The other week’s surprise announcement of Torchlight Frontiers hit me as a double-whammy: Not only was it an unashamed MMO with some decent talent behind it, but it actually made good on the very, very long-rumored idea of a massively multiplayer Torchlight. That dream was dead and buried quite some time ago, or so we thought before this project came out of nowhere.
Torchlight (and its sequel), if you’re not familiar, is basically “colorful Diablo.” It was created by some of Diablo II’s devs and had a strong cult following — myself included — that appreciated its cartoony style, more upbeat attitude, and its slick presentation. Customizable and usable pets were a big draw, too, and I never got tired of sending my dog back to the town to sell my stuff when I was too lazy to do it.
Now, we don’t know a lot about this project so far, probably because the team wants to use Gamescom and Pax West as a publicity platform for it. That means that by the end of the month, we’ll most likely have a greater idea on what this game entails and what kind of timeframe we are looking at before launch.
It’s a huge plus in my book that Torchlight Frontiers got a lot of the original devs back together and that this team is really gung-ho on making an MMO with this property. It’s a slight minus that this is under the Perfect World umbrella, because that means lockboxes and plenty of ’em. It’s not enough to warn me away, but I don’t have to exactly rejoice over PWE’s involvement.
I’ve been wanting a good Diablo clone MMO for quite some time now, especially after the former promise of a Torchlight MMO faded away and Flagship’s Mythos, well, the less said about that debacle the better. What’s even more interesting is that this announcement coincides with some really strong teases that Blizzard will be announcing a lot of things with the Diablo franchise later this year, and I can’t entirely rule out a Diablo MMO as a possibility, especially as that studio once was looking at such an idea.
I can see TF being a really nice “on the side” MMO that hits the spot when you want mindless clicking — while still delivering a social element and world persistence. Count me extremely interested!