Max Schaefer's ambitious Torchlight Frontiers free-to-play game is no more. That's not to say the work has been wasted, though — Torchlight 3 has been announced.
Check out the announcement trailer to see the reasons why the change was made:
Previously announced as coming to Perfect World's Arc ecosystem, the game will now be making its way to Steam as Torchlight 3 and joining the first two games of the franchise.
Closed alpha testing will begin on this new version at the end of this month according to a press release. Gone are many of the MMO-like components. Instead, players will be able to enjoy much of the same linear progression seen in the previous games and many of the features you've known and loved like pets, exploring the wilderness, and stockpiling more legendary artifacts than that warehouse where they stuffed the Ark of the Covenant in Indiana Jones.
Torchlight 3 'Works Better as a Premium Title'
So, why has the game been changed from their original vision? Franchise creator Max Schaefer explains in the announcement video.
"As you make a game, the game starts to tell you what it wants to be," Mr. Schaefer stated. "Torchlight Frontiers told us that it really wants to be the spiritual successor to Torchlight 1 and Torchlight 2. And so, we have made the change both in the business model and the name for these reasons."
"We did these changes mostly because of feedback we got from our alpha players," he explained. "They told us what they want the game to be and from our own internal deliberations, we also agreed. The game just works better as a premium title. We have changed the structure of the game, changed the way you go through it, the pacing, the monsters you fight, and made so many great new changes that you're gonna have to get all the details either online, in our blogs, we do Friday fun streams — so check us out there — and on social media."
Max Schaefer went on to say that for "one boxed price", you'll get the game and all of its content, no fuss, no muss. We can expect to be able to play it on PC sometime in 2020, although a more specific
"There is a lot of good stuff coming down the road and all of it is possible because of the great input we've gotten from our alpha testers. They've given us constant feedback from the very beginning of this journey and I think it's made the game a whole lot better than it was before. So I want to say 'thank you' to the alpha testers, 'thank you' to everyone who's been following along. We got great things coming down the pike and please stay tuned."
A Brief Overview of the Classes
So, what about the classes? Torchlight 2 changed things up from its predecessor, and Torchlight 3 is looking to do the same.
Here are the descriptions of the new classes in the press release:
The Dusk Mage is an enchanter who harnesses the power of light and dark energy to conjure devastating attacks.
The Forged is a powerful robot who relies on an arsenal of weaponry to build up heat and unleash explosive assaults.
The Railmaster is a locomotive savvy powerhouse who steams into combat with a massive hammer and heavily armed battle train.
You'll note that that's only three classes. There is indeed a fourth, but it has yet to be revealed — we can expect to hear more about it "soon". In the meantime, you can keep up with the game's progress on torchlight3.com.
The changes announced today may seem drastic, but I had firsthand experience with the Torchlight 2 alpha tests and that game also looked very different in its early testing stages. I get the impression that the people who make this awesome ARPG aren't afraid to experiment but also take into account alpha feedback and make whatever changes are necessary — even if they require, as in this case, a complete shift in the business model.
What do you think of Torchlight Frontiers being renamed Torchlight 3 and moving from an online experience to a more traditional ARPG? Are you happy or sad with the changes made so far? Let us know in the comments below!