Torchlight fans just received some huge news – Torchlight Frontiers has become Torchlight III, reverting to the classic model with linear progression. This Diablo-esque hack-and-slash dungeon-crawling RPG series has kept fans entranced since it debuted in 2009. Fans have been waiting for a new installment since 2012, and that wait will soon be over.
Last year, Echtra Games founder Max Schaefer announced that Torchlight Frontiers, which was to be a free-to-play addition to the series, would be delayed into 2020 because it needed more time. Torchlight Frontiers was to take place in a “shared, persistent, and dynamically generated world” with 60-80 hours of content. This makes it a much larger game than either of the previous iterations of Torchlight. The planned game had new classes, including the Railmaster and his ever-present train (complete with tracks). It also would give players more customization options with pets, and more. A new Torchlight is still coming – just with a new name and some major changes to the original plan.
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Perfect World Entertainment and Echtra Games announced that Torchlight Frontiers has a new name: the simpler Torchlight III. The game’s closed alpha testing is kicking off, with a planned Torchlight III release date in Summer 2020 on Steam. The game will also be available on consoles. Torchlight III has abandoned some of its lofty goals and settled into its tried-and-true linear progression model. The free-to-play aspect of the game has also been scrapped and horizontal progression has been removed. Players will encounter each other in towns, but will only see each other in the wild if privacy settings are changed to allow it. Torchlight III will feature the Act structure from the previous games, much like players saw in Diablo 3. While Frontiers was to feature a real-money store, Torchlight III will not. Fans can see more about it in this announcement video:
It’s unclear how many of the previously-announced features will make it into the game, but the official announcement outlines some of what’s coming. Some features include player housing in the form of buildable and upgradable forts, randomized dungeons, and four classes. The Railmaster remains in Torchlight III, along with a robot, a mage, and another unannounced class.
At a time when so-called free-to-play games are cashing in via cosmetic options like with Fortnite and similar or pay-to-win features like those included in Fallout 76‘s premium monthly service, it’s refreshing to see a developer throw the concept away entirely and simply focus on making a great game. And since Torchlight games generally receive a warm welcome from fans, a great game is likely what it will be. With Diablo 4 in the works, players of this genre have a lot to look forward to.
Next: Torchlight II Switch Review: Speak of The Diablo
Torchlight III will be available on Steam in Summer 2020. Console versions are also coming in 2020.
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