in order to enter dungeons, grind for new items and build your own fort. You’ll start off at the Imperial outpost and follow the classic Act structure known by the previous titles. There will be no Horizontal progression and we’ll see the previous management system making a return. Almost all quests have been rewritten and all areas except cities have been turned private by default.
Matching the previous progression model. the team is removing Frontier gear ties. Characters have a single level, with XP and power curves adjusted globally to match the new game structure. Characters should reach levels 46-50 in the main storyline, and the max character level is 100.
Area sizes, tiles, layouts, and monster populations have been refreshed to give a more dynamic experience from area to area within each Act. Players will now experience much stronger variety and themes in monsters they’re facing as they travel through each area. At least, that’s what the studio promises.
To top all that, Echtra will give you the choice to start a game in Offline or Online mode, depending on what type of player you are. Playing offline will give you the full solo experience, you won’t be able to play with friends though by any means. Online requires an all-time-on internet connection but comes with all the multiplayer features available.
Torchlight Frontiers Future
Up until the release of Torchlight 3, the developers will keep pushing updates to Frontiers. Everyone who has alpha access will be able to see the first changes, after Update 10 that releases today. This means you can play Torchlight 3 alpha today if you already have access to Frontiers. A beta period is coming soon and you can still register for a key if you want.
Torchlight 3 Release Date
Torchlight 3 has still no release date but will launch on PC sometime this year. If what Echtra Games says is true then it won’t be after this summer, since a beta version is coming soon.
It’s still soon to say whether or not Torchlight 3 will manage to bring old school fans back to its universe. While fans are excited to see a true spiritual successor getting a release, it all falls down to whether or not the studio will keep the bar high and deliver a great experience.
For what it’s worth, 2020 is a great year for such a game. With competition being mostly Diablo and Path of Exile, Torchlight 3 can get its own fanbase and establish its place before the release of Diablo 4 and PoE 2. We know we have high hopes for sure.